not a laughing matter

[English 2000 essay]

Is Facebook and Twitter the new burn book?? With the uprising of social media throughout society and age groups, controversy continues to break out. In recent years, many stories have up to the surface about students experiencing bullying viral and even committing suicide over the tangents students have through their keyboard. Most recently, a story about and Indiana middle school expelling three middle school tweens for “joking on Facebook about which of their classmates they would like to kill”. What kids do not seem to understand is whether it is face-to-face or through a computer screen, words are hurtful and should be taken seriously. The students parents continue to buck the expulsion claiming the threat was not real and “If you make a legitimate threat against someone … you don’t follow it up with an emoticon.”

Parents claim it is a charge against free-speech for the young’s students. The school is right in expelling these seemingly brainless tween girls for their stunt. It should not matter if an LOL and an emoticon accompanied the threat. The school system had no way of knowing if the threat had truth behind it even though there was a “smile” attached to it. Often times, the ones who accompany a threat with a smile are the sickest of them all!

I’ll stick with Mario Cart

[English 2000]

I have recently began to put my nose up to digital arts. Coming from a graphic design student/part-time photographer could be coined blasphemous, but hear me out. I like my computer, social media, and camera as much as the next guy (or gal). Here lately, the digital tools/arts have been put on a pedestal and the physical aspect of art has been recycled with everything else these days. What is so wrong with grabbing a paintbrush and throwing some paint on a canvas?

I came across an article promoting video games stating, “video games can change a person’s brain and, as researchers are finding, often that change is for the better”. The author must have been a video junkie, because this theory just does not make sense to me. Someone glued to a tv or computer screen for hours at a time, tiring their eyes out to goo and slowly getting carpal tunnel in their hands does not sound beneficial to me.

The author continues on stating that tests were done and the results show that, “People who played action-based video and computer games made decisions 25% faster than others without sacrificing accuracy”. I cannot disagree with that point. I can see how it would improve decision-making, but I would rather not sacrifice my brain to gain that skill. The article is not totally for video games because it also states the negative aspect of playing video games habitually.

Electronic gameplay has its downside. Brain scans show that violent video games can alter brain function in healthy young men after just a week of play, depressing activity among regions associated with emotional control, researchers at Indiana University recently reported. Other studies have found an association between compulsive gaming and being overweight, introverted and prone to depression.

Often time video games are violent and promoting a gang-like lifestyle. Take Grand Theft Auto for example. The gamer steals cars, beats up women and men, and runs from the police. It’s constantly going against society. Eventually, the gamer starts lashing out in real life forgetting what reality is. This article promoted video gaming for the most part and ended with hopes for new revelations in order to incorporate video game like software into schools.

If the next generation of young people start out in elementary school constantly doing work through video games or expanding their creativity that way, I have a feeling homeschooling will become quite popular. Children should go to school to learn from a teacher and books not a computer generated figure or video game. Call me old school, but we have to lay anti-physical media people!

Name that baby!

[English 2000]

The tradition of naming a child has always been portrayed as an intimate and important time between a married couple. Not only are they coming up with a name that will be classic or original through time, but they are giving a name that could make or break their kid. This Illinois couple doesn’t seem to have the same mindset I do about this topic.

Facebook is a great tool to locate old high school friend or catch up on the latest gossip during a break from work, but relying on it to help name a child does not seem wise to me. The couple chose to run the “name my baby” poll because they could not agree on a name. In my mind, the couple should have sat down and had this discussion over dinner not Facebook. It seems ludicrous to entrust such an important decision in thousands of people they never met. I’m somewhat relieved that the couple at least gave Facebook name options to vote. At least the couple did not post a poll on what political party they should vote for. I guess if something has to suffer, the child’s name will have to do.

I cannot even imagine the conversation that will happen when their baby is grown up and becomes curious about the name they chose. It would go something like this: “Mom, am I named after a hero? a famous actor? an important relative?”, “No, honey. Facebook chose it for you!”