I have no issues with the concept of role models. It is perfectly okay to have people to admire and to look up to.
However, I have found myself adopting an unhealthy mindset about a certain person I’ve met. Continue reading
One. Do not believe that social media illustrates reality.
My Dearest Justin:
At some point in my middle school career I heard rumors that you were considering attending our Christian private school in Atlanta. Back when your body was free of tattoos and I had major Bieber fever, before your voice learned to calm down, I gave a major crap about what the media had to say about people like you, and in turn, people like me.
Since that time, both you and I have changed, and in similar ways.
You became a sort of multimillionaire…I got a job at a bakery.
You went on a world tour (didn’t actually fact check this)…I started this blog – people in England, Cambodia, and Russia read my blog.
But as of late I’ve also made an effort to not concern myself with the lives of celebrities anymore. I used to spend chunks of my time reading up on their lives and watching interviews; at that time, I wanted to be anyone but myself. Continue reading
Over the course of our friendship you will find that I don’t care about many things.
By this, I mean that when I was younger, I obsessed over celebrity news and gossip. I always wanted to know, what was the latest news with Britney Spears? Which Olsen twin wore it better? Did Justin Bieber really grow up in Atlanta?
By this, I mean that when I found a band I really liked, I watched documentaries about them and wanted to know their background story, and why they wrote the music they wrote.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve pretty much abandoned that practice for a much more withdrawn attitude, questioning why we obsess over the lives of other people. Continue reading
I am not immune to the way society projects itself through the media and tries to dictate the way that we act and regard ourselves. I’ve witnessed both ends of the spectrum of body image and more specifically, makeup.
I’ve seen ads that push products onto you, claiming to help hide your flaws and accentuate your delectable features. Meanwhile, I’ve observed social campaigns criticizing exactly what the ads previously mentioned advocated, arguing that individuals ought to love their bodies and faces just the way that they are, and that perfection is unattainable and a mere social construct.
As a high school student growing up in the twenty-first century, it’s beyond interesting to sit by and watch as people react and overreact to the ripples in the water; new theories are introduced and articles are published about the way that we view our bodies.
Today, I discuss makeup, and the way my perception of it has changed over the years. Continue reading
Let’s talk about Miley Cyrus’ performance at the VMA’s, shall we?
Actually, how about we don’t? First, that’s old news. The VMA’s were over a week ago, and frankly, I don’t give a crap about the way that Twitter was blowing up that Sunday night. All I could do was watch from the sidelines and smirk at every incredulous tweet that I scrolled past.
I do not understand why the press grabbed a hold of this raunchy performance and insisted on making it the biggest deal ever, calling it things like a “skanky award show embarassment” and a “divisive performance.”
Why are articles about celebrity reactions and public defiance STILL appearing on the front page of Yahoo News or Google News? Why not treat it like any other scandalous performance that probably happens on a weekly basis, and let it blow over within a few days?
I didn’t even watch the VMA’s. I watched a clip on Youtube of Miley’s performance, and some sort of interview with Robin Thicke’s mom, and by then, I was already fed up with the whole thing.
I am tired of news engines wasting space on my computer screen, I am tired of differing opinions about the physical benefits of twerking and I am tired of all of the Twitter jokes about Miley Cyrus – wait, no, I’m never going to get tired of that last part.
Miley is her own person, and I am all for increased self-expression. Regardless of whether or not I agree with her clothing choice or hairstyle, regardless of whether or not I think she should have done it on public television, sometimes we need someone to break the taboo against divulging from the path of society along which most of us walk.
But in all honesty, why do we always choose to highlight the negative aspects of American culture? Americans, you know what other cultures are saying about us, right? So why give them more material to exploit and hold against us?
At some point, all of this focus on pop culture scandals trades off with some new scientific breakthrough that NASA made, or some new invention that a 4th grader thought up.
Obviously, we’ve got more important things to obsess over. What about that young Syrian intervention? The currency rates? Anything?? Something that is relevant to our lives? Something that furthers our development, not some ratchet-ass events that only increase the social gap between the celebrities and the commoners?
At the end of the day, Miley was not the first youngster to do something totally inappropriate in public, or on national television. At least she gets paid to do such things, where I’m sure the rest of us twerk by ourselves in a bathroom, for stinking-free.
Can we all just stop talking about it now?
In the debate community recently, an anonymous soul started a Facebook account dedicated to posting compliments about people in the debate community (Debate Compliments). The goal was simple: to spread joy to the debate community. Within hours, the person (or should I say, two people?) had acquired over one hundred Facebook friends. Now, they have almost 700. It seemed as though every five minutes, gracious tributes to fellow debaters would show up in my newsfeed. The posts would vary in content. Some people would shout out a whole team (as in, people from one school), and some would send in inside jokes that would be posted. Most, however, are recognizing members of the debate community from both the national circuit and local circuits for traits that are both related and entirely unrelated to their debating skills. People are acknowledged based on their personalities and their achievements of the season. So, the creators say: “if there is something nice you have to say about someone but don’t feel comfortable saying it to their face, inbox away.”
The trend has spread! Less than a day ago, two mysterious individuals at our school started a Facebook account with the same objective, of showing appreciation for the members of our community (Westminster Compliments). Refresh your newsfeed every couple of minutes, and you will see posts with multiple likes, representing the mutual agreement of opinion. At this very moment, Westminster Compliments has 174 friends. WOW!
Of course, everyone has a hunch about who the creators are. However, all of these guesses are only guesses until someone decides to step up and provide proof that they started either Facebook account. I doubt someone will though. If their intentions are genuine, anonymity is crucial to maintain the theme of gracious appreciation for individuals without the annoyance of drama or the hassle of judgment.
The way I see it, the creators of these Facebook accounts are reverse Gossip Girls. Or rather, after seeing the very last episode of the series, perhaps they are just Gossip Girls, since Dan Humphrey ended up using his social power for good.
These accounts all possess the Gossip Girl effect. No one knows who Gossip Girl/Debate Compliments/Westminster Compliments is. And yet people send in their “tips”. Of course, the difference is that Gossip Girl would post reliable and credible gossip, while these other two accounts simply aim to bring happiness to two different communities through compliments. And yet, who knows what the potential implications of these social phenomena could be? Could the creators use their powers for evil instead of good? And if they did, would the public follow along and send in statements that are not compliments?
From watching from the sidelines as my Facebook friends have eagerly latched onto this new social trend, all I can conclude is that there have only been benefits. I’ve learned things about people that I’ve met that I probably wouldn’t expect. I’ve found out wonderful things about people that I’ve never met.
Many questions remain. Is the popularity of the Something Compliments accounts fleeting? Is this whole thing just a fad? A joke? Or will it become a trend that spreads nationwide?
Hypothetically, if other “Something Compliments” accounts were created, who knows what sort of effects it could have? Could it possibly alleviate bullying? Or would bullies just create “Something Insults” to counter to positive effects?
It could change the way social media functions. Different from Formspring, this group would most likely be operated by someone within the community. That way, it would have a more personalized aspect; perhaps followers and supporters would be more likely to accept, and not immediately judge the effects of such a group.
Whoever you are, I hope you use your powers for good, and not for evil. Keep on doing what you’re doing. I won’t pester you anymore about the subject. Just know that most of the people in either community (whether it debate or school) greatly appreciate what you’re doing. It’s not like everyone has the time to copy and paste messages into status boxes! Even if it were the job of two operators.