Don't Be a Prole!

Pay Attention to the World Around You

What is Media and what does it mean to be Media Literate?


Media is all around us whether it be on the television or in a book, media is just a word to describe the many platforms we use to express ourselves. Most media is for entertainment. Back In the day plays and books were the main source of entertainment like with Shakespeare. The people used media to express personal views, describe the things around them, and to make fun of the way things were. Nowadays we have many platforms of entertainment media for example magazines, television, and the internet. And nothing has really changed from then to now; media still serves the same purposes as it did for Shakespeare. With all of this media around us in the 21st century how does one process it all? You must become media literate. According to medialit.org, media literacy is defined as the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and create media in a variety of forms. I think one can become media literate just from pure exposure and overtime they will learn how to understand the media in front of them. As a child I would read a lot of celebrity gossip magazines and watch celebrity gossip shows like TMZ and at first I believed every little thing I heard regardless of it was based off fact or just speculation. But as I matured I learned to not be so naive and gullible and how to tell between what was truth and what was mere fiction. I guess taking a media literacy class gives people the fundamentals behind being media literate so that they can also stop being so naïve and gullible to the media.

Social Media Experiment

In class we were assigned to go 24 hours without any social media. We might as well have been told to go 24 hours without our phone. I think my experience was easier than others because I do not really have a large presence on social media. One, because it gives me too much social anxiety. Two, I know the dangers of leaving an internet footprint and I do not want one (and I know for a fact if you google me, I don’t show up).So if I do not have any social media, then how did I spend my time? Well, I did have to give up snapchat which was okay for me. To preoccupy my time I just played games on my phone which I spend the majority of my time doing anyway.


I think this experiment showed us the role that Social Media plays in our lives. Social media is the glue that tethers us to our phones. Without the heavy pull of these social media apps, I think America would be able to get back to its roots of playing outside and interacting with the great outdoors. I think everyone should try this experiment and go a day without their device and maybe they’ll feel as if the chains of social media have been lifted.


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Fact or Fiction- fact check smore

My initial article was on genetically modified mosquitoes released in Brazil were the cause of the Zika Virus. Now when I first read the article it seemed pretty believable. Basically, this medical company named Oxitec aimed to release a group of all male genetically modified mosquitos to the wild so that they could mate with the girl mosquitoes that already had the Zika virus (RT) . This plan seemed very infallible. According to the article, it is believed that over 1.5 million people have been affected by the Zika virus with over 4 thousand babies being born with small heads, or microcephaly (RT). And like every other concerned American I took this information and swallowed it down easily. Next, I fact checked the article using factcheck.com and found it was all a lie. This whole idea was started by a post on Reddit.com by a random person. In fact there is no significant evidence to confirm if the genetically modified mosquitoes were effective in helping or hindering the spread of the Zika virus. This situation is one of many where people believe everything that they read. This is a common happening in dystopian novels. For instance, in 1984 by George Orwell the party members are being fed manipulated news (basically lies) and take it down like water. The people of this society are so brain washed that they don’t possess the smallest iota of curiosity and won’t look into anything further. Contrary to this example, we have resources like factcheck.com to help separate fact from fiction. Before this activity I would have never fact checked anything. I guess I'm as naive as a silly Prole or even a party member. This was definitely eye opening.

http://on.rt.com/736w , http://www.factcheck.org/2016/02/gmos-didnt-cause-zika-outbreak/

Prole Behavior-Chapter 7 Smore

“They were born, they grew up in the gutters, they went to work at twelve, they passed through a brief blossoming period of beauty and sexual desire, they married at twenty, they were middle-aged at thirty, they died, for the most part at sixty. Heavy physical work, the care of home and children, petty quarrels with neighbors, films, football, beer and, above all, gambling filled up the horizons of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult.”

The passage from 1984 about the Proles is basically an analogous situation to how all of the things in our lives act as a distraction hiding us from the real things that matter. The Proles are given things like football, beer, porn, magazines, and many other forms of entertainment that the party members don't receive. The only catch is that everything they get is made by the government. Unlike the Prole society, we Americans are constantly developing new ways to entertain ourselves and ways to distract from what's really happening around us. I feel like social media especially distracts people from hearing about current events. Just like Proles we have all this "information" at our disposal but it's all useless. Take for example, Twitter. Most people's Twitter feeds are littered with useless tweets, none actually pertaining to important world matters. We take our freedom and individual control for granted; we would sooner trade our rights for our distractions which is basically what the Proles have done (of course without it being their choice). Another example is something the Proles and we both share: the Lottery. The lottery is definitely a distraction because people put their money towards the chance of winning money instead of taking care of the necessities for life. Winston saw Proles gambling on the streets and I assume that they didn’t have much money to be betting. Same goes for people in America. Some people actually have a problem with gambling and the lottery. And just as a whole, the lottery can be seen as a distraction because all the money in the jackpot, instead of being put towards feeding hungry kids on the street or given to states to rebuild schools, the money is raised up and then repaid out to be wasted. We need to stop acting like a bunch of Proles and open our eyes to the problems around us.

