Previously, on "MyStrangeAddiction"
The Media is any written information, whether true or false, presented to the “public eye” through a myriad of platforms. On a smaller scale, media can be something as simple as a personal blog or page, used to express ones feelings or day to day activities. On a broader scale, or pertaining to and targeting a broader audience in a sense, magazine articles, tabloids. These are typically known for not being true, but taking excerpts or quotes from modern celebrities and fabricating stories. However, even with this knowledge (that they contain false information), the public still purchases these articles, for entertainment. We seem to gravitate towards the negative entities in society, whether knowingly or not, because we find them more interesting and they spark the most conversation amongst their audience. We find this same “passion” for adversity in the news. It, viewed in physical newspaper form, and virtually through broadcasts and the internet, usually conveys the controversial current events and stories, because, after all, this is what the public is most interested in. Supply and Demand. The news reaches the broadest of audiences by appealing to local, regional, national, international levels. To be Medially Literate means to be able to analyze the media and break down its components, to be able to have an understanding of why publishers and producers choose certain platforms and the words, phrases, they specifically chose when addressing their targeted audience. That concept is most present in advertisement, where they might say certain things, in certain ways, to certain people.
It's been a long Day...
Going 24 hours without Social Media proved to be just as difficult as I expected it to be. I also misunderstood the instructions and attempted to go the whole 24 hours without a phone or any electronic device besides my car radio and television, instead of just going without the social media aspects of my phone (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.) so it just made the task that much more demanding. I found myself tempted time and time again to post or just open my apps when I received a notification worthy of checking. I even had the urge to make sure that my phone was still charged to 100%, even without me being on it and using any of the percentage prior to me charging it. I did post on my Social Media that I was not going to have my phone for the following 24 hours so I didn’t hurt too many feelings or receive too many angry text messages upon my return to “Society.” It only shows how dependent and “addicted” society is to their cellular devices and other electronics that “connects” them to all of their friends. If you caught the word “attempted” in the second sentence, you’d realize I cheated and/or did not go the whole 24 hours, but who TRUTHFULLY ACTUALLY did.
Washington Post vs Snopes
After stumbling across an article on the Washington Post of the alleged death of former First Lady Nancy Reagan, one could only hope this was true. Not in the sense that we all hoped that she would choke on a bit of Subway Sandwich or take a long, long tumble down a presidential flight of stairs, but when an article is made pertaining to the death of someone with such stature, such poise, we almost have to hope that it isn't another tabloid haux that is intended to persuade the average politically-inclined Publix shopper to pick up this week’s edition of Time Magazine or People Magazine or whatever magazine it is that publishes about these types of things. According to Snopes.com, the Washington Post, as expected with their renown credibility, has “got their facts straight.” Nancy Reagan died today March 6, 2016 at the age of 94 years old due to heart failure in her Los Angeles, California home and will be buried adjacent to her husband, Ronald Reagan, in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. Fact checking is a unused tool, or at least not used enough, in today's society. We accept facts from “credible” and “not-so-credible (we’re talking about you Wikipedia and Yahoo! answers) without even the tiniest bit of doubt before accepting the information we recieve as truth. Its not uncommon or absurd for journalists to “mess up” or present us with the wrong information, whether purposely or not, but it is our responsibility to make sure these facts are, in fact, facts…. If that makes sense. And we are all guilty of it, just accepting any and all information as true just because ESPN reported it or Ms.Gray told us. Get your facts straight.
2016 vs. "1984"
Failed Rebellions - Beer Hall
On November 8th and 9th of 1923, in Munich Germany, Adolf Hitler (1889- 1945) and the Nazi party staged the Beer Hall Putsch in an attempt to seize and overthrow the government of Bavaria in Southern Germany. Hitler's putsch was allegedly inspired by Mussolini's (the Italian dictator) March on Rome that had been successful the year before. The plan was to kidnap the state commissioner of Bavaria, Gustav von Kahr, and two other highly poised conservative politicians. Hitler among hundreds of his followers burst into the hall and fired a shot in the ceiling saying that it was a "national revolution." The putsch was successful up to this point, however, the downfall of the rebellion came when Hitler left to handle other matters and Ludendorff, Hitler's right hand man, von Kahr and his associates escape and Hitler's advocates failed to capture the city's most important buildings due to the city's military. Upon Hitler's return the uprising was in shambles and Hitler was captured and sentenced to prison for a term of 5 years (he only served less than a year of his sentence before being released however.) Though the Beer Hall rebellion failed to overthrow the government but did demonstrate how powerful Hitler could be as a leader, who gained support of the people after WW1 sanctions were set on Germany. Hitler promised change and gave objective to an already motivated, angry population.
