The reason why I like media is because it got me and my best friend to reconnect. We had been friends for over 11 years but only during the quarantine we got close. When the quarantine began, we started calling each other at least 3 to 4 times a week, either doing homework together or cooking. Being able to talk to her during the 1 year and a half made the lockdown a little more fun and less terrible. That is why I will end my blog post with, even in the darkest times there is light.

Student number: 13755013


Loving Media, Suspiciously

As most people of my generation, I have been exposed to and grown into media when it was advancing at a pace it has never yet advanced and, in turn, when new ways of commodifying media practices often went unchecked and unrestrained. Now looking back it is interesting to see how I fell for traps laid out by commercials on TV and catalogues and, eventually, the pressures of social media. This strategic use of my childhood urges for profit sounds almost dystopian and, once I realised the risks, made me view media with suspicion. Mistrust, however, was followed by curiosity.

Questions regarding media consumption now arise involuntarily: Why am I still watching this? How come this ad has an effect on me? Am I enjoying this because it wants to sell me something and I am its target audience? Media is a growing yet unexplored terrain and I will inevitably fall into its trenches but my hope is to do it consciously. I am not attempting to answer the question of human freedom, as so many people did and there is no consensus so far. Regardless of whether I am free to make choices at my own will in the mediated world I want to be able to tell, for myself, how these choices are coming about. And to do that I am learning to look at media through suspicious naivety.

ID: 12774189

From love to hate and back again

My relationship with media is pretty complicated I think. I’ve been using it since I was eight years old. I would go on forums for girls my age and I’d made a lot of friends. In real life, away from media I was pretty shy and reserved. I had a hard time making friends and expressing myself. But online I felt like I could be myself. I’m still in contact with some of the friends I made back then and I think that’s really special. Because of those forums I discovered my passion for writing. I’d write my own stories and fanfictions and my biggest dream was to become a published writer. This later changed to becoming a journalist. That dream still hasn’t changed.

Media has saved me from loneliness and boredom. When I would have a hard time making friends at school, I would come home and talk to the friends I made online. This has also been keeping me sane during the pandemic. You see, I like being at home and I enjoy spending time alone, so I think the lockdowns didn’t affect me as much as other people, but after a couple of weeks I felt like I was going insane. I talked to my friend about this and he got some friends together to play games. About once a week, this group of around ten people would come together and play games for a couple of hours. It was online, yes, but we had something to do and something to look forward to. 

But this pandemic also made me realise how much I hate media. There are so many positive sides of (social) media, but the negative sides were something I started to notice. I’d watch the news and see mostly negative reports and I got a lot of anxiety because of that. I noticed that even though I wanted to, I couldn’t stop consuming media all the time. I started to feel trapped in it. I started leaving my phone in my room for the day, but then I would still need to lose my laptop or watch television or I’d hear about something involuntarily. 

While all of this was happening, I was studying journalism. And what is a journalist without media, right? 

Media intrigues me still, it’s like an addiction. I see the problems and negative effects, but I still love it. It’s the reason I chose to study Media and Information.

In conclusion, media shaped me to who I am today and I am grateful. But it also frustrates me and I want to take a step back sometimes. I know this isn’t realistic, so I just deal with it and accept it’s flaws and embrace the positive sides of it.

Student ID: 13956728

El Rojo

Is there really an answer?

As a teenager growing up in a private and conservative high school in Ecuador, the options you had for your professional future was to inherit your family’s business, be a lawyer, a doctor, or a business manager. All my school friends around me had their future lifetime jobs already secured before they even finished high school. In my case, I had the same option to work in my family’s business, but my passion really was towards something more complicated. I started discovering the world of media by making media. I self taught the basics of filmmaking while looking for an opportunity to create something that could convince my parents that I not only liked media but that I was somewhat capable of doing media.

