Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Are digital photographs too plentiful to be meaningful?

Today everyone has a camera in their pocket that they carry around with them everyday. These cameras built into our cell phones are more powerful and can take better pictures than many professional cameras from years ago.

Since everyone has these capabilities built into their devices "everyone is a photographer". You could have someone use their iPhone and take a picture that looks identical to something a professional photographer can take on their multiple thousand dollar camera.

This is making digital photography less meaningful because everyone can do it. A true photographer cares about the art and knows the proper way of setting the scene and manipulating lighting. They can also then edit them in photography programs instead of just on instagram and what not.

I do enjoy seeing the things that my friends and family post on social media that they obviously take with their cell phones. I think the accessibility of cameras is a double edged sword. It allows people to share things they could never have shared in the past.

Does Facebook ever make you feel bad?

Don't you love when your  friends and family post updates on their lives on Facebook? I know I do. However, I sometimes get the feeling that people are just posting things on the internet to make others aware that they are "having fun" or "doing well".

Have you ever scrolled through Facebook and viewed a post by someone that you follow that just makes you feel bad? That you just wish you could be them, or do what they are doing? I think this is one of the new problems with social media today. Now instead of simply posting status' and pictures to update your friends and family on what you're up to, people are posting edited pictures and made up stories to make their life seem more eventful.

I myself am even guilty of this at times. From first hand experience I know what it is like when you post a picture that is super happy and uplifting, but in reality I was super stressed out with school or work or my normal day to day life. However, I post a happy picture of myself or my dogs so that people think I have my stuff together.

There is nothing wrong with wanting people to know that you're happy or having a good time, however I think it is a dangerous thing to play with because if you keep letting people think you are doing so well those friends and family that are normally your support system will not be able to tell if or when anything is wrong.

Does technology make us more alone?

As technology has advanced more and more over the last few years, we are able to do so much more online that we used to have to leave our houses to do.This includes watching movies, playing games, talking with friends. 

I have noticed that both my friends and myself stay in more often and don't leave the house but instead go on our computers or our phones. We might be "hanging out" online, but we never actually see each other in person.

This is something I really want to fix this summer. Even if I am texting my friends 24/7 it is far less satisfying than actually hanging out with them for a even just a few hours. I plan on challenging both myself and my friends this summer to lay off of technology a little bit more this summer and actually spend more time together by going out and doing things! 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

How has the internet changed the way people watch TV?

Over the past ten years the way someone watches television has changed drastically. Originally you would have to catch whatever game, show, or movie that was on TV you would have to be there exactly when it was scheduled to air. If you missed it's air time you would have to wait hours or even days for that show or movie to be re-ran.

Eventually different recording methods were developed to record live tv. I remember when we were little and if we wanted to watch a show like American Idol or something else that would only show when it is live you would have to set the VCR to record at whatever time that show was going to be on. If the show ended up ending after the scheduled time you often missed sections of it because the tape cut itself off. Along with that issue if you chose to record something with a VHS you would not be able to watch another show at the same time. So even if you had two shows that aired at the same time you would still have to pick only one.

The next version of tv recordings were DVR that would be built into a lot of cable providers boxes. Many of these DVR's still worked like a VCR where you could not watch another show if you were already recording one. The main difference however was that you would not have to load a cassett into the tape recorder. Soon DVR's became more advanced to the point that you could record a show and watch one at the same time, or now to the point where you can even record more than one show at a time.

Today you don't even have to bother recording a show or game if you are not going to be home when it is going to air live. You can now watch those shows on demand on your tv at home or even on your mobile computer, tablet, or phone.

This has changed the way that many shows advertise themselves. Now these shows and companies don't focus all of their advertising and money on tv commercials but instead on ads on the computer and on phones. This is because viewers watch shows on the go much more often.

This has led many networks to start offering their shows through their own applications on different mobile platforms and on their own website. Networks that don't do this are appearing to lose a lot of their viewers because so many people are not watching shows on the actual tv anymore.

I for one very rarely watch show if it is live on tv. The only thing I still will watch live is a sporting event, especially hockey. Anything else however I watch on comcast.net or on my Apple TV in my own time.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Should young children have smart phones? 

