In a Relationship with Social Media

As humans we are always evolving. The idea of tools and technology have evolved with the human mind as they become more complex. Technological advances have come far in the past few centuries and so has society. Some argue that it is technology that evolves with society but in reality, it is technology that has changed our views of society.

Being social has always been in our nature, even at the dawn of time before the evolution of the homo sapiens; primates lived in social groups and engaged in social activities with each other. Technology is the combination of tools and knowledge and the use of this technology creates social media, which allows people to be social and exchange information by using some medium when an in person meeting is not possible. Social media centuries ago is no different from modern day social media. The technology of communication has evolved with our need to socialize; how to get news to a party quicker and more efficiently, how to make it easier to store messages for future reference, maybe even how to record current events to share with friends later. From that, the hieroglyphics from the Egyptians had evolved into a stone tablet, which evolved into the parchment paper that the Greeks and Romans used, which evolved into newspapers, which lead to the use of text messages and the electronic iPad tablet.

Modern day social media is a bit different from the original definition. The younger generations define it as websites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter that allow an individual to keep in touch with distanced people whom do not live within a given visiting radius. This type of social media was initially created to allow family members and distanced users to keep in touch with each other. Evidently it has evolved into keeping in touch with the person you live with or someone in the same room. Danah Boyd, in her book It’s Complicated, defines the young generation of social media users as, “[…] zombified social media addicts who are unable to tear themselves away from the streams of content from Facebook Twitter, and Instagram (Boyd 78).” This type of behavior was not always the case. In the past few years, the amount of technology usage by children and teens have increased an exponential amount. Nine years ago, not every child had access to a cell phone or a portable music player and headphones. Busses were full of banter and students talking about what they did in school. Now a days, it is uncommon for anyone with access to a computer to not have a phone or pair of headphones. Busses are now filled with a floating silence whilst students stare somberly out the window while listening to music or while engrossed in the words of a little glowing white screen. College students constantly have headphones plugged in, they are always looking down and scrolling at phones when not in class, on their way to class, even in class. Though it would seem that teens are facing an extreme addiction to social media, Boyd has a different theory: “Teens turn to, and are obsessed with, whichever environment allows them to connect to friends. Most teens aren’t addicted to social media; if anything, they’re addicted to each other (Boyd 80).”

As social creatures, self-consciousness is in our nature. The desire to be accepted by others and the desire to meet social standards is something that quietly eats at the minds of adolescents – we identify ourselves most with the qualities that are most accepted by society. Modern society dictates what said qualities make someone attractive, what qualities make someone an athlete, society dictates how we define ourselves. Stereotypes are a fighting matter in not only high schools, but also college and elementary and middle schools as well. In high school a few stereotypes are nerds: the smart students who study all the time – give or take a pair of glasses, populars: the snobby group who everyone thinks are attractive with hundreds of friends, jocks: the student athletes that wear sweats and athletic shorts to school every day, and emo kids: who wear black every day and have ten piercings. In college most stereotypes are based off of either greek life or by major and in primary schools there becomes an identity crisis of who you will become in high school. The hierarchy of stereotypes in schools give certain groups of people more “power” over another group which results in social problems like gossip drama and bullying: where everyone knows that Suzy cheated on Josh with Chad who is Josh’s best friend or a student will pick out a person or a group of people and turn half the school against them, respectively. The use of cell phones and texting allows this type of gossip to be spread infinitely faster than it would had they used the old method of passing post-it notes during class. Bullying is one of the big social issues that leads people to suicidal thoughts because they feel insignificant, it is problems like bullying that lead people to turn to online communities in their one last attempt of being accepted.

There are millions of people on the internet, out of those millions it cannot be hard to find someone who understands you. On the internet “there are places where one constructs an avatar—from games to virtual communities—where people go to find themselves, or to lose themselves, or to explore aspects of themselves (Turkle  209).” These communities are full of people who are willing to reach out with open arms and accept people as they are. The internet gives individuals a chance to start over from their past and, because they feel insignificant, they can find their purpose in life, discover hobbies that they enjoy doing, and make life long friends. One of the teens that Boyd interviewed described his experience, “I was going online to escape the so-called real world. I felt ostracized and misunderstood at school, but online I could portray myself as the person that I wanted to be. I took on fictitious identities in an effort to figure out who I was (Boyd 37).” After being bullied at school, sometimes going home and talking to parents and loved ones can be a comforting place to balance out the school day but unfortunately not all families are a safe haven.

