It's LIT class

Basia Koonce

Smore #1: What is media literacy & what does it mean to be media literate?

Media literacy is applying critical thinking to media messages and using media to create their own opinions and viewpoints. It helps to develop critical thinking skills and helps us understand how the media shapes our culture and society. It helps to make you more competent in all types of media so that you can further interpret what you are viewing or hearing. It allows you to make different opinions and stances to the things that are going on in media or real life. It builds and understanding of the media’s role in society and creates self-expression which is a part of the democracy of the US. After you access the media, you can then begin to analyze and evaluate what you see. To be media literate is basically being able to understand and interpret what you see or hear in the media, and then, being able to form an opinion about it and using that in daily life to understand other happenings. It’s all about being able to express yourself as encouraged by one of our nation’s founders, John Locke. It’s about what’s going on in your mind and why you felt a certain way or thought a certain thing about what you see in the media. Being media literate helps you to understand more things that happen all around you and being able to analyze and evaluate them. It’s basically dissecting your thoughts and being able to clarify them. Media literacy is an important factor in being a successful student, worker, and citizen.

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I Pledge to Help The Cause

Cyberbullying is a cause that deserves attention at this very moment. It is very disappointing to know that all these people of the same earth can put someone down and make them feel horrible about themselves. No one deserves this kind of treatment- ever. Social media is a place that should be used for good, clean fun, not to destroy others’ lives and cause them to end it. Because I feel so strongly about this topic, I pledge to donate my time and money for the sake of helping others. I would like to donate money to STOMP Out Bullying, which is a non-profit organization that focuses on helping victims of all types of bullying and helping them cope with the emotions they are feeling. Time is also an important factor for the cause, because money can’t buy happiness, nor will it stop the victims from the way they feel and the bully from what they do. Therefore, I would go to the actual organization and help out with anything they need help with. Also, I would like to talk to the kids to encourage them, see how they feel, and to show them how not to let the online bullies get to them. Being proactive doesn’t even require getting off the couch for this particular subject. I am online all the time, so when I see bullying, I can just step in. These small contributions will help at least one person, and that’s one person who didn’t have help before.

Superbowl Commercial Analysis

In the “Restricted Bling” T-Mobile Superbowl 50 commercial, the company suggests that T-Mobile is the best phone service and does not ruin everything that you want in a phone service. T-Mobile proves their point by contrasting their service with Sprint’s and showing that making changes to something, such as a song or a phone plan, isn’t a good thing. Using a song and an artist from popular culture, he exaggerates the differences between the two companies in order to make fun of Sprint’s ridiculous prices and policies. T-Mobile addresses men and women with a comical and humorous tone because the song playing in the commercial is popular with both sexes, also, both men and women would be interested in the phone plan for them or their families.

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Advertising's Impact on Society

Advertising has a strong impact on society due to the fact that it is all around us. Every type of media outlet has some sort of advertising to get us to buy this product and invest in this service. Advertising plays with the emotions of the general public in attempt to get them to spend their hard earned money on whatever is being advertised. Advertising dictates societal values that are now expected of us. Our society believes everything that shows up in media, so the stereotypes of the sexes that are published in commercials and other advertisements are easily accepted. For instance, everyone believes that what modern commercials portray about men is true. They basically imply that women are the strong, smart spouses that wear the pants, while men are the unintelligent, immature, and unexperienced ones. If the roles are reversed, there would probably be a controversy, women furious, because people are so used to seeing commercials the way they are now. Gender in advertising is a very important factor because women do most of the spending so it’s a good thing to stay on their good side.

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Media Manipulation

The media manipulates the consumer frequently to get them to purchase their product or service, many times in commercials. Hypocrisy is basically saying and believing one thing and doing another; the media is not shy to this concept at all. Their commercials often look at a problem that their product cannot logically fix and is, in fact, a contributor to the problem in the first place. For example, Coca Cola and Kelloggs both want to fix and contribute to childhood obesity. Coca Cola’s commercial wants everyone to fix the issue, however, the amount of sugar in both their products are leading factors in the problem. Another example would be the commercial for FTD Flowers. Their company is really popular during Valentine’s Day, so you would think that with Valentine’s Day approaching, they would make their commercial ‘lovey-dovey’ in order to get the consumer into the holiday spirit. However, they chose the opposite approach-arguments. They showed couples arguing about the holiday in order to prove a point that the argument probably wouldn’t have happened if the man would’ve bought his lady flowers from FTD. The media uses these juxtaposed situations all the time to prove a point and get the consumer’s attention.

Should Apple Fix?

