There are different ways of becoming a better writer and student and other ways of showing it. Some involve activities in class or even outside of the classroom. In “Blogs vs. Term Papers,” Matt Richtel says, “when [students] write a term paper, they feel as if they do so only to produce a grade.” I used to feel this way until this class. My professor has found a way to help me enjoy writing papers and not dread them. Most often, what the students feel the teacher is forcing them to do is what benefits them the most. Throughout ENG-1103-24, the final essay and annotated bibliography, keeping a journal, writing longhand, and limiting screen time have all benefited my development as a writer and a student. These aspects helped me work well with others, become more comfortable and confident in my writing, kept me organized and focused, and kept me disciplined.
The final essay and annotated bibliography helped me practice different techniques in writing while also teaching me about teamwork. For this assignment, we could either work in a group or individually. I had never written a paper with a group before, so I decided to try it with this assignment. It was a little harder than I thought it would be. However, doing this helped me to practice my citations and become better at citing my sources. It also helped that I could receive feedback directly from the people in my group and I could give them feedback as well. There were some things with the group where we each had to take turns writing while the others were reading over it, so we could make sure we were not writing the same thing and repeating ourselves. As a student, I learned patience, teamwork, and perseverance throughout this assignment. As a writer, I learned to take criticism of my writing and how to cite my sources and include my quotes properly.
Keeping a journal has helped me become more independent, kept me organized, and kept me accountable. We wrote most, if not all, of our assignments in our journal. This made it easier for me to stay organized with my materials in this class. Having the freedom to write pretty much anything in my journal boosted my confidence in my writing and made me more comfortable with it. By doing this, I was able to look back at past assignments and find them easy to help me with new assignments. As a student and a writer, I became more organized and independent.
Writing longhand has helped me get my thoughts out, refer back to my mistakes, and be aware of my handwriting. I would always type up my essays and never handwrite them. Since taking this class, I have learned to enjoy writing longhand more than on my computer. In Writing Analytically, David Rosenwasser and Jill Stephen note that “a notebook can come to feel like a verbal sketchpad, encouraging writers to take repeated stabs at capturing something they’ve been thinking about” (125). This is definitely how writing longhand has altered my brain. It makes it easier for me to see my mistakes and pay closer attention so I do not make the same mistakes again. As a student, I am more creative. As a writer, I am more reflective and cautious of my own work.
Limiting screen time has helped me stay focused, get my assignments done faster, and work harder. When we were required to not have our phones in class, I was upset at first. Later on, I realized it is not a punishment but rather a helpful tool to use as a writer and a student. It has taught me self-control and helped me recognize my boundaries when it comes to being on my phone so much. It also helped motivate me to work harder because I would want to be on my phone, so I disciplined myself and put away electronics until I finished my assignments. As a writer, it helped me write consistently and limit my distractions to stay focused on what I am writing. As a student, it has taught me discipline and has motivated me to stay focused in order to get my phone when I finish an assignment.
The final essay and annotated bibliography for ENG-1103-24, keeping a journal, writing longhand, and limiting screen time are all strategies that have helped me grow as a writer and a student. These qualities made it easier for me to collaborate with others, helped me write more comfortably and confidently, kept me organized and focused, and helped me maintain discipline. Without doing these assignments and learning these aspects, I would not be the same writer or student that I am today.
Social media holds a significant influence over how society can have an impact around the world. Social media can be found as fun, but it is also dangerous if used incorrectly, and it can have consequences that can not be taken back. In “Consequences,” an international reporter and columnist for The New York Times, Max Fisher talks about the dangers of social media. He focuses on his experiences within companies and goes more in-depth on how social media is dangerous because people misuse it while bringing wars and politics into the mix as well. Social media is dangerous and misleads its audience with wrong information, and the fact that the public is able to comment and spread wrong information, this sometimes leads to misinformation being taken as if it is correct. Facebook is particularly guilty of this. Despite the average person’s knowledge of cyberbullying on the internet, many people, however, do not realize the impact social media has on real-world conflicts. Two major examples of this are the insurrection at the Capital Building of the United States in January 2022, as well as the George Floyd protest. However, this is not only happening in those large-scale events but also in neighborhoods. Social media mirrors school conflicts but also intensifies them to the point of death in some cases (Elsaesser 2).
