We’re All Reasonable People, Right?

When I enter a classroom in the beginning of the semester and look around, I always have the same initial thought, “Everyone in here has some common sense.  I mean, most of us have taken college classes before, we’re all paying to be here, to educate ourselves, to elevate our lives for personal or professional reasons.”  Thinking that way, I instantly connect all of us with a similar characteristic: “We’re all reasonable people, right?”

What do you mean by “reasonable”?

One of the problems with thinking this way is that I assume everyone has the same definition of a “reasonable person.”  My definition is something like, “A person who is able to think critically about a topic, voice their opinions in a respectful and logical manner, and respond to a conflicting opinion with grace and tact.”  As I write this out, I’m realizing that my definition might be a little far-fetched, and maybe I’m expecting too much from my peers?  After all, I can’t say that I’ve always responded to an opposing opinion with “grace and tact.”  As a matter of fact, I can be downright defensive and uncooperative, especially when it comes to conversations involving sexual assault.

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Take the pledge and make a personal commitment to help keep women and men safe from sexual assault.

 

My hypocrisy

There are some people in life that I know I can’t have an educated conversation with. People who are, in my opinion, unreasonable when it comes to their opinions and stances on certain issues.  For example, I can’t discuss politics with my boss.  Our viewpoints are a complete 180° from each other, we’re not going to convince one another to change where we stand, and nothing productive comes from the conversation because we’re both too passionate about our beliefs.  In this instance, I avoid the topic.  Let’s not create such a hostile work environment, right?  To each their own.  But if a conversation about sexual assault comes up, and I hear something like, “Well, she shouldn’t have been drinking so much at that party,” or, “He’s too young to serve any time in jail; let’s not ruin two lives because of this,” or “Why did she leave with him if she didn’t want to sleep with him?” or “Everyone knows not to walk around by yourself at night; she should have known better,” I get absolutely furious.  The people who say and whole-heartedly believe things like that are not, in my opinion, reasonable. So, I will do everything in my power to talk AT you, educate you, and make you see why you’re comments or questions are inappropriate and unhelpful.  Is any of this fair?

It’s a real issue

I came across this article yesterday and had a hard time processing it.  One of the major reasons why sexual assault and/or rape cases never get prosecuted is because of lack of evidence; it ends up being a matter of “he said / she said” and no one is able to find the truth.  With this case, a toddler was molested by a 16-year old teenager, it was recorded on video, and the perpetrator served 2 years in juvenile detention and county jail.  Can we, as reasonable people, agree that this is ludicrous?  If jail time isn’t the answer, then what is?Some people think that he should serve jail time, and others think that he should be sent to a rehabilitation center.  If you have one of those opinions, or some other idea that holds him accountable for his actions, I can have a healthy conversation with you.  But if you think that he should be free, has already served his time for this crime, or that justice has been served, our conversation may not be so productive.

The point

Sexual assault is considered a “hot button” topic because of the personal nature of the crime and how it’s only now gaining some massive public media attention.  There are a lot of cultural norms that are slowly shifting to make the awareness (yes, I said awareness) of sexual assault grow.  From college campuses, to military bases, to your own living room during the Superbowl, the word is getting out.  So, as reasonable people looking to gain higher education in a classroom together, are we able to agree that sexual assault is an actual problem?  That we not only need to be aware of it, but need to do something about it?

Social Media – obsession or progression?

I have not joined as millions have and become a junkie to the internet and post the events of my life on the World Wide Web. Does this make me anti-social in some respects? Or perhaps merely the fact that I like privacy and do not like to share my life with hundreds of other people. I know…I have been told you can set up blocks and filters and make things private. Yet I am more than a little skeptical, consider myself defenseless against stalkers, and fear that anything I post will be in the matrix forever.

Hashtag what? Another term I do not quite understand. The fixation of setting up a Facebook or Twitter account because everyone else has one does not appeal to me. Perhaps my view is “old school” and I am not keeping up with the times. Just recently, (starting in 2016) I started paying my bills electronically and stopped writing checks, putting a postage stamp on an envelope, and having the mail carrier pick up at my front door. I took pride in writing a check and signing it; providing me with a sense of accomplishment. Yet the increase in stamp and check prices persuaded me to change my habits.

