Picture acquired from google images
By: R. Theodora Appleton
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling 22. Nope, Taylor Swift that’s not what I’m trying to talk about right now. Thanks though…!
Let’s try this again. I don’t know about you, but everything is the 2016 presidential debate. It’s all over my Facebook newsfeed. It’s on my Twitter feed. It’s on the TV. It’s in the newspapers. It has even made its way into my day-to-day conversations.
It rightfully has crept into every aspect of my life and that’s because the election is just under a year away. It’s prime time for these guy and gal politicians. …All right, we’ll give them their time to consume the entire media world…
This may seem annoying and all, but it’s actually an amazing and powerful phenomena. Twenty years ago information was not passed around as easily as it is today. Everyone that has a smart phone is updated every five minutes on the crazy things Donald Trump says. Well, that luxury is only available to the people that have smartphones and online access 24/7.
Especially for politics, the explosion of social media and Internet has helped scale a greater expansion of people than ever before. But we’re not really seeing the full picture when it comes to what the media is doing to us.
There’s a theory that explains how the media interacts with its audience (that’s us.) It’s called the hypodermic needle theory and it basically says that the audience is passive and completely absorbs everything that is sent our way. Sort of like sponges.
In an interesting article written by Rune Vejby and D.E. Wittkower, the two discuss some ideas by a group of thinkers called Situationist International (SI). SI theorized that people see things out of a media lens. What someone hears all around him or her changes the way he or she perceives the world. If you’re a critical thinker this isn’t really how life works, unfortunately. Or fortunately. That opinion is up to you.
Just a couple weeks ago, Fox Business hosted one of the last GOP debates to air before the Iowa caucus. I wanted to catch this debate and found out that it was on channel one hundred and something. This was a problem for anyone who just pays for basic cable.
It certainly seemed unfair to me at first until I found out that Fox Business went out of their way to find alternate channels for people with other cable providers and subscriptions. They also made it accessible online by streaming on their website. So it’s okay! No need to fret!
I’m thinking this could have been a ploy to see how many people would tune in online. With Netflix and all, maybe it was some type of experiment with online viewers? Anyways, the issue with this situation brought up a larger issue which is that people are being discriminated upon by networks.
In an article written by danahboyd, the importance of discrimination on the Internet is discussed. An example of this notion is that big corporations like Google, control what comes up when you search, and we trust them whole-heartedly. So now we have discrimination socially, and technically. Great.
Who gets to read and watch these videos about the candidates? Are these people getting the facts? I don’t think so.
In an ever-changing media-centered society that we live in, it is necessary that we stay critical of our news sources. We need to hone in on what is true and what isn’t. We need to acknowledge that a part of a story isn’t the whole story. This is so important when thinking about these presidential candidates. It’s time to look at the bigger picture.