How to Approach Web Literacy in The New Generation of The Internet

By Alex Lopez

Let’s start with the big question, “What is web literacy?” According to Wikipedia, “Web literacy comprises the skills and competencies needed for reading, writing and participating on the web.” But what does that mean in a practical sense? To sum it up, it’s knowing and understanding how to fact-check information, and why/when to do so. 

We take in countless amounts of information each and every day through social media and news outlets. The problem with this is we typically visit those websites for entertainment, rather than for deep learning. So when we see that a friend or somebody we follow has reposted an article, we take in information from the headline, sometimes a quick skim through. Speaking from experience and talking to fellow peers, 90% of the time we either believe the information we read as true, or dismiss it entirely. We think to ourselves, “Why would a friend post a fake article?” 

Now I’m not trying to say you shouldn’t trust your friends, family or followers. The problem here lies with the news sources themselves. They want you to believe what they’ve posted, otherwise they wouldn’t be posting it in the first place.

This might all seem confusing and overwhelming, so let’s break it down by using an example.

You’re scrolling through your Twitter feed and notice that your friend has posted an article: “Snoop Dogg Leads Worship At Local Megachurch.” It sounds fairly interesting, but you just don’t have time to read it right now. Frankly, you don’t know much about Snoop Dogg, you aren’t familiar with the source of the article, but you trust your friends, so you assume it’s be true. 

This article is indeed fake. It’s posted by “The Babylon Bee,” a satirical news source created to spark a conversation with bizarre headlines. 

Of course this was a rather humorous and simple example, but this type of thing can happen to all of us at any time with headlines that read more seriously.

When it comes to my generation, it seems like we’re all taught the same key things in our high school English/Literacy classes. When researching information for a project, the main points are always to:

  1. Never use Wikipedia.
  2. Only trust websites that end in “.gov” or “.net.”
  3. You must spend at least 20 minutes in order to truly verify a source.

The problem with these three points is that it’s put the notion in our minds that checking the validity of a source takes significant amounts of time and effort, and that it can’t be done in a pinch. But being in a time period where we’re taking in more information than ever before and faster than ever before, we must reconsider these “staples” to researching. Let’s break down each point one by one.

Never trust Wikipedia. This was the main point in researching that always bothered me as a high school student. We have a website that has all this information about a topic, and we aren’t allowed to use it. When I asked my teachers why that is, it always comes down to this: “Wikipedia articles are open for anyone to edit, so it shouldn’t be trusted as a reliable place to look in case of false information.” While I understand this logic, it’s missing an entire side of the equation. Because Wikipedia is so open, it allows anybody to give valuable information to a topic that they likely know a lot about. 

There are two main reasons why somebody would write/pitch in to a Wikipedia article. Either they’re super passionate about a topic and want to share it with others, or they dislike something enough to throw off the public’s perception of said thing. The main focus in schools is on the second option, and with good reason! If anybody is able to publish incorrect information about something/someone, it’s better to not use the source at all, right? But there’s a missing piece to this concept:

Wikipedia is highly regulated to prevent this type of thing from happening. 

SinceWikipedia has developed through the years and become increasingly popular, they have added methods to make sure that most (if not all) of its information is correct. Every time something is added, it must first go through the community’s editors to verify what has been posted. If it is detected that a user is adding false information to a topic with malicious intent, Wikipedia will ban them from the website, and track the user’s IP address so that they can’t just make a new account and do it again.

In order for it to be as expansive as it is, it has to be open to everyone. Wikipedia puts in a lot of effort to make sure it’s information is accurate.

Now on to the second point: Only trust websites that end in “.gov” or “.net.” The main argument for this is that websites that end in ‘.com’ or ‘.org’ can be created by anyone, and are often used for generating a profit. This is a broad generalization about these websites. The fact is, most websites use the ‘.com’ domain because it’s the easiest to create. You don’t have to be a professional, government organization to have a website. It can be created by an upcoming business or someone who just wants to share their knowledge with others.

There are plenty of great, well-trusted news sources that use this domain. To claim that these websites only exist to make money is like claiming that every restaurant only exists to make money. Of course, that is a big focus and is obviously important. But the restaurant also wants to serve great food and provide an excellent experience to their customers.

In order to make money, they have to provide great content first.

A lot of news outlets do want to make money, they’re all a business at the end of the day. But that’s not the only reason why the website was created in the first place. Like a restaurant, they must provide quality content that is true and reliable in order to attract advertisers to support the business. This isn’t to say there aren’t bad restaurants out there too! It’s just important to consider that money isn’t the only motive at play here.

So how can we accurately verify information? What are the new steps? Let’s go back to our original example, “Snoop Dogg Leads Worship At Local Megachurch.” The first step is to quick-check the source. Wikipedia can be a fantastic way of doing this, and most importantly, it can be done in a pinch. You can quickly click on the link and see that it’s from “The Babylon Bee” then look for that source on Wikipedia: 

The Babylon Bee is a news satire website that publishes satirical articles on religion, politics, current events, and well-known public figures.” So, there’s our answer. The story comes from a satirical news source that emphasizes religion and celebrities. 

But say we wanted to take this verification a little further. The next step is to google the headline. A lot of the time, an article will be reposted by other websites in order to attract traffic to their site rather than the original. Simply put, they’re stealing the story. It’s common when something is reposted by a different news source, they might end up twisting the story or leaving out important details. Leading you, the reader to believe something about a story that isn’t true for the sake of the website generating more clicks. In order to combat this, we can simple copy and paste the headline into google, and take a look at the first few sources that come up. We can either “quick-check the source” on those new websites or we can click on them to see if any of them cite the original publication source. It’s a simple way to make sure you’re getting information from the right place without all the twisted details.

You may have noticed I skipped an explanation of the third original research point, “You must spend at least 20 minutes in order to truly verify a source.” This is because I believe these new steps listed above can be done in a pinch. One of the biggest problems with the previous ways of fact-checking is that it simply took too much time to do. We are constantly moving through information, taking it all in quicker than before. Because of this, we need to be able to verify whether a source is reliable within minutes. If we are told that we must spend half an hour to make sure sources are correct, we aren’t going to be able to learn as much as we do, and we’ll often skip verifying a source at all because it’s just easier. If the new generation of students are presented with a method of fact-checking that can be done without wasting much time, we will be a much better educated generation that can process all the of the information we’re taking in as quickly as it’s being received.


