Final Blog Post: 1000 word essay

Walter Fisher is a 20th century Philosopher that created the Narrative Paradigm Theory. His theory says that that all meaningful communication is a form of storytelling or giving a report of events, and that human beings experience and comprehend life as a series of ongoing narratives, each with its own conflicts, characters, beginning, middle, and end. He also explains how the elements of nature, beliefs and behaviors, culture, rationality, and choice all connect to the different ways of communicating and or story telling.

The theme of our SC4SC class has been to speak our minds and find ways to better the world through the power of social media. Walter Fisher’s theory explains why we discuss the way we do and the best ways to go about our communication. Fisher claims that all humans are story tellers. When we communicate, we do it in a way that tells a story or shapes our opinion in the best way possible. I could not agree more. After these stories are told, it is up to the listener to see which forms of communication and stories he/she can connect to that matches their values and beliefs. This is something that i find so special because it becomes so individualized and shows how different every person is, and that is why there is not only one form of communication.

All semester long we spoke about how we send messages by nature and every form of communication can be seen as story telling. It took a while for me to understand that because i never really thought of story telling as anything else than some person writing a book, or writing in some way or form to get paid. My mindset was definitely fixed when it came to this. As i started to think deeper about how every time i speak to another human, whether its my friends, or my parents, or my coaches i am always sending my personal message and the form of communication is one person story telling back to the other. This brings me to the point of slavery and how story telling has influenced the way we learned about it in this class but in school all together. I was set on story telling when it came to slavery only being what slaves passed down to their young ones, and what people who were alive during that time wrote about it, but that is not it. All of the famous chants, and songs, and art that was created during that time period was a form of communication, and more importantly it was a form of story telling. It gets passed down like tradition and every single person can have a difference experience or take on what happened. The way that all of this information can stick when we learn it is to find a way to relate, and that is what story telling allows us to do. It allows us to relate to other people’s stories and it makes our own stories distinct from anything else another human has encountered. We are the authors of what comes out of our mouths and we write the stories.

The next step of the paradigm is the element of beliefs and behaviors with intentions of good reason. This was simple to me because i remember so many times when i was younger and either one of my parents sat me down and told me stories about their pasts. They would point out the bad ones more so than the good ones not to make a point, but to explain their behaviors and have a good reason behind it so that i would not make the same mistakes as them. Every single action has a purpose behind it, and like we’ve spoken all semester, with the power of communication we can limit these accidents from happening if we can connect it with our peers the right way. This process does not happen over night however, and it did not click with me until i became older and more mature. I just took these lessons from my parents as something they wanted to tell me and not so much as something they wanted me to register to my own life. I am so thankful that i have them for that and i am lucky enough to have that information retained in my brain.

The third element is the element of culture. This is the way we story tell within the properties of our culture. This might come as the most difficult elements to deal with because in the world we have this issue of accepting other peoples cultures. It is what causes wars across the world, and other unfortunate events and it comes as the biggest obstacle for the story telling to overcome. Humans tend to feel more comfortable around people of their own cultures that they can relate to, people who have dealt with similar circumstances and what not and this is a reason why when we are forced to learn about or accept other cultures it becomes uncomfortable and hard. The main thing about other people’s culture is to always have an open mind to where they are coming from. That leads me to the next element of rationality. It is easy to change your narrative and become irrational when adversity hits and things get hard, and a lot of times people like to change their way of story telling so it helps them out and shapes the argument.

The final element is what i personally think is the most outstanding, it is the element of choice. Ultimately as human beings everything can be taken from us, but not our power of choice. We can listen to whatever we want, and comprehend in any way we would like. We can hop on one bandwagon of a narrative and immediately switch to another once we feel like we do not believe in it anymore and that power is simply amazing. That all circles around to the main theme of this course, which is how we see social media, and the wonders it can do for us. With the click of a button we can follow somebody’s narrative, or create our own, and there is nothing anybody can do to take that away from us. With social media, you can decide what it is you want to hear or what it is you don’t want to read, but at the end of the day you will always circle back to opinion and thoughts that connect with your own culture.

 

Thank you SO much for such an awesome course!!!

LU

Blog Post #13: What happens if there IS no Social Media as we know it?

I feel like i always hear this question from adults who are not sold on social media and i see a bunch of articles on it. Frankly, if there was no social media it would suck, and for very obvious reasons. I think it is known across the board that Social Media is the greatest way to get updated on the news, hear about sporting events, and just the best way to stay up to date on the important as well as the unimportant events going on. For me, i use social media a ton. I love to tweet, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, all of it. It is one of my hobbies and always keeps me entertained even on the most boring of days. Vine is another form of social media and i always find myself laughing at the videos that are posted on there. It is a non-stop way to keep yourself occupied and gain knowledge at the same time. I have learned more and found out more information through social media than any other magazine or newspaper or news channel that I’ve seen. It makes learning more fun, and it is a never ending supply of information. Yes, it does come with its negatives of course. Not all the sources that you’ll see on social media are necessarily trustworthy, and a lot of the information you can find can be biased information. As long as you are smart with what you believe in, and not make social media your entire life, there is no way that it can be a negative. It has the power to promote incredible organizations and movements, it can keep you updated with your favorite sports teams and results, and it can connect people from all over the earth! How can i imagine in a life were there is NO social media?! It would suck!!

