Facebook & Your Health

 According to the definition, social media is web-based and mobile technologies used to turn communication into interactive dialogue. It is defined as a group of internet-based applications that built on the ideological and technological foundations of the web. Social media is a new media type for social interaction as a superset beyond social communication it has changed the way of organizations, communities and individual communicate. When social media is pronounced, the name of Facebook is come everybody’s mind immediately. Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately. It has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, upload photos, and add other users as friends, and exchange messages, including automatic notifications when they update their profile. Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups, organized by workplace, school or college, or other characteristics, and categorize their friends into lists such as “People From Work” or “Close Friends”. Facebook allows any users who want to declare him or herself in many occasions. There are many discussions about the effect on Facebook, either negative or positive. One of them is related with the effects on the health. It is really interesting to see how all those “likes,” “pokes,” and status updates are really affecting the people and their family’s well-being, and how they can protect themselves from some of the potentially negative side effects.

Research shows that Facebook can:

Fuel self-esteem. People feel better about themselves after they updated their Facebook profiles. Strengthen friendship bonds. The site helped cement positive interactions among friends. Both private messages and wall posts allowed Facebook users to confide in their friends, surf down memory lane, and laugh out loud, promoting happy feelings.

Stamp out shyness and loneliness. The adults found that receiving messages from friends and consuming info from friends’ news feeds boosted feelings of connectedness, especially in people with self-described “low social skills.” Similar benefits hold true for tweens and teens: Communicating online helped improve communication skills for lonely adolescents, giving them an outlet to talk more comfortably about personal topics.

Research also shows that Facebook can:

Cause depression. When tweens and teens spend too much time on social media, leading them to turn to “substance abuse, unsafe sexual practices, or aggressive or self-destructive behaviors.”

Trigger eating disorders. The more time adolescent girls spent on the social networking site, the more likely they were to develop eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and extreme dieting. Exposure to online fashion and music content, as well as watching TV shows like Gossip Girl, were also associated with an increased risk for eating disorders.

 Soure : Wikipedia, www.everydayhealth.com

Donald Duck is not so Innocent

A Starbucks sits in Saudi Arabia’s sacred city of Mecca, not far from Islam’s holiest site, serving its signature coffee to Muslim pilgrims who arrive from across the globe. The 1997 U.S. blockbuster film Titanic is praised by Chinese President Jiang Zemin in a speech before China’s National People’s Congress. Mickey Mouse welcomes its fans in Europe and Asia from his Magic Kingdoms in France or Japan. But the spread of American consumer culture goes beyond popular consumption.
Travel almost anywhere in the world today is possible today. Nonetheless you do not feel that you are in a different place that you experience local tastes since all of cities in the world started to look alike. You will are surrounded with global brands, movies, tastes but mostly American. Global products across the globe are more than mere accident. As a byproduct of globalization, it is part of a larger trend in the conscious dissemination of American attitudes and values that is often referred to as cultural imperialism.
Cultural imperialism involves much more than simple consumer goods; it involves the dissemination of American principles, such as freedom and democracy. Many cultures around the world are gradually disappearing due to the influence of corporate and cultural America.
Media imperialism goes hand in hand with cultural imperialism. According to the Guardian, American films accounted for approximately 80 percent of global box office revenue and one of the most successful one is Walt Disney Company. The Walt Disney Company commonly referred to as Disney is the largest media conglomerate in term of revenue. Taking on its current name in 1986, The Walt Disney Company expanded its existing operations and also started divisions focused upon theatre, radio, publishing, and online media. In addition, it has created new divisions of the company in order to market more mature content than it typically associates with its flagship family-oriented brands. The company is best known for the products of its film studio, the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, and today one of the largest and best-known studios in Hollywood. Disney also owns and operates the ABC broadcast television network; cable television networks such as Disney Channel, ESPN, and ABC Family; publishing, merchandising, and theatre divisions; and owns and licenses 14 theme parks around the world. Mickey Mouse, is the official mascot of The Walt Disney Company.
According to criticisms, ‘Disney’s animated features simultaneously soften and distribute messages of class hierarchy and anti-social hyper-individualism.” Scholars claim that it appears that the ‘good guys’ are usually designed with more European features and are more bright and curvy; on the other hand, the ‘bad guys’ tend to be drawn darker and with sharper angles. Pocahontas and Aladdin were drawn to look European with a darker shade of skin even though they were Native American and Middle Eastern, while the bad guys such as Jafar and the Hun in Mulan were drawn to look more like the nationalities they were supposed to represent. Even it was noted by them the voices of these characters allow the audiences to relate them to people. For example, Mufasa sounded noble and had a slight British accent.
As the last words, Disney films are considerably more cleverly than the printed comics. And their audiences are massive and growing. Disney films are prime household entertainment in the vast majority of North American homes. They form an integral part of child rising and family life. They are avidly consumed by millions, who, similar to the Star Trek audiences, consider them safe and good for family life. However while consuming those films, audiences needs to think that in Disney films some of these have been found to be, “sexism, racism, conservatism, hetero-sexism, , imperialism (cultural), imperialism (economic), literary vandalism, censorship, propaganda, paranoia, homophobia, exploitation, ecological devastation, anti-union repression

