Trying to be ME

Have you ever sat down and really looked at yourself. I mean have you ever taken a really hard look at the decisions you’ve made or the friends you’ve lost and gained or even seen how you’ve changed as a person?  Well, if you haven’t then maybe you should.  

It’s a great time to reflect.  You can get to know a side of yourself you aren’t really in touch with or discover a new side that you didn’t even knew you possessed or even discover you have lost part of yourself.  I think that is the scariest thing of all is to figure out you were not the person you once were.  Everyone is different so maybe one person’s change is more positive than someone else’s.  But for me it scares me knowing that I’m not that person anymore.  

I look back now and I think to myself: “Wow, who was that girl? How and why was I acting like that? Who was she?”  I feel like sometimes I’ve lost part of myself, parts that I didn’t want to lose.  But, I’m also glad parts of me have changed as well.  It’s a constant struggle knowing that I’m always going to be changing, that my friends or my interests might not be the same.  I think that’s why I hate talking about myself because I never really know who I am on a consistent basis.  

I think a lot of my recent experiences have taught me a lot about myself.  I saw myself becoming this person that I said I would never become.  But there I was becoming obsessive and crazy, and kind of a bitch (excuse the language but it’s true!).  It freaks me out knowing that I was changing, becoming this person I know I’m not deep down.  

Every day it’s fight to be the person I want to become again, to truly be myself again, to truly be Sarah.  I feel like I’ve lost part of her, like a part of my soul is missing.  Maybe I can get her back, but it’s a struggle every single day to resist being something I don’t want to be.

The past year has been a huge reality check.  A lot has happened in my life. I’ve had to deal with personal issues, family issues, and relationship issues. I keep telling myself I’m going to get stronger from all of this.  Sometimes it’s convincing, other times not so much.  But I try, I really do try.  

It’s hard trying to take other people’s advice. I want to be able to say to them, “Yes, I will 100% follow what you said.”  But in reality it’s easier said than done.  People get frustrated when I do not take their advice. I understand their frustration, but they aren’t in my shoes, in my head.  People truly have no idea what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes but they are so quick to judge you.  You don’t know what I’m going through. From their perspective it might seem simple but the issue is really not that easy to fix.  It’s harder to explain what the problem is or how you are feeling or what you want to do.  Because most of the time I cannot answer those questions. WHY? Because I’ve changed so much I’m still trying to figure out what I want.

All of this makes me feel like I’m losing it. It makes me wonder if other people go through a similar situation or is it just me? Do other people struggle with their own demons as much as I do?  I would imagine so.  Maybe some people are better at dealing with their own personal change better than others.  Maybe there’s a light at the end of this tunnel. Maybe this is just a phase that I’m going through.  Maybe, just maybe.

What’s a Girl to do?

You know, you think it would be easy to make decisions about certain things, but it’s not. People say I’m indecisive. I totally am, but I consider every possible out come before making that final choice because I need to justify my decision, I need to make sure it’s the right one. Now, some people might think that’s crazy, maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. But I want people to know that I don’t do that with every little decision I make.  I don’t contemplate for hours about what I’m going to wear or eat that day.  I’m talking more of the life changing decisions.

Some of you might think, “What does a twenty year old have to make life decisions about?” Well, there’s a lot of things that have been on my mind. For instance,internships, jobs, money, relationships, school work, family, and the list goes on and on. For the first time I feel the pressure of life.

The reality of becoming an adult, without the help from my parents, becoming completely independent, is a scary thought.  The choices I make now, in every aspect of my life, are going to determine my future.  Am I going to make the right choices? Am I going to end up with the life I’ve always wanted? Who knows, maybe or maybe not.

What always throws me off is that I tend to listen to other people’s opinions.  I base my decision off of my friends’ and family’s input.  And that is not a good thing, at all. I’ve learn that I cannot do that to myself any longer. I need to learn how to not rely on what other people think to sooth my indecisive mind.  I do appreciate my the advice I receive, it’s always nice to see it from a different perspective however, I need to do what is right for me and not worry about what other people think or say after I make my decision.

I’ve come to realize I cannot please everyone.  That’s one of biggest lessons I’ve learn thus far, in my short lived life.  But where do I draw the line with doing the right thing for myself knowing that someone might get hurt in the process?  Do I really want that or I am trying to spare someone’s feelings?  Those questions are the things that I need to let go of.  I need to start putting my needs first before anyone else’s.

But that’s hard for me to do. I am the type of person who wants everyone to be happy and get along.  I avoid stepping on other people’s toes and I put other people’s happiness in front of my own. Is that wrong of me? Some would say yes, other may say no.  But in reality when is enough, enough?

My Unexcused Absence

I’m sorry I haven’t been posting lately. Life happens blah, blah, blah, you don’t want to hear my excuses, but I’m going to start again soon!! I wanted to let all of my followers know I haven’t abandoned my blog!!  Ta-ta for now!

That’s Just Rude

Advertisers these days seem to be pushing the limit.  They are producing ads that objectify women, poke fun at racism, and make fun of certain people.  It’s obnoxious and tasteless as far as I’m concerned.  They are getting away with offensive advertisements, well kind of.  Many companies have had to pull numerous ads that were considered offensive by the public. I don’t understand how these horrible ads get created in the first place. I know that the companies are trying to be funny but in actuality they are not funny.

What those advertisers don’t realize is people take those ads very seriously, I mean very seriously.  Not many people in this country understand sarcasm nor can they take a joke.  That’s the unfortunate truth but knowing that you would think advertisers would be more careful with what they produce.

o-ADVERTISING-FAIL-570It’s really interesting that in all of those ads women are the one being objectified the most.  The advertisement I find the most disturbing is the Belvedere’s “Go Down Smoothly” poster.  The poster depicts the scene of a man grabbing a woman from behind while she’s trying to get away with the caption: “Unlike some people, Belvedere always goes down smoothly.”  I find this advertisement atrocious. I mean come on, this ad is basically promoting rape.  It’s giving people the idea that it’s all right to go out, get drunk and take advantage of someone.