Younger generations, due to advanced electronic entertainment, spend less time with friends and even less time with family. Cell phones have taken their own places at the dinner table and dinner has become a time of eating food instead of a time of communion. Kids scarf down their food as quick as possible before returning to their online world. Adults and parents commonly complain that their kids spend too much time on computers but Boyd theorizes that it is these parents that are at fault for their kids’ addiction. In a culture where “stranger danger” is a common phrase and over-dramatized crime television shows influence people’s actions, parents have become widely overprotective of their children. In my childhood, I would be gone for hours playing with neighbors – we tried building a fort in an overgrown bush, we would bike up and down the street and explore in the woods at the end of the cul-de-sac, run around the park up by the main road, or meet at the gazebo to trade Yu-Gi-Oh! cards. One of the girls Boyd had interviewed said she lived in a relatively nice area and her mom would not let her walk her dog or go outside past their front yard in fear that someone would kidnap her. Parents have the idea that every single stranger has the intention of kidnapping their children based off of television shows like CSI and Law and Order. They keep their children off the streets and away from bad influences by filling their kids’ schedules filled with music lessons, sports practices, and other extracurricular activities. Busy schedules leave no time to hangout and chat with friends and the only way to stay in touch and updated on the lives of friends is to use the internet. On the other hand, students come home to thousands of problems and broken families. Life can be a living hell for some people. When using social media, users have the power to log off from who they are as a human being and log onto someone else online.

In the real world, your physical body and personality defines you, in the digital world, your pixel avatar and your typed interests defines you. Whether it is a dating website, an online community, or even a video game guild – people judge based on a picture. Online people are able to post pictures of themselves, list their qualities, and interests – things that show only the good side of their personality. Getting to know someone by “Facebook creeping” on them has become very common among teens and young adults. Friendships and dating have become a complete online experience. The increased use of online profiles has altered society’s view of relationships from an in person process of getting to know someone to a materialistic view of getting to know someone through just their pictures and what they post. The internet has also degraded the value of relationships because evidently internet based relationships are “no strings attached.” Modern day relationships can be ended easily over text message or online and friendships can be ended in seconds by clicking the “Unfriend” button on Facebook – the concept of personal interaction has been completely removed.

Human interaction is an important skill considering our lives are based off of interacting and socializing with others. However, because cell phones have become a primary communication medium, people have begun preferring text messaging and emails over phone calls. Sherry Turkle interviewed a few teens in her book, Alone Together, and asked them about their preference and they all agreed that, “you wouldn’t want to call because then you would have to get into a conversation […] You ask a question and then it’s over (Turkle 200).” Turkle also discusses the topic of robots and how they are slowly replacing humans because of our avoidance of people. She explains how a simple robot, Paro, is more comforting to an individual than human affection. Robots eliminate all of the strife and stress that come with human relationships: robots do not cause cheat, they do not spread rumors, they get jobs done; “[Robots] will substitute when people fail (Turkle 5).”

Technology has come a long way since the invention of electricity and has created a plethora of new opportunities for us to explore. The digital age has consumed the world and its affect has drastically altered modern society and daily life. Eventually, there may become a point where technology and innovation becomes so advanced that the future may not even need us.


Word Count:  1818

Works Cited

Boyd, Danah. It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens. New Haven: Yale UP, 2014. Print.

Turkle, Sherry. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. New York: Perseus Book Group, 2011. Print.

Literature Review

There is not exactly a million research books on the topic of social media and teens and how technology affects the growth of social media. This is just mostly because of the fact that we, as a society, are still growing because technology is still advancing. A lot of the articles out there are about how the internet is killing the social abilities of teens, how we actually do not have privacy, and how they are changing our views and morals – not necessariliy for the better either.

My main reference is a book by danah boyd that is a large collection of teen interviews. Danah boyd interviews a large number of teens about a lot of problems that people have assumed about teens and social media. She talks about how the obsession with technology really is not an obsession with technology but teens being obsessed with each other and with the idea of being social and knowing the most up to date information. Adults also claim that teens spend too much time on their phones and on computers, Boyd theorizes that parents are at fault. She itnerviewed a girl who’s mother had scheduled her to have music lessons, sports practice, and other extra cirriculars that would prevent her from having time with friends. The only way she could keep up to date with people she care about is through facebook.

