understanding media

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Welcome to the forum for the Oxford Brookes University module U75102 Understanding Media.  The forum is currently closed.

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Messages - thelittlemermaid

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The Media / Re: Happily ever after? I think not.
« on: October 31, 2014, 12:56:37 pm »
Although I too believe that Disney films give false expectations of reality and life expectations, I think we have forgotten the purpose of these films. Disney is loved for the famous "happily ever after" and if society is seriously influenced by these cartoons then we should be questioning the human mind not the entertainment value of Disney. Disney is not viewed a some what deceitful to many children now growing up this harsh world but I would be interested to see how effected these children would be if they were to watch the truth on the 10 o clock news every night.

The Media / Re: Sex Revoulution through Media
« on: October 31, 2014, 12:42:13 pm »
I believe that these 'sexualised' images found in the Media, such as in Magazines for example, could in some circumstances be seen as a form of Art in higher end magazines such as 'Vogue' and 'Harpers Bizarre'. This form of Art, which often is not the view of many, could be seen as a way to glorify women, their bodies and their beauty and this is not a new discovery in Magazines. However, the Media in many ways is simply a platform to make money and these types of images do just that. The images are carefully selected and the women, and in many cases men, featured are comfortable with the way they are presented so why shouldn't we glorify them?

On the subject of glorifying the 'teen mom' in a TV series where, as 'themediastudent' pointed out, we are able to see the real life struggles these teenaged girls have as a form of entertainment for us is not something that should be portrayed as a positive way of life. In no way do I believe that that TV show was ever meant to be a form of education for young girls and as a young woman now, that form of glorification does not appeal to me at all.

I don't think we will ever clearly and obviously know why we find ourselves submerged into these media titles, even when clearly negative, but we certainly are being influenced as this article demonstrates staying on the subject of teen pregnancies, stating that 'In 2013, almost one in six (17 percent) births to 15- to 19-year-olds were to females who already had one or more babies.'


I agree that the use of the internet and technology is a norm for children in primary and secondary schools and I think this is often viewed as a negative thing but I'm not convinced anybody particularly knows why. The use of technology and the internet could easily cause issues within social class of children in schools as not all the children will have access to such resources. However, I believe the development of technology is a reflection of the developing intelligent minds humans have and why shouldn't we take advantage of these developments? We are still learning the same content given to us through the school curriculum set by the government just in a new updated form which actually allows people to expand their knowledge through research of the wider web.

This norm seems to be treated as a new development which to some degree, yes it is, but I remember using computers and the internet in primary school years ago like 'Lamplight' said. The norm hasn't changed, just technology has. Negative aspects of this is obviously dangers involved in the internet such as mistaken identity and fraud but if educated correctly, almost like we are taught how to compose ourselves in a particular way through growing up, these dangers can be overcome and not treated as something to have such a negative reflection on this norm as a whole.

McLuhan / Re: The Global Village
« on: October 31, 2014, 12:12:31 pm »
I believe, like 'soliviac', my instinct is that the internet is the main reasoning behind the theory 'Global Village'. My reason for this is that the internet allows so many more forms of communication, business and lifestyle that no other piece of technology, like the phone or TV can do. Yes, the TV allows an element of business and communication through the news channels and broadcast much like the Radio but in terms of being an active audience member, the Internet is far more effective. This is because as a internet user, most of the time, excluding pop ups, go and find the information yourself forcing the idea of being an active audience not a passive member. Although most of the time this information is easily found, the activity in which you have to go through is not given to you straight away like the information displayed on a TV screen for example. To some extent, you have no power over what goes on on the TV, the only power you, as a audience member, is to decide which channel to change to.

I disagree with 'Moriaty' and 'Christinehb' about the theory 'Global Village' will increase the gap between the rich and poor because the increase of technology is higher than ever. In a recent article I read, the headline was 'More People Have Cell Phones Than Toilets, U.N. Study Shows'. This seems some what confusing and perhaps not right, but the fact is that more and more people from all different cultures and communities have access to technology in some way (even more than they do to toilets)! I also believe that in the countries that perhaps aren't able to be included in this theory, their community and way of life will not ever be concentrated around technology like, for example, this country is.

The Media / Re: Why do we desire certain objects and brands so much?
« on: October 31, 2014, 10:58:13 am »
I agree with this theory of Baudrillard's and I too am guilty, to some extent, with buying big brand items when they are most likely very similar to the items found in cheaper stores. However, I believe that this is some what a subconscious activity which is perhaps forced into our minds through media and advertisement. Brands such as Hollister and Abercrombie and Fitch are known for using unusually attractive models and employ people who match the models' 'look'. The technique could be argued to encourage sales as it gives the impression that if you are to buy from that brand you will look like the models and employees of that store. We all know that buying a t-shirt with 'fitch' written across it is or a tiny sewn on moose is not going to make us any more beautiful but again I believe it's all about this obsession we, as humans, have with trying to fit into society and perhaps impress other people. I also think that the class system comes into this scenario as buying brands does undoubtedly to some portray how much money you have and where you sit on the class ladder.

However, staying on the subject of clothing as an example, I have noticed a recent trend of second hand and charity shop buying among my own age group and even friends. This is connected with the phase of the 'hipster' maybe but this definitely over looks the obsession with brands and why we feel we need to have and buy them. The word 'brand' is defined as “The emotional and intellectual associations people make with a specific person or thing.” by Dirk Knemeyer, Involution studios. This suggests we, as humans, are unable to turn off this need for these brands to be in our obsession at 'emotional' associations suggests as we can not simply turn off our emotions.

