Thursday, March 7, 2019

Like Buttons - They’re so Much More Than Just A Click

Although the like button is a good way to show an opinion it has also brought some unforeseen consequences. Perhaps surprisingly, the like button is considered a bad thing by many people because a lot of studies have shown that people are almost obsessed with getting likes on a video or post and are mad about getting dislikes on a post.

The like button can be a very good way to express an opinion/to show approval to something and this is what it was originally intended to do. A lot of major social media websites use the like button, including Reddit, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and they generally work as intended. Although the like button may be seen as a standard on these major social media sites, some people want it to be removed. The like button can make someone's day; it can make a person happy to see that people care/like what they post. Although that is a fair statement, recent studies have proven that people are addicted to getting like/views.

The number of likes to dislikes on a post or an article can show how helpful the information was. Disliking posts can show a lot of things, but it can also create a negative effect on the person that posted. Mark Zuckerberg the creator of Facebook said, “It’s important to give people more options than a like.” Which is true because being able to like, dislike, and comment can help express how people felt about the post or article.

Although disliking can be negative to the person that posted, it can also be helpful feedback because it shows where they need to improve. Comments are also a good way to give feedback to the original poster because they can also again see what they need to improve on and see what people thought of their video/post. This is why the like, dislike and comment buttons are an extremely helpful addition to the people who make videos or posts. Another helpful inclusion for many social media platforms is the report button. The report button can help to prevent inappropriate posts/content, which keeps social media clean from hateful comments and content.

A lot of recent studies have revealed that smartphone addiction and getting likes could actually affect the dopamine levels in your body. Which means that getting likes on a post could be addictive. If getting likes raises your dopamine levels then getting dislikes could lower it. Researchers have discovered that when people get dislikes it makes them sad and sometimes if a post gets a lot of dislikes or not enough likes the person who posted it will delete it. Likes are meaningless according to a recent theory of relational investment: the less effort you put into an interaction the less it actually means. But why do likes mean so much to people? Because it makes people feel happy, relevant, and it raises their self-esteem.

The dislike button can hurt a person's self-esteem because it shows that people did not like what the poster posted. This could lead to cyberbullying because if a post gets a lot of dislikes, it means that the post was most likely bad which could lead to the poster removing the post. Dislike botting could also make someone remove their post/video because if a lot of people see that a post or video has a lot of dislikes they are most likely not going to view it.

A lot of research says that social media is a good thing because you get to interact with other people, but it could be dangerous to your health as well. Further research has shown that we are using the like button to decide our own value, which can become addictive because when you get a like it makes the poster happy. So, in a way, getting likes can be considered addictive to an extent, and essentially it is being used to decide our own value. In retrospect, the like button was not originally created to be a way of determining one's self-value or to be addictive, although it is good for showing your opinion or gratitude for a post/video.

The like button can be a very good way to express an opinion/to show approval to something and this is what it was originally intended to do. A lot of major social media websites use the like button including Reddit, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter what did they intend to do. Although the like button may be seen as a standard on these major social media sites some people want it to be removed. The like button can make someone's day it can make a person happy to see that people care/like what they posted, although that is a fair statement recent studies have proven that people are addicted to getting like/views.

The number likes to dislikes on a post or an article can show how helpful the information was. Disliking posts can show a lot of things, but it can also create a negative effect on the person that posted. Mark Zuckerberg the creator of Facebook said, “It’s important to give people more options than a like.” Which is true because being able to like, dislike, and comment can help express how people felt about the post or article.

Although disliking can be negative to the person that posted it can also be helpful feedback to the person who posted it because it shows where they need to improve. Comments are also a good way to give feedback to the original poster because they can also again see what they need to improve on and see what people thought of their video/post. This is why the like, dislike and comment button are a extremely helpful addition to the people who make videos or posts. Another helpful inclusion for many social media platforms is the report button. The report button can help to prevent inappropriate posts/content this keeps social media clean from hateful comments and content.

Other Recent studies have revealed that smartphone addiction and getting likes could actually affect the dopamine levels in your body. Which means that getting likes on a post could be addictive. If getting likes raises your dopamine levels then getting dislikes could lower it, researchers have discovered that when people get dislikes it makes them sad l and sometimes of a post gets a lot of dislikes or not enough likes the person who posted it will delete the post. Likes are meaningless according to a recent theory of relation investment the less effort you put into an interaction the less it actually means. But why do likes mean so much to people? Because it makes people feel happy, relevant, and it raises their self-esteem.

The dislike button can hurt a person's self-esteem because it shows that people did not like what the poster posted. This could lead to cyberbullying because if a post gets a lot of dislikes means that the post was most likely bad which could lead to the poster removing the post. Dislike botting could also make someone remove their post/video because if a lot of people see that a post or video has a lot of dislikes they are most likely not going to view it.

Overall of research says that Social Media is a good thing because you get to interact with other people, but it could be dangerous to your health as well. Further research has shown that we are using the like button to decide our own value. Which can become addictive because when you get a like it makes the poster happy so in a way getting likes can be considered addictive to an extent and essentially it is being used to decide our own value. In retrospect, the like button was not originally created to be a way of determining one's self-value or to be addictive, although it is good for showing your opinion or gratitude for a post/video. The like and dislike button is a good way to show your opinion and how you feel about a topic or subject but it can also be a bad thing because a person could use it to determine their self-value.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Are Video Games Addictive?


