AoW #19: Facebook- I “Like” me

We live in a world where social networking is a norm. Almost everyone, including mothers and grandmothers, use the website Facebook for keeping in touch with family and friends. For most people, Facebook is checked every day to stay updated on our friends’ lives and to share our own experiences. This exchange of information should be viewed upon as revolutionary within the communication world.
This article of the week discusses narcissism as an effect of Facebook, implying that all Facebook users fall into this category. I agree that some people do come across as narcissistic; it seems some people want to post every little thing in their lives. However, most people use Facebook as a helpful tool—from group projects to planning parties. We cannot simply categorize the Facebook population as a whole, for we would then be calling millions of people around the world narcissists.
This article acknowledges the differences between Facebook and Twitter. I agree that there is a higher frequency of narcissists on Twitter, and I believe this is because Twitter allows you to post things at your convenience. It’s easier to text tweets than to open the Internet on your phone or go on your computer. There are certain limitations on Facebook which are improved by Twitter. Facebook is meant for multiple uses and for times that are of your leisure. Twitter, however, is meant mainly for quick, simple 140-characters-or-less ideas.
Although the author was quick to label all Facebook users, we have to admit that her opinion does hold some truth.

AoW #18: USA- Up or Down?

I never seem to be up to date with the current politics and world affairs, so I usually don’t have strong opinions on the issues. However, this article got me thinking. The article says that the “United States is still the world’s only superpower,” yet China and Russia had enough power to “veto against intervention in Syria.” I do recognize that the United States is one of the most powerful countries, but the author just seems to be shooting down any possible chance that other countries are developing and becoming stronger. However, I do agree with the author when he discusses the myth that America’s economic future is bleak. I think the United States is strong and will overcome the current economic troubles. High unemployment, low wages, and the constant frustration over money are all due to the current state of our economy. However long it may take, according to the business cycle, our economy will be stable once again. The business cycle is a diagram that illustrates that the economy goes through a continuous cycle of expansion and recession, thus, our economic future isn’t bleak, but rather bright, as the recession will be replaced by recovery and prosperity. Does this count as studying for my AP economics exams??

AoW#17: Smart now, drunk later

When I read the title of the article, I was initially shocked by the connection the author had made. I always thought that the people who went out partying and drinking were the unintelligent ones, or at the very least, the ones that didn’t care about their futures. We all see it happen to people in our school or hear the stories. I thought that those people who weren’t responsible with their behavior and academics in high school wouldn’t change. I guess I was too quick to judge these people. Just because they choose to drink now doesn’t mean they won’t stop once they are adults and have responsibilities. Maybe they’re just enjoying being young and naïve teens so they won’t always wonder what it would have been like to stray from the rules. Thus, once I read the article, I began to see the correlation. Intelligent or hardworking people often have childhoods that consist of “all work and no play,” then once they get older, they have to work even more. Their lives are full of stress and they never are really given the chance to be wild and free. I understand the connection the author made because the stress eventually piles on too high for these people and as a result, they crack. My brother is a pretty intelligent guy but he didn’t take advanced courses in high school like my sisters or myself. He tells me that he enjoyed high school so much more than I am because I pile on too many challenging courses. Sometimes I find myself agreeing with him because it can be stressful to maintain the workload, but I try to balance my life by making time to go to movies or hang out with friends. I think the key is to find the equilibrium between maintaining our responsibilities and having fun.

AoW #16: Where are YOU going?

When I read the title of the article, I figured it would be about the lack of motivation in our generation and how students aren’t putting forth enough effort in school. I didn’t think the author was going for a literal meaning…I just don’t see how the author’s argument about the “increasing number of teenagers [that] are not even bothering to get their driver’s licenses” can relate to our generation being unadventurous risk averters. I just think that the author’s argument is weak. I guess I can see how it’s related to people being unmotivated to go to new places that might offer better futures, but sometimes going to a new place isn’t necessary. For example, a lot of people, myself included, are starting to think of college and I know many people that are being quick to write off Binghamton University. They all know they don’t want to go to Binghamton University because it’s close to home. For many, the fact that they’d have to remain at home outweighs the fact that BU is a great school with an affordable tuition. It’s ranked very high in the country but many refuse to see that. Many people say they want the whole college experience of living alone, but sometimes, it’s just simpler to live at home where you can focus on your studies and not have to worry about making meals, cleaning, or going grocery shopping. However, I think that the circumstances are different for every person, as we have all chosen different paths in life. Although I want to leave Vestal when I’m older, I’ll leave when I’m ready and when it will help me achieve my goals.

What I’m Reading Update #15

I recently finished reading Suzanne Collin’s novel Mockingjay. Out of all three books in the series, I think this was the worst. I think Katniss changed and didn’t remain true to herself and her beliefs. However, overall, I still enjoyed reading the series.

I am now reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I just started reading it so I don’t have a strong opinion, but I do think the plot is interesting and can’t wait to read more.

What I’m Reading Update #14

After I finished The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, I began the second book titled Catching Fire. I’m finding it pretty interesting. I like how this book focuses on the uprisings in Panem. It’s pretty interesting and quite scary to see the control President Snow has. It’s scary to think what the world would be like if this actually happened. I’m almost done with the book and can’t wait to find out whether or not Katniss is able to save Peeta.

