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The Hypodermic Needle Theory Cannot Penetrate the Pizza

Recently, I learned about a communication theory referred to as The Hypodermic Needle Theory or the Magic Bullet Theory. (If you haven't heard of this then check out this great article that explains it in detail). The long and short of it is that this linear communication model was created back in the day during the World War when propaganda was widely prevalent among media.


The theory pretty much states that the media is so powerful the information it shares with the viewers is like a needle or bullet that is injecting the message directly into their head. This insinuates that the audience is brainless and easily influenced. It infers that the audience does not think for themselves and therefore believes whatever they hear, causing uniform thinking. The Hypodermic Needle Theory exists, but it does not seem prevalent because it assumes that our minds are empty and we have no life experiences, expectations, goals, wisdom, knowledge, curiosity or will power.

I don't know about you, but this is DEFINITELY NOT the case for me. If anything, I see myself as the opposite (which can be a different issue in itself). I am a very skeptical person, not paranoid, but skeptical. It could be my education, my life experiences, my upbringing - probably all of the above, but I do not automatically accept whatever I see or hear. This does not mean that my first reaction is to discredit or disagree with what I hear, but instead I take more of a curious stance. With this curiosity comes research. Research could be searching Google, talking to people I know to hear their opinions, looking at various news sources, experimenting with it myself.


There are some who believe that this theory is applicable today in reference to social media. Some articles and research give examples of how this theory has been showcased regarding parents with children. One example shared how an online rumor caused the parents to take their kids out of school. Some also say this theory can apply to the current global pandemic and how information has been made easily accessible to the masses through social media causing scares about the vaccine.


One can find examples to support any ideal if they make a case for it. I can't speak for others, I can only speak for myself. I'm sure there are some people out there that blindly follow, but even then it is probably more of a Two-Step Flow Theory effect. As the title states, The Hypodermic Needle Theory Cannot Penetrate the Pizza.


-Nicole Pizza aka Your Favorite Slice


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