Negative Affects of the Media

Media Literacy

The media today is such a huge industry. Social media has become so big. It has become such a big business that people cannot keep themselves from continuously tweeting about their day, telling close friends happy birthday via facebook, and frequently taking millions of selfies for snapchat. I think people express themselves differently on social media than they do in person. For example, the way people write on the internet is different from how they talk to someone in person. The internet tends to be a place where you can use language however you would like. The media is what drives our society today. I think media literacy is the way you express your thoughts on the internet. Teenagers use very informal language when they are on social media sites. The language and words they use are sometimes even incomplete thoughts. Being media literate to many social networking users is a chance for them to just quickly give their followers little updates about something going on in their life. Social media was created for people to share about themselves, but not necessarily having to use formal language. I think this is a good thing because it gives people freedom and their own way of expressing themselves through the internet.

Aside from social networking, the way we get information so quickly today is through the media. The people in the media industry are telling their viewers what they want to hear. So, for them, I think to be media literate means passing along important information the way that many people want to hear it.

The Role Social Media Plays in my Life

Social media plays a huge role in our society, but it plays an even greater role in my life in particular. Our class was challenged to stay off of all social media starting at four pm yesterday and ending the next day when we came into class. The challenge only lasted twenty two hours; not even a whole day. You would think that would be a piece of cake. However, for many of us it was not easy at all. For me, I couldn’t even go two hours without wanting to constantly check my phone to see the latest tweet, photo uploaded to Instagram, or all the snap chat stories I was missing out on. I remember five years ago when these social networks didn’t even exist. I didn’t have to repetitively have my phone in my hand or very close by. I didn’t have to be opening three or four apps every five minutes to see if any of my friends posted something new or exciting. Social media has taken over a massive chunk of my life. Now I can’t even picture what life would be like without all these social media sites like snap chat, Instagram, and twitter. What would people do with their free time? People would have to actually hangout with people and have conversations without doing it over the internet. The first social media site I signed up for was Facebook. The point of Facebook wasn’t for people to stay logged in for multiple hours each day. Facebook was created for people to have a way to be connected to their friends no matter how far their locations were from each other. Now, social media has become a gigantic industry. Males and females of all ages have several social media accounts and are beginning to spend a majority of their time on them. We as a community have let the social networking sites be a priority in our lives.

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Advertising Reflection

I never really took into consideration about how the media advertises certain things until after our class discussion on Monday. The media today focuses a lot on body image. However, their focus on body image is having a negative impact on our society. The commercials they are producing show women with flat stomachs, nice legs, and big breasts. When people see these models appear on television, they think that the models’ bodies are “perfect” and something everyone should strive for. Little do these people know is that those bodies aren’t real. I think what the media has done is becoming very dangerous for the young teenagers watching these commercials. These commercials are creating girls and boys to experience low self-esteem, eating disorders, and body image issues. I think if the media showed women more realistically then the percent of girls who face body image issues would decrease tremendously. Advertising companies take models and photo shop features onto them. Also, women’s bodies are displayed in sexual ways in order to sell certain products to men. This kind of disgusts me because I do not think it is right to show women off sexually just to get men’s attention to products for sale. On the other hand, when men appear in commercials, they are displayed as powerful, in control of situations, and show individuality. The media today has corrupted people’s mind on what body image is. They have made women become too exposed on television while men get to show more dominance. Personally, I used to watch commercials of beautiful women with “perfect” bodies and always think to myself how I could one day look like them. However, after digging deeper into what the advertising industry actually does, I feel like we as a society are responsible for stopping them. Some ways we can do that is by talking back and stating our opinions. If we do not take control of the situation, I think the advertising industry will continue to grow and become more dangerous to people then it already is.

Fact Checking Reflection

According to The Washington Post, Bernie Sanders is the only presidential candidate to pay his interns. The Washington Post says that Sanders is paying his staff twelve dollars an hour. Some people find this hypocritical because one of Bernie Sanders’ main issues in his campaign is that he wants to raise the United States’ minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour. Most of the people in our society today would believe what the Washington Post said without even thinking twice about it. However, there are sites out there where you can check to see if certain sites are accurately delivering news to you. One site you can use is called Snopes. Snopes is a website that will tell you if a fact is true or false. In this case, according to Snopes, the statement saying Bernie Sanders pays his interns only twelve dollars an hour in a mixture of true and false. The true part of the statement is that Sanders does only pay his interns twelve dollars an hour. The false part is that he only pays his staff twelve dollars an hour. Bernie Sanders pays his staff members’ more than twelve dollars an hour. Bernie Sanders only paying his interns twelve dollars an hour is not hypocritical because he doesn’t have to pay his interns at all. It was his choice to even pay them. This is why checking facts is so important. Words can be miscommunicated so easily nowadays. It is always a smart idea to check certain information if you are not confident if it is accurate or not.

