I decided to do another excerpt from my final project. However, this portion described the survey I conducted during the presentation portion. I figured that having a way for listeners to feel involved was a great way of them starting to become self-aware of how they use their time daily. During my presentation, I conducted a survey on all those that stopped to listen and take in the info for the class period. Before I reveal the results of the survey, I want to outline the questions that were asked and how that impacted my overall study. My first question simply asked if they personally subscribed or owned one of the more known social media sites. I wanted to know if they are being influenced by the main topic at all. Since it is a wide known fact that most youth and young adults participate in at least one, I had a general feeling the answer would be yes for this question. Next, I asked them to list all the ones they participated in and which one was used the most. For myself, the advent of Instagram trapped me and will not let go of my attention. Also needing to be stated, because it has only furthered the platform, is the drastic spread of smartphone availability. The idea of having these social sites at literally the touch of your finger has only improved how addicting they have become to all users. After these questions, I wanted the listeners to list some good and bad qualities of the social site in which they have become most active. For this writer, I saw Instagram to have the same positives and negatives as Facebook. These sites aid in suppressing the personal fear of mossing out, and keep you “connected” to those who have entered you live at one point or another. However, the negative is wrapped up all in why I just put the word connected in quotations in the previous statement. We have become a culture in where personal interactions have declined. We feel as if we personally know or can comment on others without any interaction; and just based off what we have viewed on these social sites. Next I asked my participants to ponder the thought of giving up this website for good. Personally, now that I am entrenched with this social site, I could not imagine not having it; especially the thought of not having it available all the time on my cellular device. However, why is this? When did we as society become so interdependent on technology that the simple thought of being without it is just unfathomable? To follow up, I asked them to state the reasoning behind whatever answer they gave on the “quitting social media” question. I especially wanted to know that if they answered they would give up social media, why had they not carried out that idea so far. My premise was that most people have subscribed and bought into the positives of social media so much that being without is just something they will never get around to experiencing.
I thought for this blog I could do an excerpt from my final project. The overall takeaway message of the project and surveys was how much outside influences impact how we go along in our daily life. A general term that came up multiple times was the idea of peer pressure. According to the Random House Dictionary, peer pressure is defined as “social pressure by members of one’s peer group to take a certain action, adopt certain values, or otherwise conform in order to be accepted.” Sometimes you will feel the pressure of society to encourage you to participate in whatever becomes popular at that time. From research, this pressure has been heavily seen in the teenage age range. According to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University, social media is playing a role in teens’ decision to use drugs and alcohol. 75 percent of teens said seeing pictures of teens partying with alcohol or marijuana on social networking sites encouraged them to do the same. Also, 45 percent of teens said they have seen these party-promoting pictures online, 47 percent of whom said that it seems like the kids in the pictures were having a good time. Their conclusion is that teens who saw images of partying were four times more likely to have used marijuana, more than three times likelier to have used alcohol and almost three times more likely to have used tobacco. However, for a better understanding, I wanted to also look up its impact on college-age/ young adults. It is wide known that as a teenager your mind is more malleable and susceptible to outside peer pressures. Even though, I was sure that it still had an impact on you no matter the age. According to a research paper written by the Department of Psychology at Georgetown University, Social networking sites like Facebook provide new venues for young adults to express themselves and to interact with one another. Also, Social networking sites allow emerging adults to construct profiles and engage in activities that reflect identity markers. Thankfully, for young adults, the positives of obtaining a social media site is not outweighing the negatives. With sites such as LinkedIn, users are not given the opportunity to turn social media into a pathway for personal benefits. Users can now create and manage what the book Digital Self would describe as our “personal brand.” In other words, we now can mold the viewpoint of the public to how we would like our personal brand to be perceived. For this section of my final project I wanted to bring attention to how much social media affects this upcoming generation. It is a generation of which technology will only improve at a growing rate. I feel instead of hindering the process, it will become evident that we will need to help them adapt and become better at dealing with those situations. When we adapt from the past, we can change the present.
