icon: "writing (a relief carving of Seshat, overlaid with my fractal "Colorflight")"
While embracing criticism and critical analysis, as well as optimism, describe how media has impacted your life. What benefits have you and do you take from media, and how does media hurt you? Focusing specifically on few different categories (treat each category as if I asked the question about it individually): a. journalism/written news (including your favorite news sources and something like Fox News written stories) b. TV/radio entertainment (music, shows, commentary on "news" channels); c. Art, social and mass communication media (films, music, email, LJ, Facebook). (from here)
Benefits and damages from journalism:
True journalism is vital to me because without knowing the truth about situations, we can't react in a meaningful way. Print news is damaging when it is owned by corporate conglomerates which cut out any fact-sharing that might harm profits. But print news is possibly the most trustworthy when it is small and locally-owned. As far as the direct impact on me, it affects how I understand events, which affects my behavior with regard to social justice. i would say this has had slightly more positive than negative impact on me.
Benefits and damages from tv/radio:
TV/radio have had almost nothing but negative effects on me. The ads are evil and ubiquitous, and most of what would be available on cable is toxic to watch. I don't really listen to the radio or watch tv. I watch netflix, in a very choosy fashion. Even that I consider to mostly have a neutral effect. Overall I would say that tv/radio is far more negative than positive.
Benefits and damages from art/socialmedia:
Art has had a profound and positive effect on me. I don't really know how to even explain it. It feels like such a part of life - when I absorb a piece of art it becomes part of the very fabric of my inner world and I am not the same person as before. This is especially true with feminist sci-fi/fantasy, with self-portraiture by self-aware honest people, with surrealism & symbolism, and with songs that especially resonate with me through sound or storytelling.
Social media is also such an integral part of my life that I cannot really explain how much it means. Most of the meaningful parts of my life have happened via social media - I'd say 80%. I can trust social media to give me facts I wouldn't get elsewhere. It's not as in-depth as print media but I wouldn't even be able to look for print media without social media pointing toward a thing I needed more info on.
Art & social media have had vastly more positive than negative impact on me.
Benefits and damages from books
This wasn't part of the original question but I wanted to add a quick bit about books. They've had the strongest impact of all on me. At least 8 (probably more like 13) books have been responsible for major turning points in my life - most of them non-fiction, but the fiction of Joan Slonczewski, Stephen Leigh, and a few others have had life-altering effects as well. I am grateful to have had access to the internet, which lead me to most of my life-altering reads, and of course to college, which lead me to the others. I can think of a few books I read that were significantly damaging, but they are a very small minority. Books have had a profoundly positive impact on my life, and almost no negative impact by comparison.