Unit 3: How Are You Exposed To Media?

As we process media daily, I’m sure very few of us stop to think about how we are exposed to it and how we process it. Throughout this post, I will explain to you just this so you can be more aware of how you perceive and engage in the world of media around you.

For starters, there are four exposure states of media. They are the automatic state, the attentional state, the transported state, and the self-reflexive state. All of these differ in ways I am about to explain. Whether we realize it or not, these four states are present in our everyday lives of how we process the media we are exposed to.

In the automatic state, we are exposed to media messages; however, we are not aware of the messages. I’m sure most of you reading have heard or used the term “auto pilot”. That is basically, in a nutshell, what you are doing in this state. In reality, the filtering process takes place without us even realizing it.

An interruption must occur in order to stop the exposure until the message/s move out of our range of exposure. In this state, we also may look engaged and active in what media we are facing, but that doesn’t always ring true. Our text book compares it to a person surfing the web – though they may look engaged clicking on a bunch of pages, their mind may be elsewhere rather than processing the information they are exposed to on those pages.

This is the state in which most media exposure occurs. Consciously, we do not realize when this exposure takes place. Along with that, we also cannot remember the details of our media experience when prompted to do so in the future. This is common with multi-tasking.

The next state, the attentional state, is when you are aware of the messages and interact with the message’s elements. You do not need a high level of concentration for this, contrary to what you might be thinking. In this state, there are varying degrees of how much attention you give the media messages.

Third, we have the transported state. Here is where you are in an attentional state, but are so deep into the message that you, in essence, lose your sense of reality. You are at a high, narrow attention level in the transported state. In this state, you forget you are not a part of the message. Our book uses the example of watching a movie. While you’re watching, you feel like you are a part of the story. You are invested in the emotional side of the message and lose yourself. This happens because our concentration levels are so high while consuming this media that we lose touch of what is reality.

Finally, last, but not least, the self-reflexive state. This is the fullest degree of awareness. In this state, we are aware of the media messages around us, yet still aware of the reality around us and our role in that reality. We are aware of these things while we are processing the messages. When you are in this state, you are more analytical and objective in comparison to the transported state.

Now that you have the knowledge of how we process media messages, take some time to become more aware of your own exposure habits. See if you can increase your media literacy by recognizing these four exposure states when you are exposed to media. For example, I just typed this entire article while listening to the radio. I know the radio was on, but I couldn’t tell you the songs that were played. I was consuming the radio in an automatic state. Yet, I was engaged in my writing of this post. I would say that I was writing this in the attentional state. Can you determine what state of exposure you used while reading this? Let me know in the comments below!

Unit 2: Media is Satan to Good Grammar

First, can I just say, I love that blogging on WordPress is homework. I really can’t express that enough. There, now that I got that off my chest, I can focus on the assignment at hand.

Media is such an important part of today’s world. This is how we can connect to people face-to-face who are thousands of miles away. Actually, on WordPress, I have my very first WordPress friend and soul sister Bare Naked In Public from across the country in California. If it weren’t for WordPress, I never would have crossed her path.

I think it is so interesting how media lets people connect not just all over the United States, but all over the world. There are downfalls with that, however. What I’m going to talk about today is something so aggravating about media literacy that it really makes me question my faith in the new generations (including my own).

Do u nO SuM1 wHO Typ3S liiiKe diiSS?

This annoying little grouping of letters is a way people used to type when I was in high school. Who knows, people may still type like this. Can I just take this time to say that it is super annoying to read? Not to mention, it also makes you look uneducated.

I know, I know, abbreviations are nice for texting and occasionally I will type “u” rather than “you” just for time purposes. But really when you think about it, how much time does it really take to type two extra letters? I think it takes more time to type the above disheveled mess of capital and lowercase letters and numbers.

Text abbreviations and strange cryptic typing were all the rage when I was in high school. I never really jumped on that bandwagon. You see, I love words. I love sentences. I love writing. So to me, it almost feels as if I’m cheating myself if I use handy dandy text abbreviations and odd character typing.

Like I said, a meaningless “lol” text to an acquaintance or “see u soon” to a friend you’re meeting with is acceptable to me. On the contrary, I would never be caught dead posting legitimate statuses, posts, or emails using that kind of grammar and spelling.

Let’s take a moment to discuss how media and technology influence our writing skills. Well for one, we’re now living in a world where our thoughts can be conveyed in 140 characters or less. Is that only scary to me?

I find that many people dislike writing. I’m one of those people who could never understand how someone could dislike, or even dare I say, hate writing. Maybe because we are conditioning our minds to think in 140 characters or less. But let me ask you a question. Would you hire someone who Typ3S
liiiK3 DiiiSs? I wouldn’t.

It’s a bit ironic because text abbreviations and cooky typing have become so relevant in the online writing world and I can’t stand it. Is it good or bad? I don’t know. Surely, I believe it sets the example for acceptable writing styles.
I was taught that if you want to be a good writer you need to read good writing.

That’s the problem today with online blogging – too many people can post whatever they want however they want to. Now, before you all go jumping down my throat for that one, I’m not saying it’s bad to have a platform to express yourself with in the way you choose.

My problem lies where people think opinions are credible sources and poor grammar is acceptable. After a while of using abbreviations, one might forget how to use words without their abbreviations.

Actually, the biggest proofing errors I come across while reading papers for peers is their lack of understanding when to use “they’re”, “there”, and “their”. “It’s”, and “its” are another common mistake along with “to”, “too”, and “two”.

This is basic grade school grammar and unfortunately it’s becoming a lost art. I attribute that to media and how we use it not only here in the United States, but all over the world.

If that doesn’t scare you, than maybe it’s becoming more and more acceptable across the board; kind of like how “ain’t” finally became a word and hearts became acceptable for the dot above the lowercase “i”.

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