Media vs. Society
Do We Control Media or Does Media Control Us?
I believe that the term “media” refers to any medium that is used as a way of communicating with a party or an individual. Media is almost everywhere in different forms such as online social media sites, advertisements on television or posters, newspapers, etc. These forms are often used to share one's thoughts and opinions, entertain others, deliver news, advertise, etc., and affects our world and society in both positive and negative ways. I believe that the most positive thing about the use of media is the benefit of convenience. It allows us to easily get in touch with the public and helps us stay aware of events occurring in our world such as wars, natural disasters, etc. As the importance of media continues to grow, the importance of media literacy is rising as well. Media is becoming more widespread and media literacy will eventually become an imperative factor in our ability to gather and analyze information. The heavy dependence on media can also have a negative impact as many of us are contributing a large portion of our daily lives to keep in touch with the latest news, gossip, or trends. Many of us base our beliefs and ideas on what is promoted in media. This can have a negative impact on the way we think of the world, our environment, and ourselves.
These are some words that come to my mind when I think of media.
Forms of Media
Media is almost present everywhere in a variety of different forms.
These are some of the most well-known and most used social platforms.
I've attempted to go 24 hours without social media. Unfortunately, although expected, I didn't make it through the full 24 hours. I went 15 hours without social media, but those hours consisted mostly of school and sleep. It wasn't because I lost a mental fight with my urge and temptation. It was because I didn't build any resistance to fight my urge. As soon as I woke up, I reached for my phone and went straight to my social media application folder and tapped on the icons without any hesitation. I didn't have to "remember" to check my phone; it was almost like an instinct. Even when I tap the home button to get a quick glance at the clock, I unconsciously end up scrolling through the news feed on Facebook or looking through Snapchat stories. I also realized that many others also have a similar connection with social media. It’s considered to be a necessity rather than a privilege. Social media is now an imperative tool for communication whether it is between friends, business partners, or from an individual to the public. Social media brings both advantages and disadvantages to our society. Social media can encourage individuals to be more open, but sometimes the information shared on social media can become a weakness for others.
The presentation gave me a clearer insight of the manipulation that is delivered through media. I was aware of the unrealistic ideals promoted by media, but I didn’t realize that its presence was so significant. I often watch advertisements and shows but only think of the surface idea and the main idea. I never gave thought to the small details and messages incorporated into advertisements, movies, shows, etc. This reflects a weakness in our society in that we often depend on social media to construct our thoughts. We allow media to manipulate us in the simplest ways. Even I, myself, have given in to the ideals of our society. The ideas that are reflected in media are often established as the “norm” and anyone who fails to fit in are constantly criticized. This has led our society to place more importance on “fitting in” rather than doing what they believe is right. We often have difficulty making our own decisions because we are so accustomed to having our decisions made for us. The unrealistic ideals in social media negatively impact our society in that we lose sense of reality and the comparison causes us to lower our own sense of self worth.
Snopes.com is a website where it "fact checks" articles that are rumored to be false or true. I came across a fact-checking article that addresses a rumor about a possible statement Trump has made in the past. The article discusses a rumor that claims that Donald Trump has previously criticized Republican voters for being “dumb” and “gullible”. It started when a picture of a magazine cover with Trump and the quote was being spread. It claims to be from a 1998 “People’s Magazine”. It turns out that Trump has never said such thing although some claim he has made implications. To be honest, I would’ve believed the rumor—most likely because I oppose Trump. I think that we often believe what we wish was true. If I were truly a Trump supporter, I would probably make effort to disprove such rumors in an act to defend him. I do speculate articles when the topic is something that can't be easily determined. I search other articles that could refute or prove the facts that are present in that certain article. I think articles online are the ones that people need to be concerned of, unlike articles in newspapers, like the New York Times. Writers of newspapers need to be consistent and truthful in their articles because it will lower the company’s credibility and lower sense of trust in the customers. I try to base my knowledge and information on credible sources, like CNN, NY Times, and the local news. Additionally, I think possessing knowledge supported by a trusted source gives off a sense of intelligence and reliability to the other party.
