Technology Autobiography: Camera

If I had to choose one platform to tell my life story, I would choose cameras. Today, I almost always bring my digital camera with me when I leave my house to go out with my friends or family. Taking pictures is important to me because I can capture images that depict memories of fun times I share with my loved ones. In addition to the memories of these times which are stored in my mind, I like to have tangible replicas of the energy felt at a particular time.  Pictures which I took myself and printed in my own room adorn my walls and desk. However, I remember a time when cameras were not so user-friendly. Over the past decade, cameras have advanced rapidly into the digital culture, personalizing the process from start to finish. The once drawn out procedure of photography has transformed into a much faster method, yielding the immediate gratification as a result of digitally viewing, editing, and printing pictures.

 

Photographs have always been present in my life. As the oldest child in my family, it seems like almost every moment of my baby through toddler years was photographed. Fascinated by their first child, my parents took many pictures of me with a simple camera, refilling the film canister every twenty-four frames and replacing the AA batteries as needed. I remember several birthday parties, soccer games, and everyday activities when my mom would be ready to capture the perfect moment on her camera, only to find that the batteries had been depleted, or the film had unexpectedly run out. A small number dial located on the top of the camera could tell how many pictures were left, but in the heat of the moment, one hardly ever checked to see just how many snapshots remained. The film rolls were then taken to the grocery store and picked up a few days later in order to view the 4×6” photos. The limited amount of exposures had its drawbacks as well as its benefits. Since the pictures were not able to be seen at the time they were taken, we had to rely on amateur photography skills to know if the subject even made it into the frame. This could lead to an off-centered photo, people with their eyes closed, a blurry subject, or many other undesired effects. A second picture could be taken to be safe, but with only twenty-four pictures per roll, this was not always a great means of security. Conversely, some of my favorite pictures are ones where the people aren’t ready, the view is skewed, or the person holding the camera accidentally took a picture of their feet. I can see the joys everyday life in the rawness of these photos. While sometimes a particular scene is desired for the photo, an accidental snapshot of a scene can communicate a strong message as well. Regardless of the content of the photos, we were dependent on other people, companies, and machinery to produce our tangible memories on a small piece of paper.

 

I remember the first time I heard about a digital camera. When I was in fifth grade, my cousin told me about the newest kind of camera. She had a friend who had just bought a digital camera. Once a picture was taken, it would show up on a screen on the back of the camera. It seemed amazing to immediately be able to view the picture. Instant viewing would mean the end of wasted exposures on a roll of film because the picture could be reviewed and deleted or retaken an unlimited amount of times. It certainly sounded better than waiting months until my disposable camera ran out of film and I took it to the store to be processed for a week. At first I imagined this camera as a fictional invention, one that could be made in the distant future, but not then. On the other hand, if it was real, surely a digital camera would be very expensive, and I would probably never see one.

 

In my naïve age, I was not aware of the possibilities of rapid technological advancements in the realm of photography. I never expected the camera I had seen my parents use through my whole life advance to anything greater. Computers were newly popular at the time, and a few of my friends had cell phones. I was aware that those fields were changing, but to me, the camera was a category of its own. The method of taking pictures and having them sent away to be printed and returned worked, so I did not anticipate the technology improving, especially not at the accelerated rate at which it developed.

 

Reflecting on my source of the information, I was not quite surprised to hear something so futuristic and “cool” from my cousin. She was always up to date on the newest technology, fashion, and music. I often looked to her to see what the new trends were. The concept of a digital camera seemed like a high-tech device, but I do not think I would have had the same attraction to it if I had not heard about it from my cousin. In my perspective, she had great credibility in the way of cool new things. At the time, people were being drawn to the idea of a digital camera as a new technology and means of taking pictures. The viewing screen was previously unheard of, and the advancement was unpredicted by most people. Innovative technologies intrigue people, inviting them to explore new options and special features. Digital cameras completely changed the face of amateur photography and many people were catching on, myself included. The mere mention of a “cool” camera with new capabilities meant that the norm of photography was changing, and I knew right away that I wanted to be a part of the new age of the camera.

 

To my surprise, digital cameras became the newest technology and soon they would become more common than the film cameras. Two years later, I received my own digital camera for Christmas. Initially, my excitement was attributed to the fact that I had my own camera. I no longer had to ask permission to take a picture of something that fascinated me. My mom would not worry that she was sacrificing valuable shots as I took pictures of trivial things, as she often did with good reason. Now I could take pictures of anything my heart desired and not necessarily have to print them out. At any time I chose, I could download my pictures to my computer via a small memory chip. They could remain a digital file forever, where I could look back at my memories, but not have to pay for prints, only to have them lying around my room. Beyond the excitement of my ownership, I quickly realized that the possibilities were endless with digital photos. Prior to the digital camera, if I wanted to crop a photo, I would use my scissors after it was printed out.  As I skimmed through the manual, I learned how to crop and enhance my photos before they even left the camera. Once I loaded the files onto my computer, I could learn to use Photoshop and further edit my photos by adding text and altering colors. After I had selected the images I wanted, I could take them to a store to have them printed or order prints online and have them shipped to my home. Now that the photographing process had so many options, I could never imagine going back to the old film canister method. I was in control of this procedure and I loved being engaged in every step from taking the picture to hanging it on the wall.

 

I used my digital camera to document every event of eighth grade through high school because I loved capturing my experiences in a still photograph. Over time my parents have accumulated a cabinet full of old pictures, ranging from their college-aged photos to more recent photos of my siblings and me. Looking through these memories intrigued me as I grew up because when people smile for a camera, they do not realize what this picture could communicate at a later time. For example, I have a picture of my mom with a few of her siblings and their then-girlfriends and boyfriends at a pool. While they smiled for the camera on that summer day, I am sure that they did not think that I would look at this picture someday, wondering what their lives were like before they met their spouses, had children, and became the people I know them as today. Also, their outfits and hair styles vary drastically in comparison to the fashions of today, which also amuses me. This idea fuels my love for documenting memories with a camera. Today, I am glad that I took so many pictures of my own experiences because I am enjoying them six years later. I hope that one day my children can look at my photos and appreciate them as much as I appreciate my parents’ photos.

