HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

Self-Concept #1

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From knowing the kinds of television programs I watch, websites I visit most often, and the genres of music I enjoy, someone could know about my priorities and get clues about my values. Those pieces of information tell a lot about how people spend their time and thus, what their priorities are throughout their days. For instance if I told someone that I don’t watch many television programs, then they would know that I spend my time doing other things. That information can also describe my values, especially when it comes to websites I visit most often. If I visited websites about politics then others can assume I value being informed and engaged in current events. If I visit artistic platforms more often, then others can assume that I value art and creativity. Overall, I think knowing the TV someone watches, websites they visit, and music they listen to can provide glimpses of their values, but doesn’t provide very deep insight about who they are.
I believe the media does influence how we see ourselves because it is a way to share stories and when we are represented in those stories, we see ourselves according to how they are told. In our discussion about women in advertisements, women are constantly objectified and portrayed as “perfect” ideals of beauty. Because the women in the ads represent and unachievable ideal, average girls and women have low self-esteem as a result, and many seek to change themselves in order to meet this standard. The media also influences the image we have ourselves when there is no representation of us in the stories told. This gives us the impression that we don’t matter, that no one cares about us, and that we aren’t seen — things that we then think about ourselves. Ultimately, the media shapes how we see ourselves because we are represented in the stories told about people.

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