Media Mania

How the Media Is Changing Our World

Smore #1

The media today is all about giving people the opportunity to spread their ideas and news with other people around the globe. This new way of communicating is done through television, radio, internet, music, and social media sites. Media has filtered its way into all aspects of our society, including education. In most schools across the United States, students are allowed and encouraged to access the internet on their mobile devices, laptops, and tablets during appropriate times in classes. This is an example of media literacy, where people learn to use the information that is available to them about any subject at all times, mainly through technology. Media literacy is a major part of education today because it helps students understand how to analyze different types of media and even create their own media based on their opinions and knowledge they gain from media. Media literacy helps people become more aware and understanding of what is going on around the world which helps them form their own thoughts about topics. However media also has disadvantages, including false information being posted on blogs and social media sites. This is why it is important for media literacy to be a big part of education, so that students are taught how to find reliable sources on television, radio, internet, and social media sites. When young students learn how to do this, they are able to think more in depth about what they believe and how it affects the people and world around them.

Smore #2 What Can I Do?

The End It Movement gives people opportunities to help fight human trafficking and put a stop to it. One of the campaign encourages people to get involved is by raising awareness on social media through their annual “Shine a Light on Slavery Day.” This year it is on February 25 and I am going to join the movement by drawing a Red X on my hand, taking a photo, and posting it on my Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter with the hashtag, #enditmovement. This gives me the chance to raise my voice for all the men, women, and children that are trapped in slavery, and to tell the world that slavery still exists. Human trafficking is a terrible crime that affects 27 million people around the world, and it is time that people are made aware of it, so they can prevent more people from becoming victims. For the past few years, the End It Movement’s “Shine a Light on Slavery Day” has proven to make a difference because there has been a steady rise in the number of human trafficking cases reported. After helping raise awareness for human trafficking, I plan on donating money to go towards rescuing victims from the hands of traffickers and restoring their lives when they are able to return home. I believe that every human trafficking victim deserves freedom from the horrible life they have been trapped and forced to live in, and I am ready to take a stand against human trafficking and join the fight for freedom.

Smore #3 Superbowl Commercial Analysis

In Hyundai’s 2016 Super Bowl commercial, First Date, Kevin Hart is a dad who suggests that the boy taking his daughter on a date should “go ahead and take his new car,” a 2016 Hyundai Genesis, so that he can track the vehicle using Hyundai’s Car Finder. Kevin Hart demonstrates the Hyundai’s Car Finder’s abilities by using it to follow his daughter on her date to the movies, the fair, and lastly, showing up hanging onto a helicopter at the boy’s “favorite spot” where Kevin Hart yells out, “You’re messing with the wrong daddy.” Hyundai uses Kevin Hart’s spying on his daughter’s date in order to advertise their new technology, the Hyundai Car Finder, which is displayed on Kevin Hart’s smartwatch in the commercial. Hyundai targets an audience of fathers by using a light-hearted tone which is shown at the end of the commercial when it says, “a dad’s got to do what a dad’s got to do.”

Smore#4 How does gender in advertising affect society?

Advertising companies have begun portraying men in commercials as irresponsible, dumb, and inferior to women. This is especially true in commercials where the father was depicted as uninvolved or immature, and the mother always has to come to the rescue. The stereotypes that are used to characterize fathers in commercials have a huge impact on the way society views fathers. Children are growing up seeing these commercials on television, so they are constantly fed the idea that the men, specifically fathers, are controlled by women and are unable to properly take care of a baby or child on their own. If advertisements continue to depict men this way, then boys are going to think that it is not their job, as a father, to care for the child because they were told that they would not be good at it. This has already begun to effect society because there are increasingly more fathers who believe that it is not their responsibility to care for their children. This often leads to the father walking out on the family and leaving the mother to raise the child on her own, so advertising companies should be more focused on showing how the role of a father is just as important as the role of the mother.
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Smore #5 Media Manipulation

Advertisements are used to promote a product in order to convince people to buy the product. However, nowadays many commercials have been criticized for being hypocritical because the behaviors in the commercials contradict the messages that the companies are trying to send through the advertisement. For example, Kellogg’s Coco Pops cereal commercial features a child eating a bowl of Coco Pops after school which goes against Kellogg’s support of the Department of Health’s fat reduction program. Instead of sending a message about stopping the increasing rates of obesity, the commercial suggests that kids come home from school and sit in front of the television and eat sugary cereals. Hypocrisy in advertising can also be found in many alcohol commercials. Most beer commercials show people drinking alcohol and having a good time, but at the end of the commercial they flash the message, “Please drink responsibly.” This message at the end of the advertisement is the exact opposite of what the behavior in the commercial suggest. Companies spend millions of dollars on advertisements and commercials, but when they use false advertising, consumers find it hypocritical and they no longer trust the company. If a company is going to spend millions of dollars for a commercial, they need to carefully review it to make sure that there isn’t any hypocrisy that can cost them more in the long run.

Smore #6 Should Apple Fix?

