Private or Public?

 
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A new evolution of digital media is upon us. The newest data increasingly supports the fact that internet users (especially younger users) are starting to avoid large, inherently open social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter) for the more ‘closed’ platforms that allow more of a private and intimate environment (Messenger, Snapchat). Twitter is an example of having realised the need to combat this trend and they did this by creating their new feature that  allows direct-messaging.

The scales that used to tip towards those open platform medias are now tipping downwards, and this is due to the ever-growing digital social network with its social media and updates that used to be many of the reasons for its success. The word ‘open’ itself is the root of the problem – These social spaces are too public and traceable. Anyone can see exactly what you’re been up to, what you’re thinking and who you’re with. Closed platform’s are exactly that – They are private, allowing a considerably more tailored and personal digital and social experience, focusing on you and your life rather than sharing it with millions of others.

Which do you prefer?

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If you’re interested in more:

Until next time,

  • Georgie

And/Or

Have you ever seen a picture, been completely outraged and felt as though you just have to show another person? You then show that person and then…
Nothing?
They don’t think it’s that bad? They think it’s funny? They think it’s brilliant?
The problem is, their interpretation is completely different to yours. Sure, you’ll feel stupid for about 5 seconds but don’t worry – This happens regarding every single piece of media text.

I’ll prove it –

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Photo found here

Here is an advertising campaign for the Italian fashion brand Sisley, bearing the tagline, “Fashion Junkie.” It caused quiet a stir when it appeared in high fashion magazines around China in 2007. The signifiers (what’s there on the screen or page), being two models snorting something that at first glance appears to be cocaine, but on closer inspection is actually a top. The denotation (literal meaning) being – the girls are as addicted to fashion as others may be to drugs, and Sisley believe they can fuel fashion addicts.

One of many interpretations taken from this advert is the inadvertently promotion of the use of cocaine. The connotations being that through this campaign, Sisley acknowledged the rampant use of cocaine by people who have enough money to afford their clothes, associating it with fashion. Somehow cocaine is suddenly being signified with style. It is then further justifying the harmful use of dangerous substances by essentially categorising them next to a girl’s passion for fashion. This then raises the issue of Sisley’s disregard to the consequences of fashion becoming an addiction. (You should watch “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” for a better perspective). Another issue is the portrayal of the models. Both girls are shown with heavy makeup, party dresses on with a dark background indicating their position being in a club, signifying the brand’s view the models as no more than stereotypical, living to party on the weekends and suffering from a unhealthy drug addiction to keep their weight down. These unfair generalisations are not doing society any favours.

I believe what truly makes this advertisement so dangerous is the vast reach and impact of today’s media. There are thousands of possible responses, some in total contrast to how someone else perceived the message. In this case, ads like these are incredibly dangerous for young girls who idolise the fashion industry. They’ll see this advertisement and believe that drugs are an acceptable thing and if they do them they’ll be seen as cool and fashionable.

These are only a few different interpretations of this image, out of thousands of different ones. Each individual interprets the image and it’s visual signs differently because of the cultural (denotation) background, along with the socio-cultural and personal (connotation) background. Because of this, media texts will almost always have controversial aspects to it, resulting in different impacts to each person.

If you want to read more here are:
– Other examples
– Semiotic terminology
– Semiotics explained

Until next time,

  • Georgie

Copyright or Wrong?

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What this blog post comes down to is only one word. One word that most creative content users on the internet either love or hate.

Copyright. 

But what actually is it?

Copyright is a law that gives you ownership over the things you create. It’s original intent was to protect the rights of the person who originally created anything – Text, artworks, music, computer programs, films and music. Many people now through are questioning copyright, its purpose and who it is actually helping.

“We shouldn’t think that copyright is the only way, or even the best way to encourage creativity in our society.”

If you’re interested in more:
– Source 1
– Source 2
– Source 3

 

Until next time,

  • Georgie

Medium is the Mess(age)

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I feel like all of my problems this week stemmed from the phrase, “the medium is the message.”

Like what?
How?
Why?

Trying the understand this phrase involved an embarrassing large amount of time screaming at my computer screen, “WHY IS THE MESSAGE NOT THE MESSAGE?” Another large amount of time questioning my decision to actually go to university and choose BCM 112. So, to try and find some semblance of sanity, justification and understanding, I went to this fabulous thing called the internet and it told me…

That Marshall McLuhan is the one I have to blame for all of this. McLuhan is the one who introduced a lot of observations about the impact of new forms of expression and media. His most renowned (and hardest to understand) being, “the medium is the message.”

What?
The phrase sums up a much deeper communication theory, which is that the medium in which we choose to communicate in, holds as much, if not more worth than the actual message itself. In other words, how the content is conveyed is much more influential than what is actually being conveyed. And so, the medium through which this message is conveyed, plays a vital role in the way it is received.

