My Final and Frustrating Prezi

So for this module we had to create a prezi. It took me forever to figure out how to do create it. I couldn’t find enough tutorials and almost just made a powerpoint and imported it to prezi (which you can do). But I pushed through and was feeling good about figuring it out. Then I went to add sound. Nothing worked. I went through the sound tutorials for a Mac computer. Nothing. It was not letting me put in ANYTHING. I don’t want to say I gave up, but I did. The prezi is late already and the latest it is due by is tonight at 11pm…when I will be at work or just coming home. I leave in an hour. I am going to keep trying to put in sound (even though by the time I get it it will be too late), but for now I typed up my script and handed it in. Hopefully that will do for now…I hope.

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Luck of the Draw

Twitter does, in fact, make it very easy to contact people. However, some users are so popular that they can’t respond to every tweet. This is especially relevant if you follow celebrities and performers, but high-profile authors and politicians share the same demands. As a hopeful actress, I follow a lot of Twitter users in the entertainment industry, and find that it isn’t as easy to reach them as others.

In the past, I have mentioned a great hero of mine, Amanda Palmer, in a couple of tweets, and tweeted her directly a couple of times. I never received a response. And at first, I was hurt. I saw her retweeting and responding to people almost constantly and I couldn’t help but feel bitter that I wasn’t one of the chosen few. But then I realized the sheer amount of people following her (992,000, yikes) and made peace with the fact that she could only respond to (and probably only ever saw) a small fraction of tweets directed to her.

I recently tweeted renowned improv comedian, Colin Mochrie, asking how he broke into the improv field. I didn’t really expect an answer, but like I said in a previous post, there’s no harm in trying. They can’t reply if you don’t even try to contact them. Alas, Mr. Mochrie did not respond either. Though he has significantly less followers than Amanda Palmer, 186,000 is still a lot to handle and I’m sure he is asked the same questions ad nauseum.

I suppose my point is there’s no need to be discouraged. It’s hard to be noticed when your one voiced against hundreds of thousands, but someday you may be heard.

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Technological Romance

A while back, Katy tweeted an article about technology’s effect on romance. It involved a survey in which 72% of America’s couples reported that technology had no effect (positive or negative) on their relationship. However, the article then goes on to give some statistics to counter that. According to the same survey:

  • “25 percent of married or partnered adults who text have texted their partner when they were both home together.”
  • “21 percent of cell owners or internet users in a committed relationship have felt closer to their spouse or partner because of exchanges they had online or via text message.”
  • “9 percent have resolved an argument with their partner online or by text message that they were having difficulty resolving in person.”
  • “25 percent of cell phone owners in a marriage or partnership have felt their spouse or partner was distracted by their cell phone when they were together.”
  • “8 percent of internet users in a committed relationship have had an argument with their spouse or partner about the amount of time one of them was spending online.”

Now, there’s a healthy mix of positive and negative effects listed, but there does seem to be more good then bad. I have to say, it was pretty refreshing to find an article that put technology’s effect on relationships in a primarily positive light. It just really pleases me to know that technology can be such a useful tool in relationships, as well as friendships.

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On Toxic Relationships

Co-blogger Jade tweeted a Dear Abby-like interaction on ‘The Friendship Blog’, wherein a woman is concerned her friend is using her. As I read the woman’s letter, I felt for her. She is clearly right and her friend is taking complete advantage of her. I was sure that the writer she was addressing would give her sound advice on the matter. I was astonished to see that the writer’s response, within the first few sentences, said that it was just as much her fault as it was her friend’s. And so I want to take this as an opportunity to talk about victim-blaming and toxic friendships.

Sometimes friendships are just bad. One person is taking advantage of the other, or abusing them in some way. And the victim often feels they deserve (as victims of abuse often do) or that they have to put up with it as ‘that’s what friends do’. But it’s important to know that it is entirely okay to distance yourself from someone who is having a toxic effect on your life! If someone makes you feel bad or uses you or manipulates you, you are under no obligation to stay friends with them!

And for those of you on the outside looking in on these relationships, you may sometimes think ‘why does she put up with that’ or ‘well it’s her fault’. That is victim-blaming. As stated, people in abusive relationships often do not realize they are. Or if they do, they don’t know how to escape it or think that they aren’t allowed to. 

Just some food for thought, really. I just thought I’d speak out on another personal subject.

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Co-blogger Adriana stumbled upon a lovely article about the ‘gifts’ that a true friend offers. The author, Alex Blackwell, lists these gifts as such:

  • Comforting You in Times of Need

Truly, a staple of friendship. There’s really nothing better than the support of a close friend when times are tough. I think Blackwell is right to make this his first point. 

