All posts by thadturner

Politics, Polarization, and the Average American Citizen

To those who have been following the political scene here in America in recent years and the most recent presidential election has probably noted that the average American citizens are more divided than ever before. It seems that mentioning anything political runs the risk of provoking an argument or possibly worse. One could possibly be fascinated at what factors cause this and how it possibly could be avoided.

It seems that now, more than ever before, people are more prone to engage in a process known as groupthink. While groupthink has some benefits in creating loyalty among the members of that group, the drawback to it is that those people are more prone to becoming brainwashed and programmed to think in a certain way. Also there is a power imbalance as often times the more assertive and dominant members of that particular group will coerce and manipulate the more passive members. In political terms this would be viewed as polarization.

Another theory as to why political disagreements may become violent is because of a lack of information. While the MSM provides us with a lot of outlets and different channels to view our information about the current news and political scene, it may often be biased or misleading. The best example I can give of this was the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson several years back and the riots that ensued. Drastically different reports of eyewitness accounts of the incident and what actually lead to the shooting were on display. One could question as to whether it was the same incident everyone was seeing or not? It seems that this groupthink mentality and biased information lead to the unfortunate turn of events that happened in Ferguson and in other incidents around the country surrounding the Trump campaign.

So how can one keep from polarization and groupthink? It would seem the best methods in avoiding these are looking behind the scenes and gaining information from alternative sources. Often times 3rd party sources or source that are lesser known and established may hold information that the MSM doesn’t. Not always, but occasionally. Also viewing overseas news and websites contain information not well known. Again, not always the case but it’s worth a try and often successful. This way one can avoid being possibly harmed or lead down a trail that may ultimately lead to disaster. ThinkstockPhotos-176936509_1

Understanding of Small Town Life As Contrasted with Metropolitan Life

To those of us who have been forced to make the transition from living in a small town to living in the city have found that that can be quite the transition. I would like to go into the benefits as well as disadvantages of both of these environments.

Small towns offer more stability and structure, as well as a safer haven. People are more trustworthy and friendly without any hidden motives or agendas. They tend to form bonds with others quicker and easier. On that note, on can also find themselves on the outs rather quickly as reputations, especially negative ones, can spread rather quickly. Also in terms of entertainment there are limitations, as also are business opportunities. Also suspicions of those of different cultures run higher in these areas, and those people are forced to relocate often because of this. So while individuals from small towns may bond easier, they also are skeptical of outsiders and unfamiliar people. There is a reason these communities stay small and close-knit.>2010/10

When it comes to living in a metropolis, there are quite a few advantages. Accessibility, diversity, and opportunities, and for those looking to start or promote a business would have much more of an advantage living in the city rather than a small town. At least if they were in it for primarily lucrative reasons. Also when it comes to different cultures there is a great deal of that and people in general. Because of this, one does not form bonds as quickly or easily nor do people really learn to trust one another. Criminal behavior is more rampant seen as there is much more opportunity to engage in such. Nor do people care as much since it is more of an occurrence and they often times are just grateful it wasn’t them.

In essence, it appears that long term goals are what motivate individuals often in their choice of living situations. For those looking to settle down and start families and are looking for stability it appears that small towns are more suitable and acceptable. For those looking for adventure, diversity, and business opportunities, it seems that metropolitan life would be more beneficial in that regard.


Autism: Creating Awareness and Support for a Growing Epidemic

Ever know someone who looked and offhand appeared to be completely normal but there was something about them that just wasn’t quite right? Like they seemed out of sync or something, or were just a little more awkward than everyone else? Well, they may have had a condition which we know now as Asperger’s disorder.

Asperger’s disorder is a condition which was first recognized by an Austrian pediatrician back in 1944 when studying and making observations of children. He noted differences in children, mainly inabilities to socialize, troubles in maintaining eye contact, literal thinking patterns, and repetition in their play. He diagnosed them with this condition, coined this phrase, which also became known as high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. Today, according to the DSM-V, Asperger’s or those diagnosed with it are now being recognized as having high-functioning autism.

