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Contents #s Aren’t Enough Kadie Carvin Through What Lenses Do we View Online Privacy? Tiers Congdon Digital Pros in Diapers? Technology and the Very Young Jamie Reid Left to Our Own Devices Christine S. Hill Parents vs. Teens: On Internet Privacy Megan Wolvin Privacy Policies, Student Awareness, and the Role of Educators Tiffany Geiger Questioning Authenticity Nicole Sutton Stop Scrolling. Let’s Talk! Kaitlyn Creel The Physical Afflictions of Digital Addictions Jenny Beail


The Worst Part about Censorship is XXXXXXXX Jesse Tafel Introverts in an Extroverted World Ashley Haden Online Dating: A Plea to Expand Horizons Joe Bodenlos Low Self-Esteem in a Selfie-Filled Society Bria Smith What’s Identity Got to Do With It? Stephanie Daley Should Technology Be Allowed in the Classrrom? Kathleen Golden Wheel of Woefulness Samantha Emerson The Ice Bucket Challenge: An Ego Boost, But Also Maybe a Good Thing Amanda Rennie


#S Aren’t Enough to Change the Gender Binary

LET THE BATHROOM BATTLES BEGIN! For the mass majority of people going into the bathroom your gender is assigned is a daily occurrence. We all get to share in the misery of dirty public bathrooms, where toilet paper covers the floor and maintenance attempts to cover up the smell of dozens of people’s poo with foul smelling air fresheners (strawberry bliss is always a poor choice). For some people however the gender they were born into doesn’t match what gender they identify as. They felt trapped in the wrong body. Today silence has been broken about Transgender individuals and many people are making the decision to make the change to the gender that matches their identity. Modern science is a miracle! THE DEBATE across the nation: what bathroom should Transgenders use? The bathroom assigned to their birth certificate or the bathroom that matches their gender identity. Social media activists descended! Social Brae Carnes and Michael C Hughes pictured above media has lit up with new hashtags like #transgender, are two transgender activists who are protesting #tgirl, #wejustneedtopee #sissy. Each hashtag increases bathroom laws based on biological sex rather than gender identity. #wejustneedtopee in sass. The last Hashtag, #sissy, is in reference to laws which require Transgender individuals to go to the bath room assigned to their birth. Social media users are chal lenging the “bathroom police” to check to see which gender they are really. Transgender activists Brae Carnes and Michael C Hughes are transgender individuals who have taken to the internet to show the absurdity of laws which require individuals to use the bathroom of their “birth.” Ms. Carnes pictured alongside the title poses in the men’s bathroom putting on lipstick. Clearly she no longer belongs in the men’s bathroom. Similarly Mr. Hughes took a selfie in the women’s room. His picture is particularly powThe “Potty Police” will steal Marilyn’s thunder, now everyone’s skirts will be up! #sissy


erful because the women in the background are giving him dirty looks for using the wrong bathroom. These two individuals braved criticism in order to promote transgender rights and to abolish bathroom laws which do not respect gender identity. They went beyond liking or retweeting about transgender rights they started a conversation, in person as well as on the internet. Hashtags are useful in conjunction with meaningful discussions about the inequalities in society. Do These Hashtags Accomplish anything? Much like the battle for Marriage equality, the Transgender bathroom debate is a fight for civil liberties. We all just need to pee, the bathroom ins’t exactly a hang out spot unless you are in high school avoiding class, not that I would know... In the case of transgender bathrooms, laws attempt to change the gender binary. Bathrooms traditionally are male and female; transgender bathrooms laws attempt to create gender neutral bathrooms/all gender bathrooms. Don’t let the Man determine your gender! Some people identify as “gender queer” or don’t identify as either gender; gender neutral bathrooms will help eliminate the vexing question of which gender do I identify with. In addition these laws also aim to give transgender individuals the choice of using the bathroom that matches their gender identity. The hope is that bathrooms, previously a space of persecution, will be a safe place for people that identify as any gender. HEATHER SMITH EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR of The American Civil Liberties Union argues that bills which force students to choose the bathroom assigned to their birth gender or use a separate bathroom, harm the students psychologically. As if middle school wasn’t hard enough, now the bathroom you use is something to tease you about. She states, “We know transgender students face staggeringly rates of depression and anxiety, and an alarming 41% of transgender people have attempted suicide, H.B. 1008 would do nothing to protect students’ privacy but it will do real and lasting harm to vulnerable transgender students.” There has been much opposition to the Transgender bathroom initiative. People claim, that the law will be abused and that people pretending to be transgender will harm women. In a USA today article titled, “Transgender bathroom bills target a non-issue” the author argues that the North Carolina law which requires all Transgender individuals to use the bathroom of their birth gender (founded on the principle of harassment of women in bathrooms) is an issue that does not exist. So are we supposed to just have our birth certificate on us at all times or will it be a quick frisk check?

The author affirms their statement by citing, “American Family Association’s online Target boycott page lists news accounts of bathroom and locker room incidents that “Target’s policy can lead to,” but none seems to involve actual transgender people.” Naturally Twitter and facebook have held lively debates about Targets sweeping motion, some claim to never shop at target again #boycotttarget (good shorter lines at checkout), other send out their love for targets inclusive ruling #Shop @target #LBGT. Social media has served as a large interface connecting networks of conversations about heated topics. The stereotype that transgender individuals are sexual criminals, perverts, pedophiles, etc. is an unfounded over generalization of an entire population of people. TRANSPARENT, a series created by Jill Solloway is based on the true story of her father who came out as transgender in the late years of his life. This show tackles the persecution and fear that many transgender individuals face when using the bathroom in public. Maura (transitioning mtf father) faces persecution when trying to use the ladies room for the first time, in episode four of season one (Amazon Prime members can watch for free!). Maura is verbally abused by a woman who calls him a pervert claiming, “there are young women in here that you are traumatizing.” She is a nasty piece of work; her attitude resembles that of Regina George from Mean Girls. You can’t pee with us! Maura is forced to pee in a port-a-potty down the road because she did not blend into the gender binary bathroom system. No one should be forced to use port-a-potties at con-

Amazon Prime members can watch for free!


struction sites, the home of lost cell phones resting on with names and voices and faces and tell the people piles of week old feces, where bees make their homes out there in the world, outside our circles of friends,” inside the pit in which you are supposed too pee into. how important it is to treat Trans individuals like huLuckily transgender laws aim to provide a safe place for mans. You mean I actually have to talk to people face individuals. This show tackles the persecution and fear to face? That’s so archaic. Pioneers like Mr. Hughes that many transgender individuals who do not fit into and Ms. Carnes have become public figures fighting the gender binary. for transgender rights, they do not stop talking about SOCIAL MEDIA these issues once they are off IS GREAT FOR RAISING their computers. They talk to AWARENESS of problems or people about their opinions in raising money for a cause. The real life as well as on the intertransgender hashtag movenet. ments have started a conversa TALK ABOUT IT tion about equality, connecting Social media has laid the hundreds of people’s thoughts groundwork of conversation on the bathroom law debacle. about transgender rights and Many people claim that social the bathroom debate but you media is ineffective in creating have to talk about it in person. lasting social change. Author That means when you hear Malcolm Gladwell from the New someone spreading slander York Times argues in his article about the LBGT community or “Small Change, Why Revolution supporting the NC bathroom will not be Tweeted,” that social laws, you need to speak up. Tell media has little effect on politthat person why transgender ical actions. Gladwell claims people should be able to use that social media forms “weak the bathroom of their gender ties” which can only be used to identity, especially in schools. fix small non-politically charged Protesting does not mean you problems. Political or social have to pick up a picket, but if problems can only be solved you feel inspired to march on through protesting/ social revyour local assembly and change olution according to Gladwell. the bathroom laws, go for it! What Gladwell fails to realize Real change is made through It's still a Porta Potty... however is that Hashtags collect and connect converdiscussion on and off the internet, you have to change sations that otherwise would be spread out in the far the minds of the nah sayers. Slacktivists don’t termireaches of the internet. Facebook is the first place I hear nate your support of equality measure because you about political issues or social injustices, it connects me computer turned off. Go out talk to people about it, to the people. Social Media is the first step in achieving you may be surprised how many people don’t know real social change. Sorry Twitter but your tweets aren’t how these bathroom laws are really a cry for civil enough. Attention slacktivists around the nation, no liberties. Use your digital activist energy to spread the amount of likes on protest pages or retweets will change word on the web but don’t stop there, start a conversathe worlds mind about social issues. tion with your friends, family, strangers. #Transgen Brian Moylan esteemed journalist calls for peoderrights ple to stand up for the rights of Gay individuals instead of simply changing your profile picture to the LBGT Kadie Carvin is currently flag. “The Red Marriage Equality Sign on Your Facebook enrolled in a Bachelors in Education program at Profile Is Completely Useless.” His words can be applied Rowan University. She loves to the Transgender bathroom rights debate, “No one is books and movies. going to give you anything for nothing, and all the FaceShe apriciates all humor book (twitter #’s) statuses in the world won’t change that. and is an avid foodie. We have to go out and take it. We have to be individuals Ps. Burger was ok


Through What Lenses Do We View Online Privacy? Privacy in the digital age is a complicated and scary thing. Allow me a metaphor: we take for granted that when we close a door, we cannot be seen. We disarm ourselves, relax. We do the same thing when we go online. We often think that just because we aren’t using social media, what we do is private. But the internet has no doors, only windows from which we believe we watch the world with relative safety. But the world can (and often does) watch back. It’s terrifying how few of us know who can see or access what we do online. People have gotten so caught up with things like the zika virus, the 2016 election circus, and the murder of gorillas that they’ve forgotten to keep watching the people who watch them. Some folks are so out of touch they do not even consider the fact that they are being monitored at all. A Closer Look In a journalism article titled Uncle Sam and the Illusion of Privacy Online, Adrienne LaFrance documents and discusses federal and state agencies’ use of Twitter to monitor and document alleged criminals. In summary, she publicizes these agencies’ ability to request (and almost always receive) the private user data of their targets. As Orwell feared, the government is allowed to watch and act on what we say, regardless of whether or not we mean it or if the words are taken deliberately out of context. When we examine the implications, things get more upsetting. If alleged criminals are digitally posting sensitive information about their personal goings-on, they are clearly not cognizant of the publicity and ease of access that social media outlets like Twitter afford their words. If these alleged criminals were aware, they would not be posting at all, knowing that the police (or any three-letter government agency) could just ask to see their private conversations, tweets, and messages. And don’t even get me started on the power George W. Bush afforded the NSA. As the old adage goes: don’t write anything you wouldn’t want read back to you in court. Alleged criminals are not even the only ones who disregard the potential consequences of their online actions. Danah Boyd’s book on adolescents in the 21st century, It’s Complicated, goes into great depth on how today’s youth interact with the digital world and how they view social media (and other forms of self-documentation). In her second chapter, Boyd discusses the unique pathology teens exhibit in refer-

ence to their online spaces. The general consensus amongst her young interviewees was that just because something was online did not mean it wasn’t private. They wanted to publicize thoughts, events, feelings, and images to their specific social spheres, but they did not want the information they posted accessed by parents, teachers, or any other adult authority figures. While it is interesting (if paradoxical) that teens want to communicate with a private public (or public private group- the specifics are muddled), it is frightening that this generation of youngsters is not concerned about who may access their personal information. It goes beyond just the cautionary tales

of stalkers and psychopaths who will find the teens’ digital profiles to exploit them. These teens are not discussing the social and political ramifications of world wide access to personal data. If they are not aware of the scope of their digital choices and actions, then they may find themselves in the same poorly-cogitated position of politically-minded adults who think it is okay to give the government full access to their data because “they have nothing to hide.” Ask Yourself... What we need to consider is that anything we do or say on the internet (or digitally with cellular phone texting services) is being recorded, watched, and probably analyzed. We need to be asking questions like, who is watching? Why are they watching?