 

Keeping up with new camera advancements, I recently bought my second digital camera; however, this one has the capability to take pictures underwater. This has given a new range to my photography experience.  My underwater camera is a must-have when I vacation at the Jersey shore each summer. My cousins and I spend most of our days in the ocean, an area where cameras could never go before. Now I never miss an opportunity because I can be right there in the action without being worried about water damage. In addition to my underwater camera I have purchased a personal photo printer. This allows me to print photos in my own room, never even having to leave the house.  Considering I have lived through the digital revolution of the camera and I have been so affected by the developments, I now fully appreciate the value of having a personal connection with each step of the process from capturing the image to printing it out minutes later.  Many steps of the photography procedure have been altered in the past ten years, and as evidenced by my earliest memory of a camera in comparison with my camera today, the industry continues to introduce more modern, high-tech, user friendly models.

Tracing American Manners from Colonial Times through the 21st Century

On any given day, people utilize manners each time they interact with or are near another person, whether they realize it or not. While manners may be thought of as strict etiquette rules, people’s manners can really be as simple or as formal as a particular setting calls for them to be.   Set etiquette rules are not evident in today’s society, which causes people to view manners as outdated. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, manners are “the social conduct or rules of conduct as shown in the prevalent customs.” Manners vary between places and time periods, but manners in 21st century America require less active input than ever before, meaning that American etiquette is more casual, and less work is required to interact with other people.

Many people believe that manners are lacking as American society takes a downward turn towards complete disrespect and little self-awareness while others accept the social change as a new way of life.  “In 1996, U.S. News & World Report surveyed Americans about the condition of civility in modern society. Of the 1,005 respondents, 89 percent said that incivility was a major social problem, and 78 percent said the situation had worsened in the last decade. Ninety-one percent believed that incivility contributed to violence.”[1] When a society upholds a set of manners, it promotes a level of respect and understanding for others. Without “civility,” the society lacks solidarity, leading to a disconnection between the single person and the community. Participants in the U.S. News survey logically believe that incivility leads to violence because the attacker has little or no respect for others. As time goes on, the level of civility continues to travel down the slippery slope towards incivility, unable to restore proper manners and respect to society.  Particularly dinner table manners have changed over time and are almost nonexistent today. Cultural changes and new technologies are each contributors to the change in manners from Colonial times, to the mid-twentieth century, until today.

The term “manners” encompasses nearly any interaction between a person and other members of society, but one particular situation which affects every human is dinner table manners. Since the beginning of time, humans have relied on food for survival. Food often brings people together for special occasions or simply for everyday meals. As meals are shared, certain etiquette is expected as a courtesy for others present. Benjamin Franklin wrote in Poor Richard’s Almanac, “Good sense is the foundation of good manners.” While this statement is true, customs change over time and vary between places, but are still expected to be followed. Particularly in America, cultural factors such as wars and industrialization have affected the way people interact and share meals, thus altering acceptable manners.

Manners can be viewed as a form of technology in the sense that the term “technology” describes the way humans utilize tools. People use their bodies as tools to communicate nonverbally. One can manipulate their posture to convey different body languages in accordance with what is socially acceptable at the time. Certain protocols have been established for body positioning while eating, such as cutting with a fork and knife. Following such guidelines convey respectable manners and politeness.

People adjust manners as times change and the culture shifts from one occurrence to the next. Many cultural revolutions have taken place in America which have affected dinner table etiquette. “A social code, like a garment on the human body, outlives its usefulness when it no longer fits the form for which it was designed.”[2] Dinner tables in the 18th century vary drastically from dinner tables today and would no longer “fit the form for which it was designed.” Following Colonial American etiquette at a dinner table in the mid- twentieth century would seem too elaborate. Even the change of fifty years between the mid-twentieth century and the present shows many major differences. Wartimes have played a big part in the progression of dinner table settings and today there are many more options for eating both in the home and out at  restaurants, which were not available in previous time periods.

The practice of etiquette reached its peak in America during Colonial times. Writing a “courtesy guide” was considered chic and even President George Washington wrote “Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.” These guides were written by confident upper class people for self-conscience members of the middle class. The writers were seeking the level of the upper classes from their former home in Europe. The upper class American people wanted to recreate the sophisticated level of living of the European upper class, but many middle to lower class people were not familiar with the upper class way of life, so they wrote manuals on how to act. France had set the standard of manners dating back to chivalry, so the British as well as the rest of Europe followed their lead. In Colonial America, almanacs also included advice on manners, but most adults had already formed bad habits and could not adapt to the changes. Children were taught maxims from almanacs and books such as George Washington’s, such as, “Spit not, cough not, nor blow thy nose at the table, if it may be avoided,” and “Put not another bit into your mouth till the former be swallowed.”[3] Even from an early age, children became familiar with using their bodies as technology. Unlike today, they were taught about the messages their body sends with certain actions and postures and how to act politely towards elders.

Southern Colonists were the most polished of the American Colonies. Landowners had vast plantations resembling those of England. In further efforts to recreate their British lives, they followed strict etiquette. One Virginian, William Fitzhugh, spoke the voice of many others when he said that his children had “better be never born than ill-bred.”[4] This statement expresses the importance people placed on social behavior and manners. After the colonial period, the importance of manners continues to shift to accommodate the changing times.

As the 20th century began, French cuisine became fashionable among upper class families. To have a French diet communicated to others the well-off financial state of the family.[5] Until the 1960s, most upper class families had servants to help prepare food. Servants were especially important during parties. Preparing and serving several courses was quite a challenge, but servants of wealthy families were accustomed to the extra work. In this setting, the maids prepared and served the food, while the adults were highly respected heads of the household. Not having to prepare meals granted the parents time to train their children to have proper manners. The wealthy families would get to eat expensive French cuisine, and it was important to act as classy as they proved to be. The family dinner arrangement changed over the course of the 1900s, but dinner table manners remained highly valued.

