Media Literacy and You

A Flier about how Andrew sits on the computer all day long

Prince Ea reflection

What we can do is try and disconnect from our technology a bit more, and if not that then at least try to find a way to better integrate technology so that we don’t rely on it for social interactions so much. One of the things a lot of older people try and tell the younger generations is that we are too attached to our phones and computers. Their solution for us is just to stop using it so much which is a very poorly thought out plan. What we have to do is slowly find better ways to stop relying on tech for social interactions and get them to actually have personal social interactions. Technology is absolutely amazing when it comes to long distance communication but when it comes to friends who live close to you, then there’s always a better alternative. I don’t believe that we are addicted to social media, but that we are addicted to attention. Humans are hardwired to crave recognition and acceptance, and the best way to do that is through social media. Social media is a tool that’s used by people for many reasons; Saving memories, sharing experiences, and seeking recognition being some of the many ways people use it. Humans want and need to be accepted by other human beings, they need something to confirm their existence. Things like retweets and likes are ways people recognize each other's existence and being recognized by tons of people is its own drug. This is something we can absolutely control, albeit some more than others. People just have to realize that there’s more ways than one to get others to recognize you. They’re hard and not easy to accomplish, but the reward far outweighs those of social medias. I like to think that i’ve already beat social media. I don’t use, so much as be addicted, any form of social media for more than an hour or two a week. I only use it to keep up with what my other friends are doing and to reconnect with long forgotten ones. I’m not constantly having to take photos and post it somewhere. I’ve found other ways to be recognized by my fellow humans. Technology on the other hand is different. Tech is so integrated into my life that I’d be hard pressed to live without it. I’ve come to realize though that technology is a tool and nothing more. It exist for me to use and for nothing else. If I use it responsibly than I can avoid becoming a slave to it. That’s the best way I can think of. In our current society, it’d be very hard to try and live without technology, so the best we can do is make it work for us.

Class Reflection

I still believe that my answer from the first smore of the semester is correct. After taking this class, I continue to believe that being media literate means that you’re able to translate a message into many different forms. This class has shown that news comes in many different forms. They come in forms like articles, books, and even short videos. I’ve learned how get my message across in an essay and a ted talk. It’s all media and being able to understand it and use it is what media literacy is. I’ve learned that we as a society is very attached to technology. We are all hardwired to technology and probably wouldn’t be able to survive without it, as shown by the test where we couldn’t use our phones for one whole day. Technology has made life very easy for people and we now rely on it more than we should. I’m taking from this class that maybe I shouldn’t use technology so much. I’ll certainly try to not use it as much but will probably end up failing because it’s so integrated into our lives that it’ll be hard to just get rid of it. This class was a lot different from other language arts classes because it wasn’t so much focused on writing the perfect paper as it was understanding why and how we write the paper. We didn’t do an essay a week or write dbq’s everyday to try and improve our writing. This class is much more focused on current events and understanding the things around you. It’s a much better class than I expected. I would say that a huge improvement to the class would be to shorten some of the units. Some of the units dragged on for way too long and the students would lose interest. Making the units shorter would ensure that the students stay interested in the unit and actually do the work.

O'Brien: Victim or Villain?

O'Brien is undoubtedly a villain. He has full responsibility for what he did to Winston. That isn't to say he's responsible because he's a villain, victims too have to take responsibility for their actions. O'Brien just so happens to be a villain. He purposefully tricked Winston and is fully enjoying turning Winston into the correct citizen. O'Brien very clearly understands his actions and continues on with them like it's the normal thing. He is not a victim of the party, he is a collaborator. He has full responsibility for his actions. The party, though, may not necessarily be responsible for what O'Brien is doing to Winston. The Government is never responsible for the actions of its citizens. They only set the rules and the precedents, how the citizens interpret and act upon those rules is up to the individual. Much like how a company isn't always responsible for the actions of one employee. While, yes, the party is responsible for all the crimes they commit against their own party members, they are not individually responsible for one specific case. So in the case of O'Brien and Winston, the ones responsible would be O'Brien, and whoever else O'Brien reports to.

Gandhi's Salt March

Gandhi’s rebellions, such as his Salt March, were effective against the British because of their non-violent nature and their satyagraha, or mass civil disobedience. They went against British law without violence and even found ways to undermine the British rule from within the country itself. Gandhi’s ability to speak was able to turn all the pent up anger from years under British supervision into non-violent devotion for the independence of India.

People were ready and willing to participate in the salt march because they were sick and tired of the British bullying them into doing whatever they wanted. Salt is a staple of the Indian diet and people need it to survive day by day. The British realized this and started to monopolize all the salt mines, making the Indians only buy salt from them. The Indians, with no other choice, had to buy from the British, despite their absurdly high prices. The British then hiked up the tax on salt which made it almost impossible for the poor to obtain any salt. So when Gandhi, a famed Indian activist at the time, decided to break British law by marching 240 miles to a coastal town in order to make salt, people readily joined his cause.

