Magic Bullet Theory: Do You Believe in Magic?

I spent time this week reflecting on different ads I have seen in the past few years that have made me question whether I believe everything I see. I find myself to be very gullible. I normally fall for everything my friends say to me. However, more times than less I can see right through it when it comes to media. The Magic Bullet Theory, or the Hypodermic Needle Theory, shows how the media directly affects us. We absorb everything like a sponge, so if the media keeps telling us something, many of us are bound to believe it.

Working in the media field, I find myself more skeptical than most and resistant to media influence. As a Millennial, social media has been such a large part of my life. Snapchat was marketed to send pictures that disappear after 10 seconds, or 24 hours for a story. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had concerns that their messages did not actually “disappear forever.” When Snapchat first came out, I had a strong feeling that the messages could still be tracked in a database somewhere on the back end. This turned out to be true. Since then, Snapchat has resolved the FTC concerns and settled the charges by updating their privacy policy and app descriptions.

Social media influencers and bloggers also give society the idea that you have to look a certain way. I follow a lot of brand influencers on Instagram. Yes, I am guilty of buying way too many products off of their feeds. This makes me know for a fact the majority is vulnerable. Influencers are notorious for talking brands they use, wear, and swear by. Little do people know, it is all about the money. They get paid to post and when their followers purchase with their discount codes. Not only persuading followers to buy products, influencers also are notorious for photoshop fails and editing their pictures while just posting the highlights and all of the traveling they do. These influencers sure know how to add some magic to their Instagram.

Reality tv is also portrayed to be real. People get invested in these tv shows and reality stars’ lives. Little do they know — producers ask for drama and edit the shows only to show what they think will keep the audience invested. Majority of reality tv shows are staged. That being said, they do make them entertaining.

The media is so powerful it can “inject” ideas into an audience — giving this theory its name. Bullets and syringes are both so immediate and powerful that it can cause behavior changes.

Now ask yourself — do you get influenced by the media? How vulnerable are you?



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