From this particular reading, we can gather that the author strongly believes in the idea that the depth and range of a person's life perspective will determine how well she or he will be able to achieve media literacy. Knowledge structures are absolutely essential in building and broadening our perspectives so that we can continue to grow into more advanced consumers of media texts. Those on the higher end of the media literacy continuum will be active rather than passive in their consumption of various forms of media. As students who will be unpacking numerous media texts throughout our studies, we will benefit greatly from focusing on the ways in which we analyze what we see by asking questions to gain a more well-rounded understanding from the implicit and explicit codes and messages being expressed. If we are not careful to question what we are seeing and hearing, it would be very easy for the powerful people who create and display media texts to convince us that whatever they have produced that dives into our eyes and ears and swims through our minds is the truth. There is an absolutely necessary discrepancy to be made between entertainment and reality. What entertains us can certainly be informed by reality, and perhaps it may alter our reality in some way as a result of our consumption, but in general we must remember to ask questions and take media texts with a grain of salt. Being media literate is going to mean that we are able to detect potential agendas of specific television networks, for example, or understand the stereotypes written in to the dialogue of a film character and question why that is and what that might mean. Media literacy is about being aware! Potter says, "Media literacy is a perspective that we actively use when exposing ourselves to the media in order to interpret the meaning of the messages we encounter" (330). Hopefully being in this class will allow us all to increase our media literacy so that we are constantly alert to the reality that there will always more than meets the eye if we will dare to do some exploring.
Discussion question: Are most of us more active or passive consumers of media texts? It's incredibly easy to zone out to episode after episode of a favorite series on Netflix, for example, so easy that we sometimes end up spending a lot more time in front of the television/computer screen than we originally planned. It's also easy to enjoy a song because it sounds good and it's fun to dance to without realizing that the lyrics, if you paid any attention to them, might actually really offend you. In a society that recognizes passive consumption of media as a form of relaxation, how do we combine an active awareness with our leisure time?