“Satan's corruption and affliction--Controlled by online games”
By: Maltz Evans is licenced under CC 2.0
Are video games addictive you might ask. Well yes they are and it is becoming a problem in kids elementary school all the way up to adulthood. Lately with new types of games and new way to play that are coming out, people are spending more and more time on video games. Most people will agree that you shouldn't play endless hours of video games because it is bad for your health and to the more extreme side conflicting with people's ability to act normally.


Video game addiction is classified as an impulse control disorder because when you are addicted you always have the impulse to play video games. Video game addiction has also been referred to as video game overuse. Excessive amounts of video games can cause kids to be awkward and shy. This is an increasing problem with the upcoming youth of this generation and I see examples of this every day. This is a serious concern and I think something needs to change to better the lives of everyone in the youthful generation. There are many easy ways to prevent video game addiction. If you are already addicted, there are easy ways to overcome it and you don't even need rehab.

Preventing video game addiction is really easy and all you have to do is have your priorities straight. If you have the decision to play video games or do homework it's up to you on making the logical decision, but I'm pretty sure we all know what is the right choice. Video Game addiction can have some pretty serious effects that I believe everyone should know about. Playing too much video games can lead to suffrage of grades, employment, and/or physical shape. All three of those things are important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and it all starts with healthy decision making.

Some warning signs may include the longing to play, neglecting responsibilities and relationships, and finally, anxiety in the time spent away from gaming. It is important that if you feel that you are forming any of these symptoms to limit yourself from the amount of gaming you do. It is not healthy to play a lot of video games regardless of how enjoyable they are. One thing you can do is get committed to something else that can actually move your life forward such as a job, sports, or working out and staying in shape.

Video games can be extremely addictive. In fact, they are designed to get you to keep sucked in and playing them. There was a test done that proved two different and completely opposite things, this test was undergone by having people play grand theft auto five, and while they were playing they had a bowl of M&M’s next to them and it proved that people reached for the M&M’s less. This proves that video games are made to suck you and and shut out the rest of the world pretty much. This also proves that while people play video games it decreases their desire/obligation mindset of doing things. Video games can also be addictive by providing a fill to a void in your own life as an example if you don’t consider yourself to be attractive in real life you can completely change your looks in online games. Other games promote addiction by having micro purchases that can advance your need to play the game and spend more money on it. In games with micro purchases you can buy currency to spend on what you choose, and once you buy this the game either unlocks a new part of the game in which the developer hopes you will then play more and spend more money. In cases similar to this the game has an aesthetic aspect to it where you can make your character look better which then intrigues you to play more of the game.


“Video Game Addiction: the long road to recovery” By: David Farrant
Some cases of video game addictions can be very serious especially in the cases of Qiu Chengwei, Daniel Petric, and Rebecca Colleen Christie(you can look them up). In these three cases someone died whether that be by murder or manslaughter. My point being that video game addiction is a serious thing and it can lead people to act or do things that they wouldn't do normally. But overall those are very extreme cases and the average person shouldn't have to worry about outcomes similar to these. The regular person should consider the effect of them playing to much and what it does to your health, physical shape, and finally what it does to the others around you.

If you find yourself addicted to video games you can always look online for information to overcome your addiction or look to someone that you are close with to help you out.

Even though it is awfully easy to get addicted to video games you can also easily stop it or even prevent it. It isn't something that you want to get into so overall you need to keep playing time to a minimum.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Is YouTube as inclusive as they claim to be?

For as long as I can remember YouTube has always been a way to spend my spare time and I recall spending countless hours watching content from different creators around the globe, exploring the new trends and finding myself lost in the numerous videos that circulated the website. As a child, YouTube was a major source of entertainment for my friends and I as we bonded over conversations about new creators and new music that we discovered and there is no doubt that access to the enormous amount of videos on Youtube impacted my thoughts and personal opinions of myself, the world and the many topics I was able to delve into on the site.

The one thing I really appreciated about YouTube was the diversity and equality that was displayed. The fact that anyone, no matter your age, gender or ethnicity could post what they wanted and be free to share their experiences always made me grateful that I was able to enjoy such an empowering and vast platform for free. I loved that I was free to express my opinions and debate on topics with so many voices with different views from around the world.

Unfortunately, over the years, YouTube's agenda ha seemed to have drifted away from the desires of its creators and users. Boundaries were placed on creators and specific categories and topics were blacklisted. Eventually, it became clear that not all creators were treated the same anymore. Personally, I believe that the changes may have been motivated by profit and the growth of the company but there is no doubt that the YouTube community is as comforting and welcoming as before.

Since the birth of Youtube, the company and representatives have constantly reminded its patrons and users that their platform is a place where any creator can express their personalities and are free to share their creations and knowledge. Of course, these statements make Youtube sound like a fantastic community to be part of - and I think that at points in time it was - but many say that is simply no longer the case. YouTube has recently increased and enforced the restrictions of their website. With such a large company, guidelines were expected to be enforced sooner or later but how much control is too much and how does the “public” opinion, popularity and influence of a creator determine that?

As a company, the amount of money Youtube receives relates directly to the number of creators, users, patrons, and sponsors; the more people involved, the more money the company earns. When Youtube was first established, it was a new platform where a small number of people began exploring and using. At the time, YouTube had a very healthy relationship with the creators using their platforms and it quickly became a popular and constantly growing website. To flourish as a company and become self-sustainable, Youtube needed its creators to be loyal and work with them and vice versa. Eventually, the website became less and less dependent on individual users and creators as the population of users increased. Not only did Youtube become more powerful, but they also became more controlling. Free speech was replaced with guidelines and those guidelines were replaced with rules that seemed to apply to only a specific amount of people; the newer and more inexperienced YouTubers are all pushed to the bottom of the priority list. Suddenly, Youtube doesn't seem that inclusive anymore.