”]

In the 20th century, particularly World War II, people became exposed to foods from different cultures. French food was the classiest and most flavorful, and indicated the wealthy status of the family. Etiquette at the dinner table would be especially important to these families because they were wealthy and valued upper class behavior. Not many nutritious options were available for lower income families, but as commercially processed food became available, prices became more affordable. Before the 20th century, canned foods were produced as a new method to preserve foods for a long period of time. This offered somewhat of a better selection for people to eat as opposed to food they had grown in their own fields. With the improved shipping system in the 1900s, commercially processed foods allowed for more fresh choices for people. Meats, breads, and fruits and vegetables could be shipped across the country in a faster time, so consumers could have fresh products without growing them themselves. The early to mid-twentieth century changed the dinner table dynamic because many families were affected by the wars. Men went to war, leaving their families at home. Women benefitted from the technological advances as food became easier to obtain and more options were offered to families of all wealth statuses. They could afford to feed their children for less money, and became the prominent leader of the house. Meal time was an important gathering time for a family whether or not both parents were present. Manners were highly important, however they were less formal than those practiced in Colonial America. Since the twentieth century, even more food options have become available with the rapid spread of restaurants, which lessened the concept of the family meal.

Today, fast food chain restaurants line America’s streets, increasing health risks and demoting the value of a shared family meal. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, “fast food” became available to the public. Restaurants were opened in cities, catering businesses started, and lunch carts opened on the streets. Ice cream stores, cafeterias, and self-service restaurants also changed the way people ate. They no longer had to rely on their maids or themselves to cook meals when they could be served elsewhere. McDonald’s restaurant started in 1955, which is more accurately regarded as “fast food” today. As the chain has grown over the past fifty years, it is evident that manners have declined as well.[6] Whereas families used to value sharing meals at home together, there are now unlimited options of where and what to eat. The importance of gathering for dinner has been lost on most families, and manners have been lost as well. In the eyes of most people, going to a fast food restaurant or some other quick food place does not demand as much respect as a home cooked meal. Beginning with this concept, the manners continue to weaken.

Today, the general population has a lowered threshold of embarrassment, so attention to dining details is less important to most people now than it was in years past. However, writer Judith Thurman also believes the threshold of common sense has declined just as rapidly, and so etiquette guides are still prevalent.[7] People have lost the sense of pride that comes with acting respectfully and politely at the dinner table, which once governed households in America. While technology has rapidly increased in other forms of communication, body language has been lacking in modern society. People still communicate nonverbally with their body language, they just care less about the message they are sending. Manners have been transformed over the years from a critical focus of meal time, to barely a concern for family dinners today. Through many cultural effects, etiquette has fallen to less of a priority, but can still be found in the homes of many people. While many aspects have changed, the fundamental ideas remain, which means that body language conveys messages even when words do not.

Notes


[1] Keiger, Dale. “Are We A Nation of Boors?” Johns Hopkins Magazine, June 1998.

[2]  Schlesinger, Arthur M. Learning How to Behave. (New York: The MacMillan Company, 1947), 15.

[3] Schlesinger, Learning How to Behave, 4-5.

[4] Ibid., 6.

[5] Kyvig, David E. Daily Life in the United States, 1920-1939. (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2002), 92.

[6] Gross, Ernie. Advances and Innovations in American Daily Life, 1600s-1930s. (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company Inc., Publishers, 2001) 92.

[7] Thurman, Judith. “If You Ask Me: Etiquette through the Ages.” The New Yorker, Feb. 18, 2002.

Bibliography

Ames, Kenneth L. Death in the Dining Room. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992.

Fenwick, Millicent. Vogue’s Book of Etiquette and Good Manners. New York: Conde Nast Publications with Simon & Schuster, 1969.

Gross, Ernie. Advances and Innovations in American Daily Life, 1600s-1930s. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company Inc., Publishers, 2001.

Keiger, Dale. “Are We A Nation of Boors?” Johns Hopkins Magazine, June 1998.

Kolbert, Elizabeth. “Place Settings.” The New Yorker, Oct. 20, 2008.

Kyvig, David E. Daily Life in the United States, 1920-1939. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 2002.

Levenstein, Harvey, A. Revolution at the Table. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Schlesinger, Arthur M. Learning How to Behave. New York: The MacMillan Company, 1947.

Thurman, Judith. “If You Ask Me: Etiquette through the Ages.” The New Yorker, Feb. 18, 2002.

Vanderbilt, Amy. Amy Vanderbilt’s New Complete Book of Etiquette. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1963.

Research Paper: The Nonverbal Murder of Technology: Cyber Bullying

Nowadays, there is an increasing in number of people who have access to the Internet along with improvements in technology such as iPod and smartphones. Currently, more than twenty percent of the people in the world have smartphones, which allow people with unlimited access to the internet despite of their location. One could easily claim that the Internet has heavily influenced the world; however, this is an understatement. The Internet offers a plethora of material, stemming from a continually expanding network of knowledge, and offering immediate answers, endless information, and easy communication with people all over the world.  Because the Internet has a big influence in today’s culture, people put more time into the emotional aspect of the internet. Although there are many good aspects of having unlimited access to the Internet, the negative effects of a nonverbal society significantly became a big problem, such as cyber defamation and data spill, in recent years. One of the more grave consequences that people’s interaction with the web has caused is something known as “cyber bullying.” Jessica Mansourian, program analyst of the COPS (Community Oriented Policing Services) office, mentioned –

With the ever increasing availability and prevalence of technology, bullying has evolved beyond the school hallways and grounds and into the home. Cyber bullying reflects the incorporation of technology into the traditional bullying model. It is the willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.[1] Cyber bullying is one of the most serious problems of the Internet for teenagers and even adults.

Bullying has always been around in a various forms, but cyber bullying is different because it lets a bully remain anonymous. Unlike face to face situation, cyber bullying is more frequent and aggressive since it is very difficult to be controlled and monitored. Cyber bullying is any harassment that occurs in the Internet; vicious forum posts, name calling in chat rooms, posting fake profiles on web sites, and mean or cruel email messages are some of the examples of cyber bullying. Many people may think that cyber-bullying is not a significant problem in current society; however, it can change a victim’s life forever with one single offensive comment about them. Through the Internet, it is possible for any person to cause other people to commit suicide, drop out of school, and suffer from self-esteem issues like depression and anxiety. This is not something that people can simply ignore and move on since any person can be next victim of cyber bullying if there is no action to reduce or prevent cyber bullying.

