Mass Media a tool for kids?

By Dalila Han

Entry 1: Media Literacy

What is Media and what does it mean to be media literate

Media is an interwoven system that everyone gets their information from. We live in a world of powerful 24/7 media. It is a social access that kids teenagers , and even adults use for entertainment. Most parents would assume the media is a violent and uneducated idea for their kids so they try turning off the television and not letting their kids have a phone. However media is not something that anyone can run away from. It will always be around because media is a part of our culture. The media can entertain and inform our children in positive ways, but since most of us aren’t taught to use media thoughtfully, many media messages contribute to public issues like bullying, low self-esteem, depression, negative body image, risky sexual behavior, and among many other problems. Media literacy was made so that we would be able to access, evaluate, analyze, and create media. I think media literacy is an effective and engaging way to apply critical thinking skills to a wide range of issues. It can help us recognize lies, misinformation and spins, discover the parts of the story that are not being told, help us evaluate media messages based on our own experiences, skills, beliefs, and values, drive us to create and distribute our own media messages, and most importantly, advocate for media justice. It can become critical to the health and well-being of America’s children, as well as to our future participation in the civic and economic life of our world.

Entry 2: 24 Hours Without Social Media

How did it go?

24 hours without social media is a lot harder than I thought. Once I finish everything including homework and practicing my instruments is when I pretty much have free time. This is usually when I start to feel boredom entering my system. I need something to satisfy this boredom and usually I use some sort of technology including television, Wii or PS3, and especially social media. When I start feeling bored I automatically seem to grab my phone to look at what’s going on with other people’s life. Usually I like to just look through social media sometimes if I'm bored so I thought I could live without it, but I realized I use it often for so many reasons. I'm one of the church youth leader so I must constantly update the church's group chat on Facebook and get into contact with people through group chats on Facebook so it's almost impossible for me to avoid social media. Besides taking responsibility for my leadership position in the church, I also like to be updated with music and listen to the latest songs on youtube while I work on something so I start to use youtube. It’s really scary to think about when I get a notification I just open it without even knowing I already have my phone/ computer right in front of me. It’s like a habit that we’ve all created and as we all know habits are really hard to break/fix. Although I unfortunately couldn’t accomplish living without social media for 24 hours, I realized how hard it is not to use social media and that its great how we have all these social media to keep us entertained but it’s also a problem in our society as a whole.

Entry 3: Fact Checking Activity

Who are you trusting?

It's essential that we robust fact checking in everything one does because the research and the things we present could cause misunderstandings, damages, and in extreme case could, potentially, change the course of history, friendships, family, etc. This process distinguishes facts from rumor and gossip, spin from substance, and sometimes reveals what some would prefer to keep hidden.

A photograph in Dubai shows a waterslide over Dubai to be a composite but quickly discovered it was made by an artist. A guy named Jahn uploads this photo on instagram and explains that it was created by a stock photo taken from the observation deck on the 124th floor of Burj Khalifa and a photograph of someone on a waterslide. Dubai is not the home of the " World's largest waterslide" and because of this image it had cause a misunderstanding to the world. The world's largest waterslide is actually in Kansas City Sclitterbahn; it is taller than the Statue of Liberty from the base to the torch.

Entry 4: Life of a Prole

"They were born...control was not difficult" How does this passage reflect today's society? Do you think social media plays a part in controlling society so we don't think about the bigger issues that affect our world today?

American teenagers today are very similar to the proles because the proles were identified as the people who lived in oceania who were paid low wages. They believe what they hear and have their own slang just like the newspeak used in the novel. The party also believes that hope lies within the proles. Teenagers today read magazine and most of the time, those information that goes on in the world today is not true but we believe in it either way. Social media, sports, movies, magazines, and TV does play a part in controlling society because teenagers are focused on stupid videos like "Damn Daniel" when someone out in the world could be planning to kill us or that the world is coming to an end. The proles always believe what they hear and read and do not consider the fictional facts. Teens today never think that way either.

Entry 5: Failed Rebellions

Beer Hall Putsch

Although it failed I would say that this rebellion was a success because —and Bavarian authorities were able to prosecute nine participants, including Hitler—the leaders ultimately redefined it as a heroic effort to save the nation and integrated it into the mythos of Hitler and the Nazis' rise to power. His techniques were taking every chance to turn the subject away from the putsch itself. Hitler frequently made speeches about Germany’s postwar plight. He blamed the Jews, Marxism, and France for all of the country’s problems, repeatedly returning to his theme of hypernationalism. The conservative-leaning judges did nothing to stop Hitler or keep the focus on the attempted coup. The prosecutors, who had been threatened by Hitler’s student followers, shrank from challenging the defendant. This rebellion was so powerful because the failed coup turned out to be quite a boon for Adolf Hitler. His trial brought him more attention and publicity than ever before. With a crowd of thousands-including press from around the world-watching the proceedings, Hitler made the most of this opportunity by going on the offensive.