The other day when driving home from class at around 2:30 PM there was a group of grade school kids walking home from school. Four out of those five kids in that group were holding iPhones and talking about how they were going to text their friends.

There are two things about that situation that irked me.

One, These kids not only have cell phones at such a young age, but smart phones. When I was growing up I did not get a cell phone until I was a junior in high school. That cell phone was a flip phone that when I wanted to text on it I would have to type in T-9! So not only do these 8 and 9 year olds have iPhones but they all had iPhone 6's or later! These phones are valued at anywhere from roughly $500-$1000. The first time I had a phone with such a value it wasn't until I started working at a job where I got a discount on one and bought it myself.  I think it is wrong for a kid to be given a device with such a high value at such a young age. I think possessions like that should be earned to a certain degree.

Regardless these kids have these phones, so what does that mean? Growing up if I wanted to see what my fiends were up to I either had to pick up the home phone and call their house and ask their parents if they were home. Then if there was no answer on the phone I would have to walk or ride my bike down to their house to see if they could hang out. It was the same concept if you wanted to simply talk with your friends growing up. you weren't allowed to talk to them on the phone for too long because your parents didn't want you to tie up the phone line, so instead you would have to go down to their house or have then come over.

Today kids simply text or tweet their friends and can go days at a time without seeing them in person. Instead of hanging out with their friends in person they are hanging out them in the digital realm. Kids arent getting outside anymore and spending time with their friends their. I cannot recall the last time I have seen a group of kids in my neighborhood outside at night playing night games. Instead they are inside texting each other or talking to each other online.

I feel bad for kids in this generation because they are missing out on the way that we grew up. Getting to spend time outside and not focus on what is on their phones 24-7

Monday, May 16, 2016


It is much easier to describe what a bystander would be to a physical fight or a verbal altercation. But what is the definition of a bystander when it comes to cyberbullying? In simple terms, a bystander is someone who witnesses an incident or incidents and doesn't do anything about it.

When it comes to cyberbullying this typically means someone who scrolls past the incident or reads through it and doesn't speak up or do anything about it. I would say the vast majority of us are bystanders to cyberbullying and half the time we don't even know it.

I think the ignorance that comes from people ignoring cyberbullying is the fact that what a lot of parents and teachers have taught us to do when we see something online like that is to not get involved. Most people have taken that as "ignore it". Where in actuality you should use the "report" button or tell a teacher or someone who is an authoritative figure.

By doing nothing that makes you a bystander. If you speak up you can help the situation. The one things parents and teachers have gotten right is don't get involved online. Don't add fuel to the fire or make the argument worse.

Today cyberbullying is arguably more common than physical/verbal bullying. With the amount of involvement todays youth has on social media it is natural that cyberbullying would occur there instead of out in the real world.

Social Media: Is it an accurate representation of your life?

Many schools, employers, and organizations keep a pretty close eye on their current and future members of their institutions. Some people find this as an invasion of privacy and believe that these places are their own private realm. But is that an accurate definition of social media in this current day and age?

Today people spend a large majority of their day online whether it be on a computer, a mobile devise, or a gaming system. When on these devices people post information about themselves, this information often being very detailed. Many people don't think twice before posting things online because it's just another place they can be themselves.

This is where that grey area begins. If people are allowed to be themselves online, and post the things they do and the things they believe in, shouldn't schools, companies, and other organizations be able to use this information before deciding if they want this person to be a part of their institution.

I personally believe that it is completely fair for anything you make public on the internet to be used to describe you as a person. I had been told from a young age to always think twice before you. I was told this for two reasons.

1. Everything you post on the internet is there forever. Even if you delete it.
2. Anyone can access the information you post on the internet no matter how private you think it is. With enough resources, money, and time, that information is accessible.

I guess with that state of mind I would consider myself lucky because I don't believe I have any information on the internet that I have posted myself that could hurt my future self. Not that there aren't embarrassing pictures from when I was young or some stupid things I have said. But nothing bad enough that it will effect me in the long run.

My biggest tip to people would be to educate yourself and your peers. Just remember the two reasons I told you earlier:
1. Everything you post on the internet is there forever. Even if you delete it.
2. Anyone can access the information you post on the internet no matter how private you think it is. With enough resources, money, and time, that information is accessible.

If you keep this in mind before you post something online then you should be okay.