With introduction of AOL Instant messenger (1997), MySpace (2001), and Facebook (2004), teens everywhere flocked to the idea of having a more private means of communication away from the school grounds and teachers. Most importantly, students loved the idea of “not getting caught,” the ability to stay anonymous and nonverbal. Cyber bullying research center said,

Youth suicide continues to be a significant public health concern in the United States. Even though suicide rates have decreased 28.5 percent among young people in recent years, upward trends were identified in the ten to nineteen year old age group. In addition to those who successfully end their life, many other adolescents strongly think about and even attempt suicide. [2]

The recent increase in suicidal attempts and rates became a big social problem, but one of the main causes of this trend was surprisingly cyber bullying. Cyber bullying causes teenagers to suffer from overwhelming stress that eventually led them to commit suicide. Megan Taylor Meier, who was an American teenager from Missouri, committed suicide by hanging three weeks before her fourteenth birthday because of cyber bullying in MySpace. Her online-network friends started to spread rumors about her, and the situation got worse which led her to make a foolish decision. According to the cyber bullying research center, the most common form of bullying offending reported by respondents was: “I called another student mean names, made fun of or teased him or her in a hurtful way” (27.7%), and the most frequently‐cited form of bullying victimization is: “Other students told lies or spread false rumors about me and tried to make others dislike me (29.3%). With regard to cyber bullying, prevalence rates for individual behaviors ranged from 9.1% to 23.1% for offending and from 5.7% to 18.3% for victimization. Almost one third of students have experienced some forms of cyber bullying, but it cannot be stopped as the Internet has become essential for people’s lives.

Unlike traditional bullying, where victims could at least escape from the attackers, cyber bullying allows bullies to torment their victims both psychologically and emotionally at any time of day via social media websites, e-mail, or cell phone messages. Along with technological developments, cyber bullying has become more serious issue in last ten years that caused more frequent and vicious results. For example, David Knight of Burlington, Ontario, was one of the severe victims of cyber bullying. Someone in his school made a website about him saying, “Welcome to the website that makes fun of Dave Knight.” So many people in his school posted thoughtless and inappropriate comments about him. He hid at home for weeks away from everyone outside, and he was frightened to death. Another example is a 10 year old boy named Phoebe. Kids from his school called him and said that he was in the cow club. Along with telling him to call the loser hotline, they got his friend’s little sister to whisper stuff like, “I’m going to kill you.” Like in these two stories, a lot of cyber bullying can be viewed as another means of crime that may cause the victims to suffer mentally and even physically by attempting suicide. The more serious problem is that bullies do not even realize the consequence of their mean comments that they write without any thoughts. More than seventy percent of bullies said they did not recognize the severity of their behavior until victims report this issue to the adults or attempt to commit suicide.

Through the progression of Internet technology, it is not surprising that cyber bullying itself is also evolving in more various forms as people continue to combine their “real world” emotions with that of a virtual one. “Sexting” is a relatively new phenomenon that has drastically shifted the world’s view on the consequences of technology, and shed a light on the relatively horrifying consequences of easy communication and the transparency of information.

Often parents, teachers, and school authorities dismiss bullying among kids as a normal part of growing up, but bullying can have serious psychological consequences on children. In some cases, cyber bullying has led students to conduct substance abuse, violence, and even suicide. Based on the results of the online survey of 444 junior high, high school and college students between the ages of 11 and 22, 45 percent reported feeling depressed as a result of being cyber bullied, 38 percent felt embarrassed and 28 percent felt anxious about attending school. More than a quarter (26 percent) had suicidal thoughts. The effects of bullying can last a lifetime; therefore, such behavior should be dealt with while still in its nascent stages.

Police and school officials continue to work ruthlessly to make sure kids know how to keep themselves safe from cyber bullies and online predators. However, America needs to take more affirmative actions in order to prevent any horrendous consequences of cyber bullying by recognizing the fact that cyber bullying is a strong contributor to teenage suicide rates. Cyber bullying is one of the most severe aspects of the Internet that teachers, lawmakers, school administration, parents, and rising adults need to pay more close attention. For the prevention of cyber bullying, teachers, students, parents, and administrators all have specific roles to play that may help to stop cyber bullying.  According to Bijal Damani, the reporter of Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, teachers should be aware of behavior changes in students who have been bullied or harassed.[3] It is also important for teachers to have a presence in cyberspace where bullying is likely to take place.

The student community culture plays a very important role in stopping cyber bullying as well. Both victims and witnesses should be encouraged to report any kind of bullying to school authorities. Damani said, “It helps tremendously if bullies are confronted by their own peers who stand up against their actions.” Bullied children should be comfortable to talk to their parents about the harassment without being judged. Also, it is important to note that sometimes it is difficult for parents to believe that their child may be a cyber-bully because the child may not appear to be one in real life. Whether the children are bystanders, are being bullied, or are bullies themselves, parents must be aware of what is happening in their lives. School administrators have to take a firm stand against bullying of any kind by offering counseling, reinforcing the school’s moral code, and strong disciplinary action.

The comedian Julian Clary said, “The bullying was hideous and relentless, and we turned it round by making ourselves celebrities.” Cyber bullying is immoral and hurtful action that must be stopped; however, there are always some forms of bully existing in both real and cyber world. Also, social networking sites that reveal private information to the public can be a feeding ground for Cyber bullies to take advantage of harassing certain people in front a large “audience”.  In essence Cyber-bullying is the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, which is intended to harm others. When one becomes a victim of cyber bullying, they are a victim for life. Although the bullying itself may go away, the fear, the hurt, and the memories can scar the victim forever.

 

Bibilography

Anti-Bullying week Cyber Bullying video. 6minutes 31 seconds. Youtube, 2010.

i-SAFE America Inc.. “Beware of the Cyber Bully.” Cyber Bullying. Accessed October 19, 2011, http://www.isafe.org/imgs/pdf/education/CyberBullying.pdf.

“Bullying Quotes – BrainyQuote.” Famous Quotes at BrainyQuote, accessed October 19, 2011, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/bullying.html#ixzz1bOFqXCt5.

Damani, Bijal. “Education Update:Evolution or Revolution?:Cyberbullying: Is It Happening In Your Class?.” Membership, policy, and professional development for educators – ASCD. Accessed October 19, 2011, http://www.ascd.org/publications/newsletters/education-update/jan11/vol53/num01/Cyberbullying@-Is-It-Happening-In-Your-Class%C2%A2.aspx.

