Social Media With A Purpose

Social Media With A Purpose

Going into this digital story project was daunting. Naturally this meant I wanted to choose a topic that hit close to home, but I felt I could talk about more. This project allowed me to combine my love for the topic of mental health, and see how the dialogue about it is approached through pop culture. It promoted my analysis of the topic because I’m used to seeing mental health through the eyes of psychology, not necessarily through the average person. From this, it reminded me how crucial it is to talk about difficult topics that aren’t broached in the every day, with the sensitivity that they deserve-rather than the disassociation.

Creating the video itself posed challenges because I’m not used to film editing or recording. It definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone with both.

I think the largest obstacle I faced was balancing the sensitivity of the topic of mental health,  and still standing firm in that this a topic that needs to be brought to the table more often. It was difficult because I have my own reasons that I relate to this topic so much, and I didn’t want that to outweigh the discussion at hand: how can we be mindful users of social media, in a way that can lead to a brighter impact on our tomorrows?

I think this project forced me to analyze outside of a paper setting where I’d normally just spew facts, here it was the presentation of facts in a directive manner. I think the story worked, but if it was a semester long project, I would have gauged the long term effect of pop culture phenomenons like 13 Reasons Why, and how the fad can raise awareness for a certain period of time, and what happens after that time has passed.

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A semi-colon is used when an author could have ended a sentence, but decided to continue instead.

My digital story with cover both the initiatives of the Semi-Colon project, as well as To Write Love on Her Arms. Both charity’s aim to help similar populations, but have different ways that they raise awareness about their cause.

Finally, the digital story will encompass the importance of mental health awareness, and how mental health is addressed in pop culture.

From Paper to Screens: Digital Stories

The concept of digital stories is something I’ve struggled with as my life became more entangled with technology. It was never something I was personally a fan of, until I found a message that I connected with.

Blogilates, a company led by youtuber Cassey Ho, posted this video a few years back that to me spoke to the impactful level that digital story telling can have. I believe that digital stories should be used to spread messages of positivity, or to educate people on some level. This video is one of her most viewed, and touches upon body shaming in a world where everyone is a critic.

Mapping Out a (SUPER) Sad (but) True Love Story

After I first read through the project, I was extremely skeptical as to how this would help me understand a story that (if we’re being perfectly honest here) left me confused 90% of the time. It wasn’t until I started making a time line of areas hit for my excerpt of readings that I saw the value of lining up where Lenny and Eunice’s life took them.

I believe this mapping assignment helped me understand the story in a different light because it helped me look into the text in a different way. One of the last points that I took down was Lenny and Eunice’s time in Staten Island, visiting Lenny’s friends. I think pin pointing where this was happening, and then pairing the text to it, gave the writing a new level of life that I related to screen writing/having a film or play come to life. For me that was helpful. I also found it helpful because it helped me picture each character’s point of view easier, and interpret the events from their eyes.

Working as a group in this capacity was different from other group projects. Looking at the finished product, it’s interesting to see what each other highlighted as an important part of the story, as well as seeing the different creative liberties that were taken. It was also fun to see how each others layers could influence, and help one another push creative boundaries.

If I were to change this assignment, I think I would want to cross it with another novel, and see how each author may interpret the same location. That could be really interesting, and expand ones imagination and the way they think of different books.

Swiping Left or Right?

How Are Teens Using Social Media In Their Dating Lives?

Super Sad True Love Story is just that. Told from two different people, with two different approaches to love and relationships. Our sparking session will focus on the generational gap, and then tie it into how we look at relationships in present day.

  • How has social media/technology influenced dating culture? (I’m looking at you Tinder!)
  • What do we, as our generation, consider to be old school dating?
  • What do we consider to be norms of dating presently?
  • What do you think divided Lenny and Eunice, to make their story what it was?

It’s Like Brocolli

“I wish I were stronger and more secure in myself so that I could really spend my life with a guy like Lenny. Because he has a different kind of strength than Joshie. He has the strength of his sweet tuna arms. He has the strength of putting his nose in my hair and calling it home… Who will ever open up to me like that again? No one. Because it’s too dangerous. Lenny is a dangerous man. Joshie is more powerful, but Lenny is much more dangerous.”

My friend Chiara has a way of putting life situations into words. When it came to my love life this year, she did it again, while stating, “Just because broccoli is good for you, doesn’t mean you have to date broccoli. Go be with asparagus, or a turnip, or anything else. Don’t let broccoli keep you cornered.”

Reading this section of the story humanized Eunice’s character for me, especially with that quote. Love is confusing and fickle at this age. Everyone is figuring out who they are, and some of us have the pleasure of doing this with another human along for our ride, while on one of their own. The part that I personally relate the most with is the line that says, “Who will ever open up to me like that again? No one. Because it’s too dangerous.” I find a lot of people I’ve met to be very resistant to our current dating world, because of how dangerous it feels to put yourself out there. It doesn’t make it better, it just is what it is. What I have personally experienced is that I’d rather put myself out there and be in danger of being hurt, than feel regretful that I didn’t take the chance. From where Eunice is coming from, it makes sense, but I think it also brings out the actual maturity level of her character that we had not seen present in the earlier part of the book.

