Media reflects all of us

Is there more too it?

Becoming Media Literate

Many people mistake media for news and different texts, although these are examples of media it goes much further than that. Media is simply a source of information whether it be sound, text, images, and video. This includes many forms of entertainment like music, books, news (both paper and on television), TV, games, etc. Media surrounds us and envelopes our lifestyle today. Whether this I beneficial or detrimental to our well-being is up for debate. However, if you are not media literate, nothing good will come of it at all. Being media literate is being able to use different types of media to communicate your thoughts and ideas to other people. It is essential for you to be able to communicate through different mediums in order to get your point across, and different mediums are appropriate for different situations. When companies make adds they don’t make novels that take hours to read, they create 10 second commercials, or images on websites to advertise because it is a more effective way you present their idea without needing people to voluntarily participate in the add. This same concept applies to us students. Communicating your thoughts on a novel you recently read would be difficult and less informative through a song, that is why it is necessary for us to be able to use all these different media tools. Being media literate helps you gain knowledge and share your own, it allows you to separate information and facts from fluff and exaggerations, and really increases the rate at which you learn.

Glad I'm not one of "those" people

To go a full 24 hours without social media is a nightmare for most teenagers my age, but not for me. I naturally went the required time without even thinking of the task at hand. I have never found a lot of entertainment looking at other people’s lives, or sharing my pointless day to day activities with the rest of the world. I would rather focus on things that hold more value than meaningless posts. Instead of getting on Facebook or Instagram I researched some music theory, and used that new information to help me when I was writing a few melodies on a keyboard. What could I have put the information I got off of Instagram to use for? Nothing. Social media is more often than not a way to pass time. I just naturally choose to spend my time more wisely and on activities that more stimulating. It’s really disappointing that some teenagers just don’t have anything to do with their time. I know of countless people that are glued to their phones from the minute they get home from school, and it’s disappointing, and it’s getting worse. With the new introduction of Snapchat to the social media family people are wasting their time more efficiently than ever. People need to find passion in more things, develop new skills, and enjoy their own lives, not others’.

Donald Trump Steals Slogan " Make America Great Again" from Adolf Hitler

Claims have been made that Presidential Candidate Donald Trump is using the same Slogan as Hitler once used in Germany, however this is not entirely accurate. It's not known whether Hitler used this exact phrase but the idea was definitely present in Nazi propaganda. Although I despise Trump, I have to back him up on this one. Trump's slogan isn't really that strange of a slogan, or have a negative connotation in any way. It was used in Germany after the harsh defeat in WWI. To make a country great again isn't really a bad message even if Hitler said it too. More importantly Ronald Reagan, Margret Thatcher and many other politicians have used very similar slogans before. He very likely is instead ripping off Reagan or someone else other than Hitler. We need to make sure out dislike of someone doesn't cause us to act like fools or we are no better than him.

Life of a Prole

The description of the very isolated path of the proles in George Orwell's 1984 becomes somewhat unsettling once you realize the basic similarities of between the proles and our own lives. We do all the same things: Hang out with friends, watch football, drink beer, have sex, and some of us even gamble. The book presents these characteristics of the proles as the tools the government uses to keep the lover class distracted and uneducated. That brings up some uncomfortable question about whether all these same exact hobbies and lifestyle we share with proles could be the result of exactly what is happening in the book. Perhaps we are not exactly like the proles in ways where we have more freedom and better living conditions, but maybe the materials we use today are just here to distract us. To me it seems more like a self induced distraction. Everyone needs to relax in some way or another so we do certain these to distract us. We are still almost exactly like the proles in all ways except we choose to bring the exact same conditions upon us. We have the luxury of freedom to choose out distractions and it somehow makes it okay. I don't believe TV, sports and alcohol are here to control us or hide a disturbing truth, but that doesn't mean that entertainment couldn't evolve into an oppressing distraction, and being aware of this potential outcome of entertainment should make us more cautious in the future.

