Can social media lead to violence?

For many of us, social media is a malleable surface where we can connect to people, places and things, old and new. The ability of this great medium to connect and do good like raising money for worthy causes is exciting. But is it possible that these connections and the ability to reach others near and far so quickly can lead to violence.

Violence through social media is happening in New York, Chicago and even recently here in Atlanta. I heard a blurb on the radio where two groups of females involved a social media disagreement on Instagram allowed it to escalate to an in person situation of physical violence. Four females went to confront three females at their apartment complex. The three females were waiting for them with more than the instigators expected….This situation landed three of the females in jail on very serious charges.

Does the quick real time ability to respond on social media increase peoples ability to act irrationally? Would these Atlanta females thought more rationally if everyone on Instagram wasn’t “watching”?

Social media is tool that can be used for good or evil…it is important that we choose to use it properly.

Is Blogging for Me? We Shall See……

How can I describe my brief blogging experience? Let’s see…Interesting, different, fun, exhilarating, hard work. That is just the first five words that came into mind when I started to write this post. What was the first five that came to mind before I began my blogging journey…boring, why, blah, ugh and really? The past few weeks since I have started blogging I have realized that blogging is more than just words on a web page. For me it has been somewhat like sharing my personal journal with the world on things that go on in my head but instead of just me seeing it I have shared it with others. I normally keep a lot of my thoughts in my head or written down.

This experience was not what I expected because my only previous experience is that of one of my good friends writes about what’s going on in Atlanta. I thought it was something that she just did about ten minutes a week. Boy was I wrong! It surprised me just how much thought and work goes into writing a blog. My undergraduate degree was in Journalism and I still had a few blogs when I was sitting there scratching my head like “what do I write”.

After the social media information, I have learned in the last few weeks I realize that blogs have a definite positive effect for nonprofit organizations. Blogs can provide valuable, quick information to those interested in the same causes. Blogs can attract wider audiences than those who just normally follow you. I realize just by adding a tag to my blog I had people I do not even know reading my blogs. So many people with the same interest can lead to nonprofit organizations attracting followers they may not even know exist.

Netvibes, a new resource to me that allows you to learn to access so much information on a zillion topics is so cool. I did not utilize this resource heavily when posting because I came up with so much on my one. But the magnitude of information it provides from so many resources is amazing. I selected ten very different topics just to see what kinds of information were out there. Plenty of stuff popped up. I saw people voicing the same and very different opinions I have on natural hair care. Social media and violence is a hot trending topic with information like gangs in New York using it to fuel their beefs. I mean it can provide such a large range of stuff that it can be helpful when nonprofit organizations may want to see how people feel about their organization or topic. It is awesome.

So although initially I was a wary blogger now I feel that it is something I would do on a regular basis. This would probably not be a full time job because I think that would be too intense for my laid back non chaotic self. But the experience itself and knowing that I can do it has been truly satisfying.

What next in the blogosphere? I think after graduation I will work on blogging more. Hopefully, blogging will not have faded by then since we all know how fast social media changes… Happy Blogging!

To Be or Not to Be…Private?

The private versus not private argument in the role of social media is a hard concept for me to deal with. It is clear that we attempt to believe for the most part that what we are posting with all the various privacy settings is only being shared with those we think we know. However, from my experience, what we believe to be private or confidential is often open and available without our knowledge. Reading Beth’s Blog reminded me that there are always ways to get around privacy that we sometimes forget like our “friends” sharing private information or photos about us.

I was deeply affected by this realization last year when a photo that I took of one of my kids via cell phone tagged on Facebook. A friend called me and asked “Hey..isn’t that D?”. Talk about upset? I could not understand how did something I share with family only reach hundreds of people with plenty of comments. My belief in privacy disappeared.  What picture lost my belief in privacy? See Below…

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D’s Fun Ride 2009

This is my son. After an eventful car ride home one afternoon, he got a hold of his baby bag and proceeded to powder himself. The thought that my child’s picture was out and available for anyone to see via Facebook shocked me to no end. I began messaging the person who posted the picture and tagged his friends with no response in attempts to identify how he got the picture. A picture that I took in 2009. The idea that something private I shared with family was posted by some random person proved to me that not everything we think is private really is. I am normally a very careful and private person. I have seperate facebook pages on purpose in order to ensure that only those I really trust have access to anything I post. And even then, no one will every be able to say I posted anything too wild and crazy because my cautioness and my upbringing dictate there is such a thing as keeping parts of your life personal and private.

So just how did that random guy get access to this picture? After much research, I found out that my brother had the picture in a Facebook album that some guy he was “friends” with went back  in an old album and found and posted it. Privacy is not private…although we like to believe that with all the settings we create for our social media accounts make a difference. There is always some way to get around them. Suffice to say my brother is banned from getting any future funny family photos but he defintely is now more cautious with his selection of friends. And so am I (Although I did consider unfriending my brother).

Out and About…

For this week’s post originally I was going to write about a new wonderful and exciting place to dream of journeying to in the future. However, I realize being a graduate student at Georgia State , school work can take over and enjoying life (besides finding great places to visit) goes on the back burner. So this week I thought it would be interesting for everyone to at least consider going to do one fun thing in between work, school and the humdrum of everyday life.

