Called for a Cause

I am sure that I have probably said this about a hundred times, but the blogging world is fairly new to me. It was not until one of my close friends began to blog, that blogging transformed into something real. In other words, for so long I knew there were bloggers out there simply because they were mentioned whenever I encountered the controversy of technology’s advances, but I didn’t realize how many people actually have welcomed this activity into their lives. With that being said, you could imagine my surprise when someone so close to me, someone who I consider as a sister, began blogging.

So….enough about me, let’s talk about her blog.

So as you can see, her blog is named “called for a cause,” which is centered around the mission of finding the purpose that God has given you on this earth and use it to change the world. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this blog is definitely surrounded around spirituality and aims to inspire others to embrace it and make it a dominant part of who they are. In fact, it is for this reason that I love this blog so much. (Warning, I may be a little biased when it comes to this, but I’ll try my best to be objective). Being a young Christian woman, who strives to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and live a life that is pleasing to God in such a corrupt world, can most certainly be challenging at times. Therefore, having this blog helps to keep me inspired when I may become discouraged and helps to keep me focused on living up to what God called me to be.

Now aside from the spiritual aspect, I love how she does not make the blog too religious that it suffocates or scares readers away. In reality, we know how controversial the topic of religion can be; consequently, people scurry at the instant they feel as though someone is throwing the Bible at them. I appreciate the balance. As a result, people who may not even hold spirituality and religion as an important element of their life, can still be inspired and encouraged to improve themselves and to go after their dreams. There is a comfortable conversational feel to it that attracts people around my age, because it addresses a lot of the questions or issues that we face during such a critical point in our lives. My friend shares her own experiences of being a college student. She discusses the difficulties of attaining a college degree, while working and taking on the responsibilities of adulthood (which seem to me like they are accumulating by the second). It’s very relatable! After all, you can never have too much inspiration right?

Of course an appealing blog will decide whether you will bother to investigate its content, so I love the fact that Keviah’s blog has a nice vibrant feel. I adore the color scheme and the images she uses with her posts because they bring what she is saying to life. All in all, I think it is a great blog, and I would recommend everyone to check it out at some point! You can visit this blog at http://www.calledforacause.comKeviah Watrice

 

By Victoria Robbins

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Called for a Cause

Sy(not)ymous

As the writer of the article, Adam Ragusea, began discussing Michigan Radio Program Director Tamar Charney’s perspective on the relationship between podcasts and radio shows, I myself, began to wonder what the differences between the two could be. Initially i didn’t put much thought into it and I figured the two were synonymous. After all, I had never been exposed to podcasts until recently, hence I was only familiar with radio shows. In my eyes they both involve people broadcasting conversations of the topics of their choice, but then I told myself to think deeper. Interestingly, I thought of many of the points that I would find Ragusea had discussed.

I am not here to say one is better than the other, but like anything, they both have their pros and cons. For instance, one of my first thoughts was that radio shows are so chopped up, that it is often hard for radio show hosts to discuss meaty conversations in such short time spans. As Ragusea mentioned, radio show hosts often have to recap to catch listeners up on what they may have missed which ultimately cuts down the time that they have in each interval. Namely, I used to listen to the Steve Harvey Morning Show on my drive to school every morning in high school, and they always discussed great topics in numerous parts of their show. However, I noticed that there were many moments where Steve Harvey or any of the other hosts would engage in intense conversations that were cut off by the time constraints. Often times, these were inspirational or informative conversations that aimed to help listeners all over, and many missed out because of these strict time barriers. So in this case, a podcast would be different because it would allow listeners to know what they are getting themselves into, and know what transpired from start to finish.

Leading me to my next point, which is the fact that radio shows and podcasts are similar in the way that all listeners, for the most part, know what they desire to hear. As for podscast viewers, they often see a title and know that they are about to tune into in a conversation. While on the flip side, radio listeners often listen for whatever is gonna be the topic of discussion that day or for music, but are interrupted by commercial breaks. It’s like the radio shows have to constantly multi-task and go back and forth to, as Ragusea said, “please many people all at once.” In fact, this leads me to believe that this is why the content of podcasts has a more natural conversational flow than radio shows do at times. Having the freedom to begin discussing conversations and allow new, sporadic ideas to lead into deeper conversations with more ideas and perspectives, is more prevalent in podcasts than radio shows. Let’s be real, radio shows stick to a specific script that cannot be deviated from which further convinces me that this is what hinders radio shows from having that same touch as podcasts do.

