Rationale

For Part 2 of my English course we studied language and mass communications. We viewed “Social Network”, a movie about Facebook and his creator Mark Zuckerberg in order to analyse how they both interact.

My written task is based on the movie mentioned above in combination with personal thoughts. We spent time in class discussing the way language is related to mass media and how they complement each other. A opinion column seemed to me the ideal type of text to write. I took ideas from the movie and mixed them with my own ones, so the final result was a text about the importance of friends in our lives. I inspired in the chilean literature teacher Cristián Warnken, because his opinion columns are concise and precise, and often related to his personal experiences. He humanises the speech, making the audience feel identified with the things he is talking about, I tried to use this resource in my written task: “I think we all know that mass media is anchored in our lives. From the moment we turn on the TV to see the news, on the radio on your way to university and even before sleeping, when you check on the Internet about Gaza strip conflict”. I also used metaphors to engage the audience and for an easier understanding of the message I was trying to transmit, which was “Advertisements don’t show the reality”.

In my personal opinion, I have accomplished the objective of Part 2 and understood the relation between language and mass media. I have examined different forms of texts, such as speeches and song lyrics. I am now conscious of the devices that people, who control mass media, use in order to persuade us and make us see a topic from their point of view.

Do we really need friends?

“Do we really need friends?” my best friend told me, and my answer was: “Of course we need them”.

He added: “Why?” so I replied: “because they can help us, they can teach us, they can support us, in other words we can learn from them”.

He said: “So, we need friends to survive”.

I did not answer.

That, my dear audience, was the moment I decided to become a sociologist. And now you have me here, giving a speech in Harvard about relationships and social networks. Since I left Harvard I’ve studied human behavior and how they interact with mass media. You may now be wondering: His friend was right? Can’t we live without friends? At the end of my speech, you’ll find the answer so pay attention!

I think we all know that globalization it’s part of our lives. From the moment we turn on the TV to see the news before school, on the radio on your way to college and even before sleep when you check if your crush answered your message. Consciously or not, all this sources of information form us an opinion, a point of view about some important issue. But there’s a problem. Not all sources of information are rich of objectivity and real facts. Have you ever thought when you are seeing the newspaper: “Is this real?”. If you have done that, that’s perfect! We must be active audience, we must think about what we are hearing. Of course there’s the person that says: “I’ve seen it on TV, so it must be true” or “They married on facebook, that means they are in a serious relationship now”. I would like to tell to those people, open your minds and eyes! Not everything mass media says is real, be a little bit smarter and analyze the information you are receiving. I know you are now thinking, what’s the connection between mass media and friends? That’s what I’m going to talk about immediately.

I remember university as the best years of my life, lot of parties, fraternities, friends, alcohol and couples. I know a lot of you are experiencing the same as I did. Mammals live in groups as wolves live in packs. As humans, the most important thing is to have a group, a group where you are accepted, a group with people you can trust. I encourage you, to make friends and try to be as much sociable and extroverted you can, because it’s the best time for you to meet people and make links that last a lifetime but never forget to be always you. It’s easy to identify the coolest guy or girl in the campus because it has hundreds of followers on twitter and even more friends in facebook. I was never on to being a cool guy. I known some classmates that were crazy for facebook friends and would kill for instagram followers and I was like: “Why so obsessed with being noticed on social networks?” and someone replied: “Because that makes you popular”, other added: “and accepted” and even the introverted guy in my class said: “and desirable”. I tried to convince them that not because having more friends nor followers on a social network will make them be more successful, because they were creating fake friends by acting like someone else instead of how they really were, and therefore they didn’t have any real group, but they didn’t listen.

Imagine a wolf, this wolf is very good at hunting so the others wolfs accept him in their group. One day, the wolf break his leg and is unable to hunt again, so it’s not longer “useful” so his mates decide to kick him out of their package, leaving the injured wolf condemned to live alone for the rest of his life. We can take that example and use it in the real world. Two days ago, I encountered a classmate that was like “the cool guy” in the campus while I was at Harvard and asked him to go for a coffee, I could notice that he was with a very low mood but accepted anyways.  I remember he was always surrounded with people and I started asking how they were, he replied that after college he lost contact with them, so I asked for other friends of him hoping for a different answer but the reply was the same. Each supposed friend he had abandoned him. After graduating he had no contacts, so it was impossible to find a well paid job or a decent job, all the vacancies were occupied. He’s now working on a retail company selling fast food, although he studied to be a doctor. I really hope that I made you reflect about the importance of real friends, and about the information that mass media gives us it’s not always true.

I hope after graduating you are not a lonely wolf condemned to live injured for the rest of your life.

Thanks for listening.

 

Writing Task

Dear Jamie Shea

                              In first place, you must quit your job NOW! What you are doing is totally unethical because you are using your language and authority to falsify facts, and by so doing to make war seem less evil than it really is. You are using language for suppressing and distorting the truth. The most shocking fact about war is that its victims and its instruments are human beings, which are condemn by the conventions of politics to murder or be murdered. Finding the reality of war too unpleasant to contemplate, people like you create a verbal alternative to that reality. Why are you encouraging people to go and fight for a cause that you believe it’s enough reason to go and kill others?. Why don’t you GO and FIGHT with them? Why don’t YOU take the RISKS that a war involves? Stop using your language to persuade others to fight for a cause that’s not theirs, it’s YOURS. The language you are using is designed to make it appear as though wars were not fought by individuals drilled murder one another without provocation, but either by impersonal and therefore wholly non-moral and impassible forces. Many of the people you are trying to “help”, are dying because of the WAR YOU SUPPORT. Quit your charge or be BRAVE enough to GO and FIGHT for YOUR beliefs instead of sending innocent people.

I hope you change your mind,

Adolus Huxley 

 

Writing Tips

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Tip 1!

Poor: “Over the past six years, each morning, as soon as my students walk in the door… I am so happy to see them again and see my classroom take on life again.” 

Corrected: “Each morning for the past six years, I have been happy to see my students walk through the classroom door.”

Explanation: The number of clauses was reduced by reorganizing the words, instantly making the reading more fluently and easy. Some phrases were removed such us “take on life again”, because they are implicit in the meaning of the corrected sentence.