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Media Engagement and a Reflection of Authority

Discussion 6

I believe holding anyone accountable, regardless of status or standing. In a way, the media does sometimes play the role of “watchdog”, such as by questioning or exposing certain figures or leaders in today’s society. However, regardless of whom they choose to throw the spotlight on, it would be just as much likely to say that that same media source may also be biased to varying degrees or have some sort of agenda when they do choose to take such actions. 

I am a firm believer anyone has some ability to question or stand up to authority, however, not all may have the willpower, desire, or confidence to push through with the action. One example to stand up to authority could be something like this: if a media firm favors particular people over others, the workers can possibly choose to react to this by signing a petition, not showing up to work collectively, or simply quitting to find other better, fair work opportunities. This could be some ways to stand up to authorities. To get others to “join in” may be as simple as telling them how it is, what should be done, and the blunt truth. 

I think the media can have both positive and negative effects. For example, one negative effect could be when certain ‘trends’ gain attention, such as when people would go into random stores, lick the tops a random ice cream pint in its container, and put it back as they filmed/posted the entire thing. Giving this attention over various other things could have much more of a negative impact over the masses, which could then inspire more people seeking slithers of attention and recognition from doing this kind of challenge. 

An example of a positive impact could be when the media uses its platforms to raise awareness for good causes, such as during these times during the pandemic when certain food banks or places may be giving away supplies and aid to those who need it. Raising awareness for these events or places could truly make a good impact on people’s lives, especially if it is needed. 

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Reflection on the Social Media Train

My score was 1/40 (https://openpsychometrics.org/tests/NPI/). Although for some questions, I did experience both so I opted for the most realistic answer/the one I tended to do more. Perhaps my score is a bit higher, but this is what my answers have scored me as.

1. I think apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat were designed to try and keep people’s attention as well as their interest. The creators and designers don’t want you to put it down or lose your attention for something else. The ‘social interaction’, the popular feeds, the likes, these features are things that people tend to want. Some might want to use that platform spread awareness, for attention, self promo, or as an outlet. Whatever the reason, these apps are some of the biggest social media platforms in the west for a reason. 

2. I think balance is the best way to go about most things, including social media. Even if one doesn’t necessarily struggle with fomo or narcissism, handling social media in a balanced way (ie such as not spending too much time on it, obsessing over how you look online or having it unhealthily influence your life) could just be the best route when dealing with today’s social platforms. 

3. With or without social media, fomo and narcissism still exist. If this Narcissus guy from thousands or hundreds of years ago dealt with it, why can’t we? 

I feel like it’s more about mentality. Maybe we may be prideful about ourselves, thinking in ways that come from what we’d prefer to believe or how’d we want to be perceived as. Another explanation could just be because of how the person was nurtured. If they grew up constantly getting complimented and always having their way, then when they get older would likely live in a completely different world than another person who didn’t receive the same treatment/experiences. Maybe they could form some sort of complex in their minds. 

With soMe, 

here are some pros:

-higher awareness of what’s going on in the world, as well as with others

-self promo

-increased contact with the rest of the globe (not people in person, but in other countries for example)

cons:

-a new form of escapism /something that can influence the masses

-can lead to unprecedented unhealthy behaviors/perceptions ( perhaps the spread of lookism, superficiality, narcissism, isolation etc)  

-can promote addictions (addiction to social media, etc)

With any thing in the world, there will be the good and the bad that comes with it. It is up to us how we react and handle it.

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Online vs physical classes amid the Covid-19 Outbreak

I feel like having classes on campus or in the physical setting has its own set of pros and cons, it could be much better than just staying at home. On campus, if you see the professor every day, you can easily ask questions when you do see each other, rather than wait ages to respond via email, texts, calls, or through bb, or blackboard. I think staying at home has its comforts, but you can also easily get distracted and your learning schedule is more dependent on you, despite the factors of deadlines. This matters since every student learns differently and has their own preferences. Some students may love the prospect of staying at home and doing classes online until further notice, while others wish desperately this entire situation can just be over with and things could get back to normal. Truthfully, I think I’m among the latter group of people. I am a bit frustrated with the situation. My parents live in a ranch, the wifi is very slow and limited, and we are so far away from the city. My parents prefer this kind of lifestyle, but I do not. I’d rather have this epidemic be over with so things can move on. 

I feel bb could use an overhaul. The system sometimes doesn’t alert us for certain things that are due, such as discussions and other unique assignments that must be directly submitted into blackboard. 

