Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Cup of Coffee with Reggie (1) - Media's Effect

A Cup of Coffee with Reggie is going to be a discussion post feature in which I discuss anything book-related. They're just normal (sometimes random) discussion posts that are named A Cup of Coffee with Reggie because it's like having a cup of coffee with me and listening (or in this case reading) my bookish opinions. It will be a random feature here at TUBL that can pop up anywhere from twice a day to twice a year. Most likely, it will be a tri-weekly post feature on my blog.



Today's Topic:

Does our perception of an exaggerated high school, affect our perception and our actions in a normal high school environment? Do we imitate what we see in the media?

Most (if not all) of the books in the young adult genre involve a school of some sort; boarding school, public school, private school, whatever. But most of the time, they're in a high school setting. When we think of high school, usually, cliques, popularity, mean girls, parties, and nerds all come to mind. All of these classifications and general ideas are planted and deeply rooted into our mindset by the media; namely books, movies, and magazines.

In real life, some of these things are completely true, others are not...some of them school myths. But as I observe and participate in my daily life as a sophomore in high school, I notice more and more that the things we see or read in the media, are affecting the way we behave in high school. There were never a lot of cliques in my school, but after the Mean Girls Movie stage and as the YA books began to boom, there became more and more stereotyping and generalizing in school.

So to answer the question, in my opinion, yes, we let the media influence are daily interactions and the inner dynamics of high school. In most books, high school is portrayed at a highly exaggerated level, making people think that it IS high school reality. But in truth, it isn't. The media has influenced the stereotyping, the generalizing, the decisions, and the judgments that high school kids make...no matter how big, or how small a difference.

What do you think? Do we let the media affect us? Or don't we? Let me know in the comments! Agree or disagree? I'd love to know either way!

4 comments:

Precious January 15, 2011 at 9:48 PM  

I agree too. In some ways, we really are affected by media, whether we like it or not, whether we know it's happening or not. I've never liked stereotyping because not everyone can be classified into a certain group. We're all unique and I think we have the right not to be labelled and limited to a certain point by how the majority of the people think. I resisted the typical groupings of high school. I'm not really a part of the popular group, but I'm not a part of the geeks or the bullied. I roll in my own way. I don't let people dictate what I do. And it's important to also 'filter' what media peeps sputter about or show us. Media is a very very effective medium. But in the process of communication, what's important is what message the receivers get. So it's important to filter all the info. Although it's fun to go with the flow of media. :)

Precious January 15, 2011 at 9:48 PM  

I agree too. In some ways, we really are affected by media, whether we like it or not, whether we know it's happening or not. I've never liked stereotyping because not everyone can be classified into a certain group. We're all unique and I think we have the right not to be labelled and limited to a certain point by how the majority of the people think. I resisted the typical groupings of high school. I'm not really a part of the popular group, but I'm not a part of the geeks or the bullied. I roll in my own way. I don't let people dictate what I do. And it's important to also 'filter' what media peeps sputter about or show us. Media is a very very effective medium. But in the process of communication, what's important is what message the receivers get. So it's important to filter all the info. Although it's fun to go with the flow of media. :)

Michelle January 15, 2011 at 10:51 PM  

I think the media can definitely affect us in a multitude of ways whether we're aware of it or not. Our perceptions are at times what they are because of what we've been told or observed.

I myself was terrified to start high school because of the way I had witnessed its portrayal in movies. Turns out that my high school was nothing like that at all. There were cliques but for the most part everyone talked to and affiliated with everyone. The jocks hung out with the band kids and so on and it was a pretty large school.

I think the reason everything is so exaggerated in novels and movies is because it makes for a more interesting plot and just all around adds more to the story. For stories to work there needs to be conflict and much of that when teens are involved can be derived from high school.

Then again everyone's experience is different as all schools vary. But like you I too agree that sometimes what we see in the media can affect our views and the ways we act which is unfortunate. We should always try to make up our own minds instead of accepting what it presented at face value.

Alex January 16, 2011 at 2:59 AM  

Also as a high school sophomore I feel the same way, and I am glad someone stepped up and talked about this. I agree 100% ! The media influences us a LOT and I think that is very sad to witness and sometimes be a part of.

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