The Media / Re: skinny-shaming
« on: October 31, 2014, 10:40:52 am »
Im with 'nugget' on this one. Up until recently being 'skinny' has been a compliment and this recent feature with having a 'thigh gap' has become some what of an obsession among young girls. However, although obsessions come and go across social media and society, what seems to be a battle between being 'skinny' and 'curvy' has always been around with celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe being a figure head for 'curvy' girls. Even though the point of being 'curvier' is perhaps healthier and has even been talked about across platforms such a model cat walks, celebrities and models still obsess with their thin figures and as role models in the public eye and media they are influential to millions.

Like '14056328', the recent release of the song 'All About The Bass' was the example that came to my mind and I believe this song can be easily viewed as some what offensive to people who may be considered thin. She uses the description 'stick figure silicone Barbie doll' for these 'skinny' figures which definitely gives connotations of being fake and unnatural. This is a definite form of skinny-shaming and has become a recent target as well as fat-shaming.

The Matrix / Re: Technology Taking over?
« on: October 30, 2014, 08:07:36 pm »
I agree with 'ophelialemon' in the sense that I do not believe that technology has consumed us to the extent it has in the Matrix. This concept of technology taking over human communication is often seen as a negative thing which I also believe to be the narrow outlook on the situation as I believe that our success and human life, including our studies, from a very early point, as 'ophelialemon' says, is simply part of our lives in the modern every day life and we would not be able to achieve such things without technology. This acceptance may be seen as humans giving in to technology however the development of technology in many different forms across many different platforms is built and expanded by the human mind so surely technology is still being controlled by us. We don't have to have all these forms of technology and social networking sites, but we want to. It's a choice all of us make even if we are largely dependent on it.

The Media / Re: Who controls the media?
« on: October 27, 2014, 03:50:24 pm »
I agree with 'Mimz' in the way that we will never have the true answer - and how can we? In some ways we control the Media as without the consumer there is no product, like Facebook and Snapchat for example, which have become major successes. With market research and trials, the producers of these sites were able to come up with a product that we, as a consumer, liked. We control the Media because these products are shaped around what we want. We have that power as Wesch's theory could suggest that in 'Web 2.0 The Machine Is Using Us'. Nobody is going to create a app, or website, or any other form of Media if the consumer isn't going to like and use it, are they?

However, at the same time, I agree with 'Odysseas Rayyan' that Politics has a lot to do and does influence the Media dramatically, perhaps not so much in this country but certainly other countries such as Eritrea where journalists are conscripted and then handed instructions to follow with no freedom at all. Punishments are also given of imprisonment without charge and trial to those who disobey these instructions or are caught sharing information with other countries. Here, it is clear the government of this and other countries such as Iran and North Korea have ample amounts of power in the media, almost complete power.

So, overall in answer to the question 'who controls the media?' there isn't a specific answer and a balance, for media to remain effective, is important.

McLuhan / Re: Twofaced book?
« on: October 26, 2014, 12:40:20 pm »
From a young age we have been exposed to the internet even throughout school and consequently the use of social networking became available to us early on in life. As a teenager of the 21st century perhaps the internet and social networking such as Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, has arguably become a far too large part of life. I too can see how all those questions could be raised however I disagree with the negative connotations in which these questions give towards the input of social networking.

As with most things in modern life, there are several dangers involved in social networking when it comes down to identity. However, with the power to become whoever you want across social networking platforms, I believe is to do with the natural human obsession of being accepted in society. Many individuals, who perhaps feel unable to excel as they wish in society, are able to flourish and broaden their talents through social media such as youtube channels and blogging. As 'Moriarty' said, social networking to many has become a source of entertainment more than anything else so I disagree with the point of social media perhaps being a 'waste of time'. We are able to keep close contact with people and share moments that matter to us and even show our true selves more than ever before as suggested in the theory 'Global Village'.

On the subject of a 'second' identity, although this can cause complications and dangers, it's also enabled another form of entertainment. 'Catfish' is a TV show that has thrived and developed from the second identities of people online and has been a raging success. Our lives, to some degree, centre around entertainment and work and this platform exercises both for many people.

This point of 'reliving' these moments we share across social media through videos and photos I have seen being raised many times before and I disagree with the point of view that you're not fully experiencing something just because you are recording a song at a gig for example. In most cases, you are at an event such as gigs and live performances because you show an interest in whatever that event is. So what's wrong with wanting to watch that again? Perhaps its this use of 'reliving' as this may be an exaggeration of what we are trying to experience when we watch these things back. From personal experience, I have lost videos and photos from special events which I will never be able to get back and yes I have the memory of it but having a physical image, in my opinion, is much nicer to keep with you rather than just a memory as you can never truly share with others that personal memory.

The Media / Re: Social media
« on: October 13, 2014, 01:13:59 pm »
I too agree that social media has become a significant part in young people's lives, if subjected to it, and to say it's become part of our culture seems, to some extent, quite accurate. I am guilty of instantly checking my phone for any social networking notifications or even going as far as to actively opening an app and viewing the latest posts on Instagram, Facebook or/and Twitter. I am a frequent user like 'noodle567' and 74% of the Worlds population (http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheets/social-networking-fact-sheet/).

However, to centre the addiction of the use of social media around the lives of the 'young' isn't so simple. From the table provided in the link above, we can see that yes the age group between the ages of 18 and 29 are the most frequent users of social media, however the next age group, 30-49, are almost as high as the younger group at 82% of people between those ages use social media. But why? As 'lottie' said, 'no one probably cares', but I believe there is now a significant business element to sites and apps like Facebook and Twitter, including forms or Government and Politics use. It has never been so easy to stay connected all over the world and how can that be a negative thing? The developement of technology and social media surely reflects positively on the developing minds of our generation. As McLuhan said in his theory 'Global Village' we 'interconnected by an electric nervous system'.

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