Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Listen Up! Youth Media Network continued

Listen Up! Youth Media Network continued

Here is a video I found on suicide among teenagers. Watching this video made me feel very sad.


When teens talk back to the mainstream media via the Listen Up! space, they really want the viewers to pay attention to what is going on in the world. There are so many different issues that are being explored through the eyes of these teens. One issue is about body image. There is a video posted on this website in which a girl talks about body images in a negative perception. In terms of her negative perception, she talks about bulimia, anorexia, fat-free foods, etc. Most of these videos deal with negative stories just like that one. However, there are positive stories as well that portray teens in a more positive light. Overall, this website is great for teens because they can really express themselves in whatever way they choose to. It is all about their stories and their lives.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Helen Marie/Listen Up! Youth Media Network

Listen Up! Youth Media Network

This website is dedicated to certain teenagers who try to make a difference in their lives. The videos that they post on the website portray the high and low points in their lives. This is their way of "talking back" to people. Out of all the videos I watched, there are two that really stand out for me. The first video is on a boy named Will Quinones who is eighteen years old. He had a very difficult childhood which caused him to cut school. Now, he attends the High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology. He still has the urge to cut school but the decision to cut school does not come entirely from him. He is mainly influenced by his peers. It is that certain peer pressure from his friends that drives Will into making his decision. As time goes on for Will, he wonders if his life will ever be on the right track.
The second video is on young teenage girls from Baltimore, Maryland. They speak about different topics such as fashion, music, and fun activities. A couple of girls expressed their love for music. One girl said "My favorite song is "No Air" by Jordin Sparks and Chris Brown". A couple of other girls expressed what they like to do for fun. One girl said "On my spare time, I either watch YouTube or draw cartoons". I found that to be interesting because drawing is considered to be an old-fashioned activity. YouTube has only been around for a few years. One would think that young girls would be more interested in coloring pictures and designing their own art. However, in our world of advanced technology, things have changed.

When I was watching the videos, nothing confused me at all. I completely understand what this website represents. For the most part, I was looking into the lives of different teenagers and hearing what they had to say about certain things in their lives.

The first video relates to Thomas Hine's "The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager". Both of these stories emphasize the struggles that kids face in their lives. The second video relates to Lauren Greenfield's "Fast Forward Ten Years". Both of these stories emphasize different influences on young teenagers.

Overall, I feel that Listen Up! Youth Media Network is a great website for teenagers because they are able to share their perspectives on what their lives are like. Whether they share positive or negative stories, they represent who they are to the fullest.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Stephanie DiMaio, Kerri Libassi/Working Outline of Our Project

Working Outline of Our Project

- For our project, Kerri and I have already put together a list of questions we want to ask the
teens. We may incorporate some more questions into that list.

- This Tuesday, April 14th, Kerri and I are going to interview two to four teens at my house
sometime during the day. We are going to ask them questions on the media and how it relates
to college life. Basically, we want to know what the media teaches teens about college life.

- Then, sometime after the interview, Kerri and I are going to come up with some sort of a way
to present this topic in front of the class. The idea of having the class participate in our
presentation came to our minds but that idea is still being explored.

- After we decide on what we want to do, we will finally work on the electronic part of our
presentation and prepare some sort of a handout to go along with our presentation as well.
We will make sure that we have handouts for everyone in the class.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Henry Jenkins, Discussion: MySpace and Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA)/Gabriel Sherman, Testing Horace Mann

Discussion: MySpace and Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA)/Testing Horace Mann

In the MySpace article, Henry Jenkins expresses that MySpace can be a very public online communication tool. It has its perks but there is a downside to it as well. People of all ages are using MySpace and that is a cause of concern. Jenkins says, "In some cases, teens and adults have developed different notions of privacy: young people feel more comfortable sharing aspects of their lives (for example, their sexual identities) that previous generations would have kept secret. In some cases, teens do not fully understand the risks of making certain information public.". The sexual images and images of underage drinking are another cause of concern. The point is that MySpace can be an easy accessible tool for people with hidden agendas.
In Gabriel Sherman's article, he expresses upon the risks of using MySpace and Facebook. He points out that these sites should be separated from school communities because teachers and students can get easily affected by them. It is easy for students to make derogatory comments on teachers by using these online tools. They figure that, by going online, they can get away with a lot more. It is easier for them to sit behind a laptop than to actually face their teachers in person. Personally, I feel that certain behavior is downright wrong and cowardly.

