My Most Important Take-Away

When looking back on our class this semester, I thought about a lot of things about the media that I would have never thought about on my own – thanks to my teacher, class discussion, and opinions from other fellow students. I knew already going into the class that I was not a huge media or technology guru, so I really enjoyed just listening. I guess I could say I am involved with social media, but definitely not as involved as others in the class were. That was interesting to me. People got information and news about things I had no clue about from these different media sources that I have yet to utilize.

I feel a lot more knowledgeable able the media world leaving this class, but I don’t necessarily want my life engrossed with it. I still enjoy having time without my phone on me, or not opening my computer for a whole weekend. These things are just a breathe of fresh air for me. It lets me focus on things that I find a lot more important in my life.

So, I guess the most important thing that I took away from JOMC 240 was there are going to be continuous disruptions from the ever-evolving world of media and technology, but it is up to us to figure out the way that they will affect us. We can choose whether we want these new sources of information in our lives or not and the ones that we choose to let in are going to have consequences on our life – both negative and positive. It is destined to change the way we act, think, and learn.

I am excited about the new technology that is being developed and the new forms that social media are taking, but I am going to be careful about how much of it all I let in thanks to this class.

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Social Media – is it helping to define new standards of beauty?

In class today, we discussed the Dove Campaign called Redefine Beauty. It brought a whole new perspective to the media world that I had never thought about before. The campaign is based off the fact that the media has played a major role in defining what beauty is. It is the skinny, beautiful models that we see on magazines and ads, or the actresses and actors who are flawless and done-up with makeup. But, this add is helping to young girls and women to realize that media – especially the “selfie” – can help us allow that beauty has many different definitions.

After watching the video on it (http://mashable.com/2014/01/20/dove-selfies-short-film/), it made me realize that selfies are helping us define beauty. We send out pictures of ourselves, or post them on social media sites, and we are comfortable with these pictures of ourselves. It makes us realize that people think also think that beauty is the random quick pictures of ourselves, and doesn’t have to be defined by what the models look like. I just thought it was just interesting to look at social media and selfies in a positive way, rather than all negative.

What other things in the media help us to see beauty outside of the standard mold?

Have you ever misinterpreted a text?

…. I have. And today, when it happened again, I really sat down and thought about how often we all do this. Texts have become the way we communicate. For most of the time, text are great. We can use them to send quick messages without calling, or just keep in touch with people throughout the day. But, there is a downside to this. We forget the importance that of a simple phone call. On a phone, you are able to discuss easily and one of the most important things, you can hear a person’s tone. Too many times, I have read into a short text and thought to myself… “What did I do? They must be mad at me if they are being so short?”

Then comes the worries from the misinterpretation, or even the possible fight. All from a simple, typed text message. Why do we let these short messages get to us so much? And better yet, why do we let it harm our relationships, whether it be a boyfriend or just a best friend.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/01/too-much-texting-could-be_n_4192051.html# is a article that talks a little bit more about this. It emphasizes that we are using texting to solve fights or get back on the same page, when in reality, face to face is the way it should be solved (or at least with a phone call!). It also explains how lower quality relationships could be correlated to texting, for both men and women.

I think we need to bring back the importance of face to face discussion to build a relationship, because if we are solving problems between one another using texting, then our future love lives are lookin’ too hot…

Smartphones are the new Buddha?

During the down time in between two of my classes, I sat outside and just stumbled through some sites on my computer – Mashable being one of them. An article caught my eye about 5 meditation mobile apps that have been created to help people deal with their stress.

As of lately, I have been completely swamped with work. I honestly feel like for the past 4 weeks I have sat in front of a computer for almost half of the day, either typing projects, researching, doing projects, making power points…  So when I saw this article about 5 phone apps that could help me relax, I called BS. Being on my phone, looking at ANOTHER screen, is literally the last thing I want to do these days to help me get away from all my stress. My phone has even added to my stress lately, having to get in touch with people for group projects, getting constant emails, etc. Let’s just say, I am happy to set it down and not look at it for hours.

