Traveling Abroad

Everyone likes to travel. Whether it be out of your county to hike a trail or out of the country for business or on holiday vacation. I firmly believe that everyone should get to travel at some point in their life whenever possible.

For me personally, I have been fortunate enough to get to travel to lots of different places with my family such as Cozumel, Mexico, Austria, Paris, Rothenberg, and many other places. In traveling to these various locations, I have learned a lot of things along the way about other cultures, living conditions, personal experiences, and much more. Soon my family and I shall be heading to Australia and New Zealand and I am so excited! Some people get intimidated by the idea of traveling in general whether that be driving or flying. I know I have certainly taken for granted how many wonderful places I have gotten to visit throughout my life so far. To put my traveling experience into perspective, my father didn’t travel out of the country until he was 28 and that was only to Canada. I was lucky enough to travel to Cozumel, Mexico to visit our dear friend Chanti at the young of 8 in 2005. It is amazing to me that I got to travel out of the country at such a young age while my dad didn’t get to travel until he was an adult.

According to a study posted on Psychology Today by Art Markman Ph. D., a study taken looking at the prolonged psychological differences between German students who traveled abroad versus those who did not, shows that students who traveled abroad returned more open to new experiences, more agreeable, and more emotional stability than those who did not travel. Along with this knowledge, traveling abroad also gets you out of your comfort zone and allows you to see how different people live in different cultures from language, mannerisms, and food. I know for me particularly, it was very eye opening to travel in the more rural areas of Cozumel and see the contrast of poverty between them and poverty in the U.S. Some houses did not have doors, their bed was a hammock, their floor was dirt, and any number of people could be living in the confines of one room all together.

So whether you have never flown before, never left your county, or never traveled out of the country, it is never too late! Seeing the world outside of your bubble is an experience you will never forget from the architecture, culture, and photos you take. You change as a person. You see the world from a new perspective and use these experiences to influence your thinking and how you view the world and the places you’ve traveled.

So whether you have never left your county, or already left the country, travel as much as you can! I have never heard anyone say, “Wow, traveling is such a waste of time, and I had a horrible time and learned nothing.” It just doesn’t happen. You will not regret traveling, and I never have personally. So if you are given the opportunity to travel abroad whether that be for a mission trip, for work, or for fun, go for it! You will not live to regret it or the memories you created along the way.

Sources: Extended Travel Affects Personality: (


Weekly Progress Report

Spring Break is over and you know what that means? Back to work, sadly. We have just recently been starting on our new project that is a step further than our last project. We are using the same skills of researching, knowing our audience, but this time taking it further and adding social media to it and adding in focus groups.

My partner and I are very similar in that we are more introverted than extroverted and we wanted to come up with a project that would be something my partner and I would actively look for if it were us. Introverts like to listen more than they like to speak, but sometimes they really want to help, but not front and center. Being an introvert on a college campus can be tough when it comes to being in class, interacting with classmates or teachers and just in general.

As of right now, partner and I are putting together a survey to be taken by kids on MTSU’s campus to better help us understand our audience. We have come with a suitable amount of questions we believe will help us get to know our audience better and get to know them a little better.

This new project is a step up from our last project which is good and bad. It is good in a sense that we are building on skills we already have learned, however, it is bad in the sense that is our final project and shall take a lot of time to work on and finish which can be stressful as it comes close to the end of the year in terms of finals and such.

More to come as life goes on!




Week 3-6 Summary Post

It has been a while since my last posting to my website and for that, I am truly sorry. Ever since school started back, everything has been really crazy in the world, personally, and academically. Having said this, here is a summary or recap of what has been going in my Audience & Messages class since my latest post.

My partner and I decided to do our Audience & Persuasion posts regarding his topic of religion. We wanted to go for an audience in Murfreesboro since we both attend school here, and decided to go outwards from there. We decided through demographic research that we wanted our target audience to be 25-34-year-old Caucasian females, who are married with one or more kids, and that identifies as a Christian or more specifically, Evangelical Christian. Once we found the desired demographics regarding our audience, we then decided we wanted to create a persona so we could better visualize our audience.

We then created “Carol Higgins” as our persona’s name. We created psychographics about Carol based on our research and also to better see how to interact with our audience in the best way based on their psychographic information. For example, we said that Carol loves posting photos of her 3 children on Facebook to show her friends and family how they’re doing. She also loves chatting with her friends and keeping up their lives on Facebook as well. Therefore, instead of going with our other possible platforms of reaching our audience such as radio, or television, we decided based on our research, and Carol’s persona, we decided that Facebook would be our best option. We created a fake church page called New Directions Community Church located in Murfreesboro, created solely for our project, and posted things we believed this specific church would post about. We also created an event, a ladies bible study, that we believed would be advertised to Carol if she were scrolling through Facebook, and used persuasive language in posting about the event that would encourage Carol and other women like her to come.

