“Scrutinizing the Cybersell: Teen-Targeted Web Sites as Texts” by Darren Crovitz Response

Okay, I know this seems horrible that I have not put my initial responses on the blog.  I think there is just something about blogging that turns me off… I’m not really sure what it is, but I will talk about it later with the I-write chapter…

I found this article extremely interesting that I eventually found myself checking out the websites that Dr. Crovitz discusses in the article.  Dr. Crovitz states in the article, “As online environments become more sophisticated, however, we might consider expanding students’ critical-thinking opportunities beyond the concerns of traditional research. While media literacy has been a part of our field for several decades, the explosion in Webbased content and communication in the last few years combined with youth culture’s embrace of these developments make it vital that we consider the academic potential of these new texts.”  I know that in my own classroom I have used advertisements as texts, but we have only studied and analyzed those that come from magazines.  Although this might be a good starting place for viewing such texts, I need to branch out into online platforms of advertisement as well.  Dr. Crovitz makes an excellent point in this.  Students are exposed to more online texts than we realize.  Even when they venture through Facebook and Myspace, students are being exposed to a culture that they willingly embrace without even thinking twice about it.  The potential of using these types of text is unlimited, in a sense.

In the article, Dr. Crovitz goes on to look at few specific websites that offer such opportunities.  The one that I found the most interesting was the Slim Jim.  He talks about how Slim Jim’s audience is geared toward the rough and tough young adolescent male.  The article states, “Slim Jims are presented as part of a hypermasculine philosophy characterized by the concept of “snap moments” (derived from the shouted catchphrase “Snap into a Slim Jim!”) during which boys overcome fear to accomplish “extreme feats” (“Snap!”).”  This was the slogan/campaign for the Slim Jim at the time, and it made me wonder what it was at this point.  So, I took a deeper look into Slim Jim on my own, and this is what I found…

It is interesting because this one commercial says about 1.000 different things.  The main message is that if you are a male and you do yoga, recumbant biking, take care of children you are not “A REAL MAN”  because you have suffered from Male Spice Loss.  Therefore, you need to Spice up your life with a SlimJim!  Although at first somewhat funny, it sends the message to teenage males if you do anything that is not “Manly” enough that you are not a “Man.”  I find it slightly insulting, even though that is the intent.  Our culture identifies with particular characteristics that are stereotypical, and we buy into them.  Why?


About ajackson122

I am a high school English teacher and have been for the past five years. I enjoy teaching, coaching, traveling, reading, writing, and watching films.

Posted on July 6, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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