Favorites

I admire the prose in James’ first piece we wrote for this class. When trying to think of a favorite work related to prose, this immediately came to mind. This is the section that stuck out to me –

“The Internet being at each and every person’s fingertips is, in a sense, taking our humanity from us. One could say, our mind is going. So in response to my originally posed question, the Internet is allowing our brains to become a screen; not capable of producing results or interaction, just capable of mirroring the search engine results found on the Internet.”

This made me really stop and think about technology and how it affects us. The diction and syntax he uses are powerful and persuasive. I think he did a great of capturing the reader’s attention and forcing them to think a little deeper.

I admire how Ashley moved beyond the page in her remediation video. The entire video was captivating and interesting. Her talent really shone through and her message was easy to understand. Also, viewers were able to hear her passion for art through her voice. That is not something that could be done over text.

Remediation: Concept in 60

When people ask me what my favorite part of being a UD student is, a few things come to mind. One of those things is UDance. UDance is a year-long effort that culminates in a 12 hour dance marathon. Every year for the past ten years, University of Delaware students have been raising funds and awareness to fight childhood cancer. I have been participating for the past three years on behalf of the UD Equestrian Team. It’s hard to explain just how life-changing of an event UDance is. From raising funds, to meeting my team’s hero, Olivia, to hearing the inspirational stories of children and families affected by childhood cancer, to finally getting to dance in The Bob Carpenter Center, UDance has left its mark on me. Not many people can say that they have the opportunity to join their community to directly save the life of a child through a dance marathon! Being able to participate in an event like that has changed the way I view the world and handle the hardships I go through. Because of all of this, the experiences that come along with UDance are difficult to put into words. That’s why I made this video to show people exactly how important and inspiring UDance is. While I believe these are things you can only truly understand when you participate to the full extent in the event, my hope is that through this video, you will visually see and be able to grasp why I am so passionate about UDance, and maybe be inspired to participate yourself! #ForTheKids 

The Fit Equestrian

Lauren Mahr is currently a University of Delaware sophomore student, NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) certified personal trainer, a member of the University of Delaware Equestrian Team, and the founder of The Fit Equestrian. The Fit Equestrian consists of workout programs and meal suggestions for horseback riders and workout lovers alike. The fitness programs range from beginner to advanced, and are available online for purchase. Lauren runs The Fit Equestrian Instagram account, website, and newsletter. The Instagram account consists of workout examples and videos, recipes, and general health tips. She currently has over 3,000 followers on Instagram, so, as one of them, I wanted to hear from her to see how she manages to connect with them and keep them coming back for more.

What inspired you to the start The Fit Equestrian?

I was inspired to start The Fit Equestrian because it combines both of my passions, riding and exercise. I knew that fitness was something that was definitely missing in the equestrian world and I want to fix that! We always talk about how riding is just as much of a sport as any other, but we don’t really treat ourselves like athletes.

What factors went into creating your online presence?

I knew that social media would be the best way to try to grow my business. For my target audience, I knew that Instagram would be most effective because I think it is more popular than Facebook or Twitter right now. Growing my following on Instagram will help draw people to my website through the link in my bio.

Do you prefer communicating with your followers/clients more through Instagram or your newsletter?

I just started my newsletter, so I haven’t had much experience with that, but I do like communicating with my followers and clients through Instagram. I anticipate that my newsletter won’t be as interactive as Instagram is. So far I have only sent one email to the people subscribed to my newsletter, thanking them for subscribing, and have not had any responses, but I did not expect to receive any responses.

How is it different when writing your workout programs from writing the general content for your website and Instagram?

When I write my workout programs it is pretty similar to the workout posts that I do on my Instagram but pretty different than most of my other posts on my Instagram. I definitely put more effort and thought into my website and workout programs than I do with my Instagram.

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To check out Lauren’s website click here. To check out her Instagram page click here.

Writing as a Social Action

I thought a lot about this assignment, but for a while I was not sure where to start. I personally never comment on public posts because I don’t like getting involved in internet conversations with people I do not know or about any hot-button issues. However, for this assignment I knew that I wanted to comment on an exchange that was relevant on social media in order to try something new, but I just didn’t know what exactly to comment on. I planned on using either Twitter or Facebook, so I decided to do some more searching to see what was trending on those sites.

None of the trending topics were anything that I wanted to publicly comment on or get involved in; therefore, I decided to comment on a post a friend wrote on Facebook. She shared a link to an article from Total Frat Move (red flag right there) called “50 Ways To Be The Perfect College Girlfriend”. She wrote about how disgusting and shameful the article is and how it makes our generation look bad. She was right. The article was completely misogynistic and upsetting to read. I hope it’s a joke, but even if it is it is not funny, at all. A lot of people were commenting on her post in agreement with her. I decided to join in on the conversation (posted below) because it was something I had an opinion about and felt comfortable discussing.

I left a comment in agreement with her about how shameful the article is, and she liked the comment. Lots of other people left similar comments as well, and a majority of them are friends we have in common from our sorority. An advisor of our sorority, that we both work closely with, commented on the post about how proud and lucky we made her feel that we did not agree with what that article stated and would not adhere to that author’s standards of being “the perfect college girlfriend”. Everyone that commented on the post left some variation of the same opinion, so there were not any contrasting thoughts that made it more complex, but it was refreshing to read that no one was taking this horrible article as something factual.