I have mixed feelings on the situation if Apple should make a software to unlock the phone, and possibly many others, of the terrorist in San Bernadino. On one hand, I agree with the FBI and family of the victims- Apple should get the phone opened. The families have suffered enough, and all they want is justice for their deceased loved ones that didn’t deserve to have their lives stolen from them. Apple is an almighty, multi-billion dollar company that has the power to do almost anything, so why can’t they unlock one little iPhone? It would tie so many loose ends in the case and possibly catch and punish the terrorists in this brutal massacre. All the company has to do is create a software that will unlock the phone or come up with a way to reset the phone so it comes back on without a passcode, without destroying its content. This shouldn’t be a problem with all the things Apple can make a phone do. However, the problem I agree with apple on is that creating the software able to open the phone will make it possible to get in all other iPhones, compromising the security of every owner. This would allow all personal information to open to hackers that could ruin someone’s life. Apple is a company of risk-takers, so if they say that that is a dangerous move, then I believe it is dangerous. It is really sad that all these people were killed, but the terrorist’s phone shouldn’t be the only piece of evidence that can convict him. I stand in the middle of this issue because I don’t quite know which is more important, protection or security?

1984: Agree or Disagree?

I almost completely disagree with the statement that reporters should submit their work to government officials so that they may determine if it’s a threat to society. Our Constitution itself says that we as Americans have the freedom of speech and freedom of the press, which means that we can say what we want and publish what we want without prosecution. However, all of this is to a certain extent. We can publish lies about people as they do all the time in the media, but we can’t say things that are viewed as a “threat”, going way too far. But who is it that determines what is a “threat” or “taking it too far”? The government does. Everything that goes against the government isn’t necessarily wrong, it just becomes something that the government doesn’t want you to hear or know. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be able to say what we feel or even the truth because of the mental confinement that the government wants us in. I believe that the only things that should not be allowed in the press are things that are threatening to our society as a whole or things that could possibly hurt someone, such as bomb threats or life threats. Even though the government is considered our ‘superiors’, they only have power that we give them. We can’t allow them to think that everything they do and all the choices they make are right. Everyone in the government is human, so they might not necessarily always make the best choices for us. Therefore, their meaning of ‘a threat to our country’ might not exactly be an actual threat. Also, our freedom of speech is important because freedom is all we have, so reporters shouldn’t have to submit their work to government officials first.


I found out that most political candidates do lie, whether it being to just get votes, or just not doing enough research to actually know what they’re talking about. Most of the false statements were from miscalculations and unknown numbers. However, it is really important to research the legitimacy of a candidate because you want someone that actually knows what they’re talking about, does their research, and doesn’t lie as your president. Most candidates just say what you want to hear so you will vote them into office, then end up not doing half the things that they said that they would do in previous campaigns. Honesty should be the most sought after trait in a candidate. Who wants a lying, scheming person to run our country? Most people, unfortunately, do not fact check their candidates. They just believe the things that they hear which leads to our nation’s downfall. We cannot rely on the media to tell us the truth because they always fabricate things for our enjoyment and entertainment. Hardly anything in the media is 100% true. Not looking up to the truth is a huge problem because it gives us false hope and teaches us to be that way. Not being honest only lead’s to your downfall at the end.

Ain't Rebellion Fine

`The March on Washington was a great, non-violent idea envisioned by Philip A. Randolph. It was a successful, yet peaceful rebellion that took place on August 28, 1963 at the Lincoln Memorial. This was one of the biggest rebellions in civil rights history, with over 200,000 people present and fighting for racial equality, jobs, and mental freedom. This protest was so significant because not only was it the largest demonstration in history, but it united two feuding organizations, the NAACP and the SCLC, for an important cause. The march was first proposed in 1962, but received little response because of the ideas he had and not knowing where the funding would come from. Randolph then got the involvement of the “Big Six” with participants such as Whitney Young Jr. and Martin Luther King Jr. They’re inspiration led the thousands of their followers to show up at the march and participate. The brilliant aspect about this protest was that it united everyone, black and white, no matter which organization or background they came from. This rally was covered heavily in the media, which brought even more people. The people knew that it was time for a change in our country, and that equality was needed to better our nation and allow it to be possible, so when the March on Washington was advertised, many people came out to encourage reform. This ended with the march leaders meeting up with president John F. Kennedy in hopes for change, which they got. Today in society, there is a similar uprising between the police and black men of society today. However, this uprising is not non-violent, and will probably have a very horrific outcome that no one wanted to happen. All the unnecessary violence and murders from police officers against African-American men is causing them to despise the officers of the law and stir up a hatred in them that will lead to something very unpleasant. We don’t have leaders like Martin Luther King in this time, so there is no one that we all look up to that strongly encourages non-violence like he did. Everyone is sick of this treatment and no one wants it to be another civil war. This will go down in history, and not for a good reason.