Social media can promote and encourage youth to physically fight in the real world. This can be very terrifying in areas that have a lot of gang activity and easy access to firearms. This form of internet-provoking has been coined as internet banking, which involves taunts, disses, and augments between crews, gangs, and cliques. As a result, it leads to physical fights, shootings, and death (Elsaesser 2). This usually occurs when a wide range of people nag at an individual in comments or posts and live streams. One example is a story that a 17-year-old girl shared about her cousin who told another girl to come to her house to fight on Facebook Live. “But mind you, if you got like 5,000 friends on Facebook, half of them watching… and most of them live probably in the area you live in. you got some people that’ll be like ‘oh, don’t fight.’ but in the majority, everybody would be like, ‘Oh, yeah, fight’” (Elsaesser 2). People act like posts on social media do not affect the real world when, in reality, they do.
In “Users unhappy with social media: report,” Jacob Axelrad points out that social media websites are among the companies with the lowest scores in the American Customer Satisfaction Index. The report attributes these low scores to privacy concerns among users and the proliferation of ads on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Everything in social media can be useful and have an impact on society. Max Fisher found links between social media and riots, radical groups, and conspiracies. This was observed in the algorithm, promoting posts that were seen as radical. That can cause teens to bring violence outside of the screen. An older generation can also take issues higher up and brush them aside. They viewed social media as a tool that will enrich the human mind and expose the world to different views. However, this seems to not be true considering, as we have more technology, the political divides in the country have just become worse. When research was suggesting this many people on Facebook brushed it off and now they are being faced with legal action. This false information and comprehension of the information is the reason why social media websites are ranked so low.
One of the most dangerous things on social media, on the side of political evidence, is cyberbullying which can be caused by differences in opinion. Most often, young teenagers suffer from this. The more that young people share their identities and thoughts on social networking sites, the more likely they are to be targeted than those who do not use the sites. Cyberbullying, like any form of bullying, is relational aggression. According to Nancy Willard of the Center for Safe and Responsible Use of the Internet, cyberbullying can take the form of flaming or online fighting with vulgar language, harassment or repeated sending of mean and insulting messages, denigration or demeaning gossiping, and impersonation or pretending to be someone else and posting damaging messages. Cyberbullying is the use of the internet or other digital devices such as email, instant messaging, text messages, and social networking sites. These are usually used when the victim or bully is a minor. It is also applied to the cyber harassment of college students. It is intended to make the victim feel frightened, humiliated, helpless, and, too often, hopeless. What results from cyberbullying is particularly harmful and, in the worst of the cases, young people can commit suicide. Social media is deadly. This needs to change. The more days that pass, the more lives are taken by the wrong use and danger of social media.
Overall, social media is a treacherous game. The American Customer Satisfaction Index lists social media websites as among the companies with the worst ratings. According to the survey, user privacy concerns and the abundance of advertisements on websites like Facebook and Twitter are to blame for these low rankings. Everything in social media has the potential to be helpful and affect society. Social media and riots, radical organizations, and conspiracies have connections, according to Max Fisher. Cyberbullying is one of the riskiest activities on social media from a political perspective. The use of the internet or other digital tools including email, instant messaging, text messages, and social networking sites is known as cyberbullying. It might manifest itself in the form of harassment, flaming, or online combat using foul words.
Axelrad, Jacob. “Users unhappy with social media: report.” Christian Science Monitor, 22 July 2014. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A375757705/OVIC?u=hpu_main&sid=bookmark-OVIC&xid=952d6dd. Accessed 19 Oct. 2022.
In “Users unhappy with social media: report,” Jacob Axelrad points out that social media websites are among the companies with the lowest scores in the American Customer Satisfaction Index. The report attributes these low scores to privacy concerns among users and the proliferation of ads on sites such as Facebook and Twitter. While Facebook climbed five points to a score of 67, it is the lowest-scoring social media website. LinkedIn saw its highest score to date at 67, as did Twitter at 69. Overall satisfaction with e-business sites climbed by 2.9 percent to a score of 73.4. Wikipedia was the only site to see a decline in user satisfaction. Google performed well ahead of all competitors in the ACSI rating.
Jacob Axelrad was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, and attended the University of Michigan, where he worked as a writer and editor for the school newspaper, The Michigan Daily. He previously worked as an intern for Michigan Radio, an NPR affiliate serving lower Michigan, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Elsaesser, Caitlin. “How Social Media Turns Online Arguments between Teens into Real-World Violence.” Gale Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2022. Gale In Context: Opposing Viewpoints, link.gale.com/apps/doc/TZOMEW784378694/OVIC?u=hpu_main&sid=bookmark-OVIC&xid=75256c1e. Accessed 19 Oct. 2022. Originally published as “How social media turns online arguments between teens into real-world violence,” The Conversation, 5 Apr. 2021.