Another big topic she covers is why have teens begun to spend so much time inside? As a kid I would spend all the time i could playing outside with friends. We would bike up and down the streets and play tag outside or learn to skateboard or go to the park and run around. My younger sisters, on the other hand, spend so much time inside I don’t think they have ever gone outside. Both are glued to their iPad and laptop. Boyd’s idea about this is because of parents again. Because of overprotective parents who do not want their child to be hurt playing games or looked at by strangers, they keep their kids inside. There is stranger danger in the park and parents think that the events in crime shows are very possible when in reality they are not. The sad thing is, there are also strangers on the internet as well. So if there are threats in both situations, why not just let your kid go outside and play with his friends? I understand the safety matter but the logic does not make sense to me.

Sherry Turkle’s book Alone Together is also an important book that I will be referencing. I’ll be using a few sections from it. Turkle makes a lot of good points in her book. Both authors use an interview method and we discussed a lot of it in class. But she focuses mainly on how the obsession will affect us as a society. So having a robot programmed to love and play the role of a human is an actual possibility and how that takes affect on our emotions as humans.

Research Question

The driving question for my paper is: how has the advancement of technology evolved and how has society evolved with it.

I want to look at society’s obsession with technology and how it benefits us and how it does not.

My sisters are aged 13 and 11, and the age gap is pretty big. Though we are friends we never have actually been too close so I never had anyone to turn to or talk to about my feelings. Middle and High school also were not exactly the greatest time for me. Because I had switched schools so abruptly in fifth grade, I did not really have many friends. I had a few friends but I turned to some online communities that I spent time on. There were people like me and they did not judge me at all. I had made lots of friends, friends in Amsterdam, Ireland, Hawaii, and other interesting places. This even lead me to my passion in drawing. They supported me, gave me advice, and I became a better artist. I was aware of the fact that they could be online creepy people but they had become my close friends. Without them I would have been succumbed by feelings of loneliness and depression.

This experience has lead me to want to understand the good in social media even though the obsession with it is bad. Like why is it that someone online can mean as much to you as someone in person? How does that relationship establish itself? and how can it be so impactful? (It is also good in that it allows distant family and friends to keep in contact and stay updated on each others lives. I can keep in touch with my papa and mamma in Florida and my cousin in New Jersey and they always look at my picture updates. And I’m always looking at theirs. 🙂 )

Yet in ways social media is bad. In person friendships have basically become online friendships. Why is that we are so afraid of talking to someone in person? Why do people hate phone calls now? Is it because they just do not want to face the other person? Why is online bullying so effective when sometimes we don’t even know the person? (p.s. online bullying pisses me off.) A guy broke up with some girl at my high school and she and her friends harassed him on facebook so much he deleted it. Some guy even asked me out by adding that he was in a relationship with me on facebook… (lol.) Why is internet drama such a big deal? I do not understand why people feel the need to digitally attack people who are grouped under an assumption.

Yes the internet and the use of laptops and iPads and communication devices have their pros and cons, but do the pros outweigh the cons? What can we do to reduce the cons so that we do not put any lives in danger and still teach our children that it is okay to be different?

CS 2367 as an Archive

This comparative studies class has worked as an archive by simply archiving the ideas of society. The blog contains a wide range of posts written by students talking about various social and technological topics that range from bitcoins to MRI technology to online relationships. The class contains the views of the younger generation and the older generation where we evaluate articles of technology that have very much affected society.

The class is given an article to read pertaining to We have progressed through a range of blog posts. We re-defined the idea of technology beginning with important pieces of “technology” that we cannot live without and leads up to our main project papers. We defined an archive in class as an extension of ourselves. Each of the student’s posts has to do with their interests and their opinion, which makes writing more fun and anyone can read it. Overall, the blog idea was a much more entertaining idea than writing short responses for a basic English class. It allows the class to be closer together and share more than we would share in class. Blog posts can be casual and it can be fun to read the ideas and interests of the other students in the class, it is also fun to comment on other posts and share interests on other posts. I liked this class and the layout of the class. The blog post was definitely the best idea yet for students to record and share their work, definitely keep it around!

One of the most influential articles we had read is by Marshal McLuhan. In Marshal McLuhan’s book The Medium is the Massage, he described a variety of items that were an extension of the body. “The wheel is the extension of the foot, the book is the extension of the eye, clothes is the extension of the body, and electricity is an extension of the central nervous system.” In class, a big topic that we talked about is the many ways the technology we have works as an archive, like Facebook and music. How Facebook archives our pictures and our memories, how music archives our feelings, how our phones archive our lifestyle.