For class number 11, we had a discussion about the idea of nature. We took the time to go outside and take in account all of the elements of outside culture. Sometimes we get involved so much in our personal agendas that we forget to acknowledge all of the other elements around us that carry as much weight as our daily to do list. As we set inside the classroom beforehand, you had a chance to take into account all the things that were around us all along. I will admit it was the first time that I had taken into account the sheer vast amount of natural light that could enter the classroom. By instinct, you are given the guidelines of having class in the basement of a building and you will immediately equate that to no entering sunlight or maybe just smaller windows. You take this from previous situations in which no light was the way most buildings were constructed. However, with the psychology advancements in today’s society which state that light affects how students are alert in modern classroom settings, building developers are taking this into account. After finding new things located inside the classroom, we all gathered our belongings and headed for the Ohio state version of the great outdoors. We were instructed to take in to changes we experienced exiting the indoors to head outside. Most answers dwelled on the feeling of temperature change, the involvement of animals now becoming a factor, and also coming closer to outdoor atmosphere without the constriction of the building. As we traveled around the south oval, we had the chance to take in the destruction left by those who entered the outdoor atmosphere with no respect to leaving it how they found it. Whether it was leaving trash by the trees or cigarette butts by the seating benches, there are many in this world with little to no respect on how much their actions impact the overall appearance of our campus. Then we moved on to the saddest part of the entire walk: viewing what is left of a state icon known as Mirror Lake. Due to construction, it was in a depleted and saddened state. Sometimes to improve our situations, we begin to bother and changes things that hold a memory foothold for so many people. I had a friend come to class with me one day, and I had to avoid Mirror Lake as part of the tour because it would not be a welcoming part of campus to show to others right now. As we concluded the walk through nature, we took the time to think about how where we standing might change in the future or even how it has changed so far. To reflect on how much what we do now will impact those who come after us should challenge us to start to do better with our actions. Make the future better not worse.
For one of our classes, we were instructed to watch the movies Blackfish. This was one of the easier assignments for me to accomplish with the recent purchase of Netflix for my household. I purchased it for nostalgia reasons. There were many shows featured on Netflix that were on during my childhood, and I figured it would be nice to watch those episodes for old time sake. After getting past the many episodes of Arthur in my instant queue, I got the chance to view the movies that was assigned to us. My thought pattern going in was that it was going to be a movie in which I would be lead into thinking that my zoo preferences were inhumane. That by enjoying the zoo, I somehow endangered the wildlife left in our society. As the movie wore on, I could see that it was not the overall thought of going to the zoo that was being challenged. It was focusing all of its attacks on Sea World. Also, it was not a movie that judged me viewing the multitude of animals kept in capture for these many establishments; however, just the whales located at Sea World in specific. The portion that displayed the whales calling out for each other while being transported was one of the roughest to view. Once the movie was over, I only could have one thought. My point was that the movie accomplished its overall goal quite nicely. The goal of most movies of this genre is to raise awareness or even to initiate some type of rebellion against someone or something in which the creator of the movies find to be unjust. The creators of this movie wanted you to see the injustice that they felt was evident at Sea World. However, the timeline was something that I found as a pivotal problem area for this movie. It focused on a lot of past events that have been addressed or apologized for by the company itself. Now, I am not excusing these actions; however, I believe it is very easy to kick someone while they are down. Some sentiments I found online were as follows: “Righteous, captivating and entirely successful as single-issue-focused documentaries go, Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s film draws on startling video footage and testimonies from former orca trainers, building an authoritative argument on behalf of this majestic species.”; “An effective piece of filmmaking. I now want to do something to help these beautiful giants. There’s so much disturbing evidence displayed here to show the cruelty inflicted on these creatures, as well as a real understanding of the orca’s emotional intellect and sense of family, that you can’t walk away from this and not be affected. Which is what all good documentaries are supposed to do. Well done.”; “As more than one orca expert points out in the film, when you take a creature born to roam thousands of miles of open water and stick it in a pool to do tricks, there’s going to be some behavioral blowback. In Tilikum’s case, it’s actually described as a form of induced “psychosis.”
