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Blog About Nothing: Social Media and Millennials

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I was on social media last night and I started thinking back to a homework assignment I had a couple weeks ago on millennials. 

mil·len·nial

miˈlenēəl/

Birth years ranging between the early 1980s and early 2000s.

Our generation was brought up to believe in ourselves and that if we just worked hard enough, we could have everything we have ever dreamed of. This is good for motivation in work and school, but what happens when we find out life doesn’t actually work that way? We break down.

We also live in a era where we are easily influenced by other people’s words. This didn’t start with the social media era. As long as magazines have been around, people have read articles in them for parenting tips, dating advice, and expectations of romantic interests. It is the same now, except the articles are on the Internet and can be written by literally anybody. In fact, articles aren’t needed. Twitter alone is home to a wealth of ideas and opinions. If you have an uncommon point of view, you will not be alone on Twitter. Twitter is a place of group-think and constant seeking of validation from people we will never meet. I’m not really writing this to complain about social media. I happen to enjoy social media. But I wish it wasn’t so influential on our young, millennial minds.

Times have changed. More women are embracing their looks and finding confidence in who they are as societal standards of beauty are slowly shattering. Women’s previously silenced voices are now heard loud and proud. Men are now able to see how we truly feel about certain things. Men have even started to speak out against chauvinism and oppression against women. But the problem is that we take in so much information about what we should and/or shouldn’t be doing that we forget to just let life work its magic.

We don’t really know how to look at people as simply people anymore. People are attached to their social media presence, their pasts, their careers, their tax bracket, education level, and stances on social issues. These things have become deal breakers, and I think that is why a lot of us have trouble finding and keeping relationships. We’ve already absorbed our Twitter handbooks on how our romantic interests are supposed to act, so if that’s now how they behave, we don’t want any parts. I think we fail to really get to know our fellow human beings because our attention spans are so short. We’ve become so impatient.

I think our standards prevent many people from finding lasting friends and romantic relationships – especially among us college graduates and master’s candidates. We believe we’re supposed to be with someone who has degrees, is working a structured career, and is in the same (or higher) tax bracket – us women, anyway. Men tend to avoid women who are more “accomplished” than them, or make more money than them…understandably so. Men have historically been the breadwinners and the support beams of the family structure. It’s primitive instinct. But we shouldn’t let those things stop us from situations that might change our lives for the better.
This isn’t a post meant to denounce social media and its users. I love social media. But it’s about time we let our accrued knowledge take a back seat and just live life.
This post was random and probably all over the place…sorry 🙂

-t

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JFK: The 50th

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It has been quite a while, I know. I apologize for that! Life just gets in the way, you know…

But it’s a perfect time for me to write something. My favorite president in history, up there next to Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton was assassinated 50 years ago today. That is a big deal to me. As long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by JFK’s legacy and his short time in the White House. While he didn’t get to be President for very long, he did serve as a great Congressman and United States Senator before becoming President. He was a President who was concerned with civil rights and equality, a concept that many people at the time were not very much in agreeance with. I have a quote that I will always remember, that I have always used whenever asked for a favorite quote, a profound quote, or just a random quote. It is even in my list of quotes on Facebook 🙂 The quote is usually an abridged version of this:

“We need not accept that view. Our problems are man-made — therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man’s reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable — and we believe they can do it again.”

This message of perseverance may not mean much to many other people, but it has also spoken to me somehow. Kennedy said these words in a speech at American University on June 10, 1963, a little over 5 months before his tragic departure.

There are all kinds of propositions and reasonings and conspiracies as to how he died–how he was killed. While the general reasoning is that he was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald, who was himself shot not long after the President’s death, this is becoming an increasingly doubted claim as time goes on. Many think the Warren Commission or Lyndon B. Johnson is responsible. Or Russian spies, or Cuban spies…or J. Edgar Hoover. As for my own thoughts, I will say that no one knows who is responsible for it. As much as many people believe that their own theories are the correct ones, the truth is that no one knows. The only person who really knows is the person who pulled the trigger in Dallas that day…who is still (and probably will be forever) under debate.

I don’t like to dwell too much in conspiracy theories because they sometimes place blame on people who might be completely innocent. I heard someone say recently that LBJ was responsible and that someone should have assassinated him also. What if he didn’t? Why would you wish that kind of misfortune on a person? No one knows. After all, isn’t the saying “innocent until proven guilty?” Unfortunately, we will never know what happened on  November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. We won’t know who cut short the life of one of (in my opinion) the greatest leaders of modern history. Who created a widow out of Jacqueline Kennedy, and left Caroline and John, Jr. fatherless. The Kennedy family in general has been known to see a great, almost unusual deal of misfortune, and this tragedy is only one of many. There are many articles on the “Kennedy Curse” which outline all known misfortunes of the Kennedy family and their chronological order.

I hope that today’s leaders can learn from the things that JFK was allowed to teach us in his short time here.

500px-John_F._Kennedy,_White_House_color_photo_portrait

John Fitzgerald Kennedy
May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963

Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV

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Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV

Have you ever really looked at a flower?