This class works as an extension of our lives (insert intense music). The main purpose of a blog is to record feelings and journal about events in our lives. Journals can come in many forms and originally they were in the form of books to record in and can now be in the form of a digital website. We as students are writing about the big events that are happening in the world now, like genetic engineering or change in social norms. The blog archives and preserves what is happening right now in our lives as Ohio State students and what we love. Ten years down the road if we happen to stumble upon this website, it will be a reminder of how we lived. Maybe after we have passed and life is different, people will find it and it will somehow help make an impact or an important record on their society.

Right in the Feels

Outline the Archive of Feelings: Where does a community deposit their feelings? What kinds of texts are there and how do you find them?

There are many places to archive feelings, it may sound weird because a feeling is not generally something that is recordable.

A big depository of feelings is music. Music has three parts, lyrics written, sang, and performed. Each of the three parts are able to hold large amounts of feelings. Many people like a song because of the “feeling” they get when they listen to it. Sometimes, you can hear the passion of the guitarist as they play a solo or you can hear the trembling in the voice of the singer or maybe the tears in the song of an orchestra music. Part of being a good singer or a good musician is being good at connecting yourself and your emotions to the music and especially the lyrics. Music is recorded and even though it is mostly digital now-a-days, with our phones and iTunes and Spotify, it is still an archive. Music and the technology used to hold it archives feelings, era changes, and technological advancement. (for example, walkmans, cd-players, mp3 players, the first iPod, iPod shuffles, iPhones, etc.).

Another type of feeling archive is the internet. People in online communities use the internet to connect with people who have similar tastes. Websites like Tumblr are very ’emotional’ websites. The Tumblr community is very close knit and many people are able to get mental help there. Users are able to type posts, post pictures, videos, ask other users questions, etc. Tumblr has also been a place of suicidal teens to get help from someone who is not a therapist and for people to share heart wrenching stories and uplifting stories. Though it may sound weird that many people have confided their inner feelings to a community where you cannot physically be with a person, many people feel very connected and are very fond of their followers because they all support each other. On the other hand, Tumblr also holds arguments and discussions about ignorant people, feminists, current events, and people’s reactions to these events. Though Tumblr may sound like a scary place, there are also tons of gifs of cats, spongebob, and tv show quotes to be discovered. Tumblr works as an archive by archiving our mental timeline on a single blog.

Just like Tumblr, Facebook works as an archive as well. Nothing conveys more feeling, besides feelings themselves, than a picture. We have actually talked a lot in class about Facebook so I will not repeat information but essentially, Facebook can be a timeline of photo events, recorded events, and posts. The written word can also hold many many feelings. Social media sites like Tumblr and Facebook are intended for typed posts and pictures – which allows us to be able to record import events that happen. I think it would be interesting to see the Facebook posts of past presidents or posts during wars like world war 1 or 2. If we had internet back then we would be able to archive our feelings and be able to see how the mind progresses over the years and how things have changed and that’s pretty cool!

♥ In a Relationship with Social Media

(Note: This is a pre-writing essay outline. I won’t be using all of the quotes, the quotes posted basically sum up the ideas I want to talk about in the paper and remind me where certain topics are where in books)


Thesis: WIP

[Paragraph 1] Topic: Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Video Games, etc.

  • Origin of social media and it’s initial intents:
    • Social media was initially created to allow family members and distanced users to keep in touch with each other. Evidently it has evolved into keeping in touch with the person you live with or someone in the same room.
  • Why social media is used and who uses it
    • “[…] There’s a generation of zombified social media addicts who are unable to tear themselves away from the streams of content from Facebook Twitter, and Instagram.” (boyd pg 78)
    • “there are places where one constructs an avatar—from games to virtual communities—where people go to find themselves, or to lose themselves, or to explore aspects of themselves.” (turkle pg 209)

[Paragraph 2] Topic: Identity Online

Turkle and Boyd give copious amounts of examples of teen interaction. Why do we feel as if we have to change ourselves online?

