Mommy, I want that!

Let me set up a scene for you that I am sure you have seen once in your life. 

Not a good look.

You are shopping at a store one day, minding your own business and then you hear it; the sounds of a child having a temper tantrum because they want something from the store and their parent is saying, “No”.  The child is screaming their head off and crying as if this toy was the best thing in the world.  They “need” it right now; there is nothing else that will ever compare to this one specific item.

Have you ever seen that kid?  If you have, have you ever thought, where did this infatuation with the item come from?  Well let me tell you, it comes from advertisements.  They are a bigger influence on children than their parents.  It is sickening how much commercials and advertisements can get inside a child’s head and they feel like they need items.  It is as comparable to a silly commercial song getting stuck in our heads for days on end.

However, companies are not only using commercials to get their products inside kids’ heads.  They are now using fast food restaurants, clothes, cereal boxes, video games and internet sites. 

A meal and advertisments. Best of both worlds!

One quote from Consuming Kids that I thought was interesting was, “commercials are so 20th century”.  Like using commercials are so old school, nobody uses commercials anymore; since there are so many other new and exciting ways to get their products and advertisements into the hearts of children everywhere.

Usually a parent can control the usage of kid’s exposure to these advertisements.  They do not have to buy their kids the cereal boxes and they can censure what their child watches and how they use the internet.  But they cannot control what goes on before and during school.  Companies are getting even more creative with advertising; they are using radio stations on the bus and channels on the schools’ televisions to advertise their products.  Also, stores like Pet Co and Sports Authority are sponsoring field trips for school classes to come to their store during a school day to see what they sell.

Our economy was in a recession recently, but I do not understand how that happened with how much kids and tweens have bought in the past couple of years.  Billions and billions of dollars have gone to items targeted to kids and tweens.  I cannot remember what it was like being a kid and wanting something “that bad”.  Just on what your friends have or wanting to give your social status a boast.  But I think that advertisers are making it harder and harder for kids to stop the obsession of wanting.  It is getting out of control and if it doesn’t slow down soon; two year olds will have iPads.  And nobody wants that to happen, but maybe that technology advanced 2 year old!


Can I get alittle privacy please?!

“I have as much privacy as a goldfish in a bowl.” -Princess Margaret

Imagine being this goldfish

Imagine being watched 24/7.  People watching your every move and everything you say.  Or having all your mistakes documented for the whole world to see.  This is what celebrities have to deal with day after day.  Once a celebrity is in the spotlight for one second, they are watched like a hawk by paparazzi and news reporters.  Making sure they get the best pictures of the celebrity, or the private information and tell it to the whole world. 

I feel that if people want to be famous and rich, they should know that it comes with consequences.  Which are being watched 24/7 and photographers taking your picture weather it is good or bad.  However, I do think there is a line that news reporters should not cross.  And one of those things is not hack jacking into celebrities’ phone conversations.  Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened to Sienna Miller.

Need a key??

The reporter hacked into her voicemails for over a year.  These voicemails were about her, her family and her ex-boyfriend, Jude Law.  The reporter would then make up stories from the voicemails and enlighten the whole world about her information.  Miller is accusing them of “outrageous violations of privacy”. 

The News of the World publicly announced that they were eavesdropping on voicemails of Miller and other celebrities.  They will pay for how many amounts of “justifiable claims” that they owe.  News of the World publicly apologized about what the reporter did; however Miller is not accepting it and is not dropping the law suit against News of the World. 

This law suit is ongoing, Miller’s lawyer; Mark Thomson is waiting for more information from News of the World before he decides what he and Miller wants to do.

Most of the time paparazzi can get away with what they do to public figures, based off of what is written in the First Amendment.  They have the freedom of press and speech.  However, in this case I believe News of the World went against The Privacy Act of 1974.  This act protects a public disclosure about an individual from being released unless they have written consent that it is true.  In this case, News of the World obviously did not have written consent from Sienna Miller to write stories about her and her loved ones.



Very clear directions on where to get tickets!!

Tigerfest, is the most well-known event that all students and even teachers look forward to every year.  It has everything you could possibly think of to have a good time.  For example, famous bands, inflatables, games and a beer garden for the lucky ones over 21.  This event is probably the biggest event that Towson holds every year; Towson spent a lot of time and money to make this event perfect. 