Observations of Chinese Culture Portrayed in Media

In the modern society, people can easily receive massive information and messages because of the development of technologies. I’ve also watched many TV shows and movies, but I’d never thought about how those cultural traits are interpreted by people who grow up in different cultures. I want to see how Chinese culture is played in shows in a different society. I originally wanted to do Asian culture to be my topic, and I realized it was too broad since it includes many different cultures, so I decided to focus on Chinese culture.

In my opinion, Chinese culture is more conservative and strict according to what I was taught. Many classic works of literature generally tell people to be humble, polite, frugalness and satisfying what they currently have instead of having strong desires. The other way to describe can be that Chinese people believe that a good person should be able to restrain its desires and control its behaviors.

Although cultural aspects and elements are good and positive, it’s not always be interpreted in positive ways. Frugalness can be a good example of having negative impacts by over fulfilling it. I’ve seen many cases of being greedy for small advantages. Those people try to save money as much as they can, and it leads them to be greedy. One thing which is confusing me is that it’s often to see Chinese people being selfish and self-center in media, and it contradicts my idea toward Chinese culture. When I see news about Chinese people acting ridiculously in media, I really wonder why they are acting like that. I’m also thinking what impacts may be caused by the phenomenon in different society.

I started looking for TV shows and movies which are played in Western society, and I wanted to see what stereotypes and traits are portrayed in media. As I watched more TV shows and movies, I noticed comedy often includes jokes which may be a bit offensive from other perspectives since it’s made for amusing audiences, so I think comedy includes more information to talk about.

I will be discussing some stereotypes and traits which I’ve watched in media and connecting to reviews which enhance and inspire me of the understanding about them.


Silicon Valley

The first source which I chose was Silicon Valley which is made by John Altschuler, Mike Judge, and Dave Krinsky, and it’s broadcasted on HBO. There is a Chinese character, Jian-Yang, is played by Jimmy O. Yang. Jian-Yang doesn’t appear in many scenes, but he always causes issues and problems when he shows up. In my opinion, the personality of Jian-Yang is very bad in the show. He is selfish, greedy, and crafty. There is a scene showing that how Jian-Yang tries to fake a testament and fool a judge in the court, so he can inherit properties of his landlord. His landlord is out for traveling, and the landlord is tall and big, so Jian-Yang even prepares a body of a pig to pretend to be the body of his landlord. I thought it was weird and crazy when I watched it, and Jian-Yang’s roommates also think Jian-Yang is ridiculous and unreasonable.

The other scene which I remember clearly is when Jian-Yang’s roommates come back to their home, they see many technology company names which are written on a board. They ask Jian-Yang, and he replies that he will copy them to China to start new companies. I thought the producers are trying to satirize copyrights issues between Chinese companies and the US companies.

These two scenes may not have significant relations in Chinese culture, but these reflect Chinese traits which people see in modern society. There are other scenes in Silicon Valley representing selfish actions which Jian-Yang does. I guess the reason for producers to create these scenes may relate to what I mentioned earlier. They may have seen cases of Chinese people being selfish and self-center in their life, and the behaviors may offend other people.

However, I’m also thinking that for people who are not so familiar with Chinese culture, they may really be affected by media. According to an article, The Chinese in Silicon Valley: Globalization, Social Networks, and Ethnic Identity by Bernard P. Wong., reviewed by Joseph Bosco, it mentions that Chinese population is very concentrated in Silicon Valley workforce because of globalization. I think the TV show is trying to show some conflicts existing between Chinese and local employees as Chinese population keeps increasing in the area.

Fresh Off the Boat

The TV show, Fresh Off the Boat, is made by Nahnatchka Khan according to a biography which is written by Eddie Huang, and the show is originally played by ABC. Eddie Huang is an immigrant, and he writes the book to tell the story of growing up in the U.S. as Taiwanese family. There are many stereotypes being portrayed on the show since it is trying to represent the differences and conflicts between two cultures.

Eddie’s mother, Jessica Huang, is a very stereotyped Taiwanese mom in my opinion. She always forces or leads her kids to focus more on studying, so they can be accepted into schools with the nice reputation. Instead of thinking about being actors or rappers, Jessica thinks it’s better to have a practical and stable job such as doctor or engineer, so studying is the only thing that Jessica want her kids to do. Although Eddie receives straight A’s at the school, his mom thinks the school should be more difficult and strict. There is an interesting thing in here. Since Jessica thinks Eddie should study more, she wants to send him to “Chinese Learning Center”. I was wondering what was CLC, and then the show explains CLC is a place where students are given massive examination questions for them to complete, and they have to stay there studying for couple hours and complete questions again and again. This is very common in Taiwan and in some countries such as China, Japan, and Korea. Many students are getting the high-stress education by taking uncountable exams and infinite examination questions in order to be accepted in popular universities. Taiwanese parents generally believe studying is the only way to gain a chance to qualify stable jobs since companies tend to hire people graduated from popular schools. I’ve personally heard of people intuitively think I must be good at studying and math. In my opinion, if they received the same style of education, they might be even better.

One thing I also noticed in the show is superstition. When Jessica receives a check with many numbers 4 on it, she thinks it’s better to get rid of it because the pronounce of 4 is close to the word “die” in Mandarin. And Jessica believes it attracts bad luck if she keeps the money. I think this scene perfectly represents the different cultural concept. In Chinese culture, there are many taboos, and people may view it as superstition. For example, hospitals in Taiwan usually don’t have number 4 in elevators because no one wants to stay on the fourth floor especially in hospitals. I think this scene provides a great idea of how people with the different cultural background view things differently.

In one episode, Eddie’s school is asking students to pick a culture and represent the cultural traits. Eddie doesn’t want to do China. I guess the reason is Chinese culture is not so popular and liked in Western society. Also, in the show, Eddie is the only Chinese student at his grade, so he joins his friends’ group for representing Jamaica. When they are chatting, one of his friends makes fun of China saying China having nothing to show. In the scene, Eddie is getting serious about what his friend says about China and questioning him to be more specific about his words. In the show, Eddie is brave enough to speak up for protecting his identity and culture, but what about in reality? An article “Yes, you can laugh at your culture: Fresh Off the Boat cocreator Nahnatchka Khan explains why seeing the humor in your roots is the key to happiness” by Katie L. Connor talks about the impact of cultural differences. People often experience embarrassing moments because of cultural differences, and they can choose to just laugh about it. I think an important point in here is people can laugh about their “own” cultures since they have enough understanding. If people laugh or make fun of other cultures, it can just simply be considered despising other cultures.


