Steve Jobs passed away on the October 5 this year just recently a while ago and it has caused a whirlwind of responses from all over the world. I personally came to know about it via twitter because I browsing through my phone right after I got up from bed. The numerous responses really got me quite taken aback. Initially, I thought it might be some rumor, but I confirmed it to be true after I surfing the net on my laptop.

 

Two days after his death, the pre-order sales of the iPhone 4S have broken the Apple record, and that got me wondering if it was solely because of the gadget’s features or it is also partially due to the death of Steve Jobs… Many claimed that it’s inevitable to yearn for it even more since the founder of apple is dead and it’ll be even more “meaningful” to own the latest gadget he has invented. Well, I personally agree to a certain extent especially after I learnt about the agenda setting function of the media.

 

It is said in one of the lecture slides that “Agenda setting refers to the media’s ability through repeated news coverage, to raise the importance of an issue in the public’s mind.” I can’t agree more. When I first opened the Apple’s page, it was a large black and white picture of Steve Jobs together with texts stating his contribution. Not only that, it was all over the internet on pages like Google, Msn/Hotmail.com, etc. I’m sure those are many people’s home pages across the globe. There’s no way you can run away from reading about Steve Job’s death. Of course I’m not saying that people desire to own a iPhone 4S only because Steve Jobs died, but I’m saying it has a part to play, and that the media has a big role in fueling that. The felt that the recent advertisement for iphone 4S showing how Siri functioned was relatively attention grabbing and I felt that it was good. I’d like to think that it’s the repeated coverage of them both – iphone 4S and Steve jobs, that resulted in the high sales numbers of the product.

 

The media is indeed a remarkable source to get news regarding anything and everything. And it’s also amazing how it affects you subconsciously in various ways. It can be a view on something, or like for this issue that I’m referring to, make you yearn for something even more. Nonetheless, I feel that it’s difficult to pen down the different ways in which it’ll affect everyone because ultimately the ability of the media to set agenda also depends on how much each individual take into regard of the issued that’s raised.

Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies, including the Internet, television, posters, newspapers, film and radio, which are used for mass communications, and to the organizations which control these technologies. There are several functions of the media. It can be for information, education, entertainment and so on. What caught my attention was the poster I changed upon a couple of weeks back showing a barber shaving the “hair” of a guard in Britain. It felt like a good advertisement to me because it’s humorous and informative at the same time. It makes it not like any informative poster that is boring looking, it catches your attention because of it’s image, yet the message the poster is trying to convey across to the audience is pretty clear.

The target audience for this poster should be for the people that are living Europe that is experiencing climates (other than summer) that they want to get away from. This poster is trying to promote Eurostar train service, telling the audience that it’s summertime in London; hence if you want to get away from your state, it’s only a train ride away. Although the poster and the agenda of this poster may be focused more on the people that’s living in Europe, it can also reach out to people from all over the world that may be experiencing climates they don’t really fancy, or simply travellers that are looking for a country to go to.

Despite the fact that it’s an advertisement for Eurostar, I feel that this function of the media is also practically informative as it’s telling the audience the climate in London. The image accompanied by the advertisement is entertaining as well because a British royal guard does not have hair growing 30cm upwards from his head, they’re just guards wearing a hat, so it is impossible to actually have a barber shaving it. The whole concept is entertaining yet informative. Therefore I felt the medium the media used to convey the message across is successful.

The influence of the media is not to be underestimated. I’m sure this poster will not only catch the attention of people living in Europe, but also other tourists to London. It has personally already caught my attention. I like how they are also trying promote Britain’s culture indirectly by using a prominent figure such as the British royal guard. This poster is witty and creative. I personally give it two thumbs up!

 

It would have been a pity if you’ve missed the World Food Fair held in Suntec City, Singpaore from the 8th-11th of September this year! It was Free Admission for everyone and it was such an eye opening experience for me.The World Food Fair consists of many international stalls selling their country’s best delights. The food fair showcases the most comprehensive and scrumptious spread of local, Asian and International favourites. Being exposed to so many different kind of cultural food was a really amazing experience, especially for a food lover like me.

I’ve observed how all the stalls weredesigned according to the colors of their national flags, and that emphasized the fact that despitethe cultural differences within all the different countries, these food lovers still could come together as one and participate in something they enjoy. It made me realize that having intercultural relationships with one another is rather important. Intercultural communication or cross cultural communication is important because it also helps us understand other cultures better. To be in our comfort zone all the time is not a good thing, all of us ought to constantly expose and improve ourselves through learning and interacting with others. In addition, with this understanding we are better able to trade and do business with different countries.

