Ahh the dreaded audio post- after some initial technical difficulties attempting to use audacity, a partial mental breakdown, and some trial and error…here we are. For this post, I have learned how to record audio, how to put that file into Audacity, and how to edit it from that software. I feel like this has all been extremely beneficial, and many of these skills I will be able to take into my future profession. While it is not a full podcast, I am still happy with my work, although my editing skills (as poor as they are) definitely show through in this audio clip. This project will help me to be able to work Audacity and Soundcloud in the future.
While this post was initially supposed to be an audio post about By Any Media Necessary, it is now another blog post (luckily, because I was having major tech issues with Audacity and Soundcloud). The more I learn about blogging and using media to promote large scale social movements, the more I enjoy each of these posts, because I get to implement my newfound skills, as well as getting to see how far my writing reaches.
I find this book to be extremely interesting, if not slightly repetitive from everything else we’ve read this semester. But I also find it interesting in its own way because of how new and how relevant the entire work is to youth media, a highly unpopular area of media.
One of the parts I found to be extremely interesting about the book was the discussion of Muslim Americans who are feeling disconnected from the rest of society because of religious differences. I related this to the feelings of many members of the LGBT community, because they are also often treated as “the Other” and through the use of social media, many members of both the LGBT community as well as the Muslim American community have found allies. Both groups have begun to use “coming out” videos to share their personal stories, as well as a way to identify within the larger global community exactly who they are. Media helps to unite people from all different groups who might have otherwise felt alienated from the larger societal group they are “supposed” to belong to.
I find this book to be very interesting, as well as almost paradoxical in nature. The book looks to cover very mature content, yet does so in a very young way. The book contains a cartoon drawing on the cover, and talks a lot about pop culture influence, but also serves as an adult version of a lot of content that would go over kids’ heads. In the section being covered in this post, the book jumped from Kony2012 to talking about the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) and the influence of fandoms and pop culture on society.
What Jenkins says about the influence of media is very interesting, as we saw with Kony2012, and the campaign to help Invisible Children, there were millions upon millions of people who had watched the video. 70 million people to be exact, and in just a half hour after watching the video, many people wanted to go out and make a change in society. The impact of Kony2012 reached far beyond people watching a video, people now knew of the social injustice that had occurred in Uganda. People were no longer ignorant of the many lives that were affected by using child soldiers, or the horrible conditions these children were forced to live under.
Without the use of media, there would not be such a rallying force to help make social change. By allowing individual’s interests to flourish in activist centered groups based off of popular culture and the fandoms people enjoy, it makes people want to be more involved. When interests and activism overlap, it promotes people to join together with people they share common interests with in order to make social change.
One of the first concepts Jenkins covers in “By Any Media Necessary” is the impact of Political Science on media, and the effect this combination has on society. As a Political Science major, I often think about the different ways in which people are involved in society, as well as the impact that individuals have on society. Jenkins highlights the importance of social media in the first chapter, and discusses the widespread effect it can have on a population. He describes a group of senior women who were taking pictures with a group dressed as zombies that had joined the “Occupy Movement”. In what other time or place would that have made any sense at all? Yet today, there is such quick movement and effective mass communication that the idea is not at all far-fetched.
An issue that I have written about before in this blog is the importance of attracting the younger generations to vote and participate politically. While a lot of attention today is spent on bringing Generation “X” to the polls, there are entire populations of younger people being forgotten about. Instead of looking to maintain an older generation who already goes out to vote, larger proportions of social media and mass communications should be spent on attracting millennials and generation y, who do not have a large poll presence, but could make huge political sways if they were better represented in government. One of the biggest reoccurring topics that we have addressed throughout this semester has been how a movement can grow and become a huge nation-wide activist movement. This has been seen in the case of the “Occupy Movement” which has been felt at the national level, yet its also been seen on the local level when an individual talks about social injustice, and looks to see what they can do on a personal level to make a difference. If every person looked to make a small change in order to make a difference, the world would change a lot quicker than it has already.