Media: How it Lives in Everthing

By: Jack Bradley

Journal Entry #1: Media Literacy

The media is made up of many different aspects but its main purpose is really to get a message or news to people through some form of mass communication. A lot can fall under the category of media including social media, the news, the press, etc. There are lots of different purposes of the media, some more beneficial and helpful to society than others. Its purposes include informing, persuading, and maybe most often used is entertaining. The media is how news travels in the modern world and is the best way to communicate to the masses, mainly in first world countries. Most of what I am talking about is electronic media, because that is what is most common today. However, newspapers and magazines can be considered media as well and they are not at all electronic. Mass media has changed the way that people “spread the word.” It is not something that can be defined in a single sentence because it has become such a complex phenomenon.

What it means to be media literate is a matter of opinion. There are certainly some people who use all kinds of social media almost constantly. They could be considered media literate on one kind of media, but may not watch the News on TV at all and not know much about what is really going on in the world. I think being media literate means being up to date and informed through multiple forms of media on a regular basis. There is always a lot happening around the world, and a lot of different ways to hear about it. It is essential in today’s society to be media literate to some extent.

Journal Entry #2: The Role of Social Media

The role of social media in today’s society has grown exponentially over the past few years. It seems that every day more and more people are making social media accounts or becoming more involved in posting and communicating through Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat. Not only has it grown in our society, but I have become more involved in it too. I am not quite as focused on it or involved with it as many of the people that are around my age, but even I have increased the amount of time I spend per day on social media. I have realized how much of a distraction that it can be, especially when I need to be getting something else completed, so I have tried to cut myself off from it more. It can be a big distractor if I let it. Some websites are certainly more prevalent in my life than others. For example I never, and I mean never use Twitter or Instagram, but I go on YouTube and use Snapchat just about every day. Snapchat has become my main form of communication with some people rather than texting, other than talking to them in person of course.

Some people’s lives seem to revolve around social media and the concept that it is the only way to keep up to date with what is going on. There are even jobs and internships within certain organizations that are solely devoted to controlling social media output. It is in the workplace and in our social lives almost against our will. It is a source of news and information and it has changed the way our society “spreads the word.”

I did not take the challenge because I did not think I could complete it, I just did not want to do it. It wasn’t for a grade and I did not have a whole lot to gain from just not snap chatting someone, so I did not attempt to participate.

Journal Entry #3: The ABC's and D's of Commercial Images

I do not feel as though I have learned very much from this presentation. It seemed like it was created mostly based on opinion. Women are certainly portrayed in a more sexual way than many people would prefer, and I have definitely noticed this beauty standard that has been formed. This happens because it is what sells products. Many companies target men, and women are an effective way to do that. It is creating a beauty standard but not one that anybody is forced to follow. If you do not agree with these standards, do not abide by them, and do not spend money on magazines or ads that support them. There is only a problem if people let there be a problem. People are offended because they think women are held to a standard that is too high. It may not necessarily be easy to ignore the magazines or ads that portray women in this sexual way, but it can only bother you if you let it. Nobody has to look like the women on magazine covers or in commercials, telling yourself that you do is what causes the insecurities. Nobody is forcing anyone to wear makeup or be skinny, beautiful, tall models.

The fact that these types of commercial images are still shown more and more proves that they are a successful way to advertise. Men, by their very nature, are going to be more drawn to some of the images. Companies know how to sell products, and this happens to be one way to do it. Women are not the only ones that are shown this way either. If I were to look up male models, they would probably all be very muscular and not wearing very much clothing, but I am not going to compare myself to that standard and it really does not bother me at all. This type of advertising is probably going to last for a very long time, because it works. That does not mean some commercial images won’t show women in a different, more positive way, it just means that they will not replace the more sexual images all together.

Journal Entry #4- Fact Checking

Marco Rubio said that, " "Since that famous day in February where the governor campaigned with Barack Obama on behalf of the stimulus program, 211,000 Floridians have lost their jobs." He was speaking in reference to Governor Crist of Florida endorsing Barack Obama and his stimulus package. This quote came from the Washington Post and it happened back in 2010 when Rubio was in a debate with Crist. Rubio is a republican senator from florida and Crist is the democratic governor, so clearly they do not get along. I checked this fact on Politifact and it is true or very close to it, his number on the number of unemployed people was very accurate. I found out that Rubio was correct in his statements and made many good points against Crist as he has continued to do throughout the course of his campaign. It is important to fact check because you cannot really know who to support without being sure that what they are saying is true. Or you may be supporting someone wrongly because you do not fact check the things that they say and it is this lack of knowledge that puts corrupt and bad politicians in office. If everyone was an informed voter we would have a much more productive government and economy.

Journal Enrty #5- Iranian Revolution

What makes this rebellion so powerful?