The main point of this blog is to remind all of us that we need to LIVE every day of our lives or at least really enjoy one day out of the week. When was the last time you (or with a bff, partner, spouse, enemy, whomever!) went out and had a good time? Well I don’t know about you but I went out last weekend. So now it is your turn…take a look and find an event that meets your time, budget or both and go LIVE.

Why do I keep pushing living? While many people do not think about, death can come at any time. I have lost many family members in a short amount of time…my son lost one of his best friends to a hit and run accident two weeks ago. This was my reminder. It is important that we realize that we will not remember what we read in a text book about our major or what an instructor taught us in class. But we will remember the laughter we shared with our cohort, a trip to a bar with friends, spending time with a loved one at a movie or taking a cruise with our BFF’s.

 So make space on your calendar this week to spend time with a friend, pick an event to share or just call someone you have been too busy to speak to and LIVE!!!! Some of these events may even be great for Valentine’s Day. Enjoy whatever way you choose to LIVE every day.

Don’t forget to click the links to find out more…

Want to act like a kid and play in the Snow? This big mountain is waiting just for you.Stone Mountain's Snow Mountain

Loves wrestling…why watch it on television? See it live at Philips Arena Monday Night.

Want a great musical experience…last year I saw this show about controversial artist Fela Kuti and it was amazing.Fela Kuti In Atlanta

 

Fela Kuti In Atlanta

Little or no money to pay for expensive stuff to do…try these free activities instead:

Go relive history by visiting the MLK National historic site in celebration of Black History Month.

Interested in art…visit this Art Center on Thursdays from 11 am to 8 pm.

None of these suggestions peeks your interest…

Take a walk in a park and JUST ENJOY the view.

Storytelling…with Sophia Petrillo

Picture it (as I channel my inner Sophia Petrillo). It is dark and stormy night and a mortician and his assistant are driving a hearse down a dark country road. A man flags the car down and asks for a ride. The driver says “There’s no room up here but you’re free to jump in back”. The young man hops into the back of the hearse. Tired from walking a long time the young man decides to take a nap in the empty coffin in the back of the hearse. After driving for about an hour, the driver spots another man flagging him down. The second man jumps in back of the hearse grateful to be out of the rain. A few miles down the ride the first man awakes opens the coffin and asks the second man “Are we there yet?” The second man stunned from the coffin opening jumps out the hearse screaming “the dead man came alive” and proceeds to run off down the road. (This story is normally told in a Jamaican accent too.)

Sophia Petrillo Wikipedia 2012

Sophia Petrillo Wikipedia 2012

Many years ago my mother in law told me this story. Now when she told it, it was so funny I damn near peed my pants. After my mother in law passed away, I started telling the story to my kids, our friends and family. Now I know many may not see the humor in the story but nevertheless it has been a funny story to us (especially when told in patois –our Jamaican dialect) and atter times I heard it makes me laugh. It is my belief, that it is the person who weaves the story to engage the listener (or in a bloggers case the reader) that makes a good story teller.

A good storyteller evokes different emotions and is able to get you involved or engaged in the story without you even realizing you have been drawn in. They keep you interested and make you want to know what happened next. Estelle Getty played Sophia Petrillo on the show Golden Girls for many years. This character was a good storyteller not because the stories were great but because she was able draw listeners into the story.

It is important when we blog, to engage the reader with great content so that they will return for more. Who wants to listen to storyteller who always disappoints upon the conclusion? Who would return to a blog when the writer fails to interest the reader? I love a great story…so much that I will listen to it repeatedly or read the same book more than once. Engaging content makes a world of difference.

Have you heard or told a good story lately?

Unwrap Paradise: Guess Where?

seychelles-africa-indian-ocean

 A major focus of some of myblog post will be travel. I am very interested in going around the world and feel that it is a major part of embracing my theme LIVING your life everyday. Why you ask? Well the question is why not. There are so many great places and experiences out there available to us but many choose not to even leave their city or state. One classmate just expressed that she will flying for the first time in few weeks and I was amazed. I have been traveling since I was a few months old and believe it is important that everyone travels to other countries and observes how others live, work and play in comparison to themselves. In order to entice everyone to exploring the world outside of the small one we exist in, I will  share a new exciting place that I plan on traveling to at some point in the future. Hopefully, you will be inspired to go to one or all of the places I think would be fun.

When was the last time you took a real vacation? Are you tired of walking down the streets of Atlanta or your local suburban neighborhood and seeing the same people and places?  Where have you dreamed of going? Well if you have not dreamed of any places to visit yet, lets start HERE:

The beautiful setting in the picture posted is the island Republic of Seychelles (pronounced say-shellz). The Republic of Seychelles east of mainland Africa in the Indian Ocean is described as:

Tiny dabs of intense green fringed with white gold, the Seychelles are scattered like exquisite jewels across the dark, velvety blue expanse of the Indian Ocean. Everything about these islands is beautiful and enticing – the swaying coconut fronds, sweet scent of frangipani, dramatic violet and orange sunsets, lush plantations and characterful animal life – a holiday to the Seychelles with Kuoni is a pure paradise.
 
Now, I don’t know about you but as beautiful as this place looks and sounds I definitely want to go. How about you?
 
For more information about the Republic of Seychelles, visit http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/seychelles.htm