Guangrong, Ru. “The Negative Impact of the Internet and Its Solutions.” 1998, accessed Sept. 29 2011 http://www.uscc.gov/researchpapers/2000_2003/pdfs/neg.pdf .

Hinduja, Sameer, and Justin W. Patchin,. “Cyberbullying and Suicide.” Cyberbullying Res earch Summary. Accessed October 20, 2011, http://www.cyberbullying.us/cyberbullying_and_suicide_research_fact_sheet.pdf.

Mansourian, Jessica. “Dispatch – Evolution of Cyberbullying.COPS Office: Grants and Resources for Community Policing, accessed October 19, 2011, http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/html/dispatch/04-2011/Evolution-of-Cyberbullying.asp.

Mishra, Akansha. “Cyberbullying should be treated as a crime.” 29 Aug. 2011, accessed Sept. 30, 2011, http://www.alligator.org/opinion/columns/article_bc5a5….

“Stop Cyberbullying.” n.d. Accessed Sept. 29, 2011, http://www.stopcyberbullying.org/.


[1] Jessica Mansourian. Dispatch – Evolution of Cyberbullying.COPS Office: Grants and Resources for Community Policing. http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/html/dispatch/04-2011/Evolution-of-Cyberbullying.asp (accessed October 19, 2011).

[2] Mansourian, Jessica. “Dispatch – Evolution of Cyberbullying.COPS Office: Grants and Resources for Community Policing, accessed October 19, 2011, http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/html/dispatch/04-2011/Evolution-of-Cyberbullying.asp.

[3] Bijal Damani. “Education Update:Evolution or Revolution?:Cyberbullying: Is It Happening In Your Class?.” Membership, policy, and professional development for educators – ASCD. Accessed October 19, 2011, http://www.ascd.org/publications/newsletters/education-update/jan11/vol53/num01/Cyberbullying@-Is-It-Happening-In-Your-Class%C2%A2.aspx.

 

By Olivia Lee

Tech Autobiography: One Glass of Milk

First, I would like to introduce my favorite drama The Surgeon, Bong Dal Hee briefly because it portrays my dream. In this drama, the main character Dal Hee suffers from heart disease and criticism from people because of her trivial background. However, she endures all hardships and problems to eventually become a cardiac surgeon. As I was watching this drama, I could easily associate myself with this character, because I am in the midst of achieving the American dream. As a foreign student in the United States, I knew I would face many problems and challenges as well as criticism like the character I described above. Dal Hee had a fixed goal to achieve, and it was this drive and dedication that helped her to endure all obstacles. I also have my goals that I would like to achieve in my life. Goals cannot be achieved without an earnest effort. No matter how positive and enthusiastic one is, in reality, consistency, sincerity, effort and passion towards a fixed objective are required to succeed.

I took my first step towards my American Dream when I moved to the United States about four years ago. From the time I boarded the airplane, I was very enthusiastic of the fact that I can learn a new language, culture, and be in place full of surprises. I believed that I was ready to meet both a new environment and new friends; however, I found out that I underestimated the difficulties that I would face in this new environment. I was not well-prepared to encounter language barriers and the American beliefs and customs. My poor English pronunciation and inability to express myself in an impromptu manner eventually led me to feel  that it would be impossible for me to become an influential leader in America—until one day, I had a glass of milk.

When my mother noticed that I was struggling in school, she came into my room on one particular night with my daily night snack: a glass of warm milk. She said, “Woo Yaa, drink this warm milk; this would calm your mind and relieve your stress. As you know, milk helps you to calm down and makes your bones stronger.” When I had my last sip of milk, I realized that my mom reminded me that everything has its own role to serve; milk has one main benefit for people – it contains a lot of Vitamin D and calcium that helps to build stronger bones inside our body. Drinking one glass of milk would not influence our body significantly, but it daily habit of drinking a glass of milk over time may provide sufficient nutrition to our body to build stronger bones. From that point on, I promised myself to become “a glass of milk” to people that has been consistently motivated me to move forward. Like Dal Hee in the drama, I tried my best to overcome all the barriers I faced; like a glass of milk, I want to be involved in the growth of biomedical technology with gradual contribution and efforts.

During the hot summer days in 2010, I was interning with National Institute of Health, learning how science and medicine affect people’s lives. Fascinated with all the scientific research, I was eager to learn and understand everything I saw. The most interesting article I discovered during my internship was the Da Vinci surgical system. I was drawn by the cutting–edge technology and soon became engrossed. Da Vinci system is a robot assisting doctors in surgery. By performing delicate surgery procedures that doctors are not capable of doing, it shortens the time of recovery and increases the chance of successful surgery. With those advantages, many doctors have suggested this surgical system to their patients. Aspiring to be a biomedical engineer, I felt this article gave me another reason to be passionate for science. Now people can use the delicate machine or robot to treat diseases effectively and minimize the damage to human organs caused by contact with human hands during the treatment.

In the article Technology Matters, the author David E. Nye says, “One way to define ‘technology’ is in terms of evolution.” The Da Vinci Machine is a hybrid idea of both engineering and medical science that I want to pursue. Although the machine is already in use in the practical field, I would like to study more about this machine in order to make it better and more effective. Before I chose my college, I encountered the dilemma of choosing the school most appropriate for studying both the medical science and the engineering aspects of the machine. After researching many schools with biomedical engineering, I became engrossed with Georgia tech’s biomedical engineering with pre-med program. I believe that my freshmen year at Georgia Tech will be the first step of achieving my dream of inventing my own medical machine.

Unlike Nye, I believe the primary purpose of technologies is to pro­vide necessities, such as food and human’s health. For now, my primary objective of life is to serve other people by contributing something positive daily even though it may look insignificant initially. More specifically, I would like to help people physically and mentally by contributing in the improvement of the Da Vinci Machine as well as other medical equipment. Also, the biomedical engineering department at Georgia Tech is a great opportunity for me to maintain and grow my passion and motivation towards my goals. As a freshman at Georgia Tech right now, I am ready to face next challenge. So, cheers! Have a glass of milk!

