Without realizing it, you are almost constantly at the mercy of the mainstream media (unless you live out in a cabin in the middle of the woods). The media on the surface is a very good thing, that allows us to send and receive information quickly and seamlessly into our daily lives. However, that ease of data transfer does have a downside. We’ll discuss all aspects of the mainstream media and how it affects the lives of Americans everywhere.

Now, when we say mainstream media, we are actually talking about many different forms of media. The biggest example of this is the television, which is where many people get their daily news. But the radio is also a very common form of mainstream media, particularly for people who commute to work in cars, as every car has a radio. There are still paper publications such as newspapers and magazines that are considered mainstream media.

And of course, we can’t forget about the internet, which is the biggest form of mainstream media out there. There are seemingly endless sites that provide information to you – news stations and publications even use the internet to supplement their own form of media. In short, the internet is the dominating force when it comes to mainstream media, and it isn’t even close.

So how is mainstream media good for you? Well to start, it allows you to receive information at lightning fast speeds. If something happens on the East Coast that people around the country want to learn about, news media will cover it and get to millions of eyeballs around the country within a few hours, if not minutes depending on the significance of the event.

It keeps you informed about everything worth knowing about, which as a whole makes the world feel more connected. Without mainstream media, not only would you have less information at your fingertips, but as a secondary effect, you will feel less connected to those around you, which can have significant psychological implications, especially if you live away from highly-populated cities.

The downside to mainstream media comes due to how pervasive it really is. It starts with advertisements that push you to buy superfluous things to keep the capitalist machine moving. When you are strapped for cash, being dragged into making more purchases can be very detrimental to your overall financial well-being. And trust me, it can be very easy for some people to buy what they see on television without thinking about the financial implications first. The internet takes the old form of advertisements a step further by personally catering advertisements to  what you are most likely to buy.

And of course, the mainstream media is always at risk of providing false information, which is recognized today as “fake news”. So often, when people see someone in a fancy suit spouting out “information”, they simply take it at face value. And it is often so hard to separate fact from fiction. Although there are ways to check facts, it doesn’t put an end to eliminating “fake news” completely, which as of today is just a byproduct of the mainstream media complex. Until we change how we filter information on a large scale, the positive aspects of mainstream media will always be linked to the negative ones.