  • Celebrating Your Triumphs

Victory just tastes so much sweeter when you have someone cheering you on for it. It’s not a very good friend who ignores your achievements or, worse yet, reacts bitterly to them. True friends are supportive and will be just as excited as you are over your successes.

  • Laughing with You

In that same vein, humor is an important aspect of friendship. Similar senses of humor make for pretty strong foundations in relationships of any kind. Laughter is such a positive experience and sharing it with someone builds a connection up very quickly. It’s hard to maintain a connection if you can’t laugh at the same things.

  • Forgiving and Loving You

I don’t think this point needs much explanation. Forgiveness and understanding are extremely important in friendships. And Love is the root of both. Platonic love is such an important part of the human experience, and without no friendship will last long. It is essential to the equation.

  • Telling You the Truth

I value honesty very much, personally. I happen to think that communication is one of the single most important aspects in any kind of relationship. A true friend will be honest with you. They will tell you the truth, even if it is painful. It is important to note that there is a very important line between being honest and being critical! Someone criticizing you might try to hide behind the excuse of being honest, but it is not at all the same. 

I think Blackwell’s list is a fine one. These are the core tenets of a true friendship. I enjoyed reading his list and thinking critically about each point, because it made me think over my own relationships. It made me smile to find each of his points in different friendships of mine, and I will bear them in mind when forging new ones.

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Twitter Keeps You Connected

When I began tweeting it was because I wanted a way to stay connected with the social media that many of my friends were using. Yet, when I began using twitter for class, it meant much more. You could make connections with people in the field I potentially see myself working in. Using twitter I was able to follow people who are in the field I wish to be employed in after I graduate. Once I began to follow I began to receive many followers who were authors, copywriters, and editors. At first I thought it was a scam, that they were just fans who began the twitter pages for these individuals. Then, I began to receive messages through twitter.

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These were just two of the few messages I had received form many authors. These people were just aspiring authors were just trying to get their book and name out there. Twitter allowed for these people to get themselves out to the public. Messaging me on twitter was a hope that I would read their works and tell my friends and by word of mouth and tweets it would help them. After realizing how twitter was more then a social network for friend connections and ranting about your daily routine it amazed me. If they could get their work out there using twitter, what other social networks can do this?

Twitter has opened my eyes to many employment opportunities and I intend to use it in the future. Maybe with the advancement in technology this will be the way people woll aplly for jobs or this will be used as the new Linkedin. Nobody is sure, yet what is sure, is that twitter is a way to stay connected in a professional manor and get your name out there.

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Jenn Rants About People Mistrusting Technology’s Affect on Social Interaction

I appreciate that the NYTimes is trying to keep an open mind about whether technology helps or hinders in maintaining lasting friendships, but I can’t help but think their tone betrays their actual opinion. Their article about technology’s effect on friendships is titled ‘Antisocial Networking?’, which, in my opinion, leans toward a negative opinion. 

Even so, they do cite opinions from both sides of the fence. They have quotes calling technology a way for kids to connect closer and more often than ever before, and ones saying that today’s children are becoming detached and having difficulty reading facial cues.

I’m of the opinion that people need to stop their war on Facebook. I constantly hear people complaining that my generation is ‘antisocial’ or becoming ‘zombies living off of screens’, but I really think it’s the opposite. To me, technology just offers a way to connect to people more often. To connect to people I couldn’t otherwise. When I was in 8th grade, my best friend in the world was an artist I met in an online drawing board. She came into my life when I was in a pretty bad place, and our friendship kept me going. If it hadn’t been for that site or instant messaging, I never would have met her. I’ve used Facebook to keep in touch with my best friends from middle school, who I would have lost contact with otherwise, as I now live on the opposite side of the country. Even today, I rely on Facebook and Skype to talk to (and see) my significant other, who I’m in a long distance relationship with for the time being. 

So you could see how this subject may be personal to me.

What I do really enjoy about this article is its touching point on technology being useful for shyer kids in making friends. As someone who struggles in social situations, this really struck me. I hadn’t really thought about it, but it is a very good point. It’s a lot easier to build up the courage to tweet someone than it is to manage to talk to them in person. Now I don’t think it should be a crutch. I’m of the firm belief that digital interaction and personal interaction both have their place, and, when utilized correctly, complement each other. Technology is another tool we now have in our social lives, and it should be accepted as such. 

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