After reading Intro to Media Lit and our class discussion on Wednesday, it is easy to connect a lot of the concepts. Most notably concept #3, where it states that all media messages try to persuade us to believe or do something. I go back to the Dr. Pepper commercial debate. I originally believed it to be bad advertising, and even stated that in class. But after our discussion and my own reflection later, I've decided that it was nothing short of genius. I originally had forgotten that this commercial was originally aired during the Super Bowl. Now knowing that I understand the power of their statement "It's only for men" after a long list of "manly" portrayals. It isn't going to steer away women who drink Dr. Pepper. If you're going to drink Dr. Pepper, this commercial isn't going to persuade you not to drink Dr. Pepper. But what it is going to do is get more men to buy Dr. Pepper 10 believing it is not as feminine as Diet Dr. Pepper. I think the main goal is to try and get men who want to cut soda or switch to diet soda to say, "Well I could still drink Dr. Pepper, and I wouldn't have to make the switch to diet. I also believe including a statement saying it's only for men, gives a lot of water cooler talk the next day, and it is stated often that all press is good press. This also correlates with concept #6, where it states that there are "texts" and "subtexts". The text is very clear and easy to read, while the subtext is only broadening the already Dr. Pepper drinkers to stay with Dr. Pepper even when they decide to switch to a healthier route.
September 2012 Archives
I really like this piece of writing. Especially it was good that explain to concepts in detail. I can understand about media literacy through basic concepts, and I realized importance of media. I was also happy to aware to influence of media through intermediate and advanced concepts. The author said "These (Media literacy) are essential skills in today's world." I am totally agreed with his / her statement. Today, media contain many things such as political messages, ideological message, religious message and etc. Media is pretty similar with poem. When people read poem, people try to apprehend implicative and suggestive meaning in a word or sentence because a word in the poem does not mean the same sense of the word. Beyond that, readers guess the auteur's intention. Media is like poem. At first sight, it looks telling with easy and simple expressions. Some times it tell to use music or video. Media that looks like poem has difference. Media use more tools in order to convey message. Let's suppose someone use 10million dollar to persuade you. Can you decline to offer? You might think who else give me 10 million dollar for convincing? However this assumption is happening to our environment in terms of media. Filmmakers pay more than 100million dollar for making movie or series of dramas and they are making with best director, actors, writers, engineers, and instruments. In short, filmmaking is a composite art. In this condition, it's only fair that people who watch the film is deeply affected without a critical eye. Media is influential. Media like violent video game can change typical student to murderer. The example is in the textbook. By the way, scholars who study in psychology and sociology can proof the correlation between people and media by experiment, and people who study in communication should decode the media. We are not only decode media, but also play role in messenger. According to advanced concepts #23 "we can change our media system." Only few decades ago, media is produced by few companies, and broadcasting companies, but now time is changing. Most of all ages use media and they try to interact each other to use media. Era consists of ideology and philosophy. We should not just accept the message from power, but should share their ideas freely with critical attitude to move to better place for all mankind,. I am looking for a better world.
This week has been an extremely interesting one given the things I have been learning between my U.S. Electronic Media and our class, Media Literacy. It was really interesting to watch and discuss the Super Bowl commercials in class. The discussion we had really got me to think about how advertising has so much more latent content than most people realize. This evening, I stood in Times Square in New York City and was literally surrounded by advertisements. Before our class, I wouldn't have thought anything of this experience, but today, I couldn't help but notice the subliminal messages that were being pushed with each and every advertisement. WIlliamson's signifiers and signifieds were floating around in my head. It has made me very motivated to work harder at being a critical media consumer and not allowing my positionally to get in the way ever.
According to the text, the media literacy is a set of skills that anyone can learn. Nowadays, many people get most of their information through complex combination of texts, images, and sounds on the advertisements or commercial from ads. Although advertisers did not use explicit meaning on their ads, the viewers could find the latent message from the advertisement. All those activities, media literacy education helps to develop critical thinking and active participation in our media culture. I really agreed with one of the basic media literacy concepts from the textbook, is 'Media construct worlds." Media could inspire our imagination and find latent meaning from the advertisement. Advertising could establish a fantasy world where all problems can be solved with a purchase. For example, when I watched the LOREAL's mascara commercial, I really inspired and wanted to purchase. Its is because the model put that mascara on her eyelash, it became very longer like a miracle. With that scene, the narrator explained that I could have longer lash with Loreal's mascara because their products are ultra lash volume with collagen something. ..They emphasized like Loreal's mascara is up to 12 times more impact than any other stuffs. (The narration could be another evidence that media use "the language of persuasion."). I knew that the longer eyelash was computer graphics, but it made me to believe to have longer lash like the model from the commercials. All media messages try to persuade us to believe, so this commercial succeed to persuade me to purchase this item, even I recognized that was computer graphics. Media literacy helped us to recognize fantasy and constructively integrate it with reality. I really surprised that how media used those kinds of skills to persuade us even we knew it's obvious. I think media has very powerful skills to sway our mind.
The media literacy concepts in the "Introduction to Media Literacy" reading really brought forth to my attention the amount of detail to which advertisers have been able to dissect the way consumers think. Some of them are incredibly basic, almost common sense based ideas, but are sometimes overlooked when it comes to actually analyzing the way we as consumers take in information. Once a person starts to watch television with the thought in mind that there is a specific message they are supposed to get out of a given show or commercial there is no going back to passive television viewing. This is addressed in the final concept of the chapter where it states, "Media literate youth and adults are media activists". It is really up to those of us who understand the processes of advertising and media consumption to advocate on behalf of children and others who do not realize the power of persuasion that comes with media messages. The twenty-second concept states, "Changing the media system is a justice issue". Advertising is an incredible way to inform consumers about a product, but when producers have the upper hand on the way consumers think, we may be at risk of 'selling' values that do not benefit the community as a whole. Children are obviously the demographic most susceptible to the persuasive powers of advertising, simply because of their lack of knowledge on the way advertisers use these tools as well as the fact that their brains are still developing and they are figuring out who they are. When it comes to media, we need to be advocates for protecting children.
I found this weeks classes to be very interesting. I enjoyed picking apart the commercials we saw in class because I usually just do that at home watching TV anyway. When I first watched the commercials it was very clear to me who they were advertising to and how they were doing it. However, after hearing everyone else break apart the commercial a lot of new underlying messages came up. It was interesting to see how we viewed the commercials differently. We all had the same general idea but we mostly I thought the Oreo/Dr. Pepper discussion was the most thought-provoking part of the week. It was nice to have both sexes breaking down each other in a civiled manor. I thought the Intro to Media Literacy was exemplified some way in every commercial. One that comes to mind is #3 Media use "the language of persuasion." The Dr. Pepper commercial used repetition of manly things and also humor.
I really love this piece of article. It provides a very clear and thorough definition and contents of media literacy, and makes me easy to identify problemetic media pieces.
I love the specific one says, "Media literacy help children, youth and adults discover the part of the story that's not being told". It is obvious nowadays that every adult understand that media contents help certain interest group to generate profit. But by knowing this is not enough, it's also important to keep in mind that there are certain hidden points and claims under the surface of every media contents. The other aspect in this claim is that being media literate should not only be the task for adult, it's definitely not too early to give children an idea about hidden messages of every media pieces they see.
The other concepts that I love from this piece is that the "media messages reflect the values and viewpoints of media makers", and we should keep this in mind because those media makers are working for group of people who generate profit from people who "buy" the contents they created.
Media industry is a lucrative one because sell ad time, they sell ad time combines with shows, they sell ad time combines with celebrity powers, they sell ad time combines the idea of broadcast and narrowcast, which means the message they created can either reach everyone at one time or reach everyone in different times. It's obvious that they can only make money once we buy what the promoted. So it's very important for consumers to understand that we do have powers as well. We have the power to resist from the message they send out, we have the power to say no to the concept they promote if we are media literate enough to identify problematic ones.
