Language is a part of our everyday lives, through speaking, writing, reading, typing, and even through body and facial movements. Even though we don’t think normally about it in this way, language shapes the way we view people and cultures. The power of language is being able to communicate with others in a way that you are understood by others. Language plays a big role in “how we and others perceive the world,” (University of Stanford) as well as how we form stereotypes. The power of language is most present within the media. Words such as “unfollow,” “selfie,” and “LOL” have been created through the use of social media. Since our society is technology-dependent, “language now evolves partly through our interaction with technology.” Because the language used to communicate with one another tends to be more informal, social media is a recipe for both change and possible disaster. (Reed).
On the internet, we “cultivate relationships through quick messages that we type with our thumbs on our phones…” (Cornish). Language can also be used to inform others, both in a positive or negative manner about a multitude of subjects on many different platforms. For example, celebrities may use their following to shed more light on certain topics, such as mental health or politics. On the contrary, they can also use their platform in a negative manner, possibly making fun of other people or hating on others, showing their fans that it’s okay when, in reality, it isn’t. The way social media stars, celebrities, and even ordinary people present themselves on their platforms can say a lot about who they are as a person and what they believe in. For example, I use my Instagram account to talk more about mental health, in hopes that it may reach someone who may need it. Other people may use their accounts to advocate for certain things, such as a political figure or specific movements that they support.
TV shows and movies also influence the way people view and learn things. TV can very quickly “start trends in fashion, music, and in language.” Certain phrases such as “D’oh” from the Simpsons are used so frequently that they are now a part of the dictionary (Perritano). News broadcasts, such as ABC or CNN, very clearly advocate towards their favorite political parties, which was seen a lot during this year’s election process. Though they are biased, they do present correct information that can be useful to new time voters, like myself. Thought TV may have a negative connotation attached to it, it can also be used as a positive thing. Educational shows for kids help a child quickly learn things such as reading and writing through the use of songs, colors, and images. Many children’s movies also have underlying life lessons intertwined in them, such as the importance of showing your true emotions in the movie Inside Out or being a friend to one another and sticking together in Toy Story.
In conclusion, the way we present ourselves on the media, whether that be on Instagram or on TV, leaves a permanent impression that resonates with others. People should always use their platforms for good because they never know who is viewing it and the negative consequences or effects their posts may have on others.
Cornish, Audie. “Our Language Is Evolving, ‘Because Internet’.” NPR, NPR, 31 July 2019,
Reed, Jon. “How Social Media Is Changing Language.” OUPblog, 20 June 2014,
Perritano, John. “10 Ways Television Has Changed the Way We Talk.” HowStuffWorks,
HowStuffWorks, 11 March 2011, people.howstuffworks.com/culture-traditions/tv-and-culture/10-ways-television-has-changed-the-way-we-talk.htm.
University of Stanford. “The Power of Language: How Words Shape People, Culture.” Stanford
News, 27 August 2019, news.stanford.edu/2019/08/22/the-power-of-language-how-words-shape-people-culture/.