Hello There

Hello all, my name is Amanda Nurmi, sometimes referred to as Nurms. I am a junior working towards my Communication Studies major and Graphic Design minor, at Longwood University. I attended the study abroad trip to Spain this summer, which contributed to my new found love of traveling and I am obsessed with dogs, even though I do not own one.

As a communications major, I feel it is easy to interact well with others, and observe how people communicate with each other. One experience I have had during my studies, which improved my communication abilities, was a group project for my Media Criticism class. I worked in a small group on a presentation that we were expected to give to our class and a liberal studies class. I feel more confident in my presenting and my teamwork capabilities because the project left the classroom and broadened my skill level.

One experience I have had with interpersonal communication is how I learned to address issues with people I care about. When I was younger I used to let people say what they wanted, even if it was hurtful, and I would bottle up my feelings. After a fight with one of my closest friends, I realized I needed to speak up and let people know how I feel, but in a calm and effective manner. I can now successfully have a disagreement with a friend, without it blowing out of proportion. I hope to learn more about how others could react to my approach to disagreements during this Interpersonal Communications course.



Tech Savvy

Technology has been taking over the news world for at least four years now. Journalism has received a makeover and news has become just a click away. My parents still read the newspaper every morning and I have observed that mainly people from the generation before the technology boom, read their hardcopy newspapers as well and go to their news, but those who have become more technologically savvy, tend to have news automatically come to them.

When I say people go to news, it means that those people seek out to be informed, by reading the newspaper or turning on the news at a certain time. Ken Doctor, author of “Newsenomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News you Get”, states “we live in a news bubble, we don’t so much get the news as the news gets us, sometimes surrounding us” (Doctor 2009 pp.11). Media has become so readily available; it’s almost impossible to avoid the latest news reports. Technology does 90% of the work to make this happen and humans do the 10%, which adds the skill and intelligence technology needs to function. That 10% is what differentiates what technology is able to do (Doctor). Technology allows us to receive information faster and in the best format and the people who are involved in running the stories are putting together the whole package. An example would be publishers increasing their content’s IQ, knowing what they have created and organizing the information by topic, audience, location and more (Doctor).

Algorithms are an example of human involvement in technology. Algorithms are sets of instructions or codes that communicate with technology and tell it how to operate.  According to BBC News, “ algorithms may be cleverer then humans but the don’t necessarily have out sense of perspective” (Wakefield 2011). The news article discusses the theory of computers taking over and becoming smarter than human beings, and how algorithms have become the main source of intelligence, but the take over has yet to come. The Public Learning Media Laboratory discusses how algorithms are operating on sets of assumptions and are constantly changing. The assumptions include whether the site has words and phrases consistent to the inquiry, does it have a lot of other sites liked to it, and what the big titles on the page say (PLML). These assumptions are used to match applicable content to the subject you have inquired. Google uses algorithms by having the user type in a key word or certain source and a whole list of relevant sources appear.

Knowing the behind-the-scenes of technology and media is enlightening and helps users become more technologically savvy.  Since there is the possibility of computers becoming smarter than humans, being informed will help for an easier transition into the next age of technology. Having such advanced systems is also a great way to be easily informed.


  1. Searching for the Perfect Algorithm. Public Learning Media Laboratory. Retrieved from: http://www.plml.org/information-literacy-education/searching-for-the-perfect-algorithm
  2. Wakefield, Jane. (2011). When Algorithms Control the World. BBC News. Retrieved from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14306146
  3. Doctor, Ken. (2010). Newsenomics: Twelve New Trends that Will Shape the News You Get.






Facebook has become the world’s most popular social media site and has about 200 million members. I remember when I made my facebook, back in 2007, and how different the set up and privacy options were. Facebook updates their format quite often, which usually throws off the privacy settings everyone personalizes. In the past few years, Facebook has started to subtly advertising to its users. For those of you who have Facebook, have you noticed the many different ads the right side of your news feed and wall? Well, those advertisements are specially personalized to the user, also known as data mining. In other words, according to Mashable Social Media, “Companies are mining the social web, information posted publicly on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and other sites are fair game” (Betancourt 2010).

