Media Literature: Unmatched Impact

Jae Seok Hwang - Lowe 4th Block

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Media is a word that represents the worldwide mass communications bubble we have created in modern society. Immediately when we think of the news we associate it with the television we watch at home, the newspapers we pick up while shopping, and especially the social media on which we all love to share bits and pieces of our thoughts and lives. These are all platforms on which we are all able to keep up with significant worldwide events or even the not-so-relevant bits that attract the most attention instead. In many media channels or organizations today, information is often skewed to attract a certain type of viewership. These instances of misinformation and lies shape our culture and society negatively, and often times only end up advocating hate amongst the already biased viewers. Being literate refers to a person’s ability to read and write a particular language. In comparison, I would like to assume that media literacy refers to a person’s ability to read, write, and even analyze this “media” that significantly affects our lives in modern society. Whether it is to educate, spread awareness, or just spark reactions from the public, media is created with a purpose to be perceived by the viewers. This means that media literate individuals should be able to break down and comprehend the purposed intentions of the media creators themselves. Some examples would include an individual identifying certain target marketing strategies, understanding how certain messages affect our society, and just recognizing the spin from the parts of the story told. Media literacy “skills” would probably benefit an individual in the sense of developing critical thinking, and would lower the chance of being swindled by the media.

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We as a society use social media to share our precious memories and worthwhile moments with the audience behind the screens, consisting of not only our friends, but also potentially an endless number of other anonymous viewers. Particularly in my life, possibly because of the ultimate boringness my life consists of, I use social media mainly as a form of communication, usually to keep up with announcements and/or messages from friends whom partake in the social media takeover like the rest of the world has. I chose not to take the challenge because at this point the internet has, so to speak, become a part of who I am today. Having DotA 2, an online video game, as my only hobby means that I need to use Steam, an online platform used to allow gamers to play and connect amongst others worldwide. Through this online community, I have played and communicated with thousands of gamers across the world, all of which I would have never have found the opportunity without this form of “social media.” This communication is very important and valuable to me because there is more than meets the eye. People often say that gaming is a waste of time because there is nothing to get out of it, but I beg to differ. Through this family I was able to learn the values of teamwork, the importance of small steps towards success, and most importantly, how to deal with the stress, frustration, ignorance, and plain stupidity that comes along in life. Social media has changed me for the better through the people I was able to meet along my journey of life, and I could never deny that.

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Although many women, and men, of our society clearly fall victim to the pressures of beauty “standards” depicted by these ads, I truly believe that we are headed in the right direction in terms of changing this. For example, Dove and many other organizations are starting their own unique programs and movements to fight against the traditional provocative ads. In fact, despite all the expectations placed upon them, I know many women, many of whom are my fellow students and peers, who rise above these setbacks and overall strive for excellence and independence beyond gender. Looking at our society from the outside, we are undeniably diverse. Through our immense diversity of people, comes our diversity in thoughts, ideas, beliefs. There are many different ideals and interpretations for what true “beauty” really is, and it’s different for every culture. Difference turns into jealousy, envy, and in the end, competition. Especially in the United States, home of the American Dream, land of opportunity, many strive to be the best, and there’s actually nothing wrong with that. Our society is extremely competitive and it especially doesn’t exclude beauty out of one of its competitions. Beauty pageants are hosted all across the country all for the title, and honor, of being the “best” at even being “beautiful”. Even though we all may be self-aware of these ridiculous ads, it sure doesn’t stop many women or men from buying the badly portrayed product. Personally, I don’t put much thought into what I wear and I believe that they’re many others who also dress for themselves and not for everybody else. In a generation so split on the levels of confidence, I believe that every person has the right to feel confident in their look and as a result, feel good about themselves. If makeup helps fulfill that right, to each there own, I have absolutely no problem as long as it’s their own genuine decision.

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As we start the 2016 year, politicians also continue their campaigns, becoming majority of the content in our mainstream media. A candidate in particular that sticks out would be businessman Donald Trump, who over the months has been criticized for his ridiculous statements on illegal immigration and Muslims. Contrary to his opinions on illegal immigrants, many news stations such as ABC27 have covered the fact that the Trump Tower itself may have been built by such illegal immigrants to which he hates. Backed by Politifact, a contractor Trump hired indeed did have illegal Polish immigrants to build the grand building which Trump is so proud of. Although this particular claim/story did happen to be true, in a generation in which news and media is covered very quickly, mistakes, controversial or bias, can very well happen. Fact-checking, a way to ensure that one has 100% or at least the most accurate information, is very important in the sense that one would want to know clearly what is happening in the world around him. It allows people to make genuine and clear judgement on the current events around them w/out bias or controversy. To be completely honest, I don't like to include myself in discussions of the most trending controversial issues, those of which are topics most likely people of all parts of the political spectrum will begin to spurt out random supporting "facts" to whatever they favor upon. That being said, I usually don't start many political conversations or anything on topics I myself am not very so sure of. Knowing practically anything on the internet could pretty much be false, I tend to not get so fired up on things of the sort.

