Communication is basically the sending of information from one place to the other. It goes hand in hand with how an individual behaves in regard to how a society is designed. Communication theory is an effort to try and explain in absolute terms what communication entails. A theory is a set of related propositions used to classify and explain aspects of the universe in which we live (Stephen & Karen 2008). Experience are put together in ways that aid us make sense of our lives, predict what is going to happen, and help us reciprocate and react to situations as they happen. In this essay, communication theories are going to be experienced and processed. Basically, this article will attempt to explain the different theories of communications citing examples of each (Stephen & Karen 2008).
Agenda setting theory: it states that journalists in most cases do not influence our thinking but they stand a better chance of letting us know what to contemplate about. In regard to this theory, it most applies when one is may be watching or listening to the news (Stephen & Karen 2008). Whatever is mostly in the news is in most cases what we have experienced before. For example, politics is something that we experience everyday in our lives. Given that one has a wide range of issues to think about everyday, it comes in your mind when you see it in the news. Once the news is over one shifts focus into something else until again when the news will be back. Much as people have experience on their areas of interest, at one time, they have to rely on media to keep updated with what is current, what is needed and what is not needed (Julia 2009).
Cultivation theory: it deduces that, most of the issues which go around in a given society emanate from television stations. Studies indicate that those who spend too much time on televisions have been with time made fearful by the programs which mostly relates to aggressiveness (Stephen & Karen 2008). In relation to this, parents and guardians are strongly advised to ensure that they take control of what programs their children are watching. In a case where children are watching a program with some monstrous creatures, studies indicate that this will mostly haunt them at night (Stephen & Karen 2008). They see those creatures coming after them and as a result, the child is always in fear. Sometimes it has resulted to parents seeking advice of a psychiatrist in a bid to help their children overcome this fear. Statistics carried out sometimes back in 2000 indicates that two out of every seven kids have fallen victims of this. Most of these kids also confessed having experienced issues related to sex from the media. Parents have left kids on their own and this have a very big impact on them later in life (Julia 2009).
Cultural imperialism theory: it categorically says that, countries from the West have taken over in media across the globe and this has impacted so badly on culture from other countries (Stephen & Karen 2008). In a study carried out on fifty four countries from Africa, it is said that journalists from the western countries don’t seem to report anything good from them. The Africans are completely seen as very useless in their eyes and have been associated with all vices among them: poverty, retrogressive, drought, corruption, bad food and all sorts of diseases. It was observed that they report very little positive from African continent to the so called civilized countries. Their immense contribution to the world technology, their voluntary services and wealth found in their countries is not recognized by this western media. In an effort to try and impress the people from the west, countries from Africa and Asia have discarded their cultures and have taken their cultures (Julia 2009).
In regard to this, these media people are forgetting that most of materials that are used to produce commodities in their countries come from Africa. This negativity has hit badly on African artistic work (Johannes & MIHE 1988). Africans have been made to believe that their art and craft work has no place in the world. As a result, the vigor to create artistic works has slowly but surely been eroded with time. Africans are also to blame for this because they also get ashamed of their culture and leave it. Since fourteenth and fifteenth century, when the colonizers came in Africa they started forcing Africans to accept their way of living. From that time onwards up to date, Africans and their children have been doing things just like the whites (Julia 2009).
Diffusion of innovation theory: it states that, in any given society people, who hold strong opinions and relay those using journalists, stand a better opportunity of attracting the masses towards their views (Johannes & MIHE 1988). The media is probably the best method to use to pass message to the public. A good example is found in politics and public opinions. Anytime politicians have opinions in regard to their opponents they pass them to the public through media. In a matter of public interest, intellectuals have always used media to pass their opinions. For example, in a case where there is an outbreak of a disease, the only quicker way to get to the public is through the media (Julia 2009).
Media equation theory: it deduces that individuals reciprocate to media and believe it so much like a fellow being. This can be interpreted to mean that individuals literally believe everything that the media reports. In his book, Julia observes that most relationships have a lot of influence from the media (Johannes & MIHE 1988). People have believed so much in it so much so that, anytime they have a problem in their relationship the first thing that comes into their mind is media. People no longer seek advice from experts but have resulted to media for quicker advises. This believing in media has seen many relationships falling apart instead of the improving. This is because whoever is faced with difficulties ends up with so many issues getting confused the more (Julia 2009).
Spiral of silence theory: it states that individuals choose to remain discreet with their views more so when they seem to affect the minority. When an issue falls within the public domain it attracts a lot of opinions from it (Johannes & MIHE 1988). The more an issue affects many people, the more it gets a lot of views from people. This is not the case when it is only an individual or a few people who have been affected. In an attempt to enjoy privacy, many people prefer to remain mum and hold back their views on matters affecting may be their families or place of work.
Media dependency theory: it states that when a person relies so much on the media, it in return becomes more useful to him or her. If one strongly believes that the solution to his or her problem lays with the media he or she will surely get it (Johannes & MIHE 1988). A good example is found with companies. Many companies depend on the media to advertise their products and services. They hold that, if the media brings awareness to the public they will increase sales and this eventually happens. Politicians’ depends on the media to campaign and to tell the masses their manifestos. This is probably the only way they can reach them. The media have also been depended upon by awareness groups on such things as HIV/AIDS among others. This has as a result educated people on methods of protecting themselves thus reducing the spread of the same (Julia 2009).
Technology determinism theory: the technology emanating from the media influences our thinking and how we relate to issues alongside how a society responds. This technology has resulted to new careers using the most recent ways (Johannes & MIHE 1988). In a bid to catch up, people are being forced to learn new things everyday. Due to their complexity, these jobs require skills and critical thinking (Johannes & MIHE 1988). Job opportunities have increased and have reduced joblessness. The competition in the media fraternity, has in result affected the atmosphere in working places. Anyone interested in these jobs need to understand the new technology. People make sales going by what they watch on television. The worst hit is the teenagers who tend to copy their icons in the music industry and other areas. All the same, all is not lost as some of those influences are positive. In case of a new sport cropping up, the teenagers will try hard to learn the new thing so as to fit in the social groups (Julia 2009).
Human action theory: when people make decisions, they do so with a purpose making it easier to predict the end result. The media has made it possible to predict actions of individuals through learning their behavior (Johannes & MIHE 1988). This has helped in taking caution early to prevent bad things that might happen. To conclude, I must admit that these theories and many others have at one time been proved if not everyday in our society. The media is part of our life and we can’t live with it. For a society to develop, the media fraternity has also to grow.
Finally, my advice is that, it is advisable for the society to educate its people on these theories and try as much as possible to counter the negativity that has emanated from the media. The media house should as much as possible try to educate masse on what is good fro them. They should also limit themselves to broadcasting some literature which is not environmental friendly such as pornography. On the other hand I must admit that the media is rich in knowledge and this is very helpful to the society. I have personally benefited from the media in sorting issues affecting my relationship. I called one of the radio stations and got some good advice on how to go about it. That information saved my relationship.