It is important to be aware of data mining and your privacy settings, because you never know who is out there searching the Internet, waiting to bump into your site and receive as much information about you as possible. Take a moment to look at your own Facebook page, or any other social media site, and observe what kind of advertisements companies have paired you with. Some of the advertisements I receive do not even pertain to me and some are precisely on target; take the “Film your way to $500” ad on the right. Companies have observed that I am a college student and that I have researched financial aid and insurance at least once on the Web. Some could find this strategy creepy and a violation of their privacy, but it has helped the digital ad revolution, creating three major changes. According to Ken Doctor, the author of Newsenomics, “data mining is growing into such a discipline—such a means of selling stuff to us better—that the buying and selling of behavioral buying-related data itself is a new booming business of its own” (Doctor 2010, pp.88). Although, this approach is helpful to those companies, it still puts our personal lives and interests out there in the World Wide Web.

The theory of data mining is defined as a new strategy of “retargeting” company’s previous consumers, by sorting through everything that is known about us, such as our interests and what we do, through the Internet (Doctor 2010, pp.88). The traditional marketing research involves “assessing the overall market for a good or service, surveying consumers about their likes and dislikes” (Hall, chron.com). The difference in traditional marketing and data mining is that data mining does not always involve surveying consumers. It uses targeting techniques, such as Cookies, which are data stored by a website browser and then information is sent back through the same browser, to gain information without consent.

Data mining does not always cause harm, and companies’ intentions are not to violate your personal bubble, but it is important to be aware of how your information is gathered and where it goes. Make sure to edit privacy settings on social media pages, and research how to enable cookies, or how to make cookies less invasive.


  1. Betancourt, Leah. (2010). How Companies are Using Your Social Media Data.

Mashable Social Media. Retrieved from: http://mashable.com/2010/03/02/data-mining-social-media/

2. Doctor, Ken. Newsonomics: twelve new trends that will shape the news you get.

New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2010. Print.

3. Hall, Shane. Media, Demand. Examples Of Data Mining Vs. Traditional

Marketing Research. Retrieved from:






He Said She Said

In a small town in Colorado, on an average school day, one of the worst mass killings took place at Columbine High School. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were average seniors on the verge of graduating. On April 20, 1999 all of that changed. Harris and Klebold were confused teens that felt the need to kill, but after the massacre, people began to make up their own images as to who Eric and Dylan were, causing stereotypes to blow out of proportion and the media being the main storytellers. The media, mainly news stations, began to cover the Columbine disaster within hours of it starting. Kids from inside the school ended up turning to the media giving play by plays as to who they think the shooters are, the number of people involved, and in what manor students were killed. Immediately, the media started to set the agenda of the story behind Columbine. Because of the media’s involvement, many different myths arose from that dreadful day. It is important to be aware of how beneficial, but harmful media can be and the new ways media gets out.

Many different myths came out of Columbine, whether students were telling them, or people were assuming what they thought could be the reason behind it or what exactly happened in the building. The main falsehoods were about Eric and Dylan, people labeled them as outcasts and Goths, saying they worshiped Hitler and Marilyn Manson and that they were apart of the school’s TCM, Trench Coat Mafia. Another myth was that there were more than two gunmen and it was a conspiracy. One more rumor that went around was that the gunmen were aiming at certain targets, such as jocks and races. It is proven that Harris and Klebold did like violence and caused a lot of destruction through out the years leading up to the big day, but they were in no means outcasts, “ Eric always made friends. Social status was important” (Cullen 2009, pp.146). People feel the need to categorize people because they may dress differently, but these boys had many friends and were involved in their school. Goth fit their physical appearance and spread because they are usually associated with hatred and violence. Eric and Dylan were not a part of the TCM, but did wear trench coats to the killing, which made people assume that the TCM had something to do with the massacre, “repetition was the problem. Only a handful of students mentioned the TCM during the first five hours of CNN coverage—reporters homed in on the idea” (Cullen 2001, pp. 150).

Agenda settings is “the process whereby the mass media determine what we think and worry about, used to remodel all the events occurring in our environment” (Wilson 2001). In other words, the media sets up what they want us to know and can shape the story however they want. During Columbine, students called into news stations because they started to have no one else to turn to and told their stories and the reporters failed to question whether these are facts or events the kids thought they saw (Cullen 2001, pp.151). People believe whatever the news tells them, so these rumors stuck for a long time and made finding out the truth even more difficult.

