the brain of media

Media Literacy

What does it mean to be media literate?

Media is a form of communication through technology. There are many different types of media. The most common forms for media are newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and the Internet. The public relies on the mass media to provide information about political issues, social issues, entertainment, and news in pop culture. Media literacy is a more modern approach to education. Being media literate, means building an understanding of today’s society using technology. Media literate people in today’s society, are able to understand the messages and ideas we receive from the television, radio, Internet, newspapers, magazines, books, billboards, video games, music, and all other forms of media. The media helps us develop critical thinking skills, understand how messages shape our culture and society, recognize what the media maker wants us to believe or do, recognize bias and lies and sometimes advocate for media justice. Although, the media has its positive effects on us, it also has its negative effects. Old media, such as TV, can affect children and adolescents. The younger generation spend a lot of time on new types of media which raises concerns for the adults in today’s society. Some issues related to these concerns include the effect of the media on violence, violent behaviors, and crimes, sexual relationships, educational performance, body image diet, increasing obesity and being involved in illegal activities such as drug abuse and smoking, alcohol abuse. In my opinion, all people, of all age groups use the media in the wrong ways. The media can either educate us or have negative effects on us.

Social Media Injustice

People who think that simply showing support on an issue in today’s society are known as social media “slacktivists”. Social media is distracting from the more important argument, which is how to fix an issue that the flood of tweets or Instagram posts are stressing. Twitter, Instagram and other social media networks don’t solve police brutality, racial profiling or domestic violence. Our way of showing activism is using Facebook’s or Snapchat’s Rainbow Pride filter or their red, white, and blue French flag filter. Likes, shares and hashtags are all used in combination with profile picture changes to somewhat show our efforts across millions of social media users and spread awareness. It introduces people to a topic they have probably never heard about and, it opens their eyes, it can also inspire them to do research on their own. “Slacktivism” can be defined as the act of showing support for a cause but only being beneficial to the egos of people participating in this so-called activism. The one danger of hashtag activism is that users mistake their simple online actions as enough to promote change. Global warming is one issue that leads in the number of social media slacktivists. Many people on social media believe that global warming is not a big issue. Most social media slacktivists believe that “Save Our Planet” hashtags and posting pictures of a recycling symbol will somehow magically improve the condition of our planet, but in reality, we need to take action. Social media is not a way of showing your actions towards an issue. If you’ve ever supported a social cause online, signed a petition, wrote a blog post, promoted a hashtag by tweeting, retweeting, liked or shared on social media, and that’s all you did, then you’ve participated in slacktivism. Social media ten years from now will be the center of every action and decision we make. Even as of now, we depend on social media for everything, communication, information. Our world today and in the future IS social media.

Doritos Super Bowl 50 Commercial 2016 Crash the Super Bowl Finalist Ultrasound

In the Doritos Super Bowl 50 commercial “Doritos Super Bowl 50 Commercial 2016 Crash the Super Bowl Finalist Ultrasound” (2016), Doritos, known for their hilarious Super Bowl commercials, imply that their products make people do anything, for example, men will dress like women (2013 Dorito Princess Super Bowl commercial) or believe time machines are real (2014 Time Machine Super Bowl commercial). Doritos illuminates their point by showing that even a baby will go to the extreme for Doritos exaggerating the fact an early birth due to the toss of a potato chip is unrealistic. Using the humor from previous commercials they have aired, they exaggerate in order to prove that they think they have the best product ever. Doritos targeted all audiences with this commercial because they used an extremely humorous tone that most likely left many people dying of laughter.

Doritos Ultrasound Commercial

Donald Trump Politifact

"Right now we’re the highest taxed country in the world.” – Donald Trump

Donald Trump made this statement during a GOP primary debate in New Hampshire on February 6th, 2016. Politifact states that Donald Trump made a small mistake in his statement saying that we’re the highest taxed country in the world. According to Politifact, we have the highest “corporate” tax rate. One way to prove Trump’s statement wrong was by measuring the tax revenue as a percentage of gross domestic product. The United States was far from the most highly taxed. The top five highest-taxed countries as a percentage of GDP were Denmark, France, Belgium, Finland and Italy. Politifact used a couple of different measurements to determine that no matter how you put it, the United States is far from the most taxed nation in the world. I think that Donald Trump, being a rich republican candidate doesn’t do much research on the U.S. tax rate because he actually has the money to pay them or is not affected by the low tax rate paid by high income citizens.

