All the Smores. Aaaaaaaall of them.

((Hope this is decent enough.))

Herpin' The Derp With Social Media

I think Media is really any kind of information that can be accessed by anyone, be it in a library, on a computer, or on TV. Of course, I also think Media really applies to Electronic Social Media (since that was the first thing that came to mind when I heard the word “Media”), such as Facebook or Twitter. Some people say that Media can be a very powerful thing (which I kind of think so, too). Media is known to have a strong influence over people and the way they think. I could even go as far as to say that Social Media affects the way people live their lives- to a certain extent. Now, to me, being “Media Literate” means that you can critically think about the things that people say or do (like seeing the other side of an argument, for instance, or even doing research on a subject during an argument (better yet, before said argument)). It also means that you can read certain things without taking them at face value (which is unfortunately very scarce these days). Media Literacy can also mean that you can deal with certain types of people (at least as far as social media goes) without really losing your mind. For other types of media, it means seeing life at a different angle or perspective, or- as mentioned earlier –seeing another side to things (like, say an argument on TV or a philosophy in a book). Critical thinking also applies to all of this; instead of looking at things at face value, try to delve in deeper to find more meaning, per se.

Gun Control Whoop-de-doo

In John Oliver’s satirical video by the name of “Gun Control Whoop-de-doo” (2013) very strongly implies through the incongruity of the contradicting points being added up by the former Australian Prime Minister John Howard and the gun lobbyist Phillip Van Cleave of the Virginia Citizens’ Defense League that gun control laws actually work to help stop (though not completely) mass shootings and other types of crimes involving guns. John Oliver develops this thesis through interviewing the aforementioned gun lobbyist, Phillip Van Cleave, who feels that his second amendment rights are infringed upon if the government were to do increased background checks on people buying guns to which he argues “We don’t do background checks for the first amendment.” coupled with Phillip’s next point of “If I can see a reason. I can’t think of anything I support. Because at the end of the day, it doesn’t work.”; this point is for the question of whether or not a mandatory one-hour waiting period for buying a gun infringed on his second amendment rights; meanwhile in contrast he interviewed the former Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, after giving an example of a place to Phillip where gun control worked; John Howard claimed that Australia had a massacre at Port Arthur in 1996, and since his sweeping gun control laws were put into place, “There had been [no mass shootings] since.” Using the points conveyed in the interviews, John Oliver wanted to point out that gun control actually works by sarcastically asking John Howard if his scheme was a failure under the point of gun control laws never work, and was informed that since that mass shooting in 1996, there had been none since; John Oliver then goes back to Phillip and points out that there were no mass shootings since that time, where Phillip tries to point out that it could have been a statistical anomaly and that they got rid of just one thing while also pointing out “There were so few of them! Whoop-dee-doo! Mass shootings are rare, anyhow.” ; John -in a way- was upbraiding Phillip so he was made to look like a fool, in order to have people see the obvious flaws in the gun lobbyist’s argument. John Oliver was chastising those were against gun law control so they could see simply how flawed their logic was as well as those who were somewhat neutral or even those who were for gun law control, all the while John was having a (rather amusing) sardonic tone with both the gun lobbyist and the former Prime Minister.

Technological Addiction

Well, I could say all day long that I can just get off my phone, but it’s a given that I can’t quite do that right off the bat (more like actually attempting to get off of it), and it’d be even harder to get up and actually get other people to do the same (it’d most likely be forceful, anyway). I will say that technology can become a very unhealthy addiction, as mentioned in “Maintaining Real Relationships in the Digital World”, where Schneiderman claims that “There is satisfaction, almost a high, in seeing those red notification numbers… and those red numbers assure me that I am a valued part of their lives, in turn.” and “A 2013 German study found that participants’ brains signaled a pleasure response when they received positive feedback on Facebook. The study concluded that the brain processed this positive feedback as gains in social reputation.” I can also say that I’m already pretty connected with friends face-to-face (no, not on Skype) in a small shoutout to Prince EA’s “Can We Auto-Correct Humanity” (where he says “... I asked a friend the other day, ‘Hey, let’s meet face-to-face.’ They said, ‘Alright. What time you wanna Skype?’ I responded with ‘OMG!’...”).

Indeed, our relationship with technology is quite a terrible one, but… is anyone truly willing to actually cut the cord and reconnect with the traditional world? I honestly doubt it. And with the way we’re going, things aren’t looking good. Prince EA states “Get a load of this. Studies show that the attention span of the average adult today is one second lower than that of a goldfish.” I can say that it’s a thought provoker and somewhat of a motivator, but… will it be enough? Honestly, that fact was absolutely shocking to me, which is also why I say that things don’t look like they’re going to get better. I don’t really see this addiction as something that can be controlled, as we already have very little self-control with our phones as is (as far as actually putting it down goes) which is somewhat evidenced in Schneiderman’s article “I use Facebook every day, multiple times a day. It’s such an automatic activity at this point… check Facebook as easily as I check the time.” Unfortunately, nowadays people are becoming so reliant on their technology and phones that they feel that they can’t live without it. And as I will sadly admit, I can say the same, especially with listening to music. And in the people, it’s not that they can’t get off their phones and social media… It’s that they don’t want to. Technology has made our lives more convenient and easier than ever, but it’s something that comes with responsibility and is so very easily abused to the point of addiction, similarly to a drug. The only difference between technology use and drug use… is that the “drug” (being the technology) is administered and used by literally everyone. And self-discipline is something that is can be very hard to achieve, and because of little reason or motivation to actually get off of the phone and accomplish stuff ourselves we have become tragically and extremely lazy.

Going back to my first point in my first paragraph, I could say all day that I’d just get off of the websites I use, but… it’s just not going to happen, to put it quite bluntly. As evidenced in my previous paragraphs, it’s an addiction almost too hard to break. So I could say that I could get on said websites less often (which is technically what’s been happening with an art website I use as of late), but I can definitely say that I can at least care less about the people who speak badly about me or my work, despite me pouring my heart out and working for hours and hours on a piece; then again, people only care about the result. It’s the result that matters. Not the process and hours of grueling work put into it. I’m not sure of how exactly I can “use it for good” seeing as how I tend to use it casually.