By Olivia Lee

 

Research Paper- Pants Phenomenon: The Switch from Skirts to Trousers

             Trousers can be defined as, “a loose-fitting outer garment for the lower part of the body, having individual leg portions that reach typically to the ankle but sometimes to any of various other points from the upper leg down.” This simple piece of clothing has caused much controversy for women over the years. The social and technological changes of the 20th century propelled the movement of it being acceptable for women to wear pants. The act of wearing pants itself is a form of technology because wearing trousers makes almost any task easier than doing the same task in a skirt or dress. The revolution of women wearing pants is important because it traces the history of equality between men and women. This nonverbal communication of clothing changed dramatically when women regularly began wearing pants in the middle to late 1900s. Before the twentieth century, women were technically not allowed to wear pants because it was a masculine item, and they were looked down upon if they decided to wear them. It wasn’t until the Second World War that women began wearing trousers out in public, but it still wasn’t widely accepted. Finally in the 1960s, society decided that it was about time for it to be socially acceptable for women to wear pants.

            Prior to the middle of the 20th century, women had a very limited wardrobe of dresses and skirts. Women had a certain image that they were expected to obtain. Pants weren’t even an option for them during this time period because trousers were for men. Women were expected to wear corsets, which reduced their waist size so much that many were unable to breathe and often fainted. This was considered feminine, and females wore these to distinguish themselves from men. This was the culture of the 1800s. The way that women dressed during this time made them appear to be like dolls, and came across as fragile. Women were perceived as helpless females in frilly dresses, while men were strong and wore masculine pants. Women spent hours getting ready and would put on multiple layers of skirts.  Floor length skirts which picked up debris and constantly got dirty were what females were forced to deal with on a daily basis. Women would have to wear girdles, and hoop skirts, and clothes that weren’t too revealing. Petticoats, frilly slips worn under skirts, were yet another hassle in the daily dress for women. Fashion at this time was by no means about comfort, which is partially a reason why women yearned to wear pants.  They were much more convenient, comfortable, and easier to wear than multiple layers of skirts.  At this time, corsets and skirts were feminine and distinctly separated women from men. Women couldn’t wear trousers because that would portray females to be almost as equal as males.

            There was quite an uproar in society when women first began to wear pants. Elizabeth Smith Miller was the first American woman to wear trousers in public in 1851. She was gardening one day and was simply fed up with her long skirt getting dirty. She wore an early version of trousers, and was a brave soul for doing this because it was extremely uncommon to go out in public wearing pants as a woman during this time because trousers belonged to men, not women. Miller wore these pants when she visited her cousin Elizabeth Cady Stanton and both of them wore trousers to the Seneca Falls Convention for women’s rights. Wearing pants to a women’s rights conference was a bold move because they were expressing that they believed that they were just as equal as men. The culture of the 19th century clearly did not agree with that. The women who dared to wear pants “were denounced by preachers.”People of the church strongly believed that women should not wear trousers.  Deuteronomy 22:5 from the Old Testament of the Bible states, “the woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.”3 Many took this passage literally, and since men wore trousers, they believed that women shouldn’t wear them. Women were heckled and “tormented by small boys, who threw pebbles at them when they ventured out in public”4 wearing trousers. Society as a whole did not agree with women wearing anything but dresses during this time, which is clear if children were taught to attack women wearing pants.

            Even though society didn’t agree with women wearing pants, sometimes pants were a more practical option. Exercise was very difficult for women since they could only wear skirts or dresses. Even everyday tasks were difficult when wearing flowing clothes.  Amelia Bloomer invented bloomers, hence the name, which were a type of loose pants worn under a short skirt.  This outfit was sometimes referred to as the reform dress since it was new and different for the women at the time. In the 1890’s, women began wearing these bloomers to exercise. They were mainly worn for biking or by women in sanitariums.  The society at this time was not ready for such a change in culture. They were not ready for women to communicate by wearing something so similar to men’s clothing. This was unmistakably visible since the “reaction to the Bloomer costume was immediate and fairly hostile; the mainstream press in particular and men in general, objected.”5 There was an uproar about women wearing pants, but these bloomers were “one step toward trousers becoming accepted as standard items of female attire in the twentieth century.”6 There was objection from the men because pants were a big part of what made men masculine. Since women wanted to wear trousers, it was perceived that they wanted to be like men and have the same rights. Even though women were expressing their belief of equality through pants, the society at this time was not accepting and not allowing equality of men and women.

            In the 20th century there was an ease of the restrictions on women which foreshadowed the pants revolution in women’s style. It wasn’t until the 1900s that skirts were worn above the ankle. Finally it was becoming acceptable to wear something that didn’t get in the way of everyday tasks. Women still wore skirts and dresses during this time; they just weren’t floor length and tended to be much simpler.  Up until the 20th century, women had always worn loose, flowing dresses. This all changed along with the culture in the 1920’s. Hemlines on dresses became extremely high, and women began wearing tight dresses to show off their bodies. The women who followed this trend “were called flappers” 7 and they extended this culture shock by rolling “down their stockings to show off their knees.” 8 During this time women began to obtain more rights. The 19th amendment was passed which gave women the right to vote. These slight achievements in women’s right explain the dramatic change from full length skirts, to short revealing dresses, to eventually pants. The way women dressed communicated to society that they knew they had gained more rights and could therefore dress the way they wanted with some restrictions. They were still nowhere near being equal to men, but their actions were making the wearing of trousers a possibility for the future.

             Although there was a huge evolution of women’s rights, women were still by no means equal to men. Men were known to wear pants, and women couldn’t take that away from them. Women continued to wear dresses, shorter than before, but they were still stuck with dresses and skirts. Trousers were considered masculine, and women couldn’t be like a man in any way. In many cultures, “trousers had become fixed as a gender-specific garment for men.” Women were identified by skirts, and since skirts and dresses are feminine, they shouldn’t even want to wear something masculine such as pants. In the 1930s some of women’s fashions began to incorporate aspects of men’s fashion. “The buttoned shirtdress and versatile separates—sweaters and loose lounge pants with matching tops—showed the further appropriation of menswear elements into women’s fashion.” 10 Although some characteristics of men’s clothing were incorporated into women’s fashion, pants were still not accepted by society. In this culture, women were not equal to men, and therefore they couldn’t wear trousers.

 

Image

 

Figure 1. Women in factories wearing pants.

