It doesn’t seem like that long ago that I was rollerskating in my white leather skates with the bright red pom poms and the matching acrylic wheels. I was born in 1972, and although I didn’t know it, I would grow up in a final frontier of sorts.
It was the year Atari released Pong. Maya Angelou’s Georgia, Georgia became the first script by an African American woman, to be filmed. The Godfather was released. Notorious B.I.G. was born. The EPA finally banned the use of the dangerous pesticide DDT, but we kept exporting the stuff to anyone who would buy it. The Vietnam War raged. The women’s movement divided. With this movement women had become a class. Now, to make an omlette (as Joan Didion wrote) you needed not only broken eggs, but a woman oppressed enough to beat them. Joseph Biden won his first senate seat, and a few months later he lost his wife and infant daughter in a car accident.
We were the last to ride our banana seat bikes in the streets, friends attached to the handlebars. We made mixed tapes, met the video game, mastered the walkman. It was the best of times, and it has never been so simple again.
Today’s kids face a complex web of information that is not only terminally available, but represents a steady stream of media diet. Media greets them at every turn. Advertising, branding, corporate culture, technology…it’s in the classroom, the living room, the car. It’s attached to their ears, their heads, their hands. What is it doing to their minds, their perception, their expectations?
Like every revolution, the changing landscape that occured as a result of the internet and digital technology has its victories. There are profound benefits to the way we consume information in this brave new world. It is possible to know the answer, to almost anything, in a split second. We can keep our eye on each other, without flipping a channel, opening a paper, reading a magazine. Updates, headlines, status reports…they fill our inbox, overflow our emails. We are never out of reach.
A steady diet…
Images, videos, lyrics, text, sound bytes, graphics–
We feed, but on what?
At MAP we believe it is our responsibility to make children educated consumers of media. It is the mission of our organization to create programs and experiences that teach this responsibility in dynamic ways children have intuitively come to expect. Because media can be a powerful force for good in this world; awareness can map the course.[typography font=”Calligraffitti” size=”24″ size_format=”px”]Nina L. Medeiros[/typography]
Founder; Media Awareness Project