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Technology and Guns both killers.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsMocking Trump

 

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Another School Shooting

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Media in the future.

 

In order to generate an opinion about how media will transform in the coming years, I will start by comparing two commercials, both from Coca-Cola. The first commercial is from the 1970’s, and the second was released in 2012.

The first commercial is all singing, giving it a light and playful mood, but not very attention grabbing. Some shots last for around 15 seconds. There aren’t very many stereotypes at play, I couldn’t I even say what one of them is. The commercial allows us to get an idea of what some of Coke’s ideals were back in the 70’s: it assumes that people value diversity and global integration. Therefore they use advertising tactics to play off of those values, resulting in a commercial featuring people from all over the world singing together. They are trying to get people to buy their product, but they do so without making negative assumptions about viewers. What they are saying about Coke is that it also values diversity.

The second commercial obviously has much better cinematic production. You are immediately viewing an execution scene, which is apparent within 2 seconds of the ad beginning. What this commercial is saying is that Coke Zero can get you out of any trouble. If a guy can get out of being executed, you can do anything, especially lose weight because there are no calories. It’s presenting Coke as a problem solving device that can save your life, whereas the first commercial showed Coke as a rich and cultured company. The second commercial assumes that you want to consume less calories because you think it will make you thinner.

I’d say overall the second commercial uses a much more brainwash-like technique: They make it seem as though Coke can do things it really can’t. This shows a trend as time goes on of companies doing more to make their product seem better than it really is by playing off of the ideals of the audience.

I think that in the future, companies will become even more manipulative and outrageous with their advertising, and they will try even harder to control the way the audience views their product. The longer goes by, the more developed and advanced advertising practices become. Compare the simple intent behind the Coke commercial from the 70’s to that of the Dove commercial we viewed in class. The dove commercial is a huge scheme that seeks to accomplish the same thing but in a very different and more complex way. The Dove commercial assumes that the audience is scornful and aware of the cheesy techniques that companies nowadays are known to use, and seeks to convince you that they are as well. But why are we scornful of the cheesy ads? Because we know that they are just trying to get us to buy their product. But Dove is also, they are just doing it by making  the audience think that they are on our side. Conceptual advertising technology will become more creative in ways to control the human mind.

The Conflict of Media Dependency

Upon much focus and examination of the media and its effects on today’s society, I think it’s safe to say that I regard the media from a standpoint similar to many people. There is, without a doubt, a large number of issues that accompany the rapid spread of technology and the ways in which they impact society. However, I spend a great deal of time consuming media material, and am heavily reliant on it in some aspects. As media has become more predominant in our culture, there are innumerable negative consequences of media consumption and dependence that are brought about. I know I, personally, contemplate media’s effects, and whether the good outweigh the bad. Additionally, in our exposure to the media, we are often exposed to criticisms of the media. As technology has become a widespread and often unregulated tool for people around the world, the media projects criticisms of what it is in itself. It is safe to say that I face a challenge that is conflicting for many people of this day and age: I can clearly see issues with media’s dominance over our world, and have formed many of my own opinions on the matter. At the same time, I am plagued by my own reliance on the media, and the effect that taking action to change this dependence could be very impactful on my voice in society and my relations with other people.

      The nature of the issue lies within the fact that the news has considerably changed and improved society in certain ways. I am grateful for the media because it offers citizens an opportunity at voicing whatever they choose to, which was not always so easy. Mediums like blogs give citizens a medium to distribute information and an opportunity for response. I appreciate how closely the media ties us together, the degree to which it allows citizens to understand current events, and the quickness of communication it allows.

      The issue I have with media is broad, and is brought about for similar reasons that I appreciate the media. I believe that the true problem is not technology, but the dependence that our society has on the media. The media has changed so rapidly and become such an integral part of our lives that it becomes increasingly hard to distinguish the good and the bad. While technology connects us, a lack of technology disconnects us from one another. In a world so reliant on technology, many things become nearly impossible without this sort of communication. Overuse of technology is also very common and takes away from the time we spend living our lives. I believe that media is of vital importance, but the reliance we have on it today makes it hard for us to function without it.

      The prospect of media domination is a scary one, given the amount of change we, as a society, have experienced firsthand. In my life, I have seen media follow an upward trend, and expect it to continue on that path. People are so consumed by media and technology that there is a constant hunger for new growth, and a constant competition to produce material that surpasses what is already available. It is also clear to me, first hand, how much of an improbability a decrease in media usage would be. Today, I see a society full of people who need technology and news media to make it through their day. My peers, as well as myself, are in constant need of media in order to carry out responsibilities like our schoolwork. Children are learning to use  technology and interpret news media, as it has been integrated into the classroom environment, among many other mediums. In the future, I see a society that is even more reliant on technology. Children will come from a background where they see and use media constantly. It becomes a part of the world they live in, and becomes hard to regulate. My peers and I have received our education in a media dominated educational system, and media will, therefore, be vital to our careers.