How?
New media is transforming the manner in which information is delivered, even if it is the exact same information being presented. This new introduction of media brings with it massive social, psychological and structural effects. This is because the technology that transfers the message, changes us and the society is which we live in. An example is a car. The message of the car itself is the field of effects introduced by the car. The answer is its effects on society through the introduction of car accidents, pollution, gas stations, commuter lifestyle, etc.

Why?
McLuhan believes we should pay more attention to the impact on the world that the medium has (for better or for worse), rather than the messages it carries. By doing this, we can notice changes within our societal or cultural conditions and can identify any new medium ourselves, deciding if the effects could be detrimental or beneficial and work from there. The beauty of this theory is that even though the world is constantly changing, we can still continue to test his theory against the ever-growing new technologies emerging. I can’t guarantee that you’ll always understand it though.

If you would like to read more:
– Source 1
– Source 2
– Source 3

Until next time, Georgie.

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(ME)dia

Is it the media’s fault, society’s fault, or my fault?

Since the introduction of media in the 18th century, the world has always regarded any new forms of media in a negative light. People would view it with suspicion, worried that the medium audience would be easily influenced and emotionally vulnerable. These anxieties evolved around the argument that people mimic what they see. The context of what we see effects what we think about and how we react to it. This argument is still relevant today. Each year brings newer, more technologically advanced forms of media. This growth walks hand hand with the increase of anxieties of media and its manipulation.

But how much of this negativity is caused by the media itself, and how much of it is actually us as individuals? How much of the blame should be put onto society?

Every single time a girl goes onto Instagram and sees countless skinny girls parading around in a bikini, who is to blame for her feelings of self loathing and doubt?

  • Instagram for showing her?
  • Society because they’ve ingrained into us what the ‘perfect body type’ is?
  • Or herself for not realising the trap she’s fallen into?

There are countless arguments that support each point.
This is my argument:
Instagram isn’t doing anything – it’s just giving people the option to post pictures and gives others the option to see those pictures. There’s a choice either way of what content is going in and what is going out. I believe the real problem of media anxieties is society itself. Society uses media as a way to portray its (mostly grossly inaccurate) opinions and views. Because of this, we need to start questioning the social context, rather than the media. For example, what are the social pressures working alongside the media? In this case, it’s body image.

Audience members need to make their own decisions about how the media effects them personally and act accordingly. Perhaps the girl who doubts herself when going on Instagram should not allow herself to go onto the site anymore. If a boy finds that he has more violent thoughts after playing a particular video game, he should then limit the time he spends on it. If a mother finds that her child is spending too much time online and not enough time outside, then they need to limit time on technology and encourage time outside. (Easier said than done though right?)

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Photo found here

In this day and age, media consumption is unavoidable. Media anxiety is avoidable. We just need to realise what the real problem is.

If you’re interested in more:
– How the media you consume can change your life
– Miss Representation
– Articles on social media anxiety

Until next time,

  • Georgie.

WHY?

If anyone ever actually somehow stumbles upon my blog and decides to investigate, I’d like to say – Congrats, you’re probably the first and last person to ever be on here. I’ve never owned a diary or a journal so I’ve never had to write anything personal. So this is a new experience for me – the hidden meaning behind that being; this is my tenth draft and I swear each time it just gets worse so I’m leaving it at this.
Here goes…

My name is Georgie and I was born in Australia. I’m nineteen years old.
Onto the bigger stuff –

Why am I here?
I honestly didn’t think the question was a hard one until I actually sat down and started to write. I usually answer any form of question with,
“I’m not sure.”

“You decide.”

“I don’t mind.”

Any question that needs a longer response to someone I’m unfamiliar with usually results in mumbled nonsense and a face so red it should be on youtube. So have patience while I stumble through this.

In short, I’m here because I’m hoping that applying to study at the University of Wollongong will be one of my better decisions. I’ve survived the week so I suppose you could say I’m now optimistic. Even though I’ve started and all that wonderful jazz, I still don’t know an awful lot – Like what i’m going to major in or even if this is the bachelor for me. The only thing I’m sure of (get ready to cringe) is that it’s my goal in life to be happy. Incredibly cliche but it’s about to get worse. In contrast, one of my biggest fears is allowing myself to fall into a tedious routine and grow old, reaching a stage where it’s just too late to break out of. Once I realised this, I realised how important my choice of employment is going to be in regards to how happy I will be as I grow.

During year 12, I realised that a bachelor of Communications and Media Studies could definitely put me onto this path. I’m incredibly interested in the more emotional, creative and evolving aspect of living and I believe that BCM definitely applies. During my travels overseas last year, my decision was definitely cemented when I realised the freedom and opportunity I could get out of this bachelor. And after writing all of this, I can tell you that I’m actually incredibly excited to be here.

Until next time,

  • Georgie.