While reading about the basic persuasion techniques that companies used, it shocked me to see how many ways they have to persuade us to want their products. The techniques that stood out to me the most are some of the basic persuasion techniques. Beautiful people is one that stood out to me. I have done research on advertisements and the use of beautiful people is one of the most misleading techniques. Most of the women or men that are in the adds are edited by computers and then the images that they are using are not even real. The companies are using "beautiful people" that aren't even real people. They are persuading us with lies and this could be linked to the intermediate persuasion technique of The Big Lie. Showing people what they want using what they want against them. They show these amazing people and then say our product will make you look like this person, but that person isn't even real. Lie on top of lie, why would we want these products if we really know that they will never make us look like the add? We still buy it and we in the back hope that these will work for us. And it is because they can use these and other ways to make us believe that their product works.
Overall this was a great piece, it was a great introduction to media literacy. It was very easy to understand and showed many key elements to media literacy. The part that i liked the most of this piece was the persuasion techniques because i can easily apply them to my own life and see where i have been affected or not affected by persuasion techniques. I think that the best ads combine many of these persuasion factors; take the old spice ad we watched in class for example. That one 30 second ad used association, beautiful people, celebrities, humor, and extrapolation, just to name a few. There is association between strength, wealth, and beautiful women with using old spice. The ad creates the illusion that if you use old spice you will have all these things. Beautiful people is in the model that sits on the jet ski that Greg Jennings is pushing up. Greg Jennings is also the celebrity influence in the commercial, since he is a very well known green bay packer wide receiver. The ad makes it very clear who he is because he is wearing his football jersey in the ad. The ad uses humor in the fact that you think the woman is riding through waves on her jetski but really it turns out that Jennings has the jetski on his back and is doing pushups. The last element that i will touch on that this ad uses is extrapolation which is drawing huge conclusions from a few details. That is exactly what this ad uses since it only uses a few details like Greg Jennings doing jetski pushups with a stick of old spice next to him. Even with just these details you can do a huge analysis of this ad and that is something that i find really interesting about advertising, that you can pack so much into such a small window of opportunity.
As we read the article about media literacy, we could learn many concepts that refer to analyze the media messages; also we could see the break-down learning steps to be a media literate. I believe that being a media literate is one of the media consumers responsibilities because the messages from the media is powerful and it is very useful and convenient only if we are being active media consumers. For examples, most of the advertisements are biased in a way that they are trying to promote the products. By using techniques of language persuasion, they are trying to get our attentions and using biased language and images. As media consumers, we cannot be fooled by every message in the media. We have to be skeptical and have critical thinking to make the decision. In order for us to make a right decision, being a media literate is a first step to begin with and have better consumptions from the media. The reading "Introductions to Media Literacy" helps me a lot to analyze and organize the message from the medium. We engage in the media all the time in our lives, and we take their messages for granted. But I feel that we have to be more careful and more focused about how they convey the messages. Even if we look at the basic concepts, we can see that how the media influence us in a lot of way and how they are trying to target us by using many techniques. It was interesting to see that I still have a lot to study and pay more attention to the media.
The Media Literacy section that we read for this week was incredibly interesting, because to me it seemed to pair marketing media with social psychology. The section basically stated that if you know how to appeal/manipulate a product/service or an individual for that matter that you are basically going to be at the very center American popular culture. Each of the media concepts make an effort to tie in how people in society are the core of successful media. We are the creators and are the one with a vision. With these media concepts, in a way, we are marketing ourselves to the external world. Products and services are only as good as the people who originate and market them. The social psychology part comes in when the concepts discuss how to market directly to people and what factors are affected. In other words, companies are able to use a variety of the media literacy concepts to successfully market to a wide market. The concept that really stood out to me was #18 when it says that we all create media. We really do--just the fact of posting our thoughts on a social media network can have a significant affect on viewers. The ability to network back and forth with other people is exactly how ideas turn into realities! Being able to communicate with other people quick and efficiently saves time and money; our minds are always racing too, so effective communication is the most resourceful way to exchange/market information.
Reading "Encoding/ Decoding" and "Introduction to Media literacy" were good opportunity to be aware of influences which come from receiving information without doubting. In March 2012, a NPO "Invisible Children" filmed a movie to appeal to American politicians to arrest Joseph Kony, the leader of guerrilla organization "Lord's Resistance Army" in Republic of Uganda. He was known for inhuman activities: kidnapping children, training boys as soldiers, forcing girls to be sex slave, homicide, pillage, and rape in Uganda. As soon as the film was uploaded, celebrities addressed their followers to join the campaign, and it succeeded to gain a lot of donation and support. However, journalists who stayed in Uganda pointed out that Kony moved his base to Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and Central African Republic 6 years ago; the area the guerrilla group worked around in Uganda is stable right now. In addition, the NPO Invisible Children used the donations mostly for their rent, film producing cost, lobbying, stuff payment, and traveling expenses, but they only spend 30% from the donations for the NPO activities such like repairing and building school in Uganda. Therefore, journalists in Uganda and support groups criticized the campaign was for collecting donations with simplifying particular Uganda's background.
Thus, when viewers correctly decoded an information as providers want, they do not have any specific ways to prove the meanings are whether good or bad. Like this case, it is really easy to lead people with encoding meanings which inspire emotions in receivers.
I think the most interesting thing we did in class this week was apply the reading to the ads we saw. It is always helpful to apply something after you learn it. Understanding why, to whom, how, and all the other questions help reinforce the fact that we should ask these things about ads, articles, and anything else that may be used to persuade.
The one problem I have with analyzing something is that everyone has his or her own opinions. When I try to analyze an ad, the way I perceive it may be completely wrong and yet completely true at the same time. For example, the Tide ad we watched in class, it might not have been marketing to women who stay at home. It might have been an ad for dads or other men who watch daytime television. If he did have to go out and buy it, even if he wasn't going to use it, this commercial may have persuaded him to buy it. If he sees it as better to be seen buying it than something else his wife uses, he is more likely to buy it, just in case he is seen buying it.
That's one problem with analyzing commercials. It is so subjective, and nothing is really wrong if you can find evidence or find a reason for it to be ok.
The Basic Persuasion Techniques section of the reading, I thought was rather interesting. As I read through the list, I could think of an example of each certain technique. It really opened my eyes, and reminded me of what is going on and what tactic is being used on me when I see an advertisement. One of the tactics that really bothered me was "Experts" It's kinda sad how we can't even trust these highly trained professionals, who of all people, should not be feeding us lies. I've seen several infomercials for acne wash, or some other medicinal ad, where doctors are speaking of all the benefits the product has to offer. But can we really trust what we are hearing? Or are the advertisers holding us up by a string, manipulating our thoughts for the benefit of their own personal agendas.
For some reason, the proactiv acne wash commercials kept popping up in my mind when reading through this list. The advertisers use testimonials from plain folk, as well as celebrities to convince us that what these people are telling us is actually genuine. They look happy and energetic as they are washing their face with the product, and have nothing but positive feedback for the consumer. Fear could also be a tactic that proactiv is using. If you are acne prone, seeing this commercial might instill fear in you, that if you don't purchase the product you will forever be known as pizza face. I will definitely be on the lookout for these persuasion techniques in my everyday life, as it is becoming apparent to me that these are used on everything!!
Persuasion is something that we learn at a very young age. For me, I learned early on that I could persuade my little brother to go and get pretty much anything for me if I just timed him "to see how fast he was." Part of the key aspect of persuasion is that if you do X you receive Y. That is why media does it to us. They are genius. They know that if they show us something we want or don't want, we can make a decision and receive our hopeful outcome. As Election Day nears, we are bombarded with persuasion and that is what made this topic interesting. Some popular persuasion techniques during election season are the uses of explicit claims. I was literally just walking down the stairs and there was a commercial for a governor from the opposing party. They gave specific details as to why he didn't value education. They followed this up with scary, very unflattering, screen shot photos of him looking upset or mean. Which leads me into the next technique, fear. Fear based ads are somewhat comical to me during election time because they can take a beautiful moment and somehow distort it into something manipulated or completely different. In my media production class we where just discussing how the use of color desaturation can completely change a picture (eg. Black and white vs. saturated colors). The last technique that I wanted to discuss was the warm and fuzzy. This is another common campaign technique. If you put a presidential candidate in a park with kids or at the animal shelter, you mind may instantly go to this guy must be a great man.