Autism and Asperger’s has been on the rise in recent times. According to the latest statistic, one in about 60 children is being recognized as having some sort of autism spectrum disorder. There are a number of theories as to why it’s growing. Possibly it’s just being acknowledged more so now than in the past. However, in the case of Asperger’s, or high-functioning autism, the challenges are certainly there and hard to pinpoint at times. Perhaps because of the normal appearance and often above average IQ of these individuals, and their scholastic abilities, they are often misunderstood as well as misdiagnosed. Sometimes they are seem as troubled children and are often diagnosed with personality disorders instead of ASD.

To those who have both a knowledge and awareness of this condition, it would be of vital importance to bring this awareness to the attention of teachers of children who fit into this category. It may save that child from psychological harm, allow that child to explore their options and find their niche or special interest, and be able to find a group that they can both connect as well as bond with. Asperger’s is found to be more prevalent in boys than girls, with the rates being 4 to 1 in that department. However, girls who have ASD also have significant struggles, and are subject to being possibly physically as well as psychologically harmed if their condition is not realized soon enough. blog2

Group Blog 3 – Understanding Culture in the Context of Interpersonal Communications

When it comes to the context of differences and even violent conflicts between those of different cultures, this lies in the inability to relate to one another effectively at an interpersonal level. One wonders at how this may happen and to what degree it does but it can be fascinating at the underlying factors that take place in making it happen.

One theory that allows for this phenomenon is something that can be attributed to “culture shock.” When it pertains to this theory an individual goes through a certain period where they are assimilating into a culture that’s different and oftentimes vastly so. Making the adjustments into that culture may be a painful and arduous process. It will not happen overnight. After all, those from Asian and Middle Eastern countries are much more rigid and adhere to stricter rules of principle than those here in Western society, in countries such as America, Canada, and much of Europe. Westerners are viewed as individualists, while Easterners are viewed as more collectivist. One values family more, while the individualists value personal self-worth more.  Women are seen to assume different roles there as well. It would seem that in arriving here, that would certainly be a shock to see. While having that unmitigated freedom may be beneficial it could also be a huge deterrent as well and result in harm to both oneself and/or others.

Another theory that would hold for violence amongst different cultures would be misunderstandings, or something that could be defined as the inability to relate to social norms. Humor is something that is certainly different here in the West as defined from the East, and the pattern of communication is definitely different. While those who may be accustomed to such actions it is easy to detect or possibly pick up on, in others it is viewed as disrespectful, rude, and in some cases antagonistic. Bullying also is viewed differently oftentimes among different cultures. Bullying in one culture may be seen as rough play in another.

Probably the most important and applicable principle that one could apply when interacting with one of a different culture would be attribution theory which is the ability to combine critical thought processes with the understanding of both feelings as well as personal emotions. Being receptive to others’ feelings but having the ability to remain emotionally detached and not take a negative response personally is the best method of going about interacting with someone from a different culture. So in essence, insight and also maturity are the tools one needs to have in order to accomplish this successfully. images Blog #

Analysis of Mental Health Issues and Effective Treatments for Men

In an article posted by a mental health blogger specifically directed at men, there appeared to be some misconceptions about it and it appeared to be ill-directed. While it is a concern for men who struggle with mental illness to also struggle with substance abuse, this is not always the case. In fact, often times those who struggle with addictions do not struggle with mental health, and vice versa.

Suicides among men and mental health in general is a cause for concern in today’s society. There are many reasons and causes for this predicament. It may a cultural issue, and appearing “weak” is looked down on and seen as not worth addressing or taking seriously. Another could be “peer pressure,” or fear of losing friends if one were to disclose their mental health issues, and lastly, lack of available resources one may have if their mental health issues arise and are not addressed.

While anxiety is an issue that often arises with depression, this is not always the case. Sometimes losing a loved one or the sudden loss of something of value, such as a job or home, may cause depression for which one may need to seek out some form of assistance and/or therapy. This blog in particular seems to focus a great amount on substance abuse, and fails to realize that there are many other causes for depression or other mental health issues for which one may need to seek some form of assistance.

It would appear more practical that treating one’s mental issues prior to their substance abuse issues would be a more relevant method. If one learns effective coping methods to counterbalance their issues such as anxiety and depression they stand a much greater chance of being able to manage their lives more effectively without seeking out substances. Addressing substance abuse may not be necessary if one receives the appropriate help for their mental health issues when they need it. If one treatment method fails another may be attempted. Perhaps on the third treatment co-morbidity may be applied to see if that proves to be more effective.