  • Online Communities: Video Games, reddit, Tumblr, etc.
    • There are problems at schools like bullying that lead to the extensive use of seeking acceptance online.
    • “Their seemingly different practices on each platform might suggest that they are trying to be different people” (boyd pg 38)
    • “I was going online to escape the so-called real world. I felt ostracized and misunderstood at school, but online I could portray myself as the person that i wanted to be. I took on fictitious identities in an effort to figure out who I was.” (boyd pg 37)
    • Another good example on boyd pg 40.
  • Online Dating/Self Representation: match, eharmony, Tinder,Facebook, etc. (what’s the point?)
    • “Audrey says that she took her worst shortcut a year before when she broke up with a boyfriend online. Teenage girls often refer to television’s Sex and the City to make a point about when not to text. In a much-discussed episode, the heroine’s boyfriend breaks up with her by leaving a Post-it note. You shouldn’t break up by Post-it note and you shouldn’t break up by text.” (turkle pg 197)
  • False Representation
    • “Allie’s MySpace profile, I learned from the demographic section that she is ninety-five years old, from Christmas Island, and makes $250,000 per year. […] A casual viewer scanning Facebook might conclude that an extraordinary number of teens are in same-sex relationships because so many have chosen to list their best friend as the person they are “In a Relationship” with.” (boyd pg 45) (I can relate)
  • How has the above changed the views of society: relationships, friendships, etc
  • How is this change good? bad?
    • Good – allows people to keep in touch and stay updated on each other’s lives. Good archive for pictures and life events.
    • Bad – do we need 500+ friends? Being online so much affects the ability to talk to people in person.

[Paragraph 3] Topic: Internet vs. Real World and Privacy

  • Desire to be accepted/popular
    • “Teens turn to, and are obsessed with, whichever environment allows them to connect to friends. Most teens aren’t addicted to social media; if anything, they’re addicted to each other” (pg 80)
  • Privacy
    • College Admission example (boyd pg 34)

[Paragraph 4] Topic: Social Experiment

  • I’ll probably ask friends what they think about online dating and how they prefer to represent themselves online.


Misc Quotes I Liked
It’s Complicated – Danah Boyd

(Definitions of Privacy)
Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis described privacy as “the right to be let alone,” (pg 59)
Ruth Gavison describes privacy a measure of the access others have to you through information, attention, and physical proximity. (pg 59)
Alan Westin argues that privacy is “the claim of individuals, groups, or institutions to determine for themselves when, how, and to what extent information about them is communicated to each other.” (pg 59)
Alicia: “I think privacy is more just you choosing what you want to keep to yourself” (pg 63)

Alone Together – Sherry Turkle

” Elaine has strong ideas about how electronic media “levels the playing field” between people like her—outgoing, on the soccer team, and in drama club—and the shy: “It’s only on the screen that shy people open up.” (Turkle pg 187)

(Turkle’s sections: No Need to Call, Love’s Labor Lost (Robots), and Growing Up Tethered)


It’s Complicated by Danah Boyd

Alone Together by Sherry Turkle

Fabrications of the Mind

The media is society’s main source of entertainment these days, ranging from current news and radio shows to romance dramas and superhero movies. The average student spends countless hours on Netflix and Hulu. The goal of a producer is to make a profit off of their ideas and to do that they must capture the audience’s attention. What are the current social matters? What interests the younger generation? What does society really want?  Although television shows and movies are supposed to be a depiction of “real life,” they have had more of an influence on society instead of serving the purposes of plain entertainment.

At first, while reading a book, often times a reader will imagine scenes and create images of the characters, creating a sort of mental movie. Technology has made this easier by physically creating movies that audiences can see. Readers will also place themselves in the story to the point where they have created an emotional attachment to the book itself.

As humans, the mind is always looking to improve itself based on more successful people or role models: people who have overcome a personal difficulty or have reached that distant success, even if that person is a complete fabrication of someone else’s mind.  The most influential point in life is childhood; children see and children do. A child looks up to their parent for guidance on how to eat, talk, interact, and all the basics of life in general. Kids grow up watching Saturday morning cartoons and, of course, awesome animated stories about the endeavors of superheroes. Through these, children normally relate their first few experiences of emotional sadness, excitement, and awe-struck wonder.

Disney is the largest animated entertainment company whose primary audience is children. Thanks to Disney, young girls have a false sense of love and boys have the desire to be brave and powerful. All of the original Disney princesses fell in love at first sight, causing young girls to have a fantastical view of love. What girl would not want to be beautiful and have a handsome prince sweep her off her feet and take her to live in his majestic castle? The kind of love depicted is mainly infatuation by physical appearance; in Snow White, the prince did not speak a word to her before falling in love with her and taking her to his castle. Many girls will grow out of the thought as they mature and understand that life isn’t a fairytale, but some girls will not. Jennifer Hardstein wrote an article about “Princess Syndrome,” in which she believes that these unrealistic ideals can affect later self-esteem. Hardstein argues that children grow up with the wrong values and that, because of Disney, young girls grow up believing their worth is in their appearance and material possessions (5).

