Writing In a Nutshell...

KAYLA NGUYEN

SMORE #1: Media & Media Literacy

I feel like media very closely relates to technology or that technology plays a big part of media. However, the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word “media” is television, which is a form of media. I generally think television media is any type of news broadcast. I think of how the media portrays certain scenarios as something that it is not. For instance, the media could take a scenario where celebrity, Justin Bieber, is getting into a car. The media could manipulate that and make it seem like Justin Bieber was stealing someone’s car. When in actuality, the celebrity is getting into his own car. Media could also be social media. Social media includes Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, etc. I don’t have a single ounce of knowledge as to what it means to be media literate; but if I had to guess, I would think that being media literate is being able to fully grasp the concept of media. This means that you fully understand the way that the media operates. I’m guessing that it also means that you are completely informed on all the different types of media there is. Media literate people are probably capable of breaking down and evaluating the small kinks of all the different types of media. If it came down to who would be more media literate, it would generally be the younger generation. The younger generation is the most experienced with technology and have easier access to the media.

SMORE #2: Police Brutality

Police brutality has always been a big deal, but social media has managed to shed a brighter light to the matter. Since social media plays such a big role in spreading and raising awareness about police brutality, I will use social media platforms to spread it even further. First, I will create a webpage so that people can “take a pledge” by simply signing their name electronically. I will then spread the website by posting the link on social media platforms, which include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. I will encourage family and friends to support the cause. The website alone will spread awareness. I will set it up in a way where after a person electronically signs their name onto the petition, the website will have a feature where it will give them to option to share the link to their Facebook page. I will set it up to where it will be able to share with one click of a button, since I know laziness gets the best of us! Another way I plan on changing the world is by simply getting involved. If I ever get the chance to record a situation where police officers are abusing their power, I will record the situation and personally publish it to my social media accounts. This will be another way to raise awareness. The internet is a very powerful place and I will use it to its fullest potential in order to stand up for what I strongly support and believe in.

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SMORE #3: Superbowl Commercial

In the 2016 Superbowl commercial that features famous celebrity, Kevin Hart, where Hart promotes the new 2016 Hyundai Genesis that has a tracking feature. The commercial includes two teenagers that go on a date where the father, played by Kevin Hart, lends the boy his car for the night which has the tracking feature that allowed the father to follow the two teenagers around all night. Hyundai portrays this commercial in a comical way in order to attract potential car buyers. This commercial is targeted towards any parent that is interested in a car that enables them to track their child while they are on the move.

SMORE #4: Advertising and Society

The majority of the commercials we see on television as we kick our feet up and sit back on the couch after a long day are usually commercials that set men out to be the weaker and more idiotic gender. For example, in the latest Doritos commercial, the father figure of the commercial was acting like a child. It was to the point where the doctor that was present in the room was not fazed by the father’s childish behavior like it was the norm. It makes women seem like they are the more competent and intelligent gender. It also makes women seem like they are the better parental figure. I think it’s interesting that advertising views men to be the weaker gender when it was set that men were the more dominant sex for the longest time. I feel like the advertisements are somewhat reflective of our societal values. There are times when men really are clueless, but that does not mean that women do not have their moments as well. There are single fathers in this world that manage to raise an entire family perfectly fine. So there is hope that all men are not idiots like the advertisements portray.
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SMORE #5: Manipulation in Advertising

The media manipulates viewers in various ways and we may not even realize it! I know that I definitely do not. For example, Kellogg’s used the slogan: “Ever thought of Coco Pops after school?” That stirred up many problems with parents. Parents do not want their children to have such a sugary cereal after school because that will spoil their dinner. Rather than taking the healthier alternative and telling children to pick up an apple or banana after school, the media is telling children to eat Coco Pops. In my opinion, Coco Pops is such a sugary cereal that it should just be classified as a dessert. It’s also interesting how these commercials are targeted towards children. There is a child sitting at the table eating the cereal and a mother standing in the background smiling. This makes it seem like it is okay to have sugary cereals after school/ before dinner. Even if a parent were to tell their child that it’s not okay to have a sugary cereal, the child could easily tell the parent that the kid in the commercial was able to have cereal after school. So why couldn’t they? I feel like fast food commercials are the most misleading and manipulative. For example, the size of the burgers on Burger King commercials are never the actual size that you receive when you pick it up in the drive-thru. Those commercials of the mouthwatering looking burgers is just a business tactic that will lure you into their restaurant, but it only leaves you with disappointments. It’s all about the business and luring people in to advertise their product regardless if that means they are jeopardizing the health of consumers.