 

Sources: Wikipedia, Lee Artz Studies, A.H Itwaru Blog

Peasant Resistant in Bergama Turkey: Participation Paradigm

The meaning of “participation” is often a explanation of the organizational culture defining it. Participation has been variously described as essential within agencies as it is in the field and as an educational and empowering process necessary to correct power imbalances between rich and poor. It has been conceived to embrace the idea that all “stakeholders” should take part in decision making and it has been more described as the extraction of local knowledge to design programs and changes. In this manner, resulting of development communication failure which the paradigm tries to shape society without considering traditions, belief, attitudes of human, participation paradigm recognized wide cultural differences between different parts of the world.
The central idea of the paradigm is that there is no universal development model; development is an integral, multi-dimensional, and dialectic process that can differ from society to society’. Because of the different understandings of development across different societies, the needs of a development project have to be defined by the people involved in the situation rather than by However, participation paradigm could be used to by locals who want to fight against environmental, social changes.

Eurogold, Bergama struggle is an good example for participation paradigm but vice versa. Eurogold (a multinational company formed by Canada, Australia and Germany) came to Turkey as a result of invitation by Ex-president Turgut Özal -Turkish version of Thatcher and Reagan- in order to search for gold mines on Bergama region which is close to İzmir. The company would use cyanide for extracting gold from earth and thus damage their natural environment. Peasants have realized what will happen to them if they would let the company operate after watching a documentary from New Zealand on TV. As a result of the act, they started their resistance moments. Eurogold invited journalists to Bergama in order to take media into its service. However the peasants cut off the road of the bus while shouting, “We do not want gold with cyanide”.
With this act, a long lasting fight has been started between peasants and Eurogold. Like Eurogold, peasants are also use media but alternative one to announce that cyanide will be ruining their village and environment. After many years, the peasant movement is still ongoing without any result. The resistance of the peasant people in Bergama is a symbol for many reasons. The peasants of started when they watched a “gold rush” experience, which took place in New Zealand and discussed the harms. Global neo-liberalism is got caught on the communication networks

Mind Directors & Time Magazine

Herbert Irving Schiller is an American media critic, sociologist, author, and scholar. Schiller studies on examination of the role of popular culture in the spread of American dominance. He claimed that U.S. corporate domination of cultural life is deployed to especially developing nations. His theory can be summarized as follows. USA imported goods from corporate of Europe and Middle East territories and prevents them to open new markets. The goal is to have all energy resources in the mentioned places of the world. In return of keeping energy resources on hand. In order to do this USA sells its consumption ideology by using mass media to Europe and Middle East. Mass Media is the key role of the marketing action. Media owners in USA use propaganda technique while doing this. In this manner they hire ‘clever’ people who are called mind directors to attain his main target. Mind director’s role is to produce the ‘news, ideals, beliefs, and to shape them to be able to distribute to masses. They want to keep status quo by manufacturing consent. Manufacturing consent is a kind of manipulation. Manipulation is the compulsion tool to auditing news flow and it fills the people brains with images, dreams, stereotypes which will never be achieved without consuming. The media create myths which support their view. Those myths are described as ‘Individualism & Personnel Choice; Unchanged Human Nature, No Social Conflict, Multiple information that is selectable.’
The effects of mass media regarding above claim, can be seen by looking TIME magazine covers published in USA, Europe and Asia. As you are aware of TIME is an American news magazine. A European edition (Time Europe, formerly known as Time Atlantic) is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition (Time Asia) is based in Hong Kong. Time is the world’s largest weekly news magazine, and has a domestic audience of 20 million and a global audience of 25 million.
Time Magazine cover in USA which shows mind director’s job is an example claiming that ‘people minds shaped’

