How Much Do We Really Know?

Open your eyes to what they don't want you to see

Media Literacy

Media is a source of information for those all around the world to find out what is going on at all times. It keeps us updated on what is currently popular and keep us up to date with world news. We are able to connect with others (family and friends) through media technology such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. With the media comes a lot of conspiracy and propaganda, some things are just simply made up and that can cause a fault in the media distributed to us today. A lot of people believe that most of the media today is filled with false information and we are only told what we want to hear. Through the media, we are able to bring awareness to things such as mass shootings and police brutality in the U.S. We are able to find out about things going on in different countries and take action if needed as well, such as the ISIS attacks. I believe for someone to be media literate, it means that they are able to use vocabulary terms that can describe media and they are able to control and identify what is being portrayed in the media; they can identify whether or not something is false or true. Media literacy is a term that means how well the media can be described or examined by others. If someone is able to browse through the media easily and is educated on what media outlets are resourceful they have knowledge on the media and are thus considered to be media literate.

Social Media's Effect on Social Justice

Social media continues to hold the power to solve a lot of social problems. Simply contributing to a hashtag can have an effect on how much a social issue is given attention to. It has become a very serious and common issue in our society today to treat others less because of their position in life or based on the amount of authority they possess. Take for example, the topic of wrongful convictions and treatment from authorities in the United States. Over many years, there has been a social injustice for innocent civilians, mostly those of African-American decent. There have been thousands of reports on innocent people who have been wrongly convicted or treated unfairly in a court system/by the police. Minorities (blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, etc.) continue to get killed or thrown in jail for trivial actions simply because policemen and courts racially profile them. It is evident that, even today, most decisions in a court or by a policeman are dependent on the color of someone’s skin, the way they dress, or the amount of tattoos they have on their bodies. Since then, those who have been most concerned about the issue have created and contributed to a website titled theinnonceproject.com where this issue is confronted and people have started using hashtags that have become very popular, such as the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag. Ten years from now, I believe social media will become an even bigger platform for society to spread news across the world. We will be able to see evidence via video and there will be websites and apps created solely for the purpose of protecting our people. Although, I agree that social media needs to speak even louder and take a bigger step in trying to change what our society is trying to make us accustom to. We can further the relevance this issue by protesting on streets and making our voices be heard. In the picture below, there are two black women who are protesting and both holding a sign that implements the same meaning on the social issue. One reads, “is my son next,” as she is trying to express the emotional effect that this social issue has caused, as many mothers are afraid of their black sons being killed next. While the other sign has written on it the popular hashtag “#BlackLivesMatter” to further spread the message of the cause and bring attention to the issue. Street protests is best to alert those of the issue and demonstrate to the government what issues lie in society. It is best we continue to spread the word and demand change by using social media and other methods such as street protesting.

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Super Bowl Advertisement

Presented in the Super Bowl commercial (2016), Toyota Prius, a car company that arose in 1937, demonstrates how well and fast their product can drive. They intend to persuade their audience to purchase this product by using humor and amusement, they were even able to incorporate a realistic, yet unlikely, event (a high speed chase). They begin the commercial by presenting criminals who have just finished robbing a bank and are now trying to get away as fast as possible. They come across a vacant Toyota Prius 4 and utilize the car to partake in a high speed chase with the cops. Eventually, they are able to get away and are even able to discreetly pass through the police cars and get away. Toyota uses humor and practicality in this commercial in order to try and grab the viewer’s attention while still being able to get their point across on how well the quality of their product is. The perceptible audience would be younger people, mid 20s to early 50s, intending to purchase a sustainable car that will give them speed and an interminable lifespan in a car, as this is what they demonstrate in this commercial by using a comical tone and as well as a practical tone in their example to prove their theory of the efficiency of the new Toyota Prius 4.