Entry 6: Edward Snowden and Winston

In what ways are Winston a version of Edward Snowden? How are they different?

Even though Winston never had the opportunity to tell what he had discovered or thought because no one would ever believe him, Edward did and he jumped on that chance, but both had access to what the average person does not have access to, and came to believe that the job they were doing was not just an ordinary job but an extraordinary one, and that it was not only wrong what they were doing, it was pointless. Both also did not know why they were doing what they did or for whom they were doing it for.

In “1984” Winston is forced to hide in a secret little spot in his own home in order to write down his own thoughts and feelings. Also he and Julia have to look out for microphones hidden in the bushes when they secretly meet up together.

Snowden, on the other hand, has not seen a piece of paper in years and, more than likely, he has never had to "bug a bush on behalf of the CIA." Instead though, he sits before giant computers that are designed to collect and decode the world’s information by bulk.

So basically, if Snowden was in "1984", he would be one of the inner party members that were trying to find all of the people that were going against the party, such as O'Brien in "1984".

Winston and Snowden are both one in the same, they both worked for something close to "state security" and were both disgusted by what the government was doing. They were both disgusted by overwhelming technology, no privacy, and the fact that no one knew or that they didn't seem to care. They both wanted to rebel against it. The difference is that Snowden had the chance to do so, and Winston did not.

Entry 7: O'Brien and Winston, Victims or Villains of and for the government

Is O'Brien a victim or villain? Why or why not? What about Winston?

Winston: I would say that Winston is a victimized hero because he bought a diary from a shop who is owned by a thought police, he continuously wrote in his diary "down with big brother" , he went about his love affair with Julia, and it took him a long time to become brainwashed and lie to myself.

O'Brien: I would say that he is a villain because he entraps Winston and Julia with promises of rebellion, then converts their way of thinking to follow the Party's. Despite being 'built like a prize fighter', O'Brien is the most intelligent character in the novel. O'Brien was toying with Winston and was testing to see how far Winston would go.

Entry 8: Reflection One

My views about Media Literacy has altered dramatically because I underestimated it. I finally see that Media Literacy is not media bashing, ridiculing media, or even trying to become the silver bullet/ magic wand. I learned that we can help our generation become media literate, we can help protect ourselves from pressures from advertising and other media forms to smoke, drink, use drugs, have sex, or eat unhealthy foods. We also can help build communication skills, encourage us to consider multiple interpretations of media messages, put portrayals of ourselves and others in perspective, and improve media use habits, such as changing ritualistic viewing behaviors. In addition, we can improve the media use habits of the entire family and promote more proactive behavior among all family members. This class was very different from all the other Language Arts class I took because we learned about social justice this time while the other classes we just read novels and had vocabulary quizzes. We definitely did a lot more annotating, discussions, and summaries. I think people were able to get along more easily because we had the opportunity to do a lot of group projects. In my opinion, the class is perfectly fine the way it is because we learned a lot of new ideas which made us see the world in a different perspective. Even though I thought this was overwhelming, I’ll admit that the 1984 game made the idea of dystopian feel more real and understandable. It was not easy to keep all of the ten rules for a week and it must be even more difficult when you have to live like that 24/7. Maybe next year the teachers could be a part of the inner party and the duration of the game is more than just a week.

Entry 9: Reflection Two

In order for us to be connected with the world and not live in a world filled with robots, we can go out to hang out instead of always skyping with someone. Instead of being on our phones texting our ‘best friends forever’ about something we can go meet them in a public cafe. One thing we can do but will probably be difficult is to time when it is appropriate to be online and when not to be. For example, we can only be on our laptops or phones during class, research, or anything important but in our free time we can not have our technology. I believe technology has really made us connected with the world but the saying “too much of something good is bad” became true. It is possible to control our addiction for social media but it would be hard to do so. If being on your phone is too tempting and the simple solution would be to switch your smart phone to the old school flip phones. Another way that would help is to constantly remind ourselves the idea of “electronic tattoo”. If we can not permanently ink our body with what we post then we shouldn’t post it online. Tech is a dominant part of our daily lives for both good and bad, and we have become a slave to want it wants: it’s demanding, intrusive and in many ways regularly disappoints, yet we can’t live without it. It is a easy and fast way to stay connected so it should be used when we have the resources. However we mustn’t lose sight of the dark side. We see families who can’t put down their phones at dinner. Ads mock the breakup text, but we all know someone who has been on the receiving end. It’s a difficult task to not become attached to social media but it does not mean it’s impossible. Next time, we can try to leave our phone and actually interact with the people around us.