Instatweet?

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Social networks in recent years have been revolutionary not only in connecting people over distances but also in the spread of world news. Instagram and Twitter are two of the top social networks. While Instagram only shares pictures and videos, Twitter shares short messages in less than 140 characters called “tweets” and pictures. Instagram is useful in the spread of world news because you can see pictures from important events. Some people are more likely to look at pictures than to read about certain things so it is a good way to spread news for visual people. A disadvantage of Instagram however is that there is no way to re-share something you see unless you screenshot it. That can be time consuming so a lot so people won’t do that. The video feature on Instagram would allow you to share a news clip or something similar so that would be a benefit to using Instagram. Another disadvantage of using Instagram in terms of world news is that there is no way of really checking the validity of what is being shared. There are many things on Instagram that get circulated that are untrue.

Contrarily to Instagram, on Twitter you can “retweet” something or share what someone else has shared immediately. This would help spread news more rapidly and effectively. For example, Ellen Degeneres tweeted a picture at the Oscars last weekend. That tweet had over 2 million retweets by the end of the Oscars. Also, Twitter is used by news stations and political figures. This is beneficial because you can get information right from the source. Instead of hearing that a political figure said something, they can express it themselves on Twitter. The fact that Twitter limits posts to 140 characters is good because the tweets are short and to the point. You can get main ideas about events across as opposed to reading a whole news report about an occurrence. On the other hand, Twitter has been used to get peoples’ own agendas across. Many prejudice, biased things have been written on twitter which could make one question the soundness of some of the tweets written.

Countries Uprisings and Medias Effect

In recent times, there has been a number of uprisings occurring around the world. Two of which  occur in Venezuela and in the Ukraine.  The trouble in Venezuela appears to stem from a continued struggle in the country.  Unfortunately although there is a handful of wealthy people in the country, the majority of the country is in poverty. A revolt has begun partially due to inflation which caused the government to control prices. many uprisings have resulted, including one of students in which the result was 3 people were killed from guns. Social media plays a huge role in this uprising because the late president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez restricted what people can say through regular media about these problems. Peter Wilson states, “Anti-government television stations such as RCTV and Globovision had their licenses revoked, or were forced to undergo changes in ownership.” Therefore, social media is the only way that people can get a uncensored version of the problems going on. Otherwise the only information people would get is whatever the government wants them to know or believe.

 

Another recent uprising is taking place in Ukraine. Riots have been breaking out in Ukraine because of the fate of the government. Nataliya Vasilyeva says, “The demonstrations were sparked by President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision last month to spike the EU deal in favor of closer ties with Russia.” With a new government that is about to be formed, protesters have taken to the streets, barricading the roads and protesting outside of political buildings. I believe one of the things that brought light to the situation was a tweet sent out by a medic who was shot in the neck during one of the struggles. The young woman tweeted that she was dying. This woman’s tweet brought a lot of attention to the issue in Ukraine.  There were many re-tweets and people sharing it on other social networks.  It made the situation real to those who would never witness the uprisings or even set foot inside of Ukraine. I think this fueled the anger of many, it shows that these issues are not just something to read in the news. These are real people being injured and real lives being lost.

Vasilyeva, N. (2013, Dec 29). Ukraine protests: About 20,000 people protest in kiev. The World Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/29/ukraine-protests_n_4516395.html

Wilson, P. (2014, Feb 19). Social media key for venezuelan protesters. USA Today . Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/02/19/venezuela-uprising-protests/5606899/ 

STEM Jobs

 

Growth in employment in STEM occupations, projected 2004-14 (percent change)

 

STEM subjects refer to the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. These subjects are ones that are growing in prevalence and are always unfolding and developing.   In recent years, the American education system has been trying to promote these subjects even further. I believe that these subjects are important because they produce our future scientists, doctors, engineers, computer technicians, engineers, mathematicians etc. These people that dedicate themselves to learning these subjects, set the framework for tomorrow’s society.