Gandhi's Salt March

Gandhi’s rebellions against the British empire, such as his Salt March, were effective and so powerful because he was able to rally the support of the Indian people to the cause of independence, undermining the validity of British rule. W/out the support of majority of the Indian people, who knows whether his beliefs and rebellion would be known by majority of the people in the modern world today.

Mohandas Gandhi’s campaign of “satyagraha,” or mass civil disobedience, was to nonviolently resist the policies and laws the British rule had established. One of these laws happened to be Britain’s Salt Acts, a law that prohibited Indians from collecting or even selling salt, an extreme necessity in the Indian diet. Through this law the British were able to abuse the Indian people through their monopoly over the manufacture and sale of salt, even going as far as adding an additional salt tax. It was through the injustice from this law and many others that led as the main inspiration to the uprising against the British influence in India.

Gandhi figured that breaking the salt law would be not only be simple, but nonviolent, the key component to his resistance. On his way to the coastal town of Dandi on the Arabian Sea, Gandhi addressed large crowds, where his speaking influenced many to join the salt satyagraha. By the time they reached Dandi on April 5, 1930, Gandhi and a crowd of tens of thousands were ready to start the resistance.

Works Cited

"INDIA - DEFYING THE CROWN." A Force More Powerful. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2016.

"Salt March." A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2016.

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Often times than not, many people fall victim into torturing others upon orders from higher authority. These people are or can be threatened with consequences of their own or family's death. In 1984 however, I believe that O'Brien is not a victim in this situation, but rather a villain. Yes, going against the Party does cause the individual to suffer unarguably one of the most inhumane punishments one as ever heard of, but it still doesn't justify the unsympathetic actions O'Brien pursues to break Winston. In the section in which Winston is tortured and has dialogue with O'Brien, although unbelievable, it can be implied that O'Brien actually does believe in the Party's ideals, similar to that of a religious extremist: "Obedience is not enough, Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation" (Orwell 126). O'Brien is not threatened into pursuing inhumanities against his will. He is inhumane, he is the villain.

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Time sure does fly by. The semester feels like it only started a couple days ago yet I feel that it is evident my understanding of media literacy has expanded than previously before. Like I mentioned way back when in my first entry, I believe media is all about what you want your audience to perceive or consequently get out of it. Throughout the course of this class we continually went over several examples of these methods from w/in different things such as speeches, commercials, books, and last but not least satire (articles, shows, etc.). I believe that I took away not only a better understanding and recognition to literature and media in itself, but also an improvement in my personal communication in things like my writing and speech. This class was definitely different than previous language arts classes I have taken in the sense that there wasn't "a lot" of writing despite being considered a language arts class. In fact, we barely had, if at all, any tests except the most recent one we had taken (not that that was bad or anything, it was just a different and interesting experience :D). I definitely had fun being and participating in the class so it’s kind of hard to just bluntly point out how the class can somewhat improve on. Perhaps by having more open classroom discussions in things like the socratic seminars, it would not only promote intellectual conversation but would also just serve as plain communication and interaction b/n all the students, which is always beneficial. Better tools for learning, such as the laptops, are obviously not in the class’ control but improvements in that section would obviously be nice (“at the speed of Gwinnett!” - Mr. Brunswick). Overall, the class was helpful serving as an eyeopener to how literature has and will continue to impact our, the students’, lives daily, and I wish this class the best of luck in the future!

Response to "Can We Auto-Correct Humanity" - Prince Ea

As technology continues to rapidly develop at never seen before speeds in our lifetimes, it has become obviously evident and clearly pointed out that the use of technology has become, for many people, an unhealthy habit and an unhealthy relationship b/n device and user. To ensure we as a society do not permanently reside as a disconnected family, we need to start valuing the important moments of our life in the actual moment, not through the screens of our devices. We as our society are so afraid to be left out, so afraid to not get invited to that 1 party, and even afraid that once we get to one of those great moments, one of those great peaks in our lifetime, that we might not get as many likes as we wanted to, or favourites, or shares, or any of that attention seeking, unnecessary shenanigans that the world and all of the internet is hooked on, We as a society need to remember that having giant never-ending friend lists doesn’t mean we actually have friends. In my opinion, we honestly just have to let it go, the temptation is just too strong for some people. Many people cannot go about their day anymore w/out certain likes on their daily selfies. Many people do not believe they’re loved or that they’re beautiful if they don’t get nice comments on their vacation pictures. How sad is that, this depressing cycle their lives have become. We need to remember our own sentimental value, even though not everyone is X-Factor level talented. Every single person is unique in their own special way, benefits and faults, and if every single person completely comprehensively understands that, then maybe, then just maybe we as a society can handle this anti-social media epidemic in which we are caught in. I’m going to live in the moment, live in a world where I just eat my food and not take 20 pictures, live in a world where I can meet people face to face and not just on Skype, live in a world where I don’t need likes to stay secure about my figure. I’m going to live in a better world, stay beautiful and always believe it.