This ad is offensive to women.  It makes them look helpless and weak.  The woman in this advertisement looks scared, defenseless against the man with the creepy smile, thinking that he’s going to get lucky tonight.  The message this advertisement gives is inappropriate.

But who do we blame for this irresponsible act?  Is it the advertisers, creative department, the board of the company, or the owners? Who’s to say it isn’t all of them?  Someone needs to take responsibility for the ad, but most of the time when something like this occurs; it’s mostly pointing fingers at each other.  Whoever is responsible needs to understand the toll this has on women.   It’s especially rude to women who have been victims of rape.  Could you imagine seeing an advertisement poking fun at a traumatic event you went through? No, that is unacceptable.  I would suggest to anyone who in charge of those advertisements to make sure what they are putting out there won’t offend too many people. It’s nearly impossible to please everyone; Belvedere-vodka-rape-ad-apology-twittersomeone will find an issue with your product but don’t attack a group, particularly women.

I give Belvedere props for sending out an apology after the ad was published.  Someone was obviously on top of their stuff, but not close enough to prevent the ad from running in the first.  It was the right thing to do.  The public is willing to forgive but definitely not willing to forget.  The main thing the company should be concerned with is losing business.  From reading multiple articles, the comments from people are pretty brutal. A lot of commenters stated that they would never buy the vodka again.  I guess that’s the risk you’re willing to take when running an offensive ad like Belvedere.  Is it really worth it though? In the end you’re only hurting your product and reputation. Now whenever I hear the name Belvedere I am going to think negatively, they’re the people who had that horrible poster.

You Can’t Escape It

2012_21_jump_street_005Have you noticed a specific brand in a movie you were watching?  Maybe you’ll see it once or maybe you’ll see it a few times.  Maybe you’ll say “Hey, I have that.”  But what you might not know is those products are strategically placed in movies, this is called product placement.  Companies do this gain to recognition for their products, to get their name out there to attract potential customers.

One movie I personally enjoy is 21 Jump Street (2012).  It is hilarious; I was laughing the entire movie. The film is a remake of the original series that aired in the 80s.  The film stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill as two unlikely friends working together as cops. The opening scene depicts Jonah and Channing in high school.  Jonah’s character is the typical “nerd” and Channing’s character is the “dumb jock”.  A flash forward to a few years later, both characters are seen joining the police force and are reunited once again.   Somehow the two characters become unlikely friends. The two goofyjump-street-2 characters end up botching some of their police work, screwing up their chances of being taken seriously. The two cops are relocated to a branch called the “misfit toys”, where they get assigned an undercover job at a high school looking for a new drug that is being distributed there.  As the movie progresses it proves to be a typical teenage comedy with some partying, drug use, alcohol use, sexual content and profanity.

This movie hosts a number of
product placements: Adidas, Chevrolet, Chevrolet Camaro, Desert Eagle Pistol, Disney, Doritos, Evans, Facebook, Fila, Ford, Ford Mustang, Glock, Hyundai, Jansport, Lincoln, Mercedes, Porsche, Quiznos, Red Bull, Smartwater, Smith & Wesson, Sony, Sony Ericsson, Sony VAIO, Springfield Armory, Taco Bell, Timberland, Twitter, University of California, Berkeley, Urban Outfitters, Volkswagen, Volkswagen Beetle, just to name a few. 

I noticed something about the product placements.  I’ve noticed that they are targeting a certain audience: young adult males.   The movie has multiple car advertisements, as well as junk food.  It is clear from the placement of the products the companies were trying to get the 21_Jump_Street-Slider1attention of the younger guys.  It makes sense to use these products, like Facebook, Chevy, Taco Bell, and Doritos, because younger people are familiar with them. Boys do love trucks and food after all so that was the right call to put them in there.

The idea of a product placement is pervasive.  They are put into movies to be blatant, guaranteeing the audiences’ attention drawing their eyes to the product.  Most of the time the character of the movie actually uses the product to get that attention.  The idea behind it is to make someone crave the product, to make them think about the product later and have it in the back of their mind.  It’s another creative way by advertisers to get brand recognition and to get new customers.  It’s also another reality of advertising proving that it is literally everywhere, no matter where you go you can’t escape it.

A Lesson for Amanda Bynes

Many of us know Amanda Bynes as the Nickelodeon TV star we grew up with in the nineties.  She appeared as a cast member of All That and hosted he own show, The Amanda Show.  She also appeared in a number of movies; most notably She’s The Man, Hairspray, and Sydney White.  She had quite a successful career so it was shocking for me when she announced her retiremuntitledent from acting in 2010.  That’s when things started to unravel for this child star. She’s had trouble with the law. She was involved with hit-and-runs as well as a DUI. Within the last few months she’s been on Twitter writing these bizarre tweets about herself.  It’s a little concerning that she states she has an eating disorder, having a weight goal of 100 pounds when she is 5’8’’.  Does she realize how unhealthy that goal is, let alone impossible for someone that tall to be that thin and look normal.  She’s even resorted to getting cheek piercings.  Why may you ask?  My speculation is for the media attention.  She constantly complains on Twitter about how the media is attacking her and giving her a bad image.

Has she thought that maybe she should do something to put herself in a positive light to get rid of the negative publicity? Perhaps not, but if I were her publicist I would try to put her out of the negativity as soon as possible.

Amanda Bynes has expressed that is not happy with the media because they keep saying untrue things. My piece of advice to her is if you don’t like what is being said then change the conversation. Amanda Bynes needs to put herself in a better place. If I were here publicist I would get her ahead of the media curve.  I would try to encourage her to stop bringing bad publicity to herself.  Suggest to her to think twice before posting a tweet or picture of herself, reflect how that’s going to make herself look to the world.