      The New York Times released an article earlier this year entitled, Peering Into the Future of Media. The article reinforces the ideas and concerns that I predict will be problematic in our future. The article exaggerates many of these issues, but reaches the same conclusion: learning to live, function, and work in a media dominated society will lead us into a world that is hard to live, function, or work in without media. This progression is both a blessing and a curse, and my hope is that the upward media trend will not lead to a downward spiral in society’s ability to live without it.

Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/15/business/media/peering-into-the-future-of-media.html?_r=0

The Future

Technology is in the forefront of all news today and I do not anticipate that changing.  I see it becoming more and more prevalent.  Newspapers and magazines will become fewer and fewer while online journals and blogs will become even more popular than they are today. I saw an interesting article a while back referencing how Fox News has lost its credibility. I think that things like this are cyclical and will constantly be changing.  The leading news producers will flip flop who is on top and who is slipping behind.  A few things will not change, conglomerates will always be there.  I think that it could even become more apparent.  Less and less companies will own the majority of all news.  This is scary to think about.  We are already somewhat brainwashed from all the media that we see that is either biased or one sided.  Things could get worse.  I can think of something that could, and may, combat this.  User-generated content.  Blogs. I see blogs taking off in the future.  People want to know quick stories, written in a way that we can zoom through them.  Everything is moving in the quick direction.. no one sits down and reads the newspaper before they go to work.  They check their phone for updates or emails.  I see the media really going in this direction.  Quick blog updates sent to mobile devices that pinpoint the users interests and concerns and simply send the user what he or she wants to know and hear about.  “Mobile” will dominate.  Having all the information that you may want in the palm of your hand… that’s what our generation wants.

I could be completely wrong.. Media and technology are constantly changing and I really can’t predict what is going to happen.

I found this article about the future of digital media and found it to be really interesting. 

How Are We Going to be Agents of the Media in the Future

I often think about what the future holds for our consumption of media. I also ponder whether or not it will be a bright one. I have viewed many of the posts for this blog prompt, and I have seen a common theme of fear for the impending advancements that society will see in technology and its relation to media.

            It seems to me that with all of the freedom that we have as producers and consumers of media through the Internet and other technologies, there will be a following of stricter control over how we interact with these freedoms. I’m not too sure if this is a good thing. The thing is, all throughout this class we have really only been able to study the past of media, and how it has developed to what it is today. This is because what the future holds is very unclear. Thus, with this uncertainty of what and how media becomes in the future, it seems that all of us will be unsure how to handle it. Take for instance the whole buzz over the NRA over the last year. A lot of people were very upset when it was found out the lengths in which the government can take through monitoring our activity as members of the internet. On one hand I am upset as well, but on the other I realize that it was the only measures plausible to ensure that there was some length of legal control over our freedoms.

            One phenomenon that I find interesting is the new fad that we see on facebook where members of universities create confessions pages. There is clearly someone who manages these facebook pages, yet at the same time people feel anonymous enough to post some pretty embarrassing stuff, and they seem to not realize that there is someone reading it. Thus, I think there needs to be a balance and realization that people need to embrace when it comes to anonymity through text. You can see the DU confessions page here.

 

Another perplexing concept when it comes to the idea of instant information within society is that I believe we think we are more connected than we actually are. Take for instance the mystery behind the missing Malaysian Airlines Jet. It seems that in today’s time we are always a click away from knowing exactly what happens all over the world. Yet somehow, despite the abundance GPS utilities that comes along with it, has been missing for many days now. I feel that we perhaps can over estimate exactly how accurate the information we receive actually is. If a massive airline jet can go missing so easily, then how can we be sure that information that is quickly updated on the web about events all over the world is accurate? Perhaps we have a far too reliant attitude towards the media and its connection to us.

In the end, I feel that we are taking the initial steps needed to understand our relationship to how media is changing. However, I believe we need to further it by taking more in depth views at how we are going to be agents of how it changes in the future.

Addicted to Technology

I don’t think there is doubt in anyone’s mind that technology has been a great asset to our society. Cell phones, the Internet, and many other devices and applications have made life easier and more entertaining. However, this has come at a price. Personally, I can say with confidence that a great deal of my time is mindlessly wasting using technology. In fact, I actually sat down to write this more than an hour ago, but before I could force myself to start, I browsed, Imgur, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, my email, and various other sites where procrastination is made easy. I hate to admit it, but I am addicted to technology- and I’m sure I am not alone.