I was pleased to see how people from all over the world interact with each other in the food fair. Eating and talking as they excitedlyshare amongst each other with what’s popular in their own country. It was interesting to personally witness how people came to explore different types of food from countries all over the world and not only their own.

Living in a country like Singapore, it’s essential to learn about other nationalities because we’re multi racial county ourselves. I thought that having World Food Fair was a really brilliant idea, there were approximately 250,000 visitors in the food fair itself and it evidently helped the people to learn more about the another country’s culture. I feel that key to effective cross-cultural communication is knowledge. And in order to have the knowledge, besides researching, it’s important to interact and experience it for ourselves. In this case, the world food fair 2011 was an excellent opportunity. Each and everyone of us should never belittle the small moments we have interacting with another person of a different culture, it may have happened in the past, today, or tomorrow. We’ll never know what we can learn from the others through small conversations, or sometimes even through observations. If you have not been doing that, it’s time to step out of your comfort zone and start opening your eyes to the different cultures around the world and what they have to offer, you’ll be surprised by how much it may impact you!

During lecture a few days back when the class discussed about relational challenges, I thought about the movie ‘He’s just not that into you’ almost immediately. It’s a romantic comedy film that features a few couples having really different perceptions in life and love and how they handle it. It’s pretty eye opening because it shows the different issues people are facing with relationships due to their mentality. The situations that came to my mind straight away during lecture involved the divorced couple Ben and Janine and the couple that eventually got married – Beth and Neil.

Janine and Ben were having a lot of difficulties in their marriage. As they shifted to their new home, Janine is caught up with being obsessed on their home renovations, whereas Ben is more interested in his social life. He eventually became attracted to his yoga instructor Anna and both of them started a flirtatious friendship. Besides that, Janine is strongly against smoking and she raged when she found cigarette butts hidden in their back yard. Ben insisted that it was not his and pushed the blame to the workers that were renovating their house. Ben eventually confessed to Janine about his affair with Anna and despite that, Janine blamed herself for probably being too hard on him and cold in the relationship and decides to save their marriage. Janine went back to their home, all ready to start afresh as she pack Ben’s clothes, only to find a fresh pack of cigarettes in a pocket. That triggered her to realizing they were both really better off divorced.

The relationship they had hit a few points under relational challenges shown during lecture. One of which that is very prominent is deception and actions that undermine trust. The initial part of their relationship shows how different their priorities were. She was more interested in their new home and getting it all nicely done whereas he was more interested and caught up in his own hobbies. He also misused her trust by being in an affair with Anna. I feel that that goes to show so much about his personality and how much he regarded their marriage. When you love someone wholeheartedly, putting your marriage on the line is the last thing you’ll want to do. Besides that, he even lied about the cigarettes. It may be a minor lie since it is just cigarettes and it’s not like he lied about killing someone, but I feel that that’s not the point. The main issue is the fact that he lied and there was so much deception going on in their relationship. It is so unhealthy and while watching the movie, I already foresee that their marriage isn’t going to work out at the end. Therefore even after she wanted to give their marriage a second shot, she just needed something as minor as finding a fresh pack of cigarettes to trigger her decision in getting a divorce eventually. I’m sure the fact that he slept with Anna was at the back of her mind, and as much as she wanted to salvage their marriage, I feel that it’ll never be the same somehow. His other lies will just surface. It was justified at the end when she found out he actually lied about the cigarettes too. It’s almost impossible to live with someone for the rest of your life if you know that he’s going to be so dishonest with so many things. I felt that she made the right decision. Honesty plays a really big part in a relationship if you were to ask me.

The other couple that came to my mind was Beth and Neil. Beth and Neil have been together for seven years and they’re living together. Beth wants to get married but Neil on the other hand, does not believe in marriage. She broke up with him in the end. But after Beth’s father suffered from a heart attack, it became clear to her that the status is not as important as she thought it was. Neil was there throughout for her family, unlike her sister’s husbands. She realized that Neil was more of a husband than any of them to her sisters. Beth and Neil got back together eventually and she told Neil it is not important if they get married eventually. She’s content as long as they were in committed relationship. But Neil surprised her at the end and he proposed.

