I am first exposed to media upon waking each morning. Most nights, I fall asleep listening to my pocket radio, and the radio again fills my ears after my alarm sounds. After showering, and gulping down a mug of coffee, I pick up my cell phone and am immediately bombarded by an onslaught of social media – that, unlike my brain, never stopped once I had fallen asleep. I respond to text messages, review what transpired on FaceBook, and what Instagrams were posted during the hours I was not consuming media.
Once I arrive at work, I turn my attention back to social media, but more so in the role of moderator as opposed to active contributor. I open my email and quickly check to see if I’ve received any activity notifications from the 11 FaceBook pages and five Twitter accounts for which I am administrator. For the remainder of my time at the office, I will remain connected – not only to my personal social media accounts, but also those representing the 11 Seven Hills Affiliates. Just as each affiliate is unique, so too are their presences on social media. I, functioning as the one common denominator between them all, work to monitor, mediate, and preserve a dialogue that reflects positively each respected affiliate. My responsibility as social media administrator is to ensure that each affiliate within the foundation is properly influencing the public, whereas in the context of my personal account, I am susceptible to being influenced.
I feel the media can influence my perspective on events, but that the strength of its influence varies based on the level of exposure pertaining to any particular event. If I notice several news media organizations reporting on the same event, my instinct is to pay closer attention to determine what news event has spurred such wide coverage. With regard to whether or not the media influenced my perspective on world events, I am more likely to be influenced if my exposure to media coverage is limited. As an individual striving to become more media literate and someone who appreciates objectivity, I believe it is essential to consider the perspectives presented many media sources before subscribing to a single position.
Blogs resemble early news reports in that they took on a subjective tone, presented information in the order in which it occurred, and reported factual data in an increasing order based on significance (Kovach & Rosenstiel, 2010 p. 17). As the internet became more accessible to more individuals, so too did the means by which individuals were able to contribute and share. Blogging platforms with open source, web-based content management systems – such as Word Press – eliminated the need to know complex web code in order to create a website. Blogs empower individuals. They provide a venue to freely express personal opinions, and offer a modern-day confirmation of the idea that people can be self-governing.
The widespread use and popularity of social media – Face Book and Twitter in particular – are examples of advancements in communication that brought about specific patterns of change in societies. Kovach and Rosenstiel commonly identify these patterns as influencing the increased democratization of communications, the reorganization of political and social establishments, and a renewed affirmation of tension between fact and faith (ibid, p.13).
Kovach, B., & Rosenstiel, T. (2010). Blur: How to know what’s true in the age of information overload. New York: Bloomsbury.