Making Tigerfest as famous as it was was not easy; Towson CAB has done a very good job promoting the event and everything that goes on during the day.  They get the students excited to buy tickets and participant in the festivities.  For weeks prior to Tigerfest there were posters, signs, flyers all around campus and many articles in the Towerlight that informed the students where and when Tigerfest was taking place.  These promotions were a great way to get the basic logic out to students and to get them excited to buy tickets for them and their friends.  In addition, CAB promoted Tigerfest by selling t-shirts!  The t-shirts were very attractive and once one student has an amusing t-shirt, you know that their friends and classmates will want the same thing.  Because who wants to be left out?  This source of promotion was a great strategy on behalf of CAB.

Selling t-shirts on the beach!

I definitely think that CAB did an excellent job promoting Tigerfest 2011.  I know this from first-hand experience because I was one of the many who read all the articles/updates and bought the t-shirt, just because I was excited for the event.

They got the basic information to the students, nobody could walk into a building on campus without seeing signs for the event and for anyone who reads the campus newspaper, Towerlight they knew about Tigerfest because there were multiple articles about the event that were on the front page. Also people got to see promotions on other people by looking at the entertaining t-shirts.  CAB was getting money from the t-shirt sales and getting promotion by students wearing them.

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain” – Dolly Parton

That is exactly what happened on the day of Tigerfest. There a really bad lightning storm and the whole event and main band had to be moved inside to the Towson Center.  Many students were not happy about this change because the band took a while to set up everything again.  Towson CAB did not handle it very good either because they were sending out wrong information to the students about the lineup and the times the bands were going to perform.  So that would be the only thing I think they should have improved on.  If they wanted to promote a change in the event that very same day, they needed to make sure that the information they were giving out were correct and clear.

Freshman Tigerfest= SUCCESS!

Even with the lightning cliché, I believe that many students were satisfied with the day and the amazing event.  I know that I had the best time and I am looking forward to having three more years of Tigerfests to participant in!

Who cares about that movie, let’s talk about that Product Placement?

You know that special apple shape with a bite missing on the right side and the stem not connected to the apple?  You will see it on any Mac product, iPhones, iPads, and iPods and pretty much in any movie you have seen in the past ten years.  When you see this symbol in a movie it is not there on accident, it is actually an advertisement for Apple Corporation.  Many companies are experts at getting their products in famous movies, television shows or anything an audience is going to watch and remember. 

The Infinite Apple Symbol

In the past two years Apple products have been located in 50 movies, most of them hitting Number 1 in the box office.  For example, “Iron Man 2”, “The Social Network”, “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” and even in the famous cartoon movie, “Toy Story 3” have all shown Apple products to their audiences.  Almost all movies have some sort of product placement because it is giving money to the company and to produce the movie, everyone wins!

I just went to the theatres on Mother’s Day to watch the movie, “Something borrowed” and throughout the whole movie I was pointing out product placement to my sister and mom.  At one point they both told me to stop because it was ruining their experience. Sorry guys!  Just wanted to point out all the exciting and interesting things I have learned in the best class Introduction to Mass Communications! 

Drinking Pepsi

This movie had lots of product placements, just to name a couple: Sprint, Pepsi, Dunkin Donuts and Heineken beer.  Some of these products are even located in the trailer for the movie.  A trailer that is on television for everyone to see and a trailer that is on before you watch another movie in the theatres. 

One example of product placement that I loved was when the main character was going to get into a cab after a club scene.  Once it rolled up to pick her up, on top of the taxi in big, bold letters said

This is what I saw on top of the taxi!

“Sprint” with the Sprint design next to it.  And of course, she had one of the most important conversations in the whole movie right in front of that taxi.  It was a perfect scene to have product placement because the scene had everyone’s attention.  Also, after the movie that one scene was the scene that everyone talked about leaving the movie theatre.  It was very smart of the producers to have that taxi there during that conversation.   

