5 Day Diary
|Day||Media format||Title of the program||Length of viewership/use||Number of references||Positive||Negative||Neutral|
|1||Film||Gone baby Gone||2 hours||10||2||8||0|
|5||Radio||Breakfast Show||1 hour||1||0||1||0|
In the first day, the reference made to mental health had to do with one of the characters in the film who was a drug addict and a mother of a toddler at the same time. There was also a child molester whose preference was young boys (Affleck). His behavior was characteristic of a person having a mental problem. Another reference made to mental health was on Twitter where an organization that deals with the rehabilitation of drug addicts was advertising its services.
Examples of messages that had to do with suicide included information on Twitter regarding the increased rates of suicide among men and veterans in the United States. There was also a reference to the increased rate of incarceration and suicide among middle-aged men who had just gone through a brutal divorce that cost them all of their assets (Fjeldsted et al. 550). A skewed legal system is blamed for the spike in male suicides in the United States.
One of the messages that I coded as positive was on the first day when a character in the movie said that he had quit alcohol. This was after seeing the toll it was having on his work and family, and also when he said that he would rather break the law and have his niece live a good and promising life. Another positive message I got was on the third day on YouTube, where the presenter was encouraging the youth by telling them that there is no trouble too big to cause them to commit suicide or numb themselves with drugs. An example of a message that I coded as neutral was the one stating that time heals all wounds on the YouTube video. An example of a negative message was on a blog that claimed that gender relations are becoming very strained in the United States, leading greater numbers of broken homes and broken children.
Most of the messages were positive, and this was a sign that people are trying to encourage others using the media.
It was not difficult to categorize the messages, as the feeling they evoked was the one used to classify them. If a message gave a bad feeling or was alarming then it a negative one. If it was a reassuring message, then it was positive. If it elicited neither, then it was neutral.
The internet and the film media were more liberal in the messages passed across, as they were not under strict censorship as the radio was. The internet also seemed more objective, as there are no competing interests and it is to a certain degree less censored (Fourie, Bitso and Bothma 730). The blog seemed to have the most intense of the negative news compared to all other media while the film had most of the positive messages.
The media shapes the way we view the world and our opinions on issues such as love and politics. Marketing has used the media to influence our consumption habits. Hence, media is used to create a need in us for the products of the marketers. This can be done by cultivating on our biggest fears and concerns for the benefit of the corporations. Negative messages do this very efficiently.
This assignment has made me more self-aware, and it has also surprised me by revealing that I consumed a lot of messages from the media, some of which can shape my attitudes negatively.
Affleck, Ben. Gone Baby Gone. United States: The Ladd Company, 2007. film.
Fjeldsted, Rita, et al. “Suicide in Relation to the Experience of Stressful Life Events: A Population-Based Study.” Archives of Suicide Research 21.4 (2017): 544-55.
Fourie, Ina, Constance Bitso, and Theo J.D. Bothma. “Methods and Resources to Monitor Internet Censorship.” Library Hi Tech 32.4 (2014): 723-39.