Our society’s current addiction to technology is one that represents a larger tend of addiction to entertainment. This can be seen in many aspects of our media, from the sheer number of reality TV shows to our focus on “infotainment” stories in the news. As of now, this trend is one of a negative nature. Rather than focusing on what is really going on in the world, we choose to focus merely on things that bring us pleasure. By no means is gaining pleasure from media and technology a bad thing, but when it causes us to lose focus of some of the more important happenings in the world, it puts us at a disadvantage culturally and academically. I am plenty guilty of this myself. The pursuit of pleasure through entertainment has definitely numbed me to the current events of the world, which is something that I know I need to work on.

If this trend continues to grow, it will affect not only our current generation, but the generations following. And with the rapid growth of technology in our society, I fear that there is no stopping the trend. Thus, because we cannot combat technology, as a society, we must place a renewed emphasis on the importance of knowledge outside of entertainment culture, as well as the importance of activities not involving the use of technology. We must teach our children that entertainment can be found outside of the computer or television screen and that true knowledge is more valuable than trivial pop-culture information. This will not be an easy thing to do, as our obsession with entertainment is deeply ingrained in our culture, but we must at least start to fight this. As far as I’m concerned, it is a necessary battle.

Sources

http://www.reddit.com

http://www.imgur.com

http://www.facebook.com

http://www.twitter.com

http://www.webopedia.com

Photoshop Frenzy

My piece of online media is from Upworthy. The video displays a woman during a photo-shoot, and how Photoshop is used to transform her body into something other than her own. At the beginning of the video, the young woman has no make up one, and is half naked. Hairstylists and make-up artists do their work and create a completely different person. The lighting is then changed so that the woman looks longer, leaner and thinner. Then Photoshop comes in to play; making her eyes bigger, neck longer, legs longer, and so much more. The final product is no longer the same woman. She is edited and airbrushed.

In terms of ideologies, we can see through this picture, the nature of the how the world views beauty and women. It’s the ideology that we need make-up and styled hair, airbrushing and Photoshop to be beautiful. And if we don’t have any of that, we aren’t worthy of being beautiful. This piece of media illustrates how our society is obsessed with external beauty, rather than internal.

The stereotype that women aren’t beautiful in their natural, untouched skin is a stereotype portrayed here. This has a huge effect because women, and young girls need to love themselves just the way they are; yet with Photoshop, an unrealistic view of a woman is portrayed. This has a huge influence on young girls, going through puberty, who are growing up and want to be seen as beautiful. This video shows them there is only one type of beauty, and if you don’t fit that mold, then you aren’t beautiful. This has huge consequences, such as self-esteem issues, eating disorders, depression and others.

Another problem is that the woman is topless. Her chest is hidden, but this video glamorizes taking off ones clothes to the public. It shows that you need to take your clothes off to receive attention from men, the world, etc. This is a problem, because it’s a show of disrespect for yourself. Everyone deserves respect, and every body should be sacred, and shouldn’t be showed to the whole world. Being that exposed, in my opinion, shows a deep lack of self-esteem and confidence. You don’t need to take your clothes off to be beautiful; it’s possible to love and be proud of your body, without revealing too much to everyone else.

http://www.upworthy.com/see-why-we-have-an-absolutely-ridiculous-standard-of-beauty-in-just-37-seconds

I Worry for My Children

As a twenty-year-old college student media affects my life on a daily basis. I am constantly checking my Facebook, my Instagram, and my Snapchat. My news is almost always given to me through those social media mediums. I am genuinely interest in what my friends are up to and what they choose to post. I am looking at a screen for the majority of my day. Technology is incorporated in almost every class that I take.

 

I believe that technology is a double-sided sword. Our generation is blessed with medical advances because of technology. Our generation is also lucky to have so many forms of communication. However, I do think that we are extremely dependent. Sometimes I wish that I can just “un-plug” from my technological life.

 

I have concerns for the involvement of media and technology in my children’s lives. I worry that they won’t find pleasure in flipping the pages of a Dr. Seuss book. I worry that they will forever be judged because of something they immaturely posted through social media. I also worry that they will be negatively influenced by expectations portrayed through the media. I hope to teach my children about the influence of media on our society and how it affects our every day lives in positive and negative ways. 