I believe the placement of products from Apple, Nike and Pepsi have the best success on being remembered.  This is because audiences have been exposed to Nike and Pepsi their whole live;, so they know the products’ logos and can relate to the characters in the movie or television shows.  And for Apple, their products have become such a big phenomenon in our society today that everone is drawn to that apple symbol.

“YES” Such a simple word, but holds so much meaning.

 “Do you believe in God?”  If your life depended on your answer to that question; what would you say?  Would you answer “no” because that is what the killer wants or would you say “yes” and risk getting shot and dying for your faith.  

Well, Cassie Bernall’s life was taken away because she answered, “Yes” to that powerful question. Her devastating story is told in a very sad and overwhelming non-fiction book called, She Said Yes: The Unlikely Martyrdom of Cassie Bernall

My mother is a teacher and when she heard about the Columbine shooting, she was very distraught and could not believe that just a couple of teenagers could take so many lives. By her being a teacher, it scared her, to think that students could kill their own teachers, friends, even enemies.  So of course, when She Said Yes came out and became popular she automatically went to the store and bought it.  Since the news story behind Cassie’s book story was so well-known, more people were interested in reading about what it was like to be in that school on that historic day.  After my mother read it, she offered it to me as a very insightful and inspiring book.  After reading it I got an insight on what Cassie’s family went through on April 20, 1999 and the weeks after.

She Said Yes changed my outlook on life and the importance of faith and family. Before even reading the book, as a reader I understood the background of the story.  However, this story goes deep within one of the lost lives and the whole Bernall family’s reactions on losing Cassie.  Each chapter is about a different person’s perspectives, thoughts and what happened to them on that fateful day. 

When I read the chapter about Cassie’s brother and how he luckily was able to get out of the school by running and never looking back.  Hoping and praying that his sister got out too, until later  finding out the worst, that she wasn’t that lucky. 

Cassie's Family

While reading about what was going through his head while running out of the school, how he was positive that Cassie got out and what he was thinking when he found out that she was dead; I was crying. Just because it was his sister, his own blood, his best friend dead; while he was lucky enough to get away.  It made me think about those precious last moments they had together.  Maybe saying to each other, “Have a good day” or “See you after school” just like they had any other day however not knowing that that would be the last time they would talk or see each other again.  This story taught me to always appreciate my family and the times we spend together because you never know when it will be the last.

Many people have been inspired from Cassie’s story, because it showed people not to be scared of being outspoken about their faith.  To hear that a teenager was threatened with death is scary and heartbreaking. However, Cassie looked death right in the eye and stated her faith proudly.  She was not afraid of what would happen because she had trust in God.  Her story was so overwhelming and pure, that a band Flyleaf made a song about her story called, “Cassie”.  The song’s lyrics are so raw and honest, they are very inspirational.

Columbine Memorial

This story definitely influenced the types of books I am interested in now.  This is because I love reading about real events and the people who went them.  I think that the right kind of non-fiction books are very motivating and can teach anyone  morals about life.  It devastates me that there are such stories out there; I wish that none of these events had to happen to make such stories.  However, when an incident like this happens, there are always so many moving and encouraging stories to read about and learn from.

Man, I Wish I Lived in a Disney Movie!

“Don’t stop believing”, “True love conquers all”, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”.  These are all sayings that everyone has heard a million times throughout their life. Even though these are good, wholesome quotes.  Does it ever get annoying to you? Because it does for me.  I am nineteen years old and people are still telling me this stuff, ALL THE TIME.  After a while, I started to wonder where we get these ideas?  Well I could answer that in one word… Disney. 

All of the classic Disney movies are famous for having themes/lessons that are supposed to teach you something special.  Movies like Beauty and the Beast and Pocahontas have the theme of “you should look at a person for what is on the inside not what they look like”. All of these traditional themes are things that children should learn at a early age, because they are actually really important and we need more people following these lessons in our society today. 

It is 2011 and the world is the furthest thing from a Disney movie.  Our world today is doing the opposite of what Disney taught us.  All people are doing are judging others, which results to people killing themselves last year.  They took their lives away due to the fact that people were making fun of who they are.  Here is a news report about one girl being harasshed by bullies.  If we lived in a Disney movie, then people would accept each other based off their character.

Why can't this always happen?

