Meet

the Media

Monsters.

Meet

the Media

Monsters.

Media monsters are everywhere.

They’re even reading

this right now!

Every day we interact with endless media all around us: pictures, articles, T.V. shows, podcasts, advertisements, social media posts, and headlines just to name a few. It’s become an overwhelming roar of information and it is all driven by an agenda: the desire for more clicks, attention, money, to generate buzz, or even spread misinformation. We choose the ways in which we interact with media, and sometimes, we make choices that turn us each into our own special kind of monstrosity— by not checking sources or by believing every salacious headline without reading the article or by sharing unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.We can all act like Media Monsters. It’s as if we have no brain for thinking but one thousand hands for sharing. And in our monster state, we spread the behavior and turn other people into monsters, too. But there’s a cure that can turn us all back into humans: recognizing and declaring ourselves Media Monsters.

Headline Hellion

The rowdiest

repeater around.

Headline Hellion

The rowdiest

repeater around.

Headline

Hellion

Ask Yourself

Did you read a headline about a shortened school year and share it without realizing it was satire?

Have you ever shared breaking news only to find out 10 minutes later that the original news was inaccurate or incomplete?

Have you ever decided how you feel about a new government policy based on a press conference you saw on TV or heard on the radio?

You Might

If you answered, “Yes!” to any of these questions, then you might be a Headline Hellion. It’s easy to spot a Headline Hellion thanks to their signature mouth, which is always shouting headlines without reading the articles. This monster doesn’t have a lot of information, but shares what little they know as if they are an expert on the topic.

Most issues are complex and nuanced and digging into the topic is the only way you’re going to be able to truly understand. Be sure to break out of your information bubble and seek out news from a variety of sources, give breaking news stories time to develop, and don’t forget to check your own biases. Everyone plays an important role in how information is shared and knowledge is obtained, so remember: if you don’t have time to investigate, then think twice about sharing whether you are online or in person!

Be media literate: Think before you repeat. Get the facts before sharing conclusions.

Try This

Here are some questions you can ask to help combat Headline Hellion behavior:

  • Is this fact, opinion, or something else?
  • How credible is this and how do I know?
  • What would I learn from this?
  • What are the sources, ideas, or assertions?
  • Can I trust this source to tell me the truth?
  • What information is missing?
  • What else do I need to know about this topic?

Wide-eyed,

easily duped giant

of the web.

Gullible Giant

Gullible Giant

Wide-eyed,

easily duped giant

of the web.

Gullible

Giant

Ask Yourself

Have you ever seen an ad for a snack food being good for your health and gone out and bought a family-sized package of it?

Have you ever clicked on a link that says “10 Celebrity Couples You Never Knew Existed” only to discover that it was actually an ad for an unrelated product or story?

Have you ever believed something that one politician said in an ad about another politician only to find out later it wasn’t entirely true?

You Might

If you answered, “Yes!” to any of these questions, then you might be a Gullible Giant. You can spot a Gullible Giant anywhere thanks to their signature rose-colored glasses. Because of this rosy view of the world, they don’t spend a lot of time critically thinking about the media messages they consume and create.

Gullible Giants are at risk of becoming that person at the party starting a conversation with “I heard on Facebook…” Believing everything you see and hear can create problems if the information you are consuming is partially or entirely inaccurate. It may lead you down the path of trying an unproven remedy or it could even influence the way you vote in the next election.

Be media literate:

Resist the click, don’t take the bait!

Try This

Here are some questions you can ask tohelp combat Gullible Giant behavior:

  • What does this want me to think or think about?
  • What did I learn from this?
  • What is left out of this message that might be important to know?
  • How does this make me feel?
  • How do my emotions influence my interpretation?
  • What can I learn about myself from my reaction or interpretation?

Scary Share-y

The fastest

sharer this side

of the internet.

Scary Share-y

The fastest

sharer this side of

the internet.

Scary

Share-y

Ask Yourself

Have you ever seen a funny meme and quickly shared it because your sister would think it was funny, forgetting about your other 379 online friends who might not think so?

Have you ever quickly shared something from a family member because it made you angry and you just had to make sure everyone knew about this upsetting information?

Have you ever shared something that you thought was fact but realized afterward that it was just a lot of fluff?

You Might

If you answered “Yes!” to any of these questions, then you might be a Scary Share-y! A Scary Share-y is easily recognized thanks to its seemingly infinite number of tentacles and single, lightning-fast eye. It uses its only eye to quickly glance at content and then its tentacles share faster than you can say “Scary Share-y.”

Remember, you control what, where, and with whom you share information and everything you share adds to the media ecosystem. When you stop to think about what you are sharing, why you are sharing, and how you are sharing, you may decide to post more, less, or not at all! You can choose whether you share an article with all of your followers or just a small group via text. You can blast out that funny meme to all of your friends or simply share in a private message. You can pick up the phone and tell your mom about something awesome your kid did or share it publicly on the internet. Think about who you are sharing with and whether or not that share is better suited for a different audience.

Be media literate:

Pause and ponder before you post!

Try This

Here are some questions you can ask to help combat Scary Share-y behavior:

  • Is this fact, opinion, or something else?
  • How credible is this and how do I know?
  • What would I learn from this?
  • What are the sources, ideas, or claims?
  • Can I trust this source to tell me the truth?
  • How does this make me feel and how do my emotions influence my interpretation of this message or how I share it?

The magnetic

master of

media munching.

Gobblin’ Goblin

Gobblin’ Goblin

The magnetic

master of 

media munching.

Gobblin’

Goblin

Ask Yourself

Have you ever opened your phone to check your email and 30 minutes later find yourself watching your 25th TikTok video?

Does your phone ding all day and night with “Breaking News” notifications or updates from your friends and family?

Do comments, posts, or memes on social media leave you feeling angry, sad, or annoyed but you still keep scrolling?

You Might

If you answered, “Yes!” to any of these questions, then you might be a Gobblin’ Goblin. You can always recognize a Gobblin’ Goblin by their signature marathon media consumption: they magnetize every article, every show, every post, every headline, every podcast, every little piece of media and become glued to it. Nothing avoids their gaze or their never-ending media consumption.

Making conscious choices about what kind of media you spend time with and how much time you spend with that media is empowering. Remember, not all content is created equally. Be mindful by spending less time on content that is fed to you through feeds, scrolls, push mechanisms, or algorithms and instead focus on content that is interesting to you.

Be media literate: Social media isn’t always social, it’s healthy to take a break sometimes.

Try This

Here are some questions you can ask tohelp combat Gobblin’ Goblin behavior:

  • What does this want me to think or think about?
  • Is this message good for me or people like me?
  • How does this make me feel?
  • How might I participate productively in reaction to this message?
  • Is it time to take a break from media for a little bit?

Learn more about the campaign:

Get news from NAMLE

and learn more about

all things Media Monster.


Brought to you by: The People Who Read The Article

(The National Association for Media Literacy Education)