Anyone who frequently used Youtube a couple years ago would remember the different design and system between older versions and the current model of YouTube. Over time, the website modernized and became one of the easiest forms of social media a child could access. Unlike social media like Facebook or Instagram, YouTube does not require you to be at any certain age to use their website. This means that the video-sharing site can give a child access to something that can be potentially harmful or disturbing for a child to watch. YouTube is struggling to control its community and the use of their own website. When YouTube was created, it would have been unlikely that many people could guess how big of a social influence it would become. Even YouTube itself had underestimated the attention and usage their site would receive. Remember PSY? On December 2, 2014, YouTube crashed from the amount of traffic on their site. At the time, Google was busy trying to fix the problem and restore the website in a way that they could accumulate the expected increase of traffic and usage the site would have in the future. That problem occurred four years ago. Not too long right? Wrong. In just four years the number of users grew exponentially. With YouTube’s current algorithm and coding, it is simply not enough to keep an eye on all 1.9 billion active users and accounts.

People on forums are saying similar things but the message is the same, YouTube is trying to become something it’s not. Youtube is trying to push themselves into a more exclusive community, one that only a small population of people can reach and become part of. There have been modifications to the advertising system on Youtube that restricts earnings of videos and creators if they do not reach a certain subscriber amount. Smaller creators also are accusing Youtube of favoring certain creators and I don’t think that they are wrong. It has become increasingly obvious that Youtube pulls strings in circumstances they shouldn’t. An example of this is the issue that Logan Paul caused in December of 2017 where he filmed a dead body in Japan’s infamous Aokigahara Forest which is known for the high rates of suicides that occur there. The video itself was a problem but the backlash was not only directed at Logan Paul but was also aimed at the creator platform. Youtube had not removed the video despite it violating their guidelines but also did not remove the video from their trending list. In fact, they seemed quite laid back in the entire problem which only directed more anger towards the company. Eventually Youtube “punished” Logan Paul by removing him from their preferred advertising program. That was it. Nothing else was done and he continued as usual even going on a redemption tour and the issue seemed to get swept under the rug. By doing this, YouTube once again backed themselves into a corner.

This time the anger comes from a specific creator, Felix Kjellberg. Kjellberg, a.k.a Pewdiepie has acquired a shocking amount of over 83 million subscribers and there is no doubt that he brings an incredible amount of revenue and daily users to the broadcasting site. He has such a large fanbase and earns more money than Logan Paul so why is it that he was treated differently? Kjellberg had a similar problem when he took an act of racism too far when he paid two guys to hold up a sign saying “Death to all Jews”. At the time, the outraged community calmed down after the cancellation saying that they hoped the punishment would teach the Swedish creator a lesson. The reason Kjellberg is frustrated is due to the fact that while his YouTube Red show was permanently canceled while Paul’s was put on “hold”. It was later revealed that the show would be released in late 2018. It is obvious that YouTube has been dealing with creators in different ways and that the same rules don’t apply to everyone.

Equality by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0
I honestly think that instead of focusing on profit, Youtube should reconsider their relationship with their creators, both big and small. A platform is only good if the community using it feels safe and happy. I understand that profit is important but the utmost priority should be to treat everyone equally and fairly. Instead of preventing small creators from profiting off ads by requiring a specific subscriber amount, they should be allowed to operate their channel the way they want and if they become viral, they should be allowed to profit off their work. There are definitely many problems that can be improved but in order for that to happen, YouTube needs to re-evaluate their priorities and put more resources and effort towards making YouTube a safe and reassuring website that anyone can use. I for one think that the most important thing right now is that the company and the creators need to be able to see things eye to eye and acknowledge the rip in the relationship of the two parties so that improvements can be made considering the feelings of the community.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Are your sons being taught differently than your daughters?

"A nutrition educator teaches children about MyPlate" by US Department of agriculture is licensed under CC by 2.0
In many schools, young girls are being unconsciously discouraged by teachers to explore math and science. Girls are not always encouraged to learn the same subjects that boys are in school, which can affect their academic growth. Is there a way to create more online learning opportunities and apps for girls to ensure an equal learning opportunity?

Encouragement from teachers is very powerful and a little discouragement that influences students to choose to join a math or science class can affect them their entire life. By not taking that math or science class, you may never go back to take it. This can impact what profession you choose as an adult which can make you settle for a lower paying job. Many teachers unknowingly have a subtle bias when teaching. A teacher at Florida State University did a project where she videotaped herself teaching to watch if she had patterns on who she calls on or who she asks to analyze answers. She found many patterns and changed the way she teaches.

"Kindergarten teacher and students" by Alliance for excellent education
is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
As a girl who attends a private school I have noticed that I am a more independent learner, teachers focus a lot of attention on the boys in the class. Because of this many parents have switched to single-sex schools, which have grown immensely. A major con against single-gender schools is that you get used to not being mixed with other genders, so if you then attend a mixed gender college you are unprepared. It has shown that single-gender schools have improved test scores and much of the overall knowledge that students attain. Another study found that the average number of answers male to female is seven to three.

There are many ideas on how to make schools less gender biased and more equal. This includes the single-sex schools mentioned before, or even classes. Another idea could be an app for kids to exceed and be successful in and out of classroom environments. In society women and men may never be seen as completely equal, but as a society, we can encourage equality and help transform schools into a positive learning environment for most students. There are many options out there for math and science that are open to both boys and girls but without equal representation, girls have trouble having optimism and believing that they can succeed in these activities. So they shy away from trying anything out of their comfort zone. According to the New York Times only twelve percent of computer science college degrees go to women. The other eighty-eight percent are earned by men.