Alex Kristelis wrote an article that even Disney had an effect on young boys by creating a repetitive pattern in what “men” are “supposed” to do; for example, the guy always has to rescue the girl or the good guy is always handsome and strong (5). Movies like The Lion King, Hercules, and Toy Story feature a brave main character who overcomes ridiculous hardships and eventually comes to the rescue. They become role models for children and, yes, it is possible that they learn and become better people by that. However, it is also possible that they will grow up thinking they are brave and invincible and not understand that struggles in real life as they grow up are very different and true love is not simply handed to them. Even though older Disney movies are classics and well loved by many, there should be a distinction from the fictional world and the real world and perhaps realistic life lessons instead of a silly fantasy.

After getting through the fairytale and knight in shining armour phase of life, youth culture should be about making friends and enjoying relationships while you are young. Too bad it has mainly become about parties and sex. Gossip Girl is essentially about the struggle for popularity, all of the conflicts between two friends, who had sex with whom. Asking someone who had seen all six seasons, Tara Schwinger said, “What makes me most upset about Gossip Girl is how dumb every single situation is; honestly, the show is just very unrealistic. It gives kids unrealistic expectations of what their parents are going to allow them to do. No parent is going to let her 16 year old daughter go to a Greece alone with some random people that she doesn’t know (4).” Schwinger, being from New York City, even said that the majority of schools there are not even close to what is depicted in Gossip Girl, with the exception of some of the private schools.

Most all girls have at least heard of gossip girl and it’s ridiculously over dramatized situations. Lesley Blume wrote an article about how Gossip Girl is killing youth culture, naming the article “15 going on 50” because this 15 year old seems to be doing things out of her age and maturity range (1). Blair Waldorf is in junior high and her life is consumed by drugs, sex, and backstabbing friends. In reality, junior high was remembered for braces, awkward first kisses, and awkwardly trying to make friends. Even in college, where an alcohol and sex culture is very prominent, there is not that much drama. Gossip Girl was supposed to be an example of modern life when it could probably depict the life of Khloe Kardashian instead of the average adolescent. No person could possibly be so mature as to be calmly composed and directly talk to their significant other who had cheated on them without screaming, crying, and maybe throwing the nearby book. Situations like these are influential and affect how real relationships are handled because events like this do exist and they typically involve sensitive girls being over dramatic and overthinking everything. Blume, in her article, wrote, “[…] Gossip Girl seems to tell us that there’s nothing to look forward to, and there will be nothing to look back upon … except more of the same. We’re not just destined to become brittle materialistic adults; we already are brittle materialistic adults (1).” This unrealistic ideal of life growing up should not take us straight into adulthood or tell us that life is about materialistic gains and popularity or attention from the opposite gender. Girls should not spend their youth fantasizing about cute boys and sex. F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote that every young woman spends her youth looking forward to her first kiss, and the rest of her life looking back upon it (1).

Recently the show Breaking Bad had become extremely popular amongst young adults, mainly college students and early graduates. Breaking Bad is about Walter White’s financial struggle to support his family and pay for cancer treatment. He has all the right morals but he turns to an extremely illegal business to make the money to do so. White starts his own methamphetamine lab and begins to distribute the substance. This action gets him the money he needs but eventually leads him into a very long hard struggle with the wrong people.

The use of methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, is illegal worldwide. Along with the influence of shows like Disney and Gossip Girl, this one is a bit more morbid. Breaking Bad has introduced the concept of meth to those who had not known much about it and it makes it less of a taboo in conversations (2). Although Breaking Bad does not directly influence uses of meth and other drugs, it does open society’s eyes to how drug cartels and illegal businesses function. The show depicts to what extent people will go for money and there is no doubt that it would give the desperate person some ideas. A regular side job that pays minimum wage is insufficient for a college that costs more than $20,000 a semester. Some college kids are known to go into the pornography or prostitution business to pay for tuition and maybe even marijuana or other drugs. White’s choice to manufacture meth to make money for a good reason is admirable but that just gives people the idea to unknowingly do dangerous things instead of working hard in a real job. This type of behavior, even though it is not actively glorified, should not be something that a viewer should be spending hours upon hours watching and unintentionally learning from.