When I was reading this essay that introduced alot of the topics and terms that we will be reveiwing in this class I started thinking about why don't they teach you this sooner. Would our society be different if we were taught to comprehend things in a more complete way. Would young girls confidence boost if we taught them to really examine the media that is being thrown at them. I don't know what the actual big changes would be. I can't say that some other influence my sweep in and take the place of the media that we are taught to examine. I do think that our society would benefit from teaching these concepts at an earlier age. I am not going to ever be able to recite the civilizations that I had memorized from my high school history class again.Why couldnt we replace some of the classes that end up being like busy work in the end from high school and replace it with a subject like media literacy? I actually do love history and I know that it has a great value with the big picture of understanding the world and how we got where we are today. I think that there should be a required class that will help shape the mentality of the youth for the future. I don't know how to do that logistically but it seems like something that young people espeically would benefit from.
Please post your discussion questions about the three readings for Monday below. As you read, the following questions should guide your note-taking:
1) Why, for Ehrenreich, do representations matter? Can you think of examples that demonstrate the way class--and especially working class--operates in media?
2) Why does Ehrenreich take issue with the term "tacky"? Can you think of examples of media that are relevant?
3) How does Chyng Feng Sun contextualize the hyper-sexualization of Asian women in dominant US culture and media?
4) Why does this context matter? (What examples does the author offer?)
5) Raymond argues that contemporary representations of LGBTQ identities in popular media involve a reinscription of heterosexuality and containment of queer sexuality. What does she mean?
6) What does Raymond mean by heternormativity? How/where do you see heteronormativity operating in media and everyday life?
Several times throughout the Introduction to Electronic Media article, the idea of "storytelling" was referenced as a basis for the way we communicate now. Our news reporters seek to convey stories, not news. It made me think about ways that Williamson's signed and signified could come together to make a sign within written or spoken stories. Can you think of a time as a child when an elder shared a story with you that was meant to create a sign. I remember my Grampa telling me the same story over and over about how he used to smuggle beer to German prisoners of war during WWII. In a way, the beer became a sign responsible for conveying sympathy and acceptance.
While this article is very interesting and does a very good job of breaking down the concepts of media literacy, I couldn't help but feel boggled down by the seemingly endless angles and tactics that are used. At the end of the article, I found myself wondering, "Can't there be a simpler way to say this?" Also, are we all being duped by the media if we aren't viewing it with all of these concepts in mind?
Post your DQ's to "Introducing Media Literacy" here.
This video was really interesting and impression on me. While I was watching this
Video consuming kids, I worried about this capitalism world to advertising using kids.
After World War 2, kids population increasing rapidly, so consumption of parent who has kids is getting increase. For this reason marketer interested in kids naturally, and this problem is also appeared.
I was surprised that kids consumed a lot than I supposed. According to officially the amount of consumption is more than 40 billion USD. The reason kids are very important person for advertiser is they lead adult's consumption. And the amount of consumption is about 700 billion USD.
Business marketer wants to use kids for picking out from money in the adult's pocket. Of course, I cannot judge about their advertisement, but I concern about this phenomenon. The problem is the advisement. They advertise their products just for their profit, and they don't care about kids. As we know kids do not have enough discernment, and impromptu. In short they cannot play a leading role as a consumer.
In spite of that company take advantaged from kids without business ethics. Company should get a moral compass especially when they advertise on kids. Usually we don't talk about sex in front of kids and that is very common sense everybody agree. Advertisement toward kids is in like manner. I mean companies should keep reasonable standard. Consumers are able to allow the way of advertisement in the range of appropriate because the characteristic of advertisement is creative and motivated way to persuasion.
According to this video, advertisers try to expand range of advertisement with more low age.
Now I want to say to them. Children are not make great sacrifices for your gain, but they are people who we protect from harmful things. Advertisers and company's marketers have a moral obligation to protect the environment.
Gen Y are intelligent consumers. Online marketing expert Kelly Mooney released findings at a National Retail Foundation conference showing that 13-21 year olds in the group influence 81% of their families apparel purchases and 52& of car choices. 82 million people are considered to be a a part of gen y. They are bigger than the baby boomer generation and have spending power and strong opionions at an earlier age. Peer recommendations are important to Gen Y. It is important to get friends involved with purchasing decisions. Another way peer recommendations are becoming the latest trend is through the form of viral marketing which is an important part of social media and marketing to Gen Y. Gen Y primarily watches TV from the web on their personal laptops or from their video capable cell phones. One of the most widely seen trends is how the news seems to find Gen Y, instead of the other way around. Just the other day I was at my internship and within minutes of news leaking of Mitt Romney's youtube videoit was all over facebook, twitter, and blogs. I wasn't even searching for the news and it had found me. Products and services are no longer searched; instead they will find Gen Y.
This week, after learning about the ways in which marketing firms market to kids, I am left feeling somewhat disconcerted. I couldn't believe that there are marketing agencies that observe children using the bathroom and bathing in order to better market products to them. I couldn't believe that parents would subject their children to such scrutiny. We also talked this week about ratings and how little parents have control over the ratings of television programs. Growing up, I remember being the only kid who wasn't allowed to watch PG-13 movies until I was 13. Now my little cousins watch PG-13 movies as early as age 7. Do you think that the government should step in and better enable parents to regulate the programming and advertising their children are subjected to? Or is the parent's responsibility to regulate in the hopes that fewer viewers of programs will result in change?
After the film and reading McChesney's article, I am so impressed how advertiser and marketer efficiently make strategies. Especially, targeting children as prime consumers is interesting topic for me. In this summer, I watched a documentary about one department store's marketing strategy that held a children's fashion show event in Japan. Bystanders could purchase every clothes that were appeared in the show at the place, but prices of the clothes were incredibly expensive (I do no remember the cost well, but there was a 300$ jacket). However, Machesney's "Hyper-commercialism" and "Consuming Kids" answered my question that why this marketers aim children with such a strategy.
Marketers targeted children as good economic resources, because they have great influences among their community. Such like, waving parents when they faced their children's pestering for a new toy, showing off new products to friends, etc. Children do not have actual consuming power, but they can easily stimulate their family and friends to purchase products than any other advertisements. It is quite natural to target more rich for their business. In addition, Japan is facing serious less fertility rate problem, but it means parents and relatives can spend much money to their children. Then, it is more rational to sell expensive products for earning profits. Yes, this is one of a most efficient way to get money!!
In a film, it was really creepy to see when a girl said that she loves the macaroni & cheese that she never had. As this scene implies, it is much easier to persuade children by advertisements. Exploiting such children may be really rational technique for earning money, but I feel this strategy is morally wrong for people who are not aware of this information.
As reading "Holy Commodity Fetish, Batman!' : The Political economy of a Commercial Intertext and having a discussion in the class period, I could understand how most of the American productions are made and the importance of understanding and analyzing political economy. Also, we talked about how concentration and conglomeration are getting more and more common these days, we, as a media consumer, are affected in so many ways. For example, one of the consequences of the concentration of the media is that we are limited and controlled what to watch and kinds of the information we get by few corporations which have power. In the article, Meehan used the example of vertical integration where Batman's products are sold in many forms. Like this example, we can easily see both horizontal and vertical integration as we consume mediated products.
However, I wanted to take some time to think about how these situations are changing in a subtle way as the advancement of the new media. Majority of the mediated products might be dominant in few corporations. On the other hands, small and independent corporations also started to have a chance to reach audiences in much easier way, due to the facts that internet allows people to bring out their products. Even though they will not get so much attention at first as the major corporation, they still have opportunity to express and promote. From the political economy analysis, these small and independent corporations take responsibility on their own to maximize profits and minimize the risks in much smaller scale. I personally think that we cannot exclude these small corporations in our political economy analysis because it does affect ownership and government policies directly or indirectly.