Specifically for math and science, girls lack role models who they can look up to because this bias has gone on for a long time so many women are not known for being in these fields. An article in the New York Times states that there is a lack of female representatives in computer science and engineering which are some of the highest paying jobs. Fewer than a fifth of technical employees are women which is a really low amount. Young girls should be encouraged to do math, science, and technology classes because they need to not be afraid to try new things.

There are an immense amount of pros and cons to online learning, but the most important con is that unless a parent is directing the child to do work the work may not get done in a reasonable fashion. A pro to girls becoming more involved in science and math is that they are being set up for successful careers. Since there is a lack of scientists in many fields they are very high paying jobs. Forty-four percent of online students reported having a better job standing and forty-five percent of online students had a salary increase since starting the program.

Young girls are growing up in societies across the world where women are only now being legally allowed to drive. All children need people to look up to, and in the world, there are many successful women scientists and mathematicians who are not being recognized for their work. Some of them include Nina Tandon, a biomedical engineer. And Maryam Mirzakhani who was the first woman to win the Fields Medal, and she also won two gold medals in the International Mathematical Olympiads. MIT News wrote an article talking about if online learning is as effective as their findings hint, it is proven to be a more efficient way of learning compared to standard, face-to-face learning. A pro to online learning is that you save money on commuting to and from school. You also have a little more flexibility on when you do work and in how long of increments.

Saffa Girls School, West Bank” by USAID
is licensed under 
CC BY-NC 2.0
Science and math are important because we wouldn’t be as advanced in them if people did not work hard and advance our knowledge of the world. Young girls and women need to be recognized for their advancements so that girls across the world have good role models. When you search women mathematicians most that pop up are deceased, but we still need to acknowledge all that those women have taught us what we know now but we also need to look towards the future and recognize women who are doing great work in this day and age. Online learning and apps can advance young girls knowledge and help them succeed in these subjects.

Rich kids and Poor kids, who uses electronics more?



Wonderswan Black Left by Evan-Amos is licenced
under CC BY 2.0.
Can using electronics for a long time be dangerous? Why does is matter how long we are on our electronics? We should care because we use a lot of technology at school and at home. Many articles warn about the unforeseen dangers of technology and if true, we should listen to them and not be the generation that "learned the hard way."  Studies shows poor kids are on electronics more than rich kids and this is bad because the more kids are on their electronic devices they can become less emotionally intelligent, less socially adept, and more likely to suffer from attention deficits.

The first article I read was a New York Times article by Nellie Bowles. This column explained lower income children were on electronics more than higher income children. With the help of Common Sense Media, a nonprofit media watchdog, they have found that lower income children are on screens around eight hours and seven minutes a day while higher income children are on screens about five hours and forty-two minutes a day (a difference of two hours and twenty-five minutes a day). Also they have found that Caucasian children are on their device significantly less than African-American children and Hispanic children. Psychologist Richard Freed worries that things like Snapchat streaks and Youtube autoplay are phenomenally addictive, making children want to stay on screens more. Through this site I was able to find out who are on screens the most.

The second article I read was Digital Responsibility Taking Care of Your Digital Life, by Liz Solton who got evidence from the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Liz Solton gave great stats on how many people in three groups  - African-American, Hispanic, and Caucasians - have access to high speed internet. It has been found that about half of Hispanics and half of African-Americans have high speed internet while two-thirds of Caucasians have high speed internet. 56% teachers of lower income schools have reported that trying to use technology is a tough struggle when utilizing it for learning, unlike 70% of teachers from schools with a higher income. With this we know that in the real world it is going to be harder for lower income students and children to use technology with each year coming forward with newer and more advanced technology.

computer screen technology internet money gadget business abundance monitor cash bank focus electronics source battery euro download finances multimedia economy income joke copy prosperity profit salary grow up give birth to display device
 "https://pxhere.com/en/photo/674480" in public domain is licenced
under CC0 1.0

The last resource I used was an article on Verily by Shannon Evans, an author of Embracing Weakness. It explains that, “ too much technology exposure is making our kids less emotionally intelligent, less socially adept, and more likely to suffer from attention deficits”(Verily). Also that parents with higher education who have more time to focus on their child’s screen time will give more restrictions. Unfortunately while parents are trying to change how much technology kids use, lower income schools and public schools are still trying to make sure each student has an Ipad or Chromebook, many are still using one on one Ipad programs.

Now how do we fix these problems without turning back to the olden days to use sticks and rocks instead of computers?  First we could start by encouraging more students to go to public libraries which are always free instead of them just sending snapchat streaks for hours.  They can also be more vocal at public school board meetings.

All in all lower income students have been found to be on screens over two hours more than higher income children and being on a screen for long periods of time really affects the brain in a negative way and we should do something to stop this.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Traditional Masculinity

is licensed under CC-BY-NC-SA 2.0
As the name implies, masculinity refers to a man's unique character and temperament, outgoing personality, mastering the ability to respond independently, and establishing a sense of gender, honor, and identity. Masculinity is affected by the culture in which people are living now. Simply speaking, culture is the collective name of regional human life elements. However, there is a culture called “Bro Culture,” which specifically refers to alcoholism, gender discrimination, rape culture, and other elements related to a form of masculinity that many consider “toxic,” particularly one in which men disrespect women. Bro culture arises from social and emotional insecurity and can reveal itself in elementary school or earlier. The Bro culture is easy to spread. According to How to Help Kids Disrupt ‘Bro Culture’, social media can solve this problem, but it also can make the problem more serious, because I think that the existence of social media has led to the illegal behavior, Nowadays, even though the social media helps children and people to make friends.

