We live in a materialistic world. It’s the inevitable end point of the American dream: every family living in a mansion with a Prius parked in the driveway and a Starbucks on every corner. In the pursuit of the capital however, society rests perched at the top of a slippery slope in deciding how far we are willing to go to make a buck, and we must inevitably ask ourselves to what extent will we allow ourselves to be taken advantage of by massive corporations out solely for their own benefit. Consumers should take heed of companies who willfully manipulate their perceptions in order to increase their bottom lines, and take a stand against being treated as commodities.
Companies manipulate consumers in many different ways, but their primary tool to generate interest in any given product is marketing, which, by definition, entails convincing the consumer that they need a specific good or service. This manipulation can be clearly demonstrated by the massive appeal of fast food commercials. Imagine, how many times have you been sitting on a couch completely content in your sloth, when on pops a commercial for say, Taco Bell. You’re not even actually hungry, but the commercial makes you only crave whatever succulent, artery-vessel clogging morsel they present. No matter how appetizing that fast food smorgasbord might appear, these are the tactics of manipulation.
Surely the corporations will always enjoy making money and therefore not restrain themselves from using any means to get to that end. It is therefore the obligation of the consumer to remain wary of these tactics, and consciously aware that they when they flip on a commercial, they are being manipulated.
I love the rain. It’s certainly an inconvenient object to fancy, though, because not many people are inclined to agree with me. As I saunter to class under the shroud of an asphalt colored sky, everyone seems to think it a nuisance. I can’t blame them – the sunlight and warm weather provide us with a soothing environment that we enjoy, and why wouldn’t we? Who could genuinely claim to have not enjoyed a gold-soaked afternoon spent lounging with friends? The rain, and the foreboding blend of darkness and thunder which often accompany it is anything but comforting.
But the rain doesn’t annoy me. I choose to embrace it, because it never fails to remind me of a vitally important fact that I’m apt to forget every now and again. All too often, I get caught up living my life in the proverbial fast lane, and am so consumed by the omnipresent busyness of my life that I neglect to devote my attention to actually living. A cloudless blue sky filled with warm rays of sunlight makes it that much easier to lull myself into a trance, but the rain breaks the spell – my habit of falling into a complacent pattern of wake up, go to class, do homework, repeat. It shatters my complacency and forces me to live in the present. I love the rain because it reminds me that I am a living, breathing creature and not some water-sensitive automaton programmed to be a student. That fact is worthy of remembrance.
After reading the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence, it made me realize just how constantly changing the field of journalism is. It is no surprise that Americans like things fast. Fast food replaced home cooked meals, text messaging replaced phone calls, and now, social media is accelerating the demise of the newspaper industry. Social media is allowing for a larger audience to have exactly the kind of news they want, and all at the push of a button. While many fear the end of the written newspaper because of nostalgia or tradition or what have you, I do think that this is any exciting time for journalism.
Writers pride themselves on being able to relate to any audience. This principle has not changed, but the way in which the audience is reached has. I think that journalism has the potential to reinvent the written newspaper and be completely original with the solution in response to social media. It is not just written journalism that is being threatened by new social media developments. Advertising has also struggled. Print advertising, like the newspaper, has seen a large decrease in audience. While broadcasting does continue to thrive, the world of advertising needs to reconcile the benefits of social media with the need for advertising.
The best part of journalism is being able to experience innovation every single say.
Now it is up to us not to let innovative technology consume our own innovation.
After visiting the Nebraska Humane Society, I realized just how demanding a social media position can be. We met a young professional who described her career as demanding, but rewarding. While most people think of the Humane Society as a place to adopt cute pets, but few realize how much work goes into promoting these adorable animals in order to find them good homes. The Nebraska Humane Society has experienced great success with social media, especially with Facebook. The organization is able to post pictures of their animals which allows a personal connection with their audience. This connection is essentially what leads to adoption- the main goal for the animals.
The most important thing I learned about social media from this trip was that successful social media strategies are oftentimes individualized for the company or organization. Just because something worked for someone else, that does not necessarily mean that it will work for you. Being able to adapt your social media goals to the specific mission of the organization is key.
After watching the Stop Kony video, there were so many things running through my mind. The first is, if nothing else, the world should recognize and appreciate what one person was able to accomplish with social media. Getting that many views was impressive to say the least. Social media has been able to link our world in so many ways, why not use it to promote such a worthy cause? Another aspect of this video that I enjoyed was seeing how young people in America can make such a difference in the world. We are able to not only stand up for what we believe in, but take action as well.
I did have a few issues with the film, however. One was why it was so self-indulgent? I think that there was just a little too much emphasis on Russell’s own child. My only other issue with the film is the timeliness of it. This video would have been so much more significant a number of years ago. It does frustrate me that so many people are willing to retweet something for activism they saw from this film, yet no one has mentioned how ironic it is that we have taken such a vast interest in this, and left Syria in the cold. I think it is great so many people want to stop Kony, I just do not want the world to forget there are still horrific problems elsewhere.
Cool Hunting is a project I have been working on in my media research class this semester. Here is the trend I decided to follow.
Socks and legwarmers have shown an increase in popularity in terms of being visible under boots. Initial trends showed socks and legwarmers being worn under boots as a separate entity. However, companies like Ugg Australia and even clothing companies like Express have began attaching three inches of visible fabric above their boot in an attempt to mimic this trend, but make it easy to acquire with a single purchase. My ethnographic research shows that this trend is still being discovered. Shopping malls, downtown areas as well as college campuses have all shown that this trend is still new, but well liked. This trend is typically worn by mavens who are more poised and subtle than those around them. Visible legwarmers and socks are a developing trend among refined and confident fashionistas.
This trend is unlike any other we have seen in the fashion industry in some time. The versatility of this trend allows for all different kinds of mavens to adopt in and make it their own. This a trend for a women who is poised and subtly beautiful. My reseach suggests that we will see much more of this trend, especially next fall and winter when more companies are likely to offer different products featuring a visible sock. I would strongly urge companies that are considering investing in this trend do it soon, in order to develop different types of boots and socks, that way any woman can wear this trend.