After this week, I definitely have a different view on advertising, and it's not a good one. I think it is sick how big corporations are manipulating the minds of young children, for the advancements of their brands and revenue. While we were watching the documentary in class, I couldn't help but shake my head at the dramatic increase in advertisements, especially those directed at kids. I feel that these ads have a lot to do with the "tween" girls getting younger and younger. I think back to my own childhood, and how carefree and easy it was.... the first time I applied makeup was probably in late middle school, didn't really talk to boys until high school, and now I look at the kids growing up, with ipods, cell phones, and dressing inappropriately for their age...the list goes on. I actually feel bad for these kids, as I feel like they are being robbed of some of the best days of their lives. It just goes to show what people will do to make big bucks. Another issue I have with advertisers, is the manipulative use of perfect models, to make the consumer feel that they are inadequate, and that if they buy the product, they will become better people. Advertisers rely on this method to lure the customer in, another unethical practice. It is very unfortunate that this is what our marketing world has come to, and I only hope that the younger generations can see through the falsity presented to them, when they are older.
As we sat in class and watched Consuming Kids I could feel my stomach getting upset. At first I thought, "oh gosh I'm so hungry." However as the feeling presented itself to be nausea, I realized that the film was doing an amazing job of instilling fear of TV, toys, cereal...everything..in me for my daughter (who is only 8 months old). When a commercial for a new toy came on TV, I used to always joke "Oh man, Madeline's going to want that junk when she gets older" but the film proved to me that it is no joking matter. I was in shock to realize the amount of research that goes into marketing for children i.e following kids into the bathroom to observe how they interact with soap. That grossed me out, but then I guess it really was the parents who allowed the researcher to do so. Anyway, one think I did like about the film was that it made light of the adult undertones of the toys and advertisements. well done advertisers and film.
Reflecting back on the video watched in class Wednesday, Consuming Kids, I am still blown away at the twisted manipulation that goes on behind the scenes to make kids one of our largest consumers. After watching the video I am thinking that I never want to have kids. Kind of kidding, but in all seriousness I don't see the progression of the aggressiveness of the media companies slowing down any time soon and it does scare me the thought of where we will be in the next 5, 10, or 15 years. After reading the McChesney piece I thought more about product placement and how slyly they use it. Companies are so brilliant with where they are putting their products, in perfect sight for the buyers. In relationship to the video we watched in class, businesses are placing their product everywhere and even making products "kid friendly" that originally aren't for children. It is a very twisted but brilliant way of selling products. I suppose my biggest question is really " how does this affect me?" I know we briefly discussed this in class but I'm not sure as though I fully do understand. I was a culprit of getting sucked into the marketing schemes, as a child, but I don't feel as though it had a negative effect. Maybe it's because I am still under the marketers "spell." Another thought I had during the film that I discussed with a friend is the idea that they say these commercials cause greater gaps between classes, but how do you even market to the poor? And what would the world then look like if there never were any of it at all?
After watching 'Consuming Kids', I was surprised that how people abuse kids' mind to their profits. Children do not have judgement whether its good or bad, they tend to believe anything if it says 'good'. Therefore marketers often use these children's pure mind to enhance them to purchase products or ask their parents to buy for them. The products can be something with children's favorite cartoon characters, or can be something they desire to posses. Marketing to kids could cause serious problem. It is because it could make children to stick into materialistic values the most rather than other values. If a person regards materialistic values high when they were child, it would impact on the person forming his/her life values. Once the values formed, it is hard to be changed, especially when they were kids. For example, I heard that who have materialistic value high, there is more chance to be impulsive buyer, or would have personality problem, could not socialize with others well. Moreover, it could lead kids to have poor creative thinker...they would think the products, which their favorite characters on it, or the products that their favorite characters suggested on the TV. Those kinds of things could impact on their creativity because they tend to not think other options.... So I think marketers who are targeting kids to earn their profits, they should stop or find other ways rather than abusing kids' pure mind.
Whenever I view a documentary or a piece of media in any of my classes, I like to spend several minutes seeing the different approaches that may be taken to what is presented. Any angle is intriguing and poses great arguments and thought-provoking questions. Taking this documentary at face value, it is a shame that our youth are no longer thought of as people, but as targets for which corporate America attempts to take money from. My initial thought when this was shown was "Most of these people running these advertisements have children. What happened to America's values?" It's almost shameful to look at those children in the video and see how their minds have been almost victims of entrapment; it seems as though they have willfully walked into the palms of big business. As far as the legislation whose passing was attempted, I had never heard of such news, but found it extremely interesteing. As someone who is a Communication Studies major, I think this is intriguing. For one, I find it kind of sad that our these innocent minds are thought of in such a objectified manner. However, I believe that we knowingly reside in a country that is the capital of capitalism. We are given the opportunity to make money in any way that abides by the laws. At the same time, we can't assume that everyone is going to make business decisions based on sound, moral judgement. It is our jobs as consumers, as well as the job of the parents, to make sure that what we view and buy into runs parallel to our beliefs.
I found this documentary to be very interesting, many good points were raised and good examples were used to demonstrate them. One thing that i did not know about was that people had actually tried to stop advertising to children below 8. I think that this really makes sense because it is a fair point that children of that age cannot really decipher what they should really want and it creates a very slippery slope to getting lifelong customers from childhood. One of the major problems with this is that that is exactly what advertisers want and they do everything possible, as the documentary examined, to give children advertisements they cannot ignore. I found the section about studying and researching children very creepy especial with the research for shower products by watching kids in the shower. That being said i think the comparison of advertisers to pedophiles was a little extreme however it did not stop that research from being very uncomfortable. Going back to the research i thought that the extremes that advertisers go to was somewhat shocking. One thing that i thought was crazy was the blink test where advertisers would show ads to kids and record exactly when and how often they would blink or lose attention and they would then modify the commercial at that point.
One other part of the documentary that i found to be very interesting and very true was the section examining what kids what to grow up to be. Now a days it seems that when you ask people what they want to do they say be rich or be famous it doesnt even matter how. That really speaks to our materialistic culture i think because it doesnt matter what job you have as long as you can buy the objects that you want. Overall i thought that this was a good thing to watch and that it provided an interesting and different point of view.
After watching yesterday's documentary, "Consuming Kids," I have really started to take note that advertising to young children really occurs like how a cult operates. These advertisers are manipulating the "little sponges" inside of these kids' brains and are subjecting them to a fantasy lifestyle--the big "I want this!" phase. I found it very interesting how these media analysts and shrinks discussed the nag factor. They used a perfect example too, a clip from the Simpsons, relentless asking to be taken to a water park. I don't know what would be worse for a parent to experience--the nag factor or when your child tells you no to everything. I'm pretty sure I went through both phases when I was younger, and looking back I sure do give my folks a lot of credit. Advertisers, it seems, almost fuel a war between the kids at home watching tv and their parents--the consumers. At one point during the film, I turned over to Kassie and asked her, how do advertisers market to poor children and poor families? That is--those who are poor but can still afford to have cable? My point of all of this is that I don't think advertisers realize that they are compromising familial values with a materialistic overdrive. I just remember McChesney talking about how advertisers appeal subliminally to certain audiences and those viewers really are not aware that they are under the control of these companies. They are jamming these kids brains with tangible, material messages that in turn leave them to forget what really matters in life, having your family and being happy and satisfied with things you need, not what you want all the time. I just couldn't believe some of these ads, and what really got to me was the Bratz commercial that was aimed at like 4-year-old little girls. Exploiting these trashy dolls to such an innocent and naïve environment was unpleasant and again another example of how respectable values are weakened.
With reading the articles about how commercials have become a major part of childrens shows, it came to my attention that the commercials are not the only problem with childrens shows. Like in Jackson's article the focus is on product placement in childrens shows, and how shows are being based off of childrens toys. The producers say that they feel that children deserve more shows, with adults having many tv channels to watch, they just want to give children more. A part of childrens programs that bothers me is the content of the shows. The shows for children have content aimed toward adults. Hidden messages, jokes that no child would ever understand. In the movie we watched in class they talked about the tween. I feel that with the development of the tween has gotten rid of "childhood". With the development of the tween television they have gotten rid of shows for younger children. One of the women in the show said that television is stealing these childrens child hood, and I agree. Television has a major impact on children and the television shows now are not good for children. More people need to be made aware of this information, so that maybe we can help fix this problem and give children and actual childhood.