Frankfurt School & Coffee Houses

Frankfurt School :Frankfurt School has been set up by a group of Marxist intellectuals in Germany in 1923, which has been influential in the development of Marxist theory. Max Horkheimer, became Director of the Institute, and guided the Institute into its innovative exploration of cultural aspects of the development of capitalism. Theodor W. Adorno, worked on mass culture, which would become so influential from the 1960s on. Adorno & Horkheimer are against bold materialism, which absolutely separates subject and object from each other; they are also against the metaphysic, which defines subject & objects as identical. Mainly, their effort is to open a place to an individual in the social structure, where an individual exists, and to break social structure’s hegemony on individual.Individual has to exist in social structure. The vital hope of individual relies on to become an autonomous in the social structure, which consist of fallacies. An individual can succeed to protect his/her own essence with this autonomous and can force the social structure to be altered. They also critic enlightenment era which is also a critic of modernism; according to them the enlightenment separates individual and nature. Hegemony on the nature become hegemony on the individual, and it is resulted to create hegemony on the society. In that manner, modernism has also prepared the collapse of the humanity. All individuals are identical, listen to the same music, eat the same things etc. And it is possible with Culture Industry
Today’s culture is infecting everything with sameness; Film, Radio, Magazines make up a system which is uniform. All mass culture under monopoly is identical. Films & radio no longer present themselves as art; they are just business used as an ideology to legitimate the trash that is intentionally produced for masses. Today’s culture in societies establishes a set of discourse, stories, images, cultural forms that generate identities and political effects. Newspapers, television, movies, popular music, practices like shopping, watching sports event, going to club, local coffee shop are the practical artifacts of today’s culture. Jürgen Habermas who is also one of the Frankfurt School members worked contemporary society and culture. Habermas investigated the ways that a new public sphere emerged during Enlightenment and the American French revolutions how promoted political discussion & debate. Public Sphere of Habermas, described a space of institutions and practices between private & public interests. The public sphere mediated between domains of the family & the workplace (where private interests prevail) & the state which use power and domination. Habermas said that, newspapers were initially commercial sheets that deploy the news but then they are transformed in to tools of political debate under the pressure of American French Revolutions and organizations of political groups. Also newspapers fell prey to commercial imperatives and often put profit and business interest above political opinion. Society become more dominated by mass media, powerful corporations come to control major institutions, like radio, newspaper, television. The public sphere colonized by big media came to dominate public life

Coffeehouses’ in the History in terms of Cultural Stanpoint:  A coffeehouse or coffee shop is an establishment which primarily serves prepared coffee or other hot beverages. From a cultural standpoint, coffeehouses largely serve as centers of social interaction: the coffeehouse provides social members with a place to congregate, talk, write, read, entertain one another, or pass the time, whether individually or in small groups of 2 or 3 people. Coffeehouses’ in Asia, Europe, and United States was different in the past including decoration, cultural flavors and tastes. For example the 17th Century French traveler Jean Chardin gave a lively description of the Persian coffeehouse scene:
‘People engage in conversation, for it is there that news are communicated and where those interested in politics criticize the government in all freedom and without being fearful, since the government does not heed what the people say. In addition, mollas, dervishes, and poets take turns telling stories in verse or in prose. The narrations by the mollas and the dervishes are moral lessons. A molla will stand up in the middle, and begin to preach in a loud voice, or a dervish enters all of a sudden, and chastises the assembled on the vanity of the world and its material goods. It often happens that two or three people talk at the same time, one on one side, the other on the opposite, and sometimes one will be a preacher and the other a storyteller.’
In london, the coffee houses were great social levelers, open to all men and indifferent to social status, and as a result associated with equality and republicanism. More generally, coffee houses became meeting places where business could be carried on, news exchanged.
Coffee shops in the United States arose from the espresso- and pastry-centered Italian coffeehouses of the Italian American immigrant communities in the major U.S. cities, From the late 1950s onward, coffeehouses also served as a venue for entertainment, most commonly folk performers during the American folk music revival.