Are they allowed to be watching? Should they be allowed to be watching? What do they want? And through what lenses do they see our data? For instance, a private investigator will have a completely different outlook on our social media profiles and text data than will a corporate entity trying to target us for advertisements, and it is a different story still if it is a federal or state entity clamoring for our data. Overwhelming Fear Continues I learned in Colleen A. Reilly’s worrisome Coming to Terms: Critical Approaches to Ubiquitous Digital Surveillance that Google has been collecting data on individual users’ search histories to produce a sort of digital portfolio of their perceived interests. These portfolios are usually a good indicator of individuals’ hobbies, needs, and wants.Google can then sell this information to practically any “legitimate” corporate entity, who may then easily resell the information down the chain of business. This sort of behavior, of collect-

ing private information and then selling it, is a terrible, unethical business practice. It’s the kind of mentality that allows debt buying, telemarketing and telescamming, and a slew of other issues. Proceed with Caution Not understanding or even being aware of the ramifications of being personally targeted by outside interests is dangerous. Just one of the results is more specific, convincing click bait that can lead to downloading malware on your computer. Most of the technologically literate know not to click on pop-ups or ads- or they just have adblockers and anti virus programs installed- but the technologically literate are no longer the only ones surfing the web. Children and older adults are now far more digitally connected than before due to increased ease of access. These susceptible demographics often click on the ads or banners or what have you, even when they know they should not, because the ads have been personalized to use their names and area codes. Some ads go as far as looking like links to journalism articles about issues dear to the users’ hearts, as evidenced by their digital interest portfolios. Worse still is Google’s use of the digital portfolios to tailor search results, showing only what the algorithms think the user wants to see rather than showing the most relevant search results. This breach in privacy is one of the most upsetting of all to me, because it literally

limits what information one accesses at face value. I recognize how easy it is for me to sit here and criticize the dangers of big data collection. Like all things, it is not inherently bad or evil. There are phenomenal potential applications of massive data collection. In some ways, it is like having a thumb on the pulse of public digital culture. It is easy to get a read on what people are currently talking about, what people are worried about, what people are misinformed about. This knowledge can and should be used for good! But the corporate interests, and the private social media companies like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and the rest, are in control of the big data sets and aren’t loosening the leash anytime soon. From the perspective of the humanitarian, this is bad because academics cannot access, process, and synthesize valuable information from these data sets. From the perspective of the global citizen, this is good because corporate entities cannot freely access anyone’s data. Then again, the people who usually receive the highly valuable big data sets are the big businesses because they have the money and wherewithal to seek audience with the top members of these social media giants to broker deals for the coveted information of the masses. So we might as well just make the data available to the scholarly circles who want to use it to further human knowledge, if we are going to continue letting it be freely manipulated by corporate interests. The point isn’t to pretend Big Data doesn’t exist- that’s like having an apple pie out in the middle of the mall next to a sign saying “Please don’t eat this.” Inevitably, some schmuck will come around and eat that pie. (Side note- they’ve been eating the pie for almost two decades at this point.) But we deserve a slice of that pie too, seeing as how “we the people” are the ones who made it. Our awareness of Big Data’s existence and potential applications means we can continue growing as a species, if we are willing to execute due diligence. But we must also keep an eye on what is being accessed and how it is being used, to make sure everything is legal, fair, and safe.

Tiers Congdon is a Writing Arts student at Rowan University.


Through What Lenses Do We View Online Privacy? Privacy in the digital age is a complicated and scary thing. Allow me a metaphor: we take for granted that when we close a door, we cannot be seen. We disarm ourselves, relax. We do the same thing when we go online. We often think that just because we aren’t using social media, what we do is private. But the internet has no doors, only windows from which we believe we watch the world with relative safety. But the world can (and often does) watch back. It’s terrifying how few of us know who can see or access what we do online. People have gotten so caught up with things like the zika virus, the 2016 election circus, and the murder of gorillas that they’ve forgotten to keep watching the people who watch them. Some folks are so out of touch they do not even consider the fact that they are being monitored at all. A Closer Look In a journalism article titled Uncle Sam and the Illusion of Privacy Online, Adrienne LaFrance documents and discusses federal and state agencies’ use of Twitter to monitor and document alleged criminals. In summary, she publicizes these agencies’ ability to request (and almost always receive) the private user data of their targets. As Orwell feared, the government is allowed to watch and act on what we say, regardless of whether or not we mean it or if the words are taken deliberately out of context. When we examine the implications, things get more upsetting. If alleged criminals are digitally posting sensitive information about their personal goings-on, they are clearly not cognizant of the publicity and ease of access that social media outlets like Twitter afford their words. If these alleged criminals were aware, they would not be posting at all, knowing that the police (or any three-letter government agency) could just ask to see their private conversations, tweets, and messages. And don’t even get me started on the power George W. Bush afforded the NSA. As the old adage goes: don’t write anything you wouldn’t want read back to you in court. Alleged criminals are not even the only ones who disregard the potential consequences of their online actions. Danah Boyd’s book on adolescents in the 21st century, It’s Complicated, goes into great depth on how today’s youth interact with the digital world and how they view social media (and other forms of self-documentation). In her second chapter, Boyd discusses the unique pathology teens exhibit in refer-

ence to their online spaces. The general consensus amongst her young interviewees was that just because something was online did not mean it wasn’t private. They wanted to publicize thoughts, events, feelings, and images to their specific social spheres, but they did not want the information they posted accessed by parents, teachers, or any other adult authority figures. While it is interesting (if paradoxical) that teens want to communicate with a private public (or public private group- the specifics are muddled), it is frightening that this generation of youngsters is not concerned about who may access their personal information. It goes beyond just the cautionary tales

of stalkers and psychopaths who will find the teens’ digital profiles to exploit them. These teens are not discussing the social and political ramifications of world wide access to personal data. If they are not aware of the scope of their digital choices and actions, then they may find themselves in the same poorly-cogitated position of politically-minded adults who think it is okay to give the government full access to their data because “they have nothing to hide.” Ask Yourself... What we need to consider is that anything we do or say on the internet (or digitally with cellular phone texting services) is being recorded, watched, and probably analyzed. We need to be asking questions like, who is watching? Why are they watching?

Are they allowed to be watching? Should they be allowed to be watching? What do they want? And through what lenses do they see our data? For instance, a private investigator will have a completely different outlook on our social media profiles and text data than will a corporate entity trying to target us for advertisements, and it is a different story still if it is a federal or state entity clamoring for our data. Overwhelming Fear Continues I learned in Colleen A. Reilly’s worrisome Coming to Terms: Critical Approaches to Ubiquitous Digital Surveillance that Google has been collecting data on individual users’ search histories to produce a sort of digital portfolio of their perceived interests. These portfolios are usually a good indicator of individuals’ hobbies, needs, and wants.Google can then sell this information to practically any “legitimate” corporate entity, who may then easily resell the information down the chain of business. This sort of behavior, of collect-

ing private information and then selling it, is a terrible, unethical business practice. It’s the kind of mentality that allows debt buying, telemarketing and telescamming, and a slew of other issues. Proceed with Caution Not understanding or even being aware of the ramifications of being personally targeted by outside interests is dangerous. Just one of the results is more specific, convincing click bait that can lead to downloading malware on your computer. Most of the technologically literate know not to click on pop-ups or ads- or they just have adblockers and anti virus programs installed- but the technologically literate are no longer the only ones surfing the web. Children and older adults are now far more digitally connected than before due to increased ease of access. These susceptible demographics often click on the ads or banners or what have you, even when they know they should not, because the ads have been personalized to use their names and area codes. Some ads go as far as looking like links to journalism articles about issues dear to the users’ hearts, as evidenced by their digital interest portfolios. Worse still is Google’s use of the digital portfolios to tailor search results, showing only what the algorithms think the user wants to see rather than showing the most relevant search results. This breach in privacy is one of the most upsetting of all to me, because it literally

limits what information one accesses at face value. I recognize how easy it is for me to sit here and criticize the dangers of big data collection. Like all things, it is not inherently bad or evil. There are phenomenal potential applications of massive data collection. In some ways, it is like having a thumb on the pulse of public digital culture. It is easy to get a read on what people are currently talking about, what people are worried about, what people are misinformed about. This knowledge can and should be used for good! But the corporate interests, and the private social media companies like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and the rest, are in control of the big data sets and aren’t loosening the leash anytime soon. From the perspective of the humanitarian, this is bad because academics cannot access, process, and synthesize valuable information from these data sets. From the perspective of the global citizen, this is good because corporate entities cannot freely access anyone’s data. Then again, the people who usually receive the highly valuable big data sets are the big businesses because they have the money and wherewithal to seek audience with the top members of these social media giants to broker deals for the coveted information of the masses. So we might as well just make the data available to the scholarly circles who want to use it to further human knowledge, if we are going to continue letting it be freely manipulated by corporate interests. The point isn’t to pretend Big Data doesn’t exist- that’s like having an apple pie out in the middle of the mall next to a sign saying “Please don’t eat this.” Inevitably, some schmuck will come around and eat that pie. (Side note- they’ve been eating the pie for almost two decades at this point.) But we deserve a slice of that pie too, seeing as how “we the people” are the ones who made it. Our awareness of Big Data’s existence and potential applications means we can continue growing as a species, if we are willing to execute due diligence. But we must also keep an eye on what is being accessed and how it is being used, to make sure everything is legal, fair, and safe.

Tiers Congdon is a Writing Arts student at Rowan University.


Digital Pros in Diapers? Technology and the Very Young

By Jamie Reid When I was a young child, my parents Kindles, iPods, and every other device that exists. had a diaper bag that went with us everyOften times, they don’t just have one of these devices, they have several of them. However, the where and it was used way beyond the current generation of children are spending too diaper years. Do you know what it conmuch time attached to technology and the age at tained? Toys and other forms of entertainwhich they start using technology is shocking! ment that did not require batteries. At that time, technology consisted of a desktop Technology in the Early Years computer and television. These pieces of equipment always stayed plugged into According to Brian Braiker in Technology in the the wall and never left the house. The only Classroom: The Good and Bad, one of the most electronic devices I had that “went placcommonly known organizations dedicated to chiles” were my Gameboy and my Giga Pet dren, The American Academy of Pediatrics, states (remember those virtual pets?) and that that children under two should not have any wasn’t until I was in Elementary School. electronic screen time at all. This recommendaToday, children’s forms of entertainment tion was made several years ago, before mobile are very different. When visiting a restaudevices became popular or even existed. In 2016, rant, parents are no lonthe reality is far from the ger seen carrying bags recommendation. Today, 9 out of 10 parents of chil- children are learning how of toys to occupy their children. Instead, parents dren under the age of two to use digital technoloreported that their child have packed one of the used some type of electron- gy before they can even ic technology most expensive “toys” of crawl, walk or talk. Did all: a digital device. Chilyou know that when surveyed, 9 out of 10 parents dren have iPads, smartphones, laptops, of children under the age of two reported that

their child used some type of electronic technology? Starting in infancy, screen time becomes a regular part of children’s lives and once they start using electronic devices, it’s hard to stop. Apps or Naps?

In addition, when you search the education section of the iTunes app store, you will find that the most popular age category is for toddlers and preschoolers. The iTunes app store has more


than half a million activities available for children. Can you imagine having half a million to choose from? This seems a bit overwhelming. The apps developed by Sesame Street have been tested to ensure they meet Sesame Street’s curriculum goals and that they are educational for children. However, not all apps are created equal and therefore, a major concern is: are all these apps, games and devices really helping children’s brains grow?

riences using various forms of technology, I didn’t think they were spending too much time in front of electronic screens. In contrast, my neighbor, David, who is six years old, is proof that, yes, children can spend too much time in front of electronics. He has an iPad, a portable DVD player, and various other electronics. David is developmentally delayed and is also visually impaired, so most of his toys are battery operated and have sound or music, since he learns better by hearing. He spends most of his day in front of these electronics, except when he goes to school. At school, he receives physical and other therapies. However, technology is also utilized in the school environment. I know that he has spent so much time in front of his electronics in his childhood that he has broken a few keyboards, iPads and DVD players. David’s parents feel that the solution to a broken device is to purchase a new one on the internet. In the end, the fact that David prefers and learns best through electronics is not an excuse for having him spend a majority of his day watching one movie after the next and playing one game after another on his iPad!

I work with young children at a daycare and the daycare does not use technology with children because they believe children should learn through physical play and not by using David may not be the typical child but spendtechnology. At first, I didn’t agree with this and ing time in front of technology hour after hour I thought that the kids would be missing out has become the new norm, on valuable skills. so he fits in. SInce excessive However, since I The over-use of technolostarted doing field gy has a negative impact on screen time is now pervayoung children’s develop- sive, more children under experiences, I bement the age of 5 know how to came exposed to play a computer game than ride a bike. Importa different viewpoint. The preschoolers in my field experience classrooms know how to use ant fine and gross motor skills such as the ability to tie shoes and ride a bike are being learned Smartboards, iPads, computers, and various later than expected. These skills may eventually other devices. I don’t even know how to use be learned, but the real problem is that excesan iPad or Smartboard! Is it possible that sive screen time interferes with the brain. these kids are smarter than I am?

