People have their own stereotypes about gender, race, and religion. These stereotypes come from a lot of sources, such as family, school education and media. In the past, the family or school circumstances had the greatest impact on making certain stereotypes in people’s mind. For example, children get to learn a lot of things when their parents (or grand parents) say something at the dinner table. They understand the society and the world in the way their parents describe them even though some of their statements could be wrong. In other words, the stereotypes of the parents can be the stereotypes of their children possibly.
However, in this modern society, media – especially the Internet – become the most powerful source that influence the people’s stereotypes. People don’t get information from their family or school any more. They have the Internet which gives them a vast amount of information needed in the every field of their lives. All they have to do is just type some word and wait for the results on the Internet. It’s much easier and faster.
Of course, it’s depend on the generation – we can’t say all the people use the Internet to get the information because other media such as TV and newpapers are still useful and important sources of getting the information, but it’s true that the young people spend much more time on using the internet than the people in the past. It is obvious that the children of this generation will be the huger fans of the Internet.
The one of the biggest difference between the old media and the Internet is the speed and the extent of spreading the information. Let’s say one newspaper published the cartoon that depict the certain race as harmful and dangerous group of people to the world. Some readers of that newspaper might think like that and make certain stereotypes about that race in their mind. In this case, the numbers of the readers of the newspaper is comparatively small, , and people get to know that idea very slowly. Then, think about the users of the Internet. If some information wrong start to spread thorough the Internet, no one can stop it because it’s so fast and wide-spreaded.
Here is the point why me and Grace are interested in the steretypes by the Internet; it could be very CRITICAL. Harold Innis, Canadian media theorist, also have talked about this danger of the new media like the Internet. I believe there will be a chance to think about his theory related our topic next time. In next posting, I’m going to talk about the positive aspect of the Internet in reducing people’s bad stereotypes with a very interesting example.