Thus far in this post, my opinion may seem biased or that I am bashing radio shows, but I assure you radio shows also have differences from podcasts that work in its favor. Of course as Ragusea said, “people with the same peculiar interest or taste,” listen to podcasts of their choice, if the content is not what they expect or does not hold their attention for long enough, their attention could easily be lost. In reality, most podcast that are made, are pretty lengthy. While on the other side, radio shows have the option of playing a good song or two just to regain the listener’s attention before they change the station. In other words, it gives you a little taste of everything–some good conversation, the jam of the week, and an announcement for the sale at Ikea that came at the perfect time. That being said, I did not agree with the fact that Ragusea omitted that part of how radio shows work.

Of course, I believe he was right in mentioning the fact that it is a hit or miss with radio shows, but he left out the fact that different radio shows also present specific areas of interest. For example, they have radio stations that listeners know will contain content specifically concentrated on sports, or pop culture, or hip-hop culture, or gospel, or everything under the sun. So in that case, viewers have some sense of what they “opt-in to.” Needless to say, they are not the same and is their differences that are the main reasons why we need them both.

 

By Victoria Robbins

Sy(not)ymous

Wiki Serves the Community

When I think of community service, I think of feeding the homeless, volunteering at community centers, cleaning up the community, and so much more. I automatically associate community service with someone actively doing things in the “field” to improve the community. I would have never thought that improving resources on the internet could be considered community service. That just goes to show how the traditional definition of community service is evolving, along with the multitude of other traditions.

As we all know, Wikipedia has a bad reputation because of its permission of editing or submission from the public. In fact, when I had to do projects as a younger student, I would use Wikipedia, until my teachers began telling me that it was prohibited to do so. From then on, my perception of Wikipedia has been tainted so much so that it has been difficult to remove the stigma all together.Surprisingly, this article allowed me to look at Wikipedia from a completely different lens. This does not mean that I do not have any concerns though.

The writer notes, “Closer to home, in Mexico, where a quality education is scarce and one of the few tools we have to grow as a country, it is imperative that knowledge reaches all of the population.” She then continues to tell how she translates information on Wikipedia so that it may be more accessible for those apart of the Spanish-Speaking community. I though this was pretty amazing because often times, information is translated in a watered down form, and she makes it her mission to have the translated material be as complex as it is in the language that it is being translated from. Not only is she helping the community by making this knowledge accessible in writing, but her position in editing for Wikipedia pushed her to provide pictures around the country to further educate the people of Mexico, and the people around the world on all kinds of information. I like what the student is doing because she is able to find the balance between working in the field and off the field, and educating people efficiently. That takes major dedication and a big heart for the community.

The only thing that worries me is that people will become to comfortable with just doing the “off the field” community service. Though this type of work is great simply because society has become more tech savvy, but I do not want people to forget the importance of the “in the field” community service. The harsh reality is that there are still many people who do not have access to advanced technology and the internet. That being said, people should still try to help improve the education system in countries such as Mexico, until everyone has the ability to have their desired knowledge at the tip of their fingers.

Other than that, I think Maria is on to something great. What I also found intriguing was that she was able to find improvement in her own writing and speaking skills, while helping others. Successful projects such as this one are vital to the total community building and servicing. What makes it even better is that is was “non-traditional” form of community service, and it had as great effects, if not better, as other traditional methods of service. I think she’s on to something great, rather evolutionary!

By Victoria Robbins

Wiki Serves the Community

Balance is the Key to Success

I know that many of us go by the saying, “Love is Love” which is great however, the idea of a romantic relationship between humans and technology is absolutely asinine to me! Some may say, “woah that’s a little far fetch” or “you’re being a little dramatic,” but I think not. Soon you’ll see where I am going with this. I have never seen the movie Her but the fact that this movie poses the idea of such an advanced AI becoming a man’s companion due to her excellent performance, brings me great worry. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to bash the movie or the article because there were some interesting observations made. Namely, the main character, Theo, was living in the “future” but the technology in his apartment was not as advanced as we traditionally imagined what future technology would be like–it was nothing like what the Jetsons had. The writer said, “We decided that the movie wasn’t about technology or if it was, that technology should be invisible… Technology hasn’t disappeared, in other words. It’s dissolved into everyday life.” Now when I read this, I thought, “Hmm this sounds good. Okay, a new perspective–I like, I like.” However, as I continued reading, there was a statement that caused me to feel a little obscure. The article notes, “Technology is more people centric…where a new generation of designers and consumers have accepted that technology isn’t an end itself–that its the real world we’re supposed to be connecting to.”  FLAG ON THE PLAY!