I think Winston and O’brien from George Orwell’s “1984” can be representative of a before and after of Edward Snowden. The “before” of Snowden, who previous worked for the government under the NSA (National Security Agency) could be represented by O’brien, the head of the Thought Police. They both work for their government and had developed a sense of national pride in doing so, their job being to “ensure the safety of the commonwealth” or the people they are sworn to protect through the surveillance and monitoring of their fellow citizens and protect against threats. The difference between O’brien and Snowden is that Snowden considered this a breach and violation of people’s individual privacy whereas O’brien thought that this was perfectly okay and took it a step further to where he monitored everything from peoples mental thought processes (Thought Crime) down to monitoring the heart rate for abnormalities. Winston is like the “after” of Edward Snowden and felt that it was his duty, his moral obligation to change society and expose the government for its corruption and broke their society's rules in an attempt to do so. The difference between Edward Snowden and Winston of George Orwell's "1984" is that Snowden was successful in his attempts and at least brought to the attention of the public what the government has been doing in terms of hacking into the phones of Americans without permission. Though how much progress has been made is up for negotiation, he still brought a concern to the public eye where as Winston, even with his "political acts against the party," didnt accomplish much and was captured and tortured where as Snowden fled.
O'brien and Winston... Victim or Vigilante??
In 1984, Winston and O'brien play two opposing roles; Winston as a potential revolutionary leader and O'brien as one of the authoritative figureheads operating in favor of the government. Winston, initially, is a villain of the government, or in "1984," the Party. He spends the first few chapters achieving self-actualization and attaining self-worth. Then, after he finds companionship in Julia, who fully supports the overthrowing of the government for reasons unknown besides her natural instinct to reject authority, Winston finds himself challenging the government, committing small deeds he considers “political acts against the party” like secretly engaging in adultery, not devoting himself entirely to the idea of Big Brother and advocating for the underground “Brotherhood” who, under Goldstein, plots to take down the Party , keeping a journal (thought crime, the worst of all), and hiding out in Mr. Charrington’s shop with Julia. In Book 3, however, after Winston is captured by the Thought Police, Winston becomes victim to the government caused by frequent torture and extreme psychological warfare that changed Winston, inside and out, led by O'brien. O'brien on the other hand is a Villian FOR the government and after he admits to have been watching Winston for 7 years as head of the Thought Police, leads the torture and transformation. In a sense, O'brien gives off the impression that he was once just like Winston but transformed into the person he is today, but that is a part of the story not included in George Orwell's version.
From the beginning of the semester, I've had a basic understanding of Social Media and Media Literacy, the "how" of society; the content presented to me in AP Psychology, when applied to people, gave me an understanding of the "why”. My thought processes are still consistent from the ones I had at the beginning of the year but I will admit have deepened as I began to understand more of Media Lit and why authors and publishers say certain things to targeted audiences. Precis have helped in this sense, which I'm sure was its purpose and lets the student include personal input and implicate meaning in their work. I think that society is more addicted to social media than I previously thought and through “V for Vendetta” and “1984” I now understand that society has a real obsession with technology and has developed a dependency on feeling "connected" to our peers; in some cases, it can lead to depression and anxiety where social media is absent (no wifi, phone died) and has become a part, in my opinion, of American culture. I have also learned the principles of advertisement and now understand their direct and indirect motives, alongside how they are able to fulfill these motives and appeal to their viewers. Media Literacy was different from my previous classes because it focused more on the “how and why” of the media instead of the “what” like in previous courses. It focused on understanding the author instead of understanding the books and articles that the authors published. In the future, I think this class would be better if there were more amnesty days; however, I understand that there are no amnesty days in college so that may not be preparing us for the future. The class could incorporate videos into group projects. I personally know quite a few people who struggled with the Ted Talk because of nervousness and anxiety but amongst peers it could be a little bit easier.
REFLECTION... Numero Dos
I agree with Prince Ea’s message that society nowadays has developed an addiction to social media and it has let us drift apart from our everyday relationships and they are becoming more impersonal, less real and less face-to-face. However, society is not to the point of no return yet to where we have become automatons or a part of technology and it is up to us to change and also not influence the next generation of youth to follow in our same footsteps. What I could do to ensure that it doesn’t become a permanent reality for myself is maybe limit the amount of time I spend on social media by setting somewhat of a curfew for myself. For example, instead of staying up until 2 am on Twitter and YouTube, I could stop myself from checking those sites at 10 p.m. Its almost sad that society has to treat social media as an addiction to the point where I’m considering “cutting myself off from it” in a sense like it was some hard drug. Like I said before we are not to the point of no return when it comes to social media; maybe in some extreme cases where perfectly able humans are trying to get surgery to enhance or modify their bodies to feel like they are ready for the future. We just have to accept the fact that we have a problem, and that it is in fact a problem, and that we need to cut back on how much we share and how much time we spend on the internet instead of outside or out with our friends and form more personal, intimate relationships instead of just being another voice talking to someone on the computer screen. Im not sure about harnessing social media but for technology I intend on using it to aid in furthering my education without falling victim to it.