Performance Final L.A

Sahil Desai

Media Literacy

Smore #1

What is “media”? Well “media” or “the media” is a way you can communicate with the use of technology, and even television, and even the radio. Some people might think that the word “media” only refers to social media such as Instagram, or twitter. But media could vary. It could be from video games, to music, and many more. Media could also be very helpful for advertisement. For those who uses twitter or Instagram, companies are starting to advertise their product. Same for Pandora, when there’s a brief commercial it’s usually about a product or a game for your phone. Now that we have a brief description about media, what exactly is a “media literate”.

Literate media (or media literate) I feel like is a way to “advertise” reading, writing, just pretty much anything that has to do with language arts. For example, we are doing “Smore” (its pretty much a blog) about what I think media is, and what literate media is. Posting this topic on the blog would be a literate media. Another good example would be CNN. They would take what the media (such as Facebook, and websites) and they would keep people updated of what’s going on around the world

What Can I Do?

Smore #2

Violence posted on various social media sites has become very common in the present. Children are exposed to much more violence in general online that generations in the past. Although this has raised awareness of children to what is happening around them (such as police brutality or violence in other countries), a lot of today’s generation is insensitive to the violence happening. This can lead to a bad influence especially on younger children who view violent videos being posted. They can lead themselves to engage in violent behavior especially at an early age. Cartoons and commercials average 25 violent acts per hour. Children as young as 14 months will imitate violent behavior they see on television. I believe it’s important for younger generations to be monitored in what they are viewing. Also, adults can protest for media to promote more positive shows, and things to post. By expressing our concerns to government regulatory agencies, advertisers, and policymakers, we can make a change. In addition, we can promote kids to spend more times on extracurricular instead of social media. Social media is an ease to access, and with little effort children can watch violent acts or issues occur. It’s essential for us to set good examples and regulate what our children watch. In the future, violence can be viewed by them for them to become more aware. However, children are being exposed to young which has a negative effect.

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Superbowl Advertisements

Smore #3

The Superbowl has always been a centerpiece for various new advertisements to unfold. Since it’s the most watched sporting event in America, more than 100 million viewers will see the commercials displayed. Advertisers will use certain techniques to appeal to a specific target market. Commercials will also use a certain tone to set a feeling within an audience, weather its humor or serious to promote their product. For example, the most popular commercials used humor, such as Hyundai’s commercial featuring Kevin Hart. Kevin Hart plays the role of a protective dad in which his daughter goes on a date with a boy. He allows the boy to take his car (a Hyundai) which allows Kevin Hart to track and stalk the couple on their date. The use of a comedian and his role as a dad in the advertisement appeals to other fathers looking to buy a car in the nation. However, not all Superbowl commercials are meant to appeal to the majority of the audience (which are families with children). Some commercials use more adult content to promote their products. Such as Peta, they used sexual content in order for their audiences to have a vegan diet to “last longer” than meat eaters. In conclusion, the most popular commercials were appropriate for all audiences. These advertisers were Doritos, Axe, Hyundai, Colgate, Pokemon Company, Campbell Chunky, and Acura which were ranked to be the top. They used similar satire to present their product, making their brand notable in this year’s Superbowl.

How does Gender in Advertising affect society?

Smore #4

Gender roles in media have played a large role in affect society. The way genders are presented on television, magazines, videos, etc.… all directly impact society on how they want to be perceived. This puts a lot of pressure, especially females to have a certain figure in order to be successful in society. Although debatable, the majority of the population is influenced by how genders are presented on media. Men are perceived by the media to strive to shape their bodies according to the media’s standards. As with the same with women, their media’s standards for the ideal female body type is heavily debatable among society. Many women look up to the image perceived, while many criticize it. Gender roles in the media aren’t only limited to just the human body. Brands, like Mr. Clean and Windex subtly use women using cleaning supplies instead of men. This pertains to the stereotype that women instead of men should be engaging in cleaning. Another example would be men drinking Budweiser while watching sporting events instead of women. This pertains to the stereotype that men can be sitting around loathing while women prepare meals, clean, etc… Gender roles in media therefore affect gender socialization. Certain figures, such as Rosie the Riveter, or Uncle Sam have prompted men and women to contribute to help society. Now, a lot of media figures prompt men and women to meet a difficult standard which also fuel stereotypes and negative socialization.

