Beauty Screen

A lot has changed in the five years since Kevin Kelly wrote the article “Becoming Screen Literate.” What he said was true about screens popping up “in the most unexpected places,” like billboards.  Billboards have become electronic, in fact I’ve seen a couple on the NJ Turnpike, which I consider to be extremely dangerous.  Think about it.  You are in a moving car going AT LEAST 55 mph and all of a sudden you have a changing billboard.  Your mind is going to be distracted from driving to pay attention to the screen.  As we become a society driven more and more by little videos and clips, our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter.  In the last 5 years, we’ve obtained apps like Instagram and Vine which makes us even more screen addicted than ever before. With Vine being 6 second videos (I think) and Instagram just this year adding 15 second videos.  We have become more obsessed about capturing those little moments that might break out us into the industry.

Kelly talked about mashups in his article and how we “cut and paste words on a page.” (Just like I did there and here also) “You borrow the structure from one work to use as your own.” But if you don’t say where you got that information from isn’t that a form of plagiarism?  All these people who takes clips from shows and put them together, are they plagiarizing someone else’s work?  Or is it because that person put the information out there for all to see then it becomes everyone’s property?  I guess that’s more for authorship than beauty?  So let’s make it about beauty, shall we.

As a society, we are inundated with images of what the ideal should be.  Young girls and teenagers are growing up with an unrealistic view of what it is to be normal.  And when the girls around them don’t look like the norm, they get picked on for being different and we get picked on.  You have teenagers taking part in cyber bullying.  One way is when teenagers take pictures of their peers and “touch them up” with cruel and hateful thoughts and images and then they spread them around for all to see.  Becoming screen literate and having all of these apps that make it possible has made it easier to bully.  Young girls see all these images on the screen and feel as if they have to live up to that expectation when the person in the photograph doesn’t even look like that in real life.  When is enough, enough?


To Tweet or Not to Tweet

Half of the time I forget I have Twitter or Instagram, unless I get a burst of inspiration or insanity that I feel like sharing with the world.  So it comes to no surprise to me that I feel like a failure with the whole Twitter assignment and to be quite honest, I don’t believe that Twitter had that much of an impact on my reading the texts for the course.  Only because when I read something, I block everything out in order to concentrate on what I’m reading if I stop to “tweet” something then I lose my concentration.  I guess I could “cheat” and write little notes to make up a “live tweet” afterwards, but I feel that is cheating so I’m not down with it.  However, I do realize the importance if you have a thought after you read the article then you might get some feedback on it and it might lead you to discover something else that you might have missed.

Another reason they wouldn’t work out is because I don’t read my articles straight online.  This entire module was blocked off at my job because it wasn’t on blackboard and so I had to email myself the article links and print them out so that I would be able to get something done.  Even that didn’t work that well.

I found these two articles about tweeting.  I wish these articles were around when I first joined twitter because I believe they would have helped me out immensely and I hope they might be able to help you also.

Originally, I joined twitter so that I could follow celebrities and I actually have one comedian who follows me (I thought that was the coolest thing ever!), I also follow shows but after reading those two articles I think I’m going to do a little re-vamping of my twitter account in order to make it more professional but at the same time still maintain my personality on it.

Professionally, I follow a lot of the publishing houses because that is where I want to work someday.  Interesting enough on December 1st I re-tweeted an article from Publisher’s Weekly and several hours later I had the author of that article actually thank me for re-tweeting it.   The author, Tim Manley, actually wrote a book called, “Alice in tumblr-land and other fairy tales for a new generation.” I wrote him back and told him that after my semester I will be looking into his book because I found it interesting.


I looked at his profile and noticed that he follows about 400 people but has over 4,800 followers.  We actually follow a couple of the same people.  He thanks everyone who re-tweets or spreads the word about his book.  I started following him on Facebook and tumblr because I liked the fact that he took time out to thank everyone for their support.  It’s a loyalty thing that I have.