Silicon Valley shows many contradictions to my understanding of Chinese culture. In my opinion, Silicon Valley is showing the phenomenon of Chinese people in recent years. The TV show reflects what people actually see in life about Chinese people. It may be exaggerated in comedy, but there are many cases of weird behaviors done by Chinese people in reality. And Fresh Off the Boat represents many Chinese cultural stereotypes such as frugalness and CLC. When I compare these two TV shows that I watched, I think it’s apropos to say that’s what I see in the past and now. I think Chinese culture is not valued as much as in the past as I see more and more negative cases about Chinese people. Instead of control itself or caring others, more and more Chinese people just do what they want without considering for others. It’s sad to see this happen as a Chinese person, and I think it really hurts the image of Chinese culture.


Work Cited

“The Chinese in Silicon Valley: Globalization, Social Networks, and Ethnic Identity by Bernard P. Wong.”  Reviewed by Joseph Bosco. 2006.

“Yes, you can laugh at your culture: Fresh Off the Boat cocreator Nahnatchka Khan explains why seeing the humor in your roots is the key to happiness” by Katie L. Connor. Cosmopolitan, 2015, Vol.258(3), p.50(1)


Artists are Kooky Eccentrics… Right?


Artists have an unusual relationship with popular media; first of all, it’s kind of difficult to locate many artists in pop culture in the first place, a fact that I fully came to understand after searching for examples of artists in a number of sources. In movies and TV shows, artists are largely unpopular characters to be found; I had to dig deep and think somewhat abstractly before I came across some suitable characters for my argument. And when they are present in the media, they’re also very commonly portrayed as either eccentric weirdos, or lower class people.


Is this really an issue? I mean, artists really are often living life to their own beat.. Many artists don’t follow the conventional rules that our society has decided are the right ones all the time, and they often don’t make a ton of money. I know people like this in my real life, and I’m sure most other people do, too. I mean, I’m an Art student myself, so I’m familiar with the stereotype.  So what’s the big deal? Why is it an issue to only ever portray artists like they’re the misfits in society, never the norm?

In popular media in the United States, I think there’s a bit of a chicken and the egg situation happening. It happens to all kinds groups of people, but I’m going to focus on the artists here for a moment. A lot of people in this world are only exposed to a large number of things exclusively through their television, or as of the last 20 years or so, their computer or smartphone. It’s somewhat reasonable, there’s not enough time or resources to experience everything first hand. It just can become an issue what that’s all they have to base their ideas and opinions on for all kinds of things, and people. It has very real consequences of how people perceive things in their lives. What I’m trying to get at here is that when they see the typical “starving artist” being portrayed in their favorite TV show, that stereotype can honestly change their impressions of people that they perceive as fitting in that box. Basically, if the TV is treating artists like poor weirdos, eventually that will come to pass and have an impact on the lives of real people.

Exhibit A: Titanic


The Titanic is an epic romance story released in the 1990s that focuses more on the lives of two passengers of the ship than the disaster itself. A wealthy upper class lady named Rose is due to be married off to someone of her status when she finds Jack. He’s one of the lower deck passengers, and he doesn’t have much money to his name. Jack is an artist, which is why he’s relevant here.   We know this because Rose asks him to draw her “like one of his French girls”, which he does so gladly. The film depicts him as very skilled, drawing Rose with a level of dedication and intensity that really only belongs to a master of his craft (Also Leonardo Dicaprio does a great job with his acting in this scene, which helps a lot). Jack is also seen to very clever and an all around upstanding guy, but Rose’s family would never approve of him because he is both poor and an artist. Only the best noblemen for their darling daughter Rose.  Surprisingly, this sentiment hasn’t really changed for a lot of people over the course of roughly 110 years, and a lot of parents wouldn’t be pleased if their daughter brought home an artist today. Living in Portland, it’s easy to forget that there’s such a stigma against those that are passionate for the arts because it’s such a progressive city that really supports its artists, but there are still plenty of people in this world that think it’s a complete waste of you time to invest in any kind of art related skill at all.

Basically, everyone but Rose discards Jack as being a worthless waste of space despite his numerous skills and generally likeable personality, all because he’s an artist and poor. I think part of the reason Rose falls for him because she knew his personality before his background, and not the other way around. Chances are, Rose would have ignored him too, has she known he was poor if the world in Titanic is anything like the real one. Then again, there was totally room for Jack on that board so who knows?

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It’s hard to say what the causation/correlation relationship is between being poor and being an artist, but it’s definitely fair to say that they’re often found together in popular media.


Exhibit B: Edward Scissorhands

giphy (1)

Edward scissorhands was a not-so-obvious choice for this project at first glance, because when I think of Edward Scissorhands, my first thought is “weird sort of Christmasy, sort of Halloweeny move about that guy with the scissorhands”. My second thought is “Yup, that’s a Tim Burton film”.  ‘Artist’ was definitely not the first word that popped into my mind in any case. I quickly changed my mind when I gave it further consideration, though.

It’s a quirky movie about a really lonely scientist who lives in a mansion overlooking a small suburban town. Out of this loneliness the scientist comes up with the idea of creating a human being to fill that empty void in his life. Instead of doing it the old fashioned way, he literally creates a person with various machines, parts and pieces, and of course love. And so Edward was ‘born’. However, just before the scientist could finish Edward, he dies, leaving him with clumsy scissors for hands. Edward is found by a kindly middle age woman involved in a pyramid scheme from the suburban town below, and is takes him into her home. Eventually it’s discovered that Edward is greatly skilled at using his scissorhands to  make things of beauty. He starts out with trimming hedges into amazing topiaries, and then graduated to doing pet grooming and hair styling on the women of the town.

I like this movie for this topic because both Edward and his creator can be considered to be artists. The scientist designed Edward and created him out of love, just as many artsits and graphic designers do with their own work.  Edward is a more spontaneous kind of artist, and doesn’t seem to need to have much of a planning stage before he gets down to the creation. It’s almost like the scientist passed on his ability to create to Edward, and Edward is carrying out his legacy in his own way; Art creating art. It’s also noteworthy to mention that they were both very much outcasts in this strange fictional world. We didn’t learn much about him in the film, but the scientist clearly never fit into society, living on all by his lonesome in a great looming mansion, forced to create someone that would accept him. Edward is of course an outcast because he’s never been exposed to anything; everything is new and a bit scary to him. He almost comes from another world in the context of this suburban town. His personality heavily contrasts with the other people in this film as well. He’s depicted as a quiet, introspective individual who’s probably very sensitive and naive. I wouldn’t say these kinds of traits are associated with an artist, but I do think that they’re often associated with weird people which is telling.