Not necessarily. The truth is that while children can learn from apps, games, and other forms of technology, the over-use of technology has a negative impact on young children’s development. Children are swiping and clicking instead of developing important skills such as jumping, hopping, skipping, balancing and throwing. Young children are increasingly sedentary and are spending too much time in front of screens. While I saw the children in my field expe-

Technology and Brains In “Wired Kids: How Screen Time Affects Children’s Brains,” Nicole Crawford explains that the brain views technology as a pleasure-seeking sensation and therefore, children keep desiring more and more of it, leading to addiction. This is because dopamine, which is “known as the pleasure chemical (Crawford)” is released when children become absorbed in technology. Dopamine is the same chemical that causes addic-


tion to sugar, nicotine, cocaine, gambling and other destructive habits. When young children experience routine exposure to high levels of dopamine in early childhood, they develop habits which are difficult to break. This dopamine addiction can also result in other serious issues such as sleep disorders, poor social skills, social isolation, and low self-esteem. Young children who spend time in front of a screen may also experience moodiness, restlessness, emotional outbursts, and an inability to concentrate. Despite the research on the negative effects of developing a dopamine habit and a technology addiction. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that children spend an average of 7 hours of their day looking at some type of electronic screen.

velop important skills needed for socialization such as being able to understand others’ feelings, reading and decoding facial expressions, and utilizing a wide range of vocabulary. If children aren’t conversing with adults and peers, their brain will not have an understanding of the people around them.

However, no matter how convenient technoloYoung children are able to use mobile gy may be, parents shouldn’t just plop their kid in devices such as iPads independently withfront of a screen to keep him or her occupied. They out parental assistance. Therefore, parents shouldn’t exactly eliminate screen time either. The frequently use technology as a “babysitter” for the kids. Parents often need time to them- solution is to set limits, supervise, and give children opportunities to interact with the outside world. selves and will give children mobile devices just to keep them occupied. Parents also state that they The American Academy of use mobile devices to calm Pediatrics states that chiltheir children down or help put dren spend an average of 7 hours of their day looking them to sleep.

Talking Tots or Not?

at some type of electronic screen

In the article Tykes and tablets: Is too much screen time damaging your child’s brain?, psychologist Liraz Margalit explains that brains experience the most growth in the first three years and children’s brains and are “particularly sensitive to the environment (Margalit).” This means that in order for brains to develop properly, children need an extensive amount of social interaction. Social interaction is not something that can be gained by sitting in front of a tablet or Ipad playing games. If a mobile device reads a story aloud to a child, the child won’t be gaining the same interaction that would occur if the parent read the story, took the time to discuss vocabulary and had a conversation with the child about the story. By sitting in front of an electronic screen, children aren’t able to de-

Jamie Reid is an Early Childhood major at Rowan university with a dual major in Writing Arts/ American Studies. She enjoys arts and crafts, scrapbooking, reading, and learning.


Left to Our Own Devices Applying Mindfulness to Our Use of Technology

By Christine S. Hill

Within the past two decades I have both marveled and

shuddered at the power and influence of modern digital technologies. As a millennial, I have witnessed firsthand these technologies’ rapid integration into our society and our lives. There are so many amazing possibilities; however, there are also many concerning issues which stem from these marvelously powerful tools of the twenty-first century. One of them is our obsession with being busy. We feel guilty or less efficient if we give ourselves a break to catch our breath and do nothing; this is a serious issue for many, including myself.

Our Obsession with Busy

The reasoning makes sense. We have the resources to get as much done as possible. If we sit and do nothing then aren’t we just being lazy, wasting valuable time we could be spending productively? In the Forbes article, “Your Brain Unplugged: Proof That Spacing Out Makes You More Effective,” Lawton Ursrey counters the current pressure to be busy with science and work by acclaimed experts. Ursrey draws on Andrew Smart’s findings from Autopilot: The Art & Science of Doing Nothing. In reference to Smart’s work, Ursrey summarizes that sitting and doing nothing is not wasteful time lacking potential productivity. In fact, Ursrey provides scientific evidence through Smart’s work that we increase our productivity and creativity by allowing our brains the time to refresh and do nothing.

Bad Habits

Sherry Turkle, expert researcher in the field of technology’s effects on society for over 30 years and author of Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other, offers some invaluable insight as well. In chapter eight of Alone Together, “Always On,” Turkle explains how digital technology’s increased role in our everyday lives has brought cultural shifts. One of these shifts is our compulsion to always be “on.” There are many moments in our day-to-day lives that offer us the opportunity to refresh our minds and do nothing. However, many of us avoid or simply lose these times in fear of being left behind in our social lives or by obsession of working whenever technically possible. In seemingly mundane moments of the day we could be spending getting to know one another or even ourselves, we too often reach for our phones, tablets, laptops, or other devices, trying desperately to keep up with our virtual lives via Facebook, Twitter, text messaging, Pinterest, Snapchat, e-mail, you get the point. Turkle responds to this harmful habit of ours with this wisdom: “Moments of more may leave us with lives of less.” Is scrolling your social media really worth more than allowing yourself time to just... be?

We’re Human

Take a minute to really let that sink in. We’re human. But what does that even mean? It means we’re not robots or zombies for one, though our actions may suggest otherwise at times. Being “always on,” as


Turkle puts it, can make us feel like these nonhuman creatures. The way we so often use technology can lead us to feeling like a machine. However, we need to remember that we are human, and with that we need to recognize the human experience itself. Being human should be about discovering ourselves and building meaningful relationships with others.

Mindfulness can be used as a life tool to a way of being. It teaches you to deeply and honestly examine your life and self. Get to know yourself on an intimate level. Ask yourself reflective questions and seriously consider who you are, who you want to be, and how to get there. Become more aware of your self, your actions and habits, your priorities, needs, and goals. Then ask yourself how technology plays a role in the answers you discover. Inspect how you might change your use of technology to reach your goals, meet your needs, and stay true to who you are.

Omid Safi, columnist from On Being, an award-winning website that explores what it means to be part of the human experience, discusses his concerns on the issue in “The Disease of Being Busy.” He is sadLecturer at Stanford University and health psycholdened when he sees people in his life catch the “busy ogist Dr. Kelly McGonigal explains in “Mindfulness disease.” It’s true that we can work on our phones and Technology:” “Technology… while spending “quality” time with “It’s not about makes you forget what matters to you our loved ones wherever we go. It’s an amazing technology, but as Omid micromanaging your use (intention), distracts you (attention), and keeps you from taking action.” It Safi states, “…we are human beings, of technologies; it’s about is intention, attention, and action that not human doings.” We need to let ourselves just be human. Even though a change in perspective, McGonigal establishes as the three main parts of mindfulness. By intentechnology has cut the line separata new way of thinking: tion, she is referring to our priorities ing our personal lives from the rest of mindfulness.” and goals. Attention represents our our lives, that doesn’t mean that we awareness. This is the part I want have to. Technology does not control to emphasize; awareness is a powerful skill that can us; we are the ones in charge of how we use technolohelp you to use technologies how they are meant to be gy. We are left to our own devices. used, as tools. The first part of awareness is just making the conscious effort to be more aware. In my experience, A Change in Perspective being aware is the most important part of this proTechnology is here to stay, so if technology itself were cess; action tends to follow if you really want change. the problem, I wouldn’t know how to help you. FortuChanging your perspective and practicing mindfulnately, I can help guide you in your use of technology, ness will allow you to make better choices. Rather but I’m not going to simply promise you a new and than trying out what works for others, discover what improved life with a “comprehensive list” of, say, “five works best for you on your own. Use mindfulness to strategies to taking control of technology.” Through turn technology from a negative influence on your life my years of experiences, research, and self-examinato a positive one. By applying mindfulness to your use tion, I have at last come to one truly comprehensive of technologies, you will not only feel an improvement solution. Just like I’m not going to give you a guaranin your use of these technologies but also in your life teed life-changing list of five steps you can take to imand possibly, your self. prove your use of technology, I’m not going to promise you it will be easy, though it may not be so difficult About the Author: for some. The truth is, your success depends on your Christine is a “super senior” at Rowan University effort and will in pursuing it. It’s not about micromanmajoring in Early Childhood Education and aging your use of technologies; it’s about a change in Liberal Studies with concentrations in American perspective, a new way of thinking: mindfulness. Studies & Writing Arts. She dedicates free time

to playing the piano and composing songs.


Parents VS Teens: On Internet Privacy Megan Wolvin

Teenagers today feel entitled to internet privacy

from their parents, and yet they are willing to share information with complete strangers on the internet. What most teens do not realize is how too much sharing can have a negative effect on them. Somini Sengupta wrote an article in the New York Times titled, “Parents of Teenagers Say They Worry That Online Activities Might Hurt Children in the Future.” Parents are aware of the lasting effects that internet usage can have. In fact many parents are trying to help their teens adjust privacy settings to ensure safety. Beyond adjusting privacy controls parents want to see what their children are really up to and they do this through befriending their children on social media. The interview opinions on this subject were all pretty different. Teenagers answers about befriending their parents ranged from “cool with it” to one girl who blocked her parents from being able to see anything on her profile.

the great lengths she took to get a glimpse into her kids social media world. She started by creating a fake account that would hopefully go undetected and accepted by her own kids. This mother started by befriending a bunch of other teens that her own daughters were friends with. Clara Lemlich became her alias and she managed to sneak into her daughters lives undetected. However, what she ultimately found was not all that exciting. Through this experiment she found out that her children were not abusing their internet privileges but just being normal teens. At the end of the article “Clara” outs herself to her kids although she jokingly adds “Of course, they don’t follow me on social media, so they’ll never know.”

“What extremes are parents willing to go through to find out exactly what’s going on in their teenagers life?”

But at what extremes are parents willing to go through to find out exactly what’s going on in their teenagers life? Belinda Luscombe writes “This is How to Stalk Your Teens Online.” Luscombe writes about her experience as a mother and opens up about

This situation is a great example of the great lengths parents will go just to keep a close eye on their teenagers. In the end there was ultimately no real reason for this mother to create an alias to see what her teenage girls were up to. A lot of this uncertainty with parents, the internet, and their teens comes from the newness that still follows the internet and the rise of social media. My parents didn’t grow up with internet none the less social media. I remember being in 8th grade and begging my parents to let me sign up for a MySpace. In order to do so I first needed to create an email account. Already the social network


scene was sucking me in. Today I have four different email accounts, two twitters, and multiple different social networking platforms. Parents are hesitant about their children being on social media not only because of privacy but because it is unfamiliar to them. The older generation did not grow up using social media. Therefore, they fear it and what it can do. It’s not uncommon for people to fear the unknown. And in this case parents are worried about what their kids are sharing on the internet. Parents feel that if

“In this Case Parents Are Worried About What Their Kids are Sharing On The Internet.” they had access to looking through their teens social media or knowing the passwords to these accounts then they will have peace of mind over the safety of their kids. In a video interview titled “3 Social Media Safety Tips A Mother Teaches Her Teens.” Single mother Paola Seminario talks about the social media tips that she has implemented into her kids digital world. First and most importantly, understand boundaries and privacy settings. Making sure teens are selective of who they are adding is essential. When I first signed up for Facebook I would get lots of friend requests, and as long as I had a mutual friend with them I assumed I knew who they were or that maybe our paths had crossed at some point. Therefore I didn’t hesitate to click the “add friend” button. Look out for threats, Seminario reports that her daughter did not look at internet bullying as bullying, she just said “No it’s not. That’s just how kids are these days.” What the bigger issue with instances like these is that the words posted on social media can come back to get you. Which comes to Seminario’s last point, think and wait before you post something. The internet is not private. If you post a nasty comment on someone else’s picture they could screen shot your words, and

even if you later second guess what you said. You did still say it, and now there could be proof. The internet is a public forum and more people than you realize have access to things you post or comment. The message you are posting online conveys who you are as a person. And because it is public this could have the power to dictate how other people see you. Teenagers and their parents will most likely continue having this debate on whether or not they should include their parents in decisions to make on social media. Although I think for parents the best they can do is educate their teenagers on privacy rules and teach them how to behave on the internet. Parents do not need to go to extreme lengths to watch their children, such as the mother who created an alias just to peek into the world of her teens. If teens are well informed on the issues that can arise because of social media they may more inclined to watch what they share on the internet. The best way to internet success and your teens is to start by going over Paola Seminario’s three steps to internet safety. This is a great starting point that teens and parents can watch together. which presents an opportunity for parents to go over their concerns about teens internet sharing and vice versa. Having an open forum between parents and teens allows for a safer learning experience.