I like how there’s more freedom to do our classes on our own schedules. There’s no time constraints except for deadlines, we have nearly all the tools we need to do our work without paper or other materials, and we can do everything without having to worry about going anywhere or being late (for the most part, unless there are live meetings or lessons). On the other hand, we would have to rely on the basics: a roof over our heads, electricity, a strong enough wifi connection, and a PC or computer. 

With this covid-19 outbreak, things can take a turn. If our families or if we can’t find a means of supporting ourselves, we could find ourselves in a difficult situation. What if we can no longer afford the wifi, buying groceries, or if the computer breaks? Online classes would be the least of our worries then.

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Personality Profile of a Classmate

TyZhane Joy Babineaux is currently a student at the university with big dreams of fame, opening a dance studio, and success.

“I would already want to have beautiful popular music out, fans, a TV and radio show,” Babineaux said.

Aside from the wish of being the “IT” girl, she hopes to be a role model for her family. Rather than being averse to the idea of fame, she welcomes it.

“I want to be famous, yes, and for the right reasons. The fame I want will be pure, hopefully,” Babineaux said.

Considering herself to be extroverted, proud, strong, a homebody, funny, and loving, Babineaux felt that her past experiences shaped who she is today.

“I have the gift of vibe reading, sometimes it’s on point but sometimes I learn my lesson that I can’t trust anyone.” Babineaux said.

One of the most memorable experiences for Babineaux was when she was promoted to General, or head captain, in her dance team despite naysayers telling her she could not accomplish such a feat.

“I knew I could do it,” Babineaux said, referring to the possibility of being promoted to General.

Although Babineaux’s father is striving for self-change apart from the family, her mother remains present and works just as hard to support her daughter.

“My father was working hard to change himself; I just wish he was still here to continue his change.” Babineaux said.

Since she was as young as two, Babineaux had always loved to dance. She views dance as something to look forward to after a tough day, especially when stressed.

Although TyZhane is her first name, Babineaux prefers to go by the name Joy.

“My mother said when she had first seen me, I looked like joy,” Babineaux said.

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Covid-19 and news coverage

I simply hope that the COVID 19 and its effects will pass quickly, especially if things will get worse before they get better. I feel that the U.S may have possibly underestimated the virus or simply didn’t take it that seriously in the beginning. As of right now, each time my family turns on the news, there always seem to be a segment about Covid 19 updates and anything related to it, which would be good especially if the virus is present all across the nation and could threaten the people and the country as we know it. However, I do not appreciate wild articles or news segments that only exist to spread fear and misinformation regarding the pandemic, such as articles emphasizing ‘news’ such as “all hope is lost” or false statistics. One good news coverage could be an article that recently came out explaining that the G20 plans to unite against the covid 19 by helping to stimulate the global economy. Another one of bad coverage could possibly be an article that gave attention to a woman who intentionally coughed over the produce, baked goods, and food within a supermarket. If certain people saw this, it may inspire some people to adopt this ‘trend’ or behavior for whatever reason. 

As far as I know, the main complaints seem to be about fear-mongering and misinformation. Within the media, it feels like the more important points tend to be covered sooner or more quickly, but with press releases, there would be some delay. However, with the latter, the stories or segments would be lengthier. When it comes to misinformation, the best way to combat this would simply be the truth. Even if it would cause panic, spread hope, or whatever consequences, the truth is the best way to avoid misinformation. Aside from that, ensuring that the information or sources the media or news outlets rely on are correct and credible can go a long way too. 

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What news topics I think are oversaturated or poorly covered…

Poorly covered:

Lately I’ve stumbled upon some news about a locust outbreak in Africa and possibly other countries. I wouldn’t have known about this event if I hadn’t stumbled upon a video online by chance. I feel like topics like these should get more attention, especially if it is far-reaching and serious.

Oversaturated:

As of 2020, it could just be that more people might know the most recent gossip and drama behind today’s celebrities in comparison to other topics, like the recent locust outbreak in other countries or the latest updates about the novel coronavirus. Personally, since I don’t really like news topics about celebrity drama and gossip anyway, I think excessive coverage is really necessary and simply isn’t as important in the grand scheme of things.

Southern States Plan to Reopen Amid the Pandemic

Amid the 2020 COVID-19 shutdown, at least three Southern states are pushing to reopen their economies.

Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee have released plans to open some non-essential businesses as soon as Tuesday, April 21.

