Author Archives: romano132013

Let’s take some time to reflect

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For my introduction to writing arts class I had to make a “Pecha Kucha” (say that three times fast, it’s caused me many issues) presentation with my fellow blog members. Guess what it was about…FREEDOM! After we accomplished that assignment we were asked to reflect on all that we have done and our experiences with blogging. Hopefully this is useful to fellow bloggers and fellow writers. 

 

A Walk through a Slide:

During my part of the presentation on freedom my last slide, slide number five, basically summarized my entire point.  During the presentation I discussed different views on the lack of consequences on the internet. Clearly the internet is not a very controlled environment. People can post what they want, when they want, and there isn’t much anyone can do or say about this. Due to freedom of speech we can bully each other and pretend to be whoever we want to be. As I said, through facebook, I could tell the world that I am a tall blonde with blue eyes. For anyone who knows me this statement is anything but true. By pretending to be someone I’m not I could emotional scare people that I don’t know personally. This isn’t breaking any laws and isn’t technically harming anyone. So my question remains, should this be changed? If so, how? I’m not exactly sure of my stand point on this. This is way the picture that I chose for slide 5 was so fitting. To explain further the picture on the slide was a question mark made up of people. I found the fact that the question mark was made of people to fit right into my presentation because that’s what my focus has been all semester, how freedom affects us as people in relation to technology and social media sites. I feel that there is two ways to look at this situation. Firstly; although people aren’t getting physically hurt, their emotions are seriously being messed with. A great example of this is from the MTV hit show Catfish, which analyzes online relationships that are built off of lies. Should there be some type of penalty for doing this? Some type of way to control people from pretending to be someone they are not.  Or should there be no law or consequence because we, as Americans, have freedom of speech? This topic gets more complicated as you study it more and more. That’s why I figured that the picture of the question mark was the most fitting for my last slide and for my part of the presentation as a whole. 

 

What I learned about my blog Topic:

When beginning this particular module I wasn’t sure what to expect. I didn’t know how we would be using technology such as blogging and twitter to learn more about our writing techniques. When I found out that this class basically revolves around our group blogs, mine being, How free is freedom? , I was pretty excited. Blogging is something that I have never ventured into and realized that I actually enjoy. Obviously my group picked the topic of freedom, as it relates to the internet. I knew nothing of this topic before this blog. I actually never put much thought into my daily routines of using social media websites. I never thought about how people may be scamming us, which the article “How Companies Learn Your Secrets” , discusses.  When I first heard the topic of freedom I just assumed that there wasn’t much to be said about it. Yes we have freedom of speech, so clearly we can type out whatever we want. I learned that there is so much more to it and so much to the way that technology hasn’t just evolved but so have we.

The internet is a tricky tool. It gives us so much power. Basically everything we need to know is at our finger tips the second we press the power button. As discussed before we can pretend to be whoever we want to be. The article “Who Am We” by Sherry Turkle, is all about this. The internet has given us this. It has given us the freedom to be whoever we want, to find out whatever we want, and to become more powerful through words. This freedom is and could be a great thing when it is used properly, but what about when it isn’t?

Cyber bullying has been a huge issue among teens and has resulted in suicides across the nation. People have been emotionally hurt and messed with for years. Should there be a stop to this? Should there be consequences? Because when you really think about the word “freedom” and how it applies to our nation, how free is freedom? 

Teachers teaching us how to tweet, who woulda thought? @WeAreTeachers

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As a future educator I find it interesting that I never really realized the amount of networking that comes along with becoming a teacher. I would imagine that this is not the way that it always was considering we didn’t always live in a technology, blogging, social media, obsessed world.

Last semester I remember one of my education professors telling me how important it is to turn to social media and networking to try and put your name out there and get a job. I did not realize how true this really was until I searched for educators and education groups on twitter, who would have thought that there would be so many? 

The main twitter group that I found to be interesting was one called We Are Teachers. This twitter group is made up of multiple organizations and teachers who tweet about lesson plan ideas and things that are going on in an educational environment  People who are also involved with this twitter account inform us on ways to incorporate social media sites that our students may enjoy. An example of this was one tweet that had a link attached that had a lesson plan that involved ways to incorporate pinterest with using education at home. I found this twitter to be the most helpful because so many different types of people involved with education contribute to it. 

So if you are ever in need of some educational advice I suggest looking up fellow educators on twitter. It’s a fun and easy way to get lesson ideas and communicate with fellow teachers and students. 

Well, this is pretty serious…

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While reading the article How Companies Learn Your Secrets by Charles Duhigg I started to question the majority of my shopping experiences, and what was more frightening was that I started to question to methods that my part time job uses on shoppers and on me directly. Apparently companies such as Target and Shoprite have ways of tracking our purchases and basically ways of studying our lives to make us more “comfortable” in purchasing all different types of products from this. 

I work at Shoprite and until reading this article I didn’t realize how true this all is. At Shoprite we have coupon machines that track your price plus card and print out coupons that we “recommend” for you. I’ve also noticed that customers that shop there regularly are more apt to buy toys from us or health and beauty aids even though it is more expensive. 

I am fascinated by the fact that company’s actually put that much thought into their marketing and I’m not sure whether I should be impressed by this money making strategy or creeped out. Honestly I think I’m a mixer of the two, but mainly creeped out. Image

Byebye Facebook! It’s been real.