Columbine occurred almost exactly 13 years ago from today. Imagine what sort of media we use today that can cause even more of a panic and confusion during such a horrific event. This past fall, Virginia Tech University had an unfortunate experience of yet another shooting on their campus, just four years after the April 16, 2007 massacre. Today we have multiple ways to receive instant news, such as television, twitter, facebook, and constantly updated news web sites.  Although there were only two casualties during the fall shooting, there were still many different stories flying around the campus, and the country, because of updated statuses and tweets and the news broadcasts were constantly updates before anyone new the shooter’s whereabouts. I interviewed a senior at VA tech to receive a student’s opinion on the immediate media coverage of the event, “they just broadcast anything they hear which I think can be good and bad. Like if they didn’t say anything, I don’t think people would have taken the situation that serious, but then again they get a lot wrong, which makes people jump to a lot of conclusions” (Taylor Nurmi, Virginia Tech). The main myth that went around was that there were two victims killed and the shooter was heading down a major highway, but the real story was that the killer shot an officer and then changed his clothes and shot himself in a parking lot. The Los Angeles Times updated their website less than an hour of the first shot exclaiming “an intense search is underway at Virginia Tech for the gunman who shot and killed two people—a police officer and a student” (Nation Now 2011). Which ended up causing more panic and confusion throughout the area.

The media is very informative and beneficial in pressing times, but it is important to be aware that what they are reporting may not be the entire truth. Social media is helpful for warning people to stay indoors or making people aware of what is going on, but it also confuses others and can make a situation worse. Now, we can look at the news and know we cannot jump to conclusions right away and wait for the all of the evidence.



1. Ceasar, Stephen, & Lynch, Rene. (December 2011). Virginia Tech Shooting:

‘We are looking absolutely everywhere’. Los Angeles Times: Nation

Now. Retrieved from: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/nationnow/2011/12/virginia-tech-shooting-dead-police-officer.html.

2. Cullen, David. Columbine. New York: Twelve, 2009. Print.

3. Wilson,James R., and Roy S.Wilson. Mass Media, Mass Culture, Fifth

Edition.Boston.Mc Graw Hill, 2001.

4. Taylor Nurmi








As commercialized citizens, most of us have heard of advertising and know why it is used and how it affects us. We also know what the term “gaming” means and associate it with video and computer games. Put the two concepts together, now we have “advergaming”. Advergaming is the concept of creating an online game, aimed at children ages 5-14, based on a certain product, and inserting the brand’s message into the game, persuading children to be a consumer of their product. When I was younger, I remember receiving CD’s consisting of fun games that came along with my cereal. Today, the epidemic is even greater. Children can go online to the site of their favorite channel, toy, or even their favorite food and play adventurous games, not realizing they are receiving a very long sales pitch. As fun and harmless as advergaming might seem, the question of this form of advertising is right or wrong and whether it goes against the terms for commercial running times.

According to It’s Childs Play, “98% of children’s sites permit advertising, and more then two thirds of websites designed for children rely on advertising for their primary revenue” (Moore P.1. 2006). Say a child goes to the nickelodeon website, not only will they see ads for the many shows nick provides, but there will also be ads for brands like Papa Johns and Pepsi. The copious amounts of advertising on a single website could appear absurd to a media literate scholar, but to children, it is just more entertainment and more items to put on their wish lists. The article, “Marshmallow Power and Frooty Treasures” claims, “online gaming sites, to be effective, must encourage not just prolonged visits but also repeat visits”(Thomson p.441. 2011).

There are concerns that advergaming goes outside the rules of commercial times, according to CBS news (CBS 2009). Television commercials are roughly 30 seconds long, when a child is playing advergames online, they are being sold to for endless amounts of time, “inserting brand messages into video games…play can be utterly absorbing” (Thomson p.439-440. 2011). Another concern is children are exposed to yet one more influence that does not allow them to use their imagination or provide any exercise. Not only are kids sitting at the computer, they are also persuaded to ask their parents to go an buy yet one more unhealthy brand of food, all because they have been starring at it as they play their game.