Dr. Caitlin Elsaesser argues that arguments on social media can trigger real-world violence, particularly for teens. A typical teen in the U.S. uses three different forms of social media, spending more than seven hours a day in front of a screen. She suggests teens exercise self-control, deescalate, and get bystanders to intervene to avoid escalating conflicts. “Internet banging” involves taunts, disses and arguments on social media between people in rival crews, cliques or gangs. These exchanges can include comments, images and videos that lead to physical fights, shootings and, in the worst cases, death. Four social media features in particular escalate conflicts: comments, live streaming, picture/video sharing, and tagging.
Dr. Caitlin Elsaesser is an Associate Professor at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. She is a licensed clinical social worker with a MSW and a Ph.D. from the University of chicago. Her career as a researcher is built on a decade of direct experience working with adolescents and families. She is also currently the Principal Investigator of a CDC-funded K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award.
Fisher, Max. “Prologue Consequences.” Chaos Machine: The inside Story of How Social Media Rewired Our Minds and Our World, QUERCUS PUBLISHING, S.l., 2023, pp. 3–12.
The author Max Fisher found links between social media and riots, radical groups, and conspiracies. This was observed in the algorithm, promoting posts that were seen as radical. There were many loopholes that radical groups would use to prompt their groups while keeping their posts unflagged. This led up to the united nations blaming Facebook in part for adding the provocation of one of the worst genocides since WWII. when this issue was taken to the higher-ups it was brushed aside. They viewed social media as a tool that will enrich your mind and expose the world to different views. However, this seems to not be true considering as we have more tech the political divides in our country have just become worse. When research was suggesting this many people on Facebook brushed it off and now they are being faced with a lot of legal action.
Max Fisher is an international reporter and columnist for The New York Times. He has reported from five continents on conflict, diplomacy, social change and other topics. He writes The Interpreter, a column exploring the ideas and context behind major world events. A weekly newsletter of the same name features original reporting and insights.
Once again cyberbullying results in the suicide of a child, Suzzanne Phillips writes. The more that young people share their identities and thoughts on social networking sites, the more likely they are to be targeted than those who do not use the sites. Cyberbullying, like any form of bullying, is relational aggression. According to Nancy Willard of the Center for Safe and Responsible Use of the Internet, cyberbullying can take the form of Flaming or online fighting with vulgar language, Harassment or repeated sending of mean and insulting messages, Denigration or demeaning gossiping, Impersonation or pretending to be someone else and posting damaging messages. Cyberbullying is the use of the internet or other digital devices such as E-mail, instant messaging, text messages, and social networking sites, is technically used when the victim or bully is a minor, it is also applied to the cyber harassment of college students. It is intended to make the victim feel frightened, humiliated, helpless, and too often—hopeless. What makes cyberbullying particularly harmful and in the case of too many young people who have committed suicide, so deadly, is the nature and virulent reach of electronic media.
Suzanne Phillips is an adjunct professor of clinical psychology in the doctoral program of Long Island University and on the faculty of the postdoctoral programs of the Derner Institute of Adelphi University. She is the coauthor of Healing Together: A Couple’s Guide to Coping with Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress.
Throughout Jonathan Kay’s “Scrabble is a Lousy Game,” he expresses his strong disliking of the game. He is “a passionate board-gamer,” but Scrabble does not interest him at all. Furthermore, he finds it interesting that the game has so much attention to it and does not understand why. Kay’s article has many distinct aspects when you look at it closely. To express his thoughts, he writes in his article starting with some background about the game, moves on to his hate for the game, then mentions some accomplishments people have made in the game, and, finally, ends it with more of why he does not like Scrabble.
At first, it does not seem like Kay hates Scrabble, but that impression quickly changes. He begins the article by talking about the background of the game Scrabble. It seems as if Kay could be interested in the game for a period of time, but it gets boring too quickly. Kay includes some of the new possible words that can count in the game Scrabble. By choosing to mention words like “zomboid” and “qapik,” he draws the readers in because it makes them wonder what he is talking about and where those words even come from. Then, he says, “there are many other gaming options out there,” hinting that he would rather play any other game besides Scrabble. He says, “Scrabble, to put it bluntly, is a lousy game.” Clearly, Kay does not believe there is any good reason to play Scrabble except if it is a habit. He believes that Scrabble is only played to earn the most points with words, while he would rather know the meaning of the words and their etymology over getting the most points. Moving on, he compares the game to a math contest assuming that most readers should know a little bit about math. By comparing what he is talking about to something most readers are familiar with, he keeps the readers engaged. He explains that it is interesting to see a lot of letters or know “pi to the 1,000th decimal,” but it is even more interesting to know where a word originates from and what the true meaning of it is. With some background, Jonathan Kay does not enjoy Scrabble because he likes to see the deeper meaning of “just knowing things.”