For class day nine, we were given the task of listening to a web episode of Radio Lab. In this specific episode, they were continuing discussing famous tumor stories of medical history. The one that the radio personalities were anxious to discuss was the story of Henrietta Lax. For this episode, they started by describing the medical side of how studying this one growing cell had impacted lives across this globe. Sometimes in life, you can forget how much our personal actions could impact those around us. When we do something we believe is small and of no concern, it could impact things around us as well. But for this story, it was a scientific discovery that is still governing how laboratories across the globe deal with infections and diseases of all sorts. However, the portion that impacted me the most was when the story switch from medical to personal. In the lab episode, the story tellers focused on the daughter. What struck me the most was how unfair the story tellers were being to how this entire process was impacting the daughters’ actions. In a specific portion of the recording, one the gentleman questions why no one had attempted to just explain what the reasoning behind all of this was, as if an explanation would have immediately cleared up the impact it had on her thought process. Personally, it would definitely take a lot more than science textbooks to clear up the reason why you took part of a family member and have been experimenting on it without clearing it with the family first. For this very reason, we now can volunteer to be a part of any experiments or even just something as simple as donations. The burden of getting approval now falls on the scientists’ shoulders before any future actions can be taken. It was hard to view this story from the medical side since I had previously been told this story from the social side and especially highlighting its many social flaws. At that time period, minors did not have all the rights granted right now in this country. Therefore, the idea of taking a part of Miss Lax for experimentation without family consent made perfect sense. It was not an appropriate action but, due to my knowledge of how minors were treated, it completely fit the mold of that society. To think that one personal felt superior to another enough to take from them without permission is mindboggling. However, to go back to the science aspect, the use of these cells have impacted how we as a society have improved medically. We found cures for things that were thought to be impossible, and can still be used today to find out future cures. When a portion of me can impact those who follow me, I then can say I make a difference. For this reason, I understood why the daughter could finally get past all the stigmatism of deception in her life. She was making a difference.
On our retreat day, we were instructed to turn off technology and journal about what we could reflect on during that time period. To find a place to do so was the easy part for me. Every day, I ride the glorious COTA bus to school and back home to work. For my early morning chemistry class, I need to get on the bus at 6:30 am to make it on time. At this time in the morning, I run into professional women and men who are on their way to their various downtown jobs. For many of them, this early morning bus ride is a chance to catch up with fellow riders or even enjoy a nice book. I feel that unlike most of the other buses I’ve had the “privilege” to ride, this bus is devoted to taking some time to decompress before a long day of work. Therefore, I knew exactly the place to take my retreat at. The next part was what technology I was decided to be without for that time period. I had a couple options; however, I went with what I could guess was a popular choice: my cell phone. However, I saw that as a different technology at this time in the morning. While most people would use it to communicate with others or view the many avenues of social media, at this moment in the morning it becomes my music library heaven. I personally thank the creators and technicians behind Pandora daily. I take this time to be by myself in a full bus with my music at my side. So the sheer thought of being without brought up the idea of what I would do in its place. However, I did not realize how perfect this was for that moment in time. I was dealing with a rough personal situation at that moment, and riding in silence was the perfect remedy. I had the chance to reflect on my thoughts. I had the chance to devise plans of attack, figure out schemes, and create new ideas. I had the chance to reflect a little bit. Whenever you get a chance to reflect, you sometimes can be surprised at the outcomes. I was surprised at the many conclusions I came to in such a sort time period. While I did not think I could live without the invention of transportable music, I found that I could change it into a time of self-awareness and reflection. Whenever I was listening, I was devoted to figuring out the different pieces in the music from the harmonies, the bass line, the drum rhythm, and etc. I had turned the joy of music into a distraction from whatever I was avoiding. When that changed, I changed and began to think within. No longer did I have the music as a crutch or a safe zone. I actually now had to answer the questions looming in my own spirt. And that fact can really be scary….