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Media Manipulation

Smore #5

The world’s largest corporations, such as Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Kellogg, Pepsi, or any brand that has mass worldwide appeal. These types of brands are always putting out content on social media, television, or newspapers to advertise their products. However, in most cases these advertisements are hypocritical. A lot of these brands contribute to the American obesity crisis, which has risen periodically. In most advertisements, the product being displayed such as Coca-Cola or a Mcdonald’s food item is shown to be healthy and beneficial to consumers. Healthy and fit people are usually shown consuming the product in order to persuade the audience to buy their product. Most of the products being advertised are considered unhealthy, and yet are frequently bought in the nation due to their successful advertising campaigns and techniques. There has been a push for corporations to release more healthy food but this hasn’t solved the rising numbers of obesity in America. A healthy lifestyle cannot be achieved by frequently purchasing unhealthy items such as big macs, sugary kellogs items, or soft drinks. Media manipulation had led to unhealthy eating practices and increased viewer time spent on watching television and the internet. This affects children primarily as they spend the majority of their time on social media or television other than sleeping.

Should Apple Fix?

Smore #6

Syed Farlook’s iPhone has been demanded by the FBI to be unlocked by Apple. In order for Apple to do so, they would have to create a master key and give it to the FBI. However, this would give the FBI access to all iPhones which would invade privacy of Apple users. Granting the FBI power to everyone’s iPhone could lead to government corruption and abuse. Personally I side with Apple. Although the FBI could use its powers to hack into terrorists phones and gain vital information, that is still an invasion of privacy. Everyone deserves the right to have that, and throwing other apple users privacy into the mix is unnecessary. Who knows, with that kind of access the FBI could be free to monitor to whoever they please. Knowing every text you send and other information on your phone that the FBI can look up against your will is unnerving. It’s a violation of civil liberty. It’s a risk that could not just affect the United States, but the entire world. Think about it, there are places in the world where the government really wants to scan what their citizens are doing on their phones, and who they are talking to. Opinions and freedom of speech would not be possible and could be in great danger if Apple decided to help the FBI on just one case.

1984: Agree or Disagree?

Smore #7

If the government were to be able to freely spy on their citizens. It would be the steeping stone in creating a society similar to 1984. All citizens are entitled to their privacy. There is a line between spying on citizens to find out who is a terrorist and putting tabs on non-suspicious people, so the government should not be able to do that. It can create a lot of misunderstanding and citizens can feel unsafe. The Patriots Act enacted in 2011 allows for FBI and the government to conduct surveillance in order to improve security without consent. This has angered many American people as the government can freely monitor private emails and phone calls. To me, this violates the fourth amendment which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and requires any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause. The government still wants to renew the act despite citizen opposition. Sixty percent of United State citizens want the Patriot Act to be reformed in order to limit government surveillance. Edward Snowden, an infamous computer programmer for the NSA leaked secret information that exposed the government’s wrong-doings. I believe this was the right thing to do in order to show how the government is abusing their power. Security and freedom are two concepts that go hand in hand, but the abuse and corruption of the government (such as spying on citizens) can prevent either from being possible.

Politifact

Smore #8

Politifact

"Out of 67 counties (in Florida), I won 66, which is unprecedented. It's never happened before."

Donald Trump stated this on March 21st, 2016 at 10:50 a.m in Florida. Donald Trump won 66 out of 67 counties votes for the presidential primary in Florida. Trump claimed his win is “unprecedented” which isn’t true. Big win elections in Florida aren’t uncommon for the past several decades. You need to know that there are several instances of candidates winning all 67 counties in the past. Which makes Donald Trump’s statement illegitimate.

“The 2013 immigration bill expanded President Obama’s ability to bring Syrian refugees to this country without mandating any meaningful background checks.”

Ted Cruz said this on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016 in a town hall event in Windham, N.H. Cruz repeats false attacks about immigration bill letting Syrians in U.S. without background checks. You have to know Obama’s policy on the immigration bill in the first place and the type of people he has let in the country. My thoughts are that there is too much discrimination against immigrants who will be working for the country. They should be allowed in more freely.

"Since (welfare reform) was signed into law, the number of families living in extreme poverty has more than doubled."

