Society: A Slave to Social Media

How Social Media Affects Us Today. By: Tiffany Ho

S'more #1 - What is Media Literacy??

The word “media” can mean a variety of things. In this class, the word media is used as a meaning of communication. Media can range from the society watching the news to a teenager just browsing around on social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram. Media is a form of communication in which the society can keep in touch with one another. However, we learn about media literacy in this class. Each individual may or may not be media literate. The elderly are less likely to be media literate since some elders may not be caught up with the current technology used in society today. In order to be media literate, an individual would need to be able to access, create, and analyze media (communications with the world). Forms of media may include: radio, television, newspapers, Internet, magazines, and music. In this generation, media literacy plays a huge role in education. For example, students in a politics class may be assigned to watch the democratic debate so the class can discuss it as a whole group the next day. Another example may be a teacher showing a CNN clip to a class, and the students have to analyze the message of the news broadcast. Nowadays, a majority of young adults are media literate since it is how our society keeps up with the world and other individuals. Being media literate also helps us have a broader skill of using technology to communicate with a powerful and strong combination of words and images.

S'more #2 - Cyber Bullying and Social Media


Cyber bullying is a major issue on social media today. There are multiple things an individual, like me, could do to prevent this nightmare. First, I could send tweets telling my followers and the world the negative effects of cyber bullying. I could tweet about how cyber bullying leads to social anxiety, self-harm, and suicide.

If anyone sees a victim of cyber bullying tweeting or talking consistently about death, it is extremely important to immediately get help from another adult. This could save a life.

Lastly, evidence. Since cyber bullying occurs online, it is important to take pictures and screenshots of evidence. This evidence could be used to show another adult in order to help a victim. Evidence is also useful for when cyber bullies begin to escalate.

S'more #3 - Jeep Superbowl Commercial

Jeep, a car manufacturer, showed a commercial during the 2016 Superbowl that proved to an audience that Jeep could overcome any challenge. Jeep illustrates this by showing multiple images of different places around the world and using expression to show the challenges that Jeep has defeated (“…from the beach of Normandy, to the far reaches of the earth…”) and by presenting incredible portraits of soldiers from the era of World War II. Using pictures of humans with multiple face emotions, Jeep states that their vehicles have (“faced faces of fear”) in order to encourage society that Jeep can not only overcome all challenges approached, but Jeep also embraces all faces and vehicles that symbolize the brand of Jeep. Jeep’s ostensible audience is travelers who are ready to explore the world because the advertisement states that (“I’ve seen things no man should bear, and those, that every man should dare.”); but, the video of the astronaut in the advertisement has a reflection of the world, which emphasizes to the audience that with Jeep, the world is truly yours.

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S'more #4 - Advertisement of Women in Society

In our society, advertising has a very strong impact on how we think of the world. Everyone in the world is a victim of advertisements, whether they are riding in the car past a billboard or on a website and a pop-up comes up. Society has always viewed women as housewives, or not as smart as men.

But, as time goes on, women in commercials seen today are starting to gain a reputation of being equal as men in society. Women are beginning get into more male dominant jobs, such as engineering, mechanics, pilots, and even more are starting to join the marines today.

Nowadays, there are some children who only live with their mother. It is normal in our society for children to have divorced parents and to live with only their mom. Also, in some advertisements, women are shown as body builders or professional athletes, something that men had a reputation of when technology first became popular.

Since women are starting to partake male roles in society, they are starting to seem like the equal or more dominant ones. Men are not being shot down as less dominant, or recessive, but women are just starting to come out on top more often. Some commercials are even starting to show men as “housewives”, or stay at home dads; the role that women were stereotyped a decade ago. Women are starting to do more with their lives, and are having a much better time being equal to men and blending into society.

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S'more #5 - Media Hypocrisy

Nowadays, social media is filled with nothing but hypocrisy when it comes to commercials and advertisements. In general, hypocrisy exists in social media manipulation due to the fact that huge corporate companies will advertise how they feel sorry for people who have a disorder or disease. However, their products are the ones who are causing cancers or disorders.

Out of one the commercials given, it is true that Coca-Cola broadcasts that obesity is a growing problem in our country. However, Coca-Cola products are one of the main reasons for child obesity. Coca-Cola wants to tell consumers about putting a stop to obesity; but they definitely do not want children to stop buying their products.