Today’s coffeehouses, actually there is one major, and lots of copies of the main, are so identical due to globalization effect. Starbucks which is the very well known brand name of famous coffee house chains are now everywhere. The coffe houses owned by them is very recognizable based on the decoration, people who serve coffee and products that are sold in the shop.
Considering the number of coffee houses with Starbucks reached today, you  may not compare it with past. However this does not mean that today’s coffee houses share the same meaning of past’s coffee houses that were played a major role in the public. With the increasing number of those modern gathering places, supposedly thinking that people would have found a chance to change ideas, news, create public opinion considering the divercity of the society. Even though the new ones serve newspapers, magazines to be read, free Wi-Fi to be used and enough place to come together, people prefer not to talk each other, mingling and exchange the ideas each other. Instead they prefer to sit alone, have a cup of coffee silently.And it is the almost same all over the world.

It is a really good example how culture industry makes the culture uniform and creates mass products to continue his hegemony.

 

Souce: Wikipedia; Mass Deception by Adorno; Culture, Hegemony, Ideology by O’Shaughnessy

E-Books

According to Harold Innis, a medium of communication has an important influence on the dissemination of knowledge over space and over time. He divided media into time-binding and space binding type. Time binding media are durable and heavy. The include clay or stone tablets where space-binding media are light and consist of modern media such as radio, television and mass circulation newspapers.
Innis suggested this division in 1940s. If he would have made this distinction in this century, he certainly would have included e-books to the space binding media, considering the nature of them. Let’s look at the definition taken from Wikipedia ‘Electronic Book is a book-length publication in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, and produced on, published through, and readable on computers or other electronic devices. Sometimes the equivalent of a conventional printed book, e-books can also be born digital. E-books are usually read on dedicated hardware devices known as e-Readers or e-book devices. Personal computers and some mobile phones can also be used to read e-books.
Comparing to e-books and conventional ones, we can say that, conventional ones look like tablets, clays in ancient times and electronic ones are light and modern, suits to space binding media. Right, you can reach any e-book via internet without considering time, place. You can read it, save it, store it and carry it with you in your small gadget. However, you can not touch it, smell it, and hold it as we do in our ‘normal’ books in the library. You can not save them for your grand children as well. Of course this is my view, but there are discussions around it. As an example; The New York Times asked the following question in their opinion page ‘Does the brain like E-Books’. Is there a difference in the way the brain takes in or absorbs information when it is presented electronically versus on paper? Does the reading experience change, from retention to comprehension, depending on the medium?
Below link reaches you thru the different opinions from different sciences…

http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/14/does-the-brain-like-e-books/

Agenda Setting

Media do not tell us what to think, they tell us what to think about. Mass media which can be a newspaper, a book and television takes control of the information that we see or hear.

These are the levels of agenda setting theory:

First Level: Media uses objects or issues to influence the people what people should think about.
Second level: Media focuses on the characters of issues how people should think about. The main concept associated with the agenda setting theory is gate keeping. Gate keeping controls over the selection of content discussed in the media; Public cares mostly about the product of a media gate keeping. It is especially editors media itself is a gatekeeper.
Priming: Activity of the media in proposing the values and standards by which objects of the media attention can be judged. Media’s content will provide a lot of time and space to certain issues, making it more vivid.
To say in simple words, Media is giving utmost importance to news so that it gives people the impression that is the most important information. This is done everyday the particular news is carried as a heading or covered everyday for months.
Framing: Framing is a process of selective control. Framing talks about how people attach importance to certain

It is the fact that mass media become more powerful on the masses nowadays. For this reason, agenda setting statement enhanced and ‘how’ part is included to the definition. Thus media may also tell us how and what to think about it. Perhaps even what to do about it.

Agenda Setting Example: Actions surrounding the O.J. case and the Clinton Scandal are both excellent examples of Agenda-Setting in action.  During these historic events, the media was ever-present.  The placement of full page, color articles and top stories on news programming made it clear that Americans should place these events as important issues.  Some people believed O.J. was guilty, and others believed he was innocent.  Some believed Clinton should have been impeached, and others thought otherwise.  Therefore, the media wasn’t extremely successful in telling us what to think on these issues, but most Americans did believe these were both important issues for a long period of time.

 

I can fly like Pokemon

With the increasing power of media, social scientists tried to understand ‘the effect’ on society, individual or groups. According to the studies, it was found that all media effects must begin with ‘attention’ and ‘exposure’ to some media message by an individual.

The stimulus-response model, whose main features are simply listed as, single message, individual receiver and reaction, dealt with individual response and individual reaction. It applies more or less equally to intended and unintended effects, hence there is a significance difference between response and reaction.