Blog Post #12: What has been the most impactful hashtag campaign and why?

Over the last couple of years there have been many hashtag campaigns that have carried their own power in many ways. We are lucky to live in a world where information and messages can be spread so easily. In a time where there is a lot going on in the world, these hashtag campaigns are even more important and the one i think stands out the most and has had the biggest impact on our society is #blacklivesmatter. This hashtag started right after the awful series of events in Ferguson Missouri. It united black people all across the United States as well as people of other ethnicities like myself and i think it was a great way to start spreading the information on an ongoing problem in our country. It occurs way too often in this country that black people are taken advantage of and face brutality for unjust reasons. The Treyvon Martin Case ended with a terrible outcome, the Michael Brown case ended with a terrible outcome and if we just let these things slide, more families and citizens will go through these horrendous situations. I first saw #blacklivesmatter on twitter and immediately i clicked on the link and read so many different opinions and feedback on the issue. People from all across the world were interacting with one another and having their voices heard. There is nothing stronger than a voice to the ears of the public. Without this hashtag i am sure that there would be attention given to these cases, but this hashtag has allowed the people who are effected most by it to come together as one and deal with it. Famous Professional athletes got on board and wore T-Shirts during the warm ups of their games, famous celebrities joined in on it as well and the messages were finally heard. Of course it was not something that changed over night but as long as the movement keeps going, great things will happen.

Blog Post #11: What’s the role of women in Hip Hop and Social Revolution?

I think the role of women in Hip Hop and Social Revolution is simply outstanding. In my other AAS class i learned about how difficult it was for women to have any kind of say in our society and their voices were pretty much unheard of. Many powerful women in the 1960’s and 1970’s had to become leaders and create change so the women in the modern days can be put in the positions they are in. There are many women in Hip Hop that are “running the game” and two examples id like to use are Nicki Minaj, and Beyonce. These are two women who came from very difficult backgrounds. There was little to no hope for them to make a name for themselves and they beat the odds. Beyonce has become an idol and inspiration to so many young women (white and black) and has also been an example for women all across the globe. She has always maintained her class, and has been one of the most consistent artists that the music industry has ever seen. She has acquired the nicknames “Queen B” or even sometimes just the “Queen” from how she carries herself and the way she lives her life. Nicki Minaj has also become an inspiration and shaped the way women are seen in Hip Hop today. Nicki Minaj is seen as rough, talented, and beautiful all in one. She has the incredible ability to carry this confidence about her and rap in a genre that is mostly males. She not only keeps up with these other artists but shines like a diamond. She gives hope to many women across the world that even if you are going up against men and the numbers are against you, you can become whoever you want if there is a will. These two men have done amazing things for females across the world and we are lucky to be blessed by what they do.

Blog Post #10: 10 video/songs that teaches or inspires

Music is extremely essential to my peace of mind as a human being. I turn to it in times of anger, sadness, happiness, and most importantly times where I’m in need of motivation or inspiration. Here are 10 songs that i can either relate to or get me going when i need it the most:

1. Dreams and Nightmares Intro- Meek Mill

2. Cold Blood- Yo Gotti ft. J. Cole

3. Lose Yourself- Eminem

4. Dear Mama- 2pac

5. Juicy- Notorious B.I.G.

6. Mirror- Lil Wayne ft. Rick Ross

7. Rich Forever- Rick Ross ft. John Legend

8. Started From The Bottom- Drake

9. In The Air Tonight- Phil Collins

10. Box Chevy- Rick Ross

Blog Post#9: Why Riot? Why Loot? Why Burn? Why Violence?

Rioting, Looting, and Violence for the most part do not come from out of nowhere. It is caused from a reaction of anger and disbelief of something negative that has happened. I always found it hard to understand the purpose of it all, but with the events that have come from this school year at UVA, it is much clearer to me and makes total sense. Of course it comes with its pros and cons, but for the most part i am glad that i understand the reasoning from all of these decisions and what they mean to the people. People who riot obviously want their voices heard. They feel like their issues do not get enough attention or they do not get resolved in ways that they should. I think by gathering a large group of people and protesting by walking the streets and through other popular areas your message can definitely be heard. Now when it comes to looting and burning or other types of violence it gets tricky because you want your message to be heard for the right reasons. For example, if there was a situation where somebody was beaten by a police officer and then a group of people were to burn a police station down or do something harmful, one that makes you no better than the original offenders, and two, it will take the attention away from the actual issue and nothing will be resolved in terms of the long term future of the problem. That is why smart leadership is essential when it comes to rioting and everything that comes with it. Trying to get your message heard about an issue comes with its own obstacles, and every decision that is made can effect your message in either a negative or positive way. Be loud, be smart, and fight until you get what you deserve within the laws.