The mind is highly influenced and there are constant everyday struggles with peer pressure, stereotypes and expectations. These struggles are dealt with by everyone, from the time we are born to the day we die. The problem is that the influence still works when there are fictional people with fictional lives. The media is a great archive in that it preserves our lifestyle and show technological advancement, but its main purpose was to entertain, not to influence. Media, in the words of McLuhen, counts as an extension of our minds; but the more it influences society, the more it changes to become an extension of our actions.

Word Count: 1527




Works Cited

Blume, Leslie. “Huffington Post.” 15 Going On 50: How Gossip Girl is Killing Youth Culture.

Huffington Post, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2015.

Ewing, Blake. “Breaking Bad Normalizes Meth, Argues Prosecutor.” Time. Time, n.d. Web. 28

Kristelis, Alex. “7 Problematic Lessons Disney Movies Teach Boys About Masculinity.” Bustle.

Bustle, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2015.

Feb. 2015.

Schwinger, Tara

Wellman, Victoria. “Are our girls suffering from ‘Princess Syndrome’? Disney heroines teach

us  to trade on our looks and value material things, claims new book.” Daily Mail.

Associated Newspapers, n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2015.

Creating A New You

Humans are naturally self conscious about everything, it’s a natural tendency to want to be accepted by others and what better way than to have the experience of love. The process of marriage has greatly altered since the age of courtship and arranged marriage. Dating has become more of a mental and physical game between people and sometimes we’re so busy, we’ve decided to implement dating into something we use everyday, the internet. There are many reasons that someone would turn to online dating, whether it be a search for their perfect half or because of insecurities or just simply because they’re socially awkward; either way online dating has changed the way we view relationships and ourselves.

Nicholas Sparks and Disney can be credited with the creation of the the ideal ‘prince.’ Romance movies differ far from classic love stories like Pride and Prejudice and Gone With the Wind. Instead of having a struggle into love, the main characters fall to ‘love at first sight’ or in the famous Sparks books, ‘it only took two weeks to fall in love.’ Lets be real, in two weeks you could probably walk away with knowing someone’s favorite food, lest fall in love with them. This idea of a perfect relationship has girls of all ages looking for that specific kind of love. Online dating gives people, not just girls, the perfect opportunity to showcase their personality and show their good qualities to make them seem ‘perfect’, which is riskier because we all know nobody’s perfect. The problem with online profiles are, because only good qualities are shown, choosing an interest becomes more about physical appearance and less common interests (2). Christian Rudder did a survey and girls that show cleavage and guys who show abs get more friend requests than the more conservative pictures (1). That in itself takes away a lot of the importance in a relationship because you’re going to have to interact with this person for the time that you date them so both personalities should probably be compatible and, as Tara Schwinger said, “it’s hard to date someone who is cute but is disgusting while you’re trying to have a decent conversation.” Typing messages to a person over your computer, the user has absolutely no way of knowing, for sure, who they’re talking to. This is the basis for a reality MTV show, Catfish, where hosts help internet couples meet and the truth isn’t what it seems.

In terms of physicality, females are more aware of their looks and guys are more conscious of their masculinity but all in all, we generally worry and take into account what people think of us, whether its because we want to feel loved or because we want attention. Younger generations, due to advanced entertainment, spend less and less time with their families and parents, lets be honest – in some cases, aren’t the best at their jobs. The lack of attention that kids get when growing up affects their later personality. Sometimes a lack of nurturing and attention as a child leads to a more needy or ‘closed-up’ personality in older ages (2). Children with divorced parents often deal with emotional struggles, some with depression, others just want to be loved because their parents were too busy fighting to recognize their existence. The internet gives the individual a chance to start over and change into someone who they wish to be or envisioned themselves as. If you could turn on a computer at any time and access a whole community of people who will willingly be your friend, who have similar interests and situations, and love you for you, who wouldn’t?

(2) Tara Schwinger

Reading is boring.

When publishing a book, authors are challenged with catching the eye of a potential reader, whether its through captivating cover artwork or a interesting title. Physical books copies are scarce these days with the use of electronic readers in the market, so everything counts.

Art very well known part of the Asian culture, everything from ink canvas paintings to intricately designed pottery and clothing. Among the current younger Asian society, animated art styles are very popular. Manga covers various themes and relevant topics just like print books do, however, they present said topics and themes in a different manner which then allows a stronger imprint in the memory of the reader (2). These graphic novels have eventually made their way into western culture. Wolverine and the X-Men from Marvel, Superman and Batman from DC, and even The Walking Dead started off as graphic novels before becoming famous on the big screen.

