Archive | September, 2011

Social media: a complainer’s savior

26 Sep

So I went to update my facebook status yesterday then stopped typing and just stared at the screen. I quickly deleted the words from the box. I realized that it sounded so sad and, I’ll admit, pretty pathetic. After that I went through all of the most recent facebook and twitter statuses posted on my page. I noticed that I am not the only one that has fallen into this trap of sounding so miserable and pitiful.

It’s funny to look up and down a page of different posts to see that over half of them consist of people complaining about their lives!!!! If you tried it I guarantee you will see the same thing. Obviously, I’m not exempt from this group because I am definitely guilty of sharing how awful my classes are or how stressed I may be from time to time. But seriously, I feel like social media sites have just become a platform for people to tell the world how terrible their week was and get a response  from someone telling them that everything will be ok. If I wanted that pep talk I would just call up my mom. The only reason I keep up with the sites that I do is so that I can stay in touch with people I don’t get to see on a daily basis and be able to know what goes on in their lives. I hate logging on and having to go through 100 complaints before I can get to only a few exciting or happy things that may have happened. I thought that being social on the internet was supposed to be fun and give people an opportunity to stay easily connected with family and friends. Now, it’s just a place for others to learn about how overdramatic and whiny others can be. I mean people even complain about facebook ON facebook. Come on, really?! I encourage everyone to read this article about social media sites. I’m sorry it’s a little sarcastic, but it is 100% true.

Like I said, I’m no saint and I tend to do a little ranting on the internet, but I  keep that down to a bare minimum. All I ask is for others to read before they post something. You may realize that who you are making yourself out to be through social media is not who you really are.


In the eye of the beholder…

19 Sep

We’ve all heard the saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I wonder what it would be like to borrow someone else’s eyes and see what they see. Sounds creepy, but hear me out. I bring this up due to my recent learning of the Quidditch team at Mizzou. Like other students I would walk by  the Quad and stare through the columns to see people running around on brooms and wonder what the hell they were doing. Initial thoughts included: this has to be a joke, they are probably a bunch of weird HP freaks (though I love me some Harry Potter too), I sure hope they don’t consider this a sport, and many more.

After passing the Quidditch practice every Wednesday after class, however, I became intrigued and decided to pick the team as the topic for my multimedia project. I went to their practice and just returned from their first ever game….against good ole KU. For never playing another team they did pretty good and won one of the three games. In watching them practice, driving about 6 hours with some teammates, stopping for some eventful bathroom/food breaks, and watching a game my view toward them has completely changed.

First off, if you have never seen this game, just watch this please. I know, I know it looks crazy (and it truly is), but these kids are ruthless. Today there was a black eye and plenty of bumps and bruises to go around. I’d like to see the kids that walk past their practices and snicker endure what that I witnessed today. I think they deserve more respect….I mean they definitely got it from me! This team is just like every other sports team I’ve seen, possibly better. Most of them have never met before, yet they get along and play together with great camaraderie. What’s cool is they managed to create something for people who enjoy the same things (like Harry Potter and sports) and make it fun. My favorite part was realizing how much they really do like each other and support one another even though they are all so different. I also like their passion and how they just don’t care about what other people think of them.

It’s these moments in life that I live for. The ones that make the world seem just a little bit smaller. The times that open my eyes to new people and their interests, and getting to connect with them because we are not so different after all. I know now that I will be keeping up with the Quidditch team because I grew to like and respect them all a lot….and would like to see them slaughter KU next time around!!! I know that the whole concept is pretty nuts, but it’s cool to see and I honestly think people would love watching if they gave it a chance! I wish everyone would take a step back from their own lives for just a second and realize that everyone can have their own way of doing things. Taking this trip reminded me that passing judgment on people before knowing their story is one of the biggest mistakes we make in life!