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Social media websites such as facebook, twitter, instagram, and tumblr have become a part of our daily lives whether we would like to admit it or not. For me these sites have become my morning routine. I wake up and browse through my Iphone to see whats been going on while I’ve been sleeping. Personally, I feel that Facebook’s days are becoming numbered, people are now turning to these other forms of social media to help them connect to others. rather then posting status updates. So when I was told that I would be unable to use Facebook for a week I wasn’t to worried. 

The first thing that I did to unsure that I wouldn’t be using it was moving it to another page of apps on my phone so it wasn’t as easy for my to get to. The only time that I struggled with this was when something funny happened that I thought one of my friends would appreciate, normally I would go and post it onto there walls, but now I text or call them. Another thing that I noticed was that since we can not post onto each others walls we started tweeting to each other more often. Therefore we still feel the need to publicly chat with each other in another form rather then privately between the two of us. 

I’m not really sure how I feel about all this, because it’s not just me and my friends who have this struggle, it’s just about everyone. We all feel this constant need to post about ourselves and what we are doing, whether we are aware of it or not. 

Blondes have more fun!

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I’m Sarah 🙂 5’10, blonde hair and green eyes. I’m a PR major who loves modeling and going to the beach…

 

Okay, let’s be real. We have all created little summaries about ourselves on social media websites like Facebook, twitter, and even myspace (back in the day). That little summary allows us to be and say whatever we want about ourselves. Now anyone who knows me knows that I am the opposite of what that summary says. I’m no where near 5’10, but hair is super dark brown, and I hide from cameras like it’s my job. It’s truly amazing how many people lie over the internet or “stretch the truth” about themselves. There have been multiple shows made such as, catfish on mtv, that focus on this topic. 

The article “Who Am We” by Sherry Turkle discusses this topic in further detail but also makes a point to remind her readers that computers were not always used as a way to communicate socially, they were used strictly as a tool and mainly for math and calculating probability. The fact that computers have turned into our right hand is both a good and a bad thing. I feel that computers have provided us with more ways to become efficient and focus our energy in writing rather then finding facts. On the social side of this I also feel that being able to communicate with our family members and close friends easily by sharing posts, photos, music, and videos has brought us to a whole new level of closeness. My only fear about all of this is that people will/ have been becoming lazy and lost their sense of reality. We all go on facebook or twitter and end up spending way more time on it then we wanted to. Also there are many fears such as the one that I discussed earlier. We can pretend to be who ever we want to be, which is a scary yet creative thing. 

 

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Of course we have freedom of speech, right?

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As we all know one of the main things that America prides itself on is it’s promise of freedom. People from all over the wold come here to have new opportunities and live whatever type of life they chose. I for one am thankful to be living in this country, although I do feel that America’s definition of freedom has some differences from the actual definition of freedom. So, what is the actual definition of freedom you ask? Well according to dictionary.com freedom is “the power to determine action without restraint.” Therefore we should be able to do whatever we please without anyone telling us not to.

One of the main ways that America shows this is through the freedom of speech philosophy  So my question is what are the limits on freedom of speech? While I was investigating this further I came across an interesting article that was posted by the New York Times. This article focused on a a court case that involved a reporter withholding names because she felt that they weren’t needed. This was taken to the courts because the state accused her of with holding important information in a crime. She is arguing that it was her right to without whatever names or information that she wants to since America has freedom of speech. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about this, part of me feels that she is correct since it was not a life or death situation. But when it comes down to is I’m not so sure how much freedom of speech we really have. Image

How is Writing Technology Affecting Us?

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After reading both of the articles by Bolton, “Introduction: Writing in the late age of print” and “Writing as Technology” I found myself finding many comparisons between these articles and other articles that relate to this topic. I believe that writing in itself is a technology and just as every form of technology does, it evolves over the years.  I see this affecting my own writing strategies and my future career.

Unknown-1When I was going through grade school there were limited amounts of computers and just as Bolton discusses in the second article, “it was not apparent to most readers and writers that the computer was a writing technology at all” (pg 24). The computers in my elementary school were strictly used for practicing math and learning how to type. As a future teacher I am now noticing that elementary aged kids are relying on technology for more than just practicing math skills, as a matter of fact they are probably able to type better than me before they even begin first grade. Using the computer for them is just as assessable and easy as using a pencil and paper was for my generation.

Regardless of how the evolution of writing technologies will affect my future career I also have my own personal opinions on the matter.  Before investigating this topic further I thought my beliefs were concrete. I felt that computers, nooks, ipads, and kindles, were taking away from the magic of writing and reading. It wasn’t until recently that I began to feel different. I realized this when I was assigned a paper in class when the professor made us hand write an assignment. My thoughts weren’t coming out as clear and my hand writing was getting progressively worse as the paper went on.  I feel that tools such as laptops, desktop computers, and even the internet are some of the most helpful tools for a writer. It makes outside information more easy to obtain and our own thoughts more clear and easy to understand for others and for ourselves.

nook-ebooks-ereader-imageHowever; I still feel uneasy about the slow demise of handheld paper books. Bolton discusses this in his first article. “Because of the tension between print and digital forms, the idea of the book is changing. For most of us today, the printed book remains the embodiment of text” (pg 3). Call me old fashioned but I would way rather pick up a book at a bookstore or a library then download it onto a digital device. Bolton goes on to discuss that many future writers feel this way because it is easy to have things published online but to have a hard copy of your text published in a book form is completely different (pg 3-4). As an aspiring writer I couldn’t agree with this more. I live for the day I will hold a copy of my own book, published and finished, in my hands.