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 I’m not sure if it was intentional or not, but I’m also intrigued by how Edward’s scissorhands, the tools that he uses to make his art, are the very things that keep him from being able to get close to other people. Whenever he tries, he ends up hurting the people around him, or himself. It’s like the thing that allows him to be so successful and happy is also the thing that holds him back and the thing that makes others question his worth in the first place.


Exhibit C: Grace and Frankie


This is a comedy show that aired on Netflix a few years ago. A rough synopsis would be that two elderly women who aren’t fond of each other due to a personality clash end up living with each other after their husbands declare that they’re gay, and that they’re marrying one another. Grace is a stuck up prim and proper type who used to own a major beauty product company, while Frankie is the embodiment of the classic kooky art teacher stereotype. Some qualifying examples include:

  • Has her own art studio in the house
  • Teaches ex-cons how to paint
  • Smokes an obscene amount of weed
  • Has a sizable collection of penis shaped vases
  • Likes to “go with the flow”
  • Wears a lot of loose tie-dye clothing
  • Wears chunky gemstone jewelry
  • And many others

Grace and Frankie get the idea to create their own company at some point, and it quickly becomes evident that Grace is going to be the one who calls the shots. If Frankie even tries, she’s immediately shut down because her ideas are too weird, or she’s too weird in the first place. Her main contribution to the business was the initial idea in the first place, and the art on the packaging of the product, and after that she was more or less ignored.

giphy (2)

She is also shown to be unable to stick to something; she’s a vegetarian,but sometimes eats meat and constantly eats junk food. Part of that is the fact that she’s also representing the stoner stereotype, but that’s another stereotype that is often seen in association with artists as well.

Art Movies?


So what about Art Movies? Don’t movies that explore the fabulous lives of artists like Van Gogh and Caravaggio show them in a favorable light? The answer is yes, they absolutely do, but it kind of doesn’t count. First of all, these people are only put on a pedestal today. They weren’t always the historical figures that we seem them as now. In their own time, they were seen as just as eccentric and weird as any other not very well known artist of today. Second of all, these movies are hugely embellished and over emphasized, but they’re still based on the lives of real people, while I’m focusing on fictional artists. And thirdly, most people don’t watch art movies. They’re usually kind of weird and not all that consumer friendly, sort of an acquired taste. Basically, they’re not really “pop culture” at that point, so I don’t really think that a movie that idealizes an artist like Van Gogh is really saying anything about society.

So, are artists receiving the short end of the stick in media? Kind of. The vast majority of examples of artists on TV right now are mostly cast aside as weird people who don’t abide by the normal societal rules. It matters a lot to me because I’m living that life; I’m paying a lot of money, and I’m spending a ridiculous amount of time dedicated to becoming a better artist. I want to hone my craft, I want to become better and I want to be able to identify as an artist without feeling shameful or guilty because it’s a “waste of my time”. Despite having two other minors in more “sensible” fields, I’ve still had people tell me I’m wasting my effort on such a useless degree. I want other artists to feel like it isn’t a stupid decision follow their passion if they feel like they have to willpower to make it work.

If we only ever see strange weird people being artists in our media, that’s the only thing that’s ever going to happen. I understand fully they there are outcast artists, but they certainly aren’t all going to fit in that mold, contrary to how we’re seeing them now on TV. Art is important; creativity is vital to a functional society. If we want to have a social environment that fosters a positive relationship with creative people, then yeah, this kind of representation needs to change, or at least have a bit more diversity.


Learning Moments

Throughout the course of this class, I learned a few things about myself, the most prominent of which is the fact that I don’t tend to agree with the majority of the opinions that I would read from my classmates. At least about the articles we would read in the given week, anyway. We read “The News is Bad For You” by Rolf Dobelli and when I read it I was pretty unenthused by the author’s opinion that we should stop consuming altogether and the world would be a better place (paraphrasing, but that honestly was the jist that I got). However, I was surprised that a lot of my classmates were totally on board. “The article “News is Bad For You” was actually my favorite article to read in this weeks texts. This is mostly because I definitely reside with the words written in this article- and I’ve said those things my whole life. News is DEPRESSING. News causes unnecessary anxiety. News, for the most part, focuses on the wrong part of the information being shared. We’re so quick to believe every word we see in the news, and we often get emotions while watching the news that we don’t or shouldn’t need to feel about certain situations. We get scared to fly in a plane because of the Malaysia plane going missing, we get scared to do a marathon in case a terrorist bombs it, etc. Unnecessary fear spoon fed to us by the news.” – week 6.  Where I saw a loss of agency and empathy, they saw an opportunity to escape the more depressing side of being caught up in the news. It was an interesting experience to be at such polar ends of the spectrum, especially because I’m certainly not the most up to date person in the world.

The second thing I learned was just how under represented artists are in media! I know I already discussed it in the meat of the post above, but I really did have a hard time finding examples, especially from the library’s resources. My initial plan was to also include a section on the differences between male and female artists in popular media, but I couldn’t find a large enough sample to make any kind of conclusive deductions with what I had.

Overall, I had a better experience than I initially thought I would have, and I really found myself fully engaged in writing my weekly blog posts and reading the articles (even if I didn’t agree with them… maybe especially if I didn’t agree with them). Before this class, I was very turned off by online courses, and now I’ll definitely be giving more of them a try in my college career.  


Art Imitates Art, Steve Chagollan, Variety, Jan 8, 2001, Vol.381(7), p.S8,


Art in the Movies, Jim Gaylord,


Edward Scissorhands – Tim Burton – 2005


Grace and Frankie – Netflix (Firm),, et al. Grace and Frankie. Santa Monica, CA: Lionsgate, 2016.


TITANIC 1999 – James Cameron – United States Titanic. (1999). [DVD] United States: James Cameron.


How mexicans are stereotyped and represented in a negative light in media

Isn’t it obvious by now?

Pretty much everyone is aware of the common stereotypes that are used to portray Mexicans, enough to where you could make a list. I feel like the most common perceptions I see are the “funny friend”, the “machismo/violent man”, and the “hot latinas” who are considered spicy or loud. Mexican is an overstatement because these stereotypes and more are often used and grouped with other communities, like Latinos and Hispanics. So there is often a lack of representation because they’re not accurately being culturally representative. Often, I see people forget the differences between them. I wanted to look into films and television to further my point in how Mexicans are often portrayed negatively or not represented in a culturally respective light. Even though in today, we are noticing some changes through the media, we are still lagging empathy and logic in recognizing the differences in other communities. The problem I am seeing is not just the portrayal in media but the lack of understanding that these things are not reality and what perceptions come within.