The Government Wins Again

The topic of surveillance is pretty complicated. The government only tells you what they want you to know, so they won’t let you find out about all the undercover spying that they are doing. We see the theme of surveillance in the book 1984 by George Orwell. The people are being watched at all times from cameras, to monitors, to Thought Police, to regular civilians that tell on each other. This has led them to all be conformed and paranoid to do anything. The only difference between the book and our society is in the book, they are openly watching us. However, in our society, they are secretly doing it. Edward Snowden reveals this when he exposed the government for who they really are, and what they’re actually doing behind closed doors. Snowden worked for the NSA, and while he was there, realized that the government was going too far with their surveillance practices. He had to do something about it. He left the NSA and went to Hong Kong, then beginning his book, The Guardian, that revealed things that the government was hiding regarding their privacy violations. He leaked information on PRISM, an NSA program that allows real-time information collection electronically. I am all for trust, and the fact that the NSA hired Snowden and trusted him, so he violated the trust. However, hasn’t the government violated our trust? We trusted them to respect our privacy, but they didn’t. Just like Winston and O’brien from 1984, they wanted everyone to realize that what the government was doing wasn’t right and it’s a violation of our lives as human beings. I agree with what he did completely, because if I was in the same situation, I might’ve done the same thing.

Is Technology Sent From Heaven?

I think that when Orwell refers to “science and technology,” he is talking about just the little things that help us live our daily lives better and help us with simple tasks. The book 1984 was written in the 1950’s, so of course technology wasn’t much improved. However, there are small things that have been brought to society that have been helpful for us that could be classified as technology. For example, the telephone was invented in 1849, and has been improving ever since. The people of that era were first amazed at being able to talk to each other through a machine without being able to be face to face or writing a letter. Now, we have things such as cameras, video calls, texting, etc., and the invention still continues to amaze us. Even Orwell himself realized that all technology would do is improve when he said, “Science and technology were developing at a prodigious speed, and it seemed natural to assume that they would go on developing.”

Happiness vs. Freedom

I disagree with Winston when he said that we should choose between happiness and freedom. I believe that freedom is happiness of the mind. Once you are free in your mind, then you are truly free, and you will experience happiness. Us mankind shouldn’t have a choice to be either free or happy because it those are liberties we should automatically have. I don’t think that our society has to choose between those necessities. It is safe to say that if that if it comes down to us choosing between the two, that we wouldn’t quite know what to do. Anyone might say freedom, but isn’t freedom happiness and vice versa? Would we even like it if we were truly “free”? And would we know what to do with all that freedom? I think that it is necessary for us to not have complete freedom because we aren’t responsible or intelligent enough as a whole to know what to do with all of it. However, we should have enough freedom that humans deserve in order to stay sane. As we know, the people of Oceania did not have that, so they were not sane and it didn’t work for the greater good of their society.


Gaslighting is to manipulate someone psychologically that makes them question their own sanity. Gaslighting is mostly seen in relationships where the man manipulates the woman into seeing his point of view and eventually getting this way. It “forces” you in a way to understand the other person’s point of view and see their perspective. It makes the person being gaslighted feel insecure because they feel as if they are going crazy because their opinions are made to be invalid and unimportant. Many politicians gaslight so that people begin to question their own beliefs and end up voting for someone that they wouldn’t normally vote for. We could combat this and hold people responsible by pointing out every time it is happening and to explain how it is wrong. Gaslighting is a mental/psychological abuse tactic to break someone down and to overpower them in their minds.

Can We Auto-Correct Humanity

We have an unhealthy relationship with our technology. We have become disconnected with the world because of it. Technology has become a permanent asset in our lives without us even realizing it. It has slowly emerged into things that we didn’t even know was possible, and continues to upgrade. We use technology as our go-to for everything, making it hard to obtain any useful skills when we just use our phones and computers to do all the work for us. It has become our brain, personal navigator, and our friend. To ensure that this doesn’t become a permanent reality, we must learn how to think for ourselves and become independent of our technology. Social media has plenty of benefits, from meeting new people to finding out about events. However, it has become an unhealthy addiction that some can’t control. Many people think that you can just get off social media, delete your accounts, and just never look back, but it’s not that simple for some people. It has become a drug like heroin that they just can’t leave alone. They check their social media every second, making them harder to talk to, thus disconnecting themselves from friends, family, and the outside world. You can control the addiction by slowly weening yourself of it. No addiction is cured overnight, you have to take small, consistent steps to rid of it. And just like any addiction, you have to want to be cured. You have the power to end the addiction of technology and social media and use it for good because it is also a blessing. Technology has so many helpful assets, you just have to know how to use it and when to put it down.

Media Literacy Reflection

I have learned so much in the media literacy course this year. My values from my first smore haven’t necessarily changed, but deepened. It is not only about thinking and opinions, but learning how to think and form a valid opinion on a topic. At first I thought being media literate was only being able to interpret things in the media, which I thought meant just online and social media. However, it is so much deeper than that. Media can range from articles, to books, to videos. ‘Media’ is a broad topic and being able to break down what you read or see and interpret it to your full understanding is being media literate. I learned how to write precis, which I think would be a good asset further on in life. I am taking away the ability to know how to think from this class, a skill that not everyone can say they have. This Language Arts class was different because it focused on things that we can actually take with us and use 20 years from now. It didn’t focus on the normal things in Language Arts like word definitions, grammar, writing compound sentences, and literary devices, but how to write a thought out opinion on a subject and how to express and form opinions. This class could be better in the future if it focused more on current events and books instead of the past.