The Storming of the Bastille

My rebellion was the Storming of the French Bastile which was successful and lead to the beginning of the French Revolution. This occurred July 14, 1789 while King Louis XVI was in rule. Why did the people want to revolt? Well, during this year there were food shortages across the nation and the people of the Third Estate, which represented the commoners and lower clergy, felt oppressed and discontented with the king’s rule. It wasn’t hard to gain followers because these grievances were felt all across the kingdom. So the French people tried to write a constitution and King Louis wasn’t having it and got rid of their leader Jaques Necker. This led to revolutionary mobs and rioting in the streets of Paris. These revolutionaries had the idea of storming the Bastille which was a fortified state prison where people went at the discretion of the king. On July 14 hundreds of the French people stormed the Bastille and began firing at the guards but had to take cover because they were not prepared for their fire power. The military governor of the Bastille made the mistake of letting the revolutionaries know that his cannons were unloaded so they climbed the walls of the prison and let down a drawbridge allowing them all to rush in and take control of the prison. They marched to King Louis and demanded he make a constitution. He gave in and France became a constitution d one of their first orders was for the king and his wife to be executed for treason. This was the start to a long 10 year revolution. Other rebellions similar to this are successful because they have the support of a large portion of the population, therefore there isn’t much opposition that they’re up against. There is also a lot of passion and turmoil behind the rebellions which leads the people to really fight for their justice.

Whistle Blowers

Winston and O'Brien are kind of like Edward Snowden because they are all whistle blowers, although the former two are definitely not as bold as Snowden. Winston and O'Brien are more secretive about their rebellion and know that, for the sake of staying alive, they can't just release secret information to the general public like Edward Snowden did. There is also the fact that the people of Oceania are too brainwashed by Big Brother to comprehend the information that would be released (they are basically mindless sheep).The three are similar because they all have the intellect to realize that what their respective governments are doing is wrong. And actually all three are dealing with governments completely disregarding the citizens' right to privacy. I do not necessarily agree with what Edward Snowden did considering that along with revealing that America’s National Security Agency was spying on us, he also released top secret military information on a platform where our biggest enemies could see it. One key difference between Winston and O’Brien and Edward Snowden is that in the 1984 they have Thought Police. The Thought Police would capture and torture Winston and O’Brien, they would be forced to “confess” (it’d most likely be fake), and then the two would be vaporized and forgotten forever. Edward Snowden had the luxury of fleeing the country and seeking asylum in another country, his deed to be forever remembered.

O’Brien and Winston: Victims or Villains of and for the government

At the end of Chapter 4, Winston got sent to room 101. He’s about to begin his torture, even though he’s already gone through so much. I don’t know what they’re gonna do to him there but hopefully he makes it out alive. If he does die, I hope, for his sake, that it was while still hating the Big Brother because that was his goal. He won’t be a victim of the government whether he lives or dies because O’Brien already said that there are no martyrs. I think if he does die while hating the government he’ll go down as a villain to the government. He might even be the new Goldstein. I believe, based on his actions, that O'Brien is a villain of the government. One might argue that he’s a victim of their brain washing, but O’Brien seems fully aware of the “brainwashing” and likes it. He’s also deceitful and can’t be trusted. O’Brien is the whole reason that Winston is in the Ministry of Love.


Class Reflection

I think in the beginning I had a pretty good grasp on what it meant to be media literate but through out the year and this course my understanding has deepened. I learned from the many characters we’ve learned about like V and Winston that to be media literate is to be aware of what is going on around you. I used to think that being media literate was only a good thing, but these two guys proved that it can be detrimental and costly to one’s survival (of course that is only if you lived in a dystopian society or North Korea). I loved the books and movies we watched this year because they gave me new insight into the minds of the authors of the past and they offer a window to the problems of the past. Take 1984 for example. George Orwell feared (and rightfully predicted) in the 40’s that totalitarianism was on the rise and that anti-establishment movements would only grow as a result. Orwell’s novel depicts this dystopian reality so well that even 32 years after 1984 I feel just as scared of these totalitarian governments taking over the world. Orwell’s book also showed us the dangers of being so overrun by technology and how media can be so easily manipulated in a world of non-media literate people. The fact that we focused just on dystopian literature is what made this language arts class different than others. I like how we were able to focus on one topic and still get a strong grasp of media and its manipulation. I think one thing that could have been done differently was the amount of online work we had. I know it’s a media literacy class that involves using technology, but sometimes it’s okay to turn in a hard copy. Otherwise I loved this class.


Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?

There is no doubt in my mind that my generation has a terrible obsession with our technology. We can be out with a group of our friends or family and be so disconnected with them because we are looking at the new tweet we just got or a photo someone just tagged them in. Nowadays, people know the ring tone of a new text message better than the sound of their mother’s voice. Technology was intended for us to become closer to each other and to stay connected to those that may live far away from us, but that vision has been destroyed. To help remediate this problem we need to put our phones down for at least 2 hours; this means no technology or anything and spend time with our loved ones and people that mean the most to us. We need to learn how to live again and enjoy the beautiful earth that god has provided for us. This addiction can be broken if we all do our part and put effort towards it. But it won’t be easy. First, we need to stop trying to take pictures of everything such as when we’re out eating at a trendy restaurant or if you see a homeless cat on the side of the road that you feel bad for. Enjoy the moments and keep them in your memory because you never know what may happen tomorrow. Take a break from your phone and go outside, ride a bike, read a book, have a face to face conversation. (You never know, you might surprise yourself!) To use social media I will try to only use it when I’m bored or have nothing to do. I will choose my words wisely and stay connected as much as possible. This is the only way to correct and reconnect humanity.