MEDIA & COMMUNICATION

There is poverty in every part of the world. People who suffer the basic needs of food, shelter and clothes are on the streets in almost every country. India is a home for 26% of the global extreme poor, having most of their poor people living in states like Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, which are considered as the low-income states. A report by the Indian Government Planning Commission estimated 363 million Indians, who are 29.5% of the total Indian population, were living below poverty line, not having salaried jobs or even literacy (Katyal 2015).

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But how much of these sufferings of the poor are shown through the media? Relatively less. Often the media such as Bollywood shows the good parts of their cultures, instead of showing the viewers every state of living in the particular economies, ignoring the poverty side of the country. The deeper expectations audiences bring to the cinema is one of the reasons why there is resistance to depict the poor or slums in India (Hoad 2012). Therefore, most people, who haven’t travelled to India, probably do not have any identification or connection with the country other than what the mainstream media shows. However, the film Slumdog Millionaire (2008), directed by Danny Boyle, sets an example of the real India – poverty side – that the audience rarely comes in contact with. The film depicts how the poor and rich are living together – side by side, and shows the extreme division between social classes. The film shows a young, uneducated orphan, Jamal Malik, who rises from the slums of Mumbai to the biggest prize on India’s ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ show. He answers the show questions from the knowledge he got with the life experience in Mumbai he went through as a boy. The film also shows the view of the slums’ living from their rooftops, giving the audience a clear picture of the unimaginable life taking place in the areas of poverty.

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Despite showing every detail of Indian culture from rich to poor, the movie gained a lot of criticism regarding the portrayal of poverty in India and the marketing of ‘poverty porn’, especially from Indian community. A Mumbai film processor, Shyamal Sengupta, in an interview with LA Times, stated that “It’s a white man’s imagined India…It’s not quite snake charmers, but it’s close. It’s a poverty tour.”

Slumdog, the critics seem to be saying, propagates a sensationalistic, stereotypical, and inaccurate depiction of India that lowers that country’s stature in the eyes of the world.

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Meanwhile, others agree to the fact that India, just like many other developed countries, still struggle with poverty and the Slumdog Millionaire doesn’t step away from showing this true fact of India.

 “A lot of people felt it was bashing India, but I disagree…We’re too quick to celebrate ‘Incredible India’…But there is an underbelly. To say we don’t have problems is absurd.” Rochona Majumdar, Indian film expert

In contrary, I believe it is important to show the world through the media, the difficult sides of countries as well; not just the beautiful vibrant colours of the country and their middle to upper classes. People need to be aware of the harsh reality of poverty in India and in the world as well.

 

Reference

Katyal, R 2015, ‘India census exposes extent of poverty’, CNN, 3 August, viewed on 02/07/2016, http://edition.cnn.com/2015/08/02/asia/india-poor-census-secc/

Hoad, P 2012, ‘Slumdog’s dissenters: poverty on film in India’, The Guardian, 15 May, viewed on 03/07/2016, https://www.theguardian.com/film/2012/may/15/after-hollywood-poverty-film-india

We always love to capture our images. Some definitely put efforts to go to a photo booth, pay some bucks to get a picture taken, while others hesitate to go pose in front of a camera where a complete stranger is taking the picture for them. However, with the evolution of camera being more accessible to us now, the self-photography has taken a completely new form. Our lives just got better. We no longer need to go for a photo station or hire a photographer to take our own pictures, spend unnecessary amount of cash and wait impatiently for days to get our pictures from them. Even the camera-shy ones are less likely to feel bashful to go and face a stranger to capture self-image for them. We have a new medium through which to explore our own self-portrait or selfie.

Why do we selfie? Because we CAN.

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In a relatively short time, it was possible for us to click images of ourselves instantaneously and share them with thousands of other people through social networks. The popularity of selfie has been growing in the 2000’s until the emergence of iPhone 4 in 2010. The front-facing camera invention in the iPhone4 made the selfie go completely viral. Whether it is the high angle photo with arm extended or the mirror self-portrait; the front-facing camera persuades us to snap the photo instantly, regardless of where we are or who we are with.  Currently, there are more than 31 million photos uploaded in Instagram with the hashtag #selfie, and with the hashtag #me, the number is whopping 90 million. What more, the selfie has been named as Word of the Year in 2013 by Oxford with its massive popularity.