The Warsaw rebellion took place during World War II, when Jewish people were the target for elimination. This rebellion was powerful because the Jewish prisoners revolted at a time where there was chaos and an inhumane ruler, named Hitler, was ruling Germany. The act in trying to make a difference when it seemed as if there was no hope shows courage and determination to fix an issue that is killing the country. The Jews held in the Warsaw Prison rebelled due to the harsh environments they were living in. Nazi's have the ultimate power, so they would abuse and mistreat the "prisoners". The Jews believed that they had to do something to stop the abuse that was given to them. Fellow prisoners inspired one another when a fellow cellmate would disobey an officer. Their motivation to hold a rebellion came from the awe in the actions of their fellow people. The Jews started to initiate resistance and they accumulated about 1,000 people to participate in the revolt. The "prisoners" found and seized weapons to attack the soldiers. They also started fires in concentration camps to show how that they won't be equipped to stay in a place where the government traps Jews (and other minorities) in an inhumane area. In the end, the Nazi's won but it showed how brave those fighters were--they wanted to make a change in how they were living, even if they know they would die as a result. Rebellions are protests where the oppressed can fight for what they believe in to spark change for a better environment.
This is an image of the event. The Nazi soldiers walking peacefully as buildings right next to them are on fire reflect the significance of their power.
The clenched fist is a common symbol for rebellion.
O'Brien is a villain. O’Brien’s role as a villain becomes more apparent as he explains to Winston the Party’s desire for power. O’Brien’s ideals completely reflect the merciless nature of the Party. O'Brien tortures Winston because he wants to torture Winston. He shows no trace of compassion or pity when torturing Winston. Winston states, "[how can I win] against the lunatic who is more intelligent than [I]?" (262). Even Winston senses that O'Brien is "in love" with the government. O'Brien is already executing heinous acts towards Winston for the benefit of the Party, which is overall the purpose of his life. The Party's goal is to manipulate everyone into relying on Big Brother, and O'Brien is carrying out the goal; he is making Winston "...love Big Brother. It is not enough to obey him; you must love him" (282). People who work for the Party are designed and trained to disregard personal emotions to go to any necessary level of torture to force people to conform to the Party. It’s difficult to label such a character like O’Brien as a victim, for his intentions in torturing Winston go beyond what is forced by the Party.
My views on media have stayed constant but my understanding has deepened with a personal meaning. I realized that media is a clever thing; it can manipulate you when you least expect it to. I always thought of myself to be unlike the people who are addicted to technology and media. But, I realized that I, too, am vulnerable to the ideals exposed in social media. A portion of my beliefs does reflect social conformity, and I learned that I must keep grasp of reality by limiting the intake of information from media. Although I am not as involved or engaged in social media, I do make sure I stay updated on any events that occur within my circle of friends and the close environment. I use social media platforms to communicate with personal friends and family rather than with the public. This class has greatly expanded my understanding of the role that technology and media plays in our society. This class differed from other language arts classes I have taken in that this class has gave me valuable lessons and insight about a topic that holds great significance in modern society. Media is something that we come across almost everyday whether we are aware or not. It’s almost unavoidable in a world that continues to advance in technology, which is why it’s important to become educated about the different factors of media and the effect it has on our society. Class activities such as Socratic seminars did a good job in prompting students to reflect and think. In the future, I think there should be more activities that allow students to personally reflect on solely their own connection with media.
There are 7 billion people on this planet. We become aware of current events through the use of social media and advanced technology. The technology that we use today has the label of “connecting people around the world”, but in reality, it actually disconnects us from importance figures. Prince Ea reflects this statement by providing a real life example of him wanting to meet up with his friend face-to-face, but his friend said, “What time do you want to Skype?” We must all come together to face this issue of not wanting to have physical interactions with one another; we would rather send love emojis than hug the person that we love. Our world is transforming from a high-tech society into a society where lack of physical altercation is the norm. In order for our future to be somewhat fortunate, we must make the decision to put down our devices at appropriate times; no more texting someone in the same room, no more vigorous gaming, and more proximity in physical interference, more laughter that fills an entire room. Being addicted to social media can be fixed; you must be the one who wants to change. You must also realize that social media is affecting your ability to communicate to people through words and body language. Having the willpower to overcome this addiction will result in a more positive attitude in yourself as well as the people around you. Social media does a good job in delivering news across the oceans, but it doesn’t mean you have to strip yourself of your own values just to conform to society. I am going to take a few steps at a time; the more frequently you do something, the easier it is to establish the habit. I slowly lesson my use of social media for personal uses and hope to maybe use it to encourage others with a positive attitude. It would be great to know that I made an impact on someone’s life; making he or she realize the beauty in looking up from his or her screen. I believe we can “auto-correct humanity” only if we are all willing to all contribute positive efforts to release people from the imprisonment of technology.