The Power of Smart Mobs

Smart mobs, according to Dictionary.com, is a group of people who assemble, move, or act collectively by using cellular phones or other wireless devices to communicate. In my most recent readings of Chapter 9, we discuss the power of communication via technology from cell phones and computers and how it can be used to bring people together for a cause or purpose. On numerous accounts, text messages and mass sharing of communication have overthrown governments as well as changed the course of time for lots of places.

With these new kinds of technology such as tablets and more social networking sites as well as communications apps, getting organized is not as hard as it used to be. The political advantages of SMS messaging and social implications of this are tremendous; no longer does society have to rely on fliers or word of mouth to relay messages, but can now turn to email, Twitter, Tumblr, and other networks.

City after city, one person, who can be described as the lone wolf, has a cause that they want to stand for and try to organize people and rally them to their cause. They tell one other person, that one person tells more people and before you know it, you have a “swarm” of people. With all the technology we have today, nothing is impossible without a leader.

The Internet’s True Impact

Ever since personal computer prices dropped significantly in the past decade or so, more people are having continuous access to the internet from their personal computers as well as their phones. Even though we may think that interacting on social media or getting onto the Internet hasn’t drastically changed our lives, there are a few significant changes that have occured throughout our daily lives that make reality different from the world wide web.

The Internet is different from reality in such examples as anonymity, physical distance, no physical appearance unless shown otherwise, and times becomes “immaterial” while on surfing the Internet. Everyone knows that with the right username or photo, they can make themselves anonymous and interact with others with a certain mystery to them. Physical distance is another huge factor when it comes to the Internet because you have the ability to meet people from all over the world without ever having to leave the comfort of your own home. Physical appearance has not become too much of a burden or problem as much as it was before with the help of profile pictures on many social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook. However, this doesn’t stop people from copying random people’s pictures off the internet and claiming to be them such as an online predator might do.

For me personally, the Internet has allowed me to keep in touch with people I don’t get to see often, or that live farther away. It also allows me to showcase what is going on in my life to others who may not get to see me on a day to day basis. I also see the Internet as a place I go with questions that I am too afraid to ask personally to someone else face to face, or to keep up on current events as well as become a creative outlet for me. The Internet has altered how we go about our daily lives from asking out GPS on our smart phones how to get home from work, to buying a Groupon for that massage you have been eyeing for a while; the Internet as forever changed how we interact with one another. Is this change for the better, or for the worse? You decide what you believe.

Trump Rally Causes Fight

According to Mashable.com author, Jonathan Ellis, reported that at Donald Trump’s rally on Saturday in Arizona, seemed relatively calm. However, his next event in Tucson was a whole other issue.

A video was released by NBC News’s Frank Thorp V, a man appearing to punch and kick a protestor while security people were leading him away. Another video below the first was videoed by a protestor to show “how crazy it would be.” Apparently, “The protester is holding a poster with an image of Trump when the man rips it out of his hands, then punches him.”

The man who threw the punches was led away by security personnel. The protestor was interviewed later by newspaper Arizona Star Daily. He identified himself as Bryan Sanders and claimed that “Trump is bad for America.” “‘The guy grabbed the sign out of my hand as I was being escorted out of the building, and sucker-punched me,'” Sanders said.

 This scene reminds me of the Trump rally from last week where a white man sucker-punched a black protestor while being escorted up an aisle. On Saturday in Tucson however, the protestor appears to be white but the man punching and kicking him appears to be black. At the same rally, Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was captured on video grabbing the protestor’s collar who had caught the attention of a Trump campaign security guard. The video of this alleged incident was captured by Jacqueline Alemany of CBS News. A statement later went out stating that the protestor had done the collar grabbing instead of Mr. Lewandowski but the video footage does not lie.
Several people are questioning, why was Trump’s campaign manager even in the stands anyways, and why did he feel the need to go to this protestor specifically?
We shall never know. But the moral of the article is, people are always watching, and don’t believe for one second that people aren’t going to record what they want. So no matter how you try to spin the lie, the video proof will always be much stronger than anyone’s spoken word because video shows physical, hard proof.
Mashable.com: http://mashable.com/2016/03/19/trump-tucson-rally/?utm_cid=hp-hh-sec#NoqeOUOli8qQ

Web: A Communication System

In my recent reading, John December traces the origins of the Web and describes the different functions of the Web. December refers to the web as a “communication system.” But what exactly does he mean by that? He uses the example that many people forget that the Web is just an application that “uses the Internet for data communication.” Ultimately, the Web has become the way to organize information, communicate with others, and interact with others using it on a global scale.

The Web is the way by which we can do a variety of other things. Like December says, it is merely an application by which we can accomplish other things, but many people forget that. The Web supposedly started by wanting people to be able to share text and files across all platforms from many different computers. And also to create hypertext: users being able to follow links through a path to find their information needed.

Even before the web became widely available to the public, people have always wanted to find more ways to communicate with one another and to be able to find the information quickly to answer their questions. The only thing different from now and back then is that we can now share information with more people than by just word of mouth from our One- to – One pattern to a new One- to – Many pattern all through help of the web. But why refer to the Web as a “communication system” instead of a “textual database” or other terms? I believe it is because not only can we find the facts about what we want, but we are also opening ourselves up to others people reviews and personal opinions along the way. We refer to the Web as a communication system because that is precisely what it is; a communication system. The only difference is that we are communicating way more information that just scientific files or low quality pixelated images, we are sharing our lives though text, pictures, and videos; all which are manners of communication between us as humans.

