Category Archives: Fall Semester 2009 -Comm 370 Learning Outcome #1

Learning Outcome #1 – Reflection

Randy Otis
Comm 499 – Learning Outcome #1

Learning Outcome #1 – Reflection

For this learning outcome I decided to submit two journal entries from Comm 370. These entries both touch on the psychological theory framework. The psychological framework explains that communication is not the flow of information from the sender to the receiver but the thoughts and feelings of the sender when communicating. It can also include the reactions and feelings of the receiver after they decode the information. The first abstract talks about how people interpret certain religious materials. It is said that religion and culture can be a system of communication. Different people interpret different meanings to various symbols. I showed how the ideal of karma can be interpreted in various ways. Some people tend to take religion verbatim from the historical data and readings provided to them. Others will look for an alternative meaning to the teachings and may not take the teachings as literal. Depending on how the lesson is communicated based on the sender’s communication style can determine how people are facilitating meaning. Throughout Comm 370 I learned how to look at a situation and or ideal and find alternative meanings and ways to decode or understand the communication style.
I’ve found that no matter what topic you may be discussing there are always alternative ways to decode the information. I gained an understanding for the systematic theory that explains how different messages are interpreted and then reinterpreted to draw a conclusion. In my career I have to look at situations from many different perspectives. I’ve found that exercises like my artifact have allowed me the ability to critically analyze situations. In my job I have to find solutions to a wide variety of situations. If I only look at one way to solve the issues I often fall short in providing solutions. If I step back and look at the situation from my companies point of view, the customers point of view, and the point of view from an outsider looking in I am able to provide a long term solution an establish comfort for all parties involved.


Learning Outcome #1 – Artifact 1 “Television and Your Children”

Randy Otis
Com 370
Professor M. Johnson

Reading Response 2

It’s in a parent’s best interest to protect their children from all outside negative media that may be present in the child’s life. Often time’s television does have shows that negatively impact the behavior of a child. Violence and sexual content are just two major themes in shows today that attract large audiences. It’s almost as if media marketers and producers try and make their shows more violent and more sexual to attract younger crowds. I don’t think the baby boomers are looking to see “T and A” or intense action shows, but you see younger generations of people flocking towards this type of programming.
Parents that monitor the television shows their kids watch at least are in touch with what their kids see. In many cases kids will watch what they watch though. They will find a way to watch a show, whether it’s on-line or going over to a friends house to see the show. In this day and age it is very difficult to monitor what they watch. Personally I think you have to raise your children good enough to where you can trust that no matter what they are watching on television they can make responsible decisions about the information they consume.
As a new parent I can relate with some of these fears. I don’t want my children watching questionable programming, or R rated movies. But what’s the difference between them watching an R rated movie and going to Mayfair mall with me and hearing people dropping the “F bomb” all around us? When comparing violence on television we often times criticize certain shows for their acts of violence, but rarely do you see parents holding their children back from watching sports like hockey and football. You see just as much fighting and brutal violence in those sports than you do in most violent television shows. So it all comes back to talking to your children about what they are seeing around them.
Communication is the key to fighting technology fear. Talking to your children about everything is very important. They need to know what is going on around them. That is the only way they will make good decisions when they are put in a tough spot. We need to coach children to make good decisions. Certainly we all learn the hard way sometimes, but you can limit mistakes by teaching good morals.
I’m scarred that my daughters will be taking to boys at school. Now I have to worry about them IM’ing the boys when they get home, or texting them. My parents used to be able to answer all of my incoming calls at home. In the day and age of cell phones we can’t always answer our kid’s cell phones. The internet also scares me for my children. You can look up anything online. You can filter and get parenting restrictions on the sites your kids are going to, however it’s like television, if they want to see it they will. The great thing about technology is that there are restrictions to everything. You are able to monitor everything. What your kids watch, search online, and learn. The reality of it is, you would drive yourself insane trying to monitor all of this. And most research says that if you are trying to shelter your child, they will rebel down the line. Putting trust in them allows there self confidence to grow. I know I loved it when my parents trusted me to do things. It made me want to do the right thing for them.
I don’t think the fear in technology will go away. People are scared of what they don’t understand. The key to feeling secure with technology is to learn how to use it. Take the time to understand it and then you will feel more at ease.

