Are Movies Worth It?

Movies have been a form of entertainment for years dating all the way back to the 1880’s. So why have they lasted this long as a primary form of entertainment? Personally, I enjoy going to the movies because it’s a fun thing to do with family and friends.  Movies are a way to step out of your everyday life and experience something new. They also create a bonding experience with whoever you’re with at the time.  I remember being a young girl and for my 13th birthday party, a  group of my friends and I went to Memphis, to see the “Hannah Montana Live Concert Movie”. We could never get concert tickets for her show so this movie was the next best thing. We danced and sang just as if we were at a concert.  It was one of the best birthday parties I had and I will never forget it.  As far as paying for a movie, I feel like the prices haven’t gotten too out of hand and if it is a movie you have been looking forward to seeing, it is worth the ticket price.

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Media Journal 2

For our Mass Com class, we had to track our media use for 21 days. Yes, it is as bad as it sounds.  Although the work was tedious it helped open my eyes to how much media I am exposed to in just one day. After starting the tracking, I would find myself not wanting to get on any kind of social media because I had to track it. By the next day I was back to using my media like normal because I was used to my daily routine; wake up to my phone alarm get on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and then while getting ready, watch YouTube videos.  In just a couple of hours, I have already been exposed to a day’s worth of media.

Some of the patterns I saw when I looked back through my media tracking were, every morning when I wake up I get on Facebook or some form of social media. I also noticed that most of my media consumption was at night and that I would actually fall asleep to YouTube videos still playing. The days I feel like I used the most media were Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays. I can understand Fridays and Saturdays when the media use goes up because it’s the weekend and most of the things I do involve media. I was surprised that Monday was one of the days I used more media because Mondays are usually the busiest; so I didn’t think I had a lot of time for social media and other media outlets.

My family was not majorly affected by me tracking media. Media does bring us together in some sense, such as every Tuesday my mom and I will watch Dancing with the Stars together. My brother and I will usually send funny YouTube videos back and forth to one another. I send memes to my fiancé on a regular basis as jokes and we text each other the majority of the day. When my fiancé and I go out to eat, in most restaurants, music would be playing so I would have to track that on my phone before we had our meal. One of the things I did experience was putting my phone down when I was with others. It made me realize that a real conversation with my family or fiancé is better than anything on Facebook.

The main source of media in my town is the newspaper and the gossipers. I live in a small town where the most exciting thing to happen would be if we had a stop light installed.  Not much goes on here in Lake City, but when something happens everyone knows about it. If you want to be in the know about the town gossip go to the library and the librarian will fill you in on everything.  Even though we don’t have a lot going on here in our small town the news from Jonesboro does sometimes affected us since Jonesboro is only 20 minutes away.

I like to take pictures, watch and create YouTube videos and on occasion play the piano.  Media tracking didn’t have much effect on my hobbies, but I now realize that most of my hobbies include something to do with media. If I lost electricity for a day I wouldn’t be able to do any of my hobbies other than playing the piano.

It was honestly surprising to see how much my life is revolved around media. Media can bring us together or tear us apart; it all depends on how you use it. I thought I had a pretty good grip on how I use my media and how often I use it. But without media, I would be lost because nowadays we rely on it for everything. If we need to know how to get to one place from another, to find out information about a certain subject, for entertainment, everything involves media. I am grateful that we have media, but now after tracking it for 21 days. I am going to start using it to my advantage rather than letting it use me.

Newspapers Our Heritage

Newspapers are still a relevant source of news in today’s culture. I feel like without newspapers some of us would be lost and there would be many people out of a job.  Although with the digital age, we live in, newspapers are almost becoming a thing of the past.  Some newspapers have switched to online only because of the lack of subscribers and circulation. Newspapers are the roots of Mass Media and without them, we would be lost.  When my mother was in her mid-20s she worked at a small town newspaper and I remember her telling me stories about how they would have to get the paper done on time and being in such a small town they would have to drum up articles to put in the paper. I personally feel that newspapers bring an aesthetic that online use can’t. If we lose newspapers we lose our history in mass media. At the rate we are going now, sadly most newspapers will go to online only “print” and we will eventually stop printing real paper newspapers.  I am an advocate to keep printing and to not go to online only.  Newspapers are like our heritage, I can remember being a small child watching my papaw read the paper in his room. I don’t have many memories of him but what I can remember is he was always reading. I guess you could say newspapers are close to my heart because they remind me of my family. There’s nothing better than getting ink on your hands and smelling a real paper when you read it, you can’t get that kind of experience from a computer.

Articles or Advertising?

Have you ever been reading a really good article and at the end, they try to sell you something?  yeah, me too.  Advertisers are good tricksters when it comes to magazines. With many articles, we read today advertisers are trying to sell things rather than put out good articles for news or entertainment.  When I was younger I read a lot of “Tiger Beat”, “M”, and other young girl magazines and I never noticed that most of the so-called  “articles” were ads. Now that I am older I don’t read very many magazines, but I will occasionally pick up a “People” magazine or “Women’s Health”.  I feel like magazines are full of big advertisements and it is getting harder and harder to tell the difference between advertising and print.

