Illustration… Mean World Syndrome

Published April 16, 2012 by Dezirae Mccausland

As people view the mass media on a daily basis, we tend to take in what we see for face value wanting to believe everything that we see to be reality. On television, there are numerous genres of movies, television shows, and news broadcasts, but much of what we see is negative in content. The news that is presented is mostly negative rather than positive, showing us unforgettable images of war torn countries, starving children, and terrible events that are happening around our world. Movies and video games are full of violence and even children’s cartoons have violent acts which are turned in to jokes. Just look as the classic “Road Runner and Coyote” cartoon, the Coyote’s whole goal is to catch the Road Runner by setting up bombs and traps. Of course, this cartoon is quite comical, but if you look at the deeper meaning there is quite a lot of violence in these, kind of cartoons. As viewers of the media are constantly shown violent shows and news that is negative in nature, it starts to create a mean world syndrome for the viewers. Mean world syndrome is when people start to believe that the world is a meaner and scarier place than it really is (Quist-Adade, 2012). This video clip,Mean World Syndrome Video shows a very good example of images shown through the mass media, and it is very easy to see why a person would start to view the out side world as being such a bad place. As much of the news we hear is about tragic events around the world, people may start to construct false ideas about other countries and places in the world. Since our view is limited, we start to believe what the reporters are telling us, but it is important to remember that reporters and the mass media have a way of choosing what they want to show us. So, the mass media may be making the world seem like a meaner and scarier place than it really is, but maybe we need to get outside to experience real life situations rather than becoming a ‘couch potato’ and absorbing the media’s perspective of our world.

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