New Year, New Me

2012, New & Improved

Here's a silly group of photos of me with my new haircut and my new shades. I'm all sophisticated now 🙂

So I’ve never been very good at keeping up with my new year’s resolutions, but I figured 2012 would be the perfect year to start—a lot is going to change for me this spring whether I’m ready for it or not.

In May, I’ll be graduating with a New Media Journalism degree and then what? I’ll continue working at my internship for the summer but at some point, I’m going to have to find a real job. So, in an effort to prepare myself for the search, I’m going to do my best to follow through with my short and modest list of resolutions. I doubt I’ll keep all of them but if I can hold on to one or two, it’s going to be a great start to the rest of my life 🙂

  1. Overcome procrastination. I’m not saying I never get anything done, but I feel like my life would be a lot easier if I learned a bit of time management skills
  2. Write everyday, whether its a blog entry (hopefully) or just something small, I need to keep my writing sharp because it’s my ticket to success in the real world.
  3. Attend Church regularly. I’m already part-way there with this one since I now attend services with M and his family almost every Sunday.
  4. Join a gym and work out at least 4 times a day. This one’s in progress…well, sort of. Mom and I are supposed to join an athletic club here shortly but life keeps happening and getting in the way.
  5. Get published as a freelancer. This one’s a bold resolution, but I should be able to do it by summer.
  6. Travel a bit. I never had the opportunity to travel aside from golf trips while in college, and when I have traveled, it’s always been with my parents. This year, I hope to spread my wings and maybe plan a short trip either by myself or with a few friends. Nothing major, but I definitely need this sort of growing experience.
  7. Go sky-diving. You only live once. I’m slightly terrified by this one but you never know if you love something until you try it.
  8. Use social media properly. This includes deleting my Facebook and publishing the bulk of my photos to Flickr rather than Facebook.
  9. Talk to my extended family more. When we were growing up, my cousins and I were pretty close but we rarely talk now. This is a welcome change I’d like to see.
  10. Volunteer more often. There are a lot of needy people out there and I love helping people so why shouldn’t I extend my support?

I’ll probably add to this list as the time goes on, but for now, I think I’m off to a healthy start.

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Self-Defense Seminars…an introduction

As a part of my Honors Capstone at Seton Hill, I’ll be conducting a few self-defense seminars on campus on Fridays from 6:30-8 p.m. in McKenna Center’s Aerobics room for the remainder of the semester (minus the week of Turkey-day). The second half of my capstone involves social media—tweeting and blogging specifically. I’ll be posting various tips and important facts about being aware of your surroundings rather than solely writing about how to conduct proper self-defense.

Finally, I’ll be posting images and other comments from my classes. If all goes well, I hope to also teach the for about a month in the beginning of Spring Semester.

To segway into the topic of self-defense, I thought it would be fitting to post a few old self-defense videos I developed back when I was a freshman as part of a project for Media Lab.

This first video shows some more advanced techniques that may or may not be covered in my self-defense classes. It all depends on the skill level of my prospective students.  Stay tuned for more videos over the next few days!

Generate Informed Opinions!

Research your facts, study the whole story before judging others or speaking your mind
In the age of technology, we are surrounded by noise, or interference, when it comes to creating an informed opinion. It is far too easy to simply listen to what a friend says or read an article by the news media and develop an opinion based on a single argument.In reality, to form a truly informed opinion, an individual must conduct his own opinion by seeking out influence from not only the news media but also from the voice of the people, more commonly known as social media now-a-days.
It’s important to acknowledge the fact that members of the news media are prone to going for shock value.Ever heard of the phrase “If it bleeds, it leads?” As journalists, this is our mantra. So, what happens when the story in question just isn’t quite as scandalous as we’d like? Well, some journalists’ word choice will make up for the missing content while others will hunt down more facts.Contrary to popular belief, numbers are a journalist’s best friend. Any statistic can be fabricated to fit the angle of the story. When a journalist says “majority vote,” the statistic could range from 51 percent to 99 percent, so be wary.

It’s not wrong to spruce up a story, but it’s also important for readers to understand that they must read as much as possible about a developing story to get the real facts. And, even when doing so, keep in mind that the world of journalism is cut throat.

News outlets compete not only to post the first story but also to have the most sensational story. Remember that the media can also only report on what it has access to, so in many cases, information is missing.

Social media is powerful but dangerous. Look at Egypt; an entire revolution was organized and implemented through social media networks. Wow. In today’s society, you’re pretty much considered weird if you aren’t connected electronically in some way.

When news breaks, one lucky individual is responsible for the start of a new trend. She posts a link on her social media network of choice and boom. Instant viral link. Soon, everyone is talking about it and retweeting or posting the same link. Forget researching for new developments. And of course, everyone has something to say about the latest scandal on the rise.

Keep in mind that your friends’ opinions aren’t always backed up by fact. Social media is a giant outlet for people to rant and complain. Angry people feed on each other’s emotions and soon an issue can escalate as a result.

Social media may be an excellent resource for spreading information and organizing events but it falls short where liability is concerned. There’s a lack of restraint when tweeting or posting status updates on Facebook.

Don’t be the next victim of ignorance. Avoid complacency in our technology based “Brave New World.”

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This article originally appeared in the Nov. 10 issue of the Setonian. Although it has no byline, I wrote the article based on the opinions and emotions of our editorial staff.

Check out my other article from this issue…

Federal authorities deny bail for professor This is a developing story at Seton Hill University.