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My two strongest post I would have to say are about when you think you know fake news and Online Dating Apps, Dangerous?.

In my blog about the fake news I asked the reader to read through a list of possible fake news stories. To quote from

Heart attack gun made by the CIA link  link.  the bullets of the gun are made with ice and a poison found in shell fish. when shot into a person, the ice melts and releases the toxin which causes a heart attack. the toxin becomes undetectable between the time of death and an autopsy. the size of the hole left is about the size of an injection site of a shot.

 

Does this sound like real news or fake news?

I’ll give you another one,

Women’s clothing companies are making women’s pockets small and non-existent to make them purchase pocket books and purses.

After the reader reads through the entire list I reveal to them that every story I mentioned on the blog is true. The first link given for each story is a government agency website.

Now according to the about blogs section on moodle.

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For the first objective, people are most definitely engaged in and motivated from conspiracy theories which are fiction every single day. According to this article by Think Big at least one half of people in America believe in a conspiracy theory in any year. Having 50% percent of people is a lot of people, and yes they talk. Conspiracy theories are definitely an extension to fake news because most conspiracy theories are fake news and a lot of fake news are conspiracy theories.

According to this article on moodle, Wikipedia is very reliable, so I can use it in here as evidence.

But this Wikipedia  article on tinder says that 50 million people are using tinder every month. The app is in over 40 different languages and  the Bank of America Merrill Lynch valued them at $1.35 billion. And I added to the Tinder conversation from class with safety advise.

 

In this article on what makes a good blog from, it says not to write too much and give them rhetoric questions, both of which I have done on my blogs.

 

I just personally like these posts the best, when I went through all my old blogs these two just stuck out. Okay, to be honest, they just didn’t incite the following reaction.
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Ice Bucket Challenge

The ice bucket challenge is one of the most famous charity fundraisers to go viral on the internet. The speed in which it became popular would make it viral according to the Jenkins reading. Below is a quote from page 17 of the Jenkins reading

‘“viral media,” a term whose popularity has been fueled by the rapid
rise of social network sites’

 

What made this grow rapidly exactly? Could it be that people love donating to charity?

according to this video below there were over 10 billion views yet only $113.6 million dollars was donated. That would be equivalent to one ten thousandth of the people who watch the ice bucket challenge donate a dollar. But do you think it was mainly small donations from a large number of people? Or was it a small group a rich people who donated large amounts of money to make up the $113.6 million?

 

So I don’t think people love donating to charity.

Something that is not as popular is the no ice bucket challenge. This challenge is posed by Will Oremus; he challenges us to donate money to AlS research without having a bucket or ice involved. link here. I’m assuming that people did not like the no ice bucket challenge when they can be entertained by watching people get ice poured on their heads.

This article explains ten reasons why people do not like to donate money, among them is that people need to save money for their families, the size of their donations wont make a difference, and that their money wont go to the people in need but the organizations running the charity.

But before you go online shouting off the roof tops that people need to start donating time and money, just remember, you can always change your own actions, but you never have any control over other’s. Why wont you change their minds? I’d argue its the same reason why the whole class will be promoting and sharing the Ryves Up program, yet I assume no one in the class will actually help them with time and money the way we want others to do after the project is finished.

Spreadable, Interesting, or both?

So there is a difference in the types of videos that people watch and the videos that people spread. But instead of thinking of this in terms of videos online, a better way to frame this is to think of food, candy and junk food to be more specific. I say junk food because it triggers the reward center of the brain when consumed, article, similar to the way social media and having our content liked and shared triggers the reward center of the brain, article. In other words, the two activities provide the same feelings more or less.

But lets dive in

So when watching TV or whatever you do, a common choice for a snack is potato chips, why is that? The Frito Lays slogan is “betcha can’t eat just one”. Now me, an intellectual, knows that is true and will go and eat an apple instead. But the other me, the savage (and I argue is much more influential and powerful), will take that challenge, lose, finish the bag, and maybe even grab another one shamelessly. There is no special flavor to potato chips, nothing new, nothing to tell your friends about, but yet they are consumed in large quantities everyday.

yeah yeah yeah, I know all that already, but Daniel, where are you going with this? Whats this have to do with writing in a digital age?