The "Consuming Kids" documentary we watched in class raised some very important questions and thought points about the way media relates to children. The most glaring aspect that the viewer comes away with from this video is the sense that we are not investing properly in our future. The focus of everything children are exposed to should be investing in their development. In my personal opinion, there needs to be some sense of tact that comes along with advertising to children. With manipulative marketing, we are 'selling' cheap values instead of teaching children confidence, creativity, and self-investment. In the movie, we were witnessing a society teaching children that what they own is what makes them who they are. Young girls are being told they need to have the 'right' type of phone, the 'right' type of boyfriend, and the 'right' type of social experience. Toys for these young girls, usually about age six, are telling them they need to go out to parties, use their sex appeal when it comes to guys, and focus on having the most things. If each individual family taught their children the values that our society is focused on teaching children, our quality of life would fall rapidly. In all reality, it may be worth looking into how these changing sets of values has impacted the United States' impact on the world. When it comes to the developing minds of children, there should be some type of regulation that restricts the amount of manipulative messaging that goes into certain media.
I think the most interesting piece from this week was the "Consuming Kids" video we watched yesterday. I found it interesting that advertisers know how to market to kids as young as five. One of the things that was interesting was that they make sure kids see their ads as young as two and make it memorable to a kid that young (such as slowing it down for the youngest age group).
One thing that the movie didn't address was the fact that we give these companies incentives in our economy to do these things. That is how our whole economy is run, so these companies and people just do what they need to to make profits. I think that it was a bit one sided to just get people to make their points than to go out and look at both sides of the argument. What about the parents who let their children be the subjects of these studies? I'm sure these people would say that advertising to kids so young is wrong, and yet they let their kids be the ones that get watched.
My point really is that yes, I think it is a bad thing, but you can't always use results to try and say why something is wrong, especially when it is just an opinion. If people want these things to change, they need to take a look at the incentives companies are given. The point in the movie where they talked about the trends before and after the advertising restrictions were taken off, that shows how much the restrictions worked. If people want advertising to change, they need to make a case that it should be put back into place, and show how things are worse now that the restrictions are gone.
I found this video to be very interesting. As someone mentioned in class, I watched it from the other angle and thought about how smart these companies are doing this to children. Besides the fact that one of the guys getting interviewed related these youth marketers to pedofiles, they are geniuses. A couple things that stood out to me were the "Nag Factor," "Cradle to Grave" and just how technology is a huge factor of todays marketing.
It's funny they threw up a Simpson's Episode with Bart and Lisa asking to go to Mount Splashmore because that exactly was thinking about. Also the part about Sponge Bob Mac and Cheese being the best made me laugh. When the lady asked how one could argue with a 5 year old about that...and you simply cant. Another aspect of that is in commercials at the end there is something like "Ask your parents.." or "With parent approval visit our website." (or something like that) So not only do the kids want the product and ask their parents, but potentially both the kid and parent are visiting the website. Smart. Like the Nag Factor, it connects the product to the kid to the parent.
Another thing that was portrayed in a negative way was the idea of Cradle to Grave. Again, looking at this in a positive way, why wouldn't you want someone buying your product for their whole life?
Technology is taking over. The documentary showed us how things like online games are a huge help to their marketing scheme. "Kids are either playing on the playground or on the computer." They said that in 2010 5.3 million kids betweent he ages of 8-12 owned a cell phone and in 2011 that number was predicted to double. I cant image what it will be like in 5 years from now. Kids are being acclimated to technology at a very early age. I saw a commercial the other day for playskool or something and they were selling tablets for kids. Colorful, easy to hold, plastic tablet with a plug at the end for their website offering apps. Toddlers with apps?
The movie that we watched in class today presented a disturbing image about how kids are targeted with marketing. It really made me reflect on what did I like when I was a child? Why did I like that? I remember being little and wanting a toy so badly because of an awesome commercial I had seen for it on Nickolodean. I also had a little mermaid bedroom. So I guess I was a sucker for their marketing schemes. I would also go as far to say that the Disney company has a customer for life in me. As an adult I have been to Disney world 4 times and I think that I have seen every Disney movie that has come out in theaters and purchased them. However is everything a marketing scheme? Can't they make a movie because they think its a good story? The most recent disney movie called Brave is a good story that has a positive message for kids and it has quality animation. If we say that everything thing is just a marketing scheme then I think we aren't looking at all at the appreciation of art that has to be involved. I know that it I am biased because I love all the cartoon movies and I am probably the person that they are talking about in the consuming kids movie. When I think of Ariel or toy story I think of positive happy things so I have bought in to what they were trying to do but what is so wrong with that. I think that parents need to take responsibilty of what their kids are watching and doing. If your child is asking for ipods and violent video games at a young age they didn't cook that idea to ask for that all by themselves. Parents are the most in control of ultimiatley what their child owns. If you buy your daughter the blinged out slutty dressed barbies then you shouldn't be suprised when she wants to wear midrif tops at the age of 7. Adults directly involved with children have the responsibilty to explain whats appropriate and what they should and shouldn't own and why.
After watching the video Consuming Kids - The Commercialization of Childhood, I have a direct feeling of what parents' role should be in helping their kids better shape their concept of value, and direct them to understand what is the real meaning of want and need.
Before I dive deeper into the parents' responsibility in helping their children to get a better understanding of value, it seems more important for us to know why it's getting harder to prevent the shop-oriented thoughts in youth. As mentioned in the McChesney's article, conglomerate companies make the outside companies hard to enter the market. It's hard for consumer to make choices between products that are either manufactured by conglomerate A or conglomerate B since both products have been intensively marketed through advertisements in different media. In order to be a "smarter" consumer, we tend to believe that if we try both products and make a personal judgment about which one is better yield more chances for us to be less "controlled" by advertisements that we were exposed to. In reality, both conglomerates won't care about how individual client acts since both of them are aware that two of them (or in some cases, several of them) control the entire market, losing one or two costumers makes no different to their annual report.
Under this condition, it seems that parents' responsibilities should be weighted even more. First of all, the market itself is driven entirely by the needs. If there are more needs that are waiting to be satisfied, then the sales report will definitely show that. By saying this I mean, if there is one child's want that has not be satisfied, then the advertisement will influence he/she more severely since if the child cannot get what he/she wants, they tend to desire more about that thing. Secondly, children nowadays are voluntarily and passively exposed to tons of advertisement, which is shown in the video as well. The more they encounter those advertisements, the more passive needs that have been created. By saying passive needs, I mean that the needs is really not what kids really want, they don't even know the existence of one product before they saw those advertisements. So parents' should take the responsibility of educating their kids about what is a "real" need, and what kind of needs are intended to be created by those conglomerates whose top priority is to give a better report to their stakeholders.
Please post discussion questions for Hall's Encoding/Decoding here. Use the following questions to guide your reading and note-taking.
This essay is a very important work in media and cultural studies. As you read, try to tease out how Hall understands what he calls the "televisional sign." How does this differ from the sign in Williamson's sense?
How is Hall using the terms denotation and connotation? How does this differ from the use of these terms in traditional linguistics? Relatedly, what does he mean by the phrase the "fixity of meaning"?
Polysemic means having multiple meanings (or having the capacity for multiple meanings). Why is this concept important to Hall's essay?
How is Hall using the concepts of "ideology" and "discourse"?
What does Hall mean by "hegemonic"?
What is the difference between "dominant or preferred meaning," "negotiated meaning," and "oppositional reading"? Why are these important for Hall?
In McChesney' article, his research example indicates that children have more favorable respond to commercials than do any other age group. And, he points out that child obesity is an example of a negative effect from commercials. Do you have any examples of negative effects caused by advertisements for children?
McChesney at one point in his article states, "Advertising is also indispensable for launching new products. The bottom line, so to speak, is that advertising is not an optional business expense." I feel that to some extent, this idea of advertising as completely necessary has morphed and less advertising is now needed in some cases. Consider the iPhone 5. Apple has been producing little information about the iPhone 5. The product has now become so popular that a small sample of people are simply hearing about the product and then spreading the word themselves. Word of mouth has become "word of Facebook" and consumers are becoming advertising methods themselves. Can you think of any other products that function in a similar matter?