Another example would be smoking. Our government, our society, and pretty much our entire world know that smoking is terrible for you. It is all over YouTube ads, television commercials, and pretty much on any social media website. But, our government hasn’t banned gas stations and drugs stores from selling cigarettes, have they? No. Instead, they take advantage of addicts by raising prices of cigarettes to get more money for the economy.

The truth is, our world revolves around money and manipulation. Big corporations will try to make it seem like they care about society’s’ diseases and disorders. But in reality, they care about the money more.

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S'more #6 - Should Apple Fix?

Recently, Apple has shown the public that they are extremely serious about security measures provided for consumers of their company. There is a suspected killer out there who has information on their phone.

The feds are asking apple to hack into the phone, or find a way to get their passcode into the suspect’s phone. Apple says no. Personally, I believe that Apple is right. Apple is not wrong for saying no to unlocking the suspect’s phone.

As a company, Apple has the obligation to protect its’ consumer rights. If Apple hacked into or unlocked the suspect’s phone, they are pretty much telling all their consumers that they have absolutely no privacy while using their products. No matter how much the Feds argue that they want to know who the official killer was, get information on the case, or anything else involving this murder, that suspect is a consumer of Apple. No matter what, killer or not, all consumers have equal rights and have the right to privacy.

I believe that Apple will not end up revealing the phone code and private information on the phone to the Feds. Even with warrant, Apple still refuses. This action proves to society that Apple is committed to giving the consumers what rights they deserve. So no, Apple should not fix.

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S'more #7 - Agree or Disagree?

To assure our country’s freedom, the government should be able to spy on its citizens. I strongly disagree with this statement. I believe that the government has a duty to ensure security and safety for the citizens of this country; yet, I also believe that spying on its citizens is not the way to ensure complete security. There is no way that our government can ensure one hundred percent safety and freedom.

We live in a free country, but there are a few restrictions in order to keep the country safe. These restrictions for citizens’ safety are known as laws. Laws are what make up our country, and laws are what punish individuals if something done by the individual is considered morally wrong.

However, as citizens, we also have rights. As a right, we should all have the right to privacy. If the government spies on us, we would have no privacy. Though it may make our country a bit safer, there is still no guarantee.

Citizens have the right and freedom to say what we want to others and on social media. The government is not going to reduce crime and “ensure freedom” by watching our every move or every word that comes out of our mouths.

The government can’t predict the future. For example, if someone says that they are going to commit the crime and the government sees this by spying, then the government is going to start taking precautions in order to stop this person from committing this crime. But, what the government also has to consider is that going after a person after they said they would commit a crime could also be a waste of time – due to the fact that the person may not go through with what they said they would.

Spying on the citizens of the United States would not assure freedom, but it is what would take away freedom and the right to privacy. Citizens have to have privacy in order to feel safe in a country.

S'more #8 - Polifact

During my research, I found democratic and republican candidates to be truthful and dishonest. It is important to search legitimacy of candidates, because we want to know the true facts of the people who may be running our country for the next four years. I believe that a lot of people do not research the legitimacy of the candidates. Most people just believe what they hear on tv or what comes out of someone else's mouth. We cannot rely on the media to tell us the truth; the media is able to alter and change information however they want for publicity. The problem of not looking up the truth is that people will hear lies, believe it, and go around telling everyone else the same lies about our possible future candidates. Then, the whole world ends up believing a lie about a candidate and candidates can lose votes due to this.

S'more #9 - Ain't Rebellion Fine

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising is a rebellion that happened from July 22nd, 1942 to September 12th, 1942. This uprising was focused on Jewish members of society, specifically in Germany during the Holocaust while World War II was going on.

Between July 22nd, 1942 and September 12th, 1942, the authorities of Germany during World War II either murdered or deported around 300,000 Jewish people in the Warsaw ghetto. Nazi leaders, men of the SS, and police units of Germany all deported a grand total of 265,000 Jews to an area know as the Treblinka killing area. On top of that, the Nazi leaders, the men of the SS, and all the police units sent about 12,000 Jews to forced-labor work camps.

After a while, the Jews in Germany were tired of getting deported and killed. On July 28th, 1942, many members of multiple Jewish underground organizations created an armed self-defense unit, which would also be known as the Jewish Combat Organization and Jewish Military Union.