Perhaps this class will show me the value of Social Media and the positive aspects of joining the revolution. We shall see.

Facebook, Twitter, Linked In – OH MY! Click on the image below and check out this post which pretty much sums up my thoughts on the topic. (if it doesn’t open, let me know as I’m new to this stuff!)

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Social Media, New Media

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Myspace is not invited to the cool kids club!

Remember when social media was as simple as adding and chatting with friends to your page and adding music in the background. What such fun in changing the layout of your page every week from sparkle blue to a popular boy band tiled in your background. In 2004, we really didn’t have a purpose to be on social media such as Myspace besides what I previously mentioned. Times has definitely changed with new media. With technology and marketing strageties advancing over the last decade, we now have access to more information, more things to do on social media besides changing adding music to your boy band fanatic page.

We can now successfully communicate more efficiently with new media through new features like live video streaming. Take a look at Facebook image. Live video allows followers to see video recorded by other facebookers during actual real time. There has many cases where because of this feature, people were getting in trouble”caught doing things”. Whether it’s police brutality, public murder or public humiliation. Also, with this feature people use it to bring awareness, entertainment or connecting.

There are more resources available to the public using a tool called “networking”. Now people can recommend jobs, employers can view prospective employees professional background on sites such as “LinkedIn”.image  Everything is more open. So, instead of playing a music playlist on Myspace, the norm is about communicating through posting, twitting, snapchating, video messaging, etc. With this new way of communicating, comes a great deal of vulnerability. Accountability and more mindfulness has to be taken up a notch due to the advance media.

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Social Media is Forever

Nothing is Private

One of my children learned the hard way that his “private” blog was not so private after all.  A disparaging comment about his then current employer was discussed in detail during an interview for a possible promotion.  A subscriber to his blog, who was also seeking the position provided the excerpt to the interviewing committee.

He naively thought people who were not invited or subscribed to his blog would never have access to its content.  Obviously, he did not get the position, and the committee declined to go with his competitor for ethical reasons. According to a small survey of bloggers, over half of those surveyed included their name or other identifying information.

Blogger Survey Analysis

This is a scholarly analysis of bloggers expectation of privacy. It is intended to introduce issues of privacy into academic discussions of blogging.  The article contains information about the history of blogging, the demographic tendencies, the practices, and the views on issues of privacy from a small random sample of bloggers. The study features links to various blogging resources.

With the advent of more search engines crawling the World Wide Web for content, I feel it is unrealistic for bloggers to feel the “web is just too big for just anyone to find my blog”.

Everything is Forever

One of the main differences between a blog site and other web sites is the journal format of blogs.  Blog content is additive. In other words, new content does not replace existing content.  Every post is searchable, and essentially indelible as the statue shown above.  I had cautioned my adult children to post as if their own children would be able to see the content.

Houston, we have a problem

The contributory nature of blogs means that the author really only can control the original post.  After that, it is open season and any subscriber is free to comment and often the original author is held liable for all the content of the blog.  Also, a comment in the middle of the blog can be so controversial as to “go viral” and the intended message or discussion of the blog gets lost.

 

Let’s Get Social!

We live in a time that social media and social networking is at its prime. Scrolling through our news feeds and checking notifications seems to have become a routine even upon waking up. We find ourselves indulged in this whole idea of being engaged with the world but rather, we’re just keeping up-to-date with what social media has to offer.

But what does social media or social networking have to offer that we mindlessly keep ourselves on top of it?

In David Scott’s book, “The New Rules of Marketing and PR,” he clearly defines the difference between the two. He explains that social media is the “various media that people use to communicate online in a social way” (Scott 56.) As for social networking, “when people create a personal profile and interact to become part of a community of friends and like-minded people…” (Scott 56.)

