Fact or Fiction?

Our ability to communicate around the world is getting more and more advanced every day. It is a lot easier now to get in touch with others from different countries then it was just a few years ago.  With the technology we have with smartphones almost anyone can be a journalist, with one picture, video or tweet we can now post information to the internet with one touch of a button. With the way, our media is evolving even the government uses social media to make some announcements. I feel that we still can not fully rely on social media for cold hard facts but it can give us some incite on what is happening in the moment. I think that with anything put on social media has to be triple checked before proven as real. It is very easy nowadays to make fake news posts and manufacture videos that look real but are not. I do not think that social media feeds are a reliable source for information.

Offensive!

Advertisers love to shock people, they gain attention and publicity the more people talk about their ads. Is it okay to make an offensive ad so people will talk about the product? I don’t think it is right, but sadly the “shock value” works in most cases. The more offensive it is the more publicity it gets nowadays.  If an advertisement  comes out that is majorly offensive then even the news will make a story out of it. This only adds flame to the fire because now more people are getting informed when the whole thing could have been avoided. I think that a lot of the time the media will make a bigger deal out of something than it needs to be.  I think the media should ignore the offensive advertisements in many cases because they are giving them free publicity. All this negativity is contagious and hurts our society in the long run.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

In today’s world media is a big open book. If you share it, someone is going to see it. So why do celebrities get so upset with the “media” when their picture ends up in the news? After all isn’t it their job to be seen?  Many people would say that celebrities are just like you and me. Yes, they are people but they live a very different life than the average person.  For example, I could go to the grocery store and no one would care, but let’s say Kim K (Kim Kardashian) goes then people are interested in whether she bought apples or bananas.  Most celebrities love the attention from the press; if, it is what they want to be seen.  The press can be very invasive at times and can cause a negative commotion in celebrity’s lives.   I am a big believer in if you don’t want it to be seen then don’t do it.  If celebrities want to have more control over the negative media then they need to conceal their bad behavior, better yet give the press positive things to talk about.

Media Journal Three

In our mass communications class, we had to go without any kind of media for 24 hours.  This media journal was difficult but not impossible, even though it seemed that way at times. Instead of consuming media I played my piano, cleaned out my closet and went outside and played with my dog. The day seemed much longer since I didn’t have so many distractions to keep me preoccupied.  To say this media journal was easy would be a lie, but it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be.  I did miss watching YouTube videos and scrolling through various social medias. The worst part was not being able to talk to my fiancé. I told him ahead of time that I was not going to be able to use my phone or any kind of media that day. He wasn’t happy about the situation, but he is very supportive of school so he was understanding. I still live with my parents so not using media had no effect on our communication. Some of the things I didn’t miss about media was all the political propaganda that is still floating around on Facebook and the redundancy of the news.

Over all, I think this media journal was a learning experience but I don’t know if I would ever do it again.  I do think it is something people should do at least once. It is an eye-opening experience because you don’t realize how much of your life is surrounded by media until you go without it for 24 hours. Through the semester we have had to do three media journals. I feel like they have helped me learn more about my media consumption and how it affects my life. On a scale of one to ten, I’m a six when it comes to me controlling the media or the media controlling me. The reason I say a six is because I do enjoy using the media and I use it a lot. However, I don’t think I am controlled by the media because I can go without it for some time. I plan to approach media in the future the same way I do now. After doing the 24 hours without, I do think I will cut back some because I get more done in a day without the distractions. I would recommend doing these media journals because they help give a new perspective on one’s media use.

Is Music Isolating Us?

I feel that personal music players distance us from others. There is a meme trending on the internet that says, “If I have my headphones in don’t talk to me.” Personal music players like iPods, mp3’s and smartphones have made people more anti-social.  All you have to do is put on your headphones and you can ignore people in a way that is socially accepted. I am guilty of using my headphones in this way. However, there is a positive side to using headphones at college.  Recently, I was in the math lab and the noise around me was so distracting that I had to put my headphones in playing classical music. It helped me to concentrate on my math quiz. Portable music players and headphones have made it easier for us to have music with us, but with that, it has somewhat isolated us from the people around us.

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.

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.

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.