We presented our project this past Tuesday, and I believe we did well. However, this next project we are doing for class is way more complicated in terms of research. I am looking forward to becoming better at researching an audience and marketing towards them, but big projects like this scare me in terms of the amount of work and also the amount of stress they carry. However, Spring Break is coming, and that for now, is the shining light at the end of the tunnel right now.


Week 2 Progress

This week in class we discussed other topics related to our audience and how to identify them whether as numbers or as individuals. We discussed the difference between demographics and psychographics as well. Demographics being the easiest way to group your targeted audience by knowing key pieces of information such as age, ethnicity, sex, income, size of family, religion, geographical location, social media usage, and other such examples. However, psychographics looks beyond numbers to try and uncover what the audience is thinking, feeling, their attitudes, lifestyles, and motivations are. Demographics are much easier to find as a company than psychographics because psychographics you need to understand each member of your audience as individuals instead of numbers and statistics like in demographics.

We also this week in class discussed how audiences can receive certain messages from the media. For example, War of the Worlds came on the radio and caused a mass panic because everyone who listened to the radio believed they were indeed being attacked by aliens, this is an example of the “Hypodermic Needle” effect. Media messages are received by the audience and accepted, because at the time, the radio was their main source of entertainment and information.

However, as we continue through this class of Media and Messages, maybe I will be able to come up with a clearer way to describe my major and try to understand what part of communications I believe best goes along with my personal skills as a content creator.

Media and Messages – Week 1

2017 has begun! I am still furthering my education in what exactly it takes to be a New Media Communications major at MTSU, and also trying to figure out what path within communications I would like to pursue a career in. I have had Todd O’Neill as a professor before and thoroughly enjoyed his teaching so I am excited to be in his class again this year. Media and Messages is a class both Todd and I believe everyone should take because the majority of what we are learning can pertain to any field of study since communication in any field is very important. This first week we have already discussed audiences and persuasion and how these two subjects are interconnected. Audiences are very important in any field because you need to be very aware of who you are speaking to as part of a company or even a small business,  and you need to know who you are trying to reach and what your audience needs from you as a company.

I have been told that my major, New Media Communications, may actually no longer be called that in the distant future, however, I cannot remember the other name MTSU plans on calling it. I have enjoyed what classes I have had at MTSU regarding New Media, but I am also unsure exactly how to describe what my major is in fact about truth be told. I am wondering what I,as a potential content creator, want to pursue as a career in the communications field. And that is where the uncertainty settles in because communications as a major provides an array of opportunities for employment because our environment is ever changing with new job possibilities, however, because technology is ever increasing along with people’s vast ability to be self-taught in certain skills, the job market could potentially shrink.

Fake News: The Rise in Wrong

Recently on social media and news outlets, people have been talking about fake news outlets, fake news stories circulating, and hoaxes on people about unreal events. As asked in class, how can we stop these fake news outlets from spitting out bad information to the general public? Furthermore, can this problem ever be completely solved, or will be left to deal with people being misinformed forever?

There are certain sites that put out satirical news for humor and enjoyment such as The Onion. The Onion was founded in 1988 and continued to post satirical news stories in print until 2013 when they stopped printing. They have since been posting from their website However, since they were founded on posting satirical news, their “news” stories are not counted in the circle of bad information.

According to Emily Willingham, a Forbes contributor, says that it’s not just “middle-agers or the elderly who didn’t grow up digital. Digital natives don’t do any better, according to a recent study.” Willingham goes on to ask if we should believe we are doomed since some of these fake news sites are being backed by foreign governments and are made to look so real. She says while it would just be easier to open up people’s head and pour vital, real knowledge, we must try to come up with a “usable framework” for when people see things on their Facebook feeds, or online that they can check through to justify if it is a real, reliable source of information.

You ask but how can I find out if a source I am looking at on my Facebook timeline is real or fake? My answer? Research it more. Look to see if other news anchors or newspapers you trust are spouting the same information. If not, you may be on to something. The Washington Post posted an article a few days ago giving it’s readers a few steps to determine real news from fake with some simple steps. Tip 1: “Determine whether the article is from a legitimate website:” Tip 2: “Check the contact us page.” Tip 3:”Examine the byline of the reporter and see whether it makes sense.” Tip 4: “Read the article closely.” Tip 5: “Scrutinize the sources.” Tip 6: ” Look at the ads.” Tip 7: “Use search engines to double check.”

With these helpful tips provided by the Washington Post, you can check out those stories on your Facebook timeline, your Twitter feed, and not be fooled by these fake news stories again because now you have tools to legitimize their authenticity.


(The Fact Checkers Guide for Detecting Fake News Source:

(A Scientific Approach to Disgusting Real from Fake News Source:


Can Bloggers Be Sued? Yes, they can.

You may have seen in the news recently that big businesses are getting sued, organizations, but what about content creators and bloggers? Can they get sued too? Yes, they can.