Good question, give me a second figure that out.

But anyway,

Eating potato chip after potato chip is similar to watching video after video. One thing I do somewhat often is watch one video on Youtube, when the video is over say that I’ll only watch one more, and the next thing I know 3 or 4 hours has gone by watching videos (scrolling through twitter facebook, same thing). The thing with chips; they run out, videos online don’t.

But what about videos which become viral? What, in the world of junk food and candy, is that? I can’t really say. It would be a candy bar which at least appears healthy, tasty, and cheap at the same time. But for videos at least, in broad discussed in this article, there needs to be an emotional, logical, and ethical appeal. When someone is sharing a story, they want to be ‘in the know’, to be seen as smart. The viral video often has utility to it, like how to peal an orange easier.

 

But viral videos have nothing categorical about them besides the shares and the human interest in them. If there is a video that’s going viral, watch it because it is probably interesting.

Online Dating Apps, Dangerous?

Everyone should know what the app Tinder is, it allows two strangers to meet up.

There are dangers with using apps such as these because you do not know who you are meeting when you meet face to face. Here is an article about it, it talks about how the internet is normally seen as a badlands with apps such as Tinder being an exception. The same defense mechanism in the brain which would tell you not to meet up with a random person off twitter or facebook is not as active.

One example i gave in class and I’ll repeat here, I know a girl who was kidnapped for a week from a guy she met off of Tinder. While this is not a normal case by any means, it shows as an example for what can happen.

Another danger from using dating apps is sexual harassment. While there may be quarrels about the semantics of this, it is present and can have physiological damage to the victim. Woman would know more about this then men on average.

An app which tries to cut down the sexual harassment (towards woman mainly) is Bumble, article. Bumble is an app which makes the woman make the first move. The app also have reminders to “bee nice” and even will send a fake call to allow people to leave a bad first date. I like this idea, it is different (more effective?) answer to the current problem of online sexual harassment.

 

According to this article from Psychology Today, the main reasons people use Tinder are love/casual sex, validation of self worth, and excitement. Those are things everyone wants, it’s part of being human.

So remember, if used safely, dating apps have the potential to lead to great happiness.  But do not forget that they can also be the cause of sorrow.

Thank you

Doing Nothing

I would like to address the topic which was addressed in the CNN video watched in class. How people find it difficult to do nothing.

When was the last time you sat down and did nothing? Did nothing and thought of nothing?

For me personally, probably the free time before class.

Doing nothing isn’t very hard. Honestly, there’s really nothing to it.

I remember a comic I found on Reddit a little while ago, it addresses what I assume is the main problem people face with doing nothing. It not only ‘spoke to me’ at the time, but I assume others as well, from it’s popularity.

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I think the problem addressed in this comic is the root problem which causes anxiety while using social media (and a whole lot of other problems). A quote from The Atlantic’s How Twitter Fuels Anxiety

“If you’re checking Twitter a hundred times a day, what are you avoiding doing?”

 

You should already know what I think is being avoided at this point, the “letting it set in”.

From personal experience, I can tell you that “letting it set it” is actually very pleasant. It was followed by me thinking “hey, I’m really not that bad after all”. It was all just a hoax, perpetrated by myself.

But look once more at that comic. Notice the two curved lines, one on each side of the person’s face when he’s “not letting it set in”. That signifies a struggle, or at the very least, some mental force the person is exerting. Letting go of that mental/physical force is the key to letting things sink in. If you do, your brain will thank you.

 

Before you think this is a new idea, it has been around for a very long time and is referred to as meditation. There are many benefits to meditation described here. Not only are there mental benefits, but also physical ones such as aiding in people managing anxiety, asthma, cancer, heart disease, sleep problems, and more.

I’m not going to paint a magical flashy picture about it though. It is what it is. It’s your choice what to do or not do.