When I was approached with this question, I was utterly confused. I was confused because I thought that both questions meant the same thing. It took long and hard thinking before I realized that getting the media we want or wanting the media we get are completely different ideas. To break down the question, I referred to chapter 3 of the text and thought ‘do I believe that media reflects or affects the world?’ and then I questioned ‘what type of media are we talking about?’. To narrow down the possibilities of my discussion I am exploring social media and how it reflects and affects the world. We want the media we get!

We not only want the media we get, but we are addicted to it. Social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube have over 1 Billion users, and I can assure you that they aren’t being forced to use them. “The media construct(s) and shape(s) our actions, our sense of who we are, our daily and annual routines” (pg. 44). Every morning when I wake up I check Facebook, Instagram, and occasionally Pinterest and Twitter before even getting out of bed! This is a daily routine I do by choice, and have been doing ever since I got my smartphone more than a year ago. Not only do I check my social medias in the morning, but I am constantly checking throughout the day when I have time or when I lose interest in something (sometimes in lecture, oops!). I know I am not alone in my social media habits, and it just goes to show how much we want the media we receive and how heavily if affects our daily lives.

So how does social media reflect the world and reflect me? When I post a photo or status on Facebook, I am projecting it to all my Facebook friends which subconsciously shows my personality and thoughts to everyone I know. What’s great about Facebook is that I only post things I want to show, giving me power over my social media. Who doesn’t want to feel in control of our media? This only makes us want the media we get more, because it’s usually positive feedback. “Media producers, texts, and audiences are all part of the social whole; they are not separate entities” (pg. 59). Basically, the people that design social media networks are real people too and they understand what the world wants because they are also a part of it. The creator of Facebook was a university student that had a great idea with the intent of connecting people around the world. He came up with the idea because he thought people would like it, and in return use it.

Understanding how social media affects and reflects me makes it easier to understand why I want the media I get. Do you check in on these social networks and want the media you get as well?

Text: Media and Society

Fifth Edition

Michael O’Shaughnessy

Jane Stadler