During the midst of election season, a 70-year-old blogger named Webster Tarpley  posted to this blog, “Where is Melania Trump? It is also widely known that Melania was not a working model but rather a high-end escort. ” Tarpley posted this 3 months ago. The Daily Mail posted similar allegations against Mrs. Trump closely following Tarpley’s blog post. Both the blog post and the publication by the Daily Mail caught Melania and her attorney’s attention. Mrs. Trump and her lawyer are wanting to sue Daily Mail and Mr. Tarpley for $150 million dollars for defamation. She and her attorney’s said, “These are some of the most inflammatory allegations possible. These are some of the most inflammatory allegations possible.” Tarpley’s attorney, John Owen, declared that his client is a political blogger who likes to discuss political matters with his audience and that he shared information that was rumored on other outlets of social media and his client felt there should be a public dialogue about the rumored past of the prospective First Lady of the United States.

Since this debate  is on-going, I do see how Mr. Tarpley wanted to question the path of the rumored past of the prospective First Lady, but I do believe that is the Daily Mail who is at fault for posting such an article without complete confidence in its accuracy.

In January 2016 in Pennslyvania,  The Standard Speaker posted that a local blogger named Mark Robbins was being sued $4,000 by former congressional hopeful Andy Ostrowski over allegations that Mr. Ostrowski was posting  “false things on his blog about plaintiff and circulating it, and other communications, widely by email and otherwise.” Ostrowski says that Robbin had  been “impugning my character, suggesting I’m involved in all kinds of illicit activities.” Robbin claimed he got his information about Ostrowski from the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and stood by all of his posts about Ostrowski. Robbin claimed Ostrowski’s motives for providing counsel to a women Robin believes  “Ostrowski has no valid reason to help.” Robbin also pointed out that Ostrowski who has a suspended law license has a history of drug abuse and  that abuse may be continuing. One of Robin’s most defamatory posts was taken down, but Robin doesn’t recall having it deleted in the first place. Ostrowski says he is never one to shy away from his past, but lies and falsehoods, he cannot handle. “Robbins alleged the lawsuit amounts to retaliation against him for filing a complaint with the disciplinary board last month regarding Ostrowski’s conduct with the woman.”

Since I am not sure how this court case ended, or if it is still in motion, I do believe that public figures do need to realize that people may try to dig up their past and question motives more than others may. If Robbin’s correct in Ostrowski’s motives for this suit, and it is a retaliation for Robbin’s complaint, than Ostrowski may need to think more critically about his actions before he puts himself in a more public light in the future.

Overall, bloggers do have their right to freedom of speech, but need to be careful to share only what information is their personal opinion, but to also make sure whatever they post they can back up with proof for their statements.

Local blogger sued for defamation by attorney (Source:

Trump Lawsuit (Source:




Live streaming: The New Thing

Live streaming has become a recently huge way to call audience through a multitude of different platforms from Facebook Live, Periscope, YouTube Live, and many others. But why do we love watching live streams, or broadcasting a live stream so much? Well for me personally, I love to watch live streams of my favourite Youtubers because it allows me to somehow connect with them and the other people watching the stream. As social creatures that humans are, we like to constantly know what others are up to, and we also love to constantly show others we are in turn, up to. But why else do we live stream? To show others what we are up to, or to try to make our life seem more entertaining. I believe that it is a combination of both depending on who you are. Famous YouTubers love to live stream with their audience because it allows fans to ask questions and for them to see a little sliver into their favourite Youtuber’s life even just for 30 minutes.

Besides Facebook Live, Youtube Live, and Periscope, there are other platforms that are also available for live streaming such as YouNow, Twitch, and Meerkat.

YouNow (Free) – YouNow is a popular platform by many teenagers as well as successful Youtubers across the world. I personally have participated in a few live streams on YouNow watching Youtubers such as Danisnotonfire, AmazingPhil, and others. YouNow is known for their quick fixes should a stream freeze or shut down. In my personal experience, out of the hundreds of live streams I have seen, only 1 or 2 had major connectivity issues, and they may have been a poor wifi connection and not YouNow itself. YouNow is also commonly used because it is able to keep up the webcasts with enormous amounts of people watching, and that is something to applaud.

Twitch (Up to 8.99 a month) – while not as Free as YouNow, Twitch is another live streaming platform used by a lot of Youtuber gamers such as TheGamingTerririsor, GassyMexican, and others like them. Twitch is a wonderful way to stream and also game at the same time with little to no interruptions to your stream, a way to donate to these gamers should you wish to do so, and a subscription fee to them as another way to help them out. Personally, I have not been very well acquainted with Twitch, but it is definitely a platform that will continue to grow and expand as time goes on.

Google Hangouts (free)- Google Hangout is similar to Twitch in that users can get a notification or email inviting them to the stream where one person hosts and multiple other people can communicate through chat and video to the host. Google Hangout can also intergrate Google Voice allowing users to make free “domestic” phone calls from their computers. Although not having used Google Hangout, I have heard fr