In week 1, we took in account of our digital self. This is understood as figuring out how much our social lives impact our real lives. There was a couple of big pieces from the reading that stuck out to me. First, it was the idea of interpreting our digital archives. The writer describes it as gathering the past versions of ourselves, and how we cannot control our digital after lives. I total agree with how much looking into our digital past gives us a vivid picture of how we used to be or what we used to be focused on. Many people in class mentioned looking at past emails or even old photos on Facebook. My digital past in a small list since I started these social sites very recently; however, even I can look back at old photos and see how much I have changed. The next part that stuck out was the idea of evaluating the claims of authenticity. It has become so easy to figure out who has stated an idea by the obvious separate profiles on social media. Also, you are identified on most sites when you respond to anything, like anything, or share anything.by doing these various actions, you automatically sign off on whatever you have participated in. The next point was understanding the use of branding. This point was brought up in my final project as a reference on how much social media has now turned to be something that can be accessed for our benefit. Now, with such sites as LinkedIn, you can construct how you want the world to view you as a person, company, or overall brand as well. Also standing out in the reading was the point about identity. Even though much education is given to people now about you online identity, a lot of people spend their time creating fake profiles or even harassing others over online media. The overall point of this piece was to alert us about how much social media affects our daily lives. Sometimes, we make decisions based off of things we have been impacted by online. I found myself basing how I would approach an upcoming decision by a review given on a website instead of following my own personal opinion. It connects to the digital past that was mentioned earlier. Instead of researching onto our past situations to come up with a better answer for you current problem, we have now turned into social machines that update with any new information coming across our pathways. I believe the goal of dissecting our digital footprint is to learn how to use it for our benefit and not our stumbling block. To learn how to use it to influence others and not being overly influenced ourselves. By doing so, we take away clutter from our lives, distress our minds, and reflect on ourselves. When we finally get to that point of reflection, you will be able to choose correctly and start making a change one piece at a time.
In week one, we discussed the overall theme of “What is Human?” and how it impacts how we classify the world around us. I really agree with the idea that we need to look outside of our normal boundaries to explain the scientific nature around us. It is very easy to become stuck within. The four corners that we are taught inside schools. While that is a great place to start, it sometimes can hold a bigger understanding of the world around us from our viewpoint. But why is this? I believe it is two things: fear and unwillingness. First, the reason I say fear is because to search other avenues of thinking can be an uneasy situation. It could take you outside of the comfort zone you have set up for yourself. Our comfort zones are there for a reason. We have experienced different circumstances in life that have caused us to shut off certain areas of personal possibilities; and also shut off wanting to adapt or listen top other ways of thinking. This correlates to my second reason which was unwillingness. I personally have had this issue within various social situations. When approaching a situation, it becomes easier to shut it down and not approach it rather than become open to a new possibility. Orwell argues that the pathways of science refers to a rational, logical approach to problem-solving, and that this type of mindset is just as likely to be possessed by a lawyer or poet, and that scientists, according to the traditional definition, do not necessarily share this open-mindedness. Sometimes defining how you interact with others in such a strict headline leaves no room for other outside possibilities. Not all parts of human interaction can be defined with just the words spoken or the location of the conversation. You have to include the pieces that seem invisible at first. You have to include the involuntary actions. Sometimes I learn more about how a conversation is going from the subtle movements. One time I was having a very serious conversation with somebody out at dinner. Midway through what I considered an important moment, she conveniently checked her phone. What was taken from that moment, if I was only thinking in the scientific mindset, was that I got to express my statement in a controlled environment which was my main goal. However, if I open my thought process to include more of an open-mindedness platform, I would learn to take into account all of the extra pieces to the puzzle. I would see that more is involved with how my day is set up then just the strict pieces and notice all the edges and gaps; and even something as simple as how all the pieces go together. Basically, I just got the overall theme of thinking outside of the box. When you take the time to do so in all facets of life, you begin to broaden your horizons and reach a better understanding of world situations.