I honestly would get her awamanda-bynes-cheeks-lips-splash-twitteray from twitter.  I would try to get her involved in other activities to promote a positive image of herself.  I would kill the eating disorder proclamations by getting Amanda involved in a cause for eating disorders like Hey U.G.L.Y. This would give her an opportunity to make peace with her body and hopefully change the public’s opinion about her own eating disorder, that she will no longer make it a joke.  I would also get Amanda included in some sort of anti-drunk driving campaign, to correct her previous drunk driving incidents last year. I would also give her a proper make-over.  I would encourage her to dress less risqué, I would encourage her to dress more age appropriately, more like a normal 27 year old woman should dress.  She also needs to get rid of the bleach blonde hair, maybe dye it a darker blonde or even brunette. Her new hair would make her look more sophisticated. I might even send her to a therapist just to make she is actually rs_300x300-130415172103-600_ab_cm_41513mentally stable, or to get her to resolve her personal issues that may be hindering her ability to live a normal life. Of course I would need to convince her to go; hopefully she would agree to go.

I also would try to get to the press before they could write anything negative about her; I would push for the positivity. As soon as they get wind of something good about her, something other than the nonsense that has been posted recently, maybe that will change their opinion about her.

Amanda needs to have someone on her side.  Someone who is not going to judge her, but someone who will guide her in the right direction again, put her back on the right path.  Everyone goes off track every once in a while, but we all need to get back on track eventually and regain our composure.  Amanda is another victim of fame.  But Amanda cannot focus on the past, she needs to move forward. She needs to give herself a chance, not to lie down and take the beating from the media.  Amanda needs to put her life back together. She may not claim that there is anything wrong, but sooner or later she needs to wake up and smell the coffee.  She is heading for self-destruction; she needs help to correct the damage that is already done. Maybe one day the original Amanda Bynes we know and love will return…. We can only hope.

Finding Where We Belong

Have you ever read something that has touched your heart? Something that has made you think about what you’re doing with your life and where is it going? I have.

The novel, Water for Elephants written by Sara Gruen, made me realize that everything is meant be, that we have to find out place in this world, and sometimes we have to go through some wild adventures to get there. This story is not a typical love story, there is so much more to it than that. Not everyone’s story is the same. We all have our life experiences that make us who we are.water-for-elephants

SPOILER ALERT! If you have not read the book and wish to read this book, please do not read this paragraph, you might want to skip to the next. Again just a warning: spoiler alert!!! Jacob Jankowski had to grow up fast when he learned that his parents suddenly died, leaving him with nothing, nowhere to live, and nowhere to go. So where was this poor young Polish man supposed to go with no job in the Depression?  Leave Veterinary School finals to join a circus of course!  Jacob courageously, spontaneously, hops a board of a train coming his way. To his surprise he hopped onto the train of the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.  In order for Jacob to stay on the train he lies that he is a veterinarian. He is assigned to take care of the animals.  During his stay with the circus, he falls in love with a young woman named Marlena.  She is the sweet, beautiful, equestrian star that steals Jacob’s heart. The only problem is that she is married to August, the animal trainer.  August is no man you want to mess with either. He is ruthless, manipulative and will stop at nothing to get what he wants and keep what is his, including Marlena. August has Marlena under his spell but Jacob’s arrival begins to unravel her love-struck world.  She realizes August is not that man she really wants and she begins to fall in love with Jacob.  August takes all his anger out on the animals and Marlena.  Jacob and Marlena plan to run away together with Rosie, the elephant, who is one of the animals under August’s control.  Rosie becomes Jacob’s main reason for staying on the train. She brings Jacob hope when he thinks he’s lost it all. Rosie is smarter than anyone thinks she is, and she proves that at the end of the book, leaving everyone asking the same question.  Of course, I’m not going to tell you the whole story that would be silly of me.  Go get the book and read it for yourself to find out what happens at the end.

I’ve never heard of this book until about two years ago, during my senior year of High School, my AP English teacher assigned it to my class. At first I was like oh great, here’s another boring book that I’m not going to read and I’m going to end up looking it up on Spark Notes. But, my teacher was excited about this book, more than usual I would say; which caught my interest. She told us a basic summary and for once I thought I might enjoy reading this book. Now, don’t get me wrong, not all of them were a snooze-fest, I did enjoy other books I read in that class as well, but Water for Elephants was by far my favorite of the year. I loved reading that book, beginning to end. It was torture reading it for school because I couldn’t read ahead for the class, so I patiently waited for my teacher to assign the next few chapters.

Once I was finished the book I was sad, yet I was thrilled about how good the book truly was.. I love that this book is portrayed as a love story at first glance. But it is so much more than that.  There are many underlying themes that really bring into the light what Gruen wanted her readers to gain from this book.Gruen070910-Small

This book touches on animal cruelty, spousal abuse, the understanding of good and evil, doing the right thing, and countless others that tie the book together.  I think that’s why this book kept my interest because there are a lot of factors about life to consider.  It’s a thought provoking book that makes you think about what is really important in life and to follow your heart. And even sometimes to make crazy decisions, like join a circus. Now, this is not, and I repeat not, one of those instances to say “YOLO”. No ladies and gentlemen, sorry to burst your bubble, but this book is not all about the YOLO status. Water for Elephants is much deeper than that.  This story tells the tale of a man who finds his life at a circus, he finds where he belongs. The story of Jacob Jankowski was touching and amusing. His adventures were inspiring. His journey was about his self-discovery.  He found the love of his life, a passion for animals and he learned to fight for what he wanted.

I can take away from Jacob to never give up on something that I want; whether it’s love, a job, or to live the life I want by my own rules.  The novel has influenced how I look at my own life and how I read books. I read for the adventures and for the realistic story of a true character.  This type of novel has reminded me that everyone goes through their own problems in life. We all face obstacles and how we deal with those obstacles determine where are going and who we will be in this world.

Am I Suppose to Look Like That?

Try to remember the last advertisement that involved a woman.  Do you remember what is this woman looked like? Was she beautiful? Is she everything you want to be?