Have Books Changed our Lives?

Books are very influential and play a major part in our society. If we didn’t have authors like C.S Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien we wouldn’t have many of the great movies we have today. Both C.S Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien were major influences in the literary world with their writings. C.S Lewis wrote The Chronicles of Narnia and J.R.R Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings trilogy, these works influenced the fantasy and science fiction world a great deal. Many years after their works were published, both trilogies were made into movies and became blockbuster hits.

One medium that has caused the most change and turmoil in the world is the internet. The internet has brought good and bad things to the table.  There are many ways in which the internet has been a good thing for the public and it has become a place where a journalist can publish news without being stopped by the government or their editor.  When Edward Snowden went to the press with his information about the public’s privacy being violated, he knew he would not be well received.  He had to go to a journalist he could trust who published his story over the internet.  His story has changed the way people feel about their privacy being invaded in the name of security.

There are many books that have changed the world, but one that stands out to me is the Holy Bible. When Gutenberg started the mass production of the bible, it made it easier for the common man to learn and read the bible for himself. Rather than going to a church and hearing it recited from a priest. This brought on new interpretations of the book and helped people to think more freely about the Bible. I feel this helped change the world because it broke down religious barriers that had stood tall for many years.

Selling the News

Living in the 21st century we have more media outlets than ever before, but do we have more options on what kind of media we are getting?  Most major news companies are owned by one huge company; these are called conglomerates. Conglomerates are the big guys, that have bought out the little guys and made one massive giant.  Disney, Time Warner, CBS, Viacom, are all big media conglomerates.  If you haven’t noticed, most companies like to publish the news that sells. So what does that mean for us media users? Are we getting real news or are we getting the highlights that make the company the most money? Sadly, the majority of the time we are only seeing the most popular topics and what brings in the most money.

As media users, we really have to search out the facts. Even though there are more outlets for us to use, there are fewer options for content. Most companies mirror each other when they see success in other companies. We have MSNBC on the left and Fox News on the right and the news has a twist that lines up with each sides agenda.

We see this mirroring in business all the time.  An example would be the Instagram stories and Snapchat debate.  A lot of people are upset and saying that Instagram ripped off Snapchat when they came out with “Instagram stories”. Instagram stories are very similar to Snapchat stories but Instagram made a few changes so it didn’t look identical; such as adding a playback action, more filters, different fonts to put on pictures, etc.

Is this trend being carried over in the news media field?  Are we getting the same stories just in different words? Several years ago, the public had full confidence in the media and believed it as true reporting.  Anything that Walter Cronkite or Barbara Walters said was considered truth and people had faith in their journalistic integrity.  In this day and age, it is getting harder and harder to believe in what the media is reporting. Yes, we do have more media outlets but with that, the media content has suffered. Rather than the news being reported, the news is being sold.

Media’s Focus

In recent events, a story that has become popularized due to its extensive coverage is Matt Lauer performance at the presidential forum.  The story claimed that he asked Donald Trump easier questions and grilled Hilary Clinton on email issues. It seems that presidential candidates get extensive news coverage.  Their every move is reported and analyzed.  In this case, ever the reporter is under fire.

There are more issues going on in the world than this year’s election. One example is the destruction of an ancient burial mound in southern North Dakota. An oil company drilled through a private ancient burial mound causing outrage in the Rock Sioux Tribe and community.

The media likes to glamorize things and make news interesting and some news reporters are as famous as many celebrities.  Many times the news is reported focusing on the popular issues when other significant issues are pushed to the background.

Conversations

There are so many different ways people communicate with each other. Such as, a one on one conversation, a daily text message from someone you love, a look from a friend that tells you what’s going on without asking, are all forms of interpersonal communication. On a daily basis, I will talk to more people one-on-one rather than in a group. For example, when I wake up in the mornings around 7:30 am,  I will look at my phone to see a message from my fiance saying good morning, then I’ll roll over and see my short brown dog trying to jump on the bed to get me up. Later, I will come into the kitchen where my mother is drinking her morning coffee and sit down to talk to her as we get our day started.  I have already experienced three different kinds of interpersonal communication before 10:00 am.

Personally, I enjoy having face-to-face conversations with people, because I feel that it  is the best way to get to know someone. When having a conversation in person you can read body language, hear the tone change in their voice if something makes them uncomfortable, and hear each other laugh when telling a joke. Yes, there are more risks for awkward moments of silence or not being able to stop the conversation and move on with your day; like you can in a text message conversation. I feel this is a good thing.  Sometimes technology makes its harder for people to communicate. Although technology has enhanced the level of communication across the world, I feel that it can hinder getting to know someone on a deeper level.  Getting to know your neighbor was commonplace a few years ago.  Today we are too busy to stop and take the time necessary to connect.  My Aunt Annie, who is 89 years old, always says it is “good manners” to speak to someone when they enter the room.  She will apologize if she doesn’t see you entering and immediately start a conversation.  During her time people were taught to interact with each other, today when someone enters a room often times we avoid eye contact and stare at our phones. With all the different ways we have to talk to one another, there is nothing better than to sit down and have a conversation.

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My Great Aunt Annie