From I Have a Degree in This, Why Americana Will Always Be In Style,

http://www.ihaveadegreeinthis.com/2011/05/why-americana-will-always-be-in-style.html

            Women were finally able to wear trousers, but it only lasted for a little while, and there were still restrictions. It wasn’t until the 1940s, during World War II when women truly began to wear pants. While the men were in Europe fighting the war, the women were in America producing the goods needed for the war. The women took it upon themselves to work in the factories to provide guns, bullets, food, and other goods needed for the war and to keep America running. Dresses and skirts were not practical attire to wear when working in the factories. Because of the technology and new machinery in these factories, women began wearing pants while they worked. It made moving around and getting jobs done much easier. They were also much safer since their skirts could easily get caught on the machinery. Figure 1 shows factory women wearing pants. Unfortunately when the war ended, “most women left those jobs and went back to wearing skirts.” 11 Pants were only accepted in the workplace, but once the men were back to work, the women went back to the house and their hard work in the factories went unnoticed. The rights that they gained during the war were taken away once the men came back. They went right back to being looked at as just housewives.

            Even though women gained rights and were able to wear pants during the war, they seemed to take a step backwards directly after the war. Although females could wear trousers while they worked, it was still not socially acceptable to wear them in public. They were expected to continue to dress feminine like in social settings outside of work. This has to do with women’s sexuality because since they are women, they should dress in feminine clothes, and not want to look like men by wearing pants. In the 1940’s it became socially acceptable for girls and women to wear pant suits, but only at home.  They couldn’t wear them in public yet, and “were expected—if not required—to wear only dresses for school, church, parties, and even shopping.”12 It was still considered “improper to indicate the shape of the leg with trousers.”13 It caused quite a stir when women “desired to wear trousers in public rather than reserving them for the seclusion of a gymnasium, their homes, or sanitariums.” 14 During World War II, “four female pilots who had been ferrying new military fighter planes to an airport in Georgia were arrested as they walked to their hotel for violating a rule against women wearing slacks on the street at night.” 15 These women fought in the war, and did jobs that men did, but weren’t able to wear trousers because they were women. Once the men came back from the war, everything went back to how it was before the war. Women’s jobs were to be at home in the kitchen and raise the kids. It was back to dresses and skirts for these women. “Most women did not choose to wear men’s clothing and they did not elect to reveal their legs, for both would have been improper.”16 The few women that did wear trousers were mistaken as actresses or prostitutes. Even though the technology provided a gateway for women to be able to wear pants, the culture once again changed at the end of the war, and the women were no longer needed in the workplace. Since America had just gotten out of the war, the society wanted to go back to the way it was before instead of trying to reform, which explains the halt in equality between men and women.

            The mid to late part of the 20th century was when reforms were made, and women could wear pants without being ridiculed. In the 1960s women finally started to wear pants on a regular basis, but the gender role still played a big part in their daily life. Women were still depicted in advertisements as wearing dresses, “whether they were lab workers at the General Foods Kitchens, an older housewife bent over with arthritis, or a younger one pulling sheets out of the washer.”17 This was because women were still housewives, and some still saw themselves as inferior to men. It was a dramatic change for women, even though they had been fighting for decades to be able to wear pants, skirts were the safe way to go. Pants were new while skirts were safe and familiar. In 1961 Audrey Hepburn’s role in Breakfast at Tiffany’s influenced women to wear pants. Her character in the movie wore black capris and because of that, more and more women began to regularly wear trousers. It finally became fashionable for women to wear pants. In the 1960s and 1970s, there were feminist movements. These caused the equal rights amendment to be passed, and since everyone was supposedly equal, it was finally socially acceptable for women to wear trousers out in public. The fact that women can now wear pants shows that women are equal to men in some aspects of life.

            Women communicate today by the clothes that they wear. The fact that women wear a variety of slacks indicates that women are as equal as men and are able to wear the same things. Clothing is a type of nonverbal communication because it shows a person’s personality. Pants are a form of technology because they have made tasks easier, and have helped bridge the gap of equality between men and women. Now that women are able to wear pants, they are able to express their personality as well as men have been able to for centuries. Women wear pants today because it’s normal and socially acceptable, but what most don’t realize is that they are displaying the equality of women by wearing the trousers. 

NOTES

1. Trousers. Dictionary.com Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc…http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/trousers (accessed: October 20, 2011).

2.  Collins, Gail. When Everything Changed: the Amazing Journey of American Women, From 1960 to the Present (New York: Hachette Book Group, 2009), 30

3.  Jason Young, “Does the Bible Say It’s a Sin for Women to Wear Pants?” Acts  Eighteen, http://www.actseighteen.com/articles/women-pants.htm (accessed: November 8, 2011)

4. Collins, Everything Changed, 30

5. Lillethun, Abby. & Welters, Linda. The Fashion Reader: Second Edition (New York: Berg, 2011), 193

6. Lillethun, Fashion Reader, 194

7. Rau, Dana Meachen. Clothing in American History ( Milwaukee: Weekly Reader, 2007), 18

8. Rau, Clothing in American History,20

9. Cunningham, Patricia A. Reforming Women’s Fashion, 1850-1920: Politics, Health, and Art (Kent:      Kent State University Press, 2003), 31

10. Lillethun, Fashion Reader,196

11. Rau, Clothing in American History, 21

12. Lillethun, Fashion Reader, 195

13. Cunningham, Reforming Women’s Fashion, 33

14. Cunningham, Reforming Women’s Fashion, 37

15. Collins, Everything Changed, 31

16. Cunningham, Reforming Women’s Fashion, 55

17.  Collins, Everything Changed, 31


 Bibliography

Collins, Gail. When Everything Changed: the Amazing Journey of American Women, From 1960 to the

                Present. New York: Hachette Book Group, 2009.

Cunningham, Patricia A. Reforming Women’s Fashion, 1850-1920: Politics, Health, and Art. Kent:

                Kent State University Press, 2003.

Lillethun, Abby. & Welters, Linda. The Fashion Reader: Second Edition. New York: Berg, 2011.

Rau, Dana Meachen. Clothing in American History. Milwaukee: Weekly Reader, 2007.

Trousers. Dictionary.com Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.., Encyclopedia Britannica Inc…

                http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/trousers (accessed: October 20, 2011).