About the Author: Megan is heading into her Senior year at Row an University. And will graduate with a bach elors degree in Early Childhood Eduation and Writing arts.


Privacy Policies, Student Awareness, & The Role of Educators Tiffany Geiger

T

echnology is changing constantly. The technologies (we think) we know today will eventually evolve in order to appeal to users even more so. As these technologies change, so do their privacy policies and rights we have as users. In order to use a technology, we agree to the privacy policy that was current when making an account or signing up, but who really takes the time to read these? We are all guilty of it. A long legal document pops up, and we automatically scroll to the bottom and click “Agree”, often times without any hesitation. But in doing so, we do not learn about our rights in the digital world we are now a part of. As technologies evolves and even newer technologies are created, the ways in which educators incorporate technology in the classroom is certain to change as well. According to Hawisher and Selfe, “Today, if students cannot write to the screen–if they cannot design, author, analyze, and interpret material on the Web and in other digital environments–they may be incapable of functioning effectively as literate citizens in a growing number of social spheres.” Educators are aware of the impact technology has on youth today, and most teachers are using this to their advantage by incorporating new technologies into their classrooms. Programs that allow educators to view the time students spend on a quiz or assignment, such as Blackboard and Canvas, are being used. Face book groups are being created in order for students (and even their teachers in some cases) to

be able to easily communicate with one another outside the classroom. All of these technologies have privacy policies that students should be aware to if they are using these programs and websites in the classroom. But who is responsible to teach students about privacy policies if adults are guilty of ignoring them as well? If teachers are encouraging (or even assigning) students to use these technologies themselves, then there’s the answer: educators are responsible.

In order to successfully use digital writing technologies in the classroom, and protect the rights of students, they need to build a

digital awareness. There are ways to teach students the skills they need to know in order to successfully use the technology, while also protecting their privacy online. Educators are responsible to provide students with the skills to understand and analyze privacy policies so that they can protect themselves in the classroom as well as in their future online endeavors.


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The first step to ensuring the safety of students online is to take the time to actually read privacy policies. Yes, this will be tedious, but more importantly, it is necessary. In order to pass a digital awareness onto students, educators must develop one for themselves first.

The next step is summarizing and discussing the privacy policies with students. I’m not saying that educators should force their students to read and be assessed on their understanding of the long privacy policies that are included within each and every technology they are using. I do not want students to hate their teachers, which will certainly happen if that were the only solution. But teachers can certainly find ways to summarize and hold discussions as a class in order to inform students of the privacy rights they have as users and who can see what they are doing when they sign in to or use a technology.

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The following step is for educators to monitor their student’s technology. Once the idea of online surveillance is broken down and explained, students will be more likely to think before they post online. Students who understand that their teachers can actually see what they have done with their time online while using sites such as Blackboard and Canvas, they will real-

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ize that surveillance can be used on other sites as well. Educators should also monitor their students by observing their students as they use technology in the classroom.

One of the last steps educators can make to build a digital awareness within their students is making sure students understand the reality of privacy policies. The frightening reality is that what students put online can be viewed by almost anyone (not just their peers and teachers) if they are not careful. Through my research on the topic of privacy online, I came across takethislollipop.com, and boy was this website eye opening. Takethislollipop.com allows users to connect to their Facebook, and watch a video that shows the potential outcome certain people may face if they are not careful about their privacy online. If you have not visited the link above, do it.

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According to Angela Crow, author of “Managing Datacloud Decisions and “Big Data”: Understanding Privacy Choices in Terms of Surveillant Assemblages”, “It remains unclear how much or what type of access is possible now or in the future.” In order for students to be prepared for the future of technology, and what is already available to use today, educators must start the process. The key is build a digital awareness that will not only help students in the classroom, but one that they can utilize on every digital aspect in their lives.

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Tiffany Geiger is studying Elementary Education and Writing Arts at Rowan University. She currently works in a daycare to gain experience working with children. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, arts and crafts, and visiting the beach.


Questioning Authenticity

Beyond Screens and Beyond Microphones

Do you ever feel like you know someone as if they were your best friend based off what you have seen online? Even people who you may never meet, like celebrities or musicians? Feeling like you know someone that you don’t may be because they have a prominent social media presence that is updated daily.

“Where we’re from, we’re no one, our hometown’s in the dark.” - “Hometown” In this song, Tyler expresses that those who he was surrounded with while growing up labeled Tyler and Josh as simply one of their own until their big break. “Tonight there were people back home who tried talking to you, but then you ignored them still, all these questions they’re forming like, ‘Who would you live for?’ ‘Who would you die for?’ and ‘Would you ever kill?’” - “Ride” Tyler shows that he knows his family and friends are trying to reach him, but the overwhelming pressure of trying to keep in touch makes him avoid contact, especially if his loved ones are asking questions he does not have the answer to.

It is easier than ever for busy folks who In order to dissolve what we think we know, it is crucial In their most popular song, “Stressed are constantly on the go to post their lives online so that those who are con- for fans to start thinking like Out,” Tyler and Josh feature their famnected to them can see what they are insiders in the music industry. ilies and show off their old childhood up to. For celebrities specifically, social networks like YouTube, Twitter and homes as Tyler Instagram provide a goldmine of opportunity to get their sings his relatable voices heard. It is incredibly easy to make assumptions lyrics, “Wish we based off of what is seen online. In order to dissolve what could turn back we think we know, it is crucial for fans to start thinking like time, to the good insiders in the music industry. Do our favorite artists feel carefree or homesick?

old days when our mamas sang us to

sleep but now we’re stressed out.”

In this song, Tyler expresses that his fame is starting to take a toll on him and overwhelm him. While this song provides get-stuck-in-your-head-for-a-few-days lyrics, this song is almost a cry for help and sympathy.

Photo by Dan Dobson

World tours seem like an incredibly freeing experience from the fan’s perspective, but it is difficult for some artists to leave behind friends or family for the road. Sherry Turkle, author of Alone Together, brings up an interesting point in Chapter 8 of her book that counteracts the notion of homesickness, “Leaving home has always been a way to see one’s old culture anew. But what if, tethered, we bring our homes with us? … We need to acknowledge the familiarity of our needs and the novelty of our circumstances.” (156) While my favorite band, Twenty One Pilots, is on the road for long periods of time, I often wonder if they are able to put down their cell phones for a while to set aside their homesickness for the sake of their jobs, or if they’re tethered to their hometown. There are some examples of ties to their roots of Columbus, Ohio in their lyrics.

Who is to blame for their exhaustion? Of course Tyler and Josh are stressed out; they have an upcoming tour with dates almost every day from May 2016 to April 2017 with the only evidence of a break being in December 2016. Tony Schwartz, author of the New York Times article, “Escalating Demands at Work Hurt Employees and Companies,” brings to light important information to consider for those who tend to overwork themselves, “When people work an excessive number of hours, they devolve – meaning they degenerate inexorably from a higher state of capability and consciousness to a more primitive, reactive one.”

What happens when artists like Twenty One Pilots, or even our loved ones, devolve?


What can make a musician’s life easier? Social media presence has made it easier than ever for artists to communicate with their fans, release new content, share photos, promote their products, and so much more. John Paul Titlow, author of “How (and Why) Musicians are Using Twitter,” states that the Twitter accounts of some musicians “are impersonal and almost broadcast-esque, while others choose to get a little more intimate.” May 5, 2016 - @joshuadun “I kept the girl calling about my car payments on the phone for 30 minutes cuz I haven’t heard a female voice in a while.” May 4, 2016 - @joshuadun “May the fourth be with you, Luke Thkywalker.”

Imagine you just got done performing a show in front of tens of thousands of people. It’s late. You’re exhausted. You have an audience who have turned on your Twitter notifications and are anxiously waiting to see what you thought about the show you just performed. The accessibility of technology when we’re busy can have a lot to do with authenticity. So, why does everything that anyone does have to be posted on the Internet? Some things can be left unsaid, but for a band like Twenty One Pilots, they are able to use the Internet to their advantage. Reading a Mashable article “How Musicians Are Using Social Media to Connect with Fans,” I was able to link and

There is no sense of impersonality here with Josh Dun on his Twitter. Occasionally, the The accessibility of technology when Twenty One Pilots account (ran we’re busy can have a lot to do with by the management) is broadauthenticity. identify different examples that the cast-esque when posting photos author, Greg Rollett, provided. The band has used social from shows, but nearly all of the interaction that the band media to start a fan funded project in which fans create has on social media is sincere and clearly fan based. This their own posters that they think represent the band, and helps to show fans that the duo are just two young guys the winner gets a cash prize. who are clearly not letting their insane fame get to their Not only are fan funded projects involved, but the video heads. Sometimes it’s hard for fans to remember that the crew Reel Bear Media has put together many videos for two are millionaires and top 10 artists, but this can be a the band to create a lot of buzz, whether it be a music vidgreat thing. eo, a promo for a tour, or something funny for their Twitter accounts. Newfound skepticism and questioning The amount of creativity from the fanbase is I am very fortunate to say that I will be meeting Tyler and unreal. Many fans Tweet to the hashtag #FanArtFriday on Josh on June 11, 2016, and I am a little bit skeptical of Twitter to show the band what they have created. From how my encounter with them will go. Will Tyler be serious paintings to poems to drawings, the fans have done it all. and standoff-ish like I’ve seen him in interviews? Will Josh Often, Tyler and Josh will see fan tweets and give them be as peppy and excited and goofy as he is in his Tweets? a like, which nowadays is the equivalent to a handshake Social media presence is everything in the world of today, from the band. especially if you’re meeting someone for the first time after exploring their profiles and how they act online. In the For Us Ordinary Folks case of Twenty One Pilots, it’s easy for me to think that As members of any sort of fan base, it’s important to start they are going to be genuine guys because I have been questioning the autheticity of your favorite musicians. After a fan for three years and have seen plenty of what they all, a musician’s job is to make money while doing what have posted over the years. they love, much like the rest of us in our chosen field. Let’s link this to our own lives At the same time, anyone who has an online presence Think about someone that you admire, famous or not and should be able to be themselves (while also not posting how they portray themselves online. Have you met that anything you wouldn’t want your grandma to see!) Social person? Were they who you thought that they were? Now media should be used as a creative outlet to get your think about yourself. Answer the following questions... thoughts out into the world. »» Are you who you really say you are online? To our own individual levels of comfort., we have to be »» What would people expect prior to meeting you? able to put our real, authentic selves forward in a world »» Are you not as cautious as you should be? where all of us are busy being plugged in. We want whoever we are speaking to or researching about online to be as authentic as possible, so we must Nicole Sutton is a senior at Rowan University work to do the same in our own profiles if we aren’t aldual majoring in Elementary Education and ready doing so. In the culture of busy, it is so easy to pick Writing Arts a name and a fake profile to adopt. Even more common is the act not thinking before we say things because of the speed and ease of technology.


Stop Scro lling Let’ . s Ta lk! By: Kaitlyn Creel

In today’s culture we live in a world of silence. Even

amongst the hustle and bustle of everyday life, our world is becoming much quieter. In the last several years’ smartphones have become more popular and more addicting. It seems like everyone has a smartphone and if you don’t own one, then you are the minority. Smartphones and new technology can be great. We can know everything and anything within seconds of questioning something. If I want to know where the nearest coffee shop is to my current location all I have to do is type it in and instantly have a list of coffee shops to choose from. But let’s be real here, we’re addicted to our phones. I know for myself, I’d rather leave I’d rather the house without my wallet than my phone. the house out my than my As a society we constantly have our phones in our hands or not too far away from us in our back pocket. We check our phones multiple times a day and can lose track of the hours we spend scrolling through Facebook or Instagram. Smartphones even allow us to be in constant communication with others. I can send a text message to a friend to let them know when I’ll be at their house to pick them up for half off sushi on Tuesday nights and get a quick reply back, without having to go through the hassle of picking up the phone and going through all that jazz. This quick method of communication that we rely on so heavily may be doing more damage than it is good.