Selfie has become a cultural phenomenon in our lives today. There is a huge amount of emphasis we put on our physical appearance through the social networks. We hold the smartphone tilted 45 degrees above the eyeline, catches the best light view from a window, pose either a natural beauty or the sexy look with sucked-in cheeks or pouting lips, and finally, snap! But ohh wait, it’s not yet final. Next comes the big step, filtering: the image is softened, a flawless skin tone, a color filter. Finally the picture is ready and posted on Instagram or Facebook with a bunch of self-related hashtags, and wait impatiently for the high number of likes and praising comments. It feels good right? But wait, does it really make you feel good inside? Does it make you feel beautiful? Perhaps, just temporarily.

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Psychologists claim that selfies can damage our self-esteem.

‘When we get so distracted by the marketing of ourselves, we can lose touch with our authentic identities and struggle to build real relationships’

Lucie  Hemmen

We take 1000s of selfies spending more than an hour preparing for it before we actually chooses the perfect snap and edit them and post to public. Meanwhile, Hemmen mentions that what we shoot and post comes with a range of health and authenticity. She states that a secure and matured person would post selfies less often with images that are spontaneous and less edited, while a more insecure person would post selfies highly edited and would do it so much that they become consumed by it and the comments they receive. Consequently, after all the time and efforts put on the photo we upload, a single negative comment for the picture can ruin our whole day. Why? Because we are trying to show the public someone who we are not in reality. It is important to question what this means in terms of how we view ourselves. Does the selfie we upload on the social media matter way more than our own genuine reflection? Are we scaling our self-worth through these selfies that we post to the public?

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Apple vs Android

Untitled Infographic

Android and Apple are operating systems which are primarily used in mobile technology like smartphones and tablets. Android is an open source platform which gives users the ability to fully personalise the User Interface, having flexibility as its biggest strength. Whereas Apple is a closed platform which monitors, controls and restricts certain functions and features in their devices.

There has been always a battle between these two companies as their competition is never ending. According to Ritche (2013) Apple has been tracking the number of new iPhone users who switched from Android. Apple was so thrilled with the growth, Cook mentioned Android switchers four times over the course of the hour long call. However, recently Samsung announced that it has topped Apple and has regained its Number one smartphone sale spot says Geddes (2015).

There are various comparisons between the two OS. Android applications can be run and visible even on any iOS device, while Apple applications, music, pictures, movies, etc are not seen on any non-Apple devices. 81% of the global market consists of smartphones that have Android OS, however, this results the Android Security problem via economies of that market place. Nevertheless, having only 5% of global market, it still accounts for almost all the profits from their sales.

References:

Geddes, J 2015, ‘Samsung Tops Apple and Regains Number One Smartphone Sales Spot’, Tech Times, 1 June, viewed on 5 December 2015, http://bit.ly/1ENZMwt

Ritchie, R 2013, ‘Apple seeing more people switch from Android to iPhone than ever before’, iMore, 21 July, viewed on 2 December 2015, http://www.imore.com/apple-seeing-more-people-switching-android-ever

citizen journalism - ImgurImage: Imgur

The internet technology and social media emergence has opened the gate for citizen journalism and replaced the way people read news today. The possibility of posting factual messages through smartphones or tablets by almost anyone at the instant time, makes it hard to judge the value of the eyewitness images or clips compared to the news broadcasted by traditional media.

People doesn’t wait for news to be broadcasted or published on newspapers or TV on their scheduled day. The social media sites life Facebook, twitter, YouTube, etc. gives the consumers the chance to share own information and news stories without being insecure of the whether the word is spread or not (Anderson 2014). The factual images and video clips uploaded to social media from ordinary citizens proves that professional reporters are not always accessible at everywhere every time; especially if there comes a breaking news event just on the spot.  Thus the traditional ‘passive’ audience is turned to ‘active’ audience today using the internet to make the public aware by sharing information on the spot.

Reference

Anderson, M 2014, ‘How social media is reshaping news’, Pew Research Center, 24 September, viewed on 6 December 2015, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/09/24/how-social-media-is-reshaping-news/

 

With the rise of technology, it has been clear that social media has become a need for people’s everyday lives. People are using social media as consumer as well as produser themselves, sharing user-generated contents globally via network platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, etc. YouTube has been known for its ability to support the long tail effects of user-generated content, enabling anyone to publish videos to its site.

YouTube has an extensive library with millions of videos about various types of gaming, music, tutorials of how-to and many more. According to Smith (2015), the estimated number of new videos uploaded to YouTube every minute is 300 hours per minute. YouTube having more than hundred million channels, 500,000 channels attain less than 1000 subscribers, having at least a few viewership on its long tail (Dreier 2015). This shows there are endless choices of videos for users to choose from comparing to a video store which would only stock the most popular and hit videos giving the consumer a limited choice.