However, Disney is also known for their stereotypes that they show in their movies. For example, good vs. evil and specifics of gender roles.  I can really relate to this, because I truly believe that everything will have a happy ending.  And I think that entirely based off of Disney movies.  It has definitely been a very hard thing to overcome but I have started to realize that not everything ends happy; life is not a Disney movie.

Some things just do not work out the way you want it to.  Where actually the Pixar movie “Up”, it does a good job at showing how sometimes things do not always end the way people want it to.  In this clip, it shows the marriage between Ellie and Carl, and all their obstacles that they had to overcome and the strains that life throws at you when you least expect them. 

 The first time I watched this scene I was when I was babysitting and I almost started crying.  This is because I understood and comprehended what was going on, why he was so upset.  However the little girl I was babysitting said to me, “What is going on? Why are you so sad?”  She could tell it was something sad by the way I reacted and the music in the scene but she did not fully understand what was going on. But she loved all the other scenes. Disney has perfected the way they can connect to kids and adults.  They make it enjoyable for all ages, because Disney knows that parents are going to watch the movie with their children.

All in all, The Disney Company has taught me and my generation a lot of valuable lessons and culturally themes with films like Mulan, Pocahontas and Aladdin.  If I made a pro/con list of if Disney is a positive influence or not, there would definitely be more pros on my list!

SAMHSA is “making moves” on Social Networking Sites!

“Facebook, Facebook, I need it!”  This is probably what every teenager is thinking after a long day of work or school without the internet.  Social networking sites are very addicting, which is why I believe that these sites have impacted our lives in so many ways.

Everyone goes on these sites for hours at a time and by doing this we have changed our generation’s communication skills and how we interact with our peers.  Due to all the abbreviations like lol (laughing out loud) and brb (be right back).  Our generation does all its “talking” online; so when we get out in public in the real world, it is hard for us to be vocal and outspoken about our thoughts and beliefs.

The Vocabulary of the Internet

Social networking sites have also impacted the classroom; our grammar skills have decreased and how you talk to authority.  People are not as formal as they should be to teachers/adults because of the way they talk online.  The way you talk online and to authority are definitely two different lanuages.

 And college students; what distracts you the most from school work?  That’s right; the answer is most likely: Facebook.  This is because instead of doing homework or studying for a test, students are “Facebook creeping” or looking up funny videos on YouTube.

“Extra! Extra! Read all about it!” this is what children would yell on the street corner in the 1880’s.  This was a strategy newspapers companies used, to get their word out about their product.  Thankfully, the technology has improved since then, and now companies do not need to do this.  Instead they use advertisements on social networking sites.  Since so many people have a Facebook or a Twitter account, it makes it a lot easier to get the companies’ message across to buy their product or to go to their event.  This strategy is very effective because so many people acknowledge the advertisement and then buy the product.     

The use of social networking sites is increasing every day.  What else is increasing? That would be, the percentage of people abusing alcohol and drugs.  Well, SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) has tried to solve this problem, by making help available on social networking sites.  That’s right on the same sites, that you can see what your best friends are doing, creep on your frienemies’ pictures and watch funny videos; you can also learn about substance abuse and ways to prevent it from happening to you.

Want to learn about substance abuse and behavior health? SAMHSA has made it possible! People who are connected on the social network sites; Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Flickr can communicate about drugs and behavior health.  They are hoping that this program will “increase and improve communications with the behavioral health field, public and nonprofit organizations, the recovery community, and other audiences and individuals concerned with substance abuse and mental health issues.”  Just like many other companies, SAMHSA has found a way to promote their thoughts and have given people a way to get better, using the social networking sites.

I am a “Say No to Drugs” kind of girl.  And I think that everyone else should follow this saying as well.  However, I am realistic and I know that people use drugs.  These people need to be educated about the effects on substance abuse and the stories of others that have gone through relatable problems. 

And SAMHSA is making it more available to those people who need help.  They are doing this by giving them new ways to get information, how to prevent the addiction and the treatment that can help.  The coolest thing about making this stuff available on social networking sites is that people cna talk with one another about their stories, and how they overcame the problem.  It is very inspirational and gets people’s hopes up that one day they too can get past abusing drugs.

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