As the course proceeds forward and the concepts of mass media are examined I can confidently declare that my comprehension of the materials introduced in class is quite strong. The fundamental points of the parts that are most important pertaining to mass media are fairly simple to grasp with the combination of my previous knowledge as I began the course. My relationship with media has most definitely changed since the start of the program. The awareness in the role that mass media plays in the daily lives of the majority throughout the nation as well as the world is quite overwhelming Prior to the course the influence that media has on shaping reality, perceptions, opinions, and behaviors of human beings makes me a bit uneasy.
It is not that the subject is something that I find depressing, but more so it is one that worries me for the sake of our humanity and empathy towards one another. Unfortunately the excessive media exposure responsible for disempowering images, messages, and stories is something that is damaging the psyche of so many people. The dysfunctional attitudes and actions of many unstable people is further encourages by the mass media portrayal and glamorization of negative topics that do not contribute positively to society. As stated in the Mass Media class textbook, based on “the cultivation theory media shapes how people view the world”, which is confirmation of the power and influence of mass media (Rodman,43). However, the flip side of this argument is that mass media can also be acknowledged for the great things that have occurred as a response to the exposure of stories that are publicized. For example, many of the recent unfortunate stories that have made news regarding the racial profiling and abuse by law enforcement against African Americans is something that hopefully with help create a change in this unjust system. The topic of mass media is one that can encourage both good and bad outcomes based on what is shown and what agenda the entities behind the information intend to fulfill.
Children’s books are a wonderful creation for engaging the love of reading while expanding the imagination and intellectual ability of the individual. The importance of reading is shown to benefit children in numerous ways and is suggested to be a part of the parent child relationship from as early an age as it can be. In my childhood, one of my absolute favorite things to do was read. Fortunately I had adults around me who had a passion for reading novels, which is something that I was exposed to frequently. I am guessing that one of the reason’s I was an early reader that took up reading books quite young was because of the activity of reading books was something that was common past time for my family.
One of my absolute favorite books that I cannot forget was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. I remember that it was the very first actual ‘thick’ book that I ever owned, as well as the first that I read from front to end (repeatedly!). It was during the Scholastics book orders that I always was so excited to receive from school that I was given permission to order the book. I was so completed enchanted by the unbelievable images that I would imagine about the way that the Wonka Factory looked. I remember getting so excited at the idea of something like this actually existing. My folks were quite surprised when they found out that I had read the entire book by myself because I was only in about first grade. I did not think it was a big deal, but looking back today, I would say that was quite impressive.
I cannot remember how many times I read and reread that book. I do recall that within about one year’s time, the book was visibly worn out. Yet I must have continued to read it just as enthusiastically because the pages began to come apart and I was so upset. I loved the way that I felt when I read that book. The clear sensation of feeling as if I was Charlie living through the experience is still so vivid to me. It was that book that taught me the wonderful experience that reading created. It gave me a chance to escape into a vivid fantasy world where I created the images in my mind’s eye through reading the incredible stories created by these brilliant writers. I will never forget that book and what it was for me, and such a young age. Thankfully it is why I have always been a bibliophile. To finish off my sentiment of my favorite childhood book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, “I am the maker of music, and the dreamer of dreams!” (Dahl).
Dahl, Roald, and Joseph Schindelman. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. New York: Knopf,
Rodman, George R. Mass Media in a Changing World. 4th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher
Education, 2012. Print.