The prezi I made shares more factual information about YouTube and its long tail effects, check it out here, http://bit.ly/1jO5dbP

 

Reference

Dreier, T 2015, ‘YouTube’s long tail: More ad-supported channels, Fewer viewers’, Online Video, 28 October 2015, viewed on 5 December 2015, http://www.onlinevideo.net/2015/10/youtubes-long-tail-more-ad-supported-channels-fewer-viewers/

 

Smith, C 2015, ‘By the numbers: 120 + Amazing YouTube statistics’, DMR, viewed on 5 December 2015, http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/youtube-statistics/

Facebook's walled garden - ImgurImage source: Imgur

Who doesn’t know about Facebook today? Who doesn’t have a Facebook account? I don’t think it’s exaggerating if I say that almost everyone in the world knows about the gigantic social media platform Facebook. It has reported to have 1.4 billion users who use the platform to connect with friends and share information with each other (Gill 2015). These connections via Facebook, however, made people feel dependent and ‘locked’ to the platform, where for anything regarding Internet i.e. connecting with friends, entertainment, news, sports, etc., people tend to read and share via Facebook.

Moreover, this walled garden of Facebook is forcing people indirectly to remain within the platform and cutting them off from open transfers of data, content, connectivity and community.

In the meantime, the walled garden of Facebook have placed news organizations on threat of losing their own products (content). “The biggest problem for news sites is that so much of the traffic that comes from Facebook—they read one piece and go away”, says Tero Kuittinen. For publishers, there is more to lose by shifting from their own site to a social media platform, when all they want is people to stay on their own site and click around.

Facebook rules - ImgurImage source: Imgur

Reference

Gill, KE 2015, ‘Facebook’s walled garden: too seductive for news companies to ignore’, Wired Pen, 24 March, viewed on 2 December 2015, http://wiredpen.com/2015/03/24/facebooks-walled-garden-seductive-news-companies-should-ignore/

Attention – Hard to grab!

Attention is the notice taken of an individual or something, regarding as interesting or important. It is someone’s focus on a certain topic, object or person. For instance, in a normal lecture or classroom, where students’ attention is supposed to be directed at the lecturer, it is usually diverted at their smartphones or their friends. Today, it can be said without a doubt that people are way more than distracted than they used to be and specifically as a result of combining factors; smartphones, apps and the internet. Traditionally someone would be distracted by the television, but nowadays even when watching television people are constantly distracted by other devices specifically personal smartphones and laptops. Individuals, especially the younger generation are constantly distracted as compared to younger generations 20 years ago. If all 22 year olds at a college like INTI was to ask their parents of their behavior when they were at their age in terms of their personal devices it would greatly differ from how they act now.

 Photo: AJEKXM, Skillip Computers and Society

Multi-tasking ability involves multiple processes happening at the same time. Therefore, measuring multi-tasking requires an assessment that can evaluate many tasks at the same time. Specifically, we want to think about the number of tasks, the time interval of the tasks, and the frequency of task-switching. Multi-tasking has saved individuals and companies more time and money across the world as a result of productivity metrics, sales performance and overall performance.

However, when we analyze the idea of attention economy where it is said that attention is a resource and that a person has so much of resources (attention). When multi-tasking an individual can only give enough attention at a time for each task at hand and reduces competency and efficiency to do each task at the best of someone’s ability. For instance, in a classroom where laptops and smartphones are constantly being used by students, most of them will be unable to absorb lectures while being constantly distracted by their various devices, thus, the use of those devices should be prohibited in places like classrooms (Wiseheart 2014).

What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, calls working memory “the mind’s scratch pad”

When an individual is distracted or is attempting to multi-task, like a university lecturer marking assignments at home while also trying to socialize with family and watching television, that individual will be dividing his scarce attention. However, applying spatial thinking, each task allows us to systematically recall the other tasks. like the situation above, when the lecturer now goes to school in the morning and attempts to complete his marking he will be brought back to thinking of the television show he was watching when he was previously marking the assignment and what his family was discussing with him at that moment.

485207551 Michelle Miller

Therefore, attention is a growing issue everywhere, at home, in classrooms and even at work. It has its proven benefits in business and education, but its drawbacks are endless and long-term too.

Reference

Wiseheart, M et al, 2014, ‘Laptops hinder classroom learning for both users and nearby peers’, accessed 14 October 2015, http://www.yorku.ca/ncepeda/laptopFAQ.html