Monta Vista Verdadera 21840 McClellan Road Cupertino, CA 95014 March 8th, 2008
Dear Reader: Each year Verdadera continues to bring you the bluntly honest issues which Monta Vista students face every day to your doorstep. Every issue attempts to bring to the surface struggles and triumphs within our communi ty which would otherwise remain buried under a layer of protective emotion. What teenagers go through in their daytoday lives is much more than meets the eye and each one of the students at Monta Vista have their own story to tell. Verdadera is that hidden story brought to life, a chance for all to be heard on some of the most difficult yet pressing subjects to voice. However, we cannot continue to provide issues without the continued support from gen erous readers such as you for Verdadera is a non profit organization financed entirely by donations. We ask for a monitory donation, (even as little as $10 to $20), so we can continue our publication. We hope we can count on you to help. With grateful appreciation, Monta Vista Verdadera Staff Please make any checks out to: ASB/Verdadera, and mail to: Verdadera Donation, % Kathy Fetterman, 22660 San Juan Road, Cupertino, CA 95014. Your donation is tax deductible: Tax ID# 770296140.
Technology April 2008 Verdadera is a publication created by and for Monta Vista teens for the purpose of instigating communication concerning the 'real world' of high school within the community. Each month, an issue on a topic relevant to the lives of our students is sent home for reading by parents and students alike. We encourage you to discuss and explore the issues and stories, as the publication aims not only to offer an outlet for expression but to improve our lives. Keep in mind that the emotions that flow through the text and the feelings behind the words could be those of your child, your classmate, or your best friend. While we do not edit submissions, we aim to publish personal experiences, not opinion articles. Please utilize all the resources present in the publication. Also, feel free to email comments and feedback. The Verdadera staff thanks you for your interest and support. This issue includes stories about technology and how it shapes the world of Monta Vista students.
Student Submissions I was dumped over AIM. For a while afterwards I was annoyed but thinking over it now, it seems appropriate; our whole relationship was based on a string of emails and online conversations, why not end it the same way? It was a schooltime casual flirting that only became something during summer. Due to outside circumstances, we weren’t able to see other much and so
we talked online and through blogs and email. I’m grateful that technology was what allowed us to even get to know each other as well as we did but I feel that it made us expect too much out of each other in person. Online we were happy but that conversation didn’t translate from the computer monitor to the real world. It was a disappointment: in person it was as if we were faking – we didn’t know hot to communicate in person but we felt like we should have been so much closer because of our
friendship online. I have to admit that I can’t place all the blame in technology for the way that relationship turned out but I still think it was a factor. Now I’m trying to place a lot more emphasis on connecting in person, not just over the safety of distance and an electronic device. At times, I find it hard. Not only can I not express myself as well as if I could carefully revise it on the screen before sending, but sometimes I also don’t have the courage to say what I want to say when I have to look that person strait in the eye. Still, I feel much better trying. I think it’s more respectful to the other person in a way as well. Technology – love it or hate it (and trust me, it changes), I don’t “One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.” Elbert Hubbard
Sweat pours down my face as I nervously pan from side to side looking for the enemy. The sun is bright in my dusty surroundings. Barely conscious of the weight of the objects in my hands as adrenaline pummels through my system, I hunt for my prey. Suddenly, a flash and I’m blinded. I fire wildly but to no avail. Bullets penetrate me as I do down. TRIPLE KILL an omnipotent voice booms out. DAMN! I was sure that I had him this time. Stretching my arms and neck, I wait for the countdown to hit zero. This time I got him, he doesn’t stand a chance. Technology has brought about a wonderful wave of opportunity for
modern society. However, it also brings about new challenges and temptations previously unknown to parents and other older generations. My personal experience with technology has elevated it to an almost godlike level. I don’t remember a day that goes by where I don’t sign on to AIM at least once or check my email multiple times. Most of the time, I am always online, even if I am not at the computer, just because the knowledge that I am always connected in a vague sense to the world at large is very encouraging. I love gadgets. I have multiple Ipods, a PDA, a computer, a laptop, a cell phone, and multiple other minor technological devices. At any one time, I probably can log on into the internet and talk through AIM or gchat in at least any of three different ways. If I have free time that I’m not spending with friends, I will play video games or goof around with my gadgets. I am so attached to devices that I am annoyed at myself that I haven’t yet gotten a Kindle to replace actual books yet. In my opinion, technology IS the future, beyond any other form of advancement or development of the human race, technology single handedly is the most important measure of our growth as a race. Despite all this however, I realize my own fallacies. I know I have become attached to technology to such a degree that during power outages, I doubt I can keep myself sane. I realize that my habit of multitasking: playing a game, doing homework, reading news, watching TV, and checking email/talking to my friends all at the same time—a task that the previous generation could not even dream of doing—in fact can be harmful to me. I am addicted to technology and technology as given me ADD, I recognize these facts completely. But similar to many in my position, I also know that I can not change. It is like a
drug that is not a drug; necessary, but unnecessary. The end result is that more and more of us are entrapped in this everevolving world, the virtual world, and nobody wants to leave.