The persuasive technique these companies are using is the use of repetition. Advertisers use repetition to reinforce their point, using words, sounds, and images (Media Literacy Project p.8). As children play advergames, they are consistently seeing that product for how ever long they are enticed by the game. The purpose of the repeated images is to persuade the kids to develop the desire for the product and end up begging their parents to go out and purchase their new favorite merchandise. Advertisers are embedding their product into young minds in hopes that their product will be the next big thing.

The advergaming epidemic is a clever way for advertisers to get children to consume their product, but it is demoting the importance of being a kid. Advergaming is preventing children from playing outside and using their imaginations with their friends. Instead, they are sitting at a computer or begging their parents to take them to the store and get the latest and greatest product they just “adventured” with. It is important to educate children on what they are actually absorbing while playing their online games, so they understand they are being sold to. Educating them will help their future and teach them how to be smart consumers.


1.     Moore, Elizabeth S. (July 2006). It’s Child’s Play: Advergaming and the Online Marketing of Food to Children. Retrieved from: http://www.kff.org/entmedia/upload/7536.pdf

2.     Lagorio, Christine. (February 2009). Play It Again: Advergaming. CBS News. Retrieved from: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/05/15/eveningnews/main2808272.shtml

3.     Thomson, Deborah M. (January 2011). Marshmallow Power and Frooty Treasures: Disciplining the Child Consumer through Online Cereal Advergaming.

4.      Media Literacy Project. Introduction to Media Literacy. Retrieved from: http://medialiteracyproject.org/resources/introduction-media-literacy




Have No Fear Chevy Silverado is Here


Finally we can stop worrying how we can survive the 2012 Apocalypse, at least according to Chevrolet’s new Silverado commercial. The popular post apocalyptic ad aired during Super Bowl XLVI for the “longest-lasting, most dependable truck on the road” (Chevy 2012). This advertisement set up a futuristic illusion of how four men survived the dreaded Apocalypse. They emerge from the rubble and destruction to meet up, and then find one of their buddies did not make it, because he owned a Ford truck and not a Chevy. This advertisement targets middle class men ages 30 to about 50, due to the survivors ages, decent looking clothing, and are able to afford the truck. This commercial portrays the end of the world as a “man’s world”, and that this truck can influence a man’s future in great ways.


Any educated person who views this commercial realizes the difference of actually surviving the apocalypse with just a truck and the company using an analogy to demonstrate the reliability and sturdiness of their new automobile. Chevrolet created a certain fantasy world, and according to the Media Literacy Project, “advertising constructs a fantasy world where all problems can be solved with a purchase” (Media Literacy Project. P.2), in this case the fantasy is surviving the apocalypse with the purchase of a truck. A few subtexts, or my interpretations of this ad are; trucks are a man’s car and men favor their dogs over women. An example that supports these thoughts is the four men have a rugged and  “manly” appeal about them. Also, one of the men brings along his dog, and yet no one thought to bring a female. These actions could lead to the theory thought by Sut Jhally in his Imaged Based Culture, “advertising doesn’t always mirror how people are acting but how they’re dreaming” (Sut Jhally. 2003). One could perceive Chevrolet as people who are against women and these men in the commercial are now in their “dream world” without women around, which could give out a negative message to their female viewers.

One persuasive approach that is taken is the Plain Folk technique, “the suggestion that the product is a practical product of good value for ordinary people” (Read Write Think. 2009). The advertisers for the Chevy commercial used four “normal” citizens who “survived” the end of the world, giving off the idea that if these regular guys can tough it, then so can you. Another approach is the persuasion of fear. Advertisers use a situation that can create an unwanted and/or distraught circumstance and use the product as a solution.  Although, we are not certain the end of the world is coming, there is still a fear of what will happen, and the new Chevrolet ad gives us a “solution”.

Chevrolet had a clever idea to bring a current topic, such as the 2012 Apocalypse, and use their product as our future hero. Of course a truck will most likely not end up being our knight and shining armor, but it is nice to live in a fantasy world every once and awhile. Super Bowl ads are meant to mainly target men because it is the norm for males to favor football over women; therefore Chevy was smart to tie in a man’s world with their new Trucks. It is important to realize not all advertisements are literal, but used as analogies to represent how passionate they are about their product, making their viewers passionate as well.


