The POWER of Media

One weird thing happened to me yesterday as I was on my way home from my son’s school. I was listening to an AM station, particularly DZMM and I suddenly heard the song…”Snow bells ring, are you listening, in a land that is glistening….” Yes! Christmas carols were already playing! It was actually followed by another famous carol. While it is normal for Christmas carols to be played here in the Philippines early, way before the Christmas season but it is not even “ber” season yet! I thought the DJ just made a mistake but the second carol clearly showed that it was intentional.

What was remarkable was that the carols evoked some feelings in me. Hearing the carols made me smile and feel a little bit Christmasy already. My mind fast forwarded to December and I thought of simbang gabi, Christmas decors, the noche Buena, the gifts and the like. I was transported to a reality which was not present yet. It made me hope for a beautiful Christmas season.

This is the power of media. It is unusual to play Christmas carols at this time even by Filipino standards yet no matter how unacceptable it is, because of how it has made me feel, and what it has evoked in me, made it right. People in the media industry know this and exploit this power. The affective power  (its effect on the heart) of media is so strong that it can overcome the cognitive (reasoning) and direct the effective (action). So whatever is morally or objectively wrong as long as it is packaged well (catchy tune, eloquent lyrics) will sound right, appear right, becomes acceptable to general public. When it becomes acceptable, all those who like it begin to conform to it even unconsciously being transformed by it. They in turn become heralds of this “new found truth” they have found.

Our celebrities (singers, bands, endorsers, models) are not just faces that we adore, they have become spokespersons, teachers, mentors.  And those who are not careful, take their words and actions as Gospel truths. It is a challenge then for all media consumers to be educated and discerning and this is why we FLiQ Media exist. We will journey with everyone that we may all learn, be discerning and never stray from the one, real, TRUTH that is Jesus.

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