Our Hearing SUCKS!

Link to video here.

This was a very interesting video by Julian Treasure. It is interesting in the fact that he opened up my perception to listening, one of our five main senses, a bit more. I had never realized how badly we as a society retain information, and one of the reasons being because of the fact that we do not listen as well anymore.  Treasure makes a good point that people simply do not have to listen as intently to conversation, lectures or presentations anymore. We have recorders, cameras and our own phones for that now. It opens up the question as to whether technology is making us lazier in regards to using our listening skills more.
Technology also reinforces multitasking, and that is never a good combination for our hearing senses. Teenagers are usually on their phones with the television on while typing up a paper while messaging somebody on Facebook while listening to music. That is a bunch of focusing to do, and of course with us being human, we simply cannot retain that much information we have purposefully created for ourselves.
I think this has happened because of wanting convenience, and our thirst for more knowledge of this convenience, and thus utilizing it. We are conditioned to work, but the work we have done has brought us to being lazier…If we get too wrapped up in the technology world. It is simply a matter of balance: Do not forget that you are human, and you have limited capabilities. There is no way that a person can listen to a professor’s lectures online while texting someone while the television is on and then preserve your professor’s lecture fully in your mind. Our listening ain’t that amazing.
But I digress. Treasure was an outstanding speaker and really opened up my mind as to how badly our listening has gotten, and why we really need to get it back. 

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Blue Belongs to the Boys, Pink Belongs to the Girls

Everyone knows blue belongs to the boys and pink belongs to the girls. Everyone knows that boys should develop masculine, dominant and indifferent qualities in their personalities as they grow older. Everyone knows that girls should develop feminine, submissive and passionate qualities in their personalities as they grow older. It would be weird for Americans to see, because of society, a boy playing with Barbies in his room, or a girl wanting the new Godzilla model for Christmas.

Flash forward to their teens… and we have girls developing eating disorders to look just skinny enough, boys taking steroids to gain muscle and to perform better in various sports, and both genders sadly taking their own lives because of this gender stereotype society have thrust upon them. America stands for freedom, right?

Wrong.

 I do not have any research or evidence to back up my statement for this blog post. What’s sad is that there does not need to be any whatsoever: Everyone knows exactly what I am talking about without having to go research it themselves. We experience it every day, just by observing behavior from others; even small details, such as what people are wearing, his or her gait, his or her mannerisms.

Americans as a society have gone downhill in regards to the gender stereotype we’ve pushed onto our generation’s children, and the children before that, and the children before that. It brings across an unnecessary pressure and stress to young people to conform to what’s regarded as ‘right’. What kind of society are we to not let children explore who they are, and not feel negative about their supposed gender role. Let the boy do the cooking if he wants to, let the girl try out for football if that’s what her aspirations are.

It’s about time America’s society as a whole stands up and acts on what its own motto shouts to us civilians every day: To be free. 

Is the Internet becoming the new television source?

 It seems as though television is becoming a thing in the past as Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube have been stealing the viewership from the once over-populated television domination. It’s funny because television shows have higher production value than they ever have before with examples such as “Breaking Bad” and “The Walking Dead”.  You would think that with higher production value comes excessively high viewership, but because shows can be distributed on YouTube, Hulu and Netflix, people have lost an interest in watching television in the box. These actions led by the viewers have started a new evolution in technology, because it has become so convenient to stream anything by the tap of a finger, people are discovering they can easily watch anything, anytime, and anywhere with the laptop.

There is a contradiction: People say that viewing television shows on the laptop is convenient because they can watch any episode or season of a show they want to see through a Netflix, Hulu or YouTube account. The catch is that television can serve the same purpose because there are tools to record television episodes. Since television and laptop viewing can serve the same entity, it should be noted that there is an advantage to using a laptop versus watching television.

The advantage of using a laptop besides just watching television shows, social networking, or posting pictures is that you can USE these social media sites even more for your shows. Watching TV in your living room by yourself on a Thursday night doesn’t have the additional blogs, Facebook page, or Twitter account that a laptop provides to where you can get different peoples’ feedback on the show you are watching.

Additional feedback, reviews and maybe overly critical comments by other people all over the world watching the same episode as you can provide more open-minded discussions.

Furthermore, producers of these TV shows can see this feedback and act accordingly.

For example, A.J. Cook of Criminal Minds was fired before season six of the syndicated show for ‘creative reasons’ by the big men of CBS. Fans of the psychologically thrilling show were in an outrage over the news and expressed it through social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook. YouTube videos were made in response as well. This feedback was effective because the producers brought her back just in time for the start of season seven to please the fans.

In conclusion, the laptop and its social media sites are becoming more of a convenience than our simple television set because of the additional feedback that is available to view and criticize. Producers of shows see this feedback and act accordingly. There was a time, just a few years ago, where social media did not have such a powerful presence in the entertainment world. Radio and television were head-to-head as “entertainment enemies” decades ago, and television won. Now it’s the Internet and television, and it is clear to see who has won for this generation.

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Image credited to:  Jakelarsen.me

JOUR 4250: Racism: Still Prevalent in News Broadcasting?

Last week in class, a discussion over the statistics of diversity in the journalism working field was held. Around 10 years ago, Lynn C. Owens conducted a study titled “Network News: The Role of Race in Source Selection and Story Topic” over race diversity and the news: who were labeled as victims, who were most likely pictured as criminals, and who were shed in perhaps a better light than others? It was and still continues to be a racist world within the media department, although it has gotten better over the years. America’s societal terms have changed and stretched to become a more flexible community, welcoming diversity and changing closed minds to open minds.

I was curious as to what the changes are now, in the year 2013. Surely it must have gotten better with this newfound mentality among Americans. I looked at our more current, various news anchors and sports anchors for major news networks, such as MSNBC, FOX and ABC. Although these three networks can’t be the most accurate answer to saying how diverse a society America is now, it is a nice generality to make just because these networks are the most popular nationwide.

ABC’s Morning Show
Female: Robin Roberts, African American
Male: George Stephanopoulos, Caucasian

MSNBC
Female: Tamron Hall, African American
Male: Jeff Rossen, Caucasian

FOX
Female: Courtney Friel, Caucasian
Male:  Shepard Smith, Caucasian

It is 2013, and the results are a bit better for some racial groups. However, for people such as Native Americans or Asian Americans, there has not been much of a difference over the course of 10 years. Nonetheless, it’s interesting to note that a lot of the male anchors on these popular news programs are Caucasian and male, while the females are more diverse. There are African American female anchors on ABC and MSNBC, while FOX has only Caucasian. 

Sources: 1) http://www.ask.com/wiki/ABC_News?qsrc=3044
2) http://www.gogomag.com/talkingheads/msnbc_f_1.php