Now, we may not notice these advertisements at first.  We over look them, we don’t see the what these ads are really about. But if you look at enough of them you’ll uncover a pattern throughout all these advertisements.  We as consumers are being unconsciously manipulated, sent subliminal messages about how the standard of beauty.  We might even recognize that we get this idea of being thin through the media, but we still desire to be thin because we are surrounded by it everyday.

That’s exactly what advertisers want you to think.  They want you to want to look as beautiful as her or desire her.  It’s all about the looks these days. Well actually it’s always been that way.  Skinny, beautiful models have constantly starred in advertisements promoting various products.  These girls are the textbook definition of “beauty”, they are what we are suppose to look like.  But the funny thing is that no one actually looks like that.  The picture skinnymodel1009perfect women we see on the cover of magazines and on television are fake. They graphically altered and rebuilt to create the perfect image of a woman.  The images we see are not the original model or actress.  Their eyes are bigger and change color, their skin is pore-less, their lips are plump, cheek bones raised, their stomachs flattened and shaped, the list goes on and on.  But what is the point in doing that to a picture?  They are already beautiful, that’s how they got the gig in the first place! Is their natural beauty not enough? What do advertisers really want?  Do they realize what message they are sending to our society?

Whether they realize it or not the false pictures of these ads have detrimental on young women in our society.  The airbrushed bodies of models send the message that the only way to be beautiful is to stick thin.  The only way to be confident and successful is to be skinny.  But, that’s not true at all.  And girls will still believe those messages when they are so young because it’s constantly pushed in their faces.

When you really look at the models and actresses you won’t see a real person.  The face in the picture lacks real human features. They are so airbrushed they have flawless skin, which is completely unrealistic because everyone has at least freckles and pores on their face.  The barbie doll looking creature on the page is completely dehumanized by the graphic designers.dvd_jacket_241 (1)

I never realized all of this until I watched the most recent video from Jean Kilbourne’s series “Killing Us Softly,” which is about how women are portrayed in advertising.  I never thought that they are dehumanized and made out to be something they are not.  It’s kind of sick to alter someone’s body to make them look irresistible and perfect, when in fact no one living in this world is perfect. She states in her video that women strive to be flawless but ultimately fail because no one looks like the picture. not even the model herself.  She is asking us to recognize that what we see isn’t really there but, still women starve themselves, use plastic surgery to “fix” their flaws, and even worse die trying to look like the women in these advertisements.

Women compare themselves to the images they see.  They become unhappy with the way they look because it is not up to the standards of society. It’s sad because it’s true.  Girls and young adults pride themselves on looking thin and being the weighing the least out of all their friends.  Teenage girls especially are victims of the societal pressures.  The young girls look up to the supermodels and actresses they see in ads.  They want to look they way they look because they think they will be beautiful, happy, success, and get all the boys by looking a certain way.

The horrors the girls face in school and the peer pressure they get contributes to eating disorders and the need to modify their bodies.  Young women are the most sensitive about their body image.  They are the most impressionable in the teen years.  I think most women can agree during that time of their life that’s when they felt the most insecure.  I know I did.  I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to not listen to what anyone else thought about me.images1279317_anorexic-fake-skinny-model-colette-perfect

But unfortunately, girls develop eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia because their mental states are distorted from the association of being thin and beautiful.  Kilbourne couldn’t have said it any better: “Our popular culture seems to have the ability to make woman anywhere and everywhere feel absolutely terrible about themselves.”  Of course I understand that eating disorders are a mental illness however, the mental illness has to start somewhere.  These girls get the ideas in there head from the media and what they think society expects them to look like.

We, as human beings in this society, are responsible for each other.  There are some evils out there trying to bring us down and manipulate our way of thinking.  But we must resist those temptations to give into what should be or what we should look like.  We are all beautiful in our own way.  We shouldn’t let the advertisements of thin women dictate how people look at us or determine what weight we should be.  You choose the way you look, no one else can make that decision for you.  We need to realize that what we see in ads are not real, those people are figments of the imagination, we must fight these images and show what woman really look like.real-women

I think the only thing we can do to change our way of thinking is to become more educated to break the stigma of what beauty currently is. We have to to join together to make the world change, it has to be an environmental change, change how people think about each other and societal standards. It’s not an impossible task. Yes, it may take sometime but we cannot let that stop us from speaking up. But, there is hope, slowly but surely we are recognizing the truth behind the ads, advertisements are starting to show what real women and men look like.  You are not suppose to look like that, you are only suppose to look like YOU!

Am I Being Brainwashed?

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The wonderful world of Disney.  That’s what most people think of when they hear the word “Disney”.  But, what most people do not realize is that Disney has had a great influence in our lives.  From most of our childhoods we have been immersed in Disney, which has continued its influence all the way up to adulthood.

Now, some people argue that Disney has hidden meanings, that it sends the wrong message to children.  Well, I’ve got news for those “nay-sayers”, you are entitled to your opinion but in my opinion, you are wrong. Disney is a children’s corporation for the most part, their target audience is children.  The adults who over-analyze Disney’s motives are missing the big picture.  These stories are meant purely for entertainment, and when children watch these movies, they do not pick up on the hidden innuendos and subliminal messages that are originally put into the movie for the parents’ entertainment in the first place!

I understand that Disney has common themes about beauty and the girl always getting the guy sort of thing. But, would you rather them tell the real, dismal fairy tale of the original story to kids. Because that would go over so well… Imagine, the children would be horrified, and most likely scarred for life. Disney made these stories into something wonderful.

I grew up with Disney.  My parents tell me that I basically was a Disney movie whore. There wasn’t a day in my early childhood without Disney.  I still have all of my VHS tapes of the Disney movies.  Looking back on it now, if I didn’t have Disney in my life then, I wouldn’t appreciate as much as I do now.  I think I love it more at 19 years old, rather than when I was five.  I can’t even imagine my life without Disney.  It has bought such joy to my life.  Whenever I’m feeling down I pop in an old Disney movie. It brings back my childhood, I feel like a kid again.