Toyota Super Bowl Commercial 2016 Toyota Prius

A Nation of Proles

This passage can heavily relate to what is happening in our society today because most people are so easily and heavily influenced by social media and television. It seems like nowadays people are more interested in cellular devices or any type of screen that portrays an image rather than spending time with their family members and enjoying the moment, I can attest to this and admit that I am guilty too at times. For example, when going on a vacation with family and friends people are more likely to pull their phones out and begin recording a video to show to others rather than enjoying the moment and indulging in their surroundings, it’s as if we are always trying to prove ourselves to others. It is true that people should not take the time they have with their families for granted and should enjoy every moment with one another. It seems like one cannot have a full conversation without the disruption or the topic of social media coming into play. It’s almost as if we are being brainwashed at all times. The passage is basically trying to imply that media now holds over an important part of peoples’ lives and people are easily being controlled by it, he even stated, “to keep them in control was not difficult,” to prove his point that social media is a now prominent part of people’s lives. Media, sports, movies, and reality TV all influence those that watch them or take part of them, many people start to live their lives based on how others live their lives on social media or in movies and reality TV. Even music has a large influence on how people live, for example, music today mostly goes on to talk about sleeping with many females, fast cars, and taking hard drugs. Therefore young kids who listen to the music are influenced by the music they hear everyone listening to and they try and live their lives like the rappers that influence them. This is why our generation has a problem with their behavior these days. Social media is an easy way for people to become demented by the propaganda that can become easily spread around the world. Social media is a good way to find out news and hear stories of others across the world, the only problem is that you don’t know what to believe anymore. People are left to “believe what they want to believe” and are brainwashed into thinking what others want them to. Sometimes, you cannot distinguish between what is real and what is not and it can result in the transfer of false news between others. The influence that the media has over us is far too big to go unnoticed and people should open their eyes and try to create a change in their behavior, I have even made a conscious effort to spend less time on my cellphone reading on social media and spend more time with my family and friends. Those that allow themselves to be so easily influenced are only making themselves seem weak-minded and those that control the media are getting a laugh out of it.

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"Everything is okay"

A proper example of this would be the article “Despite ISIS Videos, FBI Says There's No Credible Threat to US”, the article basically covers the topic that is in its title and it describes exactly how the government is trying to brainwash us by sharing false news through social media despite there being evidence of otherwise. (http://townhall.com/tipsheet/leahbarkoukis/2015/11/20/despite-isis-videos-fbi-assures-no-credible-threats-to-us-n2083086)
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Politifact 1

Says the man who rushed the stage at him in Dayton, Ohio, "had chatter about ISIS, or with ISIS" in his social media posts.

— Donald Trump

The claim is false. After reading the back story, it is evident that the protestor was not a member of ISIS. The incident occurred on March 12 at a Trump rally at the Dayton airport involving a 22 year old, Thomas DiMassimo. According to police, DiMassimo jumped a barrier and rushed the stage where Trump was speaking. Initially, Trump believed the protestor was a member of ISIS because there were clips of DiMassimo on the internet that indicated he was having conversations with ISIS and about ISIS. They created many memes of DiMassimo with ISIS flags behind them and “funny” pictures of him making terrorists jokes. After investigation, it all turned out to be a hoax and it was not an accurate fact. Trump tweeted, “USSS (U.S. Secret Service) did an excellent job stopping the maniac running to the stage. He has ties to ISIS. Should be in jail.” When being interviewed by Meet the Press, the interviewer informed Trump that the clips were a hoax and there was no evidence of DiMassimo being a member of ISIS, he then argued with the interviewer and insisted that that was false. However, DiMassimo has had a long history of anti-racist activism.

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Politifact 2

"I have never supported cap and trade."

Marco Rubio on Thursday, January 28th, 2016 in a Republican debate in Iowa on Fox News

The claim is mostly true. Rubio states that he’s never supported cap and trade however when he was senator of Florida he agreed to an energy deal. In his defense, he says it was an attempt to protect the state from federal regulations a president might establish in the future. Before making any judgment, it is important to know that it was found in a 2015 article in the National Journal that while the bill was being passed, Rubio decided to put a word in that prevented the plan from being implemented however it passed the House and Senate. I overall do agree with the decision that he was mostly true because after learning that it was just a tactic to protect Florida and seeing as how he tried to cease the passing of the bill he clearly did not agree with the bill in the first place. Rubio was slightly honest in his statement.

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Politifact 3

The economy is "creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999."

Barack Obama on Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 in the State of the Union address

This claim is true. After research from the official figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics this has proven to be a fact and employment has greatly risen. The economy has been expanding and the job growth during calendar year 2014 was higher than any year going back to 1999. Overall, I am glad to see that he was able to maintain a good employment rate during his presidency.

You Say You Want a Revolution?