Anyway, final version about Twitter is that it’s useful if done correctly.  I noticed that Twitter mobile received a new update so that is going to take awhile to figure it out.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to put people into lists and just look at groups one at a time instead of everyone at once.  I can understand why celebrities rarely tweet back with the amount of followers they have.

Do you see the creepiness?

So who else is freaked out a little bit that we are being tracked like this? I walked into Target in Glassboro for the first time and I was given a guest id, and then there are people that are working to decide how to get me hooked! How to get me to come back and all of this is done through statistics and human behavior. So there are these people that are purposely working to get people to come back, not just by having good advertisement (which tends to work for me) but they are working to attract specific types of shoppers. I know they want every ones money, so does that mean no one is left out of this? Well I know I wasn’t, I was always getting mail for school supplies in high school, and then it made a change to dorm supplies and college gear. How did they know that I was in high school or getting ready for college? They have been keeping track it seems. It never failed I got the packets in the mail every year.


Now I do have to admit that the way that they figured out the perfect way to sell Febreze was amazing. They did all of these trials, and by the way I don’t remember the commercials being about riding the smell of smoke or cats. But what they says does make sense, the smell may have seemed to disappeared but it was more of the users just getting use to the smell. So the users realized this and changed their angle (smart move because I love to use the stuff) to reach different users. Now they are focusing less on the smell obsessed of people with the hundred cats or avid smokers but the moms and everyday people who aren’t worried about a specific smell. They could have used me for a test subject! I mostly use it after I clean, it’s like the cherry on the sundae, and I don’t stink nor smoke inside nor do I have a dog or any animal in my apartment. I do it to keep a clean smell, not to cover up a bad one.

They were able to interrelate being tracked, ways to advertise and habits. So all of this has to do with privacy, obviously there is none if they can do that entire but is it really all that bad? Are they doing a little too much? They were able to identify what women were pregnant in the store and target these women, with ads and that can be extremely uncomfortable (I would be pissed if I was that girl!) So are they doing too much by being too observant? Have they crossed the line of our privacy?

How Target Finds their Target Customers

When I first read the New York Times article by Charles Duhigg about the excessive research mega retailer Target completes on it’s customers, I was a bit surprised. Although I thought of the irony as Target’s logo is a bulls-eye as they certainly know how to nab their ideal consumers. I love Target and I can rarely go in there to just buy the item I initially went to purchase. They have that awesome dollar area in the entrance of the store filled with fun goodies like cheap holiday decorations, snacks, candy, teaching supplies, stocking stuffers, and pretty much everything that you don’t “need” but it’s just too cute and cheap to pass up. Before I know it, my basket is full of this stuff before i have even actually entered the store to make the purchase I went for. I have to say it is an awesome marketing strategy. Then before I know it I’m over in the clothing section because I love to purchase clothes from Target. They always have those simple pieces (with quality) like leather jackets, cardigans, sweaters, tanks, etc. at affordable prices. Now my basket is becoming even more full and I still have not even gone to purchase what I went in for. You get my point here? 

Now enough about my Target obsession, the fact is that Target knows exactly how to Target their ideal customers. The article mentions that Target buys public records which allow them to suggest products to customers in a certain demographic/ life change. The article speaks of pregnant women and how Target starts sending out promotions to them during their second trimester. As a pregnant women, you may not think “how does Target know I am pregnant?” Rather you think, “I’m on a budget, look at all these coupons and cute stuff for the baby!” The article states, “If you’re rushing through the store, looking for bottles, and you pass orange juice, you” grab a carton. Oh and there’s that new DVD I want. Soon you’ll be buying cereal and paper towels from us and keep coming back” (Duhigg 1). The point is, they want to get you in and keep you as a customer.

I know first hand Target buys information from companies because I have experience with it. My sister and I both moved away to college this year. Throughout the summer we received tons of coupons for dorm items and things we may need for school. Since there is two of us, my mom would ask her friends if they received the coupons as well so she could save more money. But, they wouldn’t get those same fliers in the mail rather it would be for something else. For example, my mother’s friends have young children so they may get coupons for promotions for back to school clothing or toy promotions at the holidays. 