Social Media and Its Impact on Communication

While some matters may appear to be the same in our culture, others have drastically changed. Offhand the most significant of these being the development of technology and social media.

Before the turn of the millennium, social media was in its infancy. Most of it was done by way of email and Hotmail, but not much anywhere else. With the development of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, as well as the development of the iPhone, caused a great difference in our communication styles and how normal everyday people interact with one another. It would seem to some it would give way to giving people a voice where no existed before. In this regard this could be viewed as healthy and beneficial. Sort of like allowing the underdog a chance where none existed before.instagram-old-new[1]

Much of the younger under 25 generation these styles seem to have their interests directed by way of social media, and appear to interact with each other much less in person. It is undoubted that with the growth of social media, and with everyday technology becoming much more accessible and easy to process, this will hamper everyday communication but to what effects and to what degree? It could be possible that with this this may play a definitive role on one’s mental health, and if so, to what extent do people who are depressed become addicted to the point of wanting to interact with others around them?

Is it possible that social media may possibly take other methods of communication, and become the normal method of discussion and interacting with other people. Back 20 years ago or thereabouts, children went over to their friend’s house to play, or talked with them on the telephone. More and more it seems that social media is the preferred norm over other methods, and this may soon become the normal way to communicate with both friends and family.


Group Blog 1 – The Many Faces of Metro: Cultural Awareness and Its Importance in Today’s Culture

Cultural awareness is something that is both important and even detrimental it seems in our culture today. With our culture becoming increasingly more diverse, and the Midwest becoming more and more multicultural it would seem that creating awareness about this and informing the populace at large more would seem a great necessity.

Social media is one excellent manner in which one can bring attention to the issue of cultural awareness and diversity. Finding groups on Facebook and YouTube that support and allow for this and wish to improve on it are some ways to support and make steps forward in this regard. Also addressing the challenges one faces with integrating or attempting to integrate into a new culture would be another effective method of bringing about and creating cultural awareness. Also searching for other blog pages that address this issue in detail, both locally and nationwide, is another effective way to go about addressing the issue of cultural awareness and diversity.

Two groups on Facebook that it would be noteworthy to look up would be The Many Faces of Metro and Humans of New York. These groups are mainly about informing the public about cultural awareness and depicting it in a more benevolent fashion. Numerous blog sites addressing diversity in American culture would be worthwhile looking into more as well.

While it is good to address the reality of this issue and want to see it in a positive light, this may not also be healthy. It is good to look at sites, groups, and blogs that may view this topic in a more critical light and may possibly see the flaws or possible misconceptions that may arise if one does not look at this in a panoramic manner. Issues such as racism, sexism, negative stereotyping, and harm committed to either the majority or minority cultures are issues that one should always be aware of. It would seem that when looking into this topic the issue of primary importance should be having respect for differing viewpoints than one is used to hearing.


Individual Blog Post 1: Marketing and How to Effectively Build a Community

When it comes to social media and marketing, in today’s world, with venues such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, it would appear that there is a demand and this would be the most effective means of going about marketing a product or attempting to build and establish a community.

This could develop into something if one has effective strategies and the means of being able to do this. One author in particular goes into detail about how community building is the one of the more effective methods of marketing a particular product. With some though this may pose as a challenge, especially with limited funds and only some rudimentary knowledge about a particular topic or product. Another author affirmed in an article that without money or fame marketing is almost destined to fail. Indeed, it does pose an obstacle and one with either or both of these certainly has an advantage over someone who does not.

In this day and age knowledge does equate to power. Sometimes having limitations in funds and knowledge will become an advantage inevitably, as one will dedicate time and energy to attempting to market something and become all the more dedicated to learning about it. Also being able to establish a solid community to market this idea or product would be a crucial element in this process as well.

In developing a community to market a particular idea or product one must be able to establish a base from which to work off of. It would seem that certain characteristics such as respect for the other members of the group, trustworthiness, and being able to exchange ideas effectively and disagree at times without losing it would be the best characteristics of a particular marketing group, as well as tolerance of individual differences that may and quite possibly would exist among other members of that group. If these core principles can be established then a foundation or base can be built on from there.