The Young Turk Revolution

The Young Turk Revolution took place in July of 1908. The Turks reversed the suspension of the Ottoman parliament that had been enacted by Sultan Abdul Hamid II. While in power, the Young Turks carried out administrative reforms that led to more centralization. They were also the first Ottoman reformers to promote industrialization. “The Revolution restored the parliament, which had been suspended by the Sultan in 1878” (Raul). Unfortunately this became nearly impossible and power was soon invested in a group led by the Grand Vizier. At first, the society celebrated and were full of excitement. The Young Turks seemed immune to all the challenges to come, but they lacked self-confidence and organization skills. There are many factors as to why the Young Turks were inspired to act. “Although it was inspired by the nationalist spirit that was sweeping through Europe at the time, which had already had cost the Empire most of its Balkan provinces, the movement promoted a vision of a democratic multi-national state” (Raul). In addition, support for the movement also came from different ethnic groups that include the Greeks, Jews, and Arabs. The Young Turk Revolution was the restoration of the Ottoman constitution of 1876.

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Victim or Villian

In 1984, O'Brien is the one who is torturing Winston. I think in these circumstances O'Brien is the villain. Even though the party as a whole is telling O'Brien what to do, it is still his choice to make which therefore makes him responsible. For example, O'Brien says to Winston "You can see that the numbers on this dial run up to a hundred. Will you please remember, throughout our conversation, that I have it in my power to inflict pain on you at any moment and to whatever degree I choose" (Orwell 245). By saying this, O'Brien is revealing to Winston that he is the one who controls the amount of pain administered at any given time. The novel not only shows examples of torture, but it also shows acts of who is truly responsible for certain events in the book.

Reflection Over Media Literacy

In the beginning of the semester, we were asked to write about what being media literate means to us. In my first initial post I defined being media literate as simply our way of expressing thoughts on the internet. After taking the media literacy course, I now see that it is much more. This course has taught me how the media today manipulates our minds. While social networking sites can be a fun way of connecting with friends, it can also become very addictive and even make us become disconnected with the real world. I now understand the importance of actually having conversations face to face rather than just through a plastic screen. I have learned many great lessons throughout this course that I will take with me. For example, I really enjoyed learning about how the advertising industry focuses so much on body images. I never considered the negative impact these commercials could have on young girls and boys. Learning about dystopian societies interested me, also. I think I liked talking about dystopias so much because that is something that could happen in our country. I enjoyed discussing the key factors that play into dystopian societies. This language arts class has been extremely different than any other language arts class I have taken before. I was not sure how I was going to feel about it, but I ended up really enjoying the structure of our class. I loved we did not do the same types of things each day. I thought the lessons being taught were beneficial because the whole class could make personal connections to the topics.

I also liked how we used laptops to do our assignments instead of having to hand write everything down. Overall I had a great experience in this media literacy course. Thinking back to all of our discussions and assignments, I cannot think of something I would want to change about this class for the future.

"Can We Auto-Correct Humanity" Reflection

Today, technology has become such a huge impact on our lives. Social networking sites were originally designed to keep people connected. However, now social media is disconnecting millions of people from the real world. It is hard to go somewhere and not see someone using an electronic device. Our relationship with technology has quickly become highly addictive. There are many ways we can prevent this from becoming a permanent issue. For example, when you are hanging out with friends or family, put your phone away. The point of being around your loved ones is to have face to face interactions. No one will want to be around you if all you do is stare at your phone screen the entire time. Like I previously pointed out, our relationship with social media is unhealthy. I think this addiction is something we can control, but it will take hard work and commitment. One thing we can do to fix our unhealthy addiction to social media is limit the number of hours per day we log on. By limiting the amount of time we are online, we expand the time we are able to spend around family and friends. I am confident by just doing simple gestures as those stated above we can start to control our addiction to the internet. I am absolutely guilty of being on social media sites way too much. I find myself checking all of my accounts every ten minutes to make sure I did not miss any new posts. This is something I need to change. If I do not make changes soon, my unhealthy relationship with my social networks will only become increasingly worse over time. I need to start using technology for good or I will eventually become a slave to it. I can change my regular routine by occupying my time with other activities such as hanging out with friends, taking my dogs to the park, and helping my dad around the house. I think those a few things that will prevent me from using my phone as much as I do now.