Blog Post #8: Expressing how you feel and what you are experiencing at UVA right now

Even though this is a late submission because of my missed classes with my tennis schedule I was at Trinity Bar the night Martese Johnson was arrested and know a lot of information on what happened. I was honestly distraught and saddened by the events of that tuesday night. How could such a thing happen at my university?! What could a young student have done that was so bad that it caused such a reaction from the ABC? Just because it was St. Patty’s day and more than half of the school was out drinking so he wanted to join in on the fun? He wasn’t even drunk!!! He did not even use a fake ID! Of course there is a racial issue when it comes to police brutality in our country, but it hit home a little harder for me this time because this happened to a peer and a friend. There is absolutely NO excuse for these kinds of events to take place and I’m an enraged that things that were supposed to be resolved so many years ago are still happening. It made it that much worse when i took a look at Yik Yak the next day and saw what the student body had to say about the incident. People were agreeing with the ABC, people were laughing about it as if it was a joking matter, and people were using disgusting and disrespectful language about one of our very own. For the first time in my 2 years at UVA i was truly embarrassed to say i went here. I did not want to be associated with the rest of the students here and i was afraid that because i am white, i would be seen as part of the completely IGNORANT and HUMILIATING bunch of white people that made it a joke on social media. Even though it has been a month since the event happened, I’m not happy with our UVA community and this left a bitter taste in my mouth.

Blog #7: Passage Home: America WITHOUT Social Networking

This is a really interesting topic when you really have to dig deep and imagine what life would be like for Americans without possibly the most popular form of communication in “social media”. I know personally that i spend hours every single;e day connecting with people or scrolling through every form of social media i have and without realizing it, its quite probably my most used form of communication by a mile. Of course it has its flaws, many people in our society nowadays have hurt their ability to articulate themselves and i think in the long run it can effect our future generations but it doesn’t seem to be too big of an issue at the moment. Looking into the idea of how America would be if there was no such thing as social media, i think it would be very similar to how life was in the 1960’s-1980’s. The newspaper would still be relevant, along with hand written mail and information would be much harder to spread. World news would have to be seen on TV and it would slow the process of people being on top of events down much more than we expect. So, looking at the pros and cons, i think yes not having social media would help the dynamics of how people interact and communicate within each other, for example not using telephones at dinner, or people being glued to their computers or phones 24/7. The con in this case (which i think outweighs the pro) would be that extremely urgent and important information would be harder to come by and that could have a bad turnout for the safety of our citizens. It is very crucial that our people know what is going on at all times and can react immediately to every situation.

Blog #5: From One To Many

The power of “word of mouth” to the great reach of the internet is something that carries a ton of weight. It shows how each individual has his or her powers to make a change in the world for the better. Everybody in life goes through different kinds of experiences and the way we can improve those around us is by teaching the younger generations through our mistakes and situations. The problem with society nowadays is that there are many more distractions and it might come as a challenge to really get through to younger generations since they might seem to “know it all”. 

It is extremely visible for me to see how the younger generations put limitations on themselves or pre-judge things like a college education before having any idea about what college really is. Like our guest speaker said last week, a lot of her students think of college as being all parties and a joy ride because of what they see in movies or on TV. That is a huge issue because it hurts the development of these kids and how they might perceive their goals. The other extreme to this issue is the fact that some students might think to themselves, “wow, if I’m struggling in junior-high or high school, how will i ever be able to make it through college?”. My ultimate plan to broaden my power of “word to mouth” is to try my best to either reach out to younger communities, whether its through community service, or just seeing a younger student struggling whom i know, and guiding them through my experiences. There is nothing quite as powerful as your own life experiences and the best way to make all of my negative ones is to teach kids and people how not to make mistakes the same way as me.

Blog #4: The Civil Rights Era and “Soul Music”

The quote “If music touches your soul, then it IS Soul Music.” is something i agree with 100 %. This is exactly what makes music so special. It can change your mood, connect with your feelings, and help in so many different ways. The great thing about music is that it changes, but the feelings it can bring you stay the same. The two songs i want to compare is Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” from 1967 and “Lose Yourself” by Eminem from 2002. These two songs are separated by 35 years, yet they can both be listened to for motivation. “baby there ain’t no mountain high enough,
Ain’t no valley low enough,
Ain’t no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you babe” This chorus is so great because it uses analogies to prove how if you set your mind to something there is nothing that can stop you. In “Lose Yourself”, Eminem also uses a motivational route but in a different way. His examples in his lyrics explain the nerves and feelings people go through when it is their time to show out. Then he goes on to say “You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo”. This is soul music for me because as an athlete i endure these emotions daily. It speaks to my heart when he basically says that you have an opportunity in front of you so all you can do is to go out and get it. Of course these two songs have many differences as well. They are two completely different genres and are done in different generations. I feel like “aint no mountain high enough” speaks to my soul more in terms of how i handle my relationships and “lose yourself” speaks more to my soul in terms of how i treat situations as an athlete. Both are great examples for me personally in a “soul music” perspective and I’m glad i got to experience this assignment.