Bernie Sanders said this on Wednesday, February 24th, 2016 in a news conference. Sanders supporting statement was “"What welfare reform did, in my view, was go after some of the weakest and most vulnerable people in this country". This turned out to be mostly true according to statistical data. You have to know that there’s a 130 percent growth in families in extreme poverty, compared to just about 20 percent growth in the population as a whole. I think there should be a new welfare reform.

When it comes to fighting terrorism, "Another thing we know that does not work, based on lots of empirical evidence, is torture."

Hillary Clinton said this on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016 in a speech at Stanford University. Evidence backs Hillary Clinton claim that torture is counterproductive for counterterrorism. According to data, it is well documented (including by the Senate study of the CIA program) that torture generated enormous amounts of false statements. This quote turned out to be completely true by Hilary Clinton. I feel as if torture isn’t the best way to obtain information from capture terrorists.


I found that the republicans, statistically greater on average come with more false statements than true ones compared to the democrats. I doubt most people politifact there desired candidates. They only go by what they say during the interviews or the debates on television. Everybody lies, but some candidates lie a lot more than others, and it’s interesting because Donald Trump lies the most yet is a political frontrunner. People should really take in account what the candidates are saying and figure out the legitimacy of their statements.

What Makes Rebellions So Powerful ?

Smore #9

Rebellions are the result of refusal to obey rules or accept society's standards. It is the point when obedience can no longer be tolerated by members. Causes of rebellion can be tied to moral, political, or even personal issues. The flaws of society are what create powerful rebellions. Corruption, unfairness, injustice, are all primary motivators for citizens to rise up and make a change. Rebellions have sparked some of the greatest events in world history. Revolutions are what create countries, and new societies and ideals to emerge from old ones. Rebellion tactics are usually protests, movements, and defiance by civilians. This can be achieved either violently or non-violently. Violent protests and riots are committed when peaceful attempts do not work. However, non-violent protest can prove to be more effective than violent ones. Take the civil-rights movements, and the Indian Independence movements for example. They were so powerful yet peaceful, rebellions such as these were important for change and improvement. Without these events, society would have never improved or seen change. Its necessary for any society to grow. There is still alot of room for improvement in many of today's society. A modern example would be police brutality, and the protests and mass media that soon follows after. Police brutality has caused many uprisings from citizens towards officials such as in Ferguson and in other parts of the United States.

Government Wins Again

Smore #10

The government isn’t always the perfect establishment that serves to protect its citizens. Sometimes, there is corruption among those who run it, and this can be harmful to what’s best for the people. In 1984, the government runs the people. In other words, the government restricts a lot of their citizen’s privacy and prevents any rebellion by enforcing harsh laws. A lot of the government’s wrong-doings is kept secret. Winston and O’Brien are similar to Edward Snowden in the sense that they are rebellious and are able to view the corruption of the government clearly. They also are all intelligent and have a sense of justice. They want to see a change in the government, and expose their actions. Supposedly the NSA and “big brother’s organization” use everyday surveillance or have attempted to which leads to invasion of privacy. Winston and O’Brien would go about defying the government differently than Snowden. Snowden obtained top secret documents from the NSA and went about countering NSA by himself. He was less secretive about his approach. In 1984, Winston and O’Brien consistently disobey societal laws such as writing thoughts in their diaries, or having intimate relationships with others. Winston dared not to disobey Big Brother openly since he was afraid. The main difference between Winston and Sowden is that Winston fears authority while Snowden does not. Snowden didn’t think about the consequences of his actions, as long as he unveiled the truth in his mind he thought he was doing the right thing. Winston fears consequences.

Is Technology Sent From Heaven?

Smore #11

Orwell states in 1984 that science and technology are having the opposite effect of making humans more advanced, but instead are making them more primitive. This is because technology in the novel has limited human thought and ideas so much to the point that people are rendered to not think at all and follow all orders of the government. The same effect could be happening to our present world, however not to this extent. Technology today is mostly meant to protect people, not monitor them and prevent new ideas and thoughts from forming like in 1984. There are still cases in which the government abuse technology to keep their citizens at bay. Like in 1984, any chance of rebellion is negated in that society. I don’t believe technology was sent from heaven, because in more cases than not in 1984 the government only used technology for their advantage. They didn’t use it for the better for society. Orwell is conveying that technology has done nothing but result in an instrument of repression and constant surveillance. Telescreens are placed everywhere throughout society in 1984. The feeling of being watched eliminates all privacy. Privacy is very valuable in that world, and sometimes impossible to find.