Learning Outcome #1 – Artifact 2 “Do We Have a Choice to be Religious”

Journal Entry #1 Randy Otis (section C)

If religion is, as Bloom says, “accidental,” to what extent do we actually have a choice to *not* be religious? That is, is there any real freedom to assent or not in religious belief?

I believe everyone has the choice and or freedom to involve religion in there lives. Bloom explains that religion is “accidental”. There is some truth in this. Many people have what they call religious experiences, or events in there lives that they would justify as religious. Typically these would be accidental “forces of nature”. Religion is what you make of it. Many people base actions and events around them as religious. For example people on there wedding day’s base the weather as religious. “Oh God was really looking out for us today with the nice weather”. Or some may have a life and death experience that could be completely circumstantial but they claim it to be religious. Therefore I would classify most religious experiences as accidental.
Personally I like to live the karma way of life. If you do good things then in turn good things will come to you. I don’t feel I am a religious person, but I tend to feel like religion finds you. If you want to justify certain things you can take the scientific approach and claim things to be circumstantial, or you can base the events on the religion that you believe in. I don’t believe that anyone is born into a religion. Many parents teach there children what they believe but ultimately everyone makes there own decisions once they are at an age where they can figure things out for themselves.
Bloom is saying that people are conditioned to believe that religion is the reason things happen the way they do. If you are brought up into thinking that if you do negative things to people or yourself then you will “go to hell”, then I guess that you would typically carry that set of beliefs “accidentally”, because you have been conditioned to thinking that way. But humans generally figure things out for themselves. People that never sin or do anything harmful still have bad things happen to them. So how would we justify that set of beliefs? This Is why I don’t believe religion is accidental, it is your choice to come up with reasoning on why things happen the way they do.

Journal Entry #2 Randy Otis (section C)

What do you make of the relationship between the individual experience, on the one hand, and the fundamental commonality of the nature of that experience and its meaning, on the other? That is to say, James thinks that religion is fundamentally individual and emotional in character, but he also thinks that the emotions experienced by individuals are more alike than they are different. What would that mean if that were the case? About religion, and about the individuality of religion.

I believe people that are religious tend to follow what others have done before them. They look at the personal benefits of an individual’s religious experience and want to experience that for themselves. Everyone wants to be happy and fulfilled in life and if you believe that religion can do that for you why wouldn’t you follow that. You can look and see that it has had numerous positive effects on people’s life and want that for yourself, therefore following a group. You can have personal meaning to your religion and to your religious experiences, but ultimately you’re learning religion and basing your religion off of what others have done in the past. Religion is taught, you’re not born religious.
I agree with James in saying that people’s experiences are more alike then they are different. Emotions are guided by religion in many ways. If you are sad or upset about something you tend to look to a higher power to help you. Or you look to a support group like friends and family to guide you through your problems. Individuals usually like to know that there is a group to go to if something is wrong, or right. James believes religion is individual and emotional in character, I would agree with him, but where do you base religion off of? I base it off of what has happened in the past and what others have gained or lost from adopting a religious life. You can choose to control your emotions the way you want, but it’s easier to look at the past and compare how you may have dealt with things in the past. If I am dealing with a death in the family I may deal with it by praying or sitting by myself and reflecting on how to make positives out of a grim situation. I’ve learned to do that through advice from others.
Overall I feel that people start out following religion because they see that it is benefiting others and maybe they want to join in and experience that same collective happiness. But the further you think and reflect about your religion the more and more you understand that you create your own destiny. Religion then becomes personal, because you can relate everything happing in your life with your religion or set of personal beliefs.

