Investiture Achievement/Companion/Making Friends

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Companion/Making Friends

Requirement 1

Discuss how the media strengthens or weakens our relationship with others.

The media is a collection of methods by which people communicate with one another. In most cases, it is for the few to communicate with the many. It includes methods such as:

Newspapers, books, newsletters, magazines, etc
Radio, television
Theater, DVDs, music, streaming
Internet, blogs, social media sites, electronic mailing lists, etc

Advertisers make use of all these forms of media, which is both good and bad. Because of advertisers, many of these forms of media are inexpensive or free to consume. This makes the media available to a much wider audience than would otherwise be possible. However, one must always remember who is paying for the media (the advertisers) and why (to sell a product). Advertisers often work by trying to create a desire for a product - a desire that a person might not otherwise have. If we are not careful, these desires can take over our lives, and the consumer becomes the consumed.

The media keeps us informed of what is going around in the world around us, and forms the basis of modern culture. This gives us the opportunity to share ideas with the people we meet. By using the media, we have a point of commonality between ourselves and others, so we can connect with them.

However, the media also has the capability of drawing us in to the exclusion of other things. Instead of talking with one another, we watch TV. Watching TV is not a social event - it feels about the same when we watch alone or with our friends.

Social media (Facebook, Twitter etc) can be used to draw people together. A Facebook group can help keep members of a youth group connected and informed of upcoming events, even helping facilitating planning. Social media can be a good way to keep track of friends you don't see often. However, social media can become a way of escaping real friendships and reducing interaction to 140 characters.

Social media also has a tendency to give a place for people who think alike can interact, and many people use this as a way of interacting only with people who agree with them. When this happens, everyone gets reinforcement of the same ideas, and soon, those are the only ideas they will consider as "true." This is so common it has a few names: "hive mind," and "group think". All of the bees in a colony think the same thoughts, and that's where this term comes from. It's not a good idea to consider only one point of view, but social media can make it hard to do anything else.

Hive mind can become so entrenched that the people in the "hive" begin to vilify people outside the "hive" who hold different ideas than they do. This tends to drive people apart rather than draw them together. Social media tends to drive and encourage this behavior because the algorithms these sites use are designed to "drive engagement" (engagement means more eyeballs means more advertising dollars). The things that tend to drive the greatest amount of engagement are those things that we react to a a more instinctual level: fear, anger, and hatred.

It is up to us to use the media wisely. We can make it a springboard for communicating with others, or we can use it as a substitute for communicating with others. As you use social media, try to interact respectfully with everyone, and seek out people who have opinions who hold other opinions than you. Listen to them and carefully consider their thoughts. Share your own opinions, but always with respect.

Requirement 2

Fulfill requirements #1, #2 and #3 of the Cultural Diversity Appreciation Honor.

For tips and instruction see Cultural Diversity Appreciation. The requirements are shown here for your convenience.

1. Define culture and cultural diversity.

2. Define stereotype and identify how you may have stereotyped people in the past.

3. Study the following Bible texts and answer the questions.

3a. 1 Corinthians 9:20 How does this text explain the importance for a Christian to have a cultural diversity awareness?
3b. Galatians 3:27 What does this text say about all who are in the family of Christ?
3c. Ephesians 2:14 What should be the result of accepting Christ Jesus into our lives? How do you plan to apply this message to your everyday life?

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Requirement 3

Complete Companion requirements.

You must complete the requirements listed above this one on the current page.

Requirement 4

Complete the Cultural Diversity Appreciation Honor, if not previously earned.

Besides the three requirements above, there is only one more requirement for this honor.