Since the Jewish Combat Organization and Jewish Military Union were both created, the members of these two rebellion groups decided to collide. They had joined together to make a decision to rebel against the Germans and Nazis. The members of the Jewish Combat Organization managed to get their hands on a small number of explosives and weapons (such as guns and pistols). At this point, they started to become powerful.

What made the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising rebellion powerful was the fact that there were quite a few people who were not very enthusiastic with the way they were getting mistreated by the German authorities. If there are enough angry citizens in a society, they will eventually become powerful enough as a while to come against what they are unhappy with.

What inspired people to act in the first place was the fact that the German authorities and Nazis were killing and deporting the Jews due to race and nothing more. Due to the Jewish Combat Organization and Jewish Military Union, the German authorities eventually froze any further deportations. What these two Jewish underground organizations were doing was working to help save the lives of their people. Protecting Jewish citizens is another thing that inspired these groups to rebel.

Techniques that the activists used to gain participants in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising were that the Jewish citizens knew that weapons were available. In a way, influence of violence was used. Also, the fact that the violence techniques against the German authorities were working is another reason people was supporting these two organizations.

In our current political climate, a great example of an uprising would be the war in Syria. There are Syrian refugees fleeing the Middle East area to avoid death. Today, there are up to 250,000 Syrians that have been estimated to have been killed. President Bashar al-Assad of Syria is the current leader, and the rebellions that are fleeing and fighting for their country want him out.

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S'more #10 - The Government Wins Again

Winston and O’Brien are characters in the book called 1984 by George Orwell. Winston and O’Brien have similar yet different characteristics from a real life man named Edward Snowden. Edward Snowden worked for the National Security Agency. Edward Snowden was eventually charged with violating the Espionage Act (an act that banned many phrases, limiting freedom of speech). Edward Snowden was charged because he had leaked documents on how the government was spying on American citizens, documents that were supposed to remain a secret.

One main reason that Winston and O’Brien are similar to Edward Snowden is the fact that all three of them highly oppose the way the government operates and how the government feels the need to spy on citizens. All three know the truth and secrets on how the government is controlling the citizens of their country.

However, there are multiple ways that Winston and O’Brien are different from Edward Snowden. First off, Winston and O’Brien are extremely attentive on what they say in public. Winston and O’Brien realize that if they say wrong words and speak poorly of the Party, they may vanish. But, Edward Snowden is different. He printed out several of articles on how the government spies on its citizens, letting the whole world know the truth. Edward Snowden has no problem revealing what he feels society should have the right to know about their government.

Another reason that Winston and O’Brien are different from Edward Snowden is that after revealing the truth about the government to society, Americans saw Edward Snowden as a hero. Edward Snowden was known as a hero because he was willing to suffer and accept the consequences for society, unlike Winston and O’Brien who are more introverted and keep the information they find to themselves. The biggest difference is that Snowden will go out of his way for justice for society. Winston and O’Brien will not.

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S'more #11 - Is Technology sent from heaven?

I believe Orwell meant in regards to “science and technology” he was implying that Oceania is a black and white society where you abide by certain rules and restrictions. Orwell suggests that new ideas and thoughts cannot survive in a society where only certain things go and are allowed. In a strange way Orwell might be correct in predicted future societies. For example, future societies where people have no rights or any way of communicating new ideas will in essence delay mankind’s ascent into the future. Science and technology improves and excels when new ideas are exchanged and openly expressed, not where they are oppressed.

S'more #12 - What are your thoughts on Happiness vs. Freedom?

In the book 1984 by George Orwell, the main character, Winston knows "That the choice for mankind lay between freedom and happiness, and that, for the great bulk of mankind, happiness was better." I believe that Winston knows what is best for him in this society. This quote shows that he believes more in what makes him happy rather than freedom itself.

Personally, I do agree with Winston. I believe that a person’s happiness may involve freedom. But, I do strongly believe that happiness for an individual is more important than the amount of freedom they have. However, the choice for mankind does strictly lie between freedom and happiness.

Today in society, there are plenty of examples of how choice for mankind lies between freedom and happiness. For example, our society knows that today, the government does nothing but consistently spies on the citizens of this country. However, in exchange for happiness, the people give up some personal freedoms for protection such as police and the FBI.

Snowden and his experience exemplify what Winston knows. This is because when Snowden first leaked the secret documents to the world, it was a huge deal. But as time went on, people eventually forgot about and moved on from the fact that the NSA and government spied on them.