Generation X-Box

Randy Otis

Professor M. Johnson

Comm 370 Summer Session 3


Generation X Box

For the past twenty years our technology has been advancing rapidly in all aspects of life. Technology for entertainment sake has been advancing particularly fast, especially video games.  The natures of these games are changing. They are becoming more graphic and lifelike each year. Ever since the start of video games we saw an undertone of violent behavior in the games.  Fighting, swords play and gun violence has been intertwined into the theme or “game play” of a majority of video games produced.  But for the last 10 years video game producers have been making games so life like many people think that playing the games will create a violent nature in the persons playing the games.  According to the 2001 article titled, Fair Play: Violence, Gender, and Race in Video Games, “A 2001 review of the 70 top-selling video games found 89% contained some kind of violence”. Almost half of all the games (49%) contained serious violence, while 40% contained comic violence.”  The question is do violent video games lead to violent behaviors in the gamers?  Not only do I believe video games can institute violent behaviors, I believe video games lead to many negative attributes in many individuals that play video games on a consistent basis.

Video games have many adverse affects on society as we know it.  They are known to lead children and adults into unhealthy lifestyles of obesity, desensitization of violent acts, and gender stereotyping.  Video games continue to generate negative lifestyles in our society for all generations alike.  According to an 2008 article titled, Adults and Video Games, “More than half – 53% of all American adults play video games of some kind, whether on a computer, on a gaming console, on a cell phone or other handheld device, on a portable gaming device, or online”.  Often times playing video games replaces physical activities in people’s lives.  It’s ironic that a majority of our population would rather play a video game related to their favorite sport, instead of going and actually playing the sport.  A report from Drs. Anderson and Genitle reports that, “children are spending 13 hours per week for boys, on average, and 5 hours per week for girls”.  Spending this much time playing video games can not only make you lazy, but can assist in developing feelings of isolation.  If you are sitting around for hours at a time it is more than likely you may not feel as comfortable interacting with other people in comparison to someone who might be involved in activities that require face to face interaction with other people.

The major issue with playing video games on a consistent basis is that you may start to imitate what you are doing on the game.  No, you may not go steal a car and start shooting up a neighborhood as you would in the game “Grand Theft Auto”.  However studies say that you are more prone to develop aggressive feelings after playing violent games.  In 1998 a study by Dill and Dill concluded that short-term exposure to violent videogames increases aggression (Lin and Atkin 67).  Research has proven that by playing violent video games you are more prone to wanting to imitate behaviors portrayed in that game.  Players are able to take on certain characters that are fighting, and therefore may want to imitate specific actions of violence in everyday life. An example may be a child playing a ninja turtle game, and then going and whacking someone with a stick to imitate his favorite character.  Personally when I was younger my friends and I would act like certain characters on video games.  We wanted to box like the Mike Tyson video game, so we thought it would be a good idea to buy boxing gloves and start pummeling each other, just like we were seeing in the video game.  Certainly television and seeing acts of violence live can promote violent behavior, but giving a person the option to kill or destroy another person in a video game is sending the wrong message.  You are awarded in a video game if you are more violent, or create more destruction.

The main problem is raising a child to think that playing hours of video games every day is a good way to pass the time.  We don’t offer our children enough alternatives to spending time effectively.  In a society where pop culture rules and whatever is shown on television is popular, we seem to have lost some of the core values in our society.  Younger generations are finding it hard to concentrate on reading literature, due to the fact that it’s not like reading a computer screen, or playing a video game.  It’s solitary.  The words won’t move across the screen for you, and therefore kids lose interest much faster. It is important to instill positive values and morals in children’s lives today.  Playing video games every once and awhile is fine, but don’t play for hours at a time, and certainly don’t allow your children to play for extended periods of time.  Our society needs to start moving toward a more active lifestyle.  We also need to start censoring our children from violent games and television programs.  The younger generations of people today are so desensitized to violence because of their exposure to it in the media.  Violence in video games may not be the reason that acts of violence happen every day in our society, but there is a lot to be said about the negative attributes people are developing from playing video games in an overwhelming fashion.

Works Cited

Children Now. (2001). Fair Play? Violence, gender and race in video games. Los Angeles, CA:

Children Now.

Lenhart, Jones, Macgill.  “Adults and Video Games”. 7 December 2008.

Anderson, C.A., Gentile, D.A., & Buckley, K.E. (under review).Violent Video Game Effects on

Children and Adolescents:  Further Developments and tests of the General Aggression Model.

Lin, Caroly A; Atkin, David J.  Communication Technology and Social Change Theory and

Implications.  University of Connecticut, 2007.


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