I think that’s why most children love Disney.  It makes them feel good.  It has such a positive influence on a lot of people’s lives, generations have been touched by its imagination and spirit.  Disney has had a humongous influence on our culture.

One of the common themes I see in Disney movies are that the good always defeat the bad in the end.  The characters start out sort of lost or confused about who they are or where they fit into this world. Along the way the main character usually runs into trouble, usually with a villain.  That villain represents the temptation of being drawn into the evil side.  By the end of the movie we see the characters find their path and they become a better person after their journey.images (9)

Another common theme I see, especially in the princess movies, the main character wants to be their own person. Usually they end up with a prince of some sort, but I think that’s Disney’s way of throwing them a bonus.  Every princess comes to the realization that she doesn’t want to follow the rules, she wants to do what’s best for her.  I’ll be honest, sometimes their ideas are stupid and they end up in trouble but in the end they find their way purpose.

The_Little_MermaidPrincess Ariel is my absolute favorite princess. I’ve watched “The Little Mermaid” at least a hundred times, and I am not over exaggerating when I say that.  I love Ariel because to me she represents innocence, passion, desire, beauty, kindness, and adventure.  She’s just a misunderstood kid trying to find her place in her world.  She has taught me to go after my dreams and no to be afraid to do anything to get it. She’s been an inspiration to me and she always will be.

It really grinds my gears when I hear critics talk about how “The Little Mermaid” is a poor role model for children.  Okay, I understand that it seems like Ariel represent some dumb, naive  pretty girl who gives up her voice for some guy, but that’s not all what it’s about.  Ariel wants to break free from her hidden underwater life.

She wants to be different, she wants to be herself.  Living underwater unhappy, stuck in a life she doesn’t want.  Her character represents breaking away from tradition and finding something more than what you already have. Ariel wants exploration, to interact with people who are different than her.  “Bright young women, Sick of swimming, Ready to stand. And ready to  know what the people know. Ask ’em my questions and get some answers. What’s  a fire and why does it, [What’s the word?] burn. When’s it my turn?” Ariel wants to be part of a world where she feels she will be accepted for who she is. She wants to be her own person, live under her own rules, and do what she wants. She’s a normal teenage girl, just like me.

Just with this one example we can see that Disney isn’t an evil conglomerate that they are made out to be.  There’s good in every story that Disney has delivered us and has values and morals we can all live by.  I am happy to say that I grew up in a world of Disney.  I have taken some of these life lessons and lived by them.  Disney as impacted my life in a positive way.  I am thankful for the encouragement Disney has given me to be the person that I am meant to be.

Of course, Disney is not the only thing that has influenced my life.  My parents, friends, and environment have also played a gigantic role in creating the person I am today.

images (8)When we are little we don’t necessarily realize that what happens in the movies isn’t always real life.  I mean, kids know the difference between fairy tale and real life.  Eventually, as we get older we learn that what happens in the movies doesn’t always happen in real life.  But that’s the beauty of Disney because it allows us to escape the harsh reality of life and immerse ourselves into a fairy tale where everything is essentially perfect.

The Disney culture is known all over the world.  It doesn’t appear only as films, but it is a huge franchise.  Disney merely takes Disney characters and takes their influential power to sell merchandise to children.  This of course creates a demand for children to want all the toys, backpacks, clothes, bed sheets, school supplies, or whatever else would have their favorite character’s face on it.  Then, this puts a pressure on the parents to buy all the crap they know their children don’t need but they buy it anyway because it makes the kids happy.

I don’t necessarily agree with this tactic of Disney.  From a business standpoint it’s genius! However from a personal standpoint of the possibility that Disney could be exploiting parents into buying these items because if they don’t they’ll look bad in their children’s eyes is a little too far.  I agree when some critics say that it is wrong, but mind you, it is a business and they are trying to make money. The corporation is only doing what works to make them money, and they won’t stop anytime soon, that’s for sure.

Since Disney has such an enormous impact on our society I can see the advantages of having them in our lives.  They do support a lot of research and charity for all kinds of diseases, disorders, and issues people face in our country and all over the world.  Disney is most notable for their “Make a Wish” foundation, that provides kids to have their dream come true for a day.

They do give back to the community and try to do the right thing, even though it sometimes overshadowed by the negativity it receives from the critics. images (10)

Disney is going to a corporation that is never going to leave my memory and more importantly my life.  I want to give my children the same joyous childhood moments that I had with Disney.  The Disney movies and culture I grew up with helped shape the person I am today and I am thankful for Walt Disney for creating such a wonderful, often criticized, company.  There are important values and lessons we all can take from Disney.  I don’t think I have ever met someone who has never been touched by Disney. It has such an important role in our society how can we write it off as a brainwashing children? It is one of the simple pleasures in this life that critics overlook and it should not be taken for granted.

What Has Become of Us?

Have you ever thought about all the social networks are available to us? How much time we spend those sites? The hours and hours wasted on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and what ever else there is out there says a lot about the Digital Era and my generation.  The Millennial generation has taken comfort in social networks because that’s what they have grown up with.  From my own personal experience I find myself constantly on these sites.  And to a certain extent I can’t help it, it’s like second nature to check my news feed or tweet something, it’s comfortable.


But the dedication towards these sites is alarming. People ask what are we really doing with lives? What is our obsession with posting every thought, feeling, and pointless action that we have in our lives. Do people actually care what you’re doing at three in the morning? How drunk you got last night? Or the worst: When you use the bathroom? How do we establish what is TMI or an appropriate amount of information.

As a avid user myself, scrolling through the feeds becomes more a like game. I only use them when I have free time or time to kill, so I mindlessly scroll and scroll and scroll. One can say that action can be compared to the saying “in one ear and out the other.” Half of the time, people don’t pay attention to most things they see unless it’s really outrageous, surprising, or involves themselves or their friends.  I guess my generation does not think twice about the consequences of posting vulgar or inappropriate things and how they might affect us in the long run.

