Ignorance Is Bliss..

Throughout my experience abroad I have met a multitude of new people. I have to admit, if I were at home, I would not have introduced or opened myself up to this many new people in such a short time. When I say, “opened myself up,” I most certainly still refer to that in a very limited way. Mostly in class interaction. I have always believed that I owe no explanations to anyone in order to be considered a part of the community. The limited community, in the case, being the CEA Study Abroad program. This includes the students, faculty and the staff. I had a picture in my mind of what this experience would be like and I was very wrong. I expected more. But then, isn’t that a lesson to be learned? We should not go around expecting anything. To clarify, I really expected more from the demographic of students accepted into this type of program. I did not expect it to be so saturated with basically one specific ‘community’ of students. I use community to describe the type of student I found while abroad. A very narrow-minded, self-centered and close-sighted group if you ask me. That is not to say everyone displayed this attitude. Though throughout the course of the semester I saw various reinforcements of my said snap judgement.

How does this relate to what I have learned in my Social Media & Digital Identity course? In almost every way. Especially, as we discussed, using online media as a screen to hide behind. If it were not for this course I would not have  a Twitter, Pinterest, Wanelo, Klout or a Blog. I now have five more screens than I previously did. If it were not for this class, I would not have chosen to connect online with many of those in this community. Although, it is because of this class that I did create these screens and connect with members of this real life community in the form of the online community. Debate as you may whether or not an online group is a community, as we did in class. The result of creating these and connecting allowed me to observe their behavior both online and off. Observing the behavior is very beneficial to the studying of sociology and psychology I have done for the last three years. It is very interesting to follow, over the course of four months, the behavior of people you have never met and had no prior connection to in life. The way they behave online, the things they choose to post on Twitter every five minutes as opposed to what they literally speak every five minutes or how often they speak in general. The insight I can gain into the lives of people I have only just met by looking into their online media based on their tone of voice, photos and interactions with others is disgusting. Not that they or their content is necessarily disgusting, but the amount of information it gives to the online community is disgusting. Until you set yourself back and observe you don’t truly see everything. Whether it be, how much of your life is now public because you put it their or someone else did, it is now there forever.

This course, when combined with the common knowledge of online privacy agreements, gives beneficial insight into those agreements. What exactly did you agree to when you skip right by those terms and conditions? How do you actually delete what you put online or can you? All things that I tried to tell myself weren’t my major problems, but as technology continues to move forward I have learned that I cannot just say I will too, I actually have to now. This class has taught me that online communities are soon to be, if not already, the next big step in my field of study.

There is much more that I have taken from this course, but I feel this was most important.

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What is your 2nd amendment?

Gun control policy reform is currently sweeping the nation with many states now cracking down. Policy makers are making the case that of the many recent gun tragedies, the guns are to blame. Why? Because they are too readily available? Because the guns are not safe? Because the guns are dangerous? I would not say this is the case. I would say that too many advocates against guns are ignorant. Take this video clip from a Denver forum with the CO Rep. Diana Degette (D) for example. How is it that we elect people into these positions to make decisions on our behalf that they don’t even bother to educate themselves on? A fifteen year old girl from Maryland does a better job than Rep. DeGette on educating the public. What still manages to amaze me is how many people focus on the gun itself rather than the person using the gun. Saying guns are the problem is like saying pencils cause grammatical errors or vehicles are responsible for all accidents. Some states have already passed new laws on behalf of guns. Although new policy has been put into place in many states, the NRA is not giving up just yet.

What can you believe?

So often we look to online media for answers and news, but what are we really reading? Who is credible?

When I find myself questioning information I find online as credible or fallacy it is often content on nutrition. It is so easy to get misinformation on this topic because it is always seen as sort of a fad. Your doctor can tell you one thing, you see another on TV, you get discouraged and overhear something from a stranger at the gym or you are searching the internet for that magical cure. The illusive trick to being healthy. Online especially, it is easy to associate a popular or well placed article, blog, recipe or whatever, as credible. Below I have listed a few articles:

Unhealthy Foods

Cooking Oils

Good and Bad Foods

Now, these are just a few of many, but which ‘facts’ are right and which are wrong? What is particular interesting to me is reading the comment section where you see people debate over what is and is not correct. So, who should we all be listening to? I do not have an answer to suit everyone, but I myself, follow none of them. Seeing as we are all different, I go see a nutritionist of my own and he evaluates my body and what is best for my health. Too often we self diagnose causing these messes in the first place. However, when I first saw my nutritionist I brought articles with me, trying to see what to believe. He told me something very simple that day, which is common sense, but often ignored. ‘If you really want to eat well then you can start by removing all the cardboard and plastic from your life.’ He meant cut back, or cut out completely, all the foods that are not fresh. Simplest advice anyone could give.

Do we need protection?

*North Korea launches their first missile, which was less than impressive, but made aware that their intentions are negative toward the U.S. (and pretty much everyone in the world) and now they release this video.

*While here in America, the President and many groups are addressing gun violence within the U.S. and more and more Americans speak out with their opinions on their second amendment rights.

Should we be trying to limit our rights this late in the game? The second amendment has been in place since December of 1791 and over two hundred years later, here we are, trying to protect our constitutional rights. I am not saying that the President is out to get people with guns. He is preaching reform. In my opinion, if any change were going to happen, it would just be the process to purchase arms. Background checks should be more thorough and qualifications more strict. I think it would be a poor decision to take away arms in this country. The United States of America has been a very bold country throughout history, always fighting for others and pushing democracy. It is no surprise that we have made many a country angry with us. These recent comments or threats from North Korea are nothing new to the United States. People speak poorly of this country even if they live in it, which I do not agree with at all, but the point is, how much longer can we go on like this before someone tries to put us in our place? I love my country and will serve her in all for which she stands to the death. This country was born for freedom and I will fight to keep it that way, but the people in this country could use a reality check. Too many times have I heard people make ungrateful comments. People don’t realize what is right at their doorstep anymore. The United States of America, the land of opportunity and the American Dream, is transforming into something else. Sometimes we need to fight to keep up with the past, never forget how we got here, that would be the biggest mistake this country could make now. While technology advances far beyond the imagination, we as a people need to stay grounded. Having technology does not make one invincible. Never forget where we came from. To give up or limit a seemingly simple right and ignore seemingly harmless threats could be the last thing we want to do.

Keep in mind, this is an opinion. There is no scientific research, just a penny for your thoughts. You do the research, it will be good for you.

should America see some reform?

should America see some reform?

“Piedmont bows to California over Trinchero copyright tussle”

Why is it that people have such a difficult time sharing? In America, and as an American I will attest to this, people tend to feel a sense of entitlement. Seeing as I have been studying abroad here in Italy I thought it would be appropriate to find a topic that links my home to my home away from home or genetic homeland I should said. In my first week staying in Italy, I was taken on a trip to a wine tasting at, castello de Verrazzano, in the rolling hills of Tuscany. It was here that I learned the importance and pride to which Italians have for their wine. Now, full disclosure, I have never been one to love wine, but I’ve always been one to support a cause. I cannot indefinitely say that either wine is better, or speaker on either parties behalf, but I can say that in my opinion, Italians exhibit a MUCH closer bond with their wine than anyone I have ever seen. And to see Sutter Homes try and take that away from them breaks my heart. Here in Italy, wine is known by its region and name, and that means something. D.O.C.G. is something to be proud of and in all honesty, who cares if the two wines carried the same name. Thousands of miles apart and Sutter Homes really can’t let this family enjoy and take pride in their creation, so sad. What do you think?