Next, Kay brings in some of his experiences with the game. With his friend John Chew, he helped teach elementary school students how to play Scrabble. However, he expressed that one of the handouts his friend made was “a total turnoff” because it proved the game is not fun and is just work. He then mentions some exciting events and facts about people throughout the history of Scrabble. For example, the majority of the world’s best Scrabble players speak other languages besides English. Kay even brings in some humor about the “New Zealand Scrabble legend Nigel Richards.” Nigel Richards memorized a French dictionary because he got bored of memorizing English Scrabble words. Then, Richards went on to win the “French-language Scrabble championships.” Kay continues to compliment some of the best Scrabble players and says they “have very sharp minds,” yet he continues to hate the game. It seems that Kay has respect for the players and acknowledges the intellectual demands of the game. However, he has no interest in playing the “lousy game.”
In the final segment of his article, he, again, expresses his thoughts about hating the game, Scrabble, while also giving it a few exceptions. Kay says, “it’s basically a memorization test that makes you feel smug when you pass and stupid when you fail.” At this point, Kay should have nothing bad left to say about the game. He points out that this game is only there to make people feel bad about themselves if they cannot come up with the best words or words worst the most points in the game. It seems as if he believes that games “should have some mix of skill and luck” and Scrabble does not have that. However, he gives readers a few options of other games for those who enjoy Scrabble, such as the 2015 breakout hit Codenames or Paperback. As much as Kay criticizes this game, he likes to give many reasons why and other suggestions of “better” games to play.
Overall, Jonathan Kay does not like Scrabble whatsoever. He believes “deep in [his] gaming heart, [that he]’ll never concede that Scrabble is OK.” Kay has come to realize, along with his friend, that having different interests in games is perfectly fine. Not everyone has to enjoy the same games, nor will everyone like the same ones. Still, Kay believes Scrabble is one of the worst games to be invented. Everyone has their own opinions on which games are good or not because of their own interests. Jonathan Kay has come to accept this and has no hate toward the people playing the game, just the game itself.
Of any sport or club, I could choose at the beginning of seventh grade, I chose show choir. All my friends were doing it, so I wanted to join them and see how it was. Show choir can be described as singing and dancing competitively. For me, show choir is where I found my family and my new passion for music. After doing show choir for three years, my family decided to move from Indiana, where all my friends and show choirs were, to a North Carolina private school. My new school had never heard of show choir, let alone had one of its own. Instead, I had to find something close to it that caught my attention. I tried everything, including volleyball, softball, chorus, cheer, and theatre. I chose to do softball and volleyball because I used to enjoy doing sports. However, that was not the case anymore. At the end of sophomore year, I quit softball and volleyball, but I fell in love with chorus, cheer, and theatre. Being a part of this sport and these clubs made me incredibly nervous because I barely knew anybody going into it. Even though I loved to cheer and do chorus, the theatre had the biggest impact on my life because it gave me confidence, a community, and perseverance.
Over time, I learned to try my best and to have fun. Something I learned was to not care what others think of me. Once I figured out how to perform to the best of my ability, had fun, and ignored others’ opinions, my passion grew even stronger. I never thought before that I would be singing solos, changing costumes, acting, and dancing in front of hundreds of people. As a “theatre kid,” I have come to think of myself as the person everyone watches on stage. I have been told that the audience’s eyes fall on me when I perform. Some people say I would “glow” when I hit the stage. I could care less about how people see me when I am on stage, but it boosted my confidence.
I made many unforgettable memories throughout my years of doing plays and musicals. My favorite part of performing the shows was the last show. We usually performed four or five times over three days. The first performance was always the worst because everyone was always nervous and made many mistakes. On the other hand, the last show was a combination between the best and worst. It was the best because, by then, our nerves are gone, and we all put our all into it because it is the last time we could perform the show. However, it was the worst because it was the seniors’ last performance with us ever. The last show was always a very emotional event because, over all the rehearsals, we grew to love each other and created an unmatchable support system, but the last performance brought happy tears to everyone.
My favorite experience was the harder days. It was the Saturday rehearsals, tech week rehearsals, and the days when no one wanted to do anything at all. In the middle of learning everything for just my first show, my director named me dance captain. As dance captain, I had to learn the choreography before anyone else and help teach everyone else. Sometimes, I would even be tasked to choreograph a song on my own for everyone to learn and perform in the show. Performing is what I love to do. I do not think of what others are thinking or saying about me while I am on stage. While on stage, nothing matters. Any issue going on disappears during my rehearsals and performances. Music is my passion and has brought out the best of me. I enjoyed my career with the Rocky Mount Academy Theatre department and hope to continue to stay involved.