Before I proceed in expressing what I disagree with, I would like to note that the notion of technology not being the driving force of the demise of humanity is rather intriguing. In reality, I want nothing more than for humanity and technology to coexist happily and fluidly; however, I feel that the second portion of this quote suggests that the best option for our world is to have technology in it, and anything different is less valuable. I feel like it further demonstrates our strong dependency on technology, and that is the problem I feel we need to solve. I feel like we should have a “I could take it or leave it mentality”, simply because it shows that we do not depend on it for our happiness. Call me old school but I think it is better for society to have a rigid separation between interacting with technology, and human to human interaction or even just time to one’s self. I appreciated the analysis of the smart house versus the smart phone because there is a clear difference in the demand of attention for both. It is obvious that the smart house allows one continue doing their daily activities while engaging in technology use, hence its lesser demand for attention. The idea of this is awesome, because there are plenty of times where I wish I could respond to text messages while doing other tasks. On the other side, you have the smart phone, where you have to do one task at a time and requires way more attention. This can be a major inconvenience, but the thing that I like about this is that it gives me the option to separate from technology, or to engage. It gives me the option to choose.

The example of the smart house lighting different rooms as Theo moves through the house, is symbolic for how technology follows you everywhere like a shadow–depriving you of the opportunity to just be. Having that option is more healthy for society, in my opinion. It allows the value of human interaction to still be great, and allows it to remain authentic. For example, by using the earplug they suggested, one could have an in person conversation, but still receive information from the outside world all at the same time. That is rude to me, and it lessens the value of that in person interaction. I said all of that to say that the more we incorporate technology into our lives, and give it such a dominant position in our lives, the less human we become. Then this leads to humans falling in love with software. Then what happens to our future generations? It is not technology that births children, that nurtures, that understands the emotional changes that humans experience. It is people! There must be a separation, and there must be a balance.

By Victoria Robbins

Balance is the Key to Success

Born and Raised in the Digital Age

As technology continues to advance in efforts of making the lives of its users better, the army of the “stone age” combats these improvements because they believe technology is doing more harm than good.

By the way, I was kidding about the whole stone age thing. Back to what I was saying, Matt Richtel attempts to report this discussion by getting all perspectives of all parties, but it seems a little biased to me. The issue is that it seems as though the older generations want us limit our use of technology to the most extreme degree without truly observing the benefits that it has had on the upcoming generations. What I also find a little ironic is that the very people who birthed such technology are the same ones who want to refrain us from using it. Now don’t get me wrong, I do believe that our generation has taken it a little far. For example, Allison Miller sending 27,000 texts in a month and Ramon Ochoa-Lopez playing 6 hours of video games on weekdays and more on the weekends (Matt Richtel p.4). However, it was not our fault that the coolest new phones and other gadgets appeared in every cool music video and tv show that came out. It also is not our fault that they became so popular during puberty–otherwise known as the time period where everyone is trying to fit in and find themselves.

Image result for 2000s music video phones That is where the doom began from the social aspect. So of course if it is introduced at such an immature time frame, we will lose interest in the “barbaric” way of doing things, and will be unable to create priorities. On another note, the use of this technology has helped us master technological skills, which have helped us create some of the best power-point presentations, essays, and other projects. Technology has helped us bring more excitement to completing the tasks that “matter”. Vishal was a great example of how using technology helped him find his passion and want to apply himself to everything in general. He says, “If it weren’t for the Internet, I’d focus more on school and doing better academically, I also wouldn’t know what I want to do with my life (Matt Richtel p.7).” That being said, I feel that we need to have some balance. I can not say that going down one route over the other is better, but including both together with balance is best. Alan Eaton said, “…technology had led to balkanization of their focus and duration of stamina and schools make the problem worse when they adopt the technology (Matt Rechtel p.9).” I understand what he is saying because we all know that if you take a group of high school students to the computer lab to complete an assignment, a few of them will try to login to their social media accounts or do something off task. The temptation is really strong. I get it! At the same time though, the videos on youtube that help solidify teachers lessons in class, or the Khan Academy Videos that help explain math lessons better than their teacher, help the student in the long run. The fact is, this new generation is mostly made of visual learners. Though that does not excuse the fact that sometimes you do strictly need the good ol’ pen and paper learning method, there must be balance to keep the students engaged. Micheal Rich said it best, “The worry is we’re raising a generation of kids in front of screens whose brains are going to be wired differently.” My question is, what’s wrong with that? I think the mystery of the unknown is what freaking the older generations out. Let us create a balance to retain our sense of “humanity” while improving the world with new innovative technologies. 

By Victoria Robbins

Born and Raised in the Digital Age