The Media: Cause and Effect

Oyin Alao

Journal 1

Today, the media can be seen anywhere. It is shared through televisions, papers, phones, etc. I believe media is a term relevant to current situations. Whether socially, economically, or politically, the media is an update on what’s occurring now. Popular forms of media commonly used by teens are apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and twitter. These are ways for people to easily stay up to date on the latest drama or a major world crisis. A simple post can aware someone of the dangers in Italy while sitting on a couch in Texas. Besides keeping people aware, the media in this form is also a cool way for people to communicate with others by posting pictures and videos of fun events throughout their day. Along with the media, there is also the understanding of media literacy. I would define media literacy as the knowledge and history of communication. It’s almost like learning where media developed and how it is used. It’s common for younger people to be more media literate than their elders due to the fact that it is used every day in today’s society. Someone who is media literate I believe knows the benefits and harms of trusting the media. The media is not always the best place to go for information. There are many times when and fake stories are shared through the media to keep people entertained instead of attentive. Also, not everything shared via media is private and can be easily accessed by others if not careful. I think those who understand how to monitor the media and what they share and not only its evolution are media literate as well.

Journal #2

On January 14th, 2016, I accepted the no social media challenge for a day during Ms. Lowe’s class. It was only supposed to last 22 hours so I thought I could last. I was very wrong. I had to work right after school form 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. I agreed thinking work would cut at least five hours and I’ll only have 17 more hours. My shift actually helped and I didn’t use social media especially since no phones are permitted on the job. However, by the time I got home, the challenge was long forgotten. I did not completely forget because I thought about it right before I opened snapchat. Although in that moment, I felt I had already missed so much of the world being at work so it was necessary for me to check for an update. Personally, I know I could have lasted the whole time because I usually don’t check social media when at school and wait till the end of the day. Yet, it’s almost like an instinct especially since throughout the day everyone is on their phones posting or laughing at someone else’s post. This sort of challenge is probably not something I would try doing again. I enjoy watching funny videos on Instagram or snapchat or updates on celebrities, fashion, music, etc. Social media is also an easier and fun way to stay in touch with friends outside of school. This challenge has taught me what I knew all along. I can’t last even a day without social media.

Journal #3

The many different messages seen on media sites, pages, etc. portray the morals and values in our society. It reflects the way we view others. Many of these media messages use women as objects instead of humans. They are seen on many ads and brands that are used to gain the attention of a men. These women are seen in sexual or submissive poses and positions whether on their back or in lingerie. As a female, I find it disrespectful and degrading that women are not generalized in the same positions a men. You will find men on covers with money and luxurious items and clothes, but rarely see them used as a sexual attraction unless for items like underwear. This shows how society still views women as dependent rather than independent and successful as well. There are also media messages that do not truthfully show women in their natural state. Things like Photoshop have made people to believe all women have to look tall and slim like models. When in actuality, women and men come in different sizes, shapes, colors, etc. It creates a pretense that causes younger people growing up to wish to look different than who they are. I know for me as a child, I was obsessed with shows like America’s Next Top Model that made me want to lose weight and wear makeup to look like the girls on television so that I can become popular and famous. Society’s beauty standards lead people to believe that items such as make-up and fast cars will give them the fame and fortune of those portrayed in a magazine. We as society have to change the way value one image over another. All looks and genders should be seen and appreciated in the same limelight.
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Journal #4

In order to gain more votes in upcoming elections, Hillary Clinton accused Bernie Sanders of disloyalty towards President Obama. During the debate, she claimed that Sanders has referred to Obama as “weak” and “a disappointment”. How true is this claim? According to CNN, the accusation is mostly true, however politifact points out the flaws and Clinton's’ exaggeration. Sanders never directly called Obama weak or a disappointment but instead that some Americans feel that way and that “Obama had reached weak agreements with his political adversaries, not that Obama himself was personally weak.” (Jacobson).

It is important that we fact check our information before any important decisions. Some sources feed readers misinformation that can create the wrong response. With something as big as the presidential elections, the wrong information can cause someone to find a candidate more favorable whom they may not have chosen if the story was different. Before making a significant choice, a person should check more than one credible source that backs up their beliefs.