The person who says it best is Andrew Keen.  The author of Digital Vertigo basically states that online sharing is affecting our lives as humans.  He is saying that we are becoming narcissistic because of the intimate detail we portray on social media and we need to think about how we use it.  I agree with him.  I feel that the human race has lost the charm of using our brains to create interesting and meaningful posts.

Posting about random, pointless things does not promote ourselves in the way that we should be.  The social media makes us lose that cognitive ability to make meaningful connections and has the ability to make us look stupid and lazy.images (6)

What we post reflects who we are.  Sometimes that can be taken the wrong way.  What you post can ultimately affect your life in the positive or negative way.  It can make you look great in some eyes, while in others it can bring your downfall.  We can control how others see us and what others can see about us.  Social media is one of those things that can bite you in the butt eventually and we need to be aware of that.

Also, I feel as though we lose some of our privacy through the social media, especially Twitter and Facebook.  But, what I’ve realized it all comes down to what we choose to post.  We have the choice of not posting every detail in our personal lives.  No one is holding a gun to our heads forcing us to spit out what we are doing, or even who we are doing, at every waking moment of lives.  But some how people, mostly young adults, use the internet as an excuse to broadcast their life.  That makes us lose our edge, the mystery of who we really are.  If you think about it you can get to know someone’s entire life before ever meeting them in person! That’s insane, but the sad thing is it’s true.

How you ever “Facebook-stalked” someone before? If you haven’t that probably is a good thing.  The practice of this “stalking” is commonly used to gain knowledge of someone else you have never met or someone you have met but want to know more about them instead of getting the know them the old fashioned way. This strategy is another way people can invade someone’s life for their own personal assessment of them, getting judged without even knowing it nor being able to defend yourself against it.

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Now, some of you may think that I am “hating” on social networks, but I’m not. We can’t let the sites dominate our lives. We have to be able to distinguish ourselves from what our profiles say about us and what we post online.  You are you’re own person. WE cannot let social media to define us, hold what we previously posted over our heads for the rest of our lives.  We have to control what goes out there about us, it’s your life, not there’s.

I’m only showing concern for my generation because we are not consciously aware of what potential dangers that are out there with social media.  There are all kinds of ways in which the social aspect is remarkably outstanding with spreading ideas and bringing issues to light. These social networks are the key to promotion.  They provide an outlet for people to share their opinions and get help when they need it.  Many activists use Facebook and Twitter to gain support for their cause.  Many companies use these sites as well to gain consumers’ attention for their products.  Which is beneficial for us because we can “get ahead” of the curve, and be in the know of the latest trends and news.

Overall, it is the Millennial responsibility to illustrate to the world that we are not letting social network impact us negatively. In fact, we are adapting to the ever changing internet and it’s new capabilities. Just like any other generation we have our pitfalls and praises of growing up in a society with new technologies.  We, as a generation, do not want to be asking, “What has become of us?”

For Better or For Worse?

2035. That’s a long ways a away.  I can’t even begin to imagine what life is going to be like 22 years from now. Thinking about it scares me. I’ll be 41 years old! My life would be half over by then! Well… Almost. The past ten years have had immense changes.  We’ve gone through a recession, a war and technological advances.  Today our society has media and technology that we couldn’t even imagine ten years ago.

It’s hard to imagine because you would think that we have everything we need already. What more could we possibly want or need?  But that’s the beauty of our world, it’s always changing, coming up with better ideas to top the already great technologies we have. Hmmm… I wonder what technology we could possibly have in the futureimages (3)

I’ve been playing around with these two ideas of the future.  One is a Utopian view and the other is a Dystopian view.  These two worlds were a lot harder to create than I thought.  I had to get in touch with my creative side, really dig deep for two opposing worlds.  Would they hurt us or benefit us? I mean I guess you can say the future is going to go two ways: it’s going to get better or it’s going to get worse.

In the dismal future of the Dystopian society technology has complete control over every person’s life.  People have become antisocial. Everything in this day and age is computer generated. There’s no need for human interaction when computers do everything, from opening doors, taking food orders, preparing food; everything is done by a machine. People choose to be alone, they choose not to interact with anyone because they are so consumed with their different forms of media, especially their smartphones.

But these are not just any smartphones, these phones can produce holographic pictures, 3D, and they practically think for you.  You can send messages without even typing, you can think it and the phone will automatically do it for you.  The phones are connected to your brainwave patterns, it can read your thoughts and you can control your phone without pushing any buttons.  But the sad part of it is that the phone eventually takes over your mind.  People become so dependent on the device that they can’t live without it because they lose the ability to do everything themselves, think for themselves.dd8b02a11f332a410ea1a125d7a507c8

They become very lazy and lack motivation to do anything. It’s like a robot is in their brain, controlling every little decision, swaying their opinion.  Now, because everyone is so lazy, there is no control over anything.  The government has taken over everything.  They monitor every little move everyone makes.  It’s kind of become a socialistic society.  There is no choice for people to make.

Because humans are so distracted with the technology at their finger tips, they have become distracted with entertainment, they have forgotten all about their political and social values.  No one cares about anything.  The country has become a depressing dismal place that no one wants to visit or see, with human beings walking around as robots, brainwashed by their phones.people_texting1

In the brighter future of the Utopian society technology has never been better.  People are smarter and more productive.  Everything moves faster, messages are received and sent faster, computers run at the speed of light and things get done.  Humans are thriving with all the media and technology they have available.

Cars are more fuel efficient. People participate in everyday life.  Cell phones have become thinner, they project onto any surface that you want.  You can project it on a table, a wall, the floor, outside, on a window, anywhere your heart desires.  Food service has become faster.  Waiters electronically send in food orders and the ovens and stoves cook food ten times faster than they used to.   Air travel will be half the time thanks to automated piloting and renovated planes to make them faster and more fuel efficient.

Everything in this society barely uses gas, almost every piece of equipment runs on solar or wind energy.  This planet is greener, countries all over the world work together to make  a more livable place.