Due to the amount of time that is spent by the average person in communication via text message, Instagram, Facebook, or even Snapchat this mode of communication using social media is hindering societies ability to talk face-to-face with one another. We become so comfortable talking behind the screen on our phones or computers that we lose our ability to interact with others, becoming more social online than offline.

leave withThis is a huge problem that is faced all over wallet . phone the world. Just look around everyone is on their phones, in their own little world and not talking to one another. In all my college classes, if students arrive early, they are on their phones scrolling instead of talking about the homework or assignment or anything. Or the most popular instance is a family or a couple that go out to dinner and they can’t have a conversation except for a few passing words but will spend the entire dinner locked in on their phone. I too find myself falling into this trap quite a bit and the more I see it happening the more sickening I realize it is.


You might be familiar with the video “Look Up” by Gary Turk. His video has caught the attention of over 57 million views on YouTube since posted in 2014. Mixed with film and narrative, Turk looks at how the overuse of the internet can disengage us from real relationships, human interactions and living in the real world. He writes, “I took a step back, and opened my eyes, I looked around, and then realized that this media we call social, is anything but when we open our computers, and it’s our doors we shut. All this technology we have, it’s just an illusion, of community, companionship, a sense of inclusion yet when you step away from this device of delusion, you awaken to see, a world of confusion.”

These words that Turk writes about in regards to our culture is a huge eye opener. This silent world that we’re living in today is an undeniable truth. So much so that a camp was even created to help adults with this problem. Author Matt Haber of “A Trip to Camp to Break a Tech Addition” recounts his experience at Camp Grounded. Haber found himself so addicted to his phone that he said his smartphone had “made a permanent rectangular fade mark over my thigh in my left front pocket where I carried my iPhone for so many years” (Haber).

Realizing his attachment to his phone was too much, he went to a 3-day camp in California filled with a lot of physical outdoor activities put on by Digital Detox which “A world where we’re slaves to the technology we masis a group that teaches technology addicted people tered, where our information gets sold by Some of the camp’s rules to reconnect with others. Some of the camp’s rules some rich greedy bastard. A world of self-in- include: no phones, cominclude: no phones, computers, tablets or watches. terest, self-image, self-promotion, where puters, tablets or watches. we share all our best bits, but leave out the Could you imagine no phone for an entire 3 days?? emotion. We are at our most happy with an I don’t know if I could do that. The founders of the experience we share, but is it the same if no camp hope that by setting these rules, the campers one is there. I can’t stand to hear the silence, of a busy will build real connections that go deeper than “liking” commuter train, when no one wants to talk through the someone’s picture on Instagram or a Facebook post. fear of looking insane. We’re becoming unsocial, it no longer satisfies to engage with one another, and look into One camper recounted her experience at Camp Groundsomeone’s eyes” (Turk). “ ed saying, “I didn’t expect there to be so much love and freedom and acceptance” (Haper). These feelings of love, freedom and acceptance is something that our phones and social media cannot give to us. It is truly only from personal, face- to-face interactions with other people that we can feel any of these emotions and the minimal interaction we have with people because of technology hinders these relationships. When you go to a restaurant and look at the many different tables you see lights on the faces of people engulfed in their cell phones including families and even those who are on a date for the first time. You can’t even say hello to anyone walking down the street or passing you by any longer because people are buried too deep their screens. So let’s stop scrolling and start talking to one another again. Kaitlyn is currently finishing her Liberal Studies degree at Rowan University. Give her a good book and a hot cup of coffee and she will be totally happy.


The Physical Afflictions of Digital Addictions by Jenny Beail

learn how to disconnect in order to reconnect.

you spend on your digital devices in 24 hours?

Many people find it very I know for myself, on difficult to part with their average, I spend about 2 devices for even a few hours in the morning on hours. People who are the computer, 2 hours in addicted feel as though class on the computer, at their device is an extenleast 2-3 hours at night sion of their own body. on the computer. That’s Daniel Levitin, author of an astounding 6-7 hours “Why the digital world What do you use your students on their own of computer time alone! is so bad for your brain” digital devices for? digital device use. Many discusses the cognitive That doesn’t include If your answer is EVERY- said they have a need to and metabolic changtexting throughout the THING! Then you are in be in constant commuday, checking Instagram, es that occur when we the majority on this one. nication with family and become addicted to digital Facebook and emails. Nowadays digital devices friends. They felt presThat’s a ton of time sittechnology. He explains are used for staying in sure and a need to alting in one place, in one the bodies release of contact with others, nav- ways be readily available, stress hormones; such as, position, constantly reigating unknown places, expecting others to be peating the same movecortisol and adrenaline. finding the nearest coffee readily available for them “When these hormones ments over and over and shop, texting, playing in return. over again. are released they can games, listening to music, overstimulate the brain making notes, socializing, It’s not only children As the great Sir Isaac and cause a mental fog or shopping for clothes, you and adolescents that Newton stated, “for every scrambled thinking.” name it. Anything you are “tethered” to digiaction there is an equal can think of….there’s an tal devices, many adults When and opposite app for that! find themselves unable reaction.” there are “For every action there is The question is, if we to function without their cognitive an equal and opposite Our everyday use these wonder devices devices, as well. Matt actions in our and metreaction” for so much in our daily Hauber visited an adults abolic digital world has lives, then why wouldn’t only weekend retreat caused us unnecchanges we be addicted? at Camp Grounded. In essary aches and pains. in the body, aren’t physhis article, “ A Trip to I’m sure you don’t think ical changes of the body In an excerpt from Sher- Camp to Break a Tech of working or playing closely followed? ry Turkle’s “Growing Up Addiction” he discusses on a digital device as Tethered”, she discusses the positive impact this physically hazardous to I would like you to sit and the impact digital devices no-tech zone had on think about this for a min- your health, do you? But have on our youth. She self-proclaimed digital indeed it is. Many of us ute. How much time do interviewed high school addicts that needed to


are so dependant on our digital devices we become addicted. And with any addiction there are always consequences. Repetitive strain injuries or RSIs are the physical consequences of using digital devices. RSIs are generally classified as upper body injuries to the muscles, tendons and nerves due to repetitive motions. Texting, typing and looking down at our digital devices for long periods of time cause many types of repetitive strain injuries. “Text neck” and “iPosture” are fairly new terms used to diagnose repetitive strain injuries. Text neck is repetitive strain injury to the neck. This injury occurs when the head is at a constant downward angle. The

average human head “I have a client, Bob, weighs 10 to 11 pounds, that I see weekly for an this downward angle hour and a half and all places undue stress on he wants me to work on the tiny muscles that is his neck. For an hour keep the head upright. and a half! And when Rene Cailliet, MD theoI’m done, I can feel the rized nearly three demuscles have relaxed, but cades ago, “for every inch the next week they are the neck is flexed (angled as hard as a rock again,” down) adds 10 pounds to says Sandy Gowell, the weight of the skull.” Licensed Massage TherIn turn, this extra weight apist. “Bob works on causes a computer pressure for 10 hours on the “ Repetitive Strain Injries are a day, comes becoming more and more home to conspine, liga- common with the increase in tinue answering digital emails, checking texts and peruses through Facebook ments, tendons, fascia and muscles in the back, to relax. I tell him every neck and scalp. Constant session he needs to get up and move, take a stretch pressure and pulling of neck and upper back break.” muscles creates tightShe adds, “Over the past ness,tension of other areas of the body, headten years or so I have aches and all together seen a definite increase discomfort. in clients with repetitive strain injuries in their

necks, backs and hands due to excessive computer and cellphone use.” Muscles, tendons and ligaments are not meant to work in a continuous repetitive motion. Individual muscles have fibers, these fibers should run in the same direction which enable us to move. When muscles become overexerted and overused by the same actions, the fibers begin to ball up - think of a ball of yarn. This “balling up”effect are the knots in our muscles. The muscle fibers tighten and bunch cutting off oxygen, blood flow, and nutrients necessary to feed an active muscle. The muscles then become polluted, causing pain and limited range of motion. iPosture is the newest name for mid to lower back repetitive strain injuries. iPosture is caused by the slumping of shoulders and slouching while working on digital devices. This compression causes the spine and muscles around it to become weak, creating chronic back pain. According to the New York Daily News, “While millennials spent an average of 8.83 hours in front of their digital devices each day, the over


55 set also showed signs of screen overload, at 6.64 hours.”

Medical Daily claims “In the United Kingdom, 84% of adults between age 1824 suffer from iPosture due to the excessive use of digital devices.” Could you imagine going to the doctors 10 years ago and being diagnosed with iPosture? It sounds like a computer virus. Think about it. When you are using a digital device, are you sitting up pin straight, shoulders back, head perpendicular to your body? As I sit here now typing this article, I am slouched over in a comfy chair, my neck is about 4 inches angled downward with a stabbing pain in my mid to lower back. I don’t consider myself addicted to technology, but I sure do have the physical symptoms of an addict.

Tips for Tech Addicts to Alleviate Physical Pain • • •

• •

Take a short break from digital device every 30 minutes or so Stretch out neck muscles by slowly rolling neck back and forth Practice yoga! Downward facing dog, upward facing dog, bow pose, sphinx pose, lower back clasp are just a few poses help to lengthen and stretch back muscles Massage isn’t just for pampering anymore, try to fit in a regular massage once a month to keep muscles loose and relaxed Apply ice to injured areas (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off)

Jenny Beail has an Associates Degree in Psychology. She is currently a Senior in the Elementary Education Program with a concentration in Writing Arts and American Studies at Rowan University.


The Worst Part About Censorship is Taking Away Free Will Jesse Tafel

“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize” - Voltaire

I

t is commonly known to all that most media is very left-wing and this becomes a problem when people of rightwing or independent views want to voice their opinions but are shut down, silenced or black-listed because they do not agree with the leftism opinion. But are we not a free country of free thought? We are supposed to be a united people of all different backgrounds with all different opinions and should work together to melt these different ideas into one to be united. America was once such a place and it was great, but not so much anymore. When a large group of people control most of a giant creation like social media, it is unfair that everyone must think like they do. Like many empires before ours, censorship was the perfect way to keep their people in the dark and to think like they do.

T

he liberal American is just as important as the conservative. They are both two sides of a coin, but now they’ve become enemies and it is very sad in a country that is about unity and freedom. When the two halves that make this country are fighting each other it creates third parties (like myself, Libertarian) who are sick of the two sides arguing, but when it comes to social media control I see the left side as being on the scary side. The Liberal party standpoint has always been of social commentary and helping the people, which is great. Ironically to this degree the left side seems to actually love the allegations of racism or people who hate others. Because without this fuel they have no reason to attack the conservative side of thinking.

“They love to equate any and all criticism of them, their beliefs and the changes they wish to make within society – most of which are self-destructive and harmful – as “hatred.” If they can marginalize all conservative thought as “hate,” as “insensitive,” as bad or wrong on its face, they can effectively silence all opinions that do not jibe with their own. That is precisely what is happening.” - Phil Elmore, author


“The world, we are told, is in the midst of a revolution. The new tools of social media have reinvented social activism. With Facebook and Twitter and the like, the traditional relationship between political authority and popular will has been upended, making it easier for the powerless to collaborate, coördinate, and give voice to their concerns.” - Malcolm Gladwell

This brings hope that social media

can help fight back and have your opinion heard no matter what. Hopefully this will continue and grow. It is a double edged sword, social media. You can be silenced or protest with it.

I

t is very sad that it has come to this now in our country. We are not as bad as some countries like China, but we could be getting there. We are a country based on freedom of speech and more and more every day whoever controls the media holds a tight grip on how people should think, instead of thinking on your own. An opinion is something every person is entitled to and our internet media teaches us to shun those who disagree with the mass population, instead of just simply thinking “that person just thinks differently than I do”. On the right wing side they attack and bully their opponents, which is wrong. On the left wing side they shun and blacklist their opponents and make people live in fear of having their own thought that goes against theirs. Political correctness and the word “racist” are words to use against people to make everyone hate that person. No explanation, no trying to tell that person they are not being nice (or maybe they are right but being rude), instead the social media or real life will just use one word to hurt that person back. Very mature.