When I saw this article, I thought to myself… “Am I a rare case of trying to get away from technology? Do other people find comfort in it?”

I mean I just can’t get over days that I have to be in front of a screen instead of being outside on these beautiful spring days…

As I read some of the apps and what they do, I thought No Way could these help me calm down. I would rather be out on a run to get my stress out, or hang out with a friend and just enjoy their company when taking a break from everything.

So, I guess my question is, would people really find comfort in these. Am I one of the few who still enjoys time in the world without a technological device or constantly being connected?

To learn about these apps… read more at http://mashable.com/2014/04/06/meditation-apps-workday/

Texting and Driving

I drove to Charlotte on Thursday and came back today, and I can honestly say I was astounded of the number of people on their phones while driving…

It was absolutely terrible. Yes, I have been guilty of it before, but I realized a while ago that I cannot text and drive. So, I rarely use my phone in the car unless it is to send a one word text to my parents or call someone, or to use Pandora. I really barely ever text.

I really started noticing after a man was swerving around in and out of his lane in the lane next to me. He was a little behind me and my lane was ending and I needed to get over or else I was going be run off the road… So, I am trying to get over with my blinker on and this man will not let me. I realize his head is looking down at his phone. I blow my horn as I am about to go off the road, and he looks up and realizes what he is doing. I yelled at him through my window as loud as a could, and usually never get road rage… It was all because he was on his phone.

From there on out, the whole way, I noticed people driving absolutely terrible. And almost every car I went by, there heads were down looking at their phones and they would look up on and off. It was insane. Since when did looking at our phones matter more than our own safety, not to mention other people’s safety?

I was disgusted at the amount of people carelessly driving, swerving in and out of lanes, putting everyone else in danger of a wreck. ALL BECAUSE OF A STUPID PHONE.

As you can tell, I am a little heated. This is the first thing I did when I got home. I had to write about it.

Technology is blurring our lives. And people need to start realizing it, or else careless things will happen and people could get hurt.

Here is a really interesting site with some important stats on texting and driving… people should start caring.

http://www.textinganddrivingsafety.com/texting-and-driving-stats/

I actually thought about class after Monday!

I got a snap chat last night that made me think back to a dicussion we had in class about using our smartphones at concerts.My friend, who is studying abroad, saw Beyonce in Portugal, and I think I got maybe 10 snaps from her during the concert. At one point, I was thinking… why the heck is she on her phone? I would be dancing.

We all agreed that we do it… we pull out our phones to get the perfect picture of the performer or a video of our favorite song. But, why do we feel the need to do this. Is it because we want to show off our pictures on social media to make people jealous of where we are. Or simply just to have a picture or video to look back to when we are thinking about the concert or telling a friend about it?

Well, there’s a lot of people out there who don’t think smartphones should be used at concerts for many reasons… many of which I agreed with. One being, it’s so darn distracting! It takes away from the feeling and experience of the live performance.

Plus we know that the pictures and videos aren’t going to turn out to the best quality anyway.

From an article I read, I thought it was interesting that certain performers such as, Prince, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and other bands are banning the use mobile phones at their shows…. that is a bit aggressive in my opinion, but at least they are showing their thoughts on the use of smartphones at their shows.

This article is an interesting read about the use of smartphones at concerts. To check it out, find the article here… http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2013/sep/02/10-reasons-use-mobile-phone-gig. It explains why they think it is okay to use them.

While another article, http://www.tonedeaf.com.au/features/opinion/339860/top-10-reasons-its-still-not-ok-to-use-your-smartphone-at-concerts.htm, states their opinion based off The Guardian article on why NOT to use them.

