While I was in college, I also considered other career choices. I took classes in psychology as I thought being a psychologist would be cool. Understanding the human mind to me was one of secrets I always wanted to know.
However, I later changed my mine after a few psychology classes. Not that I didn't enjoy the classes... I did, I loved studying psychology. I changed my mine because I realized if I when any further I probably wouldn't put my knowledge to any good use. I would most probably use it to manipulate people instead.
So I ended up sticking to my plan to study broadcasting instead. I still use it to manipulate people... to a lesser extend that is.
As a gatekeeper, I have some limited powers in influencing how people make their choices. According to my professor, the media doesn't make the choices for people, it only gives then an option. For instance, if you saw an advertisement for a new fastfood joint, you now have an option to eat there. No one is forcing you to eat there. You have just been 'influenced' to eat there.
So why do a lot of people decide to eat at the fastfood restaurant then? Well... when you're hungry, your brain recalls that advertisement you saw. It's brand recognition at play.
In my work, I try to subtly do the same thing too. I offer people alternative choices that I deem would be better for them. I can't really gauge what I do is effective or not. However, judging from some of the personal comments I have received I did manage to make some changes. One mother told me she continued breastfeeding because of an episode on breastfeeding I did. That made me felt happy.