Friday, April 19, 2013

Week 8: Media Literacy

Media and the manner in which we interact with it changes rapidly. The understanding of its abilities, function and purpose is constantly evolving.  Media Literacy teaches us to access, analyze, evaluate, and produce media.

In the 1960s, Media Literacy 1.0 was in reference to how mass media was being used to persuade and convince its audience to think in particular ways, buy certain products, and otherwise influence their behavior (Ohler, 2010). During the Media Literacy 1.0 era, the ability to produce content was not readily available to the average citizen thus we were only consumers of mass media. According to Ohler, the primary difference between versions 1 and 2 is that media literacy has been expanded to encompass production (2010).

The accessibility and relativity low cost to secure technology has made virtually everyone a producer of media content. We take home movies and photos recorded with our mobile devices, add music and post them on various Internet websites for family and friends to enjoy. Platforms like, YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, SocialCam and others have become the breeding ground for Internet celebrities. The fade seem to be working. It’s not unheard of for an Internet celebrity to have several hundred thousand followers and views well into millions. People are literally producing content in their homes, uploading it to the Internet and people around the world are tuning in to enjoy it.

However the videos and celebrity styles are not only limited to people. Animals are getting in on the game as well; like “grumpy cat” and “Tuna” the dog.

Grumpy Cat is actually Tardar Sauce, a female cat and known for her grump facial expressions. She has appeared on Anderson Live, Good Morning America and has photos and interviews in Time and Forbes magazines.

Tuna is an Internet hit for his overbite. He recently appeared on the Today Show.

It is interesting that with the Internet, people and even animals can rise from obscurity and become celebrities. In the early days, there was Lassie, Morris the Cat, Benji and actual movie and television actors and actress that were paid to do a job. Now we are surpassing reality TV stars and it only takes a $35 web cam, Internet connection and social media account to put you on a trajectory to stardom. I’m interested to see were this phenomenon of self-broadcasting will take us and how allowing strangers into our normal lives will affect us in the years to come.


Ohler, J. B. (2010). Digital Community Digital Citizen. Thousand Oaks: Corwin.

No comments:

Post a Comment