The fact that Target buys information to learn about their customer base and keeps track of how we purchase and what we purchase is sort of creepy but in the long run a very smart marketing strategy. If you love Target like I do, it saves you money on the things you need to purchase. But, like I have mentioned they get you in the store and then you end up spending more money.

Teachers on Twitter

So I was completely new to Twitter when this assignment was thrown in my lap, and before now I still didn’t have a desire to be on Twitter. Even now I am still on the fence about the whole Twitter scene, and the idea of following someone and being followed. Yes I know the same thing happens on Instagram, but it took me a long time to finally get one of those too. I am sure it has a lot to do with the fact that I will feel like I have nothing to say, but with Instagram you are just putting up pictures mostly, that’s easier then words, for me.

So for the assignment I had to “live tweet” while I was reading or watching the assigned materials, and I will admit, sometimes I would forget and have read and then remember I have to tweet something. Then I would go through this over thought out process of me thinking of what I wanted to tweet about the article or video. So my worry of not having anything to say turned into a worry of not saying the right thing. So I would go through all types of questions in my head like, “What if someone wrote something really similar to this? What if it isn’t interesting enough? What if no one else picked up on this? What if I forget to hashtag the author? (I always did) What if what I pick to write is boring and no one will read it? What if I never get retweeted, does that mean I am really bad at this? Why am I stressing over what I write, then I remember I do the same thing with picking captions on Instagram.” Then I finally get to the point where I know I have to put something down anything, and sometimes I like what I tweet and sometimes I don’t.

So doing the tweets put a little extra pressure or stress on me but, it did help me think more about what I was reading and relate it back to myself a lot easier. It sort of made my mind go in different directions surround the topic I was reading about, making me ask questions. So on December 5th I tweeted, “will there ever be hyperlinks in online movies? #tfwf13” and I then imagined myself watching a movie on my computer and they characters are throwing all of these facts at me about history and conspiracy of the Catholic Church like in ”Angels and Demons.” If a hyperlink popped up on the screen I could research the topic a little easier, with the movie providing me with the information they used and their sources.

This also let me express how I was feeling as I was reading the article, documenting my automatic thoughts to the words or images before me. In some of the materials given I just couldn’t help but tweet the first thing that came to my mind like, “my love for SCOOBY DOO is apart of … identity! #tfwf13” (Dec 3rd), “I play grand theft auto so apparently I am capabable of running a gang, kill people, and steal cars in real life. . . #tfwf13” (Dec 3rd), So this guy needs a longer attention span if he can’t talk with his gf without opening up a hundred other tabs #tfwf13 #noah.” (Nov 26) I couldn’t help those tweets, it was my automatic reactions.

Ok so I had to follow someone in my professional field, and she is a K-8 tech teacher for 15 years and has written 9 books. I really liked her twitter name, @AskATechTeacher and her post were all about providing her followers with all different types of information about Web 2.0 and using technology in the classroom. Most of her tweets had urls to different websites that she would use in her classroom or just extra information for using the new technology. The things she would tweet about are like “How Has the Internet Changed Education ”, “#26: Create a Storybook…  #firstgrade #kidpix #kindergarten #PowerPoint #secondgrade #story-writing #storybook” and even “How to Integrate Web 2.0 Tools into the Classroom – ‘Web 2.0’ is a term familiar to all teachers. Stated… .“ All of her tweets were similar in style with just different topics. She is very straight forward with her tweets, getting straight to the point about her newest topic. She discussed things that could be done in different classrooms, and when she discussed kindergarten I really paid attention. Her followers and following have about a thousand difference. She is following a lot of other educators and technology based twitter accounts.

I enjoy her cool tweets about technology that can be used in the classroom, and I think anyone who is teaching or planning to teach should check out her Twitter!