There have been two significant events that occurred in American history at the Lincoln memorial in Washington DC. The two are more than twenty years apart and each was intended to defend the right of black Americans in regards to political and economic equality. The first march was proposed in 1941 by A. Philip Randolph. It was evident that blacks had less of a benefit than those from other groups from the New Deal programs during the Great Depression, they were being racially profiled and had missed out on many job opportunities that were easily accessible to people who weren’t of color. Randolph called for a March on Washington by fifty thousand people, it was meant to investigate and propose a change in the charges of racial discrimination. The second and most popular one, Martin Luther King's speech "I Have a Dream", was delivered in August of 1963 and it was delivered to help promote racial equality in the United States. There were more than 200,000 demonstrators gathered there to support and defend the cause. The march was a revolutionary success, as more than 200,000 black and white Americans shared a joyous day of speeches, songs, and prayers led by a celebrated array of clergymen, civil rights leaders, politicians, and entertainers. An excerpt from an article from History.com states “The phrase “I Have a Dream” became an expression of the highest aspirations of the civil rights movement”(History.com staff, 2009). Initially, this was meant to discuss the topic of inequality in job opportunities for people of color, however, after several minutes of discussing the topic in his speech, King becomes overwhelmed and dives into the topic of inequality of Blacks in every social scenario. This was a call for racial justice and equality within American communities. Martin Luther King opened doors for African-Americans in the United States. He tries to deliver a message to everyone by solely making personal examples and explaining his point. This brought together over 250,000 people and encouraged them to also speak up against the discrimination they have been experiencing. It influenced whites to treat people of color with much more respect than they have previously, a proper example would be the Rosa Parks situation or the Greensboro lunch-sit. This event held such a great significance to where we are as a society today because it has held a huge impact on how we treat others around regardless of skin color. Today, we are able to walk and converse with people of different colors and all shades of color. We are no longer segregated and blacks and whites share restrooms, water fountains, and schools. This can relate to the book 1984 because of its evident influence over society then and now. If someone was to speak up and deliver a speech as powerful and influential as Martin Luther King did then it is possible that the society of Oceania could experience a positive change. Those in control, such as Big Brother, would lose their leverage over the people of which they are trying to manipulate and rob of their individuality. In 1984, the people of Oceania seem nearly scared to speak up and say anything against the government because once they have said a thing they become vaporized. However, it was like that for many years here in the U.S. Many blacks were afraid to speak up or did not have the opportunity to and because of that we experienced several years of torture from whites. Once we were able to find a voice, that being Martin Luther King, we were able to come together and speak up against it and make a change. The people of Oceania are able to create a revolution, if one speaks up, we are all influenced to do the same. It only takes one to make a change.

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Media Literacy Course

Throughout this media literacy course, we have been introduced to many ideas about the government’s surveillance and the lack of privacy or control we have because of our government. Initially, we were introduced to the topic by discussing the impact and the importance of media literacy in our society and we, then, carried on to talk about “big Brother” and we read many examples of government surveillance and invasion of privacy that we can relate to our everyday lives. We viewed examples such as 1984, V for Vendetta, TEDx talks, articles, and excerpts. This class has allowed me to become more aware of my surroundings and it has opened my eyes to the lack of knowledge we have in our country. Looking back on my first post on my Smore about what I believe the definition of media literacy is and what I believe it contributes to our society I believe that I hold the same belief, however, it has clearly deepened in its meaning because I have been made aware of all of the propaganda in media that is actually presented to us every day. I stated in my Smore entry, “media literacy is a term that means how well the media can be described or examined by others. If someone is able to browse through the media easily and is educated on what media outlets are resourceful they have knowledge on the media and are thus considered to be media literate.” It almost relates to the entire purpose of the course which I believe would be the unhealthy relationship we have with technology and our government. It leaves us to question, just how much do we really know? I will take from this class the knowledge that not all things can be interpreted the way that they are perceived to be. This class was very different from the rest of my literary courses because I feel like I have actually learned something that I can take with me for the rest of my life and apply to the real world. When I first began my Smore, I titled it “Propaganda in the World” with the subtitle “How the media wants us to view things”, although this would still be a proper title and subtitle for the topics I’ve discussed, I’ve decided to retitle the page “How Much Do We Really Know?” with the subtitle “Open your eyes to what they don’t want you to see” because I believe this title applies to the Smore article much better.

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Our Unhealthy Relationship With Technology

In Prince Ea’s discourse in “Can We Auto-Correct Humanity”, he states how we are disconnected from the world around us because we are so consumed in our devices and social media. I, myself, can admit that I contribute to the over-consumption of technology today, however, I try my best to go out whenever I can and when I’m not doing that I’m usually at work or school to avoid always being so consumed in the drama and gossip on social media. This has become an unfortunate reality for our society today as it seems that nowadays most people can’t even function without their devices on them. If something is not recorded, it never happened. People everywhere every day are more interested in making sure they post an event to prove something rather than being there and enjoying their time there. In order to ensure that this doesn’t continue to happen in our society we should take Ea’s advice and spend less time on our devices because of how unhealthy it has become. We have become so addicted to what others that we know or do not know are doing. People seem to be interested in watching other's lives or knowing their next moves. Like Prince Ea stated, many relationships and family bonds have been destroyed over social media and everyone apart of it. We can control the use of our devices by simply realizing the damage that comes from it more than the benefit and cutting back on the amount of times we check our phones or open our laptops. Undoubtedly, it's always a good thing to have easier access to news across the world and it is easier to connect with family or friends in other parts of the world using technology, there are many benefits to the use of social media however people must learn how to maintain their use. Instead of using social media to gossip or sell propaganda, it should and can be used to bring awareness to suffering conditions in an environment or used to share intriguing news all around the world to others so that others are notified. This can easily be done without abusing the power of social media and devices.


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