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!

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Is Amazon hurting the book industry?

Eng. 2000 essay

If a buyer would visit Amazon in search of 35 Shades of Grey, they may come across a book with a similar title such as 50 Shades of Grey. Both books are trilogies and relate with each other. Even the authors name’s are formatted the same. All the credit goes to Amazon for creating CreateSpace,a publishing type tool on their website where a new author can create a book and publish it through Amazon. Many people are quite upset that Amazon, a large and well-respected company, would allow these types of things to happen.

“It’s the book equivalent of spam,” says lawyer Eric Rayman, a former attorney for Simon & Schuster. “Amazon should be taking steps to stop this. It’s bad for consumers and it’s bad for the book business.”

Many of the “authors” are taking advantage of this spam-creating tool by Amazon. One mother claimed to have published around 10,000 books through this tool. Because of CreateSpace allows anyone with a keyboard to write a book, they are downplaying the skill and education a highly acclaimed author has. Amazon is bombarding customers with spam books instead of the real book they initially searched for. Amazon seems to care more about gaining customers and money than producing quality books. The saying quality over quantity is quite relevant for this situation.

Should we blame the movies?

[English 2000 essay]

The movies influence teens more than people suspect. It is commonly known that what a person surrounds himself with it begins to transform them. If a person surrounds himself with junk food, his body will reflect it. If a person subjects himself to hours of violent video games, he would show tendencies toward violence (most likely). Movies like Project X, give ideas to teens on what a “real” party should look like. The movie doesn’t show the serious consequences a crazy rave like that could have.

project x What Project X is quite an effective way for involving the audience?

Teens in Houston took notice  of the movie and decided to throw their own version of Project X. Unfortunately, their party did not end as smoothly as the movie portrays it to be. The teens spread party invites through the popular social media websites, Facebook and Twitter. When the party started taking off, witnesses claim there was barely any room to movie around in the abandoned house. A worried neighbor called the cops and they broke up the party. Once the kids flooded the streets, gunshots started going off. One innocent teen was killed in the process of this shooting.

It is unfortunate that some teens feel the need to go above and beyond a movie like Project X. Because it is just a movie, there are no real consequences throughout it. The viewer sees the “ideal” outcome of a party for a couple of geeks. Sadly, teens that mimicked the party had a detrimental ending. Social media/media have a major influence on this situation. Because the movie came out, teens had the thought of having an outrageous party and because of Twitter and Facebook the news spread like wild fire.

I am not blaming social media completely because it is hard to monitor everything that goes through them, but hollywood should realize the effects that it has on society.

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!

Ed’s story

[Eng. 2000 essay]

I watched Ed Dobson’s story a few months back skimming through a friends Facebook wall. Ed’s story captivated me for personal reasons and out of curiosity. Ed Dobson was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease eleven years ago. The doctor told him he only had three years to live, but he has avoided death for several years past his due date. I have experienced that terrible disease from a very personal level. Lou Gehrig’s disease took the life of my cousin almost ten years ago. Watching someone’s body and life dwindle from Lou Gehrig’s disease is a terrible thing to witness. There is no cure for the disease and there is no avoiding it. Eventually the victim becomes a prisoner in his body, inevitably suffocating from the paralyses the disease brings.

If it was not for my friends Facebook wall or Vimeo, I would not have found such a compelling story. I would not be captivated by the vigor and the passion that this man has for life. His testimony is such an encouragement to my life and faith. At times, I become bitter towards social media. I feel like social media sites have taken a lot of personal interaction between people and exchanged it with tweets and Facebook shout outs, but this time around I am grateful for those outlets. Social media abused can bring drama, gossip, and broken friendships, but when used correctly it is life-changing and challenging.