“We believe that we can do this if compliance remains at the high level that it has been, we can do this without endangering the population,” South Carolina’s Gov. Henry McMaster said.

As of April, in South Carolina, there are at least 4,000 people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and at least 124 have died. Although South Carolina appears to be on a downward trajectory of coronavirus cases, it is still uncertain whether the trend will continue to meet a consistent 14-day downward trajectory period.

Stores and businesses that do reopen, however, must follow social distancing recommendations as well as other guidelines issued by the White House if they are to gradually reopen their economies. Although these guidelines were released, they are merely recommendations and not requirements. Any state that chooses not to adhere to the proposed recommendations to reopen their economy will not be held liable for opting out.

Meanwhile, in Georgia, other non-essential businesses such as gyms, barbers, nail salons, and tattoo parlors may be set to open as soon as this Friday.

Brian Kemp, Georgia’s Gov. said that new COVID-19 cases have appeared to have flattened.

In Georgia, as of April 6, there were at least 811 cases that tested positive for COVID-19 and the number of confirmed cases reportedly decreased until April 14 when there were at least 779.

In Tennessee, the number of reported cases decreased after April 1, but on April 17 there was a spike upward in the number of COVID-19 cases.

Tennessee’s governor, Bill Lee announced that he would not extend stay at home orders past April 30. Lee said that the rising rate of cases was only in single-digit increases which is very encouraging.

Tandem Language Exchange

With the language exchange service Tandem, anyone around the world can connect with native speakers of their target language within minutes.

Whether it’s on the app or website, with Tandem, anyone with a phone, computer, tablet, or other devices that can connect to the internet can sign up for this free service.

“If you’re ready to move onto the next level with your language and want to speak to a native, then Tandem is worth checking out,” Digital Trends, an independent tech company that reviewed on Tandem, said.

After signing up, users can customize their own profile, which includes the option to select what languages they may wish to learn more about. Tandem can connect users to native speakers of French, German, Japanese, Hindi, Chinese, Thai, Italian, and more.

“It’s my best experience. Tandem is kind of boosting my passion for learning language,” Peiheng Song, an international student who is also a Tandem member, said.

For whatever reason the user decides to try Tandem, the service can promote friendship, social interaction, mutual intercultural relations, and of course, language exchange.

“The important thing I learned from this app is to respect everyone who chat with you,” Yang Jing Kang, a fellow Tandem member, said.

Although a subscription is not necessary to use the app, the free version of the app is limited, but not to the extent that the app is utterly unusable. Among the losses that are tied to not having the subscription are a limit in the number of free translations and the ability to see which members visited the user’s profile.

Tandem members can now answer daily polls, find online tutors, and search for other members seamlessly through the use of Tandem IDs. Once two members have chatted long enough, they are given a prompt to leave a reference for each other that other members of the community can see.

“Tandem is onto something. It certainly feels like a pretty charming language practice community, with lots of polite and enthusiastic comments left on people’s profiles as user reviews,” TechCrunch, another tech company which had reviewed Tandem, said.

About Me

January 26, 2020

Born in Alice, Texas, Ambour Leal is a 19-year-old girl currently attending Lamar University. Her major is Communication Journalism and she had just started her second semester as a freshman college student in late January. She chose her major for two main reasons: for her love of storytelling and the desire to explore new opportunities. Through exploring the doors her major could possibly open, she hopes to possibly travel the world and find opportunities to grow as a person. Some of her goals include eventually being the best version of herself that she can possibly be, financial freedom, travel, owning her own cats or dogs and to live life to the best of her ability. The sole reason she had chosen Lamar in the first place was to be set apart from her former classmates who had mostly chosen similar colleges, to go far away from her home, and to move forward in the next steps in her life. One of her classes, which happens to be part of her degree plan, is Media Writing. By taking this course, she simply hopes to gain more experience, learn, and grow.

Hailing from a family of ranchers and hunters, Leal is the middle child among her siblings. For nearly all her life, she had always been familiar with the countryside of South Texas and small-town life. She grew up with her family always having animals, which ranged from rabbits, gerbils, fish, turtles, mini-crabs, dogs, cats and cattle. Since she had known the ranch-life early on, she had grown to appreciate nature and the quiet lifestyle that comes with such a way of living. However, that does not mean to say that she wants it solely for herself. Rather, she aspires to lead a fulfilled life where she can accomplish her desires and dreams.

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