A Teenager’s Bias to Today’s Media

Mattie Smyth is the name, social media is my game. To be honest, I found myself in this Journalism 215 Introduction to Mass Communication Technology as a prerequisite to more advanced classes within the Journalism, Media, and Computing Department at Creighton University.

For as long as I can remember, I have always had an interest in communication. Whether that is brought to life by the fact that I’m always the last one at the dinner table because “I just have a lot of words to say,” as put by my 2-year-old self, or by the fact that grocery store trips take me hours because you can’t go to Wal-Mart in Walla Walla, WA and not run into at least 5 people you know.

At the the ripe age of 19, I’ve come to realize that communication is much more than the verbal act of speaking with someone. Most of today’s mass communication happens on the computer, or more specifically over the internet. The computer screen has never been a stranger to me. I can still recall the nights spent in our unfinished basement hearing the obnoxious tones of the dial-up so that I could log into my Disney Channel account. At that time my family had a Gateway computer, you know the big clunkers with the cow print on the box? Fast forward 10 years and I’m sitting in a comfy chair, Macbook in hand, iPhone across the table, with no cords in sight or weird tones within earshot. I have the knowledge to code my own HTML basic website or post pictures instantly to various social media accounts linked through my iPhone.

file0001155309316I’m constantly on a screen. It’s not because I’m unsocial or disconnected, but rather because I am social and connected. I like to stay on top of current news. Generally I stay up on current events by means of Twitter, Yahoo, tabloids lining the checkout lane, or the frequent iMessages from mom that say “Did you hear about so and so? I just saw the story on Fox News.” Like it or not, my phone is my lifeline.

The frustrating thing about news media in today’s world is the biases held by different outlets. Take CNN vs. Fox News for example. If I were to watch the same news story on both channels, different aspects would be highlighted and even a twist in material could happen to sway a person toward a particular political agenda. However, I think journalists do a good job of presenting material in an exciting way, or at least holding people’s attention for a significant amount of time. I’m always bored to tears when I see old newscasts of the “60 Minutes” shows with one gray, monotone man sitting in the same spot for an hour. I think news media today has done an awesome job of creating that stopping point and allowing viewers or readers the accessibility on different social media outlets.

Although it is concerning that everything is linked in so many different ways, I think the pros far outweigh the cons. Because everything is so linked, it is so easy to get all of the necessary information within a short about of time and clicks of a mouse, but even the mouse is outdated with the implementation of touch screens. A huge pro of media today is the fact that it helps us to collaborate or share with people across the world in the blink of an eye; all acts that were unthinkable 30 years ago. Yes, a future boss could type in your name to Google and find your embarrassing pictures from a 7th grade slumber party on MySpace. However, with the same search, they could also find your highly sophisticated Twitter in which you retweet articles that interest you, your LinkedIn where you professionally promote yourself, or even your college WordPress blog that you started for a class that evolved into something more. The possibilities are endless.

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