Instead of carrying a wallet with your identification, nano chips are insert into every person, containing all of their personal information.  There’s no need for typing anything anymore.  You can hook your brain up to a computer, telling it what to do with only your thoughts.  You can upload whatever you want, there is infinite space on computers.  Computers are personally designed to meet your needs.

The economy is flourishing.  The government has completely butt-out of the economy, stopping all regulations, and spending money they don’t have.  Every person has some kind of job.  The market was able to fix itself and is operation smoothly once again, becoming profitable. Products become cheaper, people are out spending money, putting money into the economy. It’s a beautiful thing.

future_technologyTechnology in school has helped children learn quicker, become smarter than the generations before.  Their learning environments are smaller, they have more one-on-one time with teachers.  They have knowledge around them 24/7 with their personal learning tablets, that are indestructible.  The children also have access to online virtual teachers all the time.  They don’t have to go to a traditional classroom every single day, they are partially home-schooled as well.

From education to the social behavior the world was changing for the better. The human race will thrive. But this raises the question: What will happen to the media we know today? What will happen to the news, radio, films, social media websites, the internet, journalism?

There is no certainty as to what will happen to the media as we know it. But, I imagine that hard copy newspapers will go out of business. Television news will not be completely wiped out, but most of the stations will transfer to online live broadcasts. Hard copies will no longer exist.  Everything will be going digital.  The internet will takeover journalism and advertising.  Companies will have to fight for commercial air time as well as ad space on the

With all this change I hope that I’ll be able to keep up with the new the advances of technology.  I don’t want to be one of those old people who start out their stories with “back in my day….” I want to be the “cool mom” whose up to date with all the new fads and in the know with what all the kids are doing.  But, in all honestly I just want to be able to use the technology in the future. I don’t think my generation has a problem with adapting to change.

The “millenials”, as we are called, have grown up in an age where change and diversity are a common occurrence. We grew up with all kinds of new technology and media, from cell phones, to iPods, and social networks.  I have a feeling people my age and future generations with have no major problems adjusting to the advancement in our coming world.

But who really knows what lies ahead.  I’m just going with the flow.  Everything happens for a reason. Let the chips fall where they may.  And many more cliche phrases to describe the future.  But we are all in for a crazy ride that is called the future, things will change, and it could be for the better or for the worst; only we will have to wait and see.

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A Media-less Day

Imagine a world in which one day everyone was cut off from every piece of media out there.  Absolutely no radio, no film, no newspapers, no television and worst of all,  NO INTERNET!!!! Everyone run for your lives it’s the end of the world!!! Just kidding. For some people it might be, but for the majority of us I think we would survive.  But, could you imagine not having any kind of media for an entire day?  Think about all the important events and news that you would be missing out on.


Now, some of you might laugh, thinking that one day is a piece of cake.  Well then I challenge you to a day without it.  Hopefully you’ll see that media is a lot harder to avoid than you originally thought and I’ll be the one laughing at you.  No worries though, that is exactly what I thought before I did my media-less day.  I was so confident that I could avoid it with no problems, no sweat.  Unfortunately I was completely and utterly wrong.  Let’s just say by the end of the day, Media: 1 Sarah: 0.

The day started off well.  I went to the gym without my phone so I could not listen to Pandora.  I ran into an involuntary media exposure when the gym had it’s own radio on and the TVs were on as well.  But I concentrated on my workout, not giving into the temptation of watching The Maury Show that was currently on the television.  After the gym it was smooth sailing, so far so good.  I consulted my friends, via face to face communication, to invite to have lunch with me.  I left my phone in my room and headed off to lunch.   I noticed something interesting while my friends and I were eating.  The conversation was consistent and flowing until when one person’s phone went off everyone else at the table decided to check their phones too.

This was really awkward for me.  Especially considering I was the only one without a phone.  It was difficult to get their attention and I was getting frustrated when I had to keep repeating myself while they were busy looking at the Twitter feed.  I thought to myself these girls need to review their smartphone rules.  Once everyone came back to reality the conversation picked right back up.  I found this little incident fascinating.  It proved to me that people are so dependable on their phone, and it’s an easy escape from an awkward silence in a conversation.

Throughout the day I constantly felt this nagging urge to check my phone.  I kept staring at the blank screen contemplating whether or not to give up and turn the device on.  But I told myself no, you can do this.  Each urge kept getting harder to resist.  I wanted to know what was happening on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr, and check my email, or watch Netflix.  Of course when I couldn’t use my phone is when I remembered things that I’ve been meaning to do. Isn’t funny how that happens?


Continuing in the day I was weakening but still trucking.  The temptations grew and grew.  It was becoming inconvenient not having the sources of media, particularly the Internet.  I resorted to doing homework, but I realized I need to access Towson’s website to  look up assignments or post discussions.  Then I realized there wasn’t much I could do at that point.  All I could do was wait around for a next class, which seemed like an eternity.

Eventually after all my classes for the day, around dinner time, I gave up the fight.  I grabbed my phone, turned it on and was instantly reconnected with the online world that I love.  Personally, I gained a huge amount of realization and respect for media.

I came to the conclusion that my day moved  by very slowly without media.  I think media keeps us entertained and allows us to have something to do in our free time.  That’s how I spend my down time.  I watch movies, play games, or get on the social networks.  Media has a enormous presence in our lives which most of us take for granted.

Most of our lives circulate around media.  Media runs our world.  People use it for business and pleasure, there’s no escaping it.  The biggest problem I had throughout the day without media was that I felt disconnected, so out-of-the-loop from everyone else.  It felt like I was missing out on something important, that I didn’t know what everyone else knew.


All the different types of media have their own specific role in the world.  Media makes life easier and faster.  Communication is more convenient and time saving. I love having the ability to look something up on the Internet at the snap of my fingers.  Without the Internet I would not be able to do my schoolwork or stay connected with my friends back home.  Without a media world, our lives would be like a blank screen. Nothing going on,  without vital news or information about what is happening in the world.   The current news would not be current, it would take longer to get to use so it would be more like yesterday’s news.