I am taking my Media Communications major and hopefully going into film production. I watch movies differently now after going through a set of classes here at the U. One thing i notice all the time is the ridiculous product placement so i was intrigued by that in the Hyper-Commercialism article. "Product placement is undergoing another transformation, one that will alter our med culture - and further weaken the seperation between advertising and media content. Now marketers play a direct role in creating entertainment fair..." My Discussion Question is if you believe that this is going to far in today's media where someday it will be like the Truman Show? Or is this a cheaper more efficient, subliminal way for companies to get their product out.
Here are a few questions to think about as you read. Please post your discussion questions for McChesney below.
What are oligopolistic markets?
What, for McChesney, is the function of advertising?
What is "image" advertising? Why does this matter?
What is the relationship between advertisements and TV content? (see 144, 148, for example)?
What is the relationship between advertising and social inequality? (That is, which consumers does advertising seek to address? What are the social, cultural and political implications of this? Can you think of some specific examples?)
What does McChesney mean when he calls the contemporary media landscape a "whole new paradigm" (153)?
What does McChesney see as the tension between hypercommercialism and democracy? Please use examples and be specific. Do you see similar tensions in other media examples?
And for fun, here is a clip from the Seinfeld episode McChesney mentions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhbMqjnYNfI
After I read Carr's article about how the Internet is affecting us in many ways, especially when it comes to reading long book, I strongly agreed with some of the points he addressed in here. From my own experiences, I also have trouble concentrating on reading the books, just like the examples in this article. I usually scan through the books, and not reading it unless I am forced to do so. In order to make up for lack of my ability to read for a long time, I tend to depend on the Internet to get more information. The Internet has become one of the reliable sources to study.
I think that we are getting more opportunities to reach many sources from Google and the Internet rather than just getting educated from one long book. We may have lost the ability to focus on reading such a long book as Carr points out. Instead, we gained the ability to find another way to get information, such as to search online, that way we are able to save more time to read another article to help us understand the material better.
I personally think that being less capable of concentrating on reading something does not necessarily mean that we became stupid.
As the use of internet culture is changing constantly, I think that it is acceptable to behave differently than how we used to behave. As a media consumer, I cannot say that the Internet is affecting us in a bad way. The internet just gives us more choices. Therefore, I believe that the internet is not the reason why we are losing our abilities to focus and read. We are still given choices, either utilizing the internet or not using the Internet to train our ability to concentrate reading the actual books.
There is no escaping social media these days. It's all over the internet, TV, movies, and other media sources. What began as a small phenomenon has grown into an inescapable trend among businesses and people, young and old. Social media is playing a big part in our day to day lives, and its goal is to help us connect better with a companies, friends, and family to name a few. Social media, while its intentions are good, can also be looked at negatively. Our relationships, jobs and emotional well being are all affected by social media. Taking a closer look at social media is important in understanding whether it is encouraging or damaging to companies and us. Facebook is a huge social media site and is a medium that keeps you engaged with your friends lives. It keeps you informed on what your friends are doing, seeing, listening to, and seems to have replaced emailing. It is a great way to keep in contact and continue relationships with people that you may not get to see on a day to day basis or that lives in a different city, state, or even country. The positive feelings that are associated with Facebook are social capital. Research shows the more social capital you have the better you feel. Being able to communicate with your friends is important in building your relationships with them and social media provides an easier way to do just that. Critics say that social media takes away from that in-person contact that is needed to maintain a friendships and relationships. Friendships and relationships are important to people and social media is playing a huge part in keeping those connections. Social media is also being used as a way for businesses to recruit for jobs. LinkedIn, facebook, twitter, and YouTube are all sites that have are being used to land jobs. Online Resumes are taking over the paper resumes, business cards are becoming outdated, and the job section in the classifieds is becoming smaller. Through social media people are creating their own personal brand to market themselves to companies. It's critical to keep your social media sites clean, as employers are checking them to get a better sense of who you are. It can become a negative situation when employers find indecent pictures, or bad language used on these social sites. Your online social media presence is important when it comes to jobs, as it can either help you or in some cases end up hurting you. Current research indicates that tweeting, status updating and other social networking activities might be good for our psychological well-being, physical health and in-person relationships. The important thing is to control how much you use it and not let it control you. As social media becomes bigger and bigger, looking at whether it causes more harm than good becomes a question. Social media plays a huge role in a lot of different aspects of our lives. Looking at careers, emotional well being, and relationships allows us to see the positive and negatives of how social media affects these aspects.
The piece that I have felt relates to me the most this week is the Williamson piece. I remember taking a sociology class my freshman year of college and touching on this same topic. Growing up in the United States you have products and merchandise shoved in your face whether you realize it or not. As much as I hate to admit it I have also fallen for these ad "traps." As a little kid I remember specifically watching commercials for Toster Strudels. One of the actors is eating a poptart that appears very dry, and flavorless. The other actor comes in with a toster strudel that appears to be flaky and full of flavor. Despite the fact that I knew I liked poptarts, after watching the commercial I told my mom we HAD to get toster strudles. This is one of my earliest memories that I have of being affected by the commercial ad industry. In the Williamson piece she talks about the sign, signifier, and the signified all in relation to a reverent system. I feel that I can relate to this concept when I think about celebrities that are the signifiers, and as embarrassing as it is to admit, I fall for this stuff all the time. An example of this is in High School; Jessica Simpson was the face for Proactiv. I was a big fan of Jessica Simpson and thought that buying the product would result in me having celebrity like skin. I think one of the most famous signifiers today are the Kardashian sisters. If you put their face or name on a product it will almost immediately sell, and not necessarily because the product is great but because of the name in relation to the product.
It's fall, ladies and gentleman. Leaves are starting to change colors, school is in session and most importantly, football is in full swing. As I sit proudly in my Green Bay Packer's jersey (because I know you are wondering, I'm sporting #52, Clay Matthews, the most premium Packer of all), I can't help but think how this blog post needs to get done because I have some pre-game to watch, but I can't seem to focus because football is on the brain. If only I could make football into my homework. Then, suddenly, it hits me! The Superbowl is one of the most watched events of the year. People are soaked up in both the game and the commercials. Football and advertisements go hand-in-hand. So, let's bring these two opposites together and apply what we have learned so far, to some amazing Superbowl commercials. For the sake of brevity, I will analyze my favorite Superbowl commercial. Students of media literacy, I give you Darth Vadar and the Volkswagen Passat! COPY AND PASTE http://vwoa.us/dogstrikesback COPY AND PASTE Now, which advertising schemes can we see here. Little Darth Vadar badly wants to have superpowers. He spends the whole day storming around the house trying to strangle a doll, make a sandwich move, and for lack of a better word, terrorize the dog. Once he finally approaches the Passat, he has just about given up. Thanks to good old Dad and the wonderful invention of the automatic start (which is pretty much viewed as wonderful only by people from states where it snows), Darth Vadar is able to start the car with his "superpowers." We all see Dad work the magic so we attribute the superpowers to Dad and we associate the superpowers with the Passat. To be brief (and for comedic effect), superheroes drive the Passat. Who doesn't want superpowers? Who doesn't want to be awesome? Pretty much no one. Drive a Passat, be a superhero!
What's your favorite Superbowl commercial?
Happy football season!
I found Williamson's piece on Decoding Advertisements very interesting. As a Comm major and soon to be enrolled in Miami Ad School, you can see why this article caught my eye. The signifier and Sign can be seen in every ad, and I find that very interesting. I really like how she connected advertisements with emotions. Advertisements have advanced from the Coca Cola ads of the sixties. Now they have an emotion that is envied from the target audience. It's not that our IQ has dropped over the years, rather advertising is a multi billion dollar business, and they have fine tuned their craft enough to be relevant. I also believe that ads are often juxtaposed, with the product next to something the target audience can relate to. Advertising agencies have realized that in order to really sell something on airwaves, you cannot just show the product and how much of a good buy it is, you have to capture your audience's attention and get them to consciously or sub-consciously say I need this product, I can relate to this product, this is what is missing in my life. The fact of the matter is Americans are very excessive and material. We have things we do not use for a year's time, we have enough clothes to last us a month. So when you are selling a clothing brand, or a new car, you need to peculiar about your target audience and not waste time trying to sell to the masses. Now some brands make mistakes doing this. Yes, you cannot sell Dolce and Gabbana purses to men, that is understandable. But I just saw an ad on TV for Dr. Pepper 10. It is a beverage made by Dr. Pepper that only has 10 calories. The commercial is very quick and noisy and at the end it says something a long the lines of "Made just for men". Now when I heard this I was actually a little offended. I am a male who is not a feminist by any means, but i was offended because the add is completely singling out women even though it is a beverage, therefore there is no reason that it shouldn't be unisex. To plug Williamson in this, she stated that certain things are sold to certain audiences, which makes complete sense. But there are some things, like a beverage, where an ad should not be discriminatory.