Some cultures have been planted in people's hearts for a long time, and this culture will accompany these people for a long time. If a child's cultural environment is excellent, the things he learns from an early age will also be excellent. Especially for young people who have less knowledge. When they find something new and have no answer with that, the first answer people tell them is super important. Because the memoirs for the first time always are lasted. Because they have no idea about something when they get the answer for that, the brain will force them to remember that information in the head. Therefore, people should give their children a good environment to learn. “Although the culture is typically associated with college fraternity life, evidence suggests that its seeds are planted in elementary school or earlier.” In this way, people's thoughts will eventually be corroded. With the progress of society, electronic equipment is more and more developed. The function of social media has also improved. From the beginning, it could only send text messages, but it can send photos and videos as well, nowadays. Therefore, people can use social media to spread negative energy, such as violence, pornography, etc. “Such as adolescents and teenagers pressuring one another to send nudes, sharing private photos and messages — seem more transactional than real-life relationships and thwart social and emotional growth.” From this quotation, the reader can see the defect of social media. People can trade online and share negative energy and illegal photos. People use social software to express all the words they can really communicate in the virtual world. In contemporary society, women have won a lot of respect compared with before. However, videos and words that insult women are ubiquitous. I believe that today's young people lack education and are exposed to a lot of bad influences in the technologically advanced online world, such as spreading pornography and vilifying women. “The journalist Peggy Orenstein cites a 2010 study that analyzed 304 scenes from popular porn videos and found that nearly 90 percent of the scenes included physical aggression and almost half had some form of verbal abuse, with women overwhelmingly the targets of aggression.” Through this quotation, the author shows that 90% of the violent factors and half of the insults to women in pornographic films popular among teenagers. This also shows that the social methods and things that young people are exposed to are completely wrong. Some boys are introverted in real life and don't talk much in school and life. But social media may open their hearts and make them feel like someone else on the Internet. They also rely on social media to articulate their minds, which I don't think is right. And I feel like boys hide behind the screen.

Another article called “Traditional Masculinity' Is Harmful to Boys, Men” talks about this situation. Masculinity is a noun, which means an upright and heroic attitude, or an attitude, action or momentum expressed in a certain activity or way of life. Masculinity is not evil, not rudeness. Masculinity is strong, responsible and willing to bear the consequences. A man may be weak, but he has strong masculinity. Now some families may be wrong to instill masculinity in boys. It's full of pornography, violence, and insults to women, which not only is a bad influence but also hurts their hearts. According to “Traditional Masculinity' Is Harmful to Boys, Men” a reader spoke of this traditional masculinity, which “has been shown to limit males' psychological development, constrain their behavior, result[ing] in gender role strain and gender role conflict, and negatively influence mental health and physical health." Because this kind of ideological education is caused by environmental factors, people usually come into contact with such ideas at a very early age, so these ideas accompany them when they grow up. That's why it limits their psychology and damages their future behavior.
New Ad from Gilette that attempts to redefine traditional masculinity

The last but not least is ‘Toxic Masculinity.’ This is an advertisement by Gillette, the Procter & Gamble Co. brand, which is also talking about the judgment of the masculinity of the present stage. At present, the leading direction of masculinity considered wrong. Men think violence and sexism are the necessities of men. Although this article is only written by a company to promote its products, it fully reflects the problems of contemporary boys and teenagers. In this article, men realize their status in contemporary society. “Men are saying, we feel marginalized, criticized and accused rather than feeling inspired empowered and encouraged.” Although this poisonous thought is not shared by every man, it has affected men. Therefore, This article also gives all men a reflection and forces them to change their current situation.

Based on all the explanation and illustration, my point is that people should learn more and broaden their horizons in order to avoid unnecessary misunderstanding and trouble. Because the way for wrong culture spread is that in the process of talking to each other, one person has no concept of something, while the other person has some prejudice against something, then bad ideas will arise when they talk, because people's understanding is wrong at the beginning. People should understand each other, learn from each other and care for each other, so as to help reduce the spread of WRONG culture.

Is Sexting a True Problem?

"Whatsapp texting" bu Helar Lukats is licensed under CC-BY SA 4.0
Are you aware that the amount of high schoolers who have engaged in sexual activity is about 42%? Well how much of that was online versus a physical experience? According to The New York Times, around 63% of teenagers have been involved with the sending/receiving /sharing of explicit images of other teens through online apps. This article gives great statistics about sexting and online internet usage taken from intimate research done on the teenage age group. Elizabeth K. Englander, (a researcher in this area) said that sexting is for “kids who are sort of interested in sexuality but might not be ready for actual sex.” Lots of information has been researched on this subject, giving us the average age of sexters. At age 12 about only 3% of people had sent or received a sext, while at the ages of 16 to 17 roughly around 31% to 41% of girls had sent or received a sext. Many kids choose to sext because they are commonly pressured into doing it by someone they are trying to impress, most likely a boyfriend or girlfriend. So without a second doubt, they will send naked pictures of themselves, not aware of the fact that they can be captured and commonly used as blackmail. Although this happens almost every day, there have been some big instances of this happening where the school and even the law had to get involved to stop the problem. 

