How The Media Affects Our Lives

Media and Media Literacy

Media is a means by which people can communicate to others as well as process the information. It is constantly used as advertisements, news bulletins, and social connections. Whether it be a gossip column on the latest scandal of a star celebrity or a documentary on the benefits of adding calcium to one’s diet, media affects everyone by persuading and informing. For example, Ted Talks are globally broadcasted meetings in which the world’s brightest and most renowned people gather to meet and present their latest ideas. From these videos, people have learned how education is destroying our children’s creativity and the thought processes of a schizophrenic woman as the voices infiltrated her head. Each of these talks would be limited to the scope of the few that are able to attend, but instead, these ingenious ideas are spread worldwide, abled by the technology in media. However, media also has detrimental effects. Due to the explosion of technology, media artists are able to manipulate and photoshop ideal bodies and plaster unrealistic expectations in the minds of people everywhere. The magazines and fashion catalogs that consume an easily influenced population has lead to an increase in eating disorders as well as low self esteem. A media literate person can understand how media can affect society and evaluate the effects. Media literacy is the ability of one to understand and evaluate the media, taking what is offered to them and forming individual opinions rather than following the popular beliefs. To be fully media literate, one must be able to research to understand facts, rather than simply believing what is said.

Budweiser Super Bowl XLVIII Commercial -- "Puppy Love"

Budweiser Superbowl Ad

In the Superbowl commercial “Puppy Love” (2014), Budweiser suggests that the friendship between a golden retriever puppy and a Clydesdale horse is too strong to tear the two apart, despite the fact that the puppy was recently adopted into a different household. The two friends express their concerns by constantly meeting up regardless of their homes, in instances such as when the puppy crawled under fences to sneak back into the horse’s barn, or when the horse chased after the car that was taking the puppy back to its home. The author’s purpose is to persuade the reader that the true power of friendship is strong enough to overcome adversity, as exemplified in the ending of the commercial when the two different owners decided to meet to allow the animals to play together, in order to promote positive connotations with Budweiser's famous Clydesdale horses. Budweiser informally and subtly speaks to everyone in order to address the issues, yet focuses more on 21-year-olds and older, in order to link their product (beer) to the idea of companionship.

Kinetic Typography

PEOPLE curse society. They blame it, abuse it, and yet form the very foundation on which it lies. PEOPLE look disdainfully on the war and chaos that consumes Kiev, yet forget that it is us who are fighting. PEOPLE condescendingly scorn at provocative women, yet overlook the men that create the demand to their supply. PEOPLE applaud patriotism and individuality, yet spit words of fire at anyone who seems to be the slightest bit of different. They utilize symbols that represent ULTIMATE and IMMEASURABLE forgiveness and love to ridicule those who think differently. The Bible, the everlasting metaphor of love, is used to praise unwavering Christians and stone members of the gay community. Darkness, evil, and hate do not exist. Only the lack of light, dearth of good, absence of love. Only humans accentuate the flaws in others, and neglect the ones in ourselves. Only we dehumanize others and step upon pedestals. Only humans make fatal mistakes.

School System Changes Stifles Success

Joella Lee, Current Events Reporter
Mon Mar 24, 2014

SUWANEE, GA- In an effort to uphold the prestigious title of “the Standard of Excellence,” Gwinnett County Public Schools has decided to an extra thirty minutes to every school day for the duration of approximately two months.

Rather than splitting these extra minutes evenly between the four classes that already exceed an hour and thirty minutes, officials felt the time to make up three measly school snow days would be better used by completely changing students’ schedules every day during the week. The extra thirty minutes would be allotted to one class, every day with rotating schedules, until nearly the end of the school year.

Never mind the fact that dejected and overworked students already have little incentive to attend the arduous hours at school. Never mind the fact that creating two hour long classes may provide an excuse for students to suddenly not attend school due to “doctor’s appointments” or “feverish conditions.” The significant rise in period absences since the injection of this new rule is to be overlooked, because these three snow days that need to be made up are vital to the children’s education! Without these extra thirty minutes in which teachers create busy work or show videos to fill up the time gap, students would never graduate due to their lack of education in their prospective courses.

“I’m so glad that the school is prolonging these three missing school days for weeks, rather than creating three school days on Saturdays! Despite my work schedule and after-school volunteer opportunities that had to be adjusted, I am completely supportive of this decision!” states Sarah Volatiare, a student of Peachtree Ridge High School.


I thought that the ending of 1984 was very surprising. I had expected a revolution from either the Brotherhood or the Proletarians but nothing happened except for the acquiescence of Winston to the repressive system of the government. Overall, I enjoyed Orwell's work, because through his brilliant imagery and revolutionary literature, he instills a sense of fear into his readers, that a totalitarian government will stop at nothing to maintain its power. Through his twist ending in which the government's repressive strategies prevail rather than an uprising from the 85% of the population that consists of Proletarians, Orwell destroys every ounce of hope that this government can be stopped once started. When citizens that hate society with every ounce in their being, such as Winston, crumble just to praise it, readers are forced to recognize that individuality fragilely stands in pale comparison to the towering power of the government. This criticism of the government is slowly getting more and more accurate as the NSA continues to collect more data on its citizens and as the internet starts to take privacy away. Although the ending was surprising, I could not have thought of a better finish to the book. The unpredictability made it all the more alluring, and it compelled me to think about the ramifications of a government this strong. The greatest message to take away from this book is to be conscious of the actions of governmental officials, because if corrupted once, it will be hard to return to the past.

Media Literacy

One of the most crucial skills one can obtain in this generation is the ability to be media literate (to understand and utilize the technology that surrounds us in daily life). Different from any other language arts class I've ever taken, Pre-AP British Literature not only incorporates media, but immerses itself in it. From divulging into news articles and how they affect our lives to analyzing Snowden's take on the governmental NSA's infringement on privacy, the amount of knowledge I've gathered through this class is immeasurable. The class taught us the different types of media through news articles, Superbowl commercials, etc., and then went on to teach us the pros and cons of the implementation of technology everywhere. We delved deeper into the dangers through the literary piece 1984 by George Orwell and focused on the concept of media throughout our entire curriculum. However, some aspects of the class remained similar to previous language arts classes, such as the occasional research paper, annotations, and the obligatory inclusion of Shakespeare throughout the semester. Even so, one of the most important writing skills I've learned was the usage of a precis, for I've never heard of it previous to this class.

One thing I would've done differently in this class was include more books and schedule more time for independent reading. Our class merely read excerpts of Macbeth and focused a lot of class time for Parts I and II of 1984, but the full concept of Shakespeare's masterpiece could not be grasped in the allotted time while Part III was left to be rushed before the test. Although I am appreciative of the incorporation of media into the class, I thought that literature should be equally emphasized.