The nature of Gandhi’s non-violent protest were extremely effective against the British and it made the world side with the Indians during the revolution. But what really made people join the cause was all the pent up emotions people had, and Gandhi’s mesmerizing speaking ability. Gandhi was able to use only his words to bring together an entire nation against their oppressors. He turned all the pent up emotions the Indian people had and got them to act upon them, by not doing anything at all. This made everyone who was watching in the world join their side. Watching the Indians get beat and not respond back with any kind of violence struck at the hearts of many people, making them hope that the Indian independence movement succeeded.

Snopes Fact Check

Hillary Clinton recently said that on September 11, 2013, when she was secretary of state during the Benghazi attack, that we didn’t lose a single person in Egypt. This spouted during a Democratic debate where people criticized Clinton for not taking proper actions to protect American lives during the attack. Clinton reacted by saying that not a single life was taken during the incident because of her. This was immediately proven wrong because four people had their lives taken that day, which is why she came under fire in the first place. I often only fact check things that are of interest to me. Everything else flies over my head. If I’m interested in something a politician said, than I’ll try and fact check it. I usually accept things that trustful candidates say. I know they’re trustful because they’ll have a track record of other people fact checking them. If they have a terrible record than i’ll be hard pressed to believe them. But if it’s a trusted candidate, than I’ll know that I only need to fact check the extremely absurd things they say.

Thoughts on how women are portrayed in media

I've always known that the portrayal of women in media was perverse and degrading. Ads like to portray women in a position lower than men. Other ads place unreachable bars in beauty for women to get people to buy their products. They place impossible standards of beauty so that young women would spend tons of money just to get even slightly closer to their standards. Though this has been getting better throughout the years thanks to the many outcry's of various women who've come to realize just how absurd the modeling worlds beauty standards are. This has given rise to a new problem though that I've persevered on social media. Though the support for women of different color, shapes, and sizes has risen, support for women who have reached the impossible standards has plummeted. Women who have either been naturally blessed with beauty or have worked hard over many years to obtain their beauty are now being labeled as fakes and bad role models. In our attempt to stop body shaming normal women, we have started to body shame beautiful women. We've started to label them as unrealistic, doll like, and fake. In our attempt to support plus sized women, we've started to shame skinny women, saying that they need to eat more or that they look like sticks. I feel like human beings as creatures need something to hate at all times. We shift our support to one type of women, just to leave the others blowing in the wind. It's almost like we only have so much love to give out. We need to love everyone, of every color, size and shape. This also goes especially for men. While women have been getting out pores of support, men who don't have rock hard abs and a chiseled body are still considered weaklings and cowards. If we are to change how we perceive each other, we must do it for everybody. Not just one type of person, but every type of person. We need to be much more accepting of each other.

The no Social Media Challenge

I took the challenge and was able to beat it with no problems what so ever. I don’t find social media a big part of my life and it’s something I can probably go without for a while. I’ve never been fond of using things like facebook or twitter to tell people what I’ve been doing in the last 15 minutes or what I just ate. I’ve never saw the appeal in it and still don’t. I’ve also never found myself to be the photogenic type and don’t really take any photos. I may occasionally check things like snapchat and Instagram just to see what people are doing with their days but never really post anything myself, so not using the apps wasn’t too hard. The social media I use the most would be Youtube, which was the hardest to not use. Watching videos of my favorite stars has become a big everyday routine for me. As soon as I get home, I jump into something a bit more comfortable and immediately start watching some videos to relieve the stress from school. I usually even have a playlist that plays in the background so that I can take a nap before I have to go to work. During the challenge though, I couldn’t use Youtube to entertain myself when I got home from school and had to find another way to amuse myself for the rest of the night. I ended up reading a Japanese light novel for the whole night and fell asleep earlier than I usually do. So in short, I ended up sleeping most of the time because I didn’t have anything to amuse myself with at ten at night. I did end up making it the whole time though it wasn’t that hard for me to begin with. Social media doesn’t have that much of an impact on my life and it’s also probably why I don’t have friends but that’s okay. Who needs friends when you’ve got the internet.

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Media Literacy

What I think Media is is a form of communication. Being media literate means to be able to communicate and understand all forms of media. Media can be anything from newspapers and magazines to television commercials and youtube videos. There isn’t really one form of media so much as everything is media. You can use media to entertain people or inform them of your newest product. You can use media to share news on the latest event or spread misinformation about a certain candidate. Media is all around us and it’s a hard concept to grasp. Being literate in it though is the ability to use it to effectively send a message. It’s the ability to send the same message through both text and visuals. If you can tell someone about what just happened in a certain part of the world through a newspaper then translate it again through a video, than I think you can be considered Media literate. I believe that most people are already media literate. It’s something that’s hard to understand because it doesn’t really have a physical form that one can grasp but it’s something that people usually pick up as they grow. Especially in our society where technology is hardwired into our everyday lives, it’s hard to not pick up on media literacy. One of the most common types of media literacy I can think of in schools is writing a script then turning it into a video. Most classes at some point in the year have kids produce a video of some kind for a project. Being able to write a script and turning it into a video that translates a message is a form of media literacy.