A while back there was a sexting scandal where an Instagram page had been made that shared nude photos of many people from a high school. However, when asked about how their photos got there, many of the teens said: “This is my life and my body and I can do whatever I want with it.” This shows why some think sexting seems like a safe action because they believe that there are no problems with it and it's their choice right? According to an article called “Teenagers Are Sexting — Now What?” involving 110,000 kids, about 63% of them had been involved with sending/receiving/forwarding sexually explicit messages, whereas only 42.1% were involved in sexual intercourse. This goes to show that more kids are interested in sexting rather than being involved in some shape or from of actual sexual activity. Research taken from another study called: Low Risk Associated With Most Teenage Sexting: A Study Of 617 18-Year-Olds, shows us that “at the older end of the spectrum (the 16- and 17-year-olds), rates of sexting were 31% and 41%”, compared to “3% of 12-year-olds reported sexting”. This shows that the older teenagers get the more they will experiment with things like sexting. But why do teens decide to sext each other? 
According to the research paper, “Low Risk Associated with Most Teenage Sexting: A Study of 617 18-Year-Olds”, there are several reasons. One of those reasons is peer pressure. Data from the study shows that 16% of girls have been pressured into sexting and only half of that for boys. However non-pressured sexting for boys almost doubles at 17% and the same 16% for girls. When pressured to sext most of the time it was because someone they liked or wanted to date had asked them to do it. 

Public Domain image source
Also according to this article, almost 96 percent of sexters recognized who they were sending/receiving pictures from. According to another article, about 60% of participants saying that they had engaged in unwanted sexting. Well aware that they do not have to do it, they still make the ultimate decision to do it anyways. “Findings reveal that sexting is less likely to result in a backlash than the media might have led us to believe, the fact that teens may sext when coerced or pressured to do so is a problem that should not be minimized”. “Pressure applied in the context of a relationship (i.e., with a current boyfriend or girlfriend) wasn’t always experienced as a problem; what’s of more concern are the subjects who did experience the pressure negatively, most commonly when the pressure came from someone the sexter wanted to date (most often a potential boyfriend). So the reason they chose to do it was because they believed that if they sent an inappropriate picture of themselves to someone else, they would be liked more by that person. From this data, we can see that a large majority of sexters do it unwilling which is what upsets their parents the most. Many of these teens do not understand how sexting can get them into serious trouble with the law as well as ruining their careers in the future. Instead, they do not think of it as a big deal. In the end, it will remain the same thing, but what will change is the driving opinion that most teens have, “It's not that big of a deal”.

The Media vs. Body Image

Imagine you are scrolling on a social media site and then you come across a picture of a girl who looks amazing in a skin-tight dress. You think to yourself, “ I wish I looked like that,” but what you don’t know is that the pretty girl in the photo is doubting herself based on the number of likes she has. A survey taken by Common Sense Media shows, 27% of girls are nervous about whether they look good in a picture, and 22% are questioning themselves based on the number of likes their picture has. Women more and more often are becoming self-conscious about themselves, and the media helps influence that thought.

"Red Shoes" image courtesy of Women's Health
Women and young girls are constantly asking themselves if they look good. The people who try to achieve looking like that end up failing. In an article from BetterHelp, it shows that 5% of people in the world look like people in those nice Instagram pictures. Social media, advertisements, pictures, are all ways that women can look at themselves, and not feel that they fit in. The summer of 2017, an animated film based on the original Disney movie Snow White joined that list.

“Red Shoes and the 7 Dwarfs” came under fire for showing body shaming in their promotions of the movie. The movie features a thin, beautiful Snow White and when she takes off her shoes, she is “no longer beautiful,” according to the promotion boards they put up. One of their promotions reads, “What if Snow White was no longer beautiful and the 7 Dwarfs not so short?”

Chloe Grace Moretz, who plays Snow White, called out the film producers for trying to promote their movie using the shape of a woman in a negative way.

Tweet courtesy of Joblo.com

This can be portrayed in a way in which most people would strongly disagree with. Many people took to social media to show their disgust and opinions about the situation. I believe that girls should be able to have their own opinions about their bodies without the influence of other people. It was very wrong of the company producers and everyone involved with the movie’s promotions. The way the publishers created the movie and its advertisements were distorted in a way that a majority of people would react in a bad way. I believe that people, especially women, should feel comfortable in their own bodies and not need the pressure of social media, the press, or anyone showing them any different.


Movies are not the only form of media the affects us. Other media such as magazines or marketing can influence people. When advertisements feature people on a beach for a perfume commercial, people can’t help but wonder if they are tall enough or skinny enough. Mirror Mirror eating disorder help says that “Beauty sells, and this is somewhat of a problem when the media produce unattainable images.” This proves that marketers try to reach people to make them want to buy their product to make themselves look like the people in the commercials. Advertisements make people feel insecure because no one can look like the people that are shown because they are perceived in a way in which only the positive or perfect sides are shown. Harvard’s School of Public Health states that “50% of three- to six-year-old girls worry about their weight.” The same source also states that “the average American encounters 3,000 advertisements every day,” so think about a five-year-old girl who is constantly on video games or watching videos online and the number of commercials that are shown during that time. If little girls are worried about themselves, they shouldn’t this be a problem? Little kids are supposed to be worried about what else is going on, not about themselves. The number of advertisements shown should be dialed down because no one needs to be worried about whether or not they look good.