W

ith the internet vastly growing I can only see this problem getting worse and worse until people are fed up with it all, left or right and it might turn out prettybad. Hopefully it does not come to that, but from what history tells us, too much of one side of thinking will always have a bad result. What we humans have not understood yet is balance, we had it for a short while in early America and we need it again. “Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear” - George Orwell

Jesse Tafel is a Writing Arts Major at Rowan University. He is a big fan of reading, history, and film


Introverts in an Extroverted World

We live in a busy, go-go-go world that prizes extroversion.

It is full of open-concept offices, brainstorming meetings, group projects, and networking. We prize the outgoing individual who can charm the room. In fact, we prize extroversion so much that there are countless articles on the Internet about the ways introverts can be (or at least pretend to be) more extroverted. When reading these types of articles, I find myself getting aggravated, almost angry. Why? I am an introvert, and I don’t believe that there is anything wrong with that. First, it is important to understand that the key difference between introverts and extroverts is the way we recharge our

article about introversion and not see her name pop up in reference. In her TED Talk, Cain points out that by pretending to be someone else, by pretending to be that extroverted person instead of being true to ourselves, we are not just hurting ourselves. We are hurting our colleagues, community, and even the world. By not being true to who we are, we in turn do not put our true selves and true abilities into the world. According to In reality, both extroverts and in- Cain’s research, onethird to one-half of troverts have amazing things to the population is introverted. That means offer the world. that an extremely This isn’t a bad thing! allowing our brains to large number of us have that chance, we deal with a bias that Being an introvert are missing out on in- values extroversion does not equate to creased brain activity above introversion being shy. It simply that could be benefi- when, in reality, both means that we reextroverts and introcial in the long run. charge differently verts have amazing Bestselling author than our extroverted things to offer the and co-founder of friends. Quiet Revolution, Su- world. I fully believe that The problem is with san Cain, believes in this is actually a the power introverts. the bias. It can be good thing, not a seen everywhere In fact, she believes hindrance. I don’t from corporate ofbelieve that we need this so much that fices to elementaall of the articles that she has written two tell us how to change books on the subject. ry schools. While working towards my It is rare to read an or list ways to care batteries. For extroverts, energy comes from being around other people. They’re the folks who go to a gathering and leave energized. They thrive on group projects and do their best work when they can bounce ideas off of others. Introverts, on the other hand, lose energy at those same gatherings. They leave and need time to recharge in a lowkey setting. They do their best work without a lot of outside stimulation.

for ourselves or other introverts. As introverts, we give our brains a break. That alone is a wonderful thing! Lawton Ursrey, author of the article Your Brain Unplugged: Proof that Spacing Out Makes You More Effective believes in the benefits of taking breaks. According to him, breaks benefit our brains. They allow the brain to have the chance to organize itself, and it actually works harder during this time. By not

By Ashley Haden


Associates of Arts in Communication Studies, one of the things that stuck with me was the concept of groupthink.

can be effective when practiced well and in moderation –but also the time and training they need to deliberately practice on

Groupthink occurs when group members don’t want to rock the boat of the group dynamics and simply all agree with each other because it’s easier than disagreeing. One of the ways to avoid this is for group members to develop ideas separately and then discuss them as a group. Perhaps not so coincidentally, Cain also suggests this as a workplace strategy in her TED Talk. In Quiet, she states “our schools should teach children to work with others –cooperative learning

their own.” How many people do you know who cannot work independently? How many are bored the second to company or activity is present? Skills to work alone and to entertain ourselves are just as vital as skills to work together. As Cain says, “it’s also vital to recognize that many people… need extra quiet and privacy in order to do their best work.” Again, that is one-third to one-half of our population. A huge disservice is done when such a large group is thought to be less

effective than another. Working in groups is not always the best option for everyone. As a future teacher myself, this is something that I think about often. I question the push towards learning communities where the focus is all about small groups. By focusing solely on group work, we ignore the needs of the introverts. We ignore the fact that many 0of them do their best work individually.

ways than our more extroverted counterparts does not mean we are less capable for leadership positions or less able to produce quality work. As Cain says, “there is zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas. I mean zero.” I personally believe that, as with many things, we need balance. Group work absolutely has its place in the world and in the classroom

...as with many things, we need balance.

Instead of pushing introverts to pretend to be extroverts and providing one howto list about “special care” after another, our culture should value introverts exactly as we are. Forcing everyone to work in an over-stimulated way, such as in an open-concept office, shows this heavy bias that truly needs to end. Needing different amounts of stimulation in our environments and recharging our internal batteries in different

the same way individual work has its place. It is important that we, as human beings, know how to both group and individual situations.

Ashley Haden has an Associate’s Degree in Communications Studies and is currently studying Elementary Education and Writing Arts at Rowan University.


Online Dating: A Plea to Expand Horizons By: Joe Bodenlos Everyone has seen a movie where the traditional love story is embedded in the plot. Whether the relationship is the main theme of the movie or a side theme where two people slowly take a liking to each other through the movie’s course. The point is we have all seen these movies, the thing that can get lost in some of these movies is that they are fiction. While not all romantic love stories are fabricated, the ones that are true stories are made into movies because they’re so unique and the story is so rare that people will want to see it. What I am trying to get at here is finding love or meaningful relationships, we are talking life partner stuff here (not a junior high crush) is an incredibly tough thing to do. As a society we are always on the move, working and trying to make ends meet. Not everyone has the time for a slow methodical drawn out love story that romantic movies depict. Online dating provides a service that cannot be undervalued. Nothing is wrong with traditional dating, I know that my parents met through family friends setting them up on a double date.That was quite the luck of the draw from my parents. In this article I want to show the validity of online dating as an option for people who are struggling finding meaningful relationships and that finding relationships online is trending up. I think society is starting to get a grasp on the idea, as more and more dating site ads pop up through every venue of advertisement.When it was first introduced, like

anything else, online dating services had a sort of stigma around it. It was foreign from traditional values, technology wasn’t what it is today, and I believe people questioned how safe it was. As said previously stated, online dating is trending up there are various reasons for this.

This is evident in a pool done by pewresearch. org in an article title 5 Facts About Online Dating. The article held a survey in 2005 and most recently in 2015. In this survey, the site put out a series of statements, one of them being, online dating is a good way to meet people. The numbers showed that in 2005 just 44% of voters agreed with that statement. While in 2015 59%


of voters agreed with the statement. Those numbers are by no means perfect, but online dating is a disruption of traditional culture and the fact that the numbers went up 15% shows that online dating is indeed trending upward. Online dating makes the dating process easier in three big ways. The use of the internet gives entry and shows availability in the dating pool. Once, in that pool it gives users the opportunity to seek people out with common interests through the matching process. Finally online dating makes communication much easier from person to person.

Entry and Availability This is essentially getting started with the dating service chosen by the user. Once a user makes the decision to use online dating that person needs to get their name out there. After a day’s work, most people don’t want to do anything, but rest at home. Plus, excluding dance clubs and bars, seeking someone out on the street and following them to learn more about them is considered stalking. Signing up for a dating service allows the user to view profiles, see pictures, access more information. Also with the use of a dating service the user can narrow down the search to the area they live in. Having a long day’s work and staying in all night doesn’t improve your chances of finding someone, without using a dating service.

Matching Once set up and focused on a specfic area, people are given the opportunity to find compatibility with another person through the use of the site’s personality or interest testing. Now this isn’t a bullet proof system and often testing the waters on a few dates is needed. The fact is, there is no harm in getting out and meeting new people. Even if it doesn’t work out and things don’t click that’s a box that can be checked off for the next time. If nothing else, dating services allow the opportunity to meet people and learn about cetain preferences. They say practice makes perfect right? In an article written by Wagatwe Wanjuki for upworthy.com titled Researchers Studied The Impact of Online Dating On Relationships heres what they found, she writes about research done on the impact of online dating. She states that “online dating sites can help your chances of finding “the one” because it widens the dating pool”. She continues, “Overall, the internet offers the opportunity to meet people you would otherwise never have had the chance to meet. And because you established what you were seeking online, you already know they’re looking for the same.” Wagatwe sums up what online dating is really about, selective opportunity.

“Overall, the internet offers the opportunity to meet people you would otherwise never have had the chance to meet.” . Communication Along with widening the pool of potential dates online dating takes away the awkward process of trying to get a number from someone of interest. Also, with the ability to chat online, users can get a limited, but valuable view of what open dialogue is like with a specific person. For instance, sometimes people can be drawn to someone by looks,


but realize that person just can’t hold a conversation. While chatting online is mainly used to set up date locations, little things like holding a conversation or personality can’t be seen from someone’s appearance in person, but users can pick up on small qualities of a person through online conversation. Nancy Baym the writer of the book Personal Connections in the Digital Age, uses the word cues to describe these little things. “Cues given off become highly informative in sparse cue situations, so that, for example, poor spelling, which would never become relevant in most early face to face encounters, comes to be a highly significant marker of identity in textul media, taken to reveal sloppiness, lack of education, or other negative qualities.” Whether somebody is traditional in style or just doesn’t think online dating brings any value to the table, this is 2016. The world is ever changing and when different tools arrive that can possible make life easier, we as a society shouldn’t push them away, we should at least try them and get firsthand experience of how new trends work or even don’t work for an individual. Also, if someone is still single and stuck in their ways against online dating, they should stop punishing themselves and do something different, step outside the box, outside the comfort zone. There is little negative in doing so, who knows, they might find someone they enjoy spending time with.

“poor spelling, which would never become relevant in most early face to face encounters, comes to be a highly significant marker of identity in textual media, this may reveal sloppiness, lack of education, or other negative qualities.”

SO, READY TO FIND LOVE?

Joe Bodenlos is a student at Rowan University. He is an Elementary Education Major with sequences in Writing Arts and American Studies. He is also working towards an endorsement to teach students with disabilities.


LOW SELF ESTEEM IN A SELFIE-FILLED SOCIETY

The Underlying Factor Behind Our Lack of Self-Confidence BY BRIA SMITH

The millennial generation is diving head first into the world of technology. As a part of this generation, I can vouch my excessive usage of technological devices and need to locate the nearest outlet in any given building I enter is prevalent amongst my friends and I. Technology has immersed into society extending all the way into the way in which we date.

stems all the way from early childhood. Ph.D. Anita E. Kelly - Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame - states “There is evidence in young children that acting superior is indeed a way of masking deep-seated feelings of inadequacy”. Unfortunately, for many humans, our childhood is never too far behind us. Our memories, fears and insecurities grow with us and never fully leave during adulthood whether we choose to embrace or ignore them.

Sherry Turkle - Professor of Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT - outlines the transformation of technology from an addition to our Sadly, women are also partaking in men’s atworld to its embodiment in nearly every aspect tempts (hook-ups) to feel adequate and secure. of our society. In Alone Together, Turkle explains Nancy Jo’s interviewee Amanda claims “There is what was once an option quickly became first no dating. There’s no relationships”. Then, why nature. “Don’t have time to make phone call? are these applications used for the purpose of Shoot off a text message. But very dating? The answer is simple - they’re quickly, the text message became the Technology not. Technology has changed the origconnection of choice (13)”. As a whole, intention of online dating. There has changed inal the millennial generation has substitutwas a swift change from a world where ed many forms of personal connection the original there are “more fish in the sea” to a with virtual replacements extending all realm where men simply want to find intent of the way to their dating life. the easiest way to hook-up with you. online dating. A world where the quickest way to feel Nancy Jo - Vanity Fair journalist - inwanted or gain a confidence boost is vestigated one of the most modern easily accessible. Processes like swipways to find potential matches in “Tinder and the ing left for “unattractive” matches on Tinder Dawn of the ‘Dating Apocalypse’.” Jo interviews gives the user a feeling of superiority they may numerous men in their mid-twenties that denot otherwise feel. scribe the ease of using Tinder to “hook-up” with countless females. The male interviewees freOur extremely critical and judgemental society quently laugh and brag about their encounters; takes a large portion of the blame for the phehowever, males don’t always feel this way. In nomena of hook-up culture, especially in the writer and historian Cody Delistraty‘s “The Truth online dating world. Technology has made a About Men and Hook-Up Culture,” he explains pathway for individuals to continue to struggle hook-up chat is more of “a way to prove (our) with self-esteem issues. Men with perfectly chismasculinity” and “It’s a way to say, I’m a more eled abs are often the lead actors and the women qualified mate than you”. plastered on billboards never fail to be bone-thin with flawless skin and teeth. We begin to comSo, why do men feel the need to stroke their own pare ourselves to these showcased individuals ego and prove themselves? The answer is and try a myriad of workout routines to obtain a deepend lack of self-esteem that frequently the “beachbody” we are expected to have. How-


