Did you know the average American consumes over 11 hours a day of electronic mass media? We get informed, educated and entertained – sure – but researchers say something else happens: it affects the way we see the world.
This perspective is called “cultivation theory” -the idea that we perceive the world based on the media we consume.
This is especially true with social media – where we’re averaging two hours a day – and we tend to congregate with those who think, feel, believe & vote the way that we do. Filter bubbles are inevitable, but does this contribute to the nation’s current polarization? Some say yes.
Ideologically we don’t disagree more than ever, but studies have shown we dislike others more than ever.
Changing up our social media feeds doesn’t help, either – research says conflicting viewpoints just tend to make us “double down” with our own opinions.
Maybe the only solution is to examine the media we consume and evaluate how it makes us feel about the world -by asking the famous questions:
Who’s the sender of the message? And where did it originate?
What’s their motive or intent?
How is the message created to get my attention?
What is left out of the message? Who profits from this message?
Who’s the target market?