“Technology... the knack of so arranging the world that we don't have to experience it.” – Max Frisch this is a weird topic. technology. technology like what? i guess for me the piece of technology that i most depend on is my computer. and it helps a lot. yea, it makes school easier and i can find out my grades without having to talk to my teachers, but i guess the best part is that i can be someone completely different over the internet. like in my role play games. i'm part of a small role playing community online. and it's awesome. i don't have to be who i am to everyone at school. i can create a whole new personality and be whoever and however i want to be. i met one of my really good friends through that community over a year ago and we still talk. it makes it easier for me to open up and say the things that are going on in my head. i don't always tell people what i'm thinking or how i'm feeling, but over the computer, i can say anything and feel safe
"The most important and urgent prob lems of the technology of today are no longer the satisfactions of the primary needs or of archetypal wishes, but the reparation of the evils and damages by the technology of yesterday.” Dennis Gabor, Innovations: Scientific, Technological and Social
Technology is a useful for mankind. It serves to make our lives more
convenient and faster. It also serves to drag our lives down with the unnecessary worries and problems. I mean, I am not saying that microwaves are evil and that microscopes corrupt mankind. I am talking about the one technology that most high school students and individuals for that matter living in the twenty first century know about – the internet. The internet provides us numerous plusses. With the click of the mouse, any genre of information can be sought and found. Now you don’t have to go to the library to do research. Only nerds and idiots do that, right? With a few clicks of the mouse, you are talking simultaneously talking four of your best friends. The telephone can never do that. And dialing all those numbers is just so tiring. But quickly, the internet has become oppression as well. Honestly. I don’t have facebook. I don’t have myspace. I don’t have an AIM account (or whatever of its equivalent is now). The only things that I have are my email accounts (yahoo and gmail) and my telephone. I use gchat to talk to my friend (note only one at a time, now why would I waste all my energy to try and talk to a bunch of people at once?) because he has this telephonephobia thing. And I get the heyyouknowwhat happenedonfacebookyesterday thing so often. Without those accounts, you essentially know very little of what happens in school. The cyberspace has become the social ground, replacing the oldfashioned human contact. But think about it, if you have facebook (or whatever the new thing is), then you
have the obligation to check and respond.
C.P. Snow, New York Times
I once had a Xanga account. And after a while, I noticed that I had to check every single day because if I did not, I would miss out on what one of my friends said on her page and I would not be able to follow the conversation next day. I was pressured to check and respond and post things, even if they fall into the lamest category. When my parents found out that I was spending two hours on the computer looking at Xanga stuff, they banished me from ever going there again. At first, I was infuriated, angry at how my parents were cutting off my method of communicating with my friends. But after two months, I realized that I had so much time to do more meaningful things. I had time to read the books I wanted, listen to the music I was going to find, play that music that I heard on the radio, because I was not talking my friends on Xanga. And because I told my friends that I was exiled, my friends would update me on the important things that were covered in xanga. I didn’t need to waste time sifting through unimportant stuff, and if there was anything really important, my friends would just tell me.