ever, it is impossible to obtain a photoshopped appearance. Therefore, men and women all over the world try to cover up their pain and insecurities with the quick, temporary pleasure of hooking up. It is clear that online dating only deepens the lack of self-esteem that many individuals already struggle with. MTV’s Catfish brings us in to see many great examples of how fake Facebook profiles are used to dull the lack of self-esteem catfishers struggle with. Males and females target say they did something out of spite. The result of what they see as potential significant others and the fake profiles on Facebook and Tinder hookchoose to hide their true identities (including: up’s leaving women hurt are indirect results of name, occupation, number of children, relationtrying to cope with insecurity. In Sex Addiction: ship status, and, of course, The Partner’s Perspective, PauIt is clear that appearance). la Hall - Sexual and Relationship online dating only Psychotherapist - claims those with Each episode frequently arrangissues “may find themdeepens the lack self-esteem es for both parties of the online selves saying and doing things “relationship” to meet and very of self-esteem that that they would never normally often the results are not pleasthings that they fundamentally many individuals do, ant. The person being catfished believe are wrong”. Many of Max is deeply hurt by the lies and already struggle with. and Nev’s participants in the show the individual doing the catfishagree lying and hurting others ing explains their reason behind a fake profile. In are unacceptable, yet they still partake in their “Season 5 Episode 12: ‘Vince and Alyssa’,” Vince guilty pleasures to ignore the real issue - lack of has turmoil with his current girlfriend due to his self-esteem. online relationship with Alyssa. The online relations between the two left Vince seeking answers As we can see, living in a society that generates in order to try to repair his face-to-face relationinsecurity and allows us to delay confronting our ship with his girlfriend Liz. problem is a force to be reckoned with. Twenty-first century online dating not only allows us Alyssa’s interview with Nev and Max Schulman to ignore our insecurities, but to deepen them as they are pushed to the side and hidden by filters. (hosts of MTV’s Catfish) gives us clear cut eviYet again, we have created more unspoken probdence that the world of online dating masks inlems we are refusing to acknowledge because securities. When prompted to give her story, the checking Twitter is much more important than first few lines stated are shockingly depressing. Alyssa claims, “going through school I always got the overall decline of self-esteem in the millennial generation. The millennial generation that is next picked on - people would call me fat”. Her insein line to impact the world. curities about her own personal body image are evident throughout the entire interview. One of About the Author her first catfishing experiences resulted in a very hurt male, yet Alyssa claimed, “I don’t mean to hurt anybody”. We have heard many times before that hurt people, hurt people. Catfish is a prime example of how online dating is damaging and the experiences described in “Tinder and the Dawn of the ‘Dating Apocalypse’” reiterate similar occurrences. Females are left feeling cheap and dirty after their frequent Tinder hook-ups and males don’t find a cure to the loneliness and insecurity buried below their phony egos. It’s quite rare hearing an individual on Catfish

Bria Smith is a student at Rowan University pursuing her Elementary Education degree. She is seeking to obtain a certification in middle school subject matter mathematics, history and Early Childhood Education. She is a part of the Liberal Studies program with sequences in American Studies and Writing Arts. In her minimal free time, she enjoys hanging out with her four cats.


What’s Identity Got to Do With It? By Stephanie Daley

We are Living to Work,

Our country is racked with anxiety. In fact, about one in five Americans are dealing with the disorder. Technology has left us exposed to constant accessibility. We are taking work home with us through texts, emails, and phone calls. Little league games double as offices while parents sit on bleachers attending to business. We are always on call, and it is destroying us.

In Chapter 8 of her book Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other, Sherry Turkle, a specialist out of MIT, explores how new expectations about connectivity are bogging many of us down. She mentions Diana who “tries to keep up by communicating during what used to be her ‘downtime’ - the time when she might have daydreamed during a cab ride or while waiting in line or walking to work (167).” These moments of interlude throughout our day are so important in recharging our brains, giving them a few minutes to breathe. But, instead of taking advantage of these moments we continue smothering ourselves with activities in between our activities. In “The Disease of Being Busy” Omid Safi describes how the constant connectivity has caused a disconnect within ourselves. We are losing the ability to examine the world around us in a meaningful way. And, it’s not just adults. Teenagers are so engulfed in the idea of fulfilling expectations (either their own, or their parents) that they are losing sleep, forgoing fun, and pulling their hair out to develop plump resumes in hopes that they’ll get into the “right” college, get the “right” job, and live wealthily ever after.

Even our moments in between responsibilities are rushed and restless. Safi says, “I teach at a university where many students pride themselves on the “study hard, party hard lifestyle. This might be a reflection of many of our lifestyles and our busy-ness - that even our means of relaxation is itself a reflection of that same world of overstimulation.” But, why do we choose to lead this life? Why are we living to work?

and Working to Buy,

America is perceived as a meritocracy. There is both an internal and global impression that in America one can make their way up the totem pole through hard work. Whether or not class ascension is truly feasible is its own issue, but what is important is that American’s believe it is. This belief rationalizes stereotypes that the poor are lazy, and the rich are diligent. If you aren’t successful, than you’re not working hard enough. Maura Kelly of the Atlantic, in her article Trickle-Down Distress: How America’s Broken Meritocracy Drives Our National Anxiety Epidemic argues that meritocracy is a sham, and the illusion of the system is causing our anxiety. I agree with Kelly; however, I’d like to argue that the issue is larger than the illusion of meritocracy. The problem is not solely that we are working more to reach higher social classes, instead, the issue is that we make money to spend it. Consumerism has insured that American’s statuses stay stagnant. Lisa Smith of Investopedia cites a Federal Reserve Board study, which concluded that in 2005 43% of American households were spending more than they were making. But, why are we draining our hard earned incomes? Why are we spending money we don’t have on things we don’t need?

“The real problem is that in America happiness has evolved into a reflection of the things we have.”


and Buying to Define ...

Americans are not bad people simply because they outspend their income. Everyone is just looking for happiness. The real problem is that in America happiness has evolved into a reflection of the things we have. Turkle tells us that one of the effects of such busy lives is that we are becoming “insecure, isolated, and lonely”. We are losing ourselves in ourschedules, and trying to find ourselves in things. We buy products and services that we think will portray us as the people we want to be. We are the most anxious country in the world. How is it that people in developing countries are more at peace with themselves than we are? How can they be so much happier, with so much

my way to heaven, when I awoke I spent that on a necklace”. Meek Mill tells women, “I wanna buy your love, tell me what’s it gon be? I wanna buy your love, every thing is on me. Lifestyles of the rich and the famous, don’t you wanna be rich and be famous?” And, if you think the obsession with money is limited to the hip hop genre, don’t forget about Madonna the material girl, or check out “Money” by Pink Floyd. Social media has contributed greatly to the epidemic of losing ourselves. We aren’t satisfied by simply having things, we need people to know we have them, so we post it on Facebook or Instagram. We can’t even sit down to a meal without posting a picture of it. But, how do we fix this? How do we separate ourselves from our possessions?

... Who We Are.

less? Kelly tells us, “For Chinese (and other Asians), sense of self and self-worth are not tied up so much with notions of individual autonomy and choice. So a bad pair of jeans is just a bad pair of jeans. In the U.S., it’s a bad pair of jeans AND a statement about you.” There are a huge number of products and services once viewed as a luxury that are flooding the middle class. Before you brush off this article, consider these tasks that used to be considered rudimentary that we now outsource: washing the car, cleaning your house, walking the dog, dry cleaning, online grocery shopping. Do we really need to pay other people to do these things for us? Are we busy, or lazy, or too good to do such a task ourselves? No one wants to think of themselves as materialistic, but you’ve been brainwashed. When you turn on the television you see lifestyles of the rich with no reason to be famous. The Real Housewives, Mob Wives, the Kardashians, and so many more reality t.v. stars are flaunting their things. Kanye West sings, “I had a dream I could buy

First things first, prioritize. You’re on your way home from work and you witness a murder. You haul ass home (wishing that you’d actually been using that gym membership you’re paying for). The next day an FBI agent shows up at your door and tells you that you witnessed a mob hit and he’s taking you into witness protection. You can bring ten things, including people. What/who do you bring? I Can’t Be Without: 1.

2. 3.

4. 5. 6.

Time to get real. Take the first step to remembering what’s important and fill out the list to the left.

7.

8. 9.

10. If you’re bringing your Ninja blender, your smart t.v., your Chanel bag, or your Rolex then I’m sorry you just wasted your time reading this article - you’re helpless. If you’re bringing your significant other, your siblings, your parents, your kids, your best friends, your pets - then congratulations, there is hope for you yet! Objects cannot make you


happy. True happiness comes from the relationship you have with yourself and the people you love. Build your relationship with yourself by acknowledging that you are human; and, human beings need love, not stuff. Taking a step back from our busy lives to reconnect with humanity is one way to combat the anxiety that accompanies the detachment that has grown between our mind and our soul. Lawton Ursrey, a contributor for Forbes. com talked to Andrew Smart about the Resting State Network. The RSN is a collection of parts of the brain that become more active when you’re at rest. Smart, author of Autopilot: The Art & Science of Doing Nothing talks about how giving our brain a break, letting it perform on autopilot, is beneficial to our well being. He says, “The autopilot knows where you really want to go, and what you really want to do.” Our obession with productivity, success, and materials are a reflection of who we think we’re supposed to be. By allowing your brain to idle each day, you give it the chance to explore itself. You might find that your autopilot discovers who you really are.

“... human beings need love, not stuff.”

About the Author Stephanie Daley is a senior at Rowan University expected to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Writing Arts Fall 2016. She will continue on to the graduate program to pursue her MA in the same. She holds an Associates degree in Elementary Education. Family and educaation are her greatest values. In the future, she plans to develop a career in writing at the college level.


Should Technology Be Allowed in the Classroom?

Imagine this: It’s 2005, and you walk into a 5th grade classroom. You see about 20 students seated at their desks, as the teacher is instructing a lesson. The teacher, whose hands are dirty from writing with chalk all day, is reading from her textbook and having the children answer questions. She continues to write notes on the board to help the student’s understand the information. As the children fill out a corresponding worksheet, she sits down to grade their spelling tests, and prepare for the next lesson that she is about to teach. Now, fast forward that same classroom 11 years, to 2016. What has changed? There are still the 20 students sitting at their desks, with a teacher in the room. However, the teacher isn’t standing in the front of the classroom in discussion, rather, she is seated in the back of the room behind her computer. The students are using different computer programs that they have on their school-issued laptops, to learn the information that is required for the particular lesson. Rather than writing on the board, the teacher

answers individual questions that a student may have about any problems that occurred when he/she was learning the information. The tests are able to be graded online, and the programs are able to teach the children. Is that too much dependence on technology? Which situation is more beneficial to students? Do children benefit more from having a teacher in the front of the room to review the information that they are learning? Or is it more beneficial for children to be able to use different programs that are able to teach each student in the way that is most helpful for him/her? In the latter circumstance, what is the point in having a teacher in the room, if she acts more as a babysitter than as an educator?

As you will see from reading this article, there are many pros and cons to having technology in the classroom. While it does allow students to have more access to information that is suitable for them, it may also be leading the minds of the children into having an addiction to technology. So, I leave you with all of this information, and one burning question:

Should we be promoting technology in the classrooms of our youth?


No Way! Let the Teachers Intruct the Classroom Technology has the ability to cause many issues in a person’s life: mentally, physically and psychologically. Technology has a negative effect on a person’s memory, attention span, and ability to focus. The overuse of technology can also lead to Computer Vision Syndrome, which causes eyestrain, headaches, blurred vision, and dry eyes, according to the American Optometric Association. So if people’s brains are so negatively affected by technology, why are these devices in a school? A neuroscientist has stated “the human brain, that most sensitive of organs, is under threat from the modern world.” Our brain, which was once the most powerful information source in our world, is now overpowered by computers. According to Professor Urs Gasser, four out of five students aged 8-18 multitask while using digital media. That means that children are able to easily switch between different computer systems. Neuroscientist Earl Miller explains that it is impossible for a brain to multitask. So is the technology taking away from the child’s ability to learn? According to Disabilities Specialist Lesley Lanir , 87% of K-12 teachers believe that “today’s digital technologies are creating an easily distracted generation with short attention spans.” Children’s minds are still developing during their youth, so it is important that we don’t encourage the distractions and negative effects of technology.

