I’M NOT JUST A RECEPTIONIST!!!
When asked the question “What do you do?” a week ago, my answers would, most likely, go something along the lines of:
- I work as a lifeguard at the YMCA
But why is that?
Why do I allow myself to be defined by my economic status in society? Is lifeguarding really the most important thing I do? Admittedly, it’s much simpler to re-gurgicate the same old answer every time. But break it down, and one realizes that this seemingly harmless question has been re-defined by modern society (with the help of media) to covertly discover someone’s socioeconomic status. Are they higher than you? Lower? Are my economic relations really how I want others to see me? Or, more importantly, how I see myself? Ask me “What do you do?” today, and I’ll answer:
- Volunteer at the Art Gallery of Ontario every Sunday.
Tomorrow, I might answer:
- Read! (Dan Brown’s Inferno is brilliant!)
These answers, much more personal than my previous ones, make me feel like me. They’re passions, not tedious labours, things I actually enjoy doing! An important nugget to keep in mind is that not everyone feels this way. For some, a job does define who they are. And that’s okay. The ‘right’ answer to this question is realizing both answers are okay, and that the key is in figuring out which one works for you.
What is media? Off the top of my head, it seems clear (at least at first) the answer to this question. Social media networks, television/radio stations, and magazine/newspaper publishing houses are all easily considered media. What astounds me are the things beyond this narrow definition. The word media is derived from the latin term medium meaning middle. Following this train of thought, any ‘information that comes to us through some indirect channel or medium’ (MDSA01 PowerPoint) is considered media. With this in mind, understanding what media is becomes a much simpler task. Anything that acts as a mediator between two things can, in theory, be considered media. The most interesting part of realizing this is realizing how broad a term media now becomes. The $60 textbook I’m currently studying is a form of media, acting as a middle communicator between myself and the author who wrote it. My 9 year old dinosaur of a laptop acts as a medium between myself and the many webpages I frequent. Even the water bottle sitting atop my desk is a medium between myself and the natural spring water that fills it. After wrapping one’s mind around the seemingly difficult task of defining media, the next hurdle is to then determine what isn’t media, a question I’m still struggling to answer.