¡Three Amigos! Directed by John Landis

This is a movie that falls into the category of comedy and “adventure”. I am not sure about the purpose of the movie. Although, Steve Martin who wrote the screenplay had been attached to the project since 1980 and went through rejections prior to Landis. It changed throughout time, by that I mean the title and actors involved. None of those actors for the “amigos” were in any ethnicity of Hispanic or Mexican. It premiered on the 10th of December 1986 in the U.S.

I feel like I can’t speak for that but what I can say is, it affected more of the older generation viewers since it was out in their generation and kind of created and pushed this idea and fascination of the humor of Mexicans and the slang. It kind of made “amigo” a more used and popular word too. I realized now where a lot of people have gotten it from when they’re in a group of three like the three musketeers.

The stereotypes I often saw were like the “bandito” meaning the violent or thief like man. With the bandito, there was the sidekick who wasn’t very smart and had a very distinct odd accent that stood out more than the others which I thought portrayed a lot with the “funny Mexican friend” stereotype that furthered on in other media.

Below is a clip, showing how “dumb” Jefe is acting:

While observing the characters in the movie I noticed that the “Mexicans” were given this dirty image, and it seemed like they used a mild level of brown face. My reason for this observation is that the actor Tony Plana who is American-Cuban has significantly lighter skin than his character Jefe. Because they are set in a desert, I understand why he may appear to be more tan but he also looks very dirty, which reflects the stereotype of Mexicans being uncivilized. Though he is Cuban, there were a lot of other actors non-POC that played Mexicans in the movie.

Tony plana jefe.jpg

The movie seemed to stereotype just to help convey a point or simply for humor. Since they were all comedians they were probably just trying to “poke at it” instead of appropriating but it’s very demeaning when you think of it. In comedy, it appears to me that it is easier to get away with appropriation and stereotypes since it’s all for the “comedic relief”. What people don’t get is this action causes the audience to feel like it’s okay to joke around about it. Stand-up comedians, for instance, make fun of their own races but forget that their audience is more diverse than they imagine and that can cause an issue by how people interpret and interact with others in their daily lives.

Modern Family

S3:E22 Disneyland

S4:E13 Fulgencio

In this show, there is often this portrayal of Sofia Vergara who is American-Columbian and plays the character, Gloria. Gloria is often dressed in provocative clothing and is always speaking in a loud feisty tone, that is often portrayed with Mexican, latina, and Hispanic women. This isn’t the only time Sofia has played this type of character, in most movies or cameos she is typecast into this role. I find it interesting because Claire whose the other mom and the daughter of the man who married Gloria, is always dressed in comfy “soccer mom” clothing, so why can’t both of them dress either way? The differences between the two really show how often they stereotype Gloria and even her tv-show son and family.

Gloria Modern Family tops claire modern family

In episode twenty-two of season three “Disneyland” Jay is in shock when Gloria’s angry tone starts to calm down when her heels are off when she puts on the slippers he got her from a Disney boutique.

He then says “ Now please don’t go all Latin on me, when I say this ”

He was wondering if the reason she gets angry is that she’s always wearing uncomfortable shoes. This might not be the biggest deal but it’s still a problem with the generalization that all Latinas turn angry or spicy on men or people. Why is Latin used when he could have just said, “don’t get angry with me when I tell you this”. When he uses latin does he mean the stereotype of all Latina women being overly dramatic and angry or Latinx being anyone of latin decent? I do know that people use this stereotype on all women of this community.

In the “Fulgencio” episode, there was a lot going on… it started with Jay getting annoyed by Gloria’s relatives and doesn’t want their newborn babies name to be Fulgencio. Which is what Gloria’s mom wanted since it was her dead husband’s name.

He says to her mom “in America, it’s not real common to hear the name, Fulgencio”

The mom then tries to teach him how to pronounce it right when he butchers the name.

He then goes like; “I don’t even practice it, because I can’t name my son that”

Gloria’s sister is shown at 7:00. Claire mentions to Gloria that she’s getting pretty cozy with the “housekeeper” when Gloria tells her that’s her sister, you can tell Claire was surprised because of how weird the relationship was.

Her sister comes back in the scene asking “where is the river?”. At the end of the episode, they offer to buy the sister a house of her own so she can be “independent”. This idea as if she is helpless and can’t find her way out is often used as a stereotype for not just women of Mexican, Latinx, Hispanic culture but men too.

It seems like Gloria is the focal point and the comedy of the show for always being the diva and getting over emotional, I found a video of a compilation of her mispronunciations, since English isn’t her first language and she always gets corrected, but at the end; the family starts making fun of the times she had mispronounced and you can see she got really offended.

Danny Trejo… the typecast issue

The reason I picked the actor instead of a specific movie of the stereotype is that I find it very interesting that this actor, Danny Trejo is typecast into this bandito, angry violent character who kills people. People literally know him as that type of character but don’t really know any of his other stuff since there isn’t too much that stem off from the stigma. It does make it hard when his past, prior from acting; he was in and out of jail and prison which I feel like gave him this persona that he could only play in that type of role.

I am going to list a few movies he is in and just gives you the brief similarities of who he plays and attach photos.

Machete (most commonly what he is known of) directed by Robert Rodriguez (2010)

danny trejo

  • ladies man, violent character/vengeance, solving everything by killing

This Machete is very different than the one in spy kids because it shows a very violent side of him, where he deadly kills a lot of people.

Spy Kids, directed by Robert Rodriguez as well, first opens to the character Machete who is the uncle of the kids. Which was original what movie I knew from him and grew up with. He at first is very closed off and doesn’t want to express his emotions and tell his nephews that he misses his family and loves them because he is afraid and feels like he has to play tough. It is very different from what he regularly plays which makes it stand out. Although he is still pretty intimidating in this role, he becomes more open later by revealing how emotional he actually is in the series. He then helps the team a lot.  

Bad Ass directed by Craig Moss (2012)

danny trejo bada

  • Violent character/vengeance
  • Difference: he did show a little vulnerability that he often hides in his other movies.

In this movie, he has a hard time as a war veteran with a disability, to find a job so his last resort becomes working at a hot dog stand. He then gets this badass label when he beats up two white guys on a bus to protect the civilians.

I had realized that most of the reason why he killed was from some sort of vengeance or for the good but it still doesn’t beat the fact that his most played type of character is someone who is willing to use violence and someone who is intimidating and scary rather than playing a sweet or a romantic character. Yes, he’s been in comedy but it isn’t his most liked stuff or is left unrecognized since people rather see him kill in tv.

Let’s Back It Up Now…

In an article, I found called Using Media Literacy to Explore Stereotypes of Mexican Immigrants written by Lucila Vargas and Bruce DePyssler; they mentioned something very relatable to the point of what I am trying to come across.