Women are not the only ones who are impacted by the media. Boys and men are also impacted. Another Mirror Mirror article shows that men are impacted when they are also children. Boys at a young age are flooded with toys and action figures that show the ideal masculinity. Becoming figures such as G.I. Joe and superheroes are a little boys dream. Another reason for men impacted is shown on Mirror Mirror, stating that, “men believe their appearance is much more important to women than women report it is.” Men are more focused on what other people think of them, so they think that if they do not look a certain way, or they don’t have a certain trait, women won’t date them.

is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 
I believe that this topic is important to many people because there are so many things to try and relate to in the media, but it is hard for everyone to see the reality that you can’t relate to everything. The people who want to better themselves strive for greatness but may end up having a warped view when they look into the mirror. The media has a major impact on their viewer and consumers visions of themselves and can cause a sense of insecurity. You should always believe in yourself and know that you are worth something.

A Geeks Media source regarding “Red Shoes and the 7 Dwarfs” says the ulterior motive of the movie was to find the beauty of yourself no matter you see in the mirror.

Is it Really Okay to Track Your Teens Location?

According to a pew research survey, over 60% of parents track their teen’s location on a daily basis. Is that OK? Why do parents feel the need to constantly know the location of their teens? Some parents are driven by mistrust and fear that their child is not where they say they are. Tracking their location gives parents a way to keep tabs at all times on where their kids are and what they are doing. However, from the perspective of a teenager, this is disturbing and problematic on many levels. By tracking teens’ locations, parents show their kids that they mistrust them, and they also take away their kids’ ability to be independent, free thinkers.

According to an article referring to the addictive nature of technology, it states that people are sometimes hard to trust with technology. Our daily society needs to find a substitute for tracking your teen's location at all times. In the United States, citizens are protected by the 4th Amendment which guarantees a right to privacy and requires probable cause for a search even if they are teens. If parents want to track their location, then there is no stopping them because parents almost always own the phone that their child has. Instead of tracking your child's location, I think the better option would be to have a conversation with your child, no parameters are broken. I think it is ok to track your child's location only if there is a problem or a need for it. Personally, I would give my child space because of privacy reasons, but I know that people can be worried about their children. Child tracking has benefits and drawbacks, but ultimately, the weaknesses are more prevalent than its strengths.

There is a law, the fourth amendment, which protects people from being unreasonably searched. Although the 4th Amendment prohibits “unreasonable searches and seizures,” the idea of privacy has become more complicated with technology such as tracking apps. This is significant because parents may be violating the fourth amendment rights of their child. Children are technically not their parents’ property, so the fourth amendment should protect children from being tracked by their parents unreasonably. Location record data should not be considered public information and should be protected by the 4th Amendment. In a New York Times article written in 2016, “Wingfield writes, “as it happens, she was not keeping tabs on where I was, but she could have — and has in the past — because I have allowed her to do so using the location-tracking capability in my phone. Whenever she’s curious, she can see me represented as an orange dot on a digital map on her phone. An unmoving dot could be a cyclist husband who got a flat tire, grabbed a beer with a friend or was hit by a car (hence the reassuring text)” (NYT). This is an explanation of how some of these websites work. This man gave his wife the location of his phone but and realized that this information would be used to keep tabs on him, but in most common scenarios, the people giving their location out do not know that they are actually giving it to other people. This is not what should be allowed in our daily society because it is a violation of people’s privacy and trust. The same article tells us how there is an app called FamilyWhere, which lets families keep track of the location of all phones on their accounts. More recently, phone makers like Apple have made capabilities like family location tracking even more accessible by building them into their phone software free. Activating the function on an iPhone also helps one locate a misplaced device.” This piece of evidence is very disturbing because it shows how easy parents can download these apps and how companies are supporting the parents’ desire to track their kids. Overall, I have realized that tracking location is a problem, and it is not fair to the kids to be constantly mistrusted by their parents.

“Tracking the Ball” By NOAA’s National Ocean Service is Licensed Under CC by 1.0
Also, many kids believe that parents tracking their location means that their parents simply do not trust them and do not allow them to have independence. For example, an article demonstrates that kids believe that, ‘If my parents installed a locator app on my phone, I’d take it as a sign that they don’t trust me’. This article reflects how kids are stressed that their parents do not trust them, and ultimately, mistrust has the potential to ruin the relationship that a child has with their parents. The most common scenario of parental mistrust is when a child is at school. The same article brings up this topic that “Penton first installed a tracking app on Ben’s phone when he started ­secondary school 18 months ago and was still getting used to commuting on his own. “Because he often has his phone on mute at school, he never answers. So I think, ‘Right, let’s see where you are then’.” According to the article, this is a very common scenario with all parents. Just because the child is not answering their parents’ constant phone calls and text, it does not mean that they are misbehaving. In fact, it more likely that they are in school and do not wish to be distracted by their parents. There needs to be a couple of changes to the constant tracking and overprotectiveness of parents.

What is considered legal and illegal is continuing to be redefined by our supreme courts as technology changes. What is private and public is up for debate. However, minors do not have the same luxury of being protected because their parents own the devices that kids are using. Therefore, parents legally do have a right to track their children. However, this is an invasion of privacy, and more importantly, it can ruin a child’s relationship with their parents and their sense of independence. Though legal changes probably are not likely for minors, parents and kids of a modern society need to learn how to respect a child’s independence and privacy by teaching their kids the right values and how to behave properly and then give them the freedom, independence, and trust to do so.