STEM jobs are expect to continue to grow in the upcoming years. According to the graph provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Computer Sciences is supposed to have the greatest increase in employment from 2004 projected through 2014. The National Math and Science Initiative states that those that earn a degree in one of the STEM majors can get better pay than people who earn degrees in non-STEM areas. This makes sense to me because there are more STEM jobs being created which explains the influx of people towards STEM education. In this economy, the people will gravitate towards where jobs are.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor’s Desk, STEM occupations and job growth on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2007/jun/wk4/art04.htm (visited February 20, 2014).

National Math and Science Initiative, Why STEM Education Matters, http://iei.nd.edu/assets/78206/why_stem_education_matters.pdf (visited February 20, 2014).

My Major, Computers and Whatnot..

My major really goes back to my passion. I love babies. I started being trained to work with babies since I was 7.  I started working in my church’s nursery caring for infants 6 weeks old to 3 years old. As I got older I took an interest in the health of babies and different diseases that affect them due to birth defects. This caused me to look into the field of Medicine, specifically Neonatology. I really wanted to treat and care for babies that were born premature or sick.  After shadowing a Neonatologist in the 11th grade, my desire to go into medicine was solidified. So I suppose you can say my major, which is Biology, is just one of many steps on the road to achieve my goal. Studying Biology should equip me with the skills I need to go to medical school and eventually become a Neonatologist.

Medicine and technology work very closely together. Computers are needed for research that is medically related. In order to properly diagnose and treat ailments, extensive research is often required. Computers are needed to learn more about the field and are a big help in studies. Also, computers are used to view images of the body and its functions. They help us to understand the body better. I think as time progresses and computers are developed further they will be even more important in the world of Biology/ Medicine.

 

Civic Duty

Unfortunately, nowadays, citizenship only goes as far as where you were born or a legal piece of paper.  This is the reason why many people in America want to keep others from joining our nation; they feel entitled. “We don’t want them to get our money” or “benefit from our resources”, that is the sentiment of quite a few Americans. However, many of the people who are trying to become citizens care much more about the country  than the “natural born” citizens. Being a citizen of a country should be much more than where you’re from.  

As a first generation citizen of this country, I see the devotion that my immigrant family has for this country that they came to seeking opportunities.  Because of this I feel like we do have a civic duty. We should feel a responsibility to our communities and the nation as a whole to make it the best that it can possibly be. One can not complain about shortcomings of a community that they do not contribute to. Whether it be helping a neighbor, serving on jury duty, or speaking up against something that is wrong, we ought to do something to benefit our surrounding area. Sadly, people have to be told this, but it should be something you do naturally. It’s not always about trying to get yourself ahead, most times progressing as a whole is much more satisfying.

Edward Snowden

Well if you ever find yourself in a compromising situation with the federal government, you can always flee to Russia. Why do I say this? Mostly because this is what Edward Snowden did. Want to know more? Great! I’ll tell you. Edward Snowden, former NSA contractor is most known for his national faux pas when he blabbed information about federal surveillance habits on US citizens and other nations.  He revealed that the NSA was spying on offline computers and not only that, but they were obtaining people’s text messages.  These means were used to determine locations, transactions, etc. of individuals. Needless to say, many people were less than thrilled to hear about this. Apparently violations of privacy is frowned upon. Although he claims that people were “misled about his situation”, most people have already made up their minds about it. Surprisingly Mr. Snowden made a sudden move to Russia. Hopefully he’ll have better luck with the government there.

I for one, have a slight problem with these surveillance procedures.  Although I do acknowledge that safety is a priority for this country, I do believe there is a difference between protecting ourselves and obsessive behavior caused by paranoia.  Extreme surveillance practices could potentially put my personal information in the wrong hands, unbeknownst to me.  I communicate with people that I don’t know very well personally because of professional situations such as school and work but, for me to be monitored based on my seeming connection to people seems absurd.  This type of monitoring could be seen as a nuisance more than safety measures. Although, what Mr. Snowden did was technically wrong because he leaked confidential information, I do believe the public deserved to know. If you’re going to violate our privacy, we should at least know about it.  Perhaps the fact that he revealed this could be a catalyst to finding a better way of having security for this nation.