Do the media have an effect on how families are viewed by others? Some say yes. In many cases you would think most types of families have been seen. You have families that deal with conflict, relationship problems, financial problems, and other issues. There are families that seem normal and others that are far from it. The media has helped people learn more about what families do and what types of content they are exposed to. Meaning, you have more of an idea of how your neighbors and friends live their lives and deal with conflicts. Do they see things the same or differently than you and your family?
There are some families that seem as if they do not care about what others think of them. They may use the media to their advantage. There are families that use the media to help them live better lives. For instance, you have a number of reality shows featuring all types of families. Many are rich due to their talents in the entertainment industry, while others seem they have no talent at all but people find them interesting enough to watch. Some of these families are not good representations of what a true family should be.
There are families people want to know about because they are more like themselves. They may be going through a hardship or loss of a loved one. They may have lost their home, job or have problems communicating with other family members. The media may offer ways to people on how to cope with such circumstances. But, even some of these situations get questioned since the media is known to blow things out of proportion. In other words, it can be hard to believe the actions some families commit when the media is involved. The media can try to make things look even worse than they really are or invoke fear when it is not necessary.
The media has multiple representations of families today, partly because there are so many different types of families. You have families with adopted children, mixed race, lots of children, grandparents raising children, single parent households, divorced parents and even gay parents. Then you have families with issues that are nothing but entertainment and they use their time in the spotlight to make money. So, should the media represent families in a specific way or does it really matter?
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