They were by far my favorite couple, their relationship reflected a lot of differences in both their mentalities and thus leading to them breaking up initially. But as time passes, her father’s heart attack accident made her change her perception in the need to get married and they got back in the end. I’ve always felt that it’s pointless in trying to change someone, if a person’s mentality and personality is not what you’re looking for then it’s best to let him or her go. One shouldn’t tolerate, but accept instead. And that was what she decided to do at the end, to accept the fact that he’s someone that does not believe in marriage and accepted him back in the end. But to her surprise, his mentality was also altered and he proposed eventually. It’s a bonus for her and I feel that this is how things should work. Differences play a big role in any relationship; it plays a big part to whether a relationship can work. Having different mentalities will pose a problem in the relationship, if you try to tolerate and overcome an issue, there will be so many others they will surface in time to come. Hence, one should never try to tolerate, convince or change someone in their way of thinking; it’s better if the person’s mentality change over time on their own.

This movie reinforces my view on any kind of relationships. We may not see it for ourselves now, but I believe that deception and differences in mentality will definitely pose problems to any kind of relationships.

Stomp is Singapore’s number one citizen media and social networking website, it stands for Straits Times Online Mobile Print. It integrates the online content and activities in the three platforms such as print, online and mobile to interact and engage with us Singaporeans.

More than 75 percent of the website’s page viewers come from its citizen media, user- generated content which its users send to the website via SMS, MMS and email.

This user-generated content naturally finds its way into the print media, such as The Straits Times, my paper and even Chinese-language newspapers such as Shin Min Daily News and Lianhe Wanbao.

Unlike the articles we see on news, the news on stomp vary. In a sense that they post even very trivial matters that don’t necessarily go on print. Because anybody in Singapore can actually SMS, MMS or email to the website in regards to whatever they feel about the situation wherever they’re at.

I feel that it is a very successful platform to communicate with the locals because it targets almost everyone in Singapore. I feel that the issues people report about are attention grabbing and may be sensitive to us locals because it has got a lot to do with how our culture influence us and cause us to behave on a daily basis in public.

An example would be reserving our seats in food courts with packets of tissue paper. That’s being “kiasu” in singlish terms, but well it just means that we’re scared to lose out to others. It makes us subconsciously selfish in a way sometimes. It can be very subjective, but we can deny that a large part of that is cultivated from our culture. We get influenced by how other Singaporeans behave and we ourselves start behaving that way thinking there’s nothing wrong with it since it’s a norm around the country.

What makes Stomp.sg a successful website in terms of communicating with us locals and telling us what is wrong or right is that it targets the embarrassing things Singaporeans do without noticing, hence it makes it interesting for the readers because it’s so unpredictable who might be the next one on stomp. It might even be of the readers!

To communicate through a website is a pretty smart way I must say. Almost everyone own a computer these days, a website is merely a click away. The mass media is indeed very influential. By reading Stomp, many readers might feel embarrassed because they themselves might just be like those that got featured. Therefore it makes readers reflect on their doings, and I believe that’s the agenda of the website as well.

Media influence is largely dependent on the direct experiences the people has with the issue addressed, and that’s the method Stomp.sg uses. Many of the issues raised are people’s experiences on the train, bus, hawker center, etc. – Locations that are frequently visited by many Singaporeans. Thus, a large percentage of us can definitely relate to the issue addressed.

If you would ask me, I personally feel that Stomp.sg ‘s method to communicate with us Singaporeans is effective. Because of this platform, many will pay more attention to how they ought to behave in public, making sure they do not cross the line in doing anything inappropriate just because it feels like a norm in our culture. Admit it, who isn’t fearful that we’ll find ourselves on Stomp one day at be talked about across the nation?

This title is not unfamiliar to many of you, I’m sure. The famous Walt Disney movie about a beautiful young lady, Belle, whose father is imprisoned by the Beast, offers herself instead and discovers her captor to be an enchanted prince. Belle found herself falling in love with the prince not after the spell is broken, but while the prince still looked like a beast.

The only difference is that the beast turns out to be a charming young man at the end of the movie, but not for the man in the issue I’m about to address.

This couple from China became the talk of the town because many felt that the young woman do not deserve a guy that looked below average.

  

It is unfair to this couple because these remarks made by the general public are just their personal perception.  It makes me wonder why does the world work this way, why are we so obsessed with looks, especially when it comes to dating — that most of us humans feel that the beautiful people should only go out with people who are aesthetically compatible with them.

