Post #6: Public vs. Private Social Media

In this age of technology, social media has become a beast that can be viewed in both a positive and a negative light. Recently, I read an article published on USA Today and written by Sharon Jayson; I will link the article at the bottom of the post. In the article Jayson talks about how information concerning our personal lives is being collected without us even knowing, by companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, the author goes on to quote several researchers and psychologists about studies they have done concerning privacy on different media platforms.

After reading this article, I thought I would do a little more research myself about the privacy policies of Facebook. As everyone who uses Facebook knows, on your account you are able to adjust who sees what of your profile, however not everyone knows what Facebook can actually see about you. Upon reading through Facebook’s policies, I learned that there is a lot more information collected about you than I thought, including how you interact with the people you are connected with, information about the different devices you use Facebook on, information you provide, along with many other things. Despite all this information that is collected, the good news is that most of this data is used to improve Facebook’s site to accommodate it better to the user. However, it is still unnerving to know that all of your information provided is being monitored and studied by the company.

Facebook itself has stated, along with an attorney quoted in Jayson’s article, that sites will never display identifiable information about an individual without their consent first, but  Jayson is still correct in her conclusion that the strictness in privacy policies is something that is becoming very crucial. In fact, no social media platform is without its flaws in its privacy policies. Jayson even mentions at the end of her article that in the past Facebook has had to “backtrack” on its privacy policies, leading to many people leaving the site due to privacy concerns. So while you may seem comfortable putting your Facebook account on private, it doesn’t mean that it is completely protected from everyone else.

I do believe that for the most part social media platforms are doing a pretty good job at accommodating users with sufficient privacy policies, but there is still a long ways to go. In the article and in Facebook’s privacy policies, both talk about the data Facebook receives from you and how it is studied to better the site. I think in the future, an improvement to this could be allowing the user to determine what Facebook can or cannot use from his of her site for study in order to give the user complete control. However, Jayson does argue a very important point that we all need to consider. But for now I think that as long as you are smart about what you post online you won’t fall into any bad situations.

USA Today Article: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/08/data-online-behavior-research/5781447/

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Digital Literacy Narrative

This past month in writing 105 we have been working toward constructing an essay analyzing our writing habits over the week. This week is the week we submit it! The beauty of this assignment is that since it is a digital essay we can link pictures and other things to other places so we don’t exceed the five page maximum. Naturally, being the person I am, I exceed that limit with a seven paged draft. So, below I have linked some pictures and writing passages from my essay so they can be accessed outside the essay. Enjoy some pictures of my texting and snapchatting as well as some examples of my academic and creative writing. 🙂

Texting Examples:

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Left- Texting with mom vs. Right- Texting with friend

 

Snapchat Examples:

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Silly examples of snapchatting with friends

 

Academic Writing Example:

“Communications design is an extremely competitive program, with 80,00 students enrolled in its program country-wide, that harnesses the creativity of students to produce countless products in the form of advertising, package design, graphic design, and many more. To better understand the depth and complexity of this major, Syracuse allows students to meet professors, professionals and students who are able to relay their experiences to further inspire the future generation of communications designers. Through this opportunity, students are able to understand the major of communications design at Syracuse, get ideas for potential careers after college, and get informed about current trends and issues in the field.”  -Excerpt from DES 103 essay on Comm Design

I was assigned to write this essay in my design 103 class that reflected what we had learned about communications design based on the lectures we’ve had for the past few weeks. This excerpt is the end of my introduction for this essay and is a very good example of how I keep my tone very professional when I write for a class.

 

Creative Writing Example:

“Nate- I-,” Anthony says in a shaky breath. Looking over at Anthony I immediately see the growing stain in his shirt between his chest and abdomen.

            “Anthony!” I cry as he slumps down onto me. I grab his shoulders and manage to turn him over onto his back. “You’re gonna be okay, we’ll fix you up don’t worry,” I ramble as I tear through my first aid kit in my bag. The gunfire has ceased and the only noise I hear is the pounding of my heart in my ears.

            “No, Nate,” Anthony gasps. I cut his shirt down the middle and expose the bullet wound that landed itself in his upper abdomen. His blood is already covering my hands as use his shirt to try to stop the bleeding of his wound.

        “ROBYN!” I yell. I press down harder with the shirt seeing that it is quickly becoming saturated with Anthony’s blood.

            “Nathan,” Anthony whispers in an almost calm tone.

            “You’ll be all right,” I try to comfort.

            “Nathan,” Anthony says with more force in his voice. I press my lips together to keep hold of my emotions. Behind me I hear Robyn gasp as she approaches us in a run. “You need to take care of Johnny. You need to promise to go back to him.” I want to tell Anthony that he will be able to go back to Johnny himself, but I can already see the light fading from his eyes.

            “I promise.” I grab Anthony’s hand.

            “Tell him to fight. Tell him that he can make a difference. Tell him… I love him.” I nod. I am about to respond to Anthony’s final wish when he sharply inhales and lets the air escape him in one final exhale. His tight grip on my hand relaxes and I know that I’ve lost him.