I’ve broken them, crashed them, made one from scratch, and on many occasions wanted to throw it out a ten story window. Ah, my computer. The one at home is call “piece of shit”; the one at work is call “piece of crap”. The whole technology behind them blows my mind bit I think AIM, email, myspace and the likes have probably saved at least one relationship in my life, and I know for certain they help make the best one yet. Then again it has probably helped destroy a few too.
Technology is convenient. It makes our lives easier. It is difficult to imagine life without cell phones. But at the same time, it can become a burden. And in this world of constantly renewing technologies emerging, we can lose ourselves through the dehumanization of the internet. I just don’t understand what’s so fun with chatting with your boyfriend on AIM when you can just call him and actually hear his voice. "Technology... is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the oth er.”
I remember when we just had a family computer and I had to do it all without just being able to sign in. I remember not being able to apologize to your significant other when you really screwed up and they didn’t answer the phone. Now, I just send an email or IM and it’s there when they sign on. I know that now it’s the one thing that is consistent in my relationship. Talking online will always be there, even when our parents take away the phones or yell at us about our phone bills. I just sign on. She’s there and we can talk the night away. Like I said without it, things wouldn’t work. In fact, most days I can’t even remember what it was like to not have a constant way to check in with her, make sure she’s ok, and tell her how much I care about her. Now I even get little panic attacks when I go on vacation and I don’t have internet or my computer or a way to make that connection with her or all my other friends out there. I don’t think I would ever vote to go back to my old ways. It is here to stay so why fight it. Myspace, Facebook, and the next new thing, whatever it will be, here I come. Plus, besides its convenience, it just reminds me of her. And that is something I wouldn’t ever want to give up.
“All of the biggest technological inventions created by man the airplane, the automobile, the computer says little about his intelligence, but speaks volumes about his laziness.” Mark Kennedy
this is a famous story among my friends, so guys it's me. my freshman year of high school, i got bored one day. and i kissed a guy. (this isn't the technology part, but stick with me). and that was really it, i was bored and he was interested. after a few days, i "broke up" with him because i was 14, crushing on someone else, and he was a bad kisser. (here comes the tech part). so since he wouldn't listen to reason in person, i found that i had no other option. that night, i went online with AIM and opened up a chat box with him. in it, i typed something along the lines of "i can't go out with you anymore, please leave me alone", hit "send" and then blocked him immediately. most people take the high road in a break up and do it in person, but thanks to the world wide web, i got to do it while in my PJs and not even looking at him. it was way easier and is now one of my favorite stories from high school. woo hoo.
"Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can't see where it keeps its brain.” J.K. Rowling
Homework and free time are spent here. Its all good. Still, I don't give up the hours some of my friends do. I don't play warcraft, or any online game. Don't have the time, really, nor the money. For me its fps, and only once I am finished with my hw. It seems that my friends spend too much time doing stuff on the comp too. I guess tis an MV thing. We all have computers, AIM, email, games, facebook… I don't have facebook, myspace, or anything related. I don't have the time. Nor would I even want to do it if I did. I don't consider myself a techie. I know a little, but nothing compared to a ton of people around campus. Just because I can write a few lines of code means nothing, but it is a lot more than what most people can do. When people think of tech and teenagers, they think of cell phones in the locker room, facebook, porn, endless hours of computer games, same for aim, and kids listening to ipods in class. The real problems are there, but not in that order. Its the small things that infiltrate society, like ipods. Who knew what an impact they would have! All of my friends have an mp3 player of some kind. Do we all listen to them in class? Not all of us. I don't. But some of us for sure. I prefer calculator games, but there are kids more classy who whip out their psp's. I think it is disrespectful, but those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. I fool around sometimes too :D
Whenever anyone asks me what language I am taking, I say Java. Java is a modern language, no? It should be. Lots more modern than something like Chinese anyway.