People have the rights to date with whomever they want, looks are after all what’s on the surface, a person with good morals and heart is then true attractiveness to me. But sadly, this is how the world works, looks to a certain extent makes it easier for a handful of people out there to get whatever they want. I’ve seen many cases of people using their looks to their advantage. I guess it’s true we humans are all superficial to a certain extent no matter how much we want to deny it. No doubt, everybody yearns to be born with good looks, but it’s not something we can choose, can we? Has anybody questioned this guy here that maybe, he has a character of gold? The way the society is so quick to set their verdict that they girl should never go out with a guy like that makes me feel that these comments only goes to show how superficial the world is.

Perception is how each individual make sense of the world to be, it can be influenced by so many factors. But in this issue, I feel that humans feel the importance of two good-looking people being together is largely due to the influence of the media. Take for example, the celebrity couple Angelina Jollie and Brad Pitt, I’m sure everyone feel that they are meant for each other because it’s undeniable that they both compliment each other in terms of looks. Because of what we see, those images and information are installed in our minds that couples ought to look like Barbie and Ken. As much as how other factors might influence us to feel that way, I feel that we should have our own stand to our thinking, and think about it – it makes no sense to why a good looking guy OUGHT TO be with a gorgeous girl. Logically, does that make their marriage more successful? No.

If one party evidently excels more than the other in terms of looks, it should not matter at all. I personally feel that everyone should look beyond that, looks should never be the primary concern in regards to whether two people ought to be dating or not. People should be more concerned if both of them actually make each other truly happy. While others are mocking at this girl for choosing a guy with average looks, I, on the other hand, feel happy for her because it goes to show that she is someone that has a mind of her own. “If you don’t stand up for something, you’ll fall for anything.” Elisa Kreisinger . I don’t know about you, but I personally can’t agree more.

I chose to do on the song “ Black or White” by Michael Jackson to share with you on the issue about racism not because I’m a die-hard fan of his, but rather this song has caught my attention the moment I heard it. Being a pop icon, he has the ability to influence a great number of people around the world to how they should perceive things through his songs and the things he does. And what fascinated me was this song that he produced, “Black or White”, talking about his views on racism. It shows a lot about his perceptions in things and I felt it was so meaningful because my sentiments were the same.

Black or White” was accompanied by a controversial music video, which, was simultaneously premiered in 27 countries with an estimated audience of 500 million people, the largest viewing ever for a music video. Can you imagine how much impact this song has influenced the people across the globe? Michael Jackson chose to communicate to the audience about his views on racism through a song, and through this song it is rather evident that his perspective on racism is that nobody should be treated any different because of their race.

As one listens to this song, they will realize that Jackson was expecting his audience to be both white or of color ethnicities. The common problem between many ethnicities is racism. These lyrics describe his opinion on racism and how they have affected him and the world around him. The first lyrics that caught my attention were “They printed my message, In the Saturday Sun, I had to tell them, I ain’t second to none.” Here he states that he is not no one, that he is a person, with equalities.
Next, Jackson wrote ” I told about Equality , An It’s True, Either You’re Wrong or you’re right .” In these few lines Jackson is trying to say that everyone has their own opinion on what equality is. If someone has a different opinion on equality, each person is right.

Also, he states that he is not scared of anyone when things get bad and will not let the racism, that another person has for a different ethnicity, affect him.

There are many perspectives regarding communications. One of which is social constructionist. Besides direct experiences, many of our beliefs are influenced via communications. Like this song for example, it has influenced me personally on how I should feel in relation to racism.  It made me feel that we should see everyone the same regardless of race. I feel that this has made Michael Jackson a successful communicator in a way.

The pragmatic view on racism concerns me to certain extent, but I was impacted more than I thought I would be after hearing this song because I realized I was elated that someone so phenomenal actually raised the issue and is trying to communicate to the world about how his views. The fact that Michael Jackson made use of his social status to bring across unity and equality made my respect for him grow.

Our perceptions are altered through varies means of communication, so I’ll admit that mine was after I heard this song. I felt even stronger that people should never judge one another based on the color of their skin.

This shows how much we can be influenced by social factors. And in this case, evidently, the media has significantly affected me. I’m sure people that are racist have their reasons; maybe it’s due to personal experiences, etc. But I feel that mindless racist comments and assumptions is just another way where the frightened and insecure find solace.

To sum it up, what I’m trying to say is, this song triggered me to think stronger than before that racism is man’s gravest threat to man, what for have the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason? Well… I don’t know about you, but it’s just absolutely silly to me.