It overthrew a longstanding government and leader that had a lot more money, power, training, and experience. The Iranian rebels overthrew a Monarchy headed by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and replaced it with the Islamic Republic headed by Ayatollah Khomeini . They replaced a monarchy with a theocracy based on Islam. They did not have any of the usual reasons for a revolution but they replaced their leader with a religious scholar anyway. Iran decided to use Islam to guide the country.

Why is it that people were inspired to act in the first place?

The shah who was leading the country before the revolution was becoming more accepting of westernized beliefs and was letting the country become more like the U.S. The people believed he was being controlled by the U.S. and/or Europe and Iran was straying from Shia Islamic beliefs. When Khomeini showed up the people rallied around him with his strong Islamic beliefs and plans and with a large following had enough momentum to overthrow the government.

What techniques did the activists use to gain supports in the movement?
In order to spread the word and gain supporters, the rebellious Iranians used different techniques to overcome the monarchy. Unarmed tactics were used like strikes, boycotts, demonstrations to lure in ordinary citizens into activists. One of their first initiatives was to send protesters to win over the troops rather than using violent acts. Another method Ayatollah used to gain followers were these audio cassette tapes of his speech that mentioned the power of unarmed resistance and covert routines.

Zunes, Stephen. "The Iranian Revolution (1977-1979)." Movements and Campaigns. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Mar. 2016.

Journal Entry #6- O'Brien, Victim or Villain?

O'Brien is the villain in this scenario. There is nobody directly telling him to torture Winston in this scenario. From his attitude in this situation it seems like he is making most of these decisions on his own without very much influence by big brother or the party. He can only be the victim if he really feels victimized and forced into something. He does not seem to regret the choices he is making or what he is doing to Winston. The people in the Milgram experiment were clearly uncomfortable in their situation and felt like they were being forced to hurt the person behind the glass. O'Brien does not display this characteristic at all and does not hesitate or question what he is doing. This may just be the way I have perceived it to be but O'Brien does not display any characteristics of a victim and is happy to be doing what he is doing.

Journal Entry #7: Reflection on the Class

My views on Media Literacy have changed as I have learned more about the topic. Looking back on what I wrote in my first Smore entry I had a decent understanding of social media but it was more if a broad or general knowledge. I now have more specific examples and experiences that I can rely on for a better understanding. I know now how some companies may use Media to portray certain groups of people in a negative way and how this can really offend certain people. Another thing that I did not consider at the beginning of the semester was the use of Media for propaganda. This propaganda was not just used by other countries, it was also used by the U.S. in times of war and is sometimes even used now. This propaganda may not be spread directly from the government, but it is still out there in some way.

If I am being completely honest I do not think I have gained very much knowledge from this class. There are certainly things that I had never heard of before or learned much about such as how to write a Precis or what satire is. However I feel like we spent far too much time reading 1984. I think we could have really finished the book in about half the time and still gained a lot from it. When it takes that long to read a book, no matter how good it may be, it starts to feel like it is just dragging on forever. We could have written less stop and jots and had more time to read on our own and been done with it much quicker. We had too much discussion over it and it began to become redundant because the theme kept overlapping itself whenever we discussed it.

This was certainly different than any language arts class that I have had in the past because I have never had one that talked about modern issues as much as this one did. Most of the other years were strictly literary and did not ever really talk about social media. That is what separated this class from the others.

Journal Entry #8: Can we Auto Correct Humanity

It is a very real and frightening reality that social media is taking over our lives and making us more disconnected from each other than ever before. It has become a very powerful force and is not one that will be easy to stop as it is a social phenomenon. However, if we truly want to prevent it from getting any worse we are going to have to make conscious decisions to limit ourselves in our use of electronics every day. Companies that are in the social media business are going to continue to make it easier and easier to use social media rather than directly communicating with someone. It is how they make money and the more we become consumed with our cell phones the more they thrive. With that in mind, it is going to take a real effort by anyone who cares to change the way we live. Technology has made it too us to avoid meaningful discussion. Even if its original intentions were pure, such as to make life easier, it has become more corrupted as time has progressed because we have allowed it to.

People are most certainly addicted to social media. However in my opinion, every addiction is one we can control, especially one as petty as our overuse of cell phones. It will be harder for some people than others, and it won’t be easy for anyone, but it is going to take will power and as Darren Hardy would say, ‘why power.’ It is a very attainable goal, it is just going to take time and determination to get there. We can set up a plan, something simple like using social media for 10 minutes less every day. After a while, we can start to add to that time every day, until eventually we are not dependent on social media at all or very little.

It is hard to declare something that I will do starting right now but I do have something in mind. I need to use my phone to spread good messages to people. If I ever think about posting something pointless I will try to substitute that with something that will make someone’s day instead. Instead of sending out a funny meme, I can send out an inspirational quote or just something to get people going.