Media Madness

The media today is mainly the wide range of social media sites used typically by our generation as well as the internet, television, or any type of medium explaining an idea to a significant, anonymous audience. Media in general includes the internet, television, news, etc. I would think of the media as anything that influences a large audience and emphasizes on one large subject. Today, many people spend years of their lives on the internet or on social media sites. Mass media is highly influential and since most of spend a lot of time on social media or on the internet, we learn of certain “norms” in society based on these sites. For example, the way a woman is portrayed in mass media is the way many people view women in daily life. That’s why it is important to understand media literacy. Media literacy is to understand how to control the knowledge you receive from the internet. In the example of women, if a person can distinguish the idea portrayed on the internet and the way things really are or should be, that person is able to control what they have learned from the media. Media literacy is when a person can question and interpret the media using their own knowledge while coming up with additional ideas that are not already represented in the media. A person who is media literate can distinguish between fact and fiction on the media and can make thoughtful, educated decisions on what to believe.

Jaguar 2014 Big Game Commercial | British Villains 'Rendezvous' | Jaguar USA

The Jaguar Company’s commercial during the Super bowl (2014) glamorizes the idea of British villains and ties the appeal of being “bad” to the new Jaguar car. The Jaguar Company uses British actors convey this message by saying they’re always “one step ahead”, “more focused”, and “more precise”, and the car is a material example of everything they are. The commercial juxtaposes the characters and the car in order to make the idea of being villainous something that is very desirable while keeping the audience humorously intrigued with familiar characters such as Mark Strong and Sir Ben Kingsley from famous and loved movies. This commercial utilizes a humorous and satirical tone while the central audience to which this commercial attempts to appeal to is an older demographic of men; this conclusion can be assumed because the commercial uses specifically mature British villains who are experienced and powerful, characteristics that many older men aspire to identify with.

Students fight against beneficial schedule changes

Lasya Penumarthi, Student

Monday, March 24, 2014

SUWANEE-A shortsighted group of students at Peachtree Ridge petition against helpful schedule changes.

Due to snow days, Gwinnett County decided it would be logical to add on thirty minutes to classes on selective days of the week. The more intelligent group of students at Peachtree Ridge finds that having classes over two hours is extremely beneficial to their education.

Not only do high school students have an excellent attention span, but they also hold an inner passion to wake up at six in the morning in order to attend extended classes.

Hours of nonstop teaching help students focus on the curriculum without fail, while an influx of extra worksheets and time-consuming PowerPoint presentations keeps students excited about the material they’re learning. One student commented saying, “That was an amazing learning experience. We learned new material for about an hour before everyone started to fall asleep!”

On top of the great service Gwinnett County is doing to its students, they have kindly decided to not extend lunch. Being in school for eight hours is not tiring at all, and students don’t get hungry. A 25 minute lunch is more than enough time when the lunchroom lines, crowded tables, and social interactions are considered. After all, it is a researched fact that the average human takes 3 and ½ minutes to finish a meal.

Aside from lunch, many students would agree that the five minute class transitions between classes give teenagers enough time to use the restroom in order to avoid going during class and make it easy to reach a classroom across the building in time.

It is apparent from these facts that Gwinnett County officials have made the right decision. Not only are (most of) the students at Peachtree Ridge overcome with joy, but students can now embrace their full potential with the extra energy they have left after the school day.

The ending of George Orwell’s novel 1984 isn’t exactly what one might call “satisfying”. However, it does make the reader really think about the degree of social control that a government can have over its people. In the end, Winston convinces himself that two plus two equals five, which proves he is dead inside because he lost the one thing that defined him—rebellion. 1984 is one of my favorite books because the end is just as thought-fueling as the beginning of the book. The ideas introduced in the book aren’t simply fixed in the end, but seemingly continue forever, showing that a government of such control can wipe out all hope and justice and make it okay in the eyes of its people. What is freedom when it is defined with a different meaning? This is a concept that is hard to grasp because it is so frustrating to believe that real people could be brainwashed to believe words with completely different meanings. It makes me wonder if we are a brainwashed population, blissfully blind to what we are deprived of. It is important after reading 1984 to remain conscious of injustice, even if everyone around you is unconsciously conforming to the unfair treatment. It has always been important throughout history to stand up for what you believe in, and this book clearly sends that message, even if it may not have a happy ending.

The thought bubble above is a representation of how I felt at the end of 1984. It really made me think about the type of world we live in and if there are any parallels between our world and Winston's.
The image above is of a person being literally "brainwashed". The key to a government such as the one in Orwell's book is the brainwashing of the population. Even Winston in the end of the book seems to mindlessly follow the government's standards.
This is a very typical picture of a sign saying "Big Brother is Watching You". At the end of 1984, I wondered whether or not Big Brother was a real person or just a symbol of a controlling government, keeping paranoia in the minds of the population. Is the government really just a group of higher officials who made up a person and called him Big Brother?

My Media Literacy Experience

Through Media Literacy I have not only discovered one of my favorite books, but I have opened my eyes to how our world is changing rapidly around us. 1984 was a memorable book that will forever be one of my favorites. It really made me think about how the human mind can be influenced and manipulated. I didn’t think about how society today is influenced by the government, but through this class I was able to create ties between the society George Orwell created and my own. We discussed the book every day in class and this gave me a wider perspective of the book than if I read it by myself. The debates and thoughts we shared in class allowed me to question ideas I wouldn’t have thought of myself. It was an eye-opening experience reading 1984 in class and I’m glad I was able to share my thoughts with a group of people who were reading the book with me. Through the discussions in this class I have learned that there are many questions yet to be answered in the world. I know that graduating from high school and going on to college I will attempt to address these questions in order to create a better environment for future generations. I didn’t realize the amount of knowledge undiscovered in not only the technological field but in the field of social media and I aspire to come up with new ideas in my future career. My favorite portion of this class was understand how social media has expanded through our generation and how truly “addicted” we are to our cell phones and laptops. Technology is booming and social media is crucial to the survival of our society. Many people can achieve success through social media, a tool that wasn’t so powerful even just a decade ago. I have learned through Mr. Owen’s class the magnitude of the things we take for granted every day. This is something I wouldn’t have learned in another language art’s class. We definitely had more freedom to express our opinions in this class, which I think is extremely important. The most important thing I’d take away from this class would be that there are many questions still unanswered that maybe I will be able to answer one day.