140 Characters or It Didn’t Happen

The further I delve into our novel, the more disturbing our current reality becomes to me. “We are now part of this giant machine where every second we have to take out a device and contribute our thoughts and opinions.”

This is something that I’m guilty of, but am making a conscious effort to not have my life plagued by. In a world where everything can be documented by a picture, we still feel the need to extract the moment right then and there, and let others in on where we are in life. The scary part is, how do we learn to mediate this with actually living our lives?

Nowadays, everyone can be a politician, exclaiming about how they disagree with something going on, creating bulletins or petitions. We all have devices meant to contribute and share our thoughts, but we have forgotten that communication is a two way street. Something I noticed within the book is that everyone seems to be talking at one another, rather than listening to what the other is saying. I think this is extremely relevant to the social schema of today, because everyone wants their opinion to be heard, but no one wants to listen to anyone else.

 

Reading is Irrelevant

The title of this post is shocking for an English class. However, just by reading this sentence, you are proving it wrong.

In the book, “Super Sad True Love Story“, we are shown a world that you could not pay me enough money to live in, but is slowly creeping in on our present day reality. The quote we’re asked to reflect upon today goes, “Reading is difficult. People just aren’t meant to read anymore. We’re in a post-literate age. You know, a visual age.” It pains me how relevant this is for some that are growing up today. It is commonplace for children to be playing on phones rather than reading a book while waiting in a doctor’s office. It’s more than just being a visual learner, it’s not longer wanting to read in order to learn.

What worries me most about this quote is how language is portrayed in the book. The use of acronyms instead of full words to complete conversations. I was surprised that chat groups were still a thing, as well as email. However, I was also confused. With all the technological advances, it was clear that language barriers still existed (ex. Eunice and her Mother’s exchanges). If they’re in a post literate age, how is it that something like this can still exist? If this is truly a visual age, wouldn’t they be relying on something like holograms or video chats instead of these messages?

Can you see me now?

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After reading the prompts for this section, and going through the articles I immediately knew what I wanted to write about. Back in middle school, my brother and I both received our own laptops as a graduation present. Little me, felt like the coolest person in the world. The internet was at my finger tips! I didn’t have to share a computer with ANYONE anymore. SO MUCH POWER!!!! What no one explains to middle school children is how to protect yourself on the internet. Basically, they rely on you to use your common sense, and hope that your innocence will shield you. At least, that’s what was hoped for me.

Fast forward a year into having my first computer (that at the time I primarily used for school, neopets, and to watch DVD’s), my friend group got into a craze over IMVU. This platform allows you to create an avatar, and go into different chat groups, connecting you with people from all over on certain pages, as well as having the option to connect with just your friends. At first, this was a great thing. I could see my friends at school during the day, chat with them at night. We’d log into the same groups when connecting with people we didn’t know. Everything was fine…until it wasn’t.

One day I logged into a chat group with people I didn’t know, and someone started talking to me (for the sake of this story, let’s call them Bill). I didn’t think much of it, they seemed friendly enough. We wound up talking regularly when I’d sign in. One day, I had spent the entire day online talking to Bill, and the next thing I knew I was receiving a friend request on facebook. I froze when I saw the name Bill, but didn’t think anything of it. I did not accept the request, but continued to talk to Bill on IMVU. Suddenly, they started asking me why I hadn’t accepted their friend request. I countered with how did they find my account in the first place, I never told them my last name or any location information. My stomach churned. Two hours later, I was crying to my Mom as he started to threaten me and my family because I did not accept his request and had stopped talking to him. My Mom took over from there, immediately reporting him, deleting my IMVU account, and disabling my facebook.

The dark side of the internet is scary. However it comes to us all in different ways. Regardless though, I think that because technology has become such a regular thing in our lives, we need to teach those that are now growing with it how to protect themselves. It’s important that we don’t just use smart technology, but are smart with our technology.

 

 

The Better Man Project

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For anyone in my life, if they are in a rough spot, they know I have about 5 quotes up my sleeve to give them without batting an eyelash. Being in recovery myself, I know it’s important to surround myself with as many positive influences as possible. While my instagram feed is populated with musicians, friends, as well as various charities, I also follow a number of life coaches. I stumbled on Evan Sanders account about a year ago, and I haven’t turned back since.

The picture above is a quote that he posted recently that resonated with me. Writing like this is interesting to me because it can apply to a person at any stage in their life. Whether in a good or bad place, you can usually gauge how you got there, or where you want to go. It’s so easy to get caught up in a moment where all you want to do is close yourself, because it’s easier to just shut down than to face the current situation at hand. This to me says that while you can shut down in those instances, you can also choose to prepare to rise out of them, and go towards the future that is meant for you.