My best friend is gone.

Immediately I feel Robyn’s hand rest on my back as she kneels down beside me. I know she is already crying from the sniffle.

– Excerpt from chapter 7 of novella “Exposure”  ( if you like this maybe I’ll post more excerpts:) )

This project actually came from my English class, where we were assigned to write a dystopian novella. In my story, I created a world where, in the aftermath of a chemical war, a small group of people emerges with mutated genes that give them extraordinary abilities. I chose this scene to show as an example specifically because it is a very emotionally charged scene that is very gripping to read.I love the process of generating characters and plot that are intriguing to read and hope to one day write more stories like this one. It is this creative process that reminds me of my artwork. Each step of the process is very thought out and the author is essentially able to paint a picture with words. I assume this is why I like creative writing as well as art because “it is often difficult to tell when we are dealing with writing and when with art,” (Baron 695) since writing is an art in itself that is used to generate emotion and reaction.

Reflection so far

It’s hard to believe, but here I am already a month in to school.

So far, I have really enjoyed keeping this blog up. Aside from completing the weekly required posts, I have been able to make several posts about my first month here at Syracuse. I think that these other posts have done a pretty good job capturing what its like to be a freshman in college: making new friends, missing old ones, exploring new activities, and making new memories. Additionally, I think that my blog has really started capturing my own voice, and I like being able to express sarcasm, seriousness or happiness with different posts and having the freedom to make my posts my own. Overall, I have enjoyed having another outlet to express my thoughts besides required posts.

Now for the nitty-gritty: analyzing my work so far. For the most part I would say that my blog is what I would like it to be at this point.

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I think the welcome screen that I have customized makes my blog inviting and interesting to those who stumble upon it. Organizationally, I think I have done a pretty good job at assigning categories and tags that make it easier to group themes together. One thing that I think I would like to improve upon with my blog is just posting a little more often. While I do post other things besides the required analysis’, I want my blog to be able to capture what it is like for a freshman in college: the highs and the lows, the good and the bad, and everything in between.

For everyone out there who has been following along this far, there’s sure to be more goodness coming your way. Thanks for hanging on for the ride, you’ll definitely hear more from me soon:)

 

Upcoming show

I’m about to start being very busy.

This week I had my first meeting with the Fashion Association of Design Students (FADS) here on campus, and we already have our first big project coming up. The plan is to have a fashion show over parents weekend on the Saturday of October 28th. The overall theme of our show will be world cultures, with each member designing and constructing some pieces that reflect their chosen country and culture.

I, being a HUGE fan and enthusiast of greek mythology, have chosen the country of Greece to design my pieces around. I am excited to get to work on this awesome project! Let’s hope that I can get all the pieces I want to design done in time for the show!

Memories to come

Over the weekend I had my first visit from my dad! On Saturday he took me out to lunch and I got to meet several of his friends from college when all of us met up to go to the homecoming game.

In the evening, we all went out to dinner as the five of them reminisced over the good old days and I heard some stories that I probably shouldn’t have. Sunday we went to varsity for pizza and my dad took we to a park where I could spin for a little (since I haven’t been able to toss on my rifle and sabre since I’ve been here). I have definitely missed being able to spin and dance out on that field with all my friends.

Overall the weekend was pretty amazing. Hearing about all the fun that my dad and his friends had when they went to school here made me excited for the memories I could make with the friends I’ve already made here. And who knows, maybe one day I’ll be coming back here with my friends for homecoming weekend and we’ll get together to go down memory lane. Here’s to the next four years of memories to come.

The Penthouse

Although the buses to and from it can be a pain in the butt to catch, the warehouse really is an amazing place. It’s nice that all of us design kids have a separate place that we can call home to our workspaces and studios, but one floor definitely shines a little brighter to me: the seventh floor.

Maybe I’m biased (I probably am) but the penthouse floor, home to fashion design, has quickly become one of my favorite places to work. With it’s spacious layout it’s easy to see the whole floor covered with sewing machines, sergers, and dress forms. However, the best part is probably the view.

It’s no New York City but I have to say, it’s pretty close. Here’s to spending my next four years on floor seven.

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Post #5: Texting and Writing

Recently, I was assigned to read the article “Texting and Writing” written by Michaela Cullington, who was in her first year of college at the time that the article was written. The overall purpose of the piece serves to break down the mystery of whether or not texting influences the formal writing of a university student or any student for that matter. She does this through careful research and many sources of evidence, all while being professional as well as confident in her opinion.

Instead of commenting on the content of Cullington’s piece, I’d like to focus on how she writes her essay rather than what she writes it on. It’s worth the mention that Cullington is very good at portraying her own individual voice throughout her essay especially in the introduction, with her dramatic opening lines that hook the audience, and in the final paragraphs, where she uses “I” and “me” pronouns to give her opinion.