SMORE #6: Should Apple Fix?

Apple is currently dealing with a situation where the FBI need to get into the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter, Syed Farook, that murdered 14 people in San Bernardino, California. The FBI wants to get into Farook’s iPhone, but the problem with that is that there is a password and they cannot access the content. Apple has the technology that is capable of unlocking the iPhone, but that violates the whole privacy thing. Not only is it violating privacy, but it involves other Apple users as well. I honestly do not know how to feel about the situation. I understand where the FBI is coming from because they have to do their job in protecting the world. The phone most likely contains so much valuable information. The phone probably contains information regarding who Farook was communicating with during the time of the shooting. There could easily be someone else on his side that is plotting to execute another massive shooting. At the same time, I would not want the government to be able to have access to the contents in my phone and completely disregards my privacy. I understand Apple’s situation as well because that means that they are going to lose customers if they decide to release the new software just to get into Farook’s iPhone. Apple has to do their job too.

SMORE #7: 1984 Agree or Disagree?

I was given the quote stating, “Patriotism means supporting your government during times of war”. I was asked whether or not I agreed or disagreed with the statement and I disagreed. The meaning of patriotism is defined by showing love to one's country. That does not imply that they have to support their government by any means. The definition itself does not mention a single thing about the government. It is truly based off of just loving your country unconditionally. It’s as simple as that. It is like saying you are only proud of your child when they achieve something and that is so wrong! You have to love your child at all times, like you do your country, if you claim to be a patriot. I do not believe that you have to support your government in order to love your country. I feel like supporting your country in times of war is not the best way to let your patriotism shine. I feel like if you are a true patriot, you will love your country at all times, not just when your country is at war. You can love your country in a copious amount of ways. There are times where the government does things that you do not agree with; it is inevitable. Just because the government does one thing wrong, it does not mean that it makes you any more or less patriotic. The government is not always righteous; it can be completely corrupt. Citizens following the government can be patriots, but not all patriots are followers of the government. An example of this is during the Vietnam War. The United States did not have to get involved, but we got involved anyways.


SMORE #8: Get It Straight

While completing this assignment, I found that it is very important to research the legitimacy of the candidates. It’s a political campaign. It is natural that these candidates are going to want to do whatever it takes to take down their opponent. Therefore, they are willing to do and say whatever it takes. With that said, a lot of the things said are not valid. Just because these people are politicians do not make them any different from normal human beings. Even human has a past. Their opponents are going to go above and beyond to dig into their past to make them look bad to America. For example, what happened with Hillary and the e-mails. They used that against her. I personally do not think that we can rely on the media to tell us the truth because I am a firm believer of the media, especially news broadcasts, being extremely biased. Although, they claim to be unbiased. It is important to look up the legitimacy so that you have a true opinion of your own. I feel like the media is extremely corrupt and tend to put things in your head. For example from a personal experience, my parents believe everything that they hear on the news. Granted, there may be some legitimacy; but that does not mean that it is one hundred percent reliable. Not looking up the correct information can lead to misunderstandings.

SMORE #9: Ain't Rebellion Fine

Rebellions occur when people decide to go against the government. The government should realize that the government would be nothing without the people. Who would they govern? There would be no one to govern if there were no people. The reason why people are inspired to act in rebellions in the first place is that they feel like the got betrayed, that they were fought against. They were betrayed when they got tricked into something that they believed was true. However, it was conflicting because they knew the truth, but they trusted the government and what they said for so long that you just go with what they say. Some tactics that activists would have were violent and nonviolent at the same time.

SMORE #10: Government Wins Again

Winston and O'Brien are similar to Edward Snowden in terms of them going against the government. They both were part of the Party by helping them but they have recently realized that it is actually the Party that is the problem to the society. It was the proles that were the ones that were capable of overthrowing the government. However, the difference between between Winston and O'Brian and Snowden is that Snowden has already been caught and he's using his personal expieirences as stories for people to learn. The stories that he tells are about what he found out about the government so that people know better. However, in 1984, they couldn't go against the party because they were in the circles. Snowden is still alive and is cabable of giving advice, but Winston obviously is not. It's ironic how the government is supposed to protect us and make our lives easy, they take away our rights and restrict them from us. It's a given that your average citizen does not know all there is to know about all the laws and rights that they have. The government knows that and they take advantage of it.

SMORE #11: Is Technology Really From Heaven?