  1. Persuasive techniques in advertising. (2009). Read Think Write. Retrieved from: http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson1166/PersuasiveTechniques.pdf
  2. Jhally, Sut. (2003). Image-Based Culture. Gender Race and Class in Media. (pp.201). Sage Publication, Inc.
  3. Media Literacy Project. Introduction to Media Literacy. Retrieved from: http://medialiteracyproject.org/resources/introduction-media-literacy
  4. You Tube. (2012). Retrieved from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxFYYP8040A&seo=goo_%7C_2010_Chevy_Retention_YouTube_%7C_IMG_Chevy_Silverado_HD_YouTube_PV_%7C_Silverado_%7C_chevy_silverado




About Me

Hello fellow bloggers, my name is Amanda Nurmi. I am majoring in Communication Studies with a mass media concentration, was born and raised in Fairfax, Virginia and I am a sophomore at Longwood University. I am a recent member of Alpha Phi Omega, Longwood’s service fraternity. I will have a minor in Graphic Design along with my Communications degree and would like to apply my studies to the world of advertising and create logos or slogans for a children’s toy company.

            Looking back on my childhood, one major pop culture phenomena was AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). I remember countless days chatting on AIM, whether I was hanging out with my friends, trying to “flirt” with a crush, or asking the AIM computer, Smart Child, pointless questions. AIM was our main source of communication in middle school, and the most popular “must have”. Having an instant messenger account made you look like a somebody, and kept you in the loop. My parents were never huge fans of AIM, mostly because I spent all my time on it, but they had only one rule, never talk to a person I did not know. Teachers would also stress the importance of online predators in their lesson plans, once they were updated on the latest social topic. Looking back on AIM, I compare it to Facebook and how AIM was one of the beginnings to social media. Today on Facebook, we are able to not only chat with our friends, but also post pictures and play games. AIM opened up many doors to connecting and socializing with friends.


Soaking Up Ads

Everyday people come across hundred of ad’s a day, usually without even realizing they have read them.  Advertisements are embedded into our everyday lives and easily influence our views or choices. Ideology in advertisement is the belief system behind the ads, what the ad’s values and beliefs suggest and represents the way things should be. Ideology is the framework of how we construe and perceive ads.  In the Three Olives Vodka ad, there is an attractive woman lounging in a martini glass. The slogan “who’s in your martini” is the advertiser’s question to the audience, which would appear to be men, since the woman has a seductive facial expression, enticing them to drink this type of vodka. The question helps the audience understand what the ad is trying to portray to the. The ideology behind this ad is to have men believe if they drink Three Olives vodka, they will end up with a “sexy” woman.

It does not cross everyone’s mind that this ad’s intention is to target men to drink this specific vodka, and will be rewarded with a beautiful woman; so, what’s the point? Does it actually work? Yes it does work, but the point is to create an attractive advertisement with appealing visuals and a catchy slogan, so even if the audience does not realize the ideology behind the ad, they still feel the need to drink Thee Olives vodka and hope an attractive lady will want them. There are concerns of women being depicted, as an object through these types of advertisements today but there is an understanding that ads may not be targeting women as an object. These ads could be considered appealing to both sexes, therefore this issue is “an accepted criticism that advertising is an important and persuasive cultural institution that represents women in a problematic and unacceptable way” (Kates and Shaw-Garlock. 1999.p.33). So, yes, women are being shown in controversial ways, but it is not intentional and it is accepted.