The FBI has demanded Apple to create a software that will allow the government access to the iPhone of a San Bernardino terrorist. Apple has been fighting this order because once a software is created, who know whose hands it will fall into. However the government has said that it only needs to be made for the one iPhone, but once it is created for one, it can be easily used or recreated for another. I also think that if the government gets what they want in this case, they will continually ask to use the software in future cases to access more information on locked phones which would mean that they would have access to everyone’s privacy. Also if this software is created to unlock one iPhone, then it could most likely be used to unlock all the other iPhones in the world, and is probably a similar technology that could unlock every other type of smartphone. The government has stated that this will be done “safely and behind closed doors without ever leaving Apple’s campuses,” but by stating that it lets the whole world know how it is going be done, and makes it that much easier for the technology to fall into the wrong hands. I believe that it is important to find out information about terrorist, but I also believe that it is more important to keep the privacy and security of the millions of iPhone users safe, because if the software is found in a criminal’s hand, it could cause a greater risk to the population.

Smore #7 1984: Agree or Disagree?

Reporters should not have to submit their work to the government officials so that the government can determine whether or not it is a threat to the country. If the government made reporters submit their work, then they would be able to control the information and different viewpoints that society would see. This would violate the reporter’s freedom of speech, and it would give the government power to deny a media outlet the right to share certain information, even if it was a truthful and honest report. I also believe that people should not have to get the government’s approval in order to share their opinions through media. By giving the government officials this power, we would be allowing them to decide what information society could see, and how society would see the information, which would give them control over how the people viewed different controversial issues. However, I would understand if the government was only able to review reports on stories and issues just to make sure they did not contain any false facts that someone could be using to manipulate society. Overall, I believe that the government should not be able to review every report before it is published because even if they are trying to protect the people, by hiding information from them it can cause the people more harm than if they would just hear it for themselves. Also if the government began denying reports and the people found out or started doubting the authenticity of media, then the country would stop trusting in the government and the country would have bigger problems to solve than just media. I believe that most people are able to tell whether or not an article is trustworthy or not without needing the government to look over it before them.

Smore#8 Politifact! Get it straight.

All of the candidates had statements that they had lied about and others that they had told the truth about, however some issues were more important. Since all the candidates have lied about a topic at some time, it is important to do research behind what they are saying, so that you know the truth and are able to form an opinion based on the truth. Unfortunately, many people do not take the time to look up the facts, but instead most people just believe whatever they are told or they choose to believe only the things they agree with. I think that the media can very helpful in providing people with information in order to understand the history behind the candidates’ statements, but sometime you cannot trust that a source of media is telling you all the facts, so you have to research multiple sources. If you do not take the time to look up the truth, then you will never be able to form your own opinion on a topic because you will always be forming your opinion off of someone else’s and during an election it is important to vote for a president that you not only agree with, but one that is also telling you the truth.

Smore #9 Ain't Rebellion Fine

Rebellions have been an important part in shaping our history because they are powerful movements that result in major changes in culture, economy, and politics. Rebellions begin when people are inspired to join together and fight for a cause when they believe they are being treated unjustly or they are being violated of their rights, and they want to bring about change for the cause. For example, during the Holocaust, Jews started underground resistance movements in hopes of escaping the ghettos they had been trapped and joining forces to fight against the Germans. Even though, many of the Jews knew that the hopes of escaping the ghettos were very slim, and the risk of getting killed was very high, they still decided to resist because of the horrible way they were being treated inside the ghettos. People often get involved with a movement when a person rallies people together and motivates them to want to make a difference. Throughout history people have been brought together through listening to speeches, marching through streets, and publicly fasting. Today, we can see a rebellion currently happening in Brazil because the citizens of Brazil are calling for the president, Dilma Rousseff, to be impeached from office. Millions of Brazilians have been protesting in the streets because they blame Dilma Rousseff for Brazil’s severe recession and a recent corruption scandal. Rousseff has been accused of violating campaign finance laws and for appointing former president, Luiz Inacio de Silva, to the head of her cabinet just to help him escape prosecution of hiding the property of a country house and a beach penthouse, although he denies that he did anything wrong. This has cause most people in Brazil to lose trust in their current and former president, and they are determined to stop the corruption in their country. This determination and pride has brought everyone together in hopes of bringing about a good change that will help heal their country from all the corruption that has taken place in the past few years. Rebellions are what has led countries into times of major changes to shape their culture and politics today, in some places it was for better, and in other places it led to worst, but no matter what happens rebellions are necessary for people to have their voices heard and stand up for what they believe in.