VDW, Kimberlee, “Why Americana Will Always Be In Style,”I Have a Degree In This,

                http://www.ihaveadegreeinthis.com/2011/05/why-americana-will-always-be-in-style.html

                (accessed November 9, 2011)

Young, Jason, “Does the Bible Say It’s a Sin for Women to Wear Pants?,” Acts Eighteen,

               http://www.actseighteen.com/articles/women-pants.htm (accessed: November 8, 2011)

By: Mary Van Alten

Technology Autobiography

            Elle Woods, from Legally Blonde, has been my idol since the movie came out in 2001. As a child I looked up to her because she was blonde and loved pink as much as I did. I’ve never been much of a computer person, but I wanted to be exactly like her and have the same computer as her for when I went to college. The white Mac with orange corners became a necessity for my college dream. The only reason I became interested in computers was because of the movie. Many people base their preferences of technology on what is cool at the time or what appears to be cool from movies or TV shows. People also base the types of devices that they get on what other people have. Technology is one thing that is largely determined by looks and popularity.

            I used to always think of technology as boring or monotonous. I didn’t like the portable CD player that my brother had when I was little because it was black and ugly. For a birthday present, my mom gave me a teal CD player. The only difference between mine and my brother’s was the color, but I liked mine so much more because of the way that it looked. This falls into judging based on the cool factor because I refused to be interested in CD players until they came out with a pretty one.

            When cell phones started to become popular, I wanted one just so I could appear cool. My mom and my brother each got one, and I was extremely jealous. It was practical for my brother to have a cell phone at that time because he was in high school and played sports. He also attended a high school that was not in our town, so he used his cell phone to call for rides, and to contact my parents. I was only in 6th grade, and there was no need for me to have a phone. Since more and more people in my grade started to get phones I was finally able to convince my parents to get me one. Even though I shouldn’t have been picky about what cell phone I got, I made sure to get a flip one that looked sophisticated. At that time the bar phones were not cool, so I had to get a flip one. It was completely unnecessary for me to have a cell phone when I was 12 years old. I didn’t have people that I needed to call where I couldn’t have used my home phone. Today there are children in elementary school that have cell phones. There is absolutely no reason why they would need one that young, but they do because it’s considered cool.

            Towards the end of middle school I discovered texting. My cell phone had always been capable of sending messages; I just didn’t take advantage of it because it wasn’t the thing to do at that time. No one communicated by texting until about my sophomore year of high school. Prior to this time texting was possible, it just wasn’t popular. Once the texting craze hit, it was considered weird to not have texting as part of your phone plan. Since texting, phone calls have become a thing of the past. Sometimes a phone call is necessary, but usually texting is much easier and doesn’t take much effort. When cell phones were made, they were capable of sending messages; it just wasn’t cool at the time. It has been about four years since texting became popular, but has remained cool ever since.

            There have been many new inventions and technological advances during the time of my childhood. My first reaction when something new comes onto the market is usually to dislike it until it becomes something that a lot of people start using. One example of this would be the mp3 player. When it first came out, I didn’t understand why people couldn’t just listen to the radio or to CDs. I also thought it was weird that you would have to pay for every single song. When the first iPod came out, I didn’t like the way it looked or the whole concept of having to put music on the computer in order to put it onto the device. Soon enough though, iPods became popular and have been ever since. Other types of mp3 players aren’t very popular because everyone has an iPod. Every year there are new iPods that come out. I got one of the first iPod minis. The only reason I got one was because everyone was getting them, and since everyone else had one I thought I should get one. I was also persuaded to get an iPod because they started making colored ones. It wasn’t much of a decision to decide on the pink iPod mini. My iPod lasted me for a good four years, but every year there would be new ones with better features. After about a year my mini was considered old because the screen was not in color. Even though I knew mine wasn’t cool anymore, I decided to wait until college to get a new one. I am happy that I waited because of course they came out with a new touchscreen pink iPod Nano. One of the main reasons I decided to wait was because they didn’t have any pink ones until the year I was going off to college. Since I am part of the culture that buys things based on looks, I waited until pink iPods were sold again.

            One of the major influences of “cool” that has affected my view on technology has been the movie Legally Blonde. I didn’t know anything about computers before seeing this movie. The laptop that she bought for college quickly became the computer that I planned to buy for college. I only liked her computer because it was white with orange corners. It was a Mac and since she had a Mac in the movie, of course I wanted a Mac. The only reason I based my preferences on this type of computer was because it was in my favorite movie. I didn’t base what I liked on the functionality, I based it on what was cool in a movie and what I thought would be cool. When the time came to get a laptop for college, I wasn’t able to get the orange and white Mac because it was ten years old. The computer I did choose was largely based on the way it looked. I wanted to get a pink computer since it’s my favorite color, and I personally think the colored computers look better than plain black ones. I could have gotten a Mac, but I didn’t because the only Mac I would have been happy with would have been the one from Legally Blonde.  Instead I purchased a pink laptop mostly because of the color and the way that it looked.

            There’s nothing wrong with determining preferences off of what other people have or what they think is cool. Our generation is constantly doing this. It happens with almost everything, but is especially clear through technology. The cool factor of technology is the same as the cool factor described in Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Coolhunt.” There are people out there that determine what people like and what people would like to see in new products. This is an important aspect of technology since there are upgraded products coming out all of the time. It is not considered cool if someone has an old version of an electronic device. People’s electronics are considered cool if they have the latest version. One of the major driving forces that propels technological advances is if the products are cool or not. If people weren’t so obsessed with having the most popular merchandise, technology wouldn’t have advanced as fast it did. Technology will always continue to grow because people will continue to buy the newest things. Popularity is part of our culture that will never go away.

            At an early age we were taught that peer pressure was bad and that looks weren’t everything. Technology completely contradicts these statements. I have judged every single piece of technology that I own based on looks. The reason for obtaining most of the electronic devices that I have is because other people had them. CD players, cell phones, iPods, and computers are just a few example of technology that have been improved based upon what is and isn’t cool. Technology thrives upon the society that we live in today because almost everything is based on popularity. Although this seems immoral, our culture has been like this since the beginning. Technology will never die because people will always want more.

By: Mary Van Alten

Cyber Bullying PowerPoints

nonverbal cyberbullying PowerPoint

used by speker (Olivia Lee)