Ideologies are typically used in the theories of Semiotics, Roland Barthes, and Cultural studies, Stuart Hall. Semiotics is the meaning we receive from signs that analyze “anything that can stand for something else”(Griffin. 2009. p.323). There are symbols we see in our everyday life and Semiotics helps us recognize what these symbols are depicting. Semiotics consists signifiers, which is the description of a symbol, and the signified, which is the actual meaning, as we know it. The Signifier of the Three Olives advertisement is the woman in a martini glass and the Signified is if you drink this martini you can get a pretty woman. The myth, the cultural aspect that seems natural, behind this advertisement is the intention of making drinking this specific brand of vodka and appeal to women seem natural and the norm. Barthes’ theory of linguistic message, which also goes along with his Semiotics theory, deals with an “anchor” and “relay system”, where “the anchorage function acts as an anchor between the possible meanings and the meanings the advertisement wishes you to identify” (Ross. 2000). The relay system deals with the text within an image that is explaining what is interpreted. Cultural Studies is the manufacture of mass media that allows dominant ideologies, the “frameworks through which we interpret, understand, and make sense of social existence” (Griffin. 2009. p.335). In Cultural Studies, Stuart Hall discusses the cultural industries. These industries are the producers of today’s culture, i.e. what is on television, the radio, and fashion. Hall believes we are unaware of the influence the industries have on us.

This ad can go as far as showing men, if they drink Three Olives, they can easily communicate with attractive woman. Through Symbolic Interactionism, the concept of Minding could be used in this example. Minding is the split second people take to have an inner-conversation with themselves, to rehearse what they will say, or how they will react to something, minding is also known as “self talk” (Griffin. 2009. p.62). The advertisement depicts after drinking this vodka, men will be able to think in their mind about what to say to a woman and then successfully gain her attention. This drink could also represent a substance that can help someone “take the role of the other” and allow him or her to imagine themselves as the other person and see how he or she views you. Three Olives could be the push that men need to have the confidence and know how females view him.

A parody of this ad may not be comical, but can help people make a smart choice while having a good time. Drinking and driving is a serious and common issue, and a lot of alcohol companies are trying to address the seriousness of drinking and driving, “mass media campaigns are most likely to reduce drinking and driving if their messages are reinforced by other efforts…reinforcing includes media messages related to drinking and driving” (Preventive Medicine. 2004). A lot of companies today have “drink responsibly” included into their advertisements. Advertising companies realize alcohol is one of the most popular products out there, so they need to find a positive message to put out to their audience, but also make sure there are no negative side affects from their influence. This Three Olives ad represents the consequences of drinking and driving by showing a good time could end in a bad time. The car pile up in a shape of an alcohol bottle helps the audience connect drinking and driving to the subject, without having to read the words. The signifiers are a car pile up shaped as an alcohol bottle with the words drink responsibly and the signified is drinking and driving leads to car accidents. The Minding that would go on after seeing this ad, could be thinking about how much you have had to drink and whether you need to ask for a safe ride or not. Which could lead to asking an attractive lady friend for a ride, which could reference their old ads, but in a responsible way. Women like men who are safe and responsible, therefore it is a win win situation. This parody shows that the cultural industries are starting to care about people using their products as well as keeping their costumers safe.

The influence advertisement has over us is inevitable and it is the industries’ jobs to make sure they are positive. These ads communicate so much more than what we see by just glancing at them. By using communication theories, we can start to understand what the media is trying to portray to us, and we can decide whether their message is directed at us or not. The ideology behind advertisements is to make sure the product appeals to the audience’s values and social existence. By knowing the meanings behind these theories, it is easier to read into what today’s mass media is feeding us and we can maybe one day use our communication knowledge and be a part of the cultural industry.

Using subvertising, or parodies, we can take a serious subject, such as drunk driving, and turn it into an interesting and eye-catching media representation. People need to be lured and enticed or else they will not listen or pay attention. By using current themes and interesting visual aids, advertisers can achieve their audience’s attention. As long as the symbol’s signifier and signified are identifiable, the audience can easily be hooked.


  1. Griffin, E. (2008). Communication: A first look at communication theory (7th ed.) Boston: McGraw-Hill
  2. Kates, Steven M., Shaw-Garlock, Glenda. (1999). The Ever Entangling Web: A Study of Ideologies and Discourses in Advertising to women. 33-49.
  3. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. (2004). Effectiveness of mass media campaigns for reducing drinking and driving and alcohol-involved crashes. Volume 27, Issue 1. 57-65.
  4. Ross, Cassandra. (2000). Seeing Ourselves: An Analysis of Ideology and Fantasy in Popular Advertising. Retrieved from: http://www.slideshare.net/sgummer/ideology-in-advertising
  5. Image: http://www.adrants.com/2010/04/crashed-cars-deliver-drunk-driving.php



God Karen You’re So Stupid

It is usually assumed that most of our generation has seen, if not memorized, the movie “Mean Girls”.  This movie is a drastic and over dramatized version of how girls act towards each other in the high school setting. Girls are easily jealous of each other and are commonly talking about, or judging, one another behind their back. “Mean Girls” is an example of how the standpoint teenage girls have on each other, is disturbing and cruel.