About ten years ago, my school really didn’t care much about the arts, the media world, or anything that deviated from the more “serious” careers or sports. I really don’t blame them for this. In those days, the notion of earning an adequate salary and making a career from a media job in Ecuador seem to be very distant and nearly impossible. In the meantime, I found out about the only national film festival in Ecuador for high-school students. It was still a new initiative and with little support from higher entities. Still, this was the opportunity I needed to test myself in the world of making media and to see how other would react to the amateur content I produced.

 I wrote a script about a teenager, Manuel, that is locked up by two bullies in a dark storage room where he finds a strange mexican sombrero that turned him into a powerful superhero named El Rojo. Manuel, El Rojo, escapes the storage room embarks on a mission to capture the bullies and get his spicy revenge. By controlling all their movements, he records a video of them eating super spicy Yucatán sauce and throwing buckets full of dark beans to each other. The embarrassing video is posted in social media and the bullies are put to shame by the entire school on the next day. This bizarre short film comedy stood out among the participants of the festival since it was the only film that was not a drama or a candle lighted horror film. El Rojo won multiple categories during the festival, and it is still remembered and mentioned by the organizers every year. Despite the apparent success of El Rojo, I didn’t know exactly what I was doing at that time as a teenager. So many questions and no one to ask.

The experience with El Rojo really pushed me to not be another brick in the wall. To start a foundation of a new wall; a more colorful, fun, and messy wall. A wall that could be built, destroyed, and built again with a different material. I needed some help to build the new wall, so I asked the only person I knew that was into the media production business. Together we founded BALBOA FILMS, a small film production company based in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Inspired by the balboa swing dance that originated in California during the 1920’s, Balboa Films pursuits a fun experience while making media. In the last four years, we have produced a number of videos for a various number of companies, organizations, and artists. Personally, the experience of working with media feels as fresh as the first day. New themes, experiences, and questions to be answered. It will always be nerve wracking every time a client trusts us with their money to produce content that is expected to reach their audience or clients. But the reality is that most of the time, we don’t know exactly if the product we are making as a production company is going to have the desired outcome to meet expectations. There is always that uncertain feeling in every project I work on. And maybe that is what makes it so fun, the unpredictability of media.

Now, in this new life in Europe, I hope that it helps me to understand more deeply how to make sense of this overwhelming mediated world of possibilities. Because making media still did not really answered the essential questions that I been having since I was a teenager discovering media. What I’m doing with all of this? Where is this going to take me? These questions are the reason why I traveled almost ten thousand kilometers from my hometown Guayaquil to Amsterdam. There is a lot to discover, understand, and experience. You know… its complicated, but fun.

Student number: 13594753

Media as liberation

Up until the development of the internet and other modern media, knowledge was spread locally and in a slow manner. As well as being very vulnerable to national restrictions in publishing and dissemination.

I’ve always known how lucky I am to have free access to the internet and its evergrowing amount of information. I was always and still am slightly awestruck by the wide variety of knowledge, entertainment and ideas I can access for free while sitting in my lazy chair. Doing media-studies only made this awe grow: I have realized we are living in a time which, in a way, is similar to the time of the invention of bookprinting. A deeply radical change in the way we learn and develop as a species.

Embracing this freedom has always felt like an obligation to me, mostly because of my family’s history. Due to our heritage and religious origin we have been a target of discrimination and in some cases (fatal) violence for centuries. Unfortunately, my ancestors were never able to learn about (geo)politics, communication, public discourse, privacy and safety like we are. These things would have surely empowered and even saved them in case of a dangerous or threatening times.

But the gratitude I have for our current access and freedoms is just as big as or even greater than the feeling of grief I have for all people in the past and the media they missed. While I’m only slightly worried about a possible future of authoritarian governments and widespread discrimination, I still try to keep up to date on important political changes around the world, I still try to ensure me and my loved ones have access to modes of communication that can’t be restricted by anyone and I still try to learn about places, things and ideas that can guarantee and improve our collective safety and freedom. Not because I’m scared or paranoid, but because modern media offer us all a deeply liberating life and I would be a fool not to enjoy and embrace it to the fullest!