Marshall Mcluhen had stated in his book, The Medium is the Massage, “The wheel is the extension of the foot, the book the extension of the eye, clothing an extension of the body, electric circuitry an extension of the nervous system” (1) The way his book was written is similar to a graphic novel by using a combination of a story and pictures. Mcluhen used pictures to emphasize his story instead of telling a story by using pictures. The way Mcluhen used images was clever in that the images were so odd and random that they were memorable, or maybe he would say: Images are the extension of the mind. 

Graphic novels have the same affect on the mind as a children’s picture book does; these novels allow cross-curricular development of the mind, think of it as language arts and art class combined. Children’s brains are still developing and reading text and processing images help the brain develop the necessary comprehension skills. Normally, when reading a novel, the reader will have a mental image of the story playing through their head as they read. Graphic novels put those images down onto physical paper so readers are able to see precise details as well, in short the images replace the text and tell the story, leaving only the dialogue and minimal descriptions as text.

In a way, visual literacy is more useful in the classroom because it not only uses text to engage, but also images and progression frames as well (2). There are generally two types of students: the visual learner and the book-worm. Visual learners need hands-on activities and pictures, lots of pictures. Book-worms are very book-smart and can learn just by reading the facts. Graphic novels make reading easier for visual and disability children and brighten the imaginations of adolescents. Graphic novels are a way to “[…] enable the struggling reader, enable the motivate the reluctant one, and challenge the high-level learner” (2).  They also reach out to students like me who are very visual and don’t like to read large chunks of text and would prefer a diagram or a picture of how something is done.

Featured Image:

1. Mcluhen, Marshall. “The Medium is the Massage”

2. Francis, Kym. “Getting Graphic”

Artifact Politics

Imagine a normal work day, or a school day, or even just a day at home. Everyone goes about their day work, errands, meetings, dates, food, travels, and other normal every day activities. You’ll never know the life of the nice person walking  beside you on your way to class or the lady that just passed you going twenty over the speed limit on the highway. The one thing that separates you from the next person is the ability to make your world private. Headphones were made to allow people to make their music private (1). Many people would agree that music speaks to the soul and it has been heavily integrated into life, especially younger generations.

Anyone with a computer probably owns or has been in possession of set of headphones, Apple even includes headphones in the purchase of an iPhones, iPads, and iPods.  They are a revolutionary invention but have made generations more anti-social (1). Along with allowing persons to make their music private, the possession of headphones have also allowed a type of portable entertainment; for the long wait at the doctors office or the long walks to work or even to break the silence in the car on the commute to work. There are earphones, ear buds, in ear headphones, on ear headphones, and over ear headphones produced by Apple, Sony, Bose, Dre, and other electronic companies. The idea to be able to listen to music without disturbing those around you or being able to use audio hearing devises wirelessly are two revolutionary thoughts, but with great ideas comes great responsibilities. Although headphones and Bluetooth car connections make enjoyment and communication easier for the common technologically advanced American, it has also further isolated younger from older generations and people in general.

Growing up, before elementary school students had access to cell phones, kids talked and laughed on the bus. Now, if you sit on a school bus there may be some talking but most kids will be staring indifferently out of the window with their headphones in or immersed in their cell phones. Although headphones has given musicians the opportunity to expand their abilities, they have also given their users the ability to clock out of reality and immerse themselves in a different world which is a favorable thing for most people. Dr. Michael Bull stated, “People like to control their environment […]” (1) In families, the younger rebellious teen would turn to headphones and ignore arguments, siblings, and even word of parents. This has resulted in a giant, awkward, gaping hole between parent and child and as a result the important family connection is then at risk of being lost. On a college campus, a large number of students walk to class listening to music. Having headphones in has essentially granted the user the right to ignore who tries to interact with them. Private music creates a social medium where a someone is comfortable with people around but does not wish to interact with their surroundings.

As a result of the divide between parent and child and between individuals, social gatherings have become less abundant, lunch get-togethers have become less conversational, and dinner time has become less about family. Being an independent person has become a goal in who we want to become because people are scared to be dependent. Dependence has been thought of as a sign of weakness and the price of independence is often loneliness, and being lonely is obviously better than being weak in the eyes of society.

Regina Yu


1. The Atlantic: “How Headphones changed the World.” 30 May 2012