Today, the mass media have become an integral part of human lives. They shape human mind and, in certain situations, even impose particular ideas. But how has it all started? Were people so much excited by the mass media 20 years ago? I decided to interview my mother in order to understand how the mass media had assisted her in shaping her way of thinking.
In the course of this interview, the year 1993 was discussed. I am 22 now and my mother was at my age in 1993. It was the year of novelty and breakthroughs for China. After being asked about the most significant events that she remembered, my mother told me that in 1993 she had decided to become a lawyer. Nowadays, it seems ridiculous as her life is not connected with this profession. However, she told me that she had had a strong wish to choose that profession after she had seen the broadcast of the first Shanghai International Film Festival.
In 1993, I saw the broadcast of the first Chinese International Film Festival. I was amazed by these films. One of the movies, I do not remember its name now; was about law and lawyers. I liked it so much. I firmly decided that this profession would suit me. I remember my great desire to become one of the lawyers, which were depicted. Unfortunately, I did not do it. However, I promised myself that my children would definitely fulfill their dreams; therefore, I did everything possible to help you to go to the U.S. in order to choose the profession that you would truly like.
While talking about this, she laughed, but I understood that television had assisted her in choosing the way of bringing up her children. In her hard life, television turned out to be a source that provided a glimpse into another life. Moreover, it helped her to understand what she wanted. Unfortunately, she was unable to alter the situation, but she spared no efforts to give me, her child, an opportunity to get the chance of better living.
Another great event, which happened in 1993, was the first East Asian games, held in Shanghai. My mother watched the broadcast of this match on TV. Thus, television allowed her to see sporting events and widen her worldview.
Moreover, in 1993 my mother met her future husband. When she told me about it, she smiled saying that Wei Wei had helped them to find each other. In 1993, Wei Wei was very popular in China. My mother and my father liked these songs very much, and it was the first thing that united them. They constantly listened to the radio in order to hear their favorite music and started spending more time together. As a result, the radio helped to create a new family.
In July 1993, the production of pesticides was authorized. My mother learned about it from the newspapers. According to her, newspapers and magazines told her generation about the events, which happened in the world.
You know, our life was harder than yours. But there was something great in it. We collected clippings and shared them with friends. We had to make an effort to find certain information, but it developed our creativity and way of thinking. The simplicity, which you have obtained, has partially ruined the charm of life, she said.
I absolutely agree with this quote. Although the life of the previous generation seems to be harder, it was more exciting. In order to communicate with friends, people used telephones. However, more often they simply met together. There were no cell phones, tablets, laptops, chats, and texting. People had real-life communication, which is more precious than all these devices. These gadgets have simplified human life but have deprived people of the need to go to the park to talk to a close friend. Today, a person simply text messages, but it is not enough. It is not enough to type a few words, as real-life communication gives an individual a possibility to look into the eyes of a friend, feel his/her emotions, and even understand this person without words. My mother told me that people had used to write letters to each other. It was another way of their communication. When her boyfriend, who is currently my father, went abroad, she started writing him perfumed love letters. It was very romantic. Modern life has taken from the humanity the fluttering of the heart, which an individual felt while opening an envelope.
Real-life communication is not the only thing that makes the modern generation different from the previous one. Another different thing is entertainment. Today people text message, watch photographs on social networking websites and call it entertainment. My mother said that she had been fond of watching TV series. At that time, STAR Channel appeared, and she started watching different entertainment programs. These programs helped her to shape her taste and choose a life path.
The media helped the generation of my mother to broaden its worldview and showed the life from different perspectives. Newspapers revealed people the events that happened in the world. Television entertained them, and magazines provided the chance to learn about the world of celebrities. The radio occupied a particular place as it broadcast famous songs and interviews. However, the most amazing thing is that the mass media did not limit human life in the past. They added new shades of meaning to it. Currently, social networks and the Internet distract people and take their time. It can be even stated that the modern mass media do not allow people to lead normal lives. Instead of spending time together and enjoying it, people indulge in taking selfies in order to show all acquaintances how they live. It seems funny, as instead of living, people take and post photographs of their lives. The world has lost its plainness. Television, radio, and printed media provided the young people living in 1993 with a way to alter their vision of life. They started discovering the big world and realizing what kind of life they wanted to get. They shaped their behavior and mode of thinking. For instance, my mother could not afford to go to the U.S., but she worked hard to give me an opportunity to lead the life I wanted.
My mother told me that the main difference, which existed between the mass media of her youth and the modern one, lay in the possibilities that they gave to people. Today, these possibilities are enormous, and people try to use all of them. As a result, they become simply addicted. Twenty years ago, the mass media gave people some information and entertained them, but they did not occupy the biggest part of human life. They implied some things and gave people a possibility to think and choose, but they did not impose anything.
This interview appeared to be really useful to me as I learned about my mother from a different perspective. I understood that in 1993 the mass media had played a great role because it had helped Chinese people to look around. They got the opportunity to trace the life of people from other countries and started taking actions to improve their life and lives of their children.