Suss on Media

Mass Media, what a wonderful controlling instrument. Society is heavily influenced how to walk the walk and talk the talk. Thinking about who controls our media is very real, what would we do without media, what would society be like; interesting #showerthought for the day.

Unfortunately, as a student with many other responsibilities I haven’t got much time to cross check my news sources reliability, unless I smell fake news. Generally, living in a rural area South West Sydney, I am receiving my news from The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and Macarthur Chronicle owned by the media king, Rupert Murdoch whom is worth 18.5 billion USD and owns around 70 percent of Australian Newspapers. Now, as we all aware of the impact of internet and technology in our lives; our access to news is so much easier – STRAIGHT FROM OUR DEVICES IN OUR OWN HOME! We don’t even have to turn on the television at a certain time to receive the news, it’s all there in our hands. Reflecting upon this figure, I believe that the corporations under Murdoch could be biased, as the population isn’t accessing a fair amount of variable sources. This, I believe, is a serious matter, having one man control a large majority of news. I feel society is being persuaded mindlessly by the power of the media.

However, what strengthens the ambiguity of the media, is the endless amount of opinionated articles and comments that flood user created content such as social media. Facebook, now this has contributed hugely to societies obsession with media. On social media, we are promised that we can control our media content, we can choose our friends, likeable content, news sources, etc. However, we can’t choose what our friends are posting. So, realistically, we are receiving news from unreliable sources from our friends who may be inexperienced in determining the reliability of sources. Therefore, we are overwhelmed with fake news, opinionated news and, maybe some real news?

Sadly, in today’s mass mediated society that I have grown up in, I have little to no trust in media sources. It is only if I cross check amongst different sources (who aren’t owned by Murdoch) I can find some sense of truth… (unless, everyone is in on it).

Reference:

Cunningham, Stuart  “Policy and Regulation” P 85-90 in Cunningham, S and Turnbull, S (eds) (2014) The Media and Communications in Australia, 4th Edition. Allen and Unwin.

Smoking is a FAD

1950’s Winston Cigarette Advertisement

How do us humans get so sucked into following trends? Is it the psychology behind advertising?

The above 1950’s advertisement is a significant reflection of manipulation in mass media and advertising. Decoding the image, we can see a complexed sign containing other signs. The ‘Denotations’ of the above advertisement is a smoking campaign, a manipulative one, in a positive light.

Wintson Tastes Good like a cigarette should!

Then, once we look beyond the text, we find a system of functional distinctions operating within. The cigarette is being carefully marketed to women as a symbol of power. Edward Bernays, the influence of these manipulative campaigns had taken advice from a psychoanalyst, whom said cigarettes were ‘a symbol of the penis and male sexual power’.

Sex, popularity and power is clearly resembled in this advertisement. Originally, it was considered inappropriate for women to smoke. This double standard meant cigarette companies were missing a huge portion of profit due to marketing to half of the population.

We can see consumer behaviour has been deeply considered as mainstream fashion trends are present and feminising of the cigarette reels’ women into wanting to take up smoking. There are strong connotations of ‘erotic desires’, tapping into the sexuality of women, creating the idea of smoking being sexy. These connotations of erotic desires are still used today in mass media, marketing and advertising (H O L L Y W O O D) to sell pointless, materialistic, expensive things that most of the population can’t afford. Since we live in a mass mediated society, we have been shaped to idealise sexy, beautiful people we see in blockbuster films. The point that I am getting at, is, the influential impact that media, marketing and advertising has on society; even dating back to the early 20th Century.

Various meanings can be interpreted depending on who is interpreting and what they are experiencing at the time. There is contrasting meanings within the culture during that period and today’s culture. We are now flooded with the horrendous realities of smoking. However, it is visible the significance of signs and understanding them in a form of communication.

So, looking at this now creates an overall reality of mass advertising being unhealthy for society, it doesn’t seem morally correct either; using psychoanalysis to tap into vulnerable minds in order to gain profits from the missing population. Women were sold cigarettes for the idea of independence and power, however, they are just smokers depending on their addiction.

Reference:

Netflix scheduled in an anxious audience

It’s 2019, Netflix is apart of our daily routine, let’s be honest, it is.

But, isn’t it a little scary the power Netflix has over us. I quickly searched how many Australians are connected to Netflix. Over 10 million according to Roy Morgan.

The content on Netflix is shaping us; providing us with entertainment, conversational topics, social groups, mindless streaming and outlets etc. It has immersed itself into our lives so intensively, what were we doing before, without it?

Netflix almost knows me, ‘Hey Bianca I know you live for Horror, Fantasy, Science fiction and Comedy so here is, Love, Death and Robots’’.

Brilliant. 

I’m hooked, I  truly am. A collection of vast ideas and genres in animated short stories representing something of deep truth. A SHORT ANIMATION VERSION OF BLACK MIRROR, YES! 

However,I am going to focus on the second episode called ‘Three Robots’. You guessed it, it’s about three robots. Media audience Blog finished…

No, let’s get into it. Why is this episode so damn good?

It is set in the future. Us humans, well, we are extinct leaving three robots roaming the land, curious of what humans were and how they lived, and how they became apart of the national museum without a curator. 

The creator Tim Miller creates a sense of amusement through irony when the robots discover elements related to human activity, making them question who created humans and what they were made out of (referring to their own serial codes).

However, as this magnificent piece is made for humans to consume and reflect on, we are sitting there relating to all the human references made, knowingly that we are the creators of robots and the reason for our vanishment. Ironic, right?

The dark humour puts us in a place of self-evaluation. We become aware of our actions, Anxious of what comes next. Now, this is what I find interesting, I love deep truth being revealed. I love that this Netflix animated show is available to a mass audience, capturing an idea of what our future may be like. We may continue to blindly go down a dark path, or, we way wake up. But, is it too late?  I wonder how long this will sit in someone’s mind. Could this make a difference?

I captured this gif myself from Netflix using giphy capture .

Now, the problem is more than these two things: Netflix users will go onto the next best show and society will follow the next trend. We are living in a mass mediated society, the human attention span is becoming shorter. We are socially consuming and are addicted to media.

‘Three robots’ makes us realise that we are the pinnacle of our success, but, we are also our own downfall. I feel the creator has made this series of Love, Death and Robots to question our reality and what effect it has on our future. I appreciate this as an audience of the media as the concepts addressed in this episode are ones I think about almost everyday. However, this is not a new concept.

Ugh, not another post-apocalyptic film where robots take over” … 

But, like I said  earlier, our society is so flooded with media. Are we children needing to constantly be reminded of the consequences of our actions. I don’t know…

PS: I want you to watch this for yourself so I am not explaining the whole episode. Jump online and see the deeper meaning…and get ready for the petty twist. 

“Yes, Once we could open up our own tuna can, that was pretty much that for the human race.”

Reference : 

Miller, T 2019, ‘Three Robots’, Love, Death and Robots, online video, 15 March, Netflix, viewed 16 March 2019, <https://www.netflix.com/watch/80223967?trackId=13752289&tctx=0%2C1%2Caa0ab450-cb9b-435e-93b5-24fed0cb457d-34135348%2C%2C>.

Roy, M 2018, ‘Netflix set to surge beyond 10 million users’, Roy Morgan, weblog post, 3 August, viewed 16 March 2019.