Happiness V. Freedom

Smore #12

I agree with Winston that the bulk of humanity chooses happiness over freedom. Why is this? I think it’s because in order to achieve freedom humans have to get over fear of revolting against authority, or else they will become content with their ordinary lives. They will not be willing to make a change. Winston understands that ignorance is inevitable for those who simply obey authority without question. The people just want happy lives, they aren’t willing to fight for the right cause or for future generations. The party in the book was supposed to be made to protect and guide the people, but instead it has taken away their citizen’s natural rights and freedoms and placed them in a strict, corrupted environment. O’Brien convinces Winston with the quote “humanity chooses happiness over freedom”, because society has done little to nothing against the party’s actions, when deep down he knows the party is nothing full of liars, torturers, and propaganders. The same aspect could apply to society today, but not to this extreme degree. There were leaders who chose freedom over happiness, such as Martin Luther King and Mohandas K. Gandhi and lead those to achieve better lives against governments. However, they don’t represent the bulk of humanity.

Gaslighting

Smore #13

Political gaslighting is a common technique used by politicians to manipulate voters into thinking something is true when in reality it’s a lie. Gaslighting has altered the way that people think, feel, and act. Many voters are victims of political gaslighting. Donald Trump isn’t the only one who gaslights and psychologically abuse voters, all candidates use gaslighting to some degree (some more than others) to get their audience to accept their point of view. Being completely honest isn’t how elections are won. But the term gaslighting has gotten more and more popular over the years. Americans are more susceptible to being gaslighted in order to cope with today’s issues. Being unaware and forming an opinion based on what a politican says alone is a lot easier than thinking about an issue. To make things worse a lot of people that are gaslighted will be unwilling to change their opinion since they’re close-minded. Of course, not all lies are gotten away with. Whatever a politician says is constantly making headlines and is identified as a lie or not by other politicians, websites, social media, etc… For example, you can see a quote a politician says on politifact to be true or false.

Can We Autocorrect Humanity ?

Smore #14 (Final)

Prince Ea focuses on the negatives of what social media has brought upon humanity. However, without social media how would others keep in touch and gain knowledge of things they cannot see with their eyes only? Ea argues that we can become slaves to our computers, cellular devices, and technology in general. We are the ones that created them in order to benefit our society as a whole. Businesses, corporations, celebrities, athletes, any organization or person that has a major impact on the world can spread their influence through the power of technology. Nevertheless, people are becoming more addicted to their devices. For example, society (especially the younger generation) is paying more attention to their cellphones because being online is more interesting and adaptive to them to what’s going on around them in real life. In the majority of cases, this has caused some to be disconnected to reality. We are more wired than ever, and technology is going to only improve infinitely over time. The only way to keep a healthy balance between technology and ourselves is to limit its usage. Although this is difficult, especially since society (even schools are using more online-based education to teach students) is using technology more than ever before. Kids are using technology at younger and younger ages. Even babies are gripping their parents’ cellphones to explore cellular devices. For parents, they should strategize a plan for their children and set time limits for which they can use technology up until a certain age. For the rest of us, technology is a tool that was meant to inform, communicate, and educate human beings. Now we mostly use it for entertainment purposes which is causing us to be detached. We have to make the best of technology and not only use it to entertain ourselves, or else we will become slaves to our own creations.

Part 2: Reflection

Throughout my smore entries and the course, I have found that media literacy can have both positive and negative effects on humanity. Every day in class, CNN Student news provides students across the nation with major situation and headlines across the world that I may not have found on my cellular device. It’s a good way for students to feel more connected to what’s going on around them, but on the other hand the addictions of technology can also have the opposite effect, it can disconnect us to what’s happening in front of our very eyes. I noticed now that most people that use technology too much or are “addicted” use technology for mostly entertainment purposes. The negatives to what technology can amount to was put in perspective when we read the book 1984. Society had used technology as a weapon, to control their citizens through the use of telescreens to maintain a stable, corrupted government. Media is a double edged sword, but nonetheless is an essential asset to humanity to persevere. This course was different in the sense that we focused on how language arts affects modern society. We also used computers mainly and videos to educate ourselves and complete assignments. One thing that could change is to have more hands-on assignments, and less computer activities.