Starting from the beginning, Cullington’s introduction definitely reads like a student’s essay would, with a hook, some summary and a thesis. Her thesis is very well worded and makes a bold statement while not coming off as an opinion. Throughout the middle of the essay, Cullington does an excellent job at staying very unbiased as she explores both sides of the argument and backs up each one with several pieces of evidence from multiple sources: teachers, students, professionals, articles, etc. However, it is evident at the start of each section that Cullington jumps directly into her evidence without starting wth a topic sentence. By doing this, it is therefore confusing to the reader and unclear as to what her argument for each side.

It isn’t until the final two sections of her essay that Cullington switches into first person to offer up her own opinions of what  has just been said. In these last paragraphs, her personal voice can be read through her words, however it remains professional and formal. Cullington is able to convey her message with emotion and candid examples from her own life. In the end, she is able to sum up the main point of her piece concisely and cohesively in both the first sentence of the last section as well as the last sentence. From reading Cullington’s article, it is cleat that it is possible to have a professional tone while adding in your own voice as a writer. Adding your voice to your writing not only helps the audience get an idea of who you are as a person, but it makes their reading experience more enjoyable.

An outdoor classroom

Everyone knows Syracuse for the snow and winter, but we still have seasons up here. For the last few weeks it has been hot and humid with highs up into the 90’s. Finally a day is here where it is cool and  breezy.

And I’ve been inside all day…

But not everyone else is. Today, I saw a teacher conducting his lecture outside in a small courtyard with about a dozen students. Talk about taking advantage of a nice day. It’s a good thing that he’s taking his class outside today, because in a month it probably won’t be this nice. Winter will be coming.

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Post #4: Twitter Evaluation

I’m hoping you, the readers, find this week’s assigned blog post to be a little less formal and more fun. As the title suggests, I had to evaluate a twitter account: big surprise. Now I don’t have a twitter, but instead I picked a celebrity’s twitter to browse through and look at their past tweets over the course of a week, and who better a celebrity to pick than Ryan Reynolds. In case you don’t know, Ryan Reynolds has quite a reputation of being hilarious on twitter, so I thought this would be the perfect time to browse through his tweets. In the past week, Reynolds has published a total of 11 tweets with 5 of them being responses to fans or other people on twitter. Right away, I noticed that the tweets he publishes can be divided into two categorizes:  sarcastic comments/dark humor and jokes and responses to weird people on twitter.

Despite the fact that twitter only allows the person writing a tweet 140 characters, Ryan Reynolds does an excellent job at conveying sarcastic and humorous jokes. To quote one of them, Reynolds wrote on September 11th, “I’m making an oil painting of my sister, Sarah. And it’s more difficult than I thought because I don’t have a sister”. It’s tweets like this that give his followers a little chuckle and provide them with some humor for their day.

The second thing that is most commonly seen on Ryan Reynolds’ twitter is responses to tweets from people. However, while some of these responses are fun like when when someone tweeted “anyone else suck at parenting today?” and he responded with “Nah. Nailed it”, some have rather explicit requests, and for the sake of this blog I wouldn’t quote any. Regardless, all of his responses are in some way funny, entertaining for others, and overall handled very well. If one was to look at his twitter past a week and see some of his older tweets, it is evident that his combination of sarcasm and dark humor laces through all of them. So if you have a few minutes on hand, I recommend checking it out to get a few laughs. One thing is for sure: Ryan Reynolds knows how to use those 140 characters wisely.

Post #3: Ideas from “Revisualizing Composition”

The most recent article that I read for my WRT 105 class was titled “Revisualizing Composition: Mapping the writing lives of first-year college students” written by Jeff Grabill. The main purpose of the article was to explain the findings of a study conducted to calculate what writing habits are most common amongst freshman in college. My purpose for reading it was to find information from this article that I thought could be useful in an upcoming essay I will be writing about my own writing habits.

Upon reading the article, the author makes it clearly known that the most common forms of writing in freshman are text messages, emails, academic papers and lecture notes. I connected immediately with this statement, for text messages and notes are probably my most frequent form of writing. The author even quoted that “78% [of students polled] said that texting was one of the five kinds of writing they do most often”. When pulling quotes from this article to use in my essay, I will be sure to remember this quote, as well as others that contain statistics on the prevalence of texting, since it is probably my most frequent writing practice.

Something that caught my eye while reading was that “97% of participants reported that one of their most valued or most often completed genres was done to fulfill a school assignment”. While I agree with this statement, since almost all of my writing nowadays is done for the purpose of school assignments, it makes me sad that students don’t have time to write creatively on their own time, just for the fun of it. I for one am someone who enjoys writing on my own time, specifically my own short stories or even developments for a potential novel. I wish there was more time for students to write on their own time and not necessarily always be focused on writing for school assignments.

After reading this article, I know for my coming up essay I will carry over the idea of how writing for school is the majority that is done during the average week as well as some statistics on the prevalence of texting. Hopefully, these ideas will be able to incorporate themselves into my assessment of my own writing habits.