Marco Rubio Politifact

“Why doesn’t the media ask Hillary Clinton why she believes that all abortions should be legal, even on the due date of that unborn child.” – Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio made this statement at a republican debate in New Hampshire on Feb 6th, 2016. Clinton said she could support restrictions on abortions in the third trimester (about week 28 of a pregnancy) if the mother’s life and health are taken into account. Politifact states “Rubio casts this position as the equivalent of supporting abortions on the due date, but that exaggerates Clinton’s position.” Hilary Clinton is open to restrictions on late-term abortions but there has to be exceptions for the life and health of the mother. Rubio’s conclusion that Clinton supports due-date abortions is not backed by evidence and logically unsound. Although I agree with Marco Rubio on the banning of abortion I also agree with Hilary Clinton on the open restrictions of abortion (incest, rape, health problems). Marco Rubio making this statement made him sound very unintelligent in my opinion.

Jeb Bush Politifact

The debt "comes up all the time in town meetings ... but it's never asked in the debates, it's really weird. It hasn't been brought up." – Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush made this statement on February 2nd, 2016 in Rindge, New Hampshire at Franklin Pierce University. Politifact has proven that many presidential candidates are asked about U.S. debt or even bring up the issue on their own. I think that Jeb Bush making this statement was ignorant because national debt is clearly a big issue in the U.S. today.

Are we a nation of proles?

This passage shows the lifestyle of a normal prole in the book “1984” by George Orwell. They were born into a society that was controlled and monitored, and where they had little freedom. In my opinion, this passage reflects today’s society because we are controlled and monitored by many things around us even though we have much more freedom. There are different roles different people are expected to have in today’s society. The ideal person is born into a middle class/high class family, completes school and grows up to have a well-paying job to be a successful person. What exactly is the ideal or successful person?

There are images all over television commercials and social media that set examples of how the ideal person is supposed to look. The media eliminates the fact that the ideal person can be any shape, size, of any color and etc. We are being controlled and manipulated by the media to become something we’re not. Social media has a large effect on people of young ages. The media affects the ways people think about themselves and other people. It makes many people want to become something media wants to make us. Social media, sports, reality TV, and movies all play a part in “controlling” our society so we don’t have to think about other issues that affect us. In my opinion, the media distracts us from the real problems in our environment, economy, and government. The media knows more information about everything than they should know. Social media is supposed to be something for people to enjoy, yet it is destroying the younger generations.

Social media, sports, reality TV, and movies have a way of tricking and deceiving us. In my opinion, celebrities play a part in this too. Celebrities may do certain things for publicity and television shows do certain things for ratings. Most of the decisions made by the media are controlled by the government and economy. Beyonce and Jay-Z are portrayed as the most perfect, happily married couple in the music industry. They are rich, black, successful businessmen and entrepreneurs. They are seen as the ideal couple with no marital problems, infidelity, financial problems, etc. Recently, Beyonce put out a “secret” visual album expressing her feelings about their marriage and exposing Jay-Z for his infidelity. She accuses Jay-Z of cheating in her new album, so are they the perfect couple as the media portrays them or want us to think? I feel like Beyonce put out this album for publicity and money. I feel this way because both Beyonce and Jay-Z haven’t put out an album since 2013. They make it seem as if they are perfect over the years and now she suddenly wants to put out an album. The media is controlling us by making us think that Beyonce and Jay-Z are such a perfect couple because they are rich, black, and successful but they are also struggling (not financially) to be something they are not. Overall, the media affects everyone.

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You say you want a revolution?

Nat Turner was an African American slave who led the only effective slave rebellion in August 1831 in Southampton, Virginia. On the night of August 21, he launched a campaign of total annihilation, murdering his master and his family in their sleep. Nat Turner continued on a bloody march and attacked about 15 homes and killed between 55 and 60 whites as they moved toward the county named Jerusalem, Va. Other slaves who planned to join the rebellion turned against it after white militia began to attack Turner’s men, assuming that he was bound to fail. Most of the rebels were captured quickly, but Turner ran from the authorities for more than a month. Nat Turner was very religious from a young age and received visions and messages from God. He felt sure that God had selected him for a special purpose. On February 12, 1831, he believed a solar eclipse as the final sign from God that he should begin preparing for his armed revolt in Virginia. Turner saw himself as a prophet doing God's work, he was also have inspired by David Walker. Nat Turner’s rebellion was powerful because he was a different person. Nat Turner was well-educated, but was declared psychotic by a doctor. Nat spoke of experiencing messages from God and visions of angels which pointed to his divine selection as the chosen one to lead a slave rebellion.

