While mass media increasingly provide people with a huge amount of information, this does not necessarily lead to a more proactive attitude on their part. Narcotizing dysfunction denotes an apparent paradoxical phenomenon: As media exposure escalates, people tend to become apathetic and fail to engage with the gigantic amount of information they receive. Citizens may know and assimilate facts and, nonetheless, they may take no action or make no decision based on it.

The narcotizing dysfunction concept suggests that the vast supply of communications may elicit a lethargic feeling, as informational flood induces a numb, drowsy sensation in citizens. It is as if the intense media experience has a psychoactive dimension, leaving individuals narcotized or desensitized. While the availability of information is surely beneficial to society, ...

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