Some ways that the media affects people include people who gain unwanted weight and compromise their health because of excessive use of electronics and students whose excessive media consumption interferes with academic work and lowers student performance. Media also affects people through advertisements and commercials that introduce consumers to products and services in an effort to influence purchasing behavior.
Additionally, the media affects the way that people think of themselves. Analysts often criticize social media for encouraging people to smile and put on a happy face when they are facing emotional anguish and should reach out for emotional support. The media often shows people unrealistic imagines of bodies and body types leading to depression and self-esteem concerns. People often become internally critical and engage in self-hatred or self-harm behaviors based on an unrealistic self-perception created by the media. Violence and sexual imagery often command significant time in various media channels creating a false idea of reality and leading to changed behavior.
The media affects the way that people perceive events. One example of this is the 1960 presidential debate featuring Richard Nixon and John Kennedy. Analysts believe without the first televised debate in presidential election history that Nixon would not have lost the election. Most of the people who listened to the debate on the radio thought that Nixon won. Most of the people who watched the debate on television thought Kennedy won.
Kennedy went on to win the presidential election and the media affected the perception of the candidates in a way that profoundly shaped the election of a United States president. In this way, media shapes people's impressions and opinions by shaping the way people experience events.