How Governments can access your "Private" information

"Government access laws are due for a fundamental realignment and update in light of the proliferation of technology, the very real security threats to people, and the expectations of privacy that Internet users have in their communications."Governments can receive your personal information from the internet and technology companies like Apple and Google. Governments can request your online information like what videos you watch, what images you save and your web activity. About 65% of these requests are complied with, meaning that tens of thousands of accounts are affected by this each year. I think that the government should be able to acquire your data from tech companies but only when there is a very good reason. Google said in a blog post alongside its transparency report that The laws should only be used when the situation permits. While the government receiving your information in this way is an infringement on your rights, if the people who the government wants access to their data are truly criminals then I agree with the law’s use. Crimes are a large problem in today’s society and if these laws help to solve them quicker then they will turn out to be beneficial. Digital Citizenship is about internet safety and proper behavior on the internet. If certain individuals are not following the law then their data deserves to be shared with the government. This is something to pay attention to as if you are not behaving as you should on the internet then you should be aware that your data may be shared with the government.
Chart from Google showing the number of user data requests by country 

Data from user accounts is given to governments across the world each year. The reasons they need this data varies but typically they need it for police investigations. They can acquire this information several ways including subpoenas, which give the government access to one’s name, email, IP addresses, how long the Facebook account has existed, any attached credit card information, and recent login times. These can only be acquired by the government during an official criminal investigation. Another way governments can get your data is through a National Security Letter, or NSL. This gives the government access to only one’s name and how long they have had the service. These are a lot more common as a judge does not need to approve them like they have to do for a subpoena. Another way governments can receive access to your data is through a court order. This allows the police to access to most of a user’s data except communications data and private messages. The final and most conclusive way that police and governments can gain access to your data is through a search warrant. These allow governments access to just about everything you’ve ever done on the website. This includes a full archive of activity, messages, photos, internal site browsing history, events, shares, and your friend's list—for each supplying location data and a time stamp when available. All of these ways add up to the hundreds of thousands of accounts that have their information given up to the government.

File:Number of content removal requests made by governments received by Google and Twitter.svg
“Number of content removal requests made by governments received by Google and Twitter” by UNESCO
is licensed under CC-BY-SA 3.0
One might ask if these ways of acquiring account information are supported by laws. In fact, they are. These ways are supported by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. This law regulates how a government agency can use these types of legal processes to compel companies like Google to disclose information about users. There is a large debate surrounding this act as it is very outdated, existing since before the world wide web was even in operation. Due to this, Google is working with third-party organizations in the quest for an updated, more comprehensive law that encompasses every part of the digital world.

Image Source
Government requests for user data have become a much more prevalent problem in the United States and the rest of the world. Within the last year, both Google and Apple, two of the world’s largest technology companies, have both reported all-time highs in numbers of these requests. There are many privacy and security issues with this modern technology problem. It brings up questions of privacy with many people asking, how safe is my information? Most of these issues have yet to be addressed by leading world governments. These problems also bring up inquiries about the morals involved in this process. Is it morally right for these technology companies to disclose your supposedly secure information to world governments? Even though these actions may seem unethical, most of the cases where these processes are used involve terribly bad people and so I believe were constituted.
Do you believe that these processes are ethical? Do you fully support them? Or do you want a new law to be made that involves all of the new issues with electrical communications that have become prevalent since 1986 when the last law that addresses these problems was ratified?

Want someone's credit account? Create a tracking website.

We always think of the internet that is “safe” and “secured”, but as we discover more, we found ourselves bare to the websites. Studies show that many websites record every keystroke we make, and about 125 different company products are used to track our online activity, and more than 280 websites are using these trackers. This is something we should pay attention to because these websites can even steal our privacy and money.

First of all, what is website tracking?

Website tracking is when websites record our keystrokes, track our mouse movements, scrolling behavior, along with the entire contents of the pages we visit. Some of the sites also track our soundtracks.

However, why do these websites track us anyway?

For economic purposes.

“The websites can make profits by selling our information to the third-party, these third-parties use our behavior to send us information and advertisements that we are likely interested in.” With this cooperation chain, websites make lots of money just by recording and finding out our interests. However, this is not everything the third-party does. Studies from Princeton University shows that these replay scripts sent to the third-party may cause sensitive information. For example, “medical conditions, credit card details, and other personal information displayed on a page can lead to the third party as part of the recording. This may expose users to identity theft, online scams, and other unwanted behavior.” With so many benefits from recording our movements, more and more websites are starting to use them.

Password Recording Method by Thehackernews.com
How do they record us?

Session Replay:

"Session Replay" is a technique that is used by many popular websites, including The Guardian, Reuters, Samsung, VK, Adobe, Microsoft, and WordPress, to record every movement a visitor does while navigating a web page, and this incredibly extensive data is then sent off to a third party for analysis. This tool is simple, but it is mostly for purposes to find out our behavior and interests, in order to send us advertisements and make profits out of these.

However, there are still some negative tools;

One of the recorders is password recording. “The researchers looked at many of the leading companies, including FullStory, SessionCam, Clicktale, Smart-look, which offer session replay software services, and found that lots of these services directly record password input fields.” This gives these websites chances to hack into your personal or credit account. These types of recording methods would be illegal and dangerous because any of our personal information can be sent to the third-party and causing many privacy violations. Thankfully, most browsers detect them and help protect our safety.

Is this legal?

Paul Edon, director at security firm Tripwire, he said, “The first area of concerns here is the legality of recording people's keystrokes without first informing them of the fact.”

The answer is: mostly yes.

As long as the websites only track for advertising purposes but not personal information, Websites tracking is legal. Although some websites record our personal information, most of the sites only use tracking methods for little profits from advertisements.

Even though these can be legal, we should still be aware of any websites we visit. A great way to stay safe is to search for third-party and tracking in the websites’ preferences. Downloading detection apps such as CREDO Detector and adblock are also good strategies to get away from tracking. It is always possible for websites to record us, and it is ok for them to send advertisements from this and make some profits; but if this tracking becomes a bigger deal such us taking our personal information, we should get off immediately.