Based on Scott’s definitions, social media and networking fills in a void of belonging. We are connected with a social community that social media had created for us to network with others who are just like us. Social media is a platform where we find people like us and/or “they” find us. Then networking with others of common interests build an online community by exchanging information and folks, we found a way to conversate.

The way social media and networking has strengthened brought people from different parts of the world together. It is an opportunity to share, inspire, or even educate each other. So why do we keep ourselves updated with our social media and social networking? It’s the idea and the feeling of belonging to a community that is based on interest. It’s convenient and easy to merely share an opinion then receive feedback within minutes.

So, let’s get social!27b8758

Social networking who?

The novelty of social media online has in my opinion taken over the universe. Okay, maybe not the entire universe, but everyone that I seem to encounter can be found on a plethora of social networking sites. Such as, Twitter, Facebook, and  Instagram. Obviously there are other types of social networks that flourish on the web, but you get the gist. However, I always seem to be the odd man out when it comes communicating, or sharing via anything about myself online. Whenever I hear someone ask where can I find you on social networking sites? I always think to myself social network who? How about you email me, or if I feel comfortable enough with you to provide my cell number, a text will suffice. I constantly find myself stricken by the fact that I have not jumped on the social media bandwagon, I feel like the only person in modern times that hasn’t drank the koolaid. Social networking has become a world of it’s own, but I still cannot bring myself to succumb to it. What makes social networking a who’s who community, that should be acquainted with my profile, and membership?

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Going to Work is Hard!

For most of us, work is a necessary evil. Accepting a job usually requires the daily routine from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, week after week. This pattern can get monotonous, making us dread going into work. Sometimes we feel heavy, tired, and weak just thinking about work. Our mind is willing, but we just can’t motivate ourselves to do what needs to be done.

Is there even a way to overcome this dreadful feeling?  I don’t have definitive, absolute answers, but I’ve come up with a few strategies that’ve helped me.

Don’t Dwell

I know. I know.  Sunday evenings can be hard, but don’t give into the “dread of going to work” syndrome. The more you think about it, the more you will feel it. Maybe you can come up with a few activities to keep you from dwelling on the feeling of dread. But if you find yourself in a panic, you might need to evaluate what the real issue is.

What’s the Issue?

Don’t complain if you don’t know what you’re complaining about. What is causing you to dread going into work? Is it annoying colleagues, your boss, the pay, or everyday tasks? You won’t be able to solve the problem if you don’t know what it is. Try making a list to see if you can tackle some of the issues. Maybe you’ll discover that you’d be happier at another job. But, be thorough when you are making your list; you don’t want to resign unless it’s absolutely necessary. If you feel like you are ready to leave your job, check out Catharine Symblème’s blog called the Do’s and Don’ts Before You Quit Your Job. Remember, you don’t need to be miserable at your job even if your job is miserable.

Avoid Drama

Some people are more contentious than others. Constantly being pulled into coworkers’ issues can suck the life out of you. This can affect your entire outlook on life. Try to focus on new and different opportunities at your job rather than shortcomings and faults—and avoid people that “drag you down.”

Learning from Work

Sometimes life’s lessons can be tough. We can’t always have things our way. Sometimes we’ll be required to do things that we won’t want to do. If you view your job as a learning experience, you will start to view your work in a new light. The thing you didn’t want to do won’t last forever, so why not learn from it.

Who’s Perfect

No matter how much you make, you can always make more; no matter how much you like what you’re working on, you can always find a better project; and no matter how great your boss is, you can always find a better boss. But you’ll never get the perfect pay, the perfect boss, or the perfect situation! Don’t expect perfection if you want to get over the feeling of dread of going into work. Focus on what you do to make your job a better place. The more flexible, adaptable, and positive you are, the happier you will be.

In the end, if you can’t find a reason to go to work, money-wise or otherwise, you need to find something else to do.  And when life gets the better of you, try to work out a plan to diffuse your dread. Even if your plan fails, you will feel better than you did before. And if you are a student that holds down a job, try a good cup of coffee (or tea) to help you get motivated.

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