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Journal #5

Each rebellion signifies a historic trial to bring about change. Our specific rebellion is the New York Slave Conspiracy of 1741. Just by looking at the title of this rebellion, one can easily assume it to be the cause of sles, but this rebellion is actually a rebellion among the mixed races of New York. With a growing slave population “numbering about 20% of the 11,000 residents of Manhattan”, English columns worried about revolution from the blacks and immigrants(Linder). The series of fires started between March and April, one being 4 set of fires in a single day. With fear behind their back, Whites were looking for someone to blame for the disatrous events, so they blamed it on slaves. The whites made an accusation of black, which they claim that they heard the blacks “bragging about setting the fires and threatening worse, then they concluded that the revolt was “planned by secret black societies and gangs, inspired by a conspiracy of priests and their Catholic minions” (Gates). This “rebellion” was pointed out for its similarities shared with the Salem witch trial of 1692, especially with interrogating process. During the Salem witch trials, one of the victims, Giles Corey was pressed to death for a confession, and during the New York Slave Conspiracy, it is said that slaves were beaten, harassed, and heckled by whites (NY Slave..). As far as how the rebellion began and who initiated it, those facts are unknown and is reason why it is called a conspiracy. There is no evidence that the fires were incinerated due to black slaves’ want for freedom.

"Did African-American Slaves Rebel?" PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2016.

"The Negro Plot (New York Conspiracy) Trials of 1741." The Negro Plot (New York Conspiracy) Trials of 1741. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2016.

"New York Slave Conspiracy (1741) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed." New York Slave Conspiracy (1741) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2016.

Journal #6

In my opinion, O’Brien is a villain. He believes that “You must love Big Brother. It is not enough to obey him: you must love him.” Therefore, he is continuously torturing Winston till he breaks and conforms to the rules of Big Brother. However, it is not fair to force someone to believe in something they don’t want to as humans should be given the choice to choose.

Journal #7

This class has taught me the benefits and harms of the media. Looking back on the beginning of this semester, I would say that my opinion however has not changed. The media is still very viable in today’s society. We use almost everyday to connect with friends or even look-up research. Our first task as a class taught me how much individuals value the media. Going 24 hours without social media was impossible for me. It was not long into the day that I opened snapchat to see what my friends were up to. From our many socratic seminars, I have learned that the media can be beneficial in some ways. To do our research, we use the media to find stories and facts that relate to the topic of discussion. These stories help to further our knowledge and see truth in another perspective. Another thing I have learned from this class is ways social media has helped to increase involvement and awareness of global issues. Concerns similar to Black Lives Matter are projected throughout the media, so that people can help and join the cause. I enjoyed learning about the details of a dystopian society. I am a fan of movies and books like Hunger Games and did not even realize it was a dystopian genre before this class. It’s good to have learned that there could be just as many positives to negatives in the use of the media. This class is different from most because we didn’t spend time on the actual grammar or English language. Instead, we focused on the changes in the way we communicate.and share ideas. Overall, it was a great experience as I have learned many new things. The one thing that can be changed is the amount of socratic seminars. I would have actually liked doing more especially on topics like V for Vendetta.

Journal #8

Majority of the people in the world today own some form of a smart device. In fact for many of us, it’s more than one. Technology has become second nature to the lifestyles we live. Personally, it’s the last thing I see when I go to sleep and the first thing my eyes set sight on in the morning. Like in the video, I would agree that it has short-handed our form of communication. Most conversations held today are through emojis and abbreviations. One thing that can be done to change this is a “recess” from our technological devices. When I was in elementary, recess was a time for children to take a break from their school work to enjoy nature and time with friends. The world right now could sure use a break from the internet and social media. People should spend maybe an hour a two a day without the use of technology. It will help increase face--to-face contact and emotional reactions from behind a screen. An increase in technology has led us to addiction to social media. Many people feel more comfortable sharing online than in person. However, this can be changed. With a daily reminder to ourselves that we don’t need to get on instagram or snapchat every 5 minutes, we can prevent this addiction from furthering. It’s important to spend as much time as possibles with those we see and talk with in person to build human interactions. There are many ways that connecting with people online can be positive. If we spent less of a focus on the latest celebrity drama, we can help shine a light on a global issue through a post or tweet. In an attempt to use social media without becoming addictive, I will learn to use it more to share with others the benefits of daily interactions with those around me .