One of the media related change is called ‘unintended change’ according to the stimuli-response model.

Pokémon like kid is a very significant media example of this significant effect but before jumping to directly Pokémon like kid, it would be better to explain what pokemon is; Pokémon, pocket monsters, is the media franchise published and owned by video game company Nintendo, it was created in 1996 in Japan and became very popular and the second most successful video-game based media franchise in the world.

Having the wind of this achievement, Nintendo launched different media forms of the Pokémon as an animation, manga, trading cards, toys, book. Pikachu, a yellow pocket monster of the Pokemon group became a main character and he was liked very much not only for the kids but adults as well. The ability of Pikachu is protecting his master from any attack of bad monsters not having one single wound.

Pikachu became one of the news characters in Turkey. According to the news, in the newspapers, a seven year old Turkish boy, called Ferhat, had jumped from 7 meters by imagining himself as Pokémon Pikachu. As a result of this act, the Pokémon like kid Ferhat only broke one of his leg. Obviously he was so lucky. When he was asked about the reason of jumping, he replied; “I am a Pokémon and I can fly like him.”

The stimulus-response model worked on media effect on individuals. Especially children who exposure to fantasies, super heroes violence, deviance in the television continuously can be influenced  what they see on television, and they  try to imitate their hero’s acts which may be not possible in real life like Pokemon kid Ferhat.

http://www.radikal.com.tr/2000/10/30/turkiye/01pok.shtml ( news in Radikal)

source : wikipedia for pokemon

Information is Power : A quote by Johnny Mnemonic

Information become a currency of today’s world. Those who control the information are considered as most powerful man in the planet. The notion of ‘information’ that explains as the processed data regarding to the phenomena or person or fact, is based on the communication devices developed in World War II.
Claude E. Shannon, mathematician and electrician, who had worked in Bell Laboratories, studied on the secret codes and cryptography. His works supported to develop the mathematical theory of information.

Shannon’s model is simply explained as following ; source of information produces the message; the encoder of transmitter transfers the message to signals; the channel is used to send the signals; the receiver gets and decodes them and finally receiver gets the information. Theory also provided measurement of transmitted information thru channels with the values of information defined as bits.

Information impacts can be seen not only in technology but in films, animation, literature, graphic novel shaped and transformed new ideas keeping  theory basis as same.

William Gibson, famous science fiction novelist, created cyberpunk stream, used information transmission idea by human in their novels. One of his short story about an information transmitter, called Johnny Mnemonic, filmed by Robert Longo in 1995.
According to the plot, “Johnny Mnemonic” is a data transmitter who has undergone cybernetic surgery to have a data storage system implanted in his head. The system allows him to store digital data too sensitive to risk transmission on computer networks. To keep the cargo secure, the data is locked by a password known only to the intended recipient. Johnny enters a trance-like state while the data is being transferred or the passwords are being exchanged, making him unaware of the contents and unable to retrieve it. He makes a modest living by physically transporting sensitive information for corporations, underworld crime rings or wealthy individuals in the era of ‘Information is Power.’

In simplified manner, Johnny is a kind of walking transmitter for the receivers who pay money for a the valuable information.
In some extend, science fiction novelist is a kind of fortune teller by reading the signals of changing world. Going thru their steps, and remembering the  broad applications of ‘information theory’ in many field, it would not be a surprise to meet human transmitters or receivers around us in near future.

Reference for  the plot : Imdb film site

http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi3013187609/ (video trailer)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Chicago School

In the early first decade of 20th century in the United Stated, the concept of the communication went hand in hand with social studies which base was quantitative and analytical methods. The Chicago School played a very important role to develop social theories with empirical foundation. They focused on the city as social laboratory.

During those years, the significant trend was the migration of the people to the United Stated from different parts of the World as well as the movement of people from rural to big cities.
It was the time of great growth and significant changes with new opportunities however this mobilities caused social problems, like racism, homicide, suicide, poverty, which were created by the dynamics of the masses. Different people from different cultures and languages were forced to communicate with each other by the social environment.

The Chicago School developed a set of standard assumptions to solve the social problems. The main assumptions of the school were the quantitative methodologies, which were the only method to study on urban social phenomena. This approach was adopted from natural sciences, especially ecological science which is studied on the species behaviors in their environment. The city conditions and using qualitative methods and data brought great richness to the depth of the work. However, the subject was human and his changing nature and applicability of the quantitative data to real life became one of the School’s liability.