“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” Isaac Asimov
Its true that I spend too much time in front of the computer screen.
i wish we never had so much technology
cause now everyone is dependant on it. because i haven't signed up for facebook, and i don't like instant messenger things, i feel like i'm missing out on so many things. like that spoon game last year, i had no idea why everyone would bring spoons to school suddenly and it was strange that everyone did, but apparently the entire school has facebook so go figure. when i was at my friends house, they were like oh my god look at this! and it was an apology post on facebook. i was thinking.. if they are really sorry they cant wait one more day to say it face to face? don't get me wrong, i like my ds and my cell phone and computers but i'm really frustrated with how people treat technology like they would die without it.
“It is only when they go wrong that machines remind you how powerful they are.” Clive James
I’m grateful for the avenues of networking and of the friendships I have been able to develop because of technology. I think my favorite aspect of having Facebooks or Myspaces or whatever you chose to use is being able to stay in touch with people you don’t normally see everyday even if you don’t necessarily at the moment have time for an extensive phone conversation. One of my best friends from before I moved, a year ago or so, believe it or not found me on Myspace, and since then we have reconnected and now, once again, he’s one of my best friends. I’m SO grateful for that. I really missed him. Actually, it’s a very unfortunate story. I had banned myself from Myspace last year, so when I went on it for the first time in over a year in the summer, I opened up a message inviting me to a memorial service for my friend’s father. I was in
such a state of disbelief. I ran to the garage and told my dad, and when I returned to the computer and looked at it again I realized it was for last year. His dad had passed away over a year ago from cancer, and I had never known. Immediately, we called, and I guess each closed door opens a new one because now we are inseparable. I don’t know where he and I would be without technology… all I know is that I love my number three Top Friend.
“Man is still the most extraordinary computer of all.” John F. Kennedy
I use my computer every day. I do my homework on it, listen to music, surf the web, chat with AIM, use email, and play games. My computer is the single most used apparatus in my household. And its mine, all mine! Seriously, life would suck without it. Kids here in silicon valley are pretty much required to have one, and we use them for everything. My friends chat long hours into the night. Powerpoint comes in very useful for school projects. Essays must be typed in 12 pt font times new roman. I spend a HUGE amount of time here, sitting in front of the screen and doing whatever. I think its great. If technology gave me a computer then it is awesome. That means technology is awesome. I have a friend who was the victim of a myspace defiling. Some people created a page for him, listing his favorite movies as porn, his favorite music as german pop, etc. He can't get into it, doesn't know the password. Its stuff like that which screws with the
image. I thought tech was meant to help, but us kids can always find ways to mess it up, or it can mess us up. I've listened to music in class plenty of times. Just pull up the hood and nobody knows the difference. I guess I get caught once in a while, but who cares? My teachers hardly call on me, and I can pay attention enough so that it isn't a huge shock. I can text in class, take pictures of what my teacher writes on the white board, and play games on my cell phone. There is endless entertainment. There are plenty of kids who play calculator games or have gameboys/PSPs/whatever. Personally, I would hate to have mine confiscated, but ppl get away with it all the time. Others even have laptops, though that's uncommon.
“Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless.” Thomas Alva Edison
i guess i dont really like how technology has progressed over the years. i mean, its pretty bittersweet. it up the convenience and makes the world so much smaller, but at the same time, it saddens me that the personal connection we once had with people is diminishing. i like being on the phone with people, as well as hanging out in person. but doing so is always really hard, not only for me but for others as well. with aim, myspace, texting, and facebook, those awkward moments you find with people can be avoided once and for all. but i hate how these are such a trend these days; if your not a constant user of facebook and texting, you become more socially inept
as time progresses. i find that its socially degrading and you lose a personal connection with others. being a friend on facebook and myspace doesnt really mean you're their friend in person. writing on the walls of others somehow gets you closer with people. as nice as it is, it feels that the substance of a friendship is not entirely there. i'm torn between whether or not i should be an avid user of everything technology to keep my friends.
“The most important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them” Sir William Bragg
The internet has sucked away most of my life. Besides the school activities that I do, I’m almost always on my computer and if I’m away from it for more than 12 hours, I itch to get back to it. I don’t know what it is about it. Maybe it’s because it connects me to my friends – yes, people I’ve met online through various sorts of ways. Sometimes I engage in roleplay games where a community is created and I can create a character and play out “their” life against other characters. It’s fun for me because I get to create personalities of fictional people that are sometimes so different from me, and interact with people who have that same interest. And sometimes I learn about the writer, too, and now some of my best friends are people I’ve never met in my real life. But they’re better friends than the ones I do have in real life, and sometimes I skip out on events or hanging out with people I can see face to face just so I can stay at home and talk to people who I feel know me much better through a screen.
