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Study of media helps us question anything, not everything.

Image Source: Hawkes, Liam. “The Culture Industry and the Death of Culture.” The Norwich Radical. April 15, 2016. https://thenorwichradical.com/2016/04/15/the-culture-industry-and-the-death-of-culture/

We are surrounded by media most of the time. Advertisements, articles, social media posts, new shows being recommended on Netflix – anytime we go out or plug in, we are shown a constant stream of new things to look at. Part of the reason I took this class was to gain a deeper understanding of what I am shown every day, and I certainly got that. Whenever we looked at a piece of media or the history of a type of media, there were many layers to pull back and often several different angles or lenses to look through. A lot of times, the media in question had a hidden purpose, or a subtle message. One of the main takeaways I got from taking a media and society course was how important it was to question or delve into what we consume. The image above shows a man surrounded by commands, as if all of the advertisements and marketing on packaging had been stripped down to its ulterior motives. The simplification and unmasking of media was portrayed in the film They Live. However, things are not quite so easy for us as for the man in the picture. We consume hundreds of different forms of media every day. One news program that we glance at for five minutes might have a dozen people behind it, each with their own agenda, from the people who paid for advertising to the expert panel to someone being interviewed. We have no magic sunglasses that show us the real meaning that went into a piece of media, and unlike in this image, creators of media do not place their true intentions in bold print on a white background. The takeaway cannot be as straightforward as “question everything.” There literally is not enough time. Instead, hopefully, study of media can at least give us the tools we will need when we need to question enough to make an informed decision. And the rest of the time, as we are surrounded by an endless stream of content, it’s okay to let some of it go unanalyzed.