“Media producers select small pieces of the real world and use them as building blocks in their own constructions.” ( pg.4)

Basically, they grab a small portion of what is considered real and make it into something totally opposite. Either that be replacing POC with white actors or stigmatizing a group and influencing the audience that Hispanics and Latinos are the same as Mexicans and they all speak with a funny accent, have this sexy look, are seen as violent, criminal or lazy. Where’s the positive light? We might be doing better recently but not enough to make a difference.

So what now?

In conclusion, these films and television shows have put some impact on their audience by the way they see the world. The idea of Mexicans are often grouped with other Spanish like speaking communities that aren’t even Mexican but because they speak a foreign language similarly it all involves sombreros and funny accents. Stereotypes have become so normalized through the years that even some Mexicans seem to be fine with it. The question I keep asking myself is, what can we do to break down these barriers and avoid the issue of grouping and stigmatizing?

Learning moments

During this term I learned a lot in the way media does influence our way of thinking and helps us perceive things, rather it is the right or wrong way. I do think as a society we need to not let film, news, and other sources of media and the internet, interpret how we see things and people exactly but learn from it and ask ourselves… is this accurate?
I would say a big learning moment would be the Every Single Word videos. I came with an expectation that there weren’t going to be many and kind of had an idea of the purpose. Although it was more shocking to see some movies that didn’t have any single person of color… That’s just like WOW… And the ones that did have an act, they were small roles most of the time and stereotypical.

Work Cited

    1. ¡Three Amigos!. Dir. John Landis. Perf. Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Martin Short. HBO Video, 1986. Film.
    2. Modern Family. Dir. Jason Winer, Steven Levitan. Perf. Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ed O’Neil, etc. American Broadcasting Company. 2009. Television Show.
    3. Machete. Dir. Robert Rodriguez. Dir. Ethan Maniquis. Perf. Danny Trejo, Robert De Niro, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Steven Seagal. 20th Century Fox, 2010. Film
    4. Bad Ass. Dir. Craig Moss. Perf. Danny Trejo, Ron Perlman, Joyful Drake, etc. Samuel goldwyn Films, 2012. Film
    5. Spy Kids. Dir. Robert Rodriguez. Perf. Alexa Vega, Daryl Sabara, Antonio Banderas, Danny Trejo, etc. 2001. Film
    6. Vargas, Lucila, and Bruce DePyssler. “Using Media Literacy to Explore Mexican Stereotypes of Mexican Immigrants.” Social Studies and the New Immigration, Nov. 1998.

Computer Magic


This blog post is not meant to nitpick the details of popular culture artifacts to show how they have allegedly contributed to negative stereotypes of programmers. I decided I wanted to take the approach of how programmers are represented across genres, across disciplines, and even in different countries. Computer science is a broad field, so I feel that looking at the material in a similar, broad approach is justified.

As you may have already noticed, the identity that I am going to analyze is that of the Computer Scientist. We go by many different names: Programmers, Software Developers, Software Engineers, Hackers. These are just a few of them, but they represent the majority. Now, when I initially did my analysis of pop culture artifacts, I looked primarily at TV shows. This was because lately there have been a plethora of shows with characters fitting this bill. These are mostly shows that I have watched myself, which is likely due to wanting to see characters similar to my identity. But, as the class has progressed this term, I have gotten some other interesting ideas for places to look for artifacts. One of those is commercials that represent this identity.

I am going to start out with an overview of the pilot episode for each of these TV shows that I analyzed, and some of the things that I noticed while watching them. I chose the pilot episodes as a way to hone in on the initial representations for the audience. Next I will tie those artifacts to secondary sources, and go more in depth – tying together the characters, and discussing the significance of the genre to their representations. I will end off with a personal assessment of how my identity is portrayed in pop culture, linking my own experiences to how my identity is seen.

Mr. Robot:

I chose the pilot episode of Mr. Robot as my first pop culture artifact. This is a TV show about a hacker, Eliot, and his team that is trying to bring down one of the most powerful conglomerates in the world. The genre is a mixture of drama and psychological thriller.

One of the reasons I believe programmers have an inclination to watch this particular show it the fact that it tries to set itself apart from previous ideas of computers. When classifying oneself as a programmer, it is important to look at the means by which this identity is even possible – this being that of the computer. For years pop culture has used computers as important plot devices without delving too deep into what they even are. They are seen as a black box, a source of magical power that is hard to understand. In the article ‘Mr. Robot killed the Hollywood Hacker’, Doctorow even goes as far as to say “Mr. Robot makes a turning point for how computers and hackers are depicted in popular culture”.

Mr. Robot throws away these ideas. One detail that struck out to me is just the name of the episode. The name itself looks like a typical filename on someones computer. The numbering system of the episodes even lends itself to fundamental ideas in Computer Science. There are ten episodes in the first season, and they are labeled eps1.0, eps1.1, …, eps1.9. Starting to count at 0 is a small detail, but something that is done often in programming.

Eliot does have tendencies to fall into regular stereotypes of computer programmers. He hates talking to people. He spends most of his time holed up in his apartment on his computer, wishing that he could be less anxious all the time. He is a pale, caucasian male – the epitome of programmer. This seems to be overshadowed by the realistic approach towards technology, the scenes of Eliot stopping a hack by pinpointing the issue while the audience watches the commands that he is entering into his terminal. Eliot even demonstrates some of the motivations mentioned in the article ‘Hacking Hollywood: Discussing hackers’ reactions to three popular films’ – namely, ‘curiosity’, ‘knowledge’ and to escape the boring world around them.

Silicon Valley: Minimum Viable Product

Silicon Valley is an American TV show about a group of software developers in Silicon Valley who are trying to make a name for themselves with their startup company, Pied Piper. The genre primarily falls under comedy.

There are many scenes in this show that play into stereotypes. The guys walking through he part and mentioning that all of the girls and guys are separated – showing that programmers are typically bad (yet extremely obsessed) with women. Erlich Bachman is being pitched to on  an idea of Binary Soup, alphabet soup with 1’s and 0’s. Bachman grills the guy and goes into how he memorized the hexadecimal times tables when he was 14 – “Ask me what 9 times f is”!

Then there is a quote by Gavin Belson that leads into my next point. He says, “That’s weird. They always travel in groups of 5, the programmers. There’s always a tall skinny white guy, short skinny asian guy, fat guy with a ponytail, some guy with crazy facial hair, and then an east indian guy”.

