Response essay about payoffs of processing media mindfully?


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Read the following excerpt from Heidi Carr’s dissertation, Purpose-Driven Media Literacy: An Analysis of the Costs and Benefits of Developing and Applying Media Literacy in Daily Life, and respond to the following question (include a summary of the passage in your response) with a approximately 450-650 word essay:

the passage to summrize :


The Problem with a Media Illiterate Society




Admittedly, many people already do select and process media messages with a greater awareness of the media industry and its effects on individuals and society. While doing so requires extra effort and mental energy that is not always desirable to expend, for a variety of reasons these people are already self-motivated to consciously sort through and critically analyze media messages. In contrast, most people select and process media messages less consciously with little regard for the effects of those exposures (Potter, 2004). Potter refers to this latter state as “automaticity.” He argues that, for most people, this defines their default state of information processing, especially in an age where an overwhelming information overload makes it difficult to mindfully process media messages.






Automaticity exists because people are either too tired to raise their levels of conscious information-processing, or they want to do so but do not have the knowledge or skills to do so. When people do not have to exert too much mental effort during media exposures, experiences are relatively pleasant, which makes this a natural and easy choice for information processing. Ironically, reaching this state of effortless thinking is also desirable if it means a procedural task has been mastered, which can mean less demands on our attention and cognitive resources (Sweller, 1988). Mastering higher-order critical thinking to the degree that it could be performed in a state of automaticity would be a worthy goal for comprehensive media literacy training. However, it would a very difficult achievement for the average person because the cognitive toll is high. People with advanced levels of media literacy may be able to practice effortless mindful processing during media exposures, but most people, especially introductory level media education students, could not.


The problem with constant automatic processing, according to Potter (2004), is that the media stand in a position of control over interpretations, defining for the audience member “what news is, what entertainment is, and how to solve problems with advertising” (p. 11) and “profoundly [shaping] the way we think about health, body image, success, relationships, time, and happiness” (p. 10). Additionally, he suggests, people do not often recognize the potential to control their own exposures and the effects of those exposures on them.


In a society where the mass media occupy volumes of our cultural, political, and social spaces, processing messages automatically (rather than mindfully) comes with some high costs. According to Potter (2004):




Because the media have a very different motive for presenting their messages than


we have for receiving them, we end up satisfying the media’s goals at the expense


of our own. Thus, we risk misperceiving the real world and misunderstanding its


true nature. (p. 3)




Potter explains that when we have little awareness of media effects, of the process of influence, and of our own selves, it is the media that tell us what is important and who we should be. This can negatively affect our feelings and our actions, and is especially problematic when most of the U.S. media are controlled by a handful of transnational profit-seeking conglomerates.


Because of loose regulation, U.S. media have unwieldy, unfair, and unrepresentative political, economic, and social power. The problem with this situation is that a very narrow range of choices for meaning exist from which we make sense of the world and our place in it. Further, without media literacy, people lack both an understanding of how that narrow palette affects us and a drive to do something different with their media exposures and their cognitive processing of those exposures. Specifically, they are not mindful of the media choices they make and the way in which those choices may or may not serve their best interests, and as a result, they are not media savvy and see no reason to be. Potter predicts that, with increased media literacy knowledge and skills, an individual will understand more about the payoffs of processing media content mindfully and how such payoffs can often outweigh the costs.



What are some of the “payoffs of processing media mindfully”?  Cite personal examples.


I have posted the dissertation inn the attachments, it must opened in PDF .


i need it in MLA format , for thr quoting and pharaprasing.

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