The definition of primitive is to “not be developed or derived from anything else”. Where is civilized means that it is “of or relating to ordinary citizens and their concerns, as distinct from military or ecclesiastical matters”. Based on the passage, it is to my understanding that technology is supposed to grow and develop, but it was the scientific side of things that made it impossible for Oceana’s technology to become more advanced. To me, I feel like Orwell’s meaning of science and technology are two different things. One effects the other and because of that, Ocean is so undeveloped and not where it should be because of this. Oceana does not have the resources that it should to be a good place to live. That’s why Orwell goes into saying that Oceana fell behind in a sense.

SMORE #12: Happiness vs. Freedom

I see happiness and freedom in two different ways. I feel like happiness and freedom have a correlation. I would say that freedom instills happiness within someone. Without freedom, it is hard for one to be happy. If someone’s freedom is taken away from them and they are sitting behind the bars in prison, it is impossible for them to be happy. However, at the same time I feel like freedom does not dictate happiness, but happiness dictates freedom. Therefore, those that are sincerely happy are truly free. With that, I do agree with Winston in terms of happiness outweighing freedom. I would rather be truly happy because I feel like that’s where my freedom lies. In society, I feel like people that have too much freedom tend to put themselves in a situation where they no longer have happiness nor do they have their freedom. At 21, people have the freedom to drink and let’s just say that it makes them happy. If they take advantage of that freedom and drink too much and decide to get behind the wheels of a vehicle, a cop may or may not pull them over. If a cop does pull them over, there goes their freedom.

SMORE #13: Gaslighting

The definition of gas lighting is to manipulate (someone) by psychological means into questioning their own sanity. It’s a form of mental abuse in which a victim is manipulated into doubting his or her own memory, perception and sanity. I feel like it has become so popular and easy for people in power to gaslight the American public because the majority of Americans are already easily manipulated. We tend to believe the media very easily and believe whatever we see and hear on news stations. We don’t question what they are saying; we just go with it. An example of this involves former Republican power broker and Speaker of the House of Representative, J. Dennis Hastert. Hastert was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a former student decades ago and then engaging in a more recent multi-million dollar payoff to avoid detection, deceiving the FBI as to why the monies were changing hands. We can combat gas lighting by second guessing the things that we hear. Start to question the things that we are exposed to can help this. The power is in our hands to just be more aware of our surroundings and what is going on around us.

SMORE 14: Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?

It is clear that we have become more and more technologically advanced, but with that came some downfalls. We have fallen so deep into the hole of technology as well as social media that we have lost touch with humanity. I find myself sitting at the dinner table scrolling through social media on my phone. There’s even times that I text other people that are sitting right there with me at the dinner table rather than engage in conversation with them in real life. To prevent this from progressing any further, I will personally put my phone in my room when it is time for dinner and engage in conversation with the individuals at the table. I will ask everyone in my household to do the same. I decided when I have a family of my own that I will prohibit the use of cell phones at the dinner table at all time. No phone calls will be answered in that time. It’s important to have human interaction, especially with your loved ones. In the video, he talks about how we measure self-worth by the amount of followers and likes. Social media has allowed everyone to get a glimpse into your life depending on how much you put out on the internet for people to have access to. I feel like you have to have enough self-control in order to refrain from checking social media so often. You just have to preoccupy yourself with other things. It’s almost like a natural reaction to pick up your phone when you aren’t doing anything. I know this by personal experience. If I’m doing something, my phone is completely put away and I forget about it completely. I’m not concerned about what’s happening on social media because I’m so wrapped up in doing what I’m doing. To harness social media and technology, again, I feel like it’s all about self-control.

REFLECTION

I feel like starting out, I thought that “media literacy” was just the idea of social media. I focused a lot of it on Instagram, Twitter, etc. Now, I know that there is so much more to it now. I have been exposed to how much social media impacts our daily lives outside of what my friends are doing on social media. I learned that there’s a lot more to social media than I thought there was. It can be used to your advantage or disadvantage depending on you. I’m taking away the fact that I can use this Media Literacy class to better benefit the world. This class is different from other Language Arts classes because it focuses on what actually matters. Sure, Romeo and Juliet was important, but did it really teach me about anything that was going to benefit me for the rest of my life? Not necessarily. Learning how to write correctly was important. I think that this is a good senior course. I don’t think that this would be a good course for a freshman class. It’s literally the perfect class for a senior to get us accustomed to the way college classes will be, since colleges do use things like eClass and dropboxes to turn in assignments. I like the concept of this class and the way that it is set up. Our generation is very comfortable with using technology and I like that technology is being used in school as a teaching strategy.