The article titled ‘HBO’s Silicon Valley and Stereotyping’ goes into detailed analysis of the demographics of Silicon Valley in reality, versus that of the TV show. According to this article, 71.8% of the cast of Silicon Valley are white, whereas the population of Palo Alto is 60.6% white, and the tech industry alone only has 44.1% white workers. The Asian population is the most grossly underestimated as they only comprise 9.1% of the show, despite having more tech workers in the area than even white workers.

The IT Crowd: Yesterday’s Jam

The IT Crowd is a British sitcom about the workers in the Information Technology department for a company that are forced to work hidden in the basement. As mentioned previously, the genre falls under situational comedy, and this is the only non-American show on the list.

One of the IT characters, Roy, is shown sitting at his messy desk eating fried chicken. He is wearing a graphic t shirt that looks dingy. His hair is messy, and there are boxes littered all over the office. He waits a while to answer the phone because he is busy eating and licking his fingers off, then he gets angry on the phone. The other character, Moss, is shown wearing big rimmed glasses, a button up shirt and a tie. He then tries to explain to someone what is wrong with their computer, and doesn’t understand why they don’t understand what he is talking about. When a girl comes downstairs, Roy quietly rubs deodorant on his shirt sleeves and his face, then tries to make it seem like they were talking about books. Moss is oblivious, and keeps asking questions about what he is talking about instead of going with it. Later on in the show, their new manager says “You know, I mean I’m a people person. And people like you need a person to deal with people, a people person like me.” Even later on she tells them “It’s all right for you two. You’re used to being social piranhas.”



There was a pattern between the three, where they all had some line self referencing themselves into some kind of stereotype. Silicon Valley, and the conversations about how all groups of programmers are basically the same. In the IT crowd, they are generalized as being social piranhas, and overall just terrible with people. In Mr. Robot, Elliot says something about how hackers get bored quick and will just move on to the next job. It is interesting because they all come out with their stereotypes upfront, and all in their pilot episodes.

My thoughts

Now that I have looked at all of these sources, I felt it would be important to assess my feelings for how my identity is represented in pop culture. I will agree this identity is primarily dominated by men. I am currently working at Garmin AT in Salem for a Software Engineer internship, which I started the same day that this class started. Right now there are two other software interns there with me, but on different teams. They are both females, which is kind of surprising given that it seems a large percentage of my classmates in Computer Science are male.

On the other hand, I am working on a team of about 10 people. All of us are white males. In fact, the majority of the people at work or school that I know are white males. Now, I do not know if this is because of the location or not – it is just something notable. For the most part I feel that this identity is portrayed pretty well in pop culture. Silicon Valley, for example, has its statements such as the quote by Gavin Belson, but it shows a wide range of personalities among its programmers that I can relate to. I am also impressed with how Mr. Robot gets rid of the idea that computers are black boxes of magic without going too in depth (which would end up making the show boring).

Some Interesting Commercials

Works Cited

Primary Sources:

Judge, M. (Writer/Director), Altschuler, J. (Writer),  & Krinskey, D. (Writer). (April 6, 2014). Minimum Viable Product [Television series episode]. In J. Kleverweis (Producer), Silicon Valley. Palo Alto, CA: HBO.

Esmail, S. (Writer), & Oplev, N. A (Director). (June 24, 2015). [Television series episode]. In I. Srubshchik (Producer), Mr. Robot. Universal City, CA: Universal Cable Productions.

Linehan, G. (Writer/Director). (February 3, 2006). Yesterday’s Jam [Television series episode]. In A. Atalla (Producer), The IT Crowd. London, England: Talkback Thames.

Secondary Sources:

Doctorow, C. (2017). Mr. Robot Killed the Hollywood Hacker. MIT Technology Review, 120(1), 100-103. Retrieved May 3, 2018, from

Vlad, J. (2011). Hacking Hollywood: Discussing hackers’ reactions to three popular films. Journal of Media Research, 4(2), 95-113. Retrieved May 3, 2018, from

Lai, L. (2017, August 22). HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ and Stereotyping. Retrieved May 13, 2018, from


How to be a College Student (according to popular culture)

The Side We See

There are two sides to college. One is the exams, books, and studying side, while the other is the drinking, parties, and fun side. Which one do we see more often in popular culture? Well the fun side, of course. Yes, the serious part of college is very real and important. Academics, knowledge, and drive for future success is really the whole purpose of it all. But, this is not what will really entertain people on the big screen.

Instead, movies show its audiences what they want to see. The typical college movie
revolves around the fun parts of college life; a few prime examples I found in my research were 22 Jump Street, Neighbors, and Happy Death Day.  In all three movies,
each capture and glamorizes everything on the side of college that lures teens and
young adults in – crude humor, pretty girls, hot guys, partying, alcohol, and fun. As a college student myself, I have to say I personally love these movies and think they are hilarious. These movies are all in good fun and in all honesty, do portray some truth at a glimpse of college life. But here’s the problem: what draws the line between what is fun and too much fun?

The Side We Don’t

In February 2017, a freshman at Miami state was found dead in a dorm room due to alcohol poisoning. A couple months later, a pledge from Pennsylvania State died from binge drinking and rough hazing by a fraternity. Later on, another student at Louisiana State University found dead with toxic levels of alcohol in his system. This is the side that we don’t see in movies and popular culture.  It seems like the same unfortunate story happens over and over, and since these occurrences aren’t particularly out of the norm, nothing is done about it. The glamorization of college, freedom, and fun in the media makes it easy to forget the very real consequences that can come from reckless behavior.

This really made me question the crude way college life is represented in the movies like 22 Jump Street, Neighbors, and Happy Death Day. It goes to show that the effects that they have in appropriating college culture can be harmful to its viewers, who are mostly teens and young adults. The way college culture is currently portrayed in the media leads to unrealistic expectations and troubling behaviors in students in the real world.

22 Jump Street

In this movie, two undercover cops are assigned to go to college as students and find a drug dealer on campus. Amidst their mission, they try to blend into the college lifestyle by doing the same things and acting the same ways as the college kids around them.

The whole vibe of the movie is very humorous, following the plot of the undercover cops’ mission while portraying a glimpse of college culture. The more compelling things are what really make the movie – like sports, frats, parties, drinking, and drugs.

Given the theme of the movie, alcohol and drugs are widely normalized in 22 Jump Street, being used, talked about, and humored throughout. For example, in order to become initiated into a fraternity and gain their trust, the two undercover cops drink and are hazed until they can barely function.


The movie itself does not take place on a college campus, but is still highly associated
with college through greek life. The whole plot of the movie involves a fraternity
houses’ neighbors trying to calm them from being loud so that they could live a normal life. Again, this movie portrays fun, light hearted humor as the two houses prank and rival each other.


