Mass Media Monday: Media Factoids.

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So last week I was thrown into my second semester as a mass media major—(Eeek ! that’s a screech of excitement, with just a hint of stress) !

These are the courses I am taking this semester:

1. Mass Media & Society

2. Mass Media/Communications Research & Design Methods

3. Mass Media Distribution

4. Mass Media & Technology

5. & Spanish 101

The first week (for me at least) is always so exiting—learning the bulk of what my courses will be all about and what projects and papers I’ll be working on throughout the term. This semester i’ll be working on everything from analyzing media as a product, to studying the affects media has on society, to how media is distributed and the ever-evolving world of technology and how it has enhanced media.

This week one of my assignments was to watch The Matrix & Inception and write an essay correlating the messages within the films to a scholarly research articles—which were about the unconscious mind and how-to critically thinking … pretty interesting.

What’s really nice is much of the information overlaps from course to course…and my variety of eclectic professors do not disappoint in the diversity department—all offering unique perspectives and introducing very intriguing topics.

One of my favorite and most animated professors (heavy in an unclarified accent) was a Buddhist monk in his early twenties and a self-proclaimed “trouble-maker”. Now, he has his PhD in media studies—an impressive transformation…displaying that you never know where life will take you…(inspired!!!)…while another newbie Professor just moved to the beaches of San Diego from Texas—where she worked in advertising and sports broadcasting…she’s extremely tech-savvy and has been informing us on all the lasted and greatest tech gadgets.

So— this ‘Mass Media Monday’ I am simply going to share some of the interesting topics and facts we skimmed upon—hoping they tickle your cerebral cortex, like they did mine  …


  •  Most Disney films have hidden, subconscious messages embedded—often sexist. The Little Mermaid, for example teaches that women must essentially ‘lose their voices’ in order to get the man! …Ugh.

One of my professors teaches an entire course analyzing Disney films–the media messages they send out—fascinating and obviously just one specific paradigm in watching Disney films… the messages can easily be avoided…with a little dosage of media literacy.Growing up, The Little Mermaid was a favorite in our household… so, I found that fact to be somewhat disturbing.

Be a mermaid ladies, just don’t lose your voice!

  • In early childhood development, the first and most influential “teacher” of communication is through the family—what learn from what we see/hear from our parents, sibling…aunts/uncles, cousins…etc (makes sense)! Thee next most influential “communication teacher and guide” (especially, nowadays) in early childhood development is through the media—what youngins see/hear on television or other media outlets— is essentially what is shaping and constructing their ideologies of  how the worlds world and how people communicate. But now, recent studio have found that media is  slowly actually replacing the number one spot in being the top most influential guide in teaching  how to communicate and suggesting how the world works… Scary.

Many, in lecture objected to this idea—but think about it…how many parents do you know that stick their children in front of the TV for entertainment (lots!) but then fail to talk to them about what they just watched afterwards (even more!)?

ONE girl raised her hand in our massive auditorium—saying that her Dad did talk to her about whatever she had just watched when she was young. So in effect, media has become the main messenger.

Without discussion as to what is real versus sole entertainment or embellishments–how is anyone supposed to know differently? Should we just trust that children will adapt and become more aware as they get older or is it just a part of our culture that should be embraced?

  • We learn more from disagreements & conflict than agreement—so accept (and even encourage) the discourse! As long as you have an amount of emotional responsibility, one can learn a lot from others opposing opinions…either altering your own opinion or confirming it. Having a continuous open-mind is such a powerful and beautiful thing. One of my favorite quotes to remind myself of this is the Socratic paradox: “I know that I know nothing”.                                        Hard to swallow at times—but so humbling and TRUE…there is always room for growth or increased knowledge.
  • Language is the most fundamental & powerful tool in communication—the thing that truthfully separates us from animals, making us human. Using language (your voice) is the most effective form of communicating when done with a sense of integrity and grace.
  • Road rage—is always, always, always about something much deeper than simply being stuck at a red light or dealing with a lousy driver. If you struggle with road rage and struggle with it often, it’s important to look as to why—my Professor thinks that most people are carrying around a low level of depression or angst…road rage is just a mere reflector of that.

I know, for me—when my little doses of road rage arise (rare–but they do happen) there’s always an underlying factor—i’m notorious for running late and typically just mad at myself.

  • Anger is one of the least understood emotions—many deem it to be a negative feeling/emotion, but in reality anger shouldn’t be seen as such a bad thing. Everyone experiences their own doses of anger…so that’s not going to change—but how we deal with it is the tricky part. “Clean ways of expressing anger” are done through simply accepting your anger…letting it be, and possibly even just outright saying it.Expressing why you’re angry allows one to avoid passive aggressive techniques (beating around the bush or nagging)— which typically just backfire and lead to ugly resentments or defensiveness from the other person you are trying to communicate with.

So hopefully—a few of those (I know, a bit all over the place) got you thinking about things differently—developing your own media literacy!

I really can’t get enough of my major—the semester becomes so much more worthwhile and manageable when I throw myself into it entirely.

And that’s kind of what going back to school has taught me…no matter what I am doing or where life takes me…I want to live my life full of fascination, curiosity and passion !



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