What I’m Reading Update #13

I’ve been reading Jodi Picoult’s novel Nineteen Minutes for a while now.
However, this weekend, I decided to take a break from the book and started reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. This series has been on my reading list for a while and I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to begin reading the books. Everyone has been going crazy about the movie coming out and since I forgot to bring home my copy of Nineteen Minutes, I figured this weekend would be a good time start reading the series. I can now see why so many people are obsessed with the series. After just the first chapter I couldn’t stop reading. I started the book saturday night and nearly had to force myself to go to bed and wait until the next day to finish the book. It was a good read and I can’t wait to begin the second book. I guess I’ll have to put Nineteen Minutes on hold for now.

AoW #15: Yummy Pink Slime

This week’s video/article was quite disgusting, but frankly, it wasn’t very shocking. In the beginning of the year my parents got an envelope in the mail about the new school year. Among other things, there was a sheet about the lunches the school offers. In this sheet the school claimed to be offering cheap, healthy meals that the students can easily access. When I read the sheet my first thought was whether or not they’d ever eaten a school lunch. The school offers salads but students and little kids mostly go for the chicken nuggets or chicken patties. Whenever I see the school lunches I am always skeptical because the chicken doesn’t look like chicken, at least not like the kind of chicken I eat. The chicken just appears overly processed, as the grayish tint doesn’t look natural. Therefore, I do agree that the meat products the school offers are unhealthy. However, I have a problem with the parents. All these parents seemed shocked by the quality of the meals their children are being fed. They shouldn’t be. These parents should know what kind of food their children are consuming. They can know exactly what their kids are eating if they just pack them lunches for school everyday. It’s expected that the kids won’t eat everything, but at least they are given healthier food choices that don’t include processed and deep fried food. Thus, parents should pack their kids healthy lunches if they have the means to do so. If they don’t want to get up early to make the lunches, then they can pack them the night before like my mom does for me. However, in these tough times, some families don’t have the extra time or money to pack lunches for their kids and rely heavily upon the lunches the schools offer. The meals are in fact affordable and can often provide a meal for a child that wouldn’t otherwise be eating. Thus, rather than completely getting rid of school lunches, I think the schools should just try to improve the quality by offering healthier choices.

AoW #14: Ending stereotypes?

Although I’ve never actually watched a full basketball game, I do know who Jeremy Lin is because I follow Phillip DeFranco on YouTube. Phillip DeFranco is a vlogger and he posts many videos every week about what is going on in our world. Thus, when I saw that the author of the article mentioned the controversial article title on ESPN, I immediately thought about the video Phil posted. I’ll include the link at the bottom of the post. Many people have become enraged by the title “Chink In The Armor,” as they viewed it as a racist comment about Jeremy Lin. When Phil started describing the story, I too thought it was racist. However, once Phil explained the issue to a greater extent, my opinion swayed. Phil explains that the author of the article has used the phrase countless times in the past. Throughout his career, he used the phrase when teams that had multiple wins finally faced a loss. Phil believes that the phrase has only come to the peoples’ attention because it now happens to be applied to Jeremy Lin, an Asian American player. I think I have to agree with Phil on this issue. It seems like people have made a big deal out of nothing and even caused a man to lose his job. What do you think?
Society has stereotyped Asians as weak nerds. However, I think Jeremy Lin has definitely helped bury some of these stereotypes. I think Lin is setting a great example for the younger generations. He is showing that you don’t have to be forced into fulfilling stereotypes. He also demonstrates that with dedication, one can achieve anything they set their mind to. Lin never got much attention in college on the basketball court and was later passed around many teams. However, Lin kept working hard and earned his place in the spotlight.

Here is the link to the video of Phillip DeFranco. He starts talking about Lin at about 5:22. Warning: Phil tends to swear…

AoW#13: Teen drinking exposed

It annoys me so much whenever I see kids my age posting statuses on Facebook about how hung over they are from the party they attended the night before. It’s as if they think they’re instantly cooler for drinking, for putting their lives at risk. When teenagers drink, they don’t drink responsibly, they drink to get buzzed. These teenagers are too young to drink and thus shouldn’t be. Although many teenagers think the drinking age should be removed, have they ever thought that there may be a reason as to why it exists? For example, many people know the story about how McDonalds was forced to put the warning on their coffee products saying that the product is hot. You’re probably thinking, well duh, coffee is hot! But obviously someone didn’t figure that out if they now have to write it out in writing. Yeah, I know what people say about assuming, but I’m guessing some kids had been drinking and got hurt. As a result, a drinking age was then created. Therefore, I agree with McCarren’s view on the need for the enforcement of the law. I don’t think teenagers should drink because they put themselves at risk of alcohol poisoning and possible rape, and also endanger those around them when they drink and drive.
However, I don’t agree with McCarren when she says that the teenagers have an “inflated sense of entitlement” because they have never been told ‘no.’ McCarren equated the right to drink with owning a cell phone, computer, or car. It’s a large and rather unfair assumption on McCarren’s part. She is comparing material objects such as cell phones and computers with the right to drink. Thus, it seems as if McCarren is saying that any teenager with a cell phone and computer goes out partying and drinking. However, most teenagers have cell phones because their parents want a way to know the whereabouts of their children. Also, many teenagers have computers to help them with their homework. Thus, it’s not fair for McCarren to make this generalization.