Yes or no to technology in the classroom?

"THE OVERUSE OF TECHNOLOGY CAN ALSO LEAD TO COMPUTER VISION SYNDROME"

"CHILDREN LEARN

BY MEANS OF MANY DIFFERENT LEARNING STYLES.. IT IS BENEFICIAL TO USE THE RESOURCES THAT ARE OFFERED THROUGH TECHNOLOGY."

Yes, Of Course! Our society is deeply rooted in technology, and as the students grow up, society will grow even more dependent on technology. According to the Everyday Family Organization, statistics show that “54% of 21st century kids start using mobile devices when they are 5 to 8 years old”. This means that most children in the classroom already have a basic understanding about technology and the different resources it offers. So, by having technology in the classroom, aren’t we just broadening the horizons of what they already know? Children learn by means of many different learning styles. Therefore, it is beneficial to use the many different resources that are offered through technology. EdTechReview states that “72% of iTunes top selling apps are designed for preschoolers and elementary students.” These apps are able to help a broad spectrum of students, including those that have disabilities. With technology in the classroom, students are able to have instant access to information at the touch of their keyboard. Rather than wondering if they are doing a problem correctly, or if they correctly spelled the word they wrote in their paper, a student is able to instantly search the web for assistance.

Kathleen Golden is a student at Rowan University majoring in Elementary Education and Liberal Studies. Her dream is to become a teacher, and spend her vacation time traveling the world.


Wheel of Woefullness by Samantha Emerson

“The internet has been heralded for its potential to bridge divides and create meaningful new connections, but more often accused of leading people to lie about themselves, making victims of women and children, or taking people away from the relationships they should be having with their families and communities.”-Nancy K. Baym, Personal Connections In The Digital Age (p. 100)

on their phones to have sex with others. In an enlightening piece titled “Tinder and the Dawn of the Dating Apocalypse” by Nancy Jo Sales, a few people are interviewed regarding their stances on hookup culture-relatust as Nancy gives mention to, the internet is ed apps like Tinder. Here are a handful of the often given a bad rep for more reasons than just responses: “It’s instant gratification,” says Jason, one. Cyber bullies, catfishes, second lives—it can 26, a Brooklyn photographer, “and a validation be a dangerous place without having taken the of your own attractiveness by just, like, swipright precautions. Let ing your thumb on an app. You see some pretty How are all of these us take a deeper look girl and you swipe and it’s, like, oh, she thinks dangers and down- at the effects that the you’re attractive too, so it’s really addicting, and falls affecting our Internet can have on you just find yourself mindlessly doing it.” “Sex well-being? humanity. has become so easy,” says John, 26, a marketing executive in New York. “I can go on my phone MTV’s show, Catfish, commonly presright now and no doubt I can find someone I can ents individuals who have become addicted to have sex with this evening, probably before midaspects of the internet, and use them as an outlet night.” The idea that to deceive others. After many of the catfishes are someone in a photo But what about uncloaked, they tend to state that they needed an finds individuals at- those times that “escape” from reality. Drugs are also often coined tractive too is enough we swipe left or do for having provided escapes from the hardships for many to put them- not find one anothof real life. er attractive? selves out there.

J

What do both of these “escape” methods have in common?

They both have an essence of addiction or psychological effects. More specifically, something as common as online dating can astronomically influence us, and the process seems to present itself as a cycle: Many, especially those under-

Addiction going hardships, tend to look

to the Internet for satisfaction. Currently, our world seems to be slowly shifting toward what is known as the “hookup culture”—many are no longer dating, and instead swiping left or right

It seems to contribute to what I

Rejection consider the cycle of depression.

Many of those who provided input in “Tinder and the Dawn of the Dating Apocalypse” article also talked about “swiping left” or rejecting others. One explained, “You could talk to two or three girls at a bar and pick the best one, or you can swipe a couple hundred people a day – the sample size is so much larger.” No one enjoys rejection. Remember when you were in gym class hoping and praying that you would not be picked last for a team? We seem to avoid rejection by conforming, and with that sometimes comes fabrication and exagger-


ation. Do we really think that all of our facebook friends are living perfectly authentic, “filter-less” lives behind the scenes? God forbid we post any semi-unflattering selfies of ourselves-- we may experience rejection as a result of it. People seem to be shifting toward this way of life to avoid a weak representation, men and women. However, most times, it cannot cure dissatisfaction or relationship uncertainty. More often than not, those searching for “online dating” in this form can become more unhappy. Cody Delistraty, author of “The Truth About Men And Hook-Up Culture,” explains this idea from a male perspective. He writes,“The dark truth about hook-ups though is that they don’t solve this loneliness. And, behind all the flirting and ego stroking, this loneliness is what we’re really trying to counteract when we seek out hook-ups.” The voids that push individuals to resort to hooking up with strangers will not be permanently filled by the act.

Did you know that rejection

Depression/ can affect our well- being? PTSD Those who suffer from de-

pression are especially influenced by rejection. According to Janice Wood, “The pain of social rejection lasts longer for people with untreated depression.” She further describes, in her piece, “Rejection Seems to Hurt Depressed People Longer,” how an experiment revealed that those with depression are more negatively affected by rejection than most, and it can last longer.

Those who are depressed prior to romantic rejection are some of the most affected. However, there are also circumstances where individuals, diagnosed and undiagnosed, will be psychologically “scarred.” A post by the Hypoglycemic Health Association goes into great detail about the idea that romantic rejection is a trigger for depression. During the process of depression, the brain releases less of the hormones that help keep us relaxed, says Jurriaan Plesman, BA (Psych). He writes, “Most people will recover from this ordeal with effluxion of time, when the body will again produce normal levels of serotonin.” He also, however, gives mention to the idea of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and its severity. He continues, “Some other people may find that the break-up of a relationship may have a much longer lasting effect. This may then become the grounds for a more serious Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).” Ultimately, the internet can sometimes be dangerous for our safety as well as our health. Most of those who resort to the “hookup culture” are dissatisfied in some shape or form, and look to “swipes” for fulfillment. However, many times, they are not “...dangerous receiving this. More often than for our safety not, people are as well as our on facades in putting the online health.” dating world-or worse, they are being exposed to triggers for depression and potential PTSD. All of these results do not serve as resolutions. In fact, those who are addicted to online dating may have a tendency to relapse, seeking further instant gratification. Samantha is a student at Rowan University, majoring in Early Childhood Education and Liberal Studies.


By: Amanda Rennie

The Ice Bucket Challenge: An Ego Boost, But Also Maybe A Good Thing

While I sit over here in my cozy corner of New Jersey,

er, like with the Ice Bucket Challenge, Slacktivism, “an action

somewhere between the murky salt water and lush, green

performed via internet in support of a cause or issue that

farms, California has been in a drought for over four years. I

requires little time or involvement,” is created.

can just imagine the horror in the eyes of Californians when

the Ice Bucket Challenge became a thing. Surely you remem-

who were worth millions, participated in the challenge. No

ber. Everyone in your Facebook timeline was cold and wet for

judgment (Okay, maybe a little) towards how much money

months. They looked ugly, and it was a huge waste of H2O,

they did or didn’t donate, but there sure were a lot of celeb-

but you probably let it slide because it was for charity.

rities dumping water on their heads. If they were following

the rules, they either didn’t donate money at all, or just ten

The Challenge was part viral video, part charitable ac-

Normal people and countless celebrities, ones

tion, and part genius marketing ploy by the ALS Foundation.

dollars. They make more than that per second simply because

ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a neurodegenerative

they exist. But again, no judgment (clear judgment).

disease that affects the neurological system. Unfortunately,

“While the Challenge had a great positive impact, the participants seemed to miss the point: the challenge was for charity, not for their image.”

there is no cure.

Here’s how it worked, in case you lived under a rock

in the Summer of 2014: If one was challenged on social media, they were to donate $100 dollars to the ALS foundation, or

dump ice cold water on their heads. Later this was revised to

in to just dumping water on their heads for their image. They

be water dumping AND a $10 dollar donation, as there was

became part of the popularity contest. They risked near hypo-

much more water on the ground than there was money in the

thermia to their very expensive bodies, so they could, more or

charity’s (CEO’s???) bank account.

less, fit in. The peer pressure is strong in this one.

The Ice Bucket Challenge was ubiquitous on timelines

Some of the richest people in the world were sucked

It’s hard to complain about a movement that real-

everywhere. Sure, it was annoying to some of us (or maybe

ly did make a difference, but we will also never know what

I’m just a bad person), but the ALS Foundation raised millions

would have happened if this campaign wasn’t rooted in

of dollars for ALS research and treatments. This is great. This

slacktivism and dependent upon Facebook. For The New

is phenomenal. You must be wondering why in the world I’m

Yorker, writer Malcolm Gladwell wrote “Small Change: Why

complaining.

The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted.” He emphasizes that

“Facebook activism succeeds not by motivating people to

You see, the Ice Bucket Challenge became this

requirement in the social constructs of social media. While

make a real sacrifice but by motivating them to do the things

the Challenge had a great positive impact, the participants

that people do when they are not motivated enough to make

seemed to miss the point: the challenge was for charity, not

a real sacrifice” (Gladwell).

for their image. The point of activism is change. The point of

social media is image. When the two become blended togeth-

in this country’s history happened without the help of social

Some of the most notable protests and movements


media. Women protested outside the White House until they

social media are well suited to making the existing social

had the right to vote. Black men and women sat in “white

order more efficient.” If Gladwell is saying that social media

only” facilities to begin the revolution that would have this

is constructed in a way that only makes the present more

country on its way to equality (We’re still working on that).

efficient (he is), then it isn’t a platform that can contribute

For ALS, protesting won’t make a difference, but neither will

change to the future.

dumping water on yourself.

So now, charities have a thin line to tread. How do

If participants

they responsibly and effec-

were really aiming to

tively use social media in a

make a difference, they

way that gets them what

could have just donated

they want but without creat-

money and moved on

ing another whirlwind, viral,

with their lives. But they

popularity contest like the

had to make the video

Ice Bucket Challenge? Olga

for their friends. Their

Khazan’s piece, “UNICEF

social media “friends.”

Tells Slacktivists: Give Money,

Or maybe the Ice Buck-

Not Facebook Likes,” for The

et Challengers needed

This phone probably met an icy, watery death while a chal- Atlantic, she writes “charity lenger was trying to post on facebook WHILE getting water organizations should spread to post along with their dumped on them. video, “Hey everyone, I just their messages online without donated X amount of money to the ALS Foundation” to feel

allowing their potential donors to get stuck in slacktivist land,

good about themselves, because being a charitable person

retweeting links and changing profile pictures without ever

alone just doesn’t do it for them. But that’s a conversation to

opening their wallets.”

have in therapy.

“So now, charities have a thin line to tread. How do they responsibly and effectively use social media in a way that gets them what they want but without creating another whirlwind, viral, popularity contest like the Ice Bucket Challenge?”

The dynamic between social media and activism

isn’t all bad. Social media has an ability to give a voice to any person who chooses to use it. It is a common platform that can connect one with pretty much anyone else in the world. In that way, it can be a useful tool in calling the masses to

action, or circulating petitions and pleas, or giving a problem

making a difference in the world, surprisingly, isn’t about

or issue attention. These are things that activists have always

themselves and their image. Tell them symbolic action isn’t

done, and social media undoubtedly makes them easier.

enough. Tell them viral campaigns aren’t enough. Also, tell

them that hypothermia is probably painful. You can probably

But in no way can social media replace real people

So, call out the slacktivists you know. Tell them

doing real things making real contributions. Gladwell writes,

also throw in that you can be a good person without posting

activism in the digital age “shifts our energies from organi-

about it.

zations that promote strategic and disciplined activity and

Amanda is a double major in English and Writing Arts at Rowan University. She likes her dogs, binge-watching TV shows she’s already seen, and re-reading books she’s already read.

toward those which promote resilience and adaptability. It makes it easier for activists to express themselves, and harder for that expression to have any impact. The instruments of


A

WRT

Production Summer 2016

Profile for Rachael Shapiro

The Tech Effect  

A zine exploring digital practices and culture.

The Tech Effect  

A zine exploring digital practices and culture.

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