Girls excessively judge other girls by using harsh terms such as “whore” or “slut”, without blinking, but if a boy calls a girl by a derogatory name, he is automatically a bad guy. In the movie, Tina Fey’s character tells the girls they need to stop “calling each other sluts and whores…cause it just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores” (Mean Girls, 2004).  Girls’ nasty jealousy towards one another has devolved a new perspective on how everyone views their gender, it is common for a group of “best friends” to talk about one of their other friends in a mean manner and then act “fake” to her face afterwards.

Sandra Harding and Julie T. Wood’s Standpoint Theory is how we perceive the world at one angle and then view something differently in another. Standpoint is “whatever our vantage point, its location tends to focus our attention on some features of the natural and social landscape while obscuring others” (Griffin, 2009. P. 441.). In the movie “Mean Girls”, everyone’s standpoint on girls is that they are caddy and negative towards one another and that standpoint affects their worldview on, not just teenage girls, but women in general. This mean girl example can go with Wood’s use of relational dialect of seeking autonomy and connectedness. She says, “men tend to want more autonomy and women tend to want more connectedness” (Griffin, 2009. P.444.).  The women’s connectedness deals with building relationships using communication, including others, and responding, In “Mean Girls”, the girls are using connectedness, but it is portrayed in a negative fashion, communicating with each other by talking behind their backs, building fake relationships just to become popular, or responding by getting into a “girl fight”.

Girls’ bullying other girls is way too common in high schools today, and it is allowing both genders to have a damaging standpoint on women. If these young ladies could grasp the concept of the Standpoint Theory and understand how their actions affect everyone’s perception of them, perhaps they can change their nasty ways and learn how to get along and improve their gender’s reputation.


  1. Griffin, E. (2008). Communication: A first look at communication theory (7thed.) Boston: McGraw-Hill




Time to Grow Up

Up until last year, if someone would ask me what I wanted to study in college or what I wanted to do as a career, I would stare at them like a deer caught in head lights. I never gave it much thought, mostly because I thought I was Peter Pan and never wanted to grow up, but once I began school at Longwood University, I looked into the Communication Studies program and thought to myself “this is something I can do and fall in love with”. Soon after that, I discovered the show “Mad Men” and decided then and there, that advertisement is the career path I want to take on. More specifically, I want to work on the creative side of advertising and produce logos and slogans for various companies.

The main skills I need to become successful in the advertising world are self-confidence, ability to use my imagination, ability to work independently, and of course, and ability to use a wide range of creativity. Longwood’s Communication Studies program is set up so my fellow Comm majors and I can reach the goals and necessary skills we need for our specific career paths. Before I started Comm studies, I was a terribly awkward public speaker and had zero self-confidence, but after my public speaking class, I know how to feel and appear confident in front of an audience, and know how to construct an appropriate, yet interesting speech.

Along with my Communication Studies, I am also working on a Graphic Design minor. I have always had an interest in creating graphics on programs such as Photoshop and Pixelmator. Having the ability to draw and create designs on the computer will be useful for coming up with logos for different companies. My graphic design knowledge will add to my creative side and allow me to work on various projects.  Since I love to work with children, but teaching never interested me, I want to work for a toy company or an ad agency that works with the toy business. I would be able to think like a kid and create spunky and entertaining slogans for the latest and greatest toys.

The Communication Studies program will tech me how to “analyze, interpret, and express physical and social events and behaviors to others” (Longwood University. 2012). To expand my knowledge and experience with advertising, I can join Longwood’s newspaper team and help create the ad pages or assist with recruiting businesses in Farmville to advertise them. I am looking forward to my future and hope one day to make Donald Draper, (Mad Men), proud.










1. Longwood University.  (2012). Communication Studies. Retrieved from http://www.longwood.edu/career/23013.htm