Professional Twitterverse

I never thought that I would be graded based on using Twitter.  In fact, I was never a fan of Twitter until last year when I decided to cave in when my friends convinced me to get one and said I would become addicted. Almost a year later, I admit I have fallen in love with Twitter as it is a way to just blurt out what you are feeling at any given moment. It is also entertaining, humorous, and a cool way to connect with celebrities or people who you haven’t spoken to for awhile. For this class, we were to create a professional Twitter account or use one we already had. At first, I decided to use my personal Twitter for the assignment but I quickly changed my mind. My personal tweets about adventures in Atlantic City, boyfriend problems, song lyrics, frustrations in my life, among countless other things would get jumbled up in the tweets for the “live readings” and engaging in conversation with classmates. So I decided to enter the professional twitterverse and create another account that I could use to connect with professionals and classmates in the education and writing fields.

So first, we had to “live tweet” as we read through the complex pieces our professor assigned to us. As I did the readings, I read through the Twitter feed to see what my classmates were saying and connected it to what I was feeling about the piece. For example, as I was reading Selfe’s piece I thought of how I am trying to help my mom use modern technology to further help her students. She is a teacher and has found the internet is an easy way to get ideas for lesson plans, art ideas, coloring pages, worksheets, find professional development workshops etc. I also taught her how to use an iPad so she can play music in her classroom without using a CD player and use apps to track her lessons and student’s improvement. Here is my tweet:

We also used live tweeting in this class when we watched videos or used websites the professor gave to us. Here is a brief conversation I had with another classmate about whether video games were beneficial or harmful to children:

So I have to say, live tweeting allowed me to further understand the readings while communicating with other classmates as well as giving me new ideas and opinions of the readings I hadn’t thought of myself.

The second part of the assignment that we had to complete was to tweet at least 3 times per day and speak to the professional twitter community by re-tweeting or replying to them. I found myself switching back and forth between my two twitter accounts and constantly reminding myself that I needed to tweet for this class. I enjoyed reading the articles and thoughts of those in the professional community but with the end of the semester stress I found it hard to remember to tweet. Here is a conversation I had with a professional who talks about “classroom flipping”. A classroom flip is when the student will watch online lectures for homework and the homework will be completed in class. I had a flipped class this semester in math of all things, which I thought would be challenging but it was ultimately beneficial:

I also re-tweeted and mentioned other professionals but I didn’t expect many answers but rather thought of it as getting my thoughts out as a “young professional” in the twitter community. After this module is over, I will continue to occasionally monitor and follow others on my professional account. It is important to keep up with the changes in the education and technology world as a future educator. I enjoyed this assignment because it was a nice break from using my personal twitter and allowed me to learn things I normally wouldn’t using my personal account. Until next time #tfwf13

True Life: I’m not that addicted to Facebook

On November 27th I deleted my Facebook, a day earlier than assigned. I decided to stop using Facebook and deleting the app completely off my phone so I would not have any slip ups because I almost made a few. Since the next day was going to be Thanksgiving I decided to just delete it early because I knew the next day would be crazy and I would most likely forget to delete it. 

After saying my last goodbyes and logging off as well as deleting my app off my phone it was not as hard as I thought it would be. Although sometimes I would catch my finger going over in that section where my app use to be it was not to bad. After a few days of not using it I started realizing my finger did not go over there and I was not even tempted to log on to my sisters. Next time I believe I will challenge myself with Instagram because it seems like I am somewhat addicted to Instagram since I was off Facebook. 

In an article I read, Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?, they explain how Facebook is making people more detached from other people in society socially. Facebook is beginning to separate people from their friends, and making them lonelier because they are not properly socializing. I can see where they are coming from because me personally I can talk to a person that I don’t know better on a social network than randomly meeting a stranger in person and talking to them. Because of these social networks people do not communicate like they are suppose to. Guys do not approach girls face to face anymore instead they are in their inbox even if they have the same class together they would rather talk to them on Facebook than in person. I believe people are getting lonelier because they are forgetting how to interact with people outside of the world wide web, and if you do not have any “real life” friends then you will be a lonely individual. 

Since I am not addicted to social networking like that I am not in that category were I am lonely because I detach myself from people. However, are you yourself detached from people because of social networking?