The Future of Media in My Life

For about a decade now, all types of media have been a pretty big part of my life.  From my first memory of a major media event, which was the twin towers attack, to my latest, the Boston Bombing incident, media has influenced what I do along with my peers.  Media controls what is in style and what is no longer something that should be happening.  They play with our emotions, entertain us and make us obsess, but in the end, we need each other to function. 

 

New media creates relationships, ideas and uncertainty, but maybe it isn’t just the media creating it.  Maybe it’s the people like me sitting behind a computer pouring my thoughts out in a blog post that will spark an idea for someone else.  Maybe this post will evoke someone to spark up a conversation with me that create a new friendship.  Our media does have its unquestionable positivity’s about it.  I personally use media to connect with my beliefs, my likes and friends that I no longer see on a regular basis. 

I am no hardcore politics guru but I do chose one news station over another because of the material they portray on their outlet.  With the amount of diversity in that portion of media, people are able to pick and chose the news outlet. 

My biggest interest in life is sports, not just the playing of the sports, but the makeup of every franchise from owner to towel boy and what it takes to keep a successful sports business running.  ESPN and every local sports station keeps me up to date on what is going on in the sports world.

 For me, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are my most visited websites.  Each one of those serves a different purpose in my life.  I use each media outlet to connect with different people in different ways.

 

I believe that when our generation begins to have children, their entire world will be consumed with electronics and media.  You are already beginning to see children with Iphones or Ipads connecting with the media world with very limited supervision from their parents.  So when I begin to have children I already plan on their entire curriculum in school being based off of Ipads and media based studies.  Also, media has taken enormous leaps and bounds in the past few years and I plan on it only getting bigger and a more integrated portion of our lives. 

 

One thing I do fear is the constant need of power in conglomerations and that never-ending chase to become the most powerful.  The diversity we have right now in media is great and like I said earlier, people have a vast field to choose from in many classifications.  As we get older, the need for power may grow and conglomerations may begin to buy out struggling outlets.  This will greatly affect the concentration of our news and entertainment.    

The Brave New(est) World of the 21st Century Media

I think that it’s remarkable how far human society (and consequently, its media) has progressed. However, what I find truly  amazing, as well as quite hopeful, is that our social and technological development is accelerating, and has been doing so for the better part of a millennium.

What began over 500 years ago as a trickle of technological, economic, and societal growth grew into a torrent. The first daily newspaper was founded not two centuries after the Gutenburg’s perfection of the printing press.  Mass circulation media and the telegraph both arrived under a hundred years after that. The first telephone call– under forty years after the telegraph.

Then it really took off.

Film, radio, television broadcasts. Networks, computers, satellite communications, the Internet. Cassettes, CDs, DVDs, Blue-Ray, Facebook, Twitter. All invented either after or just before the last turn of the century.

I won’t go so far as to say technology is the primary driver behind human progress–as the authors of our textbook emphasized, it’s far more complicated than that. But it’s had an undeniable role in facilitating the exchange of information on every scale.

What a time to be alive!

The connections that exist between everything and everyone in our society– the channels through which things shape and are shaped by each other– are diversifying, multiplying to a degree never before seen. Though some of the vestiges of old power and traditional media remain, the level of decentralization and the rise of  audience participation are astounding.

I think the diversification of media sources via the participation of the “people formally known as the audience” will prove a boon for democracy. People who may have been previously apathetic are finding–and creating–ways of receiving important information that were previously unavailable. The primary duties of the media in a democracy are  to monitor those with power and cultivate an informed citizenry; it matters very little if those are fulfilled by WSJ, CNN, or via newer players like Reddit and Imgur.

The new media is here to stay, and even the most robust of the old guard media outlets are facing steady attrition. The world’s most widely circulated newspaper, Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun, had an average  circulation of 9.9 million for 2011, down slightly from the previous year; Reddit, the sharing website, had 731 million unique visitors in 2013, up 83% from 2012. Things are changing in a radical way.

The transition will be bumpy and the product won’t be perfect. Some traditional media outlets will fade into obsolescence; perhaps some new media will overreach and implode. And we must be wary of, as Neil Postman puts it, our tendency “to adore the technologies that undo our capacities to think.”  But what’s important to remember is that this is not the first time the media has undergone monumental change, and we survived.

Today’s traditional media was yesterday’s new media. And as today’s new media matures and consolidates, and even newer media and technologies not yet conceived arise in the future,  the forms of media we currently consider cutting edge may very well be in the same position newspapers are in now.

Trying to predict the future is ultimately a futile exercise, but if I could articulate in a single sentence my outlook on the future of media, it would sound something like this:

“For myself I am an optimist – it does not seem to be much use to be anything else.”  -Winston Churchill