Sometimes I want to just get off and hang with my friends in real life and gain back all of the friendships I’ve lost… but most of the time, I really don’t.
“I really hate this darn machine I wish that they would sell it. It never does quite what I want But only what I tell it.” Anonymous
Technology affects all of us each and every day. It surrounds us. Technology is the wonderful thing which separates us from the monkeys. Quite frankly, I love technology. It makes virtually everything in today's society possible. Everything from computers to calculate the mysteries of the universe to old fashioned wheels on bicycles to get us from A to B. Technology, even so, has its drawbacks. Why do I have to be the one sucker who can't watch .wmv formatted video clips? Why do I have to go out and purchase Microsoft Office just so that I can access what Excel can do without having to drag myself to the library? Powerpoint is used on nearly every presentation, and though OpenOffice works it still comes nowhere close to ppt. Our lab in the library is awesome, but closes after school. The Cupertino library takes forever to walk to, who has time for that? Students like me have to go out and purchase Microsoft (or Apple) products to do their regular school work. Whoever doesn't notice that Microsoft pretty much has a monopoly needs to open their eyes. Sure, tech does get us some cool things. ROP and programming classes are
awesome, and reports can now be turned in online through turnitin. Grades can all be viewed online, as with homework. But then there is always the teacher who forgets to post, and then I am stuck without my homework the next day of school. Sucks for me. What's up with the graphic calculators? Students can easily archive what they need to know on tests, use it to do pretty much anything mathematically, or write a program to do anything else. Games draw kid's attention during class, and the other half of the school hardly knows how to do anything other than 4 function and maybe graphing. I experience technological frustration almost every day. Sometimes something is broken and needs to be fixed. Other times I stress out because my printer cartridge is low. And then there is the endless spam that gets into my email account from like every college you've ever heard of. Still, the advantages greatly outweigh the disadvantages. I took an MV programming class and would highly recommend it to everyone. Tech is one of my best friends (and enemies).
“The first 90% of the code accounts for the first 90% of the development time. The remaining 10% of the code accounts for the other 90% of the development time.” Tom Cargill
A Quinceñera is supposed to be a latin tradition in which a young 14 year old becomes a 15 year old woman. My friend Chyanne was celebrating hers in february, right at the beginning of my
sports season. She had everything organized and had me paired with her good family friend; a hefty black guy named John Doe who was a senior at fremont. He was a pretty nice guy and he was a good dancer. After the quince was over he asked for my number. I didnt really want to give it to him, so i told him to add me on Myspace instead. Later on I checked my account and saw i had a new friend request from him. I accepted without hesitation thinking we could be friends. Not even five minutes after accepting his request, he sent me over 10 messages asking me questions. I thought he was just trying to get to know me so I figures I'd reply to some of them and ignore the rest. He'd respond in a heartbeat and ask why i wouldnt respond to the others. A little needy, so I eventually stopped replying alltogether. He would obsessively comment my pictures and leave me comments. I started getting scared and decided to delete him as a friend so he'd get the hint. Days later, I got another request from this other guy who turned out to be his best friend Ben. His friend wasnt as histeric and started a casual conversation. He then told me John was depressed since I stopped talking to him and he wants to see me. After getting even more scared, i deleted him as well. I later found out Ben added my best friend as well as a few otheres on my Myspace. After a while I kept getting random requests, all linking me back to John. I ended up blocking everyone in hopes that he'd leave me alone.
was playing his school or anything, so I was a little bothered. I'm guessing he downloaded our game scheduale off our school website or something.