“God did not intend a man of his gifts, his intelligence, and his powers to waste his years hoeing weeds and slopping hogs.” After transitioning from a childhood where he was respected for his hard work to working as a field hand alongside slaves to he was intellectually superior to, Nat recognized that the best use of his gifts was to continue playing the role of a “smart nigger” and take advantage of the time and liberties he was given by his masters. Nat Turner felt that he was doing a good deed and following God’s orders. The slave uprising did not convince many other slaves to work together to try and stop slavery. In my opinion, this act of the other slaves relate to “1984” and have the features of a dystopian society because they were afraid to rebel, they followed rules and were afraid of the consequences. Nat Turner was later captured and executed for his actions. Many people in dystopian societies are afraid to rebel, they are taught and persuaded to not know the meaning of rebellion. Nat Turner is widely known as one of the most important figures in American history and American literature. October marks the anniversary both of his birth and of his arrest as the leader of one of the United States' most famous slave rebellions. Nat Turner will be remembered for his efforts and good deed.

F. Roy Johnson, The Nat Turner Slave Insurrection (1966); Stephen B. Oates, The Fires of Jubilee: Nat Turner’s Fierce Rebellion (1975, reissued 1990).

Trodd, Zoe. "Nat Turner." The American Mosaic: The African American Experience. ABC-CLIO, 2016. Web. 18 Apr. 2016

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Reflection of Media Literacy

Throughout this media literacy course, my views on media and the purpose of media have changed. The modern society today relies on the media for everything including public issues, social issues, entertainment, and news in pop culture. Media literacy is a way of helping us understand the messages and ideas we receive from the television, radio, Internet, newspapers, magazines, books, billboards, video games, music, and all other forms of media. The media helps us develop critical thinking skills, understand how messages shape our culture and society, recognize what the media maker wants us to believe or do, recognize bias and lies and sometimes advocate for media justice. Earlier in this course I believed that the media had both positive and negative effects on the people of today’s society. I’ve learned that the media has more negative effects than positive effects on a lot of people in different places. I’ve also learned that many of the reasons why media is not allowed in communist countries is because the media can persuade people to rebel and the government wants to keep control. One thing I am taking away from this class is that I am going to be more conscious about things I put on social media because things will never be gone forever. This class is different from other language arts classes I’ve taken because I felt more interested and comfortable talking about subjects I knew about. Our generation today can relate a lot to the media because we use it every day. Another reason why this course was different from other literature courses is because all we did was read and take test and quizzes about stories and books that weren’t interesting, this course lets you engage in conversations with other people. During this course, we only had two Socratic seminars. I enjoyed the Socratic seminars because it allowed us to speak freely about our opinions and debate about certain situations. I learned a lot from this course and now know a lot about media.

Can we auto correct humanity?

In this video Prince Ea states that technology is making us more disconnected. I agree with this message because I feel that we use technology to communicate with one another more than actually interacting with each other. In my opinion, there is not much we can do to ensure that this situation doesn’t become a permanent reality because nowadays we do everything through technology. For example, sometimes me and my sister sit right next to one another and text one another. I think technology is making us more disconnected because we are taught with technology and new technology develops every day. I think social media is an addiction we cannot control. I believe this because we use it every day, we are persuaded to use social media. In my opinion, we are basically forced to use social media because in today’s society social media is where we are getting all of our news from, we are advocating on social media, and most people are being heard on social media. Social media can be a way of getting support for certain issues such as the ALS ice bucket challenge. The hashtag created awareness for the movement. Some of us are addicted to social media in different ways. As Prince Ea stated in his message most of us feel popular because of the “followers” or “likes” we get on certain social media networks. We become addicted because behind the screen, we’re getting the attention from people we don’t know, the attention we want from people we do know. Honestly, I feel like I am already a slave to social media. For example, one day I tried to delete my Instagram and I reactivated in less than 3 hours. I think we’re going to be using social media for the rest of our lives as it keeps updating and advancing, I don’t think technology and its advances can ever be stopped, changed, or prevented.