In this movie, the college boys associated in the fraternity are represented as rowdy,
uncontrollable party animals. It fits with the whole theme, but what was strange was
the crude way young college students were shown  in the film. I don’t remember one
calm, studious college student throughout the movie. They were all portrayed as alcohol driven, immature, and obnoxious frat boys who only knew how to cause trouble and party all day.

Happy Death Day

A slightly different genre from the first two movies, Happy Death Day is a thriller that revolves around a girl who dies everyday and comes back to life until she finds her murderer. The movie does take place on a college campus, though, and gives us a good idea on what college life might be like.Being that the movie’s protagonist lives the same day over and over, here are a couple
things that I picked up on for the average day in college. The main character wakes up in the dorm room of a boy she doesn’t know after a night of drinking. As she’s walking through campus, she sees a group of tired, drunk fraternity pledges chanting the song “99 bottles of beers on the wall” as one of them passes out and falls onto the grass. She goes back to her sorority house to get ready for class and then at night, there is a party.

So What?

22 Jump Street, Neighbors, and Happy Death Day portray college students and university life in around the same ways: wild parties, drunken nights, and young kids doing careless things. College most definitely has its fun times, but this kind of portrayal is not the complete truth and there is so much more that is not shown. When
to – be college students are only shown that college is a certain way by these movies,
it becomes what they expect it to be like. These movies targeted toward young adults tell them about the free and exciting world of college life, and in effect, students learn to look forward to those glamorized parts.

Personally, when I was in high school picking out potential colleges, academics were important but I’d be lying if I said party life did not sway my interest. Unconsciously, flashy, well known party schools automatically became appealing just for their social status. I’m sure many college students can relate to this, given how the media grooms us to create certain expectations for college. In addition, I am sure that amidst research, many must have run into a list or two titled along the lines of “The Top Party Schools in America”.

“The Top Party Schools in America”

These lists are not typically hard to encounter when on the search for potential colleges. When looked up online, you’ll easily find several sites that playfully list their own opinions on the party life of different universities. Though they seem pretty
amusing and harmless, they still glamorize the wild, reckless side of college in the same way that popular movies do.

What’s bizarre is that even larger publishers like The Princeton Review (an academic site well known for college preparation in young students), have jumped on the bandwagon as well, creating their own annual list.

Dr. Dyszlewski, a Brown University Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, further explains the absurdity of such lists, stating implications like “when an influential publisher…. glamorize[s] a culture of drinking and drug use, they are also supporting a number of problems that are linked to excessive substance use”.

This all seems irresponsible and wrong, but here is the logic behind all of this: big publishers will only put up content they know their audience will be interested in. This is dd8b67eeed1c33f36d430faa7411f2405367a94810fcd145502ec6664b7c939c.jpgin the same way movies only show its viewers what they want to see. So when the audience, being students, are hyped up by movies about the fun side of college through popular culture, of course they would be interested in an article talking about the top party schools in the nation.

And so, the vicious cycle begins. Popular culture excites kids about the fun in college, influential publishers show them colleges well known for partying, and students go into
college expecting and seeking that kind of excitement. Then, the fun, drunken side of college becomes even more mainstream, media plays catch up with its audience, and it starts all over. Partying and drinking may already exist in college culture, but college representation in popular culture sustains these behaviors in young adults.

The Aftermath

These actions do not go without consequences. The three students from earlier in this post are unfortunately just a few examples within a larger population. From a statistic reported from The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, in 2015, as much as 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 died from alcohol-related situations. In addition, the action of underage drinking within the college campus is so normalized that a huge majority of 80% of college students admit to using alcohol, and of those, around 50% engaged in binge drinking within the last two weeks. It is quite ironic how the potential repercussions of the issue are devastating yet advertised in the media as light hearted fun.

Wrapping it All Up

There is a huge problem in the way college is portrayed in popular culture. The representation that college is wild and fun at all times is dangerous, especially to viewers who are soon to be or are currently in college. The conclusions that are drawn from the typical college movie or article today create bad examples and lead viewers into thinking college is something that it is not entirely. These preconceived notions, in turn, lead to negative influences in behavior and health in real life students.

Fun times in college exist, but realistically, getting a college education takes a lot of time and effort. Good grades don’t come easy, all nighters will drive you practically insane, and half the time you are sleep deprived running off of coffee. If popular culture continues to parade only the fun side, students will be gravely misled when they encounter the real thing in life.

… and here’s the reality

Learning Moments

  • The first big learning moment I had was actually toward the beginning of the term when we discussed Filter Bubbles. Eli Pariser’s TED talk, “Beware Online ‘Filter Bubbles’”, was very insightful to me, especially because it grounded a definition to something I feel like I have always kind of been aware of. I still think it’s scary how powerful social media is in showing or not showing things on our personal timelines. Given that I use social media everyday, I definitely think this awareness is important in order to always remind ourselves that what we see online is always a distorted truth.
  • The second big learning moment for me was in Week 5 while watching the Every Single Word videos. It really blew my mind to see that every single word spoken by people of color in major movies could be summarized into 2 or 3 minutes. It really reminded me of the unfortunate underrepresentation of people of color in popular culture. This knowledge is important to have in the future since this is something that needs to change. As more people become educated and aware of the issue, hopefully in the future we see more progress.

Works Cited

Dyszlewski, Margaret Paccione. “College Drinking: Listing of Top 20 ‘Party Schools’ Called into Question.” Brown University Child & Adolescent Behavior Letter, vol. 26, no. 10, Oct. 2010, pp. 8–8. Academic Search Premier [EBSCO].

Flanagan, Caitlin. “Death at a Penn State Fraternity.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 9 Nov. 2017,

Kaufman, Ellie. “Police Investigating Possible Hazing Death at LSU.” CNN, Cable News Network, 15 Sept. 2017,

Landon, Christopher, director. Happy Death Day. Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, 2017.

Lord, Phil and Christopher Miller, directors. 22 Jump Street. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 2014.

Murphy, Kate. “A Night of Drinking Ends in Death at Miami U.”, Cincinnati Enquirer, 23 Feb. 2017,

Stoller, Nicholas, director. Neighbors. Universal Pictures, 2014.

Terry-Mcelrath, Yvonne M., and Megan E. Patrick. “Intoxication and Binge and High-Intensity Drinking among US Young Adults in Their Mid-20s.” Substance Abuse, vol. 37, no. 4, 2016, pp. 597–605. Academic Search Premier [EBSCO], doi:10.1080/08897077.2016.1178681.