Saturday, February 4, 2012

Media Consumption Inventory

In today’s society, we as consumers of media receive way more media then we might think we do. Media is everywhere and it is important to be aware of that. Too often we don’t stop and think about the content of the media we are consuming.
Through our introductory classes in media criticism this semester, our duty was to look at ourselves and the content of media that we as consumers receive. We learned that encoding media can be done in three ways;
1. Dominantly (Taking it in the way it was intended).
2. Negotiated (Taking it in, but there is room for critique).
3. Resistive (You truly understand but you apply your own understanding and see different meanings).
We learned in our first class that there are different stages of media literacy. In reviewing the stages, I would say I fall into the category of “Mid level of media literacy.” In this stage there is active processing of messages and constructing own interpretations as well as a narrow range of information and previous knowledge structure that prevents the understanding of messages from various perspectives. Also, there are limited choices of interpretation and understanding the messages due to a narrow range of previous information. I think that I am able to fall into the higher stages of media literacy once in awhile, but I would have to admit that I do not often question what I am reading or seeing on TV, especially when I am only reading or watching for entertainment purposes.
After our first class, we completed a media consumption inventory survey to help us see how much media we take in and where it comes from. The survey was completed starting Thursday, January 19 and ended on Saturday, January 21. I was working for the most part during these three days, so I’m sure that affected the survey in some ways. In reviewing my weekend, I realized that I use electronic media about three times more than I use print media. I used the internet and my cell phone (which has internet on it) for the most part. I used the two mainly for entertainment purposes such as checking social media websites like twitter and face book, and also to get information regarding the weather or using search engines like Google. I would say television came in third and print media was on the lower end of the scale. In total that weekend, I consumed seven hours of print media and twenty hours of electronic media: a whopping twenty-seven hours in all.

Perhaps the most difficult part of the course thus far was the weekend when we were to block out all social media and go without for a whole 24 hours. It was extremely difficult; I found myself subconsciously reaching for my phone several times a minute. Media was somewhat inescapable due to the fact that I was at work for the most part of that Sunday—I work at a bar and grille on Shrewsbury Street where they show sports on TV and play music throughout my shift. At the end of the day, I was happy to regain connection seeing as though I felt somewhat shut off from the world—as silly as that seems. This highlighted the fact that media is absolutely everywhere in this day and age, and I think it is safe to say that we as consumers often take it for granted.

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