When I was reading both articles, nothing confused me at all. I understood the messages behind these articles. The first article relates to Marc Prensky's Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants because they both touch upon generations of people in the media world. The second article relates to one of the articles I found on media literacy. The article is called Why is Media Literacy Important from Wikiversity. Both of these articles touch upon the relationships between students and teachers. Overall, I have to say that I do not use MySpace because I have no interest in using it. However, I do use Facebook. I am very careful with how I use it and I enjoy being on it. Recently, I became "friends" with three actors from my favorite soap opera, "The Young and the Restless". That made me very happy.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Will Dunham, Associated Press, Agence France-Presse/Teenagers in the News

Teenagers in the News

The first news story I found is on the rate of teen births in the United States. This article is by Will Dunham. Dunham points out that the birth rate among teenage girls has increased within the past four years. The reason behind this is that teenage girls focus more on sex and focus less on contraceptives. The problem is that these teenage girls are not getting the proper education regarding sex. Dunham says, "Some experts blame the teen birth rate increases on the government's support for "abstinence-only" education under the Bush administration that left office in January, but advocates of that approach have defended it as sound.". Dunham also points out that the only "good" thing relating to this matter is that the rate of premature births and low birthweight babies has declined which is good to hear. The second news story I found is on the comparison of teen tanning to underage smoking. This article is by the Associated Press. In Texas, there is a law that might be passed stating that anyone under eighteen years old must have a doctor's note before using a tanning bed and, also, that a parent must be with their child in the salon. A lawmaker is trying to point out that the effects of tanning are the same when it comes to the effects of smoking. They both provide the same risk for cancer. Rep. Burt Solomons says, "In the United States and Texas, we don't allow our teens to purchase cigarettes until after they are 18 because it is a carcinogen. Yet we don't do that for tanning beds, which can expose teens to the same risk of cancer.". I feel that this bill is a logical plan because teens, whether it be girls or boys, are at potential high risks of getting skin cancer and something has to be done about that. The third news story I found is on explicit song lyrics linked to sex among teenagers. This article is by the Agence France-Presse, which is the French Associated Press. This is a common problem we see today because it seems that sex is constantly used in different song genres mainly in hip hop. The lyrics pertaining to sex in hip hop music has direct influences on teenagers. Whether it be pop music or hip hop music, the lyrics can be too "oversexed" or just downright degrading. Degrading lyrics portray males having complete sexual domination over females and that is not what we want teens to hear. They can take that with them and use it to their advantages when they choose to have sex.

When I read these articles, nothing confused me at all. I understood everything that was depicted in these stories. From what our class has read so far, Tricia Rose's The Hip Hop Wars has a relation to the story on the explicit lyrics. Both of these articles are expressed upon the influences of music on teenagers. Overall, each of the news stories I read are engaging and very informative.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Lauren Greenfield/Fast Forward Ten Years

Fast Forward Ten Years

In this reading, Lauren Greenfield emphasizes on the glamourized world through the eyes of pre-teens and teenagers. She expresses that they seem to be "hypnotized" by what they see in front of them. Her main idea is that the media mainly influences their lives. She says, "The popularity of reality television and the phenomenon of the "web cam" have glorified celebrity as a worthy and attainable goal for young people.". That has basically become a part of their everyday lives.
Today, it is obvious that young girls look up to people like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. There are some cases when some of the girls really admire them because of their talent. However, I feel that the majority of teenage girls just look up to them because of the way that they present themselves. Britney and Christina can also be known for their style which is suggestively sexy. Greenfield says, "Precocious sexuality among teens and pre-teens is now a familiar part of the cultural fabric.". I have to say that I agree with that because this has become more popular than ever before.

One thing I do not understand is why people like Britney and Christina are absent from this reading. The right people pertaining to this reading are present but it is the actual influences on the people that are missing. In my perspective, the influences are people like Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie. While I was looking at the photos from the reading, I did not see anyone like that. Also, I did not see any pop stars.

This reading does relate to Thomas Hine's reading. They both express upon influences and how they can affect a teenager's life. Whether it be family members or glamourized celebrities, they are the ones who have a big impact on teenagers' lives. Even Tricia Rose's text has a connection to Greenfield's text. They both express upon the economic side of the media. Whether it is buying a 50 Cent CD or purchasing a J-Lo jacket, teenagers are always excited by what their favorite singer or role model has for them.

I really enjoyed reading Greenfield's work because, I too, am fascinated with the media as she is. The media is part of everyday culture that will continue to be existent for generations to come.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Curtis Sittenfeld/Prep


In Prep, Curtis Sittenfeld expresses upon the idea of negligence towards outcasts. He expresses that, even though people make mistakes, they can still be judged for making them. The main character in Prep, Lee Fiora, is a primary example. She had to face her classmates because of one mistake her teacher made. Even though Lee was not the one who made the mistake, she was still being criticized for it. She says, "I would never have friends; the best I'd be able to hope for from my classmates would be pity.". I think that Sittenfeld is trying to say that neglecting people in a certain situation like that is not the way to resolve a matter.

I understood this story very well. There was nothing that confused me. It did not throw me off at all.

So far, we have not really talked about neglecting teenagers in class. However, it is a significant topic concerning them and it would be interesting if it was addressed more in class.

I have to say that this story made me think about teenagers deserving respect. They deserve to be heard and not get shut out by anyone. They are still trying to find themselves and I bet that it is not easy for them.