All posts by blstep07

#HandsOffSyria

hands-off-syria-1160x480

My audience for this blog post is my fellow students as well as other individuals looking to educate themselves on social media or social platforms.

Through my last two blog posts, I have written about how social media or any type of social platform can be used to not only spread awareness but to start a social movement as well. On Saturday, the U.S. decided to bomb Syria along with the U.K. and France. There were a variety of different responses to this attack but this sparked a new hashtag called Hands Off Syria. Through this hashtag, people are showing what Syria looked like before the seemingly endless war started as well as the problems with the long history of the U.S. creating their own terrorist attacks but not calling them that. This hashtag brings light into the horrible acts that have been orchestrated by the U.S. over the past decade. In order for something to stop, it needs to be discussed which is what is being generated by this platform.

Twitter allows for so many different people to share their opinions as well as find a commonality with others to spread awareness and even make a difference just as was mentioned by John Coate (1998) in “Cyberspace innkeeping: Building online community”. I hope by reading my last three blog posts, readers have been able to see change for their eyes themselves and understand the importance of social media as a different platform than the rest.

You HAVE The Power

The audience for this blog post is social media users as well as students in this course. The goal of this post is to inform readers about the platforms that social media has been used to form.

t_research_AP_717549677513-752x502

Social media is a powerful tool for anyone and everyone to use. In my last blog, I discussed the importance of DACA and how social media has impacted DREAMERS as well as how they communicate and educate one another (as well as others) about DACA. Social media can be used to not only CREATE a movement but to also FURTHER a cause. For example, the #MeToo movement started with one woman, Tarana Burke. “Ms. Burke created Just Be Inc., a nonprofit organization that helps victims of sexual harassment and assault. She sought out the resources that she had not found readily available to her 10 years before and committed herself to being there for people who had been abused. And she gave her movement a name: Me Too” (1). And the rest is history. Although it did take Tarana’s Me Too movement to gain a lot of speed, it has helped millions of women not only share their stories comfortably but, unfortunately, find common ground with others as well. Black Lives Matter has also used countless hashtags to get their point across whether it be simply, #BlackLivesMatter or #HandsUpDontShoot or even just tweeting out the names of innocent people of color being killed in horrific ways by our police force to make sure that their names are remembered. The most recent hashtag that is being used is #NeverAgain and #EnoughIsEnough which started after the Parkland shooting to call for gun control. These are just a few social movements that I personally can think of that have made impacts maybe not the way that they intended but raised awareness and educated some people as well which is what Castells mentioned in his Networks of Outrage Prelude to Revolution. “Mobile phones and social networks on the Internet played a major role in spreading images and messages that mobilized people in providing a platform for debate, in calling for action, in coordinating and organizing the protests, and in relaying information and debate to the population at large” (p. 46).

Overall, if it’s important to you, speak out, or at least just listen and acknowledge others’ strides to speak out and make a change. It never hurts to listen.

[1] Me Too

DEFEND DACA

DACA-1024x683

The audience for this blog post is my fellow students in this course as well as anyone in the general public who does not know what DACA is or what it does for those covered. The goal is this post is to educate and inform my audience about DACA as well as how important this piece of legislature is to these dreamers.

My heart goes out to all of those that have been and possibly will be impacted by this current administration. As both a U.S. citizen and a white female, I have not felt as severe of impacts as others have but that doesn’t mean that I don’t see what is going on. I understand that I have privilege as a white individual so I have tried my best to fight and stand with those who may not feel heard or understood.

One cause that I care deeply about and have already written a previous blog post about is DACA and Dreamers. In case some of you didn’t get a chance to read that post, DACA is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and it was put into legislation in 2012. There are over 700,000 Dreamers in the U.S. ranging from ages from 16 to 35 (and all ages in between). DACA is a really important piece of legislature because it allowed for kids who were brought to the U.S. illegally before the age of 16, to be able to obtain a social security card (i.e. be able to apply for loans, get jobs, and much more), work permits, and a drivers license. Although some people may lead to you believe that it is easy to get all of this “free” stuff (as some would say), there is a long list of criteria that an individual has to match in order to become a DACA recipient. For example, they cannot have any driving tickets or bad run ins with the law.

There are many aspects to DACA that many people don’t understand. In order to keep “up to date” with it, an individual has to re-apply for it every two years so it only lasts for two years and if you miss that date, it can take a while to get back on DACA. Another serious aspect to this piece of legislation is that these individuals are also putting their family members at risk because many of these individuals do still live with their parents, who are predominately illegal, and the Dreamers have to put their home address on the forms of DACA so the government does know where they live and who their parents are as well. It’s a scary situation to be in but also part of a blessing in a way.

