Students of mass communication will refer to this concept as the magic bullet or hypodermic theory of communication. According to this, “the media (needle) injects the message into audience mind and it cause changes in audience behavior and psyche towards the message without their knowledge.”
To a great extent, the media is largely responsible for the leaders we have, the mentality of our people (voters), the quality of life we now are experiencing, and the future we want to pass on to our children and next generation.
The #AlDub phenomenon shows the Filipinos continued affinity with escapism. Instead of being focused on talking about the real problems confronting their day-to-day lives, they are more interested in speculating whether Yaya Dub’s wedding to Frankie will push through or not.
President Benigno Aquino III in many ways is our Escapist-In-Chief. Who can forget about his failure to attend the arrival honors for the 44 PNP-SAF officers who died during an operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last January even though he made himself available for an interview on Vice Ganda’s talk show and the wedding of Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes?
Our media has a social responsibility to make Philippines a better place by seeking truth and justice and by leaving a positive impact on our people. They should not just pursue profit from politicians or news makers at the expense of making our people dumb or brainwashed.
Filipinos should not fall prey to this example of panem et circenses (Latin for “bread and circuses”), a concept which states that the masses will remain content with their lives if given ample food and entertainment.
At this point, it is good to keep in mind the words of the great American comedian George Carlin: “Government don’t want a population capable of critical thinking. They want obedient workers, people smart enough to run machines and dumb enough to passively accept their situation.”