After reading Carr and Shirky's articles, Carr's perspective does not contain adequate reasons to persuade me, but Shirky's point of view helped a lot to supplement Carr's idea.
In Carr's article, he shows how the internet causes us trouble through authorities' inferences and private experiences. I have to agree with him in some cases. In fact, I rely on the internet for my studying, but my amount of reading in a year has been reduced since using internet. However, these examples do not include any reasons which were proven by scientific methods, so we can also consider those experiences could be caused from other external or internal factors like age.
On the other hand, Shirky points out that Carr's real anxiety behind his essay is that people will stop reading long literature. When I got this idea, it reminded me of activists who work to ban books. Many books were claimed to be banned because their contents had potential to influence some people's culture, like "Lord of the Flies" and "Catcher in the Rye." Usually, book banning is held for strict religious views and part of child discipline. What activists are afraid of is bad influences to their family from these types of books; bad influence in this case is explained as changing their tradition. In my home country Japan, my parents' generation frequently said "comic magazines are bad for children, they make us lose the skill of reading long paragraphs and imagination." But this type of protest is not new. History indicates these incidents happened frequently when people faced objects which had power to change their life style.
What we really need to think about from both articles is whether sacrificing a culture is really worth it for us or not. It may cause problems in our culture and economic market, but have the chance to make a new market like e-books. Intellectual innovation brings tools that make our life more useful, like printing and the internet, but we also need to be conscious of what we are losing from the innovations.
While reading the "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" article, I noticed that much of the new reading techniques the author described were skills I would attribute with my own reading style. Nicholas Carr writes, "I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I'm always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle". This is how I feel much of the time. Any class reading that I try to do will not really be absorbed past about the twenty-minute mark. Carr receives a similar observation from Prof. Freidman, "Even a blog post of more than three or four paragraphs is too much to absorb. I skim it." I will admit, I was already absorbing and skimming by that point in the article.
I heard recently that human beings speak and think about ten percent faster than we did fifteen years ago. To me, this only further expresses the idea that the way humans think is changing. We communicate with ease through new media in a way that would seem incredibly overwhelming to people twenty years ago. There is a sense of hyper-stimulation that almost causes the brain to experience anxiety when it focuses on one singular thought pattern for too long. That has been at least my personal experience. In the article they use the example reading 'War and Peace', but I noticed the lack of focus phenomenon myself when trying to perform the arduous task of listening to the radio show 'A Prairie Home Companion'. I couldn't even figure out what the entertainment value is intended to be, the only thing I could think when listening to the radio show was that you would have to think on a very different wave length from mine to enjoy listening to this.
Is Google really making us stupid?
I thought that reading is written Carr is really interesting topic. Nowadays, there are a number of Google users in the world. Google has various influences on our life. After people who use Internet getting increase rapidly, many people worried about this happen, and Carr also looks uncomfortable about this happening. Google change the world. It changes college life, company life, and even my mom's life. My mom usually cooks after googling about the recipe, and student prefer sitting in front of computer for their paper. They don't want to go to library for the finding resources. Likewise, web surfing and googling is changing people's life style today. However they can find huge information, but cannot memorize during long period. This would be the point why Carr wrote this article. Marshall McLuhan said, "Media are not passive channels of information." Surfing information is looks like active, but it is passive. It intercepts people to change to think creativity then control our mind. We thought we can think freely, but we might not be escaped from Jet ski's wire unless don't scarfing in the net.
People can find only information that they want. It lead to some finders didn't care about the author's purpose, but only care about find sort of information for support their opinion. Reading book help us to increasing knowledge. While people are reading a book, they have better understanding about author and the era, but searching information is like auxiliary memory device. It was feared people might be standardized.
I found both the original article "Is Google Making us Stupid" by Nicholas Carr and the response by Clay Shirky very interesting. I read Carr's article first and i agreed with many of the points that he made. I found that i agreed and had even experienced many of the things that he talked about myself. One of the main things i found i could relate to was not being able to concentrate well while reading, especially longer books or articles. Another thing that i found to be true to my own life is that the internet is a universal form of media, everything is on the web. Instead of having to go to the movie store to rent a movie or to the library to get a book you can just go online and do these things now. I think that one thing google definitely does is hurt people ability to retain information and actually learn it instead of looking it up, using it and forgetting it. This is because we know we can just look it up again in a matter of minutes or even seconds so there is no need to actually learn it. Going back to content in the article i thought it was very convincing when Carr used his own personal experience as well as the experience of his friends who are "literary types" who all seemed to experience somewhat that same thing. Personal experience from credible sources is a great way to create an effective argument to me. However as the article progressed i thought it got a little farfetched as it moved to our brains being connected to artificial intelligence and that the human brain is just an outdated computer. I also thought it was somewhat ironic that the article, even though it was originally in a magazine, is now posted online and im sure many people have skimmed through it instead of reading deeply through it just as Carr talks about in his article. Overall i thought that many interesting points were raised though and that there was a lot of content that could be taken from this article. If we have time it would be interesting to talk about this article in class and see what everyone else thinks about this article.
With the internet now so available for us and at our finger tips, is this issue really going to cause a problem in the literature world? I feel that with the internet being so available it has somewhat helped the literature world. He states that it is hard to argue "That the last ten years have seen a decrease in availability or comprehension of material on scientific or technical subjects, for example."
In "Is Google making us Stupid" the focus is more on the cultural changes rather then the direct effect on the amount of people ready to kneel down to the thought of only reading. The internet and technology has not stopped people from reading. I personally do not like to read, I never have even as a child I did not like to read. But now with the the new ways for me to read literature I have learned so much more. I like to read article online, and I even purchased a kindle and in the past the most books I would read in a month was 0-1 now has jumped to 5 books a month. I can read online and I can be anyplace while I read.
Is there an abundance of information on the internet? Yes. Is all of the information true? No. I think that that is the problem we should focus on. Not that there is so much out there that we can access, but what can we do to help make this information helpful, true and teach us. The most read information we have is the "News" many people go online to read about the lives of other people. We do not go on to go read articles about what is happening in science or who won a special award for their work unless is is a grammy award of a VMA.
The question is the internet going to make us less intellectual? I do not believe so, but it does have the possible chance of doing so, if we do not try to make it a place for more then social networking, and to "stalk" the celebrities. We can use the internet as a tool but also as weapon. We need to be aware of the problems that can come from the abbundance of information, and remember that when we go to use the internet. I feel that is all we can do to help socitey from becoming "stupid" because of the internet.
The piece I've found most interesting at this point is Williamson's Decoding Advertisements. I found it interesting because we are all consumers, but we never like to think we are the ones that companies are targeting for ads. I always think I'm too good to be taken a fool by those guys. But that got me to thinking about times I did or may have spent money or time doing something based simply on advertisements. I thought of the time I bought my iPad. While I didn't just go and buy it after seeing the advertisements, I probably never would have even looked into it if it weren't for all of the ads I saw all the time. That drove me to look into features and ultimately to buy it.
Thinking back, there is one major product preference I can trace back to ads. Growing up, my mom drank Pepsi. When I got old enough I started drinking only Coke. Looking back, they are the same product, so why did I choose what I did? I think I can give the credit to the commercials. I remember always liking the Coke commercials. They were always more fun, like polar bears drinking Coke. I didn't think the Pepsi ads were as fun, so I didn't want to drink it. The choice had nothing to do with the product itself, but only with what the ads portrayed the drink to be. I saw bears enjoying Coke, I assume that Coke is fun, and if it is good enough for a polar bear, who am I to say no?