Although DACA does not provide a pathway to citizenship for these individuals, it allows them to do a lot more than what they had been able to do before it came about. Dreamers are able to go to college or do whatever they want to fulfill their dreams. I am still hoping that this act does not go away and is here for a while or possibly gets revised to allow for greater expansion to the act but it wouldn’t be fair to take this away from so many inspirational individuals.

Some who may be reading this post at this moment may not have truly heard about DACA before and realistically, everyone has to start somewhere when educating themselves on a certain matter or piece of legislation. As this blog post might be your way of educating yourself, others have done so over other forms of social media as well. Many DACA recipients have spread news about what is going on with DACA currently through social media and other platforms to inform themselves and others like them as well. Just as our textbook stated “your smartphone is all you need” (p. 305) and it is “an easy way to create valuable content that helps get the word out right away” (p. 306).

The DACA Population Numbers

You’re Kidding Me Right??????

I was scrolling through Twitter and had to do a double take when reading this article headline:

At first glance, I thought, okay good, this guy is probably going to jail but then when I saw the word “activist”, that is when I got upset. This is terrorism. This man is part of a terror group yet he has the privilege to be called an “activist” by the media. Here is the link to the actual article which I personally believe did a good job at letting their audience know the full story but the headline is what could have been given a better thought. In the article, they even say that he “pledged allegiance to the domestic terror group ‘Army of God’ where he faces charges connected with a threat to bomb and burn down Chicago-area abortion clinics” (para. 1). I don’t understand why the title of the article doesn’t replace “activist” with “terrorist” because the heading truly counteracts the content of the article.

The article is lacking information about why the FBI isn’t or possibly is, prosecuting the terror group itself because if this one individual is such a terror threat, why isn’t the actual terror group being disseminated so that no more harm comes to innocent individuals? I was left wondering and worrying about others possibly getting hurt for even just going to a clinic to educate themselves.

Thankfully this man is currently faces up to six years in prison for his threats (which he also outed himself to the FBI about which is very comical so please read this article) but this terror group is still at large and has taken responsibility for bombing an Alabama abortion clinic. Can you say white male privilege???? Lets stop radicalizing these terror groups that are run by white individuals that reek havoc on our society and our citizens.

Your Mental Health, You Should Care

Being a college student is stressful in itself due to deadlines, major projects, and weekly assignments. Many students work a full time job while juggling multiple courses and some students have families too that they need to take care of. Personally, I have had a terrible past year for my mental health due to a stressful job and major life events but I have recently been working on bettering my mental health by leaving that stressful job and starting a new one that is a lot less stressful with a lot of fulfillment throughout my day.

When trying to understand how to improve my mental health, I stumbled upon a study from the University of Michigan (www.uhs.umich.edu) that provides 10 ways to better your mental health and they include sub points as well. Such as, take care of your body by drinking more water, get enough sleep, or eat nutritious meals. There are so many important aspects to improving your mental health and even the littlest of steps can make a huge difference.

As a college student, I often stay up late working on homework or writing papers and then I work early in the morning so my sleep schedule gets ruined during each semester. Sleep is a very important factor in maintaining a adequate mental health routine. There are a lot of other factors associated with not getting enough sleep which are laid out in www.livingly.com

I wish you all the best of luck with improving your mental health because there is always room for improvement especially during the semester. I wish you all the best of luck and hopefully these links come in handy.

We First Response by Brittany Stepan

Those who live in the U.S. tend to have an independent and more “Me First” mentality that was spoken about in this book which is one way that we tend to fall short in many way of helping others, doing something for the greater good, or even having universal healthcare. There are many explanations as to why we should change to a more “We First” mentality and I believe that Mainwaring was correct with his thought process. Some things do need to change in order for things to get better. We need to stop looking forward to a “better future” and start focusing on what we can do today.

The audience of this post is both my classmates, the professor, as well as anyone else who might come along this blog post. The goal of the post is to inform readers of my opinion on the We First book by Simon Mainwaring as why as evidence behind my opinion and why I think that way. When writing a post, I would ideally like to have some type of attention grabber whether that be a great header or an interesting picture or statistic just as I would with an essay. I don’t want to get caught up in doing just the bare minimum, I want to try my best and work hard to keep the readers attention throughout my blog posts as well as throughout the semester. I’ve always wanted to have a blog or some way to creatively write about my interests and passions but have never gotten around to it. I know so many people who have these amazing blogs so hopefully that will inspire me to possibly continue writing blogs after this course.