Smore #10 The Government Wins Again

Edward Snowden was a real life rebel who leaked government top secret documents about the National Security Agency surveillance practices because he was disturbed at the way the government was destroying privacy. Winston and Snowden are similar because they both can’t stand to let the government get away with invading privacy and keeping secrets. Snowden said, “I am willing to sacrifice [my former life] because I can’t in good conscience allow the U.S government to destroy privacy…with this massive surveillance machine they are secretly building,” just like Winston was willing to sacrifice his life to rebel against the Party in the beginning of the book before he met Julia. However, while Winston just hoped that people would come together and rebellion against the party, Snowden acted publicly to bring attention to the surveillance issue and it led to a “robust public debate” and “new protections in the United States and abroad for our rights to make sure they are no longer violated.” I think that Snowden did exactly what Winston wished he could have done to show the people of Oceania how Big Brother is always monitoring them in order to spark a rebellion within the Party, but just like how the law and government won the case against Snowden, Big Brother always wins, and they would have “vanished” Winston as soon as they picked up on the slightest hint of rebellion. In my opinion, Edward Snowden is a great example of what Winston could have been, a patriot that believed he was unveiling the truth to show the people how Big Brother was watching and monitoring their every move and conversation which was Big Brother was able to control them and get rid anyone who posed a threat to their authority.

Smore #11 Is Technology Sent From Heaven?

In the book, 1984, George Orwell explains how science and technology was “developing at a prodigious speed, and it seemed natural to assume that they would go on developing.” However both science and technology had failed to continue to develop so quickly because of all the poverty in their society due to all the years at wars. Also, Orwell describes how the progression of science and technology requires the “empirical habit of thought,” which did not exist in their strictly monitored society because the Party worked to control everyone’s independent thoughts and feelings. Orwell finishes by saying, “the world is more primitive today than it was fifty years ago,” meaning that their society was much more undeveloped without advanced technology for the people than the world was just a few years earlier when science and technology were thriving.

Smore#12 Happiness vs. Freedom

Winston says, “The choice for mankind lay between freedom and happiness, and that, for the great bulk of mankind, happiness was better.” I think it is true that people tend to choose happiness over freedom because happiness is easier to obtain because it is for yourself, while freedom comes with more costs and usually benefits more people. Most people choose happiness because it doesn’t involve stepping out of their comfort zone. In order to have freedom, people have to unite and fight for it which makes some people uncomfortable, so they choose happiness and security instead. This can be seen in countries like China where the people are being censored, but they don’t mind accepting the government’s rules because they are happy and feel safer. Snowden exemplified this by leaking information about the governments’ security and how they can monitor everyone’s phones, but then the case was almost ignored by most people because they don’t want to get out of their comfort zone and face the truth. This example went on to prove that people choose to give up some of their freedoms in order to have security and feel safe behind a government.

Smore #13 Gaslighting

A gaslighter is described as someone who states lies with such a high level of confidence that they make the receiver start to doubt what they know to be true. This psychological abuse has become a popular technique for people with power or potential power to make people believe a lie. Gaslighting can be seen in American politics because people blindly accept the lies that politicians give in speeches even though they know the opposite to be true. This is harmful because it causes confusion and manipulates people’s thoughts. People underestimate the effects of gaslighting and in order to stop it we have to stop exposing ourselves to propaganda and guard our minds from this form of manipulation. In America, we have to stop believing everything politicians tell us without taking the time to research the facts for ourselves and form our own opinions about controversial topics. We often believe everything we hear because we do not want to take the time to look more for more information, but if we want to stop gaslighting from affecting our country, then we need to protect our own minds and thoughts from this mental abuse that weakens our confidence in things we know to be true.

Smore #14

Technology has impacted almost all aspects of our society. It has become a necessity in our daily lives, and without it many of us would feel like a piece of our lives was missing. Technology and social media were originally created to help us stay connected to people we have known and met throughout our lives, but now it seems like it is hurting more relationships than it is helping. Our society has become so dependent on technology that we have only become less social and more disconnected with the world around us because many would rather text someone than have a face-to-face conversation. If we don’t want to lose our connection with the people and world around us, then we have to be willing to put our phones aside when we are out at dinner with friends or simply while we are walking down the street. Social media can help us contact people we normally wouldn’t be able to, but it has also led to many unhealthy habits forming in our society. People have become addicted Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to a point where the number of followers and likes they get determines what they think about their self-worth. This addiction controls our lives because we let it. We can only be controlled be social media as much as we let it control us. We don’t have to check social media sites every chance we get, but it will take work and determination to overcome this addiction. If you set your mind to only using social media for what it was created for, then you will be able to connect and communicate with people you aren’t able to see every day while still having strong relationships with the people who are around you daily.

My views on Media Literacy have slightly changed from the being of the semester. I still believe that media and technology gives students great opportunities to access more information about what is going on in the world and to communicate with people in new ways. However, I now have a better understanding of the negative aspect of media and technology. Students who are using media and technology for their education are also becoming addicted to media sites which decreases their attention span and it can hurt their education. Throughout this class, I have learned more about social issues and problems within our society that we are currently facing or are predicted to face. I now feel more knowledgeable about current issues that I have been able to form my opinions about through this class. This class has been great because although we had certain assignments to complete, they weren’t extremely structured, so we were able to interpret the directions in our own way and be creative with displaying our thoughts and opinions. In other language arts classes, we would read a book and would have to take a multiple choice test that didn’t allow you to express your own interpretations and thoughts about the text because there was only one correct answer. Unlike the other language classes, we rarely had multiple choice tests, so for our essays about a book, we were able to put down our own ideas into words.