Student No.: 14021277

P.S. Take My Breath Away

Love is a concept that is hard to fully comprehend. I think that goes for every individual, yet i find myself falling in and out of love with my media. At times, It’s like a bad breakup or one of those “situationships” you don’t know what to do with or feel about, but other times, It feels good and euphoric to post online about the things you find truth in and to simply share the things you do. However, at the core of my media usage, trying to find a balance between the way I feel about my media and the true reason why I love my media is a fine line. I love my media because it enables me to connect with the people I love who are near and far from me. Essentially, i love my media because of the way i’m able to connect virtually with the people I cherish the most. 

From moving around to various places during my childhood, the only way I managed to keep up with my family and friends was through the media. I use social media because it gives me an outlet to connect with those who know me just as equally with strangers who I can relate to. Another form of media that I love is film. It allows me to escape my own reality for a brief moment in time, where im able to learn, grow and understand the world through a different lens.

I wouldn’t say that i’m “in love” with my media, but to an extent, I need it to survive. Even in the most mundane things I do, the media always seems to be lurking in every corner whether i’m aware of it or not. It’s only a matter of time until I realize how nestled and comfortable I am with my media being ubiquitous in my own life, even though it already has been omnipresent in the way that I have lived and will continue to live out this life. 

They say that “love” is a strong word, and yes, that is true, because it’s a feeling that is daunting to encapsulate into one word. All of the feelings, emotions, and thoughts boil down to this four letter word. It’s equally omnipresent as the media. Therefore, you cannot “hate” it even if you try because it will always find a way to crawl back into your life, just like that one text from your ex. As I said before, my relationship with media will never be a “happily ever after” day dream.  In return, it’s a lucid dream, a rollercoaster ride with the torments and ecstatic moments. In other words, it’s like wearing a blindfold on a ride where you can sense the big drop coming, but you don’t know where or when you’ll be diving into thin air or how it will take your breath away. I think that’s what media means to me, and why I love, and hate it equally.



Why I heart my media

Since the name of this Blog is “why I heart my media” I will make my contribution about myself and my relationship with media.

I was born in 2001 so i fall in the category of digital natives, people who grew up in and around technologies like computers the Internet and later smartphones. I still remember how fascinated we were as children at the new Iphone that my Father was given by his office as a company phone. Now even though we had all this technology aroun us as children, our parents would try to keep me and my two younger sisters from watching a lot of television or spending too much time on the computer or god forbid, playing video games. So when the other kids at school would talk about a new game or television program I would rarely be able to join the conversation of course my childhood wasnt sad and boring, quite the opposite actually but this is about media after all. So for the first of my Life my relationship with media was lived throuh other people like my friends who would either tell me about what happened on TV or they would let me use their video game console whenever I visited them.

As I grew up I started to watch more television because i figured out how to do on my own and I know this might seem weird to some people, at least it did to my friends at the time but i took me quite a long time to figure out how to use the TV on my own I think i was ten or twelve years old when i figured it out. It was around the same time when was given my first phone by my parents and I remember being incredibly proud of it. It was also around this time that video games became really popular with the poeple that I spent most of my time with in school but I was sailing at the time and with sailing practice a few times a week and homework there was not a lot of time to play video games and of course i didnt have the hardware for it and for some reason the people in my school thought this was a good enough reason to bully me for, and so they did for over a year, this affected me so much that I couldnt focus on school anymore and my grades got too bad and I had to change school. And to some extend I feel like the bullying still affects the way i interact with people today, I guess in some weird twisted way you could say that this only happened because of media so the effect media had on my life is definitely profound.

