Mass Communication Comparative Analysis Essay
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1. Introduction I believe that the purpose of my media audit was to take our initial idea of what we believed our media usage was and to measure and compare it to our actual quantified results. I believe this was excellent exercise to carry out in order to observe how much Media affects our everyday lives. Our society in America bases a large part of our adolescent learning process on what we acquire from outside sources. Therefore, to analyze, where the basis of many of adolescents’ perspectives derive from, was exceptionally insightful.
Adolescents are bombarded daily by youth issues, such as: staying adhered to their morals, developing their character, self-image, self-respect, fitting in, feeling love, and avoiding brutality.
Are these dilemmas not enough? The fact that mass media completely plays off human’s insecurities, in order to make a few extra dollars, baffles me. Although, we’re college students and have developed quite a bit since these problems were momentous, I still believe we are constantly facing struggles related to these.
Therefore, the purpose of an experiment that monitored our time relating to each category of typically negative influences is immeasurable. People don’t take into account the importance of gaining knowledge for themselves. Considering the little girl at the beginning of My Media Audit who cared enough about the source of the “sea monster” and bubbling lake. She needed to gain the understanding of this monster came to be, and why her whole life she has heard rumors of death, yet never had any solid examples.
This personal knowledge relates to our society’s topic of culturally transmitted knowledge. Strengths of culturally transmitted knowledge include: reserved knowledge, handed down to future generations, can become institutionalized, doesn’t have to be reinvented. However, the weaknesses of culturally transmitted knowledge, involve important points as well. Secondhand knowledge can be wrong; It is difficult to correct once it has been established, and it can be manipulating. Furthermore, mass media uses America’s culturally transmitted knowledge to sell their products. Anything looks appealing when you are only viewing it from its “good side.” Because people haven’t really bothered to investigate advertisers’ motives, or worse, actually enjoy the hype, mass media continues to flourish effortlessly, using naïve individuals, as its victims of prey.
I believe the positive influence that My Media Audit will continue to have on its students, will make a difference. As students begin to constantly think critically and question, the intention of “The NEW Ipad!” and its employers, controversy will stir up debate. People will hopefully be more aware of when they’re being manipulated and “convinced” one way is the only way. Just as the girl who thought critically, instead of believing the town’s established idea, I am striving to inspire students and people to fight against the established idea of mass media influencing our every thought. The town was motivated by her bravery, which in turn. Changed people’s beliefs, and eventually, led a revolution.
2. Empirical Data Objective: To measure the causes and effects due to the influence of mass media. Can mass media highly influence a persons attitudes or perception, by abundant daily solicited or unsolicited exposure? Procedure: Measuring media exposure, within a week span of 15-minute intervals. With sixteen hours equaling one day, I summarized the total minutes for the week at approximately 6,720 minutes. My total minutes not exposed to media were about 1,407 minutes, and my total exposure to mass media was approximately 5,1313 minutes. Individual categories concluded as follows: Audio estimated at 475 minutes, Film- 100 minutes, Internet- 1,778 min, Television- 0 minutes, Mobile Devices- 2,185 minutes, and Print Media approximated 775 minutes. Subjective observations were also incorporated, to measure external factors, and their influence on the subjects’ reaction in relation to media use. Main Outcome Measures: Risk of altered perception, influenced by, attitudes and behaviors idolized in society and the amount of exposure weekly. Also, coinciding with any external factors that proved as significant during this study. Results: Media Usage Total (min)
I was thoroughly surprised by the way my media usage was dispersed, as a whole, in this graph. Considering, all of my class work is done online and I’m definitely a supporter of online radio, It doesn’t necessarily shock me that the internet has 34% of my time. However, I was a little taken back by the percentage of my mobile devices consumption. The mobile devices category dominated my time by 37%. I didn’t realize how much I used my Ipod and smartphone. Although, recollecting my thoughts, the old basic flip phones, which used to be “all the rage,” now compared to a Smartphone, it’s no contest. Having Internet access at your fingertips is an advertiser’s gold mine.
Smartphone V.S IPOD
Even though, the category “Mobile Devices” had the highest usage, I found it informative to see how much more my Smartphone was used than my IPOD. Obviously, our culture is driving full speed ahead, towards a “technology only” civilization. INTERNET USAGE:
PANDORA V.S USF.EDU
Considering, I have a full load of classes this semester, most of my time, in general, is spent either online researching a project, or actually doing the assignment. Yet, when I’m not online completing a task, I like to fill the time developing my talent, which is art. The catch is, whenever I’m developing an art piece, I have to be listening to music, hence Pandora. The reason why Pandora is so successful in mass media is because people get to listen to their type of music without having to tell the radio WHAT to play. Pandora has a search box, that isn’t case specific, artist, genre, or mood, you name it and it plays it. What person wouldn’t want a radio stationed to just them subjectively? Like we learned in our Radio module, “ The Radio was a life-changing invention, Idealism & Imagination, Greed & Envy, Ambition & Determination, what other instrument was able to create emotions through sound waves?” –Empire of the Air BOOKS GALORE
I found this graph about print media being all books, and no magazines, extremely intriguing. Taking into account, from the age of 16 till the end of my 21st year, I was a Cosmopolitan JUNKIE. I literally bought the newest edition monthly, the second it was released. Coinciding with this behavior and influence, I also became extremely self-conscious and began to hate my self-image, this coming from someone, who has never had severe issues about my image. I also judged every person’s appearance effortlessly, gossiped, and my language was atrocious. Only until the middle of my 22nd year, did I realize that I was not content, nor satisfied with my lifestyle. I decided to cut out television, bad influences, and COSMO.