Our society is so set on the “fast-track” lifestyle that everything needs to be fast and instant, because without it I feel like people wouldn’t know how to handle themselves.  It’s almost impossible to avoid media.  It plays such an important role in society that we can’t live without it.  I don’t know anyone who would want to give up media nor should we ever get rid of it. If that were to ever happen we might actually have a real Apocalypse on our hands.

Media Addict… Perhaps?

Have you ever thought about how much influence the media has on us?  Have you ever really looked at how much we are exposed to?  Have you ever kept track of how much of it you’ve seen in a day? I have.

Let me tell you, that I never realized how much media is in my everyday life.  I would have never guessed that I am constantly exposed to some type of advertisement, story, or social network on a regular, more than a few times a day, basis.  But I guess someone wouldn’t notice it because the messages are subtle, or we have gotten so used to them, that the ads do not even faze us anymore.


I was consciously aware of my media intake for a few days.  I had to literally keep reminding myself that I needed to be on the lookout for ads, commercials, and everything else  because if I didn’t I would have breezed on by it, without thinking twice about it.  But after logging all of the different types of media for those days, I realized I spend the majority of my free time on social networks, accessing them through my iPhone.  I also spent some time reading my school paper, The Towerlight.

It’s mind boggling that I actually spend at least four to six hours a day using media.  These websites are where I get the majority of my news and how I connect with people on a daily basis.  Not to mention, a great deal of my school work revolves around the internet.  My professors assign homework and they tell my class “read this, research that, look this up….” um hello? My whole life revolves around media.  It’s almost impossible not to.

I learned a lot about myself when I recorded my media habits.  I spend short, frequent amounts of time throughout the day on my phone getting updates.  Unfortunately, I browse the social network sites like Facebook and Twitter very often, actually too often.  It’s not that I’m obsessed with what other people are doing with their lives, it’s more of the fact that I need to pass some time, like in between classes or waiting for a friend.  It’s also nice to constantly be connected because I have the ability to look up any question or anything I’m interested in literally seconds.  But browsing the social networks inhibits my interest in the news.

I’ve realized I do not spend nearly as much time as I should learning about what is going on in the world.  I know… that sounds really awful, but it’s the truth.  I always tell myself, “Yeah, I’ll keep up with the news, starting tomorrow…” We all know that does not happen.  It gets to me sometimes, I get mad at myself that I’m not current with what is going on.  I get embarrassed when I hear about something important in the news and someone says to me: “How did you not know about that?”  Boy did my face turn red.


This whole experience has taught me that I need to make more of an effort to get into the habit of reading a newspaper or going online to read the articles.  I promise that I will pick up a newspaper and read, I cross my heart, if not you can yell at me later.  I also learned that without the media in my life, it would be boring.

What is also horrible is that I don’t take advantage of how easy it is to get the news.  Think about it… there are numerous ways in which we can access the news.  There’s the internet, a newspaper, nooks, phone apps and television. All these resources and I can’t even manage to get one down.  All the different sources are amazing.  It’s a fast and simple way to get the news at a click or touch of a button.  No more waiting around for information, you can get it whenever your little heart desires.

Every type of media has a role in our life, some more than others.  But for the most part, our lives revolve around it and I find that a beautiful thing.  It’s how I learned to express myself and how I learn about new things and other people. I would not be the person am I today without media.  It has shaped our current world, which will continue to change it for the better.

Honestly though, who would want to live without it?

What A Wild World We Live In

Think about all the technology in your life.  How many devices you own?  What can they do?  How important are they in your life? Let me ask you a more important question: Could you live without them?  Take a few moments, really think about…

Wild to think about right? Honestly, answering my own question, I would probably feel psychotic after a few days… wait, let’s be real probably after the first day. It’s okay you can admit it too.  There’s nothing wrong with being addicted to technology.


As a young woman myself, I am going to guess that the majority of my generation cannot live without some kind of technology.

It’s quite obvious in this day and age it is almost impossible not to be wrapped up in either an iPod, iPhone, tablet, Nook, laptop, or a television.  Our society has become dependent on these means of communication.  Without them, we could not keep up with the ever changing world we live in.  However that is not necessarily a bad thing.  I know there’s people out there who say media is the worst thing and we are being brainwashed and we are losing one-on-one interaction…. blah blah blah.  I think it is the quite opposite.

What we have today has opened doors and created new ways of communicating and expressing our opinions, openly and freely.  People from all over the world can discuss all kinds of topics and bounce ideas off of one another.  In a way, the digital era has unified the world.

Everything builds off each other.  One invention after the other motivated someone else to create something, better, faster and more efficient.  It’s a natural reaction as humans to feel the need to become more advanced.  We can see it in history.  First, there was the printing press, then the telegraph, then the telephone, radio, and television.  Throughout the decades we have come a long way. The most basic product has developed into new high tech devices that we have today.

The development of new technologies have created a feeling of keeping up with the latest trend.  Every new invention that is developed  is later replaced with something newer and more exciting that catches the population’s eye.  Of course, the concept is the same but the design is sleeker  thinner, faster, and more modern looking.  The quality of merchandise has changed and has improved.

It’s almost impossible to keep up with “what’s hot” these days.  Even when you have the newest laptop or cell phone, it quickly becomes obsolete, overshadowed by the rumors of what is up and coming.  It’s difficult sometimes to be in the know about everything going on, but somehow we manage to learn how to work the numerous amounts of media in our lives.  I think even with all the confusion we may face, it is well worth it to have that feeling of accomplishment when you finally learn how to work the “do-dads” of today.

The excitement of new developments is something to look forward to.  The possibilities are endless, what can they come up with next?  New things keep people on their toes, creating things people cannot even imagine that are possible.

It is mind blowing to think about what the wild world we live in could possibly come up with next.  You would think we have everything we could ever need.  But, that is not the case.  Electronics and media will always be built or enhanced, that’s how it’s been and that’s how it will always be.