However, the most interesting response to the article was another article. Another friend left a comment on the post to a link of a different article called “50 Ways To Be The Perfect College Boyfriend”. That article was written as a satirical response to the original article. I think that was an interesting form of writing as a social action. While my comment was just on one person’s personal Facebook post, “50 Ways To Be The Perfect College Boyfriend” has been shared 8.4k times and shows just how unacceptable the original article is. Whether or not those 8.4k shares were all shared in agreement with each other will be unknown, but it is evident that people feel a duty to discuss the issues these “50 Ways” articles bring to light. 

**I deleted people’s pictures and names from the pictures below to respect their privacy.

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Behind the Screen Bullies

Ronson and boyd dissect the same subject, but they take different approaches of doing so. They both focus on how technology affects and enhances the publicity of negatively treating others. Ronson discusses shaming and boyd discusses bullying. Bullying is a stepping stone on the way to shaming. As we discussed in class, bullying tends to be a more “private” form of harassment usually done by one specific person. Shaming is harassment done in a very public forum, and can be done by anyone with access to the situation – whether they know the person being shamed or not.

Ronson and boyd both explain how technology plays a major role in shaming and bullying. Shaming and bullying have been around for ages, as Ronson proves with a brief history anecdote, but are now becoming more public in a different light due to technology. The internet and social media have created numerous ways for shamers and bullies to harass people, and for others to join in on the bashing. Ronson highlights online shaming done to adults, but boyd proves online bullying happens with teens as well.
It is interesting to think about how technology has affected this issue – from the publicity of it to the amount of people participating in it. When I think about stories such as Justine Sacco’s, I wonder why so many people felt it was their job to publicly shame and harass her. Of course she tweeted an insensitive comment, but the lengths that people behind their screens went to to punish her is concerning. We all make mistakes, even though they may not be that public or extreme, so when did we decide to publicly humiliate and shame one another for those mistakes to this degree? Online shaming and bullying has gone from more than just attacking the person for their mistake. It turns into attacking their character and values, and destroying their life piece by piece. Most of the people Ronson highlighted lost their jobs due to the amount of public shaming they received. While I do not condone the mistakes of the people boyd and Ronson highlight, I also do not think that the level of bullying and shaming (or any of it for that matter) people have taken up are okay either. It is a complex issue with lots of layers; but, I think that Ronson and boyd have both written interesting and entertaining books that peel away at those layers in order to help us understand the connections between bullying and shaming and technology.

To Use Video, or Not to Use Video?

When working with video, there were a couple things I realized I could do with it that I couldn’t do with written text. The first thing, and the most obvious, is that you can speak and use sound. This helps the viewers understand the tone, mood, and message more clearly than if they were reading the same dialogue as written text. For example, humor can be hard to pick up on when you’re reading, but it something very obvious when used in video (whether from an actor or voiceover). James and Alex both used humor in their videos, and it was easy to pick up on and enjoy. However, if I was reading what they were saying, I’m not sure if I would have had the same reaction. Another thing you can do with video is include pictures/images to support your point. While you can have pictures in text, the effect in a video is different. Showing pictures with a voiceover attached or having them pop up in the corner while an actor is speaking creates a different reaction than putting a picture next to the text in a written work. Visually seeing an image and hearing dialogue helps portray the feelings and emotions the creator of the video wants you to feel or understand. In Jessica’s video, pictures, along with video clips, are used to help viewers understand the power and relevance behind the concept she is speaking about. This covers an area that cannot be achieved in a written work.

While there are a lot of aspects of working with video that can support your point, there are also some that make it more difficult. Personally, I had a hard time conveying my message in video format, especially with a time constraint. I find it a lot easier to write about my thoughts rather than speak about them. I feel that there is a lot more power behind my written words than there is behind my spoken ones. It is also easier to edit when you write something. Every time I messed something up while creating my voiceover, I had to go back and start all over again. Additionally, editing the video drove me crazy. If being a digital native means I’m supposed to be good at this sort of stuff, I am definitely not a digital native. Editing took me a long time to complete, and when I finished I was still not satisfied with it. Video editing is a tough skill to perfect. Since I don’t have that skill, I feel like it took away from my concept because the video was not as great as it could have been.

Concept in 60

Here is a link to my Concept in 60 video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAAF671rcfc about why I, and everyone else that participates in UDance, dance!

My roommate told me I’m a “boring” narrator (unfortunately, she’s right) so here is what I’m saying in the video if you rather take over the narrator role yourself.  🙂

It’s time for the  best day of the school year.

It’s time to get to the Bob.

It’s time to dance.

For the next 12 hours we dance through our sore muscles and aching feet. We cut our hair, and we jump around and dance like fools. But it’s all for the kids.

Every school day 46 children are diagnosed with cancer. That’s 46 too many. It’s why I participate in UDance, the 12 hour dance marathon held at UD, so that one day soon, no child will have to hear those words.

I dance for 12 hours straight to raise awareness and funds for children and their families that are battling childhood cancer. I dance to support the Andrew McDonough B Positive Foundation. I dance for the kids. I dance for the 1.89 million dollars  we Univeristy of Delaware students raised to find a cure. I dance today to give the kids a tomorrow.
For a smile, for a life, for a cure. Why do you UDance?