12 Sep

Bombing at New Delhi. A shooting at a Nevada IHOP. Protesters attacking in Egypt. A Taliban truck bomb explosion…..I could go on forever listing all of the updates that frantically fill up my twitter feed daily. Those events occurred in the time span of a week and that’s not even near the complete list. It’s mind blowing to sit down and read post after post about bombings, attacks, threats, shootings and so on. Sometimes I think it may just be a way for the  news and media to impress the shock factor upon us all so that we’ll keep reading. I wonder if they truly try to inform citizens anymore or just wish to boost their ratings and readership. Then again, maybe this is just what the world has become. A series of unfortunate events.

Of course there are the occasional stories that are interesting and, for once, just happy. Those are my favorite. It proves that not all news and information we receive from around the globe has to be negative, angry, or depressing! It’s funny whenever I hear all these crazy stories I think of songs like One day by Matisyahu and Where Is the Love  by the Black Eyed Peas. It kinda gives me chills because I try to really imagine what life would be like where I didn’t have to hear about someone unnecessarily dying every single day and people actually cared about others. Even on a day like today I tried to think positive about 9/11 because our country has persevered and come together to show great unity, but it was clouded by numerous threats received by United States about possible attacks. It just amazes me how you can leap so far forward only to be thrown back again. I can’t believe how dense and self centered and stereotypical the world still is despite all of the efforts made throughout time. You would think by now people are wise enough to see that we are never ever all going to be the same and you can’t hate someone for being the person they are! I recently found a project called Life In A Day of people’s self taken videos that show one day of life on Earth from the points of view of people across the world. The footage is not all groundbreaking, but it’s real. Real people living their lives and showing that we aren’t so different from one another after all. I haven’t seen the actual movie yet, but the trailer is moving enough. I wish people could embrace the common ground we stand on instead of fighting it…literally! Maybe one day the world will be free of hatred and terror but, every time I pick up a paper or log on to my Twitter I am reminded that I probably shouldn’t hold my breath.

Contemplating the future

4 Sep

So I’ve been sitting here doing my loads of homework that has nothing to do with my future. As I say that though, I realize that the job of a journalist is to be informed….about pretty much everything. I mean you never know what you may report on, right? So I then try (very very hard might I add) to convince myself that geology and statistics will help me in the long run. Ohhh the long run. Thinking about the future both excites me and scares the living hell out of me, especially since I know I’ll be doing something pertaining to journalism. Upside: There are plenty of different opportunities in the profession so I’m pretty much set. Downside: people’s faith in and respect for journalists is not exactly thriving, and for a good reason I suppose. You look at the whole Murdoch scandal along with others like it and wonder who is behind the information we are fed and what their motives are. With technology advancing at the speed of light it has prompted them to always be the first, and not the most accurate. Therefore, more and more time is spent retracting wrong information rather than searching for the truth the first time around! So, from there spawns my disappointment in the very thing I wish to do with my life.

It’s stories like A Thousand More that remind me good journalism does truly exist. It’s journalists like these that prompt me to keep on keeping on!

Obviously I’m not going to jump ship and abandon everything I’ve dreamed of doing for a long time. That’s a waste! Recognizing the bad in something and working to make it better is what makes life interesting. Sitting in a class with 200 more students that wish to do the same is just as inspiring. Last week in class we watched  A Thousand More, a video of one family’s life with a son diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. The time, the dedication, and the investment to tell this story is simply amazing. Apart from all of the immediate tweeting and online newspaper updates and fast paced deadlines comes this story that slows down the world for 13 minutes to offer a glimpse into the life of a boy who would normally slip through the cracks of society. His life is not extraordinary, his family is not flashy, and his town is no greater than any other. It is the way his story is depicted and told that proves how special he really is. There was no pressure to do something better than a competitor or to post it faster than any other website. The people who created this piece just took their time to reveal a heartfelt, compelling story for the world to see. This is another one of my favorite videos:


It can be found on Mediastorm along with the first video I mentioned. It also shows the extensive lengths that journalists go and their invested interests in their subjects. I watched it for the first time about three years ago and I still continue to go back to it for inspiration.

Well I suppose that’s enough deep thinking and contemplation for now. Every time I feel like I’m not exactly sure how I’ll get to where I want to be I’m easily reminded by honest people who work so hard to do the right thing that it is possible to succeed and I’m going to be just fine!