Haitian Revolution

The Haitian Revolution is a largely forgotten conflict between the slaves on the Island of Hispaniola and their French owners. It's unusual because it started with no outside aid. Slaves began freeing others and largely outnumbered the french plantation owners on the island. The second interesting part of this revolution is when the French sent in soldiers to protect their interests. France being enemies with everyone like they had always been in the past attracted the attention of Great Britain and Spain. Both countries recognized the uprising and sent aid to the revolting slaves. As the phrase goes "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". Although there were four times as many slave deaths as french deaths, the slaves successfully gained the freedom and rights they fought for.

Winston VS Edward Snowden

Corruption in government is always bound to be discovered by the people of the country, whether it is legal or not. We see examples in both fiction novels an in the real world. The majority of the population is at least somewhat familiar with 1984 and the big brother structure and power of government. Most of the people that read the book are in complete agreement with the justification of Winston rebellious acts, but when compared to real life whistle blowers like Edward Snowden is there a difference in the justification in the government. Edward Snowden found information exposing corruption and felt a moral obligation to the citizens of the country to share it with him. Winston too wants justice on the party and wants to make the country free again, but you can clearly see his motives are more driven by hate in revenge. That doesn't make the moral reasoning of Winston's actions questionable, but there is still a difference. Both Edward and Winston have chosen to sacrifice themselves to change the country.

Perception of Reality

1984 discusses a subject generally avoided my main stream literature and is reminiscent of the transcendentalism period in discussing the existentialism through human perception. The main antagonist in the story, O'Brien, believes that "Reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else. Not in the individual mind, which can make mistakes, and in any case soon perishes: only in the mind of the party which is collective and immortal" (Orwell 249). At first glance this belief seems foolish and flawed in many ways, but after asking some questions about reality it doesn't seem that far fetched anymore. Humans cannot experience anything outside the perception of the human mind and if the party can make you believe in their messages through torture and mind twisting questioning than its only reasonable that they control reality.

Smore Reflection

I initially thought of media literacy as a skill developed to drag more information out of whatever type of media i was reading, much like doing annotations on an article. I was on the right track, but it was much deeper than i initially thought. Media Literacy is the ability to take information away from text, but reflect your own information off of the media in order to learn different life lessons. The most valuable behavior i gained in this class was through reading 1984 and realizing that there is a very undefined line between right and wrong, good and bad, and justice and injustice that is why we must be media literate, because without it we are not deciphering the world around us, we would be no different than the people of Oceania forced to believe certain things. This class really allowed me and my peers to put ourselves in the shoes of the characters and find out for ourselves why the world is the way it is and how to prevent being walked over by those who want to take advantage of the people unaware. I am not a huge language arts guy, but this class was much more valuable than any other language arts class i have taken. I felt like i was being taught to think instead of just write. It felt more like a philosophy class than a language arts class. I thought a lot of the lessons and activities in class did a good job of teaching us different concepts, but a few of them felt a little just like busy work and could of had more meaning behind them, however what i took away from the class greatly out weighs some of the minor things I disliked, and makes me feel like i have definitely grown a little as a person.

Can we auto-correct humanity?

As i discovered in our 24 hours without social media, the key to becoming less reliant on social media is to have hobbies to occupy our time. I feel as if some people view social media as a hobby. They establish and maintain an image, feel a duty to entertain the people of the internet, or just want more attention. It is an individual effort we must make to rid ourselves of these self destructive behaviors. The phrase "Everything in moderation" suits social media quite nicely. Instead we should practice more beneficial hobbies instead. Music, art, and outdoor activities are much better alternatives than gluing your eyeballs to a phone. Social media is just like any other addiction in the way to stop it. To stop abusing social media people first need to realize how it has a negative impact on their lives and how life without it can be even more fulfilling. This is not to say that social media cannot be used for good. It is a great way to spread news, gain support for social activism, and get a good laugh every once in a while. I use social media sparingly, mostly when i am either waiting on something like food to cook or in the bathroom, and only to fill in the time for the more exciting part of life. I have already separated myself from the negative influence of social media and am not really worried about its effects on me mostly because of my strong opinions against it and i rarely use it.