But, and this is a big but most my relationship with media has been a very good one it is probably not a healthy one and we spend way too much time together, and like all relationships there are ups and downs like when i found out how most tech companies make money today, by selling our data. And when I found out what can be done by research firms or advertising firms or even governments with that data, or when I found out that filter bubbles existed I was shocked and disappointed, and I considered to not use social media anymore. But then I decided for myself that the adventages far outweigh the questionable morality and legaility of social media even though I believe that these companies like facebook and Google can not continue like this I will still use them and enjoy using them, because of all the great things media allow me to do I can communicate with my friends who live on the other side of the planet, I can listen to my favorite audiobooks, podcasts and music, I can read books, watch movies and tv shows. Without media I probably wouldnt study in amsterdam right now and i wouldnt have been able to write this blogpost or any blogpsot for that matter.

I will say with full confidence that I love my media and with anything I love I will try and make the media and especially the internet a better place.

Student ID: 13847767

My Media n I

I would want to start this in a modest way, claiming that I have a love-hate relationship with my media, yet I can’t bring myself to do that as most of my everyday life activities happen through various Media, making it hard to hate. What I have come to realize is that nowadays, especially since COVID-19 hit, people spend an awful amount of time on all these different kinds of Media, ending up -most of the time- exhausted. Nevertheless, we all still go back to our dear Media and continue the cycle. 

My relationship with media started at an age where I was only enjoying the services and fun, foreign activities it was able to provide me with, or rather, the only ones I was introduced to. I never really worried about the effects Media could potentially have, or how it could influence everything and everyone around me until I started getting interested in music. This discovery of music and how it can provoke so many different emotions in a split second is what drew me into the journey of exploring Media. This is why I am here today. 

I could speak about the multiple opportunities and ways in which Media is helpful/useful to the majority of us, however, that would be sort of biased. My experience with and within Media is much different than my boyfriend’s, for example. Some people get moreover affected negatively, which in all honesty, is very hard not to nowadays. Media, in the form that I think my generation is mainly surrounded by – the Internet, is quite an evil space to exist in. It is basically one big bullying platform. Of course, this phenomenon has always existed, but since now pretty much everything we do goes through Instagram, Snapchat, or a platform of the sort, it seems like the environment has become increasingly more negative. 

With this being said, I would like to wrap this up believing that my relationship with Media is mostly a loving one, but I definitely do recognize the harmful aspects of it.

Student ID: 13690418 

Why I <3 My Media

I ❤ my media because it’s an escape from the real world for me. Wether it’s video games, movies or TV shows, they let me enter a realm of endless possibilities. Beautiful stories, that let you forget about your own problems and responsibilities.

I ❤ my media because it lets me interact/connect with so many people from all over the world, showing me different perspectives on topics that I would’ve never imagined myself. It let me grow up seeing and experiencing different cultures which i cherish dearly.

I ❤ my media because I have most of the knowledge in the world in my pocket.

I ❤ my media because it made me who I am today.

10 things I hate about you

I hate the way you talk to me,
and the way you overshare.

I hate the way you spread violence.

I hate it when you don’t care.

I hate your big dump moneymaking CEO’s,
and the way you read my mind.

I hate you so much it makes me addicted,
it even makes me rhyme.

I hate the way you say you’re always right.

I hate it when you lie.

I hate it when you make me laugh,
even worse when you make me cry.

I hate it when you’re not around,
and the fact that you can make me feel so small.

But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you,

not even close…

not even a little bit…

not even at all.

With this, not so subtle, film reference I hope to show you that the way I feel about media is kind of like a coin. There are two sides and they’re inevitably combined to one. Like sadness or pain are things that can only exist because love does. So eventhough it hurts me to see the negativity caused by media and I often struggle finding a healthy balance in the way I use my media, I love my media wholeheartedly. Why? Because of stories! We give eachother so much by sharing stories, whether through film, books or even things like reddit. They make us understand and through that feel a deep sense of connection with eachother and the world we live in.

                                                                                                                                                             Noa Bonnet: 13759140