I didn’t think I would be able to handle it, however, to my surprise, it taught me how to live life, the way it was intended, with freedom. Releasing myself from the burden of mass media was one of the most liberating decisions I’ve ever made. I decided to return back to my Jewish roots, which I ignored during that rebellious era, and become deeper aquatinted with my faith, additionally instead of useless reality shows, I dove deep into the profound knowledge of books. It is amazing to witness your character development transform when it relies on a stable foundation. “I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” ― Groucho Marx
3. Observations The first major observation I noticed in relation to my media data was the fact that my two most dominant categories increased on the weekend. This is most likely because my workweek is so hectic, that by the time I’m approaching the weekend, all my energy is geared towards relaxation. These emotions are then replaced with the action of increasing my phone/ casual conversation time. I also tend to research all those topics online, that I might have put off during the week, in order to complete my work on time. Another observation that was extremely consistent included listening to Pandora (Internet radio) whenever I worked on my art. In contrast, I would listen to my IPOD whenever I wanted to get schoolwork accomplished.
On Pandora, my typical station I listen to when creating my art pieces, is always geared towards inspirational or spiritual genre. It is the only music I find, to empower me with such motivation, in order to finish my pieces with ease and in a timely manner. I also tend to listen to classical music on my IPOD, when trying to complete a class work assignment. I read an article one time that did a study on the brain and how it affects positive stimulation. The article was extremely informative and I have done it ever since.
Another observation I realized, I tried to double task consistently while listening to some form of media and trying to complete concrete tasks. I believe this behavior has done more to hinder my personal effectiveness, rather than help it. It was helpful to be informed of this destructive behavior, after realizing the concrete facts. My double tasking always eventually lead to unfinished tasks, and then when I eventually became overwhelmed, I grabbed my IPOD and pulled out the classical music. It was interesting to become aware of these behaviors; I never knew I was such a creature of habit. Also, reflecting on all the realizations mentioned above, I believe that some of these destructive behaviors could be prevented, with a decrease in use of my media items, which in turn, would increase my focus.
4.Estimates Vs. Actual My Estimates were all underestimated compared to my actual data for my media usage. Like I previously stated, I didn’t realize I used my phone so much, I usually get confronted by my friends for “forgetting” to text them back, or not answering. Sometimes I feel like life would be much easier without our mobile devices. The only truly useful purpose is to locate and converse with friends that are long distance, however as far as “Smartphone,” I feel the epidemic needs to be cured. The other estimate that highly underestimated was my Internet use. I believe when I was filling those questions out, I didn’t necessarily take into account that EVERY time I click the APP button, that is using an internet resource.
I guess this is a perfect example of how abundantly society has desensitized, since the Windows 98’ debut. I also believe the reason I anticipated my “No Media use” to be my highest value in how I disperse my time, is due to my deliberation to rebel against any more media influences. I refuse to passively let society manipulate my thoughts, with the slightest opposition. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the article about students and time management. This article served as a source of great insight because time management is one of my biggest character flaws. However, this is not due to the fact that I am not eager to do well on an assignment, I love learning, this type of procrastination is detrimental because it is attached to another flaw, perfectionism. Typically I procrastinate because I’m afraid the product of my hard work would not be “perfect.” I was raised with a very high academic work ethic, therefore, grades used to be where I found my identity. This continually puts way too much stress on my life, and as I mature not just as a student, but also as a responsible adult, I’m drastically striving to improve this destructive outlook.
A novel study done by Trueman & Hartley (1996), focused on time-management skills and their relationship to a student’s age with the older mature students making the greatest use of time-management strategies.
I also am striving to improve my organizational skills, this tends to be because, my highly creative brain, has so many ideas floating and bouncing and developing in my mind, that it becomes highly difficult to place all of them in a specific order. I also am trying to maintain control of my sporadic ideas and plan more situations out, instead of flying by the seat of my pants. Their results suggest that student planning is
Integral to the prevention of academic procrastination. A student’s ability to plan is but one skillamong several for student self-management, the training of which is studied by Gerhardt (2007).
5. Summary Thomas Ruggiero’s Uses and Gratification Theory focused on this central definition- Media Use among audience members is selective and motivated by rational self-awareness of an individuals own needs and expectation that those needs will be satisfied by particular media types and content. I believe that this is highly accurate. When I had my life centered on a particular type of media, Cosmopolitan, I became dependent on it. Not just as a main source of entertainment, but also for the basis of how I perceived and looked at all subjects.
“If that girl wears that shirt one more time, I’m calling the fashion police!.” – A little juvenile, I know, however that was how my thought process was developing. Now when I look back, I can’t even believe that I cared so much about what people wore? Does it honestly matter how many times a person wears a shirt? Our culture is shoving these ideals down our throat in order to instill the thought that every person has to strive to be “PERFECT.” Who even said beautiful is perfect? What if I believe imperfection is beautiful? These realizations in this past year of my life have shaped my thoughts to maturity and to become more concerned with what comes from each individuals heart. If you ask me, I believe actions speak louder than words, and gossip, slander, lying, and boasting echo across the nations. I do my best to separate myself from any person or organization that is trying to convince I HAVE to look like a prototype and think like a robot.
All in all, I fell my media audit was extremely insightful, and helped me become aware of how I truly engulf my time. It showed me where I have plenty of room to improve and how far I’ve come since the Cosmo days. The purpose of My Media Audit was to gain sincere and profound insight into the world of media influences. Media has a manipulative way of altering humanity’s view towards the accepted medium. Typically, our normal endeavors are beings striving toward acquiring the “latest technology,” yet society never stops to consider “Why do I NEED this so badly?” This is where our mass media influences, come into play. The intent of this audit was simply to gain understanding and to think critically when facing the culture’s constant barrage of “satisfactions.” Understanding is Power, to gain Wisdom is everything.