The Powers of Skype

This past Wednesday, I became an aunt! My sister had her baby, but I was not there to see him. On Thursday, she and I were able to Skype for a little bit while she was still in the hospital. I got to see my little nephew through the computer. It was so cool to see him since I won’t be able to see him until Christmas. The web chats are even more beneficial for my parents because they also weren’t able to be with my sister when she gave birth. They’ve been able to communicate through the webcam. The online video chats have helped my family and others with communication. Not only are you able to talk to the individual on the other end, but you are also able to see him or her.

What do you think the next invention will be with communication? Now iPhones have two cameras so that an individual can webchat another person with an iPhone or a computer. Will the next big thing be “Smell-O-Vision”? Will I be able to smell the soup my friend is eating in California? I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Social Network

This past weekend I finally caught up with the cool kids and watched “The Social Network.” I heard the movie was good, and I agree. My eyes were glued to the screen. I was so intrigued to know more about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. It’s so crazy that Mark Zuckerberg started the website when he was around my age. I feel like I don’t have the mental capacity to start a website where millions of people will join in. I can’t see myself owning a company by 25 and making billions of dollars, but I’m sure he didn’t either. Mark Zuckerberg started a phenomenon that my generation is in love with. Almost everyone I know has a Facebook. They check it and update it daily. Everyone knows about Facebook. On Sunday, 60 Minutes interviewed Mark and asked him if he wanted Facebook to be the face of the internet. He didn’t directly answer the question, but he said the future is unknown and he doesn’t want to predict anything. Do YOU think Facebook will be the face of the internet?

Cross-Eyed Jacket

After a long day of going to classes and doing homework, my eyesight gets blurry, and it’s hard to focus on an object. This started happening a couple weeks of being at Tech. I wondered why this was occurring, and I came to the conclusion that it was because I was starring at my computer too long. Much of my homework for my classes is on the internet or on the computer. In high school, I had to do my work with pencil and paper. Here, at Tech, everything is digital for ease and convenience. For the ease and convenience, I, personally, have to suffer. I can’t stare at the computer screen for more than two hours without getting a massive headache and having my eyes go out of focus. I feel sick after sitting in front of my computer too long.

It doesn’t help that I’m always on my phone staring at its screen checking my Facebook or email. It’s even more of strain on my eyes to look at a smaller screen. Native Remedies says that 50% of computer users complaining of eye strain symptoms. Digital natives need to be weary of the effects of eye strain. Eye strain can lead to headaches, vertigo, and fatigue. Take a break from the computer for ten minutes and then go back to work. It’ll help with the strain.

Am I at a disadvantage because I’m a part of the “Dumbest Generation”?

According to Mark Bauerlein’s “Why Gen-Y Johnny Can’t Read Nonverbal Cues,” I’m a part of a generation that can’t hold their own when face-to-face with someone. I agree to an extent but not to the extent that Bauerlein puts it. I know I’d like to email a professor instead of going to his or her office hours because I’m somewhat intimidated by figures of authority. I also don’t want to spend 30 minutes to an hour talking to them. It’s more convenient to send the email that takes 5 minutes at most to write and click SEND in the comforts of my dorm room than biking to his or her office.

Bauerlein’s condescending tone makes his argument seem that my generation should be pitied because we don’t have the social skills that the previous generations had and have. I don’t think there’s an obligation to help my generation. My generation has one of the most competitive job markets at the moment. WE have to know how to communicate to even be considered for a job. Without it, you are in the dust. Most jobs have communication skills as one of their most important skills that they are looking for. Companies need to hire individuals who can relate to the consumers and sell their goods. As a consumer, I’d buy from the outgoing individual instead of the person hiding in the corner not saying anything.

Though it may seem like my generation has become a pack of non-social homebodies, we do know how to communicate with others electronically and physically. We’ve adapted to both.

Cyber Bullying

Last week in class, we talked about aggressors on the web. Two weeks ago, I went home to Peachtree City. My boyfriend’s mother told me how some students at the local middle school started a website where they would categorize individuals into groups like “hottest girl and boy,” “funniest,” and some offensive ones. The local newspaper covered the story. Even though the site was eventually taken down, it still hurt the individuals who were listed on it under the offensive categories.

Cyber bullying seems like a middle school thing to do, but anyone can become a victim of it. Recently, a Rutgers student took his own life because he was bullied. Cyber bullying is not something to take lightly. It’s almost worst to have anonymous individuals over the internet bully you instead of an individual pushing you around in the halls. Who are you supposed to go to when you are bullied on the web? At least at school, you could go to a teacher or a counselor. The internet is a wide open space where you are vulnerable to anything.

Self Audit

When I heard that I had to write a blog for class, I was excited. I already had a personal blog from high school, so I thought it’d be fun to have one for school. When I sat down to write my first official post for this new blog, I came to a stop, writer’s block. I’ve never had to write in my blog. I usually wrote in it when I had inspiration or something to say. All inspiration was lost when I was forced to write an entry. I see blogs as a personal way to speak to others over the internet. With the topic of technology and the digital age, I just don’t feel myself connecting to it. I know that I was born into and live in the digital age and technology surrounds me wherever I go, but I don’t know what to say about it. All my life I’ve known technology. Because of the lack of interest, I see that my blog entries have been quite short.

For the most part, my blogs are about school. Going to a technical school, it’s expected that technology would surround you. It does for the most part, but that doesn’t always mean that it works properly. Early decision announcements for GA Tech didn’t work correctly. The servers crashed at 5:00 pm the day they were announced because too many people were logging in to see if they were accepted or not. Before even getting into the school, the technology failed. The computer labs for chemistry didn’t work efficiently. It actually took them about a week to get the program up and working. The electronic pads that allow me to get into my building work about 50% of the time. A good portion of my blog talks about the failures of technology at school. Maybe it shouldn’t be expected to have efficient technology at a technical school.

I should start noticing the plus side of technology instead of the downside and start writing about it. I’m sure the technology at GA Tech is new and up and coming; I just haven’t seen much of it.

Fall Break

For fall break, my roommate and I drove to Memphis, Tennessee with some friends from high school to see the play, Wicked. The show was amazing. I enjoyed every part of it. I was singing along to the songs and enjoying the show. It was really cool how technology was used to engage the audience with the performers on stage. There was a mechanical dragon that was on top of the stage that would move and glow during songs, and the usage of lighting helped add to the show. At one point during the play, lights were used to portray rain. It almost looked real. I sat on the edge of my seat the entire time. It was so much fun.

The lack of technology on our part caused problems, however. We did not have a GPS, and we are not the best at reading directions. On our way back to Atlanta, we got on the interstate, and the interstate ended. It just ended! So we stopped for directions, and the nice lady pointed us in the other direction. We followed the directions, but we soon noticed that we were not on the same road that we came in on. I rummaged around the car looking for a map. Voila! I found one. We were going the right way except we were on a smaller highway. Even though we are part of a generation solely dependent on technology to help us, we found our way home. 8 hours later, I was back home. The ride back from Memphis to Atlanta was an adventure. It was fun getting lost and then finding our way. We were independent of parents and technology. It was refreshing.

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