Response to Tara

I was reading Tara’s blog post about Snap Chat, and I think she nailed it when she talked about how snap chat is great because there is no “like” button. I know so many of my friends who would NEVER post a bad picture of themselves with a double chin on Facebook or Instagram, but they send those babies out like 5 times a day on Snapchat… and I think it’s hilarious.

I love Snapchat for the fact I can send out silly pictures to all my friends and not really care, because I know its going to be deleted (and I can even decide how fast it is deleted!)

The one thing that I think has changed this kind of simple, naturally-looking picture that Snapchat allows us to send out without judgement is the filters that have been added to the App.

We all know we look better in black and white picture, or with a little tanner looking skin…So why not just change the filter?

But, why not just have the original picture that is going to be deleted. It just seems like with every App that uses pictures these days, that new things are being added to make the picture look just a little bit better.

Even my ugly selfies have gotten a little prettier when I use the tan filter.

So, I guess my question is why do we always need a filter or enhancement to make out picture look better? Why not just be satisfied with a regular simple picture?

And the Research Begins…

I finally made a decision and chose my topic for our final in JOMC 240 from our prompt… “Where will the mass media be in 10 years from now?”

Now, I am not the most creative thinker of all time, but I decided that I would put my focus and creativity into the future of the world of sports. As I was doing some research, I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of other people also thinking about the future of the sports industry.

As I was reading some articles, one especially stood out to me about how much our world could change. The article –  http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/tech/post/_/id/4583/what-is-the-future-of-sports-broadcasts – makes 10 predictions that we will experience, or most likely experience, in our future when it comes to sports.

A few amazed me, and even got me kind of excited for this new and improved sports experience.

1. Holographic viewing – the action would be right in front of you without you even having to go to the arena to watch the game. Although I love going to sporting events (especially for the hot dogs and other junk food), to think I could sit in my bed and feel like I am in the stadium watching a tennis match just amazes me. It also makes me think we are going to get extremely lazy, which is a downside to it.

2. The different live angles and instant replays – the fact I could choose which angle I want to watch the sporting event from is so cool – especially if I wanted to see my favorite player up close 😉

3. Instant access from new technology to show us statistics of what is going on in the game – this could come from a chip in an athlete’s helmet or uniform, or sensors on their actual bodies to give us information about their speed, heart rate and other measurements. But, then again, do the athletes really want everyone watching to know all their body’s information.

4. Last, but not least, the “clickable option” – this one stood out to me solely because I always get hungry when I see a commercial about food when I am watching TV. I can’t help it, I love to eat. But, if I could touch my TV when I saw that hot pizza on the screen and order, then you better believe I am going to be spending a lot of money and gaining some weight. It would be so cool.

All of these ideas have made me excited to look into my topic more and see how this is going to change the mass media of the sports industry as technology grows.

Body Image in the Media and Its Affect on Growing Girls

The ideal body type is glorified in the our country’s media… All we see if tall, toned, fit, and THIN. It is becoming more apparent that these glorified and seemingly “normal” body types are affecting the way our society’s youth perceive themselves. So many young girls are turning to unhealthy eating disorders to change their images to get the “perfect” body type that they see all around them. As many as 24 million people in the United States of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder; 95% are between the ages of 12 and 26.

This problem is especially prominent from magazines. In all magazines, girls are seeing tall, big breasted, extremely thin women who look “beautiful” from the team of makeup and hair artists that have been working on these women. Not to mention, the camera equipment and computers that are used to photo shop these models after being all done-up. A study found that adolescents described the “the ‘ideal’ girl as being 5’7”, 100 pounds, size 5, with long blonde hair and blue eyes. There is no way everyone has these unattainable body sizes and proportions.

The problem lies in the fact that young girls believe that from having these perfect bodies, that social, personal and professional success will come from it. This just increases the motivation to try and attain these impossible body sizes.

