Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Don't Vote.

Check This Out.
Mr. Reilly just showed us this.


06) Social Uses/Implications of Technology & Media

Ever since enrolling into the Media Studies Program here at Guelph-Humber, i've really noticed how much the internet controls my life. I do realize i've already written a blog on the internet, but in my own personal routine, it mediates almost all of it.

The following is my routine most of the time when i get up and turn on my laptop:

1) Sign on to MSN
2) Check
3) Check
4) Check
5) Check
6) Check

This sometimes changes depending on how much time i have but the first three things i do everyday. I've come to have a real love/hate relationship with technology-especially the internet. I find it almost pathetic that i use it so much, and that i have to do these 6 things each day or else i feel that i'm behind or out of the loop. Especially lately, i've found that facebook has just been causing problems for personal reasons. Perez Hilton's blog is something that distracts me constantly while trying to finish my homework as does deviantart which is an online gallery of different medias of art from different people. Ever since i finally got the internet at home and i was allowed to use it and then when i finally got MSN Messenger in the 6th grade, it was all downhill from there. I didn't go outside as often and sometimes i still don't. I hardly watch the television and since my laptop screen is techinically bigger then my 13 inch tv i have here at school, sometimes i just surf youtube for shows that i've missed or feel like watching. I do use the internet for education purposes, but since i use it more then going to the library, i sometimes have a harder time finding books when i do go since with the internet all i have to do is type in a keyword and it will bring up thousands of different options instead of walking through the aisles trying to find the specific code for a specific book.

If it was possible to go a day without any technology mediating my life, i would do it. But it's becoming more and more impossible. Everyone's become so dependant on it, just like i have. Despite still being addicted to the internet, i've had some eye openers and i am going to try and cut back my internet time and to go out more and actually socialize, and re-learn how to find library books.

God only knows what would happen if the internet just stopped working one day-can you imagine the mayhem?

05) Theory/Praxis

Up until now, i've never taken a class or been taught the importance of media literacy. It wasn't untill i stepped foot into Mr. Reilly's Mass Communication class where it was formally introduced to me. I've always sub-conciously known that it's important to be aware of things in our media and our society and that not everything is what it may seem to be. Getting ready to write this blog i did a little research so i could better understand media literacy. Here's some points about what i found:

"Media literacy is the ability to sift through and analyze the

messages that inform, entertain and sell to us every day."

"It's the ability to bring critical thinking skills to bear on all media— from music videos and Web environments to product placement in films and virtual displays on NHL hockey boards."

"It's about asking pertinent questions about what's there, and noticing what's not there."

"And it's the instinct to question what lies behind media productions— the motives, the money, the values and the ownership— and to be aware of how these factors influence content."

In combination with Mr. Reilly's class and after reading these points, it reenforced my subconcious thought of being aware of the media that i see on a day to day basis. For example,
i remember one class we watched a youtube video on a beer commercial. I see these commercials all of the time, but before unversity i never really thought all that much about them. I did think they were sometimes egotistical on the man's part (no offence to any guys out there) and i did sometimes think their information was blown out of proportion. But when Mr. Reilly went through with us and pointed out things that could be taken the wrong way, and some possible interesting meanings behind certain occurances in the short clip. In the end i realized how degrading the commercial really was for women-a conclusion i would never have reached if i had seen it during a break in my favorite tv show.

In my previous blog about advertising, i think the theory of media literacy and decoding advertising could go hand in hand quite nicely. I think it's crucial for our generation and future generations to become media literate early on in life. To be able to think with an open mind but to also take a grain of salt with everything that is shown to them. To be able to think on their own! To ask the right questions in order to find the right answers.
Works Cited:
Tallim, Jane. "What Is Media Literacy?" Copyright 2008. Media Awareness Network. 5 October 2008. <>

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

04) Decoding/Deconstructing Advertising.

When i think about advertising in today's society, one of the first things that come to my mind are the Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister ads and using sexuality to sell their products and brands. I know most people have written this blog about Abercrombie or Hollister or some other main brand but i feel strongly about the kind of messages that are being advertised to our younger generations.

Don't get me wrong, i think their tactic is clever. When i see one of their ads i automatically think "BUY OUR CLOTHING and you can look like these BEAUTIFUL, ALL-AMERICAN people, with AMAZING BODIES and AMAZING LIVES etc" In my opinion, using beautiful, half naked people with toned, muscular bodies posed in either almost sexual or sexual poses isn't the most tasteful, or the most positive tactic. Clearly these big budget corporations don't exactly care if the message is positive, as long its positively bringing in money. I don't blame them, everyone has to make a living somehow.

But what confuses me is why half the time when they're advertising for example, mens clothing, the male model's head is cut off. All that is seen is the abdomen, 'BUY THESE JEANS, GET THESE ABS.' If that doesn't get the idea of sexuality across then i don't know what would. Although companies like Abercrombie and Hollister have been critisized for sexual advertising, their clothing is fairly casual. Comfy jeans, khaki shorts, sweaters, tank tops and t-shirts, polo shirts all bearing their logos. All quite ironic wouldn't you think?

This advertising can be taken in a few ways, one of them which i've already mentioned; creating a negative image for younger generations who feel inadequate as themselves thus giving in to paying ridiculous prices in order to try and achieve the same look as the models featured. Or the advertising can be taken in the sense that these creators are comfortable with their sexuality and why not celebrate it while advertising our clothing. When you stop and think our society is not only bombarded with ridiculous amounts of advertising, but most people in society are also very uncomfortable with nudity and sexuality, anything taboo really. Maybe Abercrombie and Hollister are only thinking outside of the box- being daring in making these choices? Or the ads can be looked at in the sense of a very well taken photograph with amazing post-editing etc.

It all depends on the person who's looking at it, and whether or not they have the ability to see past just the photo or 30 second commercial and look at the deeper meaning behind it. So next time your flipping through a magazine, stop and actually think about the advertisement that's trying to get your attention to buy their product. What the message from one ad may mean to one person, may mean something completely different to you.


Abercrombie & Fitch traces all the way back to 1892 in New York City. David Abercrombie & Ezra Fitch were dedicated to selling only the highest quality CAMPING, FISHING and HUNTING GEAR. Distinguished clientele included Theodore Roosevelt, Admiral Robert Peary, Ernest Hemingway, the Duke of Windsor, Sir Ernest Shackleton, Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy.

The Abercrombie and Fitch catalogues are so shocking (in advertising) it has felt it necessary to put them in sealed plastic covers, much like top shelf magazines, to protect the eyes of the innocent.

Advertising is considered a greater revenue for publishers in magazines, accounting for overall 50% of industry revenue. In a typical magazine, advertisements make up 50% of it. Thats half of the paper in the magazine.

Works Cited:

"Sex and Shock' Chain Abercrombie and Fitch Entering UK." 20 March 2007.
China Daily. 5 October 2008.

"Industry Overview: Magazine Publishers." March 2004. Hoover's Inc. 5 October 2008