The first nonleague game of mine was against Fremont. I was excited to see some of my old friends. A few minutes before the game started i scoped the crowd to see who was watching. The bleachers were quite bare on the Fremont side; except a hefty black guy who i knew as John. He sat there and watched me play the whole game, then left as soon as it ended. I didnt tell him I
Well okay, I suppose I do use the computer way too much. But come on, who doesn’t? I’ve never really thought of it as a problem, it’s just that stuff like computers are a lot more convenient than say researching at the library, not that I use my computer for research that often, I usually uhm…semistudy! (a.k.a. waste time on the computer)
Later on in our season we ended up having an away game at Mountain View high school. We start warming up and I see John wearing a lettermans jacket and some shades. He stood there watching me the whole time. After the game he disappeared before I had the chance to say something to him. I hoped he would go back home to sunnyvale and I would never see him agian. On the car ride home i was talking to my mom about how uncomfortable I was that he was showing up to my games unannounced. Pretty soon we were back in Cupertino a couple of minutes away from my house. A fellow teammate was driving next to us so i rolled down the window to have a chat. I hear this loud music playing behind my car, so I turn around to see whos car; It was John. He followed me all the way from Mountain View to Cupertino. Horrified I told my mom about the situation, and she ended up driving around in circles until he left. We finally returned home and I never saw him again.
“For a successful technology, honesty must take precedence over public rela tions for nature cannot be fooled.” Richard Feynman
The only thing that really made me regret using the computer so much is instant messaging and email. I don’t mean that as in I think it’s bad necessarily…it’s just that being able to talk to someone faster comes with problems. At least a couple of times I’ve found myself being angry at someone because I talked to them online. The cause usually is something completely irrelevant to instant messaging, we might have gotten into an argument at school or something, but I know if we’re both online we’d just get
more heated because its hard to watch what you’re saying on im. And also, it’s the fact that you can communicate so fast, you don’t have the time to sit down and let things stew, and think over why you’re mad or sad, or upset. Like back in the day when I never bothered with instant messaging, I might be mad at a friend for a day or two, but with some down time everything would be fine again. But it just seems like im makes things a little to close for comfort, you need space after an argument don’t cha?
Resources Thinking Through Technology: The Path between Engineering and Philosophy by Carl Mitcham What does it mean to think about technology philosophically? Why try? These are the issues that Carl Mitcham addresses in this work, a comprehensive, critical introduction to the philosophy of technology and a discussion of its sources and uses. Technology Matters: Questions to Live With by David E. Nye Technology matters, writes David Nye, because it is inseparable from being human. We have used tools for more than 100,000 years, and their central purpose has not always been to provide necessities. People excel at using old tools to solve new problems and at inventing new tools for more elegant solutions to old tasks. Teens, Technology, and Literacy by Linda W. Braun Bad grammar, emoticons, acronyms, and poor spelling are ubiquitous in cyberspace, and especially prevalent in teen communicationsboth within and outside of the Interneteven in the classroom. Are today's technologiesemail, chat, IM, blogging, and electronic gamesruining the reading and writing skills of teens? This author proposes that, because the technology often defines how one communicates, today's teens are actually exploring and developing new literacies, and learning to use technology in the most effective ways possible. Blogging for Dummies by Brad Hill If you want to give yourself a Web presence without spending a lot of time or money, a blog is your answer and this is your guide. Blogs (Web logs) are short, diarylike entries on a Web site that have chronological, journal formats. Computer Aid Communities: Check these communities whenever you have computer issues. Maybe someone else has had them already. •
Windows Vista : http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/windows/enUS/community/ default.mspx
Windows XP : http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone/related/default .mspx
Macintosh : http://www.apple.com/support/
Ubuntu Linux : http://www.ubuntu.com/community