Analyses of teen responses indicate that after seeing images of this glorified, thin body type, 47% of adolescent viewers want to lose weight.Girls who frequently read about diets in magazines are seven times more likely to practice unhealthy weight control behaviors and are six times more likely to engage in extreme unhealthy weight control behaviors than girls who don’t read these magazines.

And this exposure to the media is not stopping – its growing. The number and availability of magazine articles aimed at adolescent females have continually been increasing in recent years. It has been that estimated more than $175 billion annually have been spent on these magazines by 33 billion twelve-to-nineteen-year-olds, thus indicating the extensive amount of adolescent media exposure.

And not to mention all the other forms of media that are being brought to these young girls as they grow up today.

All of these norms established by the media, along with the large amounts of exposure, are leading to unhealthy practices in today’s youth. A study revealed that adolescents who “read girls’ magazines had a doubled risk of developing an eating disorder.

SO what is our world going to do about it? We need to start making a change to this perfect body image that is all over, to normal people, in order to help people see that each person is unique for their own qualities and doesn’t have to be 100 pounds to be beautiful.

If we don’t put a stop to some of the media’s uses of these images, our youth is going to grow up with the wrong unhealthy mindset.

-The information from this came from a paper I wrote on the dissatisfaction of body type among adolescents. My sources include:

1. “Eating Disorder Statistics.” ANAD. National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and       Associated Disorders, Inc., n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2013. <http://www.anad.org/ge        information/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/>.

2. Jordi Fauquet, et al. “Influence Of Mass Media On Body Image And Eating Disordered

            Attitudes And Behaviors In Females: A Review Of Effects And Processes.”

            Media Psychology 13.4 (2010): 387-416. PsycINFO. Web. 19 Feb. 2013.

3. Levine, Michael P. “Mass Media And Body Image: A Brief Review Of The Research.”

            Healthy Weight Journal 14.6 (2000): 84. Academic Search Complete. Web. 20

            Feb. 2013.

4. Strasburger, Victor C., Barbara J. Wilson, and Amy J. Jordan. Children, Adolescents,

            and the Media. 2nd ed. Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications, 2009. Print.

I was persuaded to get on Instagram…

So, I did it. I was finally talked into getting an Instagram over Spring break by my girlfriends who use it excessively.

And so far, I have mixed feelings about it.

Pros- you get to see a lot of pictures, you get to like pictures if they interest you, it’s fun to share a good picture that you capture

Cons- It takes away your attention from other things, you end up spending too much time either browsing or checking for new pictures, and it makes people cocky.

I’ll focus on the Cons here, since the Pros are mostly self-explanatory.

I can’t tell you how many times I have checked Instagram since I got it, and I JUST GOT IT ON MONDAY. That disgusts me. I am not a huge fan of social media. I use it occasionally with Twitter and Facebook, but the fact I am checking this new app so many times worries me. Is it just a beginners thing? – Sure hope so. 

I also was having a conversation with someone and I all of the sudden was checking my Instagram – how rude. I really never do stuff like that, but where the heck did this urge to just drop my attention from my mom and a friend to pictures on a screen come from??

And for the cocky aspect – my friends were so worried when they didn’t get a lot of likes from their spring break picture. I mean come on now, more likes doesn’t mean your more popular (or does it…?)

Well, I did a little research on others’ use of Instagram and I figured I wasn’t only the addicted one.

There are 150 million active monthly users of Instagram.

At least 70% of users log in once a day, and 35% log in multiple times a day.

More than 75 million are daily Instagram users.

Instagram grew 66% in its mobile app usage last year.

There are an average of 55 million pictures posted daily.

There are around 35 million selfies posted on Instagram.

There are 1.2 billion likes per day on Instagram; 3500 likes per second on Instagram. 

It is amazing to read these statistics. It gives you a feel of how much Instagram is really used. And it is still growing. Like I said, there are pros and cons to the App, but at what point are we going to see more cons than pros with apps like these…

To read more stats, go to http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/important-instagram-stats/#.UyMBkRipo7A