I took this photo when I was still in college. Sometimes I’d walk around and take pictures of things for projects I was doing, or simply because I needed something to occupy my mind. As any person in college can tell you, sometimes you really need to just do things to keep your mind off of things that may be bothering you. This is what I did. Either this, or I’d go to the performing arts center and play piano in one of the practice rooms. 🙂

Anyway, this is a flower, I believe it’s an orange lily. I found it somewhere on campus last year next to some sunflowers and other pretty things. I have a macro lens kit that does really well with taking pictures up close. This was taken with my oldddd Canon Rebel that definitely ran its course…so it’s a bit fuzzy. But I have a new one now 🙂

To see the Daily Post’s Unusual Point of View photo, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

The Daily Post’s “Sea” post can be seen here.

Successful Attitudes

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Successful people vs Unsuccessful people.

Good Morning 🙂

tf

Food For Thought Wednesdays: Black History in Schools

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I thought it was a great time to write this, as I was thinking about it and ranting about it on Twitter. It just happens to be Wednesday, a day I’ve designated for thought-provoking posts, and it is the 50 year anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. I was watching the speech being aired on MSNBC during Chris Haye’s All In timeslot with my younger brothers, aged 12 and 13, and I remembered a time where I said something about an event in Black history and they had never even heard of or knew what I was talking about. I said, “Didn’t you learn that in school?” They said, “No. We only learned about Rosa Parks sitting on the bus and Martin Luther King being an activist and getting shot and killed.” I asked if they emphasize or acknowledge Black History Month at school. They said no. I then asked if they knew who our nearby airport was named after and his significance (the full name of the airport is Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, or just shortened as BWI or BWI Marshall). I had never actually taken the time to really think about that. I guess I just assumed that Black History Month was taught and celebrated in most schools in the United States.

I spent much of my childhood in city neighborhoods, one of those being Baltimore City. I went to Leith Walk Elementary – School #245 (they never let us forget which number our school was). Black History month was vibrant and exciting. Hallways and classrooms plastered with posters and drawings of prominent Black men and women; spreads of red, green, and black; a new Black history fact or story every morning read to us over the intercom every morning by Mrs. Greer, our principal; and the singing of the Negro National Anthem, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.” This was normal at Leith Walk. Even when it wasn’t Black history month, school was very festive. If you go to the school’s website, you’ll be greeted by the ‘school song’ that I so vividly remember. We’d have huge assemblies complete with students singing and dancing on stage, and a few older Black men and women who had come to talk to us about the 50s and 60s in the United States. I specifically remember having an assembly that probably took up most of the school day (aside from lunch) for a living legends assembly that honored great people in the community. I met then-Baltimore mayor, Kurt Schmoke, and Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D) several times. I have even met Martin O’Malley (although that is because of my father). But anyway, not to stray from the topic, Black history was a big deal as a kid. And it was fun and fascinating to learn. Believe it or not, they showed us Alex Haley’s “Roots” in third grade. I’ll never forget the mortified looks of my fellow classmates when they saw the naked women on the screen.

So in the summer of 1999, we moved to Randallstown in Baltimore County. Still a predominantly Black town, but far less congested (classes of 18 vs. City schools classes of nearly 40), a bit more affluent, and no city noises that I was used to. Still, Black History month was a big deal, but not nearly as much as it was at my previous elementary school. I stayed in this area until I graduated from high school and went to college. Sometime before then, my younger brothers started school in the same school district, my older brother had the same experience as me, in fact, we did not attend the same elementary schools but his school, Walter P. Carter Elementary, was another very enthusiastic school. I mean, that school is even named after a civil rights leader! My parents and brothers had moved to a different area of the county while I was away at college, and this area is predominantly White. Schools here do not emphasize Black history, and some do not even acknowledge that slavery occurred. Which, is understandable, there aren’t many Black people around here. But my brothers are not as familiar with these things as my older brother and I are.

Now one may argue that all those things are overboard and unnecessary. Maybe we don’t need to teach it in schools. Maybe Black History month is just a band-aid for the Black community. But I am amazed at how school districts, hell, even different parts of the SAME school district differ in their teachings of American History. A sorority sister of mine interned in Allegany County in Western Maryland, and was told by the principal not to talk about Rosa Parks or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I was so surprised that a principal specifically instructed teachers not to teach that type of material. And no offense, the locals of Western Maryland can sometimes be very unkind and intolerant to people of color. The fact that the schools are not teaching these things is probably contributing to that. There have been many times in college at Frostburg that I can remember racial slurs being written in random places on campus, or neighborhood folk just being obnoxious and yelling things like “White Power” out of their car windows.

I don’t often feel very strongly about many issues, but I can honestly say that this issue intrigues me. I’m usually one to recognize prejudice, while still maintaining the understanding that not everyone thinks that way (the optimist in me), but today, I can really see how regional values are important. While we’ve come a long way from slavery, legal segregation, Black suffrage, President Johnson’s signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the election (and re-election) of President Barack Obama we have not yet completed this journey. And we have to keep working at it.

Thanks for reading.

tf

Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

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The Daily Post’s theme for the week is FOCUS.

See their photo here.

Let’s see yours! Here’s mine:

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Focus

Interesting looking spider I found on my dad’s car.