 

Memoir of a College Kid

All throughout high school I always used to hear the same quote, “Everything will be so much better in college.” I’m not denying that fact by any means, but as a current college student, I’d like to give you some of my insight of my college experience so far with one semester behind me.

My first semester of college was not the least bit easy as some people might have thought. Moving from my small town, driving 4 1/2 hours away to my college, and starting to make new friends was not a walk in the park by any means. Not only was I trying to assimilate myself to living in a freshman dorm with community showering, laundry, and kitchen area, but also trying to meet new friends as well. Now I have always been able to adapt to my surroundings pretty easily, but when you go from your own personal bathroom to sharing a bathroom with 25+ girls on your floor, it can be frustrating to say the least. Now I got assigned my own private room which I am eternally grateful for. This means I personalized my room as much as possible and can keep it at whatever temperature I want. This also allowed me to stack my beds so I could have more floor space to move around in.

Moving on from my dorm: classes. The first days of classes were pretty standard. Going over the syllabus, meeting all your fellow students, and of course, meeting your professors. Most of my professors first semester were alright, but there were some definite favourites in my mind. After getting lost at least 5 times on my way to class, I would finally find my right room. I was always told that the older students would be astronomically helpful when it came to finding your way around campus. This, however, was not the case. Most of the older students I asked for help, either had no idea where I was going, or couldn’t be bothered by a lowly freshman’s questions. Thank goodness there were information and guidance tents all around campus for the first week. To whoever kept answering my stupid questions, you are amazing.

I have always had a very strange sleep schedule even back as far as middle school. I always seem to be tired no matter how much I sleep I got or didn’t get, and no matter the amount of caffeine in my system. I do admit, I am the heaviest sleeper according to many friends and family. For this, I am truly sorry. But as we all know, college students statistically need more sleep than anyone else at this point in their lives due to the constant studying we are doing as well as homework, and other activities. There can be even more stress on us if we are an undecided major, minor, or just general anxiety about classes, relationships, and friendships. With all the factors of college we are dealing with, it takes a lot of energy out of us on a daily basis. Especially if we have more classes, work, or other activities on some days more than others.

Here are some tips for ways to better communicate with your college student:

  1. Please stop asking what we want to do with our futures: I know this is the question you are all DYING to know, but it gives us major anxiety up the wall even if we know what we want to do. The average person changes majors at least 3 to 4 times,  this means our answers could vary from time to time depending on when you see us. Also, that is the number 1 question we hear all the time. So mix things up a bit please, would you?
  2. LET US SLEEP: I know you may think we are dead when you don’t hear from us for hours on end, but at least for me, I need as much as sleep as I can possibly get no matter what the situation. My friend brought up a good point when she said, “Why can’t my parents just let me sleep? I’m not doing any bad things, they know exactly where I am, and I am not widely spending their money. I don’t see a problem here.” Sorry Mom and Dad, but I cannot help but to agree. So the next time I sleep for forever, just let me.
  3. Listen to us: I know it sometimes seems like we’re in another realm of reality over here in college, but every now and then, shoot us a text, email us, or send us food for example. We like to know that we are loved, missed, and appreciated even if we get on your nerves a lot. Being under constant stress about our grades, or even comparing ourselves to other’s grades, we still need to know we still matter to you. So even if you just tell your kid, “I’m proud of you,” that can mean a world of difference to us.
  4. We still love you, even if we don’t talk to you as often as you would like: With all that we have going on, we may not be the most reliable of responders, but we will get back to you when we have time. And who can blame us? For some students they may have a multitude of activities on a daily basis such as school, homework, work, sorority/fraternity events, sports, or even clubs. (Refer back to point 3, last sentence)

All in all, with one semester of school behind me, I am getting more adjusted to college life, but still figuring out my place here and still trying to hang on to friendships where we are apart distance wise, and or going to different universities. College may be the “best years of our lives,” but right now, it’s just stressful and a little hectic, but we will pull through. But only with support from friends, family, and relatives.

 

Internet: Where Did It Begin?

Ever since the Internet became widely available to the general public, many people have been asking the same question: where did the Internet come from? Or rather, what prompted the Internet’s invention?

While some people suspect constant communication was the keep to prompting the internet, or rather constantly wanting to be able to reach others. Other people have suggested such things as wanting to shop online possibly. But my reasoning for why the internet got started is a bit more primal than online shopping or constant communication with friends or relatives. My theory? The porn industry.

Although some of may not want to think something as brilliant as the internet originated from such an idea as this, we have to look at the facts. According to Frederick Lane in Obscene Profits: The Entrepreneurs of Pornography in Cyber Age, “The industry has convincingly demonstrated that consumers are willing to shop online and are willing to use credit cards to make purchases. In the process, the porn industry has served as a model for a variety of online sales mechanisms, including monthly site fees, the provision of extensive free material as a lure to site visitors, and the concept of up selling (selling related services to people once they have joined a site). In myriad ways, large and small, the porn industry has blazed a commercial path that other industries are hastening to follow.”

As Frederick Lane says, even if we don’t like what the porn industry is up to now, it has been a huge way to advance our technology. From the “mature” films dating all the way back from the 1800s to being able to pay for it through credit cards. Bandwidth might also be porn’s greatest contribution to the internet because it allowed more material to move from images to video around the world at faster rates.

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-porn-drives-innovation-in-tech-2013-7