Tech Talk of Teenagers Jim Bodwin Tech Businessman and Consultant “Technology” is a pretty broad subject and there are many areas that affect Monta Vista students – GPS systems, Hybrid cars, hightech cures for diseases, and solutions to global warming to name just a few of the possibilities. However, virtually all of the students' submissions centered on textbased messaging in various forms (IM, email, texting). The Internet was invented for communications; early prototypes of what became the Internet were funded by the military as a reliable mechanism for passing orders to troops. The main thing that distinguishes humans from other species is our ability to communicate. The social structure of high schools makes that even more important for students than for the rest of the population. Clearly, that is the area where technology has had the most impact in recent years. Of course, today's elementary school student will take all of this for granted, and they won't view it as “technology” any more than today's high school students view AM radio as “technology”. Most of the submissions focus on the social aspects of textbased messaging and not on the underlying technology at all. Nobody cares HOW the message gets to their friends as long as they get it quickly. Like all methods of communications, this new method has an evolving set of rules of etiquette. What messages need to be delivered facetoface? Is it better to vent feelings online than over the phone? When is it OK to hide behind the Internet in order to avoid an uncomfortable situation? When is it OK to pretend to be a different sort of person? Is that really pretending? My wife and I were very early users of email back when few people knew what it was. It shaped our relationship in ways that are familiar to most people today but it was new territory back then. The rules of email etiquette did not exist yet. We worked with a man who was also an early adopter of email. He was deaf from birth and, although he could read lips well, had never been able to communicate well verbally. Email gave him a way to communicate with others that he had never experienced before. He could share stories, engage in technical discussions, and just chat with a new world of people. Interestingly, he lacked knowledge of etiquette in certain situations – he had never been able to speak on the phone or carry on sustained conversations so he had never been exposed to some of the subtleties of human communication and it showed in his emails. He would often ramble offtopic (just as friends do when they talk) even in focused, technical discussions. Some of your parents are struggling to figure out the rules of electronic communication. We simply have not grown up with the Internet and lack the intimate knowledge of the rules of etiquette that today's high school students take for granted. For instance, I just can't bring myself to type AIM messages without using vowels, capitals, and punctuation. Please have patience with us. The underlying basics of email are unfamiliar to some people. In the late 80s Colonel Ollie North was about to be caught for illegally selling weapons to Iran and then using the money to fund a group trying to overthrow the government of Nicaragua (and to spruce up his personal home a bit). He realized that there was an email record of what he had done and he had to destroy that in order to cover his tracks. So how did he try to destroy the emails? He carefully printed each email and then shredded the printed copy. That seems downright stupid today (and it seemed stupid to many people back then) but
it points out how people rely on their past experiences when dealing with new situations. Some of the rules in place today will change in the near future. Most social networking sites have significantly increased their identity verification protocols. A combination of new policies, new laws, and new technologies will someday make it impossible to hide your identity from other online users. Most people see this as good – it will stop sexual predators (or at least drive them elsewhere). But it also takes away the ability to use the Internet anonymously for valid reasons such as trying on new personas, chatting about embarrassing situations, or whistle blowing on illegal activities. There is precedent for this from the past: “crank” and “obscene” phone calls used to be common until a new technology (caller ID) made it impossible for the perpetrators to remain anonymous. Monta Vista students are on the forefront of Internet communications and social networking. Your behavior today just might affect how many people behave in the future. Don't use the Internet to abuse others. Don't tolerate abusive behavior on the Internet any more than you would in any other media. And don't use the Internet to avoid doing something that you know you should do in a more personal manner. The “golden rule” still applies: u txt uthrs = u <3 uthrs txt u
Upcoming Issues and Submission Deadlines Issue Teacher/Student Relationships Betrayal Homosexuality
Deadline 6pm, Sunday, April 5th 6pm, Sunday, May 4th 6pm, Sunday, June 8th
Ways to Submit 1. 2.
Visit us at www.verdadera.org. You can submit stories here, learn more about Verdadera, and meet staff members. Stories can be turned in to any staff member – hardcopies or emails, anything is welcomed. Staff members are also there to help answer your questions about issues, topics, anything. Email it to email@example.com
Technology April 2008 Staff: Nita Chen, Paulina Dao, Gillian Decker, Natasha Desai, Dinah Drahluk, Hermes Huang, Kai Kang, Serena Lee, Yifang Qiu, Robert Rodine, Evelyn Shaw, Tim Wheeler, Vicky Xu, Matisse Yoshihara Advisors: Hung Wei Chien, Kathy Fetterman, Carol Satterlee Visit us at www.verdadera.org