Finally, I thought a bit about political ads. I know we didn't really focus on them, but I think they are an interesting topic, especially in the midst of election season. I always hear people complaining about political ads, and how they wish they would run ads that were productive. The thing I found most interesting about this is the idea that campaigns run ads that work. The same goes for Pepsi, Coke, Apple, Snickers, everyone. They all run ads that work on the general public. While I understand and accept not all ads work for all people, some people have to be affected by those ads. Otherwise they wouldn't run them. I just find it interesting that everyone I talk to will say how bad the ads are and how they don't do anything but don't take the time to ask why campaigns run the ads then.
Is google really making us stupid? This is what Nicholas Carr tries to unveil in his piece about the dramatic increase of internet use in our daily lives. The analogy he used in the beginning of the reading, sort of made me feel uneasy. tComparing ourselves to this deteriorating robot as the human disables his memory circuits, isn't the most comforting comparison. With the immediacy of information at our fingertips, the need or want to open a book has almost completely become extinct. I've noticed in my own personal experience the effects of this new technological craze. When long readings are assigned in any of classes, I do find it difficult to stay focused on what is right in front of me. Distractions are inevitable i.e. cellphone notifications, facebook, internet etc., and I find that my mind is wandering elsewhere. Our minds have been programmed to want that information instantly, and when we don't have that immediacy we begin to lose focus. So, is our future world doomed for failure? That I am not entirely sure. Throughout history, there have been many technology changes, which disrupt the previous style of communication. Back when there were no means of written communication, everything was passed orally. When written word was introduced, there were those people who believed our memories would suffer now that we could write everything down. This wasn't the case, and we've lived to tell the tale. We may just be on the edge of a dramatic change in our means of communication; to know if it will have a negative impact on our world, that remains to be seen.
I thought that reading the two perspectives presented in the Carr and Shirky articles was very interesting. After reading the two articles I started to think about my own study and reading habits and how they have changed.
Carr brought up the idea in his article that people think differently now as a result of how we get our information so quickly from the internet. I think that I would have to agree with him. As I have grown up and learned to use the internet more for my studies the way that I think of researching has changed. In high school they speant a whole class teaching us how to use the library to research something and find the perfect book. Now that seems like a waste. I am a Junior and not once in my college career have I used a library with actual books as a part of my research routine. I think that now that class that I had in high school has probably evolved into a internet research class. Now when I need to find information I search for it on my favorite search engines like Google or duckduckgo.com. If I can't find exactly what I am looking for easily on those two search engines I do get a little irritated that its taking me more time than I would want it to. Thats completley different than taking time to find things in individual books.
I don't agree with Carr that it makes people not want to read books at all any more. Carr mentioned in his article that he can't read "War and Peace" anymore. I rely on the internet for researching but it will never replace reading a good book and holding that actual book in my hand. I sit at a computer 40 hours a week for work so when I get home I would rather get in bed with a good book than sit on the internet.
Both Carr and Shirky spoke to the historical changes in media like when Socrates frowned apon books being produced for public use because it would take away from people that just naturally had the knowledge and later how the printing press spawned mass produced literature that some didn't feel was as high of quality. I agree with Shirky that no matter what other low culture media it produces in the short run it doesn't compare to the huge benefits of providing more people with knowledge that they wouldn't have had access to before. The more informed and educated people are the more innovative and better off we will be as a human race.
I really wanted to write my blog post about Nicholas Carr's, Is Google Making Us Stupid, because in my opinion, this is the article that we have read thus far that probably is most relevant to all of us. The most compelling point that I took from his argument was that the Internet is a ubiquitous, endless, overwhelming source of information. He approaches his argument with a pathos claim, stating that that newer forms of media, especially the Internet, has re-wired our minds and has attacked the selective attention component in our brains. He is convinced that there is drawn out way as to how individuals process information while reading something online versus reading a physical text. His argument that the Internet exploits so many forms of distractions is convincing, because he claims that readers are unable to grow in depth with the text on screen, especially when reading lengthy articles. His argument is supported by his own personal experience of performing Internet searches on Google and stating how new media saves so much time providing abundant information at our fingertips at the keyboard rather than having to dig through periodical stacks in libraries. I agree with his claim in the sense that Internet usage has shaped how we think, but I solely believe that it is based on the overwhelming amount of information that the Internet offers. Let me clarify--if I type the word, gopher, into Google, chances are I will find thousands of hits/links to click on for further information. If I am sitting in a library and books are my only option, I'm limited to grab one book at a time and start reading through it. The Internet, on the other hand, engrosses our minds with so many sources on gophers that we are overwhelmed and find ourselves continuously clicking on every appealing link we see, therefore we don't allow ourselves to thoroughly process useful information, because our mind is constantly racing as to what we will find on the next link! (Sort of like reading through that last sentence). It's just like anything else in life, if we devote ourselves to one activity at a time, chances are we will find that we have a better understanding/result versus trying to multi-task between multiple activities.
Connecting Carr's argument with my own life experiences is simple. I am a terrible multi-tasker, and even though I know I am, I continue to try and do it, because that is what works for me. It's what works for my brain, like right now writing this blog response, I will finish writing this sentence and then I am going to switch back to Psych for probably 15 minutes but not before checking my Facebook and using the restroom. (Pause for 15 minutes). Now that I'm back I'll explain another way that Carr's argument is apparent in my life--just reading this article, I literally scrolled up and down several times after every other paragraph to see how much more progress I made on it. It's not that I found it to be boring, but instead it is exactly what Carr had ironically been discussing the entire time--distraction. I am a passive reader; I'll read the first four sentences of something and then I will think about what I should make myself for lunch. I comply with the words on screen or in-text but my mind is completely focused on something else. Specifically using the Internet has not helped my 8 second focused attention span; whether it is doing on online search and reading about something or using it for leisure, my mind is inclined to try and multi-task, because the options are available! All I have to do is click the new tab button, and I can essentially begin another task; the possibilities are endless.
Here are some questions to think about as you read Meehan's essay. Please post your discussion questions below.
We can think of Meehan's essay as a "how-to" example of what it would look like to do a political economy analysis (that is, analyzing media in relation to the economic relations in which it is produced, distributed, consumed, etc). What seem to be the steps?
What questions does she seek to answer?
How could this be done with other media objects?
How is Meehan's analysis different from Williamson's?
What can we gain from doing a political economy analysis (what are the benefits for us as scholars)?
How can Meehan's piece inform how we critique/use/consume/make media?
What does Meehan mean by "commodity fetishism"? Her use of the term is implicit. She is referencing a commodity form that veils the economic and social relations that produced it.
After reading Nicholas Carr's article "Is Google making us stupid?", I tend to agree with what he said in the article. He argues that our brain's ability in reading long pieces of article or long books is deteriorating since we have been "modified" to be comfortable in reading shorter pieces or keeping clicking hyperlinks online in order to get the accurate and condensed information. He gives an example that researchers used to spend days in library in order to get what they want, but now they only need to click on hyperlinks and get things done only in minutes.
The main reason for us to have a less focused brain is because that we are constantly interrupted when we surfing online. People might be interrupted when a new email come in; they might be interrupted when they see an interesting ad on the side bar of the web page; they might be interrupted when friend call in through Skype or Google+; they might be interrupted when they want to satisfy their random curiosity. All these small things keep us from concentration, and our ability of focusing on what we want to do getting worse and worse.
I saw a documentary from Frontline (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/) about how college students get constantly interrupted by multitasking, which I found pretty interesting and coincide with some of Carr's points in his article. The documentary says that our generation grows up online, and we are continuously browsing websites, texting, facebooking, twittering, and checking our mails. In the mean while, we are listening to lectures, reading books and doing homework. We believe we are totally capable for multitasking. But research run in the Stanford shows the opposite results. This example shows that even though we believe we are much smarter than we used to be, but doing everything online increases the chance to be interrupted. We still need to admit that our brain will work its best when we don't give it so many task simultaneously, and trying to understand something deeply and thoroughly should be more important than just have a little taste of it.
Please post discussion questions on Williamson's piece here.