Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Up's and Down's of Social Media Today

This past weekend I watched the film "Chef", which John Favreau wrote, directed, and starred in. It was an incredibly uplifting story about a critically acclaimed chef who realizes he needs to get his passion and inspiration back. He turns to the food truck business where his love for food is instantly revived. Much of this movie is based on the use of social media, and how many positive aspects there are when you fully embrace the opportunities Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and many more, provide.
After finishing the movie, I couldn't help but think about how our generation (of teenagers) uses social media, and the impressions we allow people to believe. For starters, we use Facebook and Instagram mainly to display ourselves-who we are, the things we like, etc.  The selfies and the constant updates of what we're doing, that no one actually cares about in all honesty, persuades people to believe all teenagers are innately selfish and and self-involved. I don't deny what Sharon Nton-Ntan said in her article about teenagers and social media and how we search for "validation and recognition from total strangers," and "feeling satisfaction, temporary sense of belonging." She feels that we've made everything "about us," and although I can't disagree social media has changed how we think and feel about other people and ourselves, I don't believe it automatically makes all teenagers needy attention seekers. We use social media as a way to express ourselves. Because you only see our side of the conversation, it comes across as self-involved, when in reality we simply send things out into the vast world of social media in hopes that just one person will see us for who we are.

The hilarious clip above is one of many examples in the film that show how social media isn't as trivial as some may think. Throughout the movie, you see the father, played by Favreau, and his son grow closer together. The son teaches his dad how to use twitter, (the short scene above), takes videos and pictures to document their trip with the food truck, and even promotes his father's business. Social media offers a sense of connectedness between people, and is able to bring to people from all over the world together with one cohesive idea. This is a huge contribution to why small businesses, food trucks to be specific, are able to thrive utilizing Twitter and Facebook. (Especially when this kind of advertisement is free.)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Gender Steryotypes Still Prevalent in the 21st Century

Julia Pierson resigned from her role as the Director of the United States Secret Service, after 30 years of devotion.  While Director, The service made several huge mistakes that could not be over looked, including letting an armed intruder break into the White House, making it through three rooms before being apprehended.  In addition, another event was reported that a private contractor with a concealed gun had been cleared to share the same elevator with President Obama. Pierson had failed to acknowledge the President of the situation, even though she had the opportunity.  These incredibly dangerous mistakes were not excusable by Pierson. I don't disagree with her resignation, although I do not agree with Bryce Covert--that being a woman had anything to do with Pierson's failure.

Women are "thought to have qualities associated with cleaning up messes," Covert explains, so when a company's success begins to plummet, many times a woman will be brought in to 'clean up'. For hundreds of years, women were percieved as the cooks and cleaners of the household. It wasn't until the 1960's that women actually had a fair chance at getting a job in the work force. We say times have changed, although men still see us as the "cleaners" of the world, picking up after the messes they've made. Pierson was the first woman to become the director of the Social Service in its "149-year history," and will probably be the last due to her failure.

People fail all the time...including men. Why is it that when a woman fails, the fact that she in a WOMAN is brought up? Is it fair to judge a person's actions based on their gender?