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S'more #13 - Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation where the speaker tells lies with nothing but confidence. The spokesperson speaks with so much credence that the people will still believe the lecturer knowing that lies are being fed to them. As time progresses, the American public is becoming easier and easier to gaslight due to the advancement of technology and the use of social media.

Nowadays, teens are using Twitter to get news while adults are using Facebook to receive information about our world. The American society is extremely simple to influence due to the fact that people will believe anything they read on the Internet. This is because social media makes it super easy to get information. Researching news doesn’t even begin to cross a person’s mind after they read it on Twitter or Facebook. Since it is easy to access the news through social media, people will automatically assume what they see is true.

Besides Trump, another example of gaslighting would be our government and social media. Americans know that the government is consistently spying on us. The government denies it, and we believe them; but, we also know they are not telling the truth. Everyday, we live our lives knowing that we have no privacy from the government. Yet, most people walk around as if the government doesn’t lie and manipulate. The American society simply is like they are fine with being lied to and spied on by our government authorities.

One way that we can combat gaslighting is to know our own perspectives. We know the truth, and simply not giving into the lies of these spokesmen takes away the authority that they have on our nation.

S'more #14 - Performance Final: Part 1

Originally, social media was created in this world and in our society to stay connected with close friends and relatives that live miles and miles away, maybe even halfway across the world. As time goes on, it has slowly started to take over our lives. Every second of the day, teens and adults have their phones on them 24/7 cringing to see what other people are up to on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, or Instagarm.

You could even say that some people have developed an addiction to the Internet and staying caught up with social media. This unhealthy relationship between society and technology is slowly starting to get out of hand. It is disconnecting our world because some of us would spend the day inside the house on Twitter or Instagram rather than go outside and take a walk in the park. When people do go out, all they care about is posting what they are doing onto social media. No one really cares about living life anymore; they only care about the pictures that can come out of what they did during the day.

What I can do to ensure that this doesn’t become a permanent reality is to remind people that social media isn’t everything. Usually when I’m hanging out with a friend or out to dinner with my family, I tell everyone to put their phones away. There are two reasons I tell people I’m close with to do this. First off, it’s extremely disrespectful when you are trying to talk to someone but they are focused on their phone. Secondly, it’s unhealthy that we are so attached to social media to where we can’t even have a conversation another person without checking our phones every two seconds.

Social media is an addiction that our world no longer has control of. It just advances along with technology on a daily basis. Consequences of furthering the addiction and not controlling it can lead to our world to being even more disconnected than it already is today. A decade from now, there may even be more emphasis on the future generation of teenagers to focus more on social media. The addiction may be so bad that more people start getting treatment for Internet addiction. Treatment for Internet addiction already exists today, but at the rate society is going, it’s only going to get worse.

I can harness the power of technology and using it for good by showing big, significant events in my life. If I posted what I did on a daily basis, I would become a slave to it. As long as I’m not posting every minute of every day, I am not considered a slave to the Internet.

S'more #14 - Performance Final: Part 2

My views have deepened on my initial ideas on Media Literacy. Back in the beginning of the semester, I believed that most people in society were media literate. Today, I still believe that but technology has progressed a lot even in the past six months. Nowadays, I feel like people are even more connected to the world through media. Every day in our own Language Arts class, we used CNN news clips to keep up with the news. But, my thoughts on media have mainly deepened because unlike the beginning of the semester from my first s’more, now I believe that technology dictates our world.

I learned this semester that media has multiple ways of getting to the citizens of society. Whether it’s through ads or politics, the world will speak through society through technology. This class has also taught me that social media and technology has grown so much in this past decade that we have a class dedicated to it rather than learning about actual literature. Media really is taking over mankind.

This class was different from any other Language Arts class I have ever taken because the material being taught had a focus on social media and what was going on around the world. In other Language Arts classes, there was usually a focus in literature (such as world literature or American literature). But, in this class, we never read stuff like Macbeth whereas in other Language Arts classes, I had to know a lot about Shakespeare or the Salem Witch Trials.

What can be done differently to make this class better in the future would be to have more hands-on activities. I enjoyed doing everything on e-class, but I feel like I would have gotten more out of this class by doing hands-on projects rather than typing a bunch of s’mores and essays.