Friday, January 26, 2007

Could people’s extreme selection lead to self-centrism, alienation to news, and the downfall of journalism?

According to a recent issue of Time magazines, “the song remains the same, the way we listen to it is changing (Howe, 2007, p.60).” This analogy provides the profound thought that we live in the edge of high technology where iPods, iPhones, TiVo, Google, YouTube, Wikipedia, Blogs, MySpace become part of this new era. The tools available in the market for users lead to a greater customization, selection and convenience (Howe). Human beings want to be able to choose for themselves. As an example, it is common these days to notice the decline of people listening to the radio. People don’t want to have someone selecting what they should hear, they want to select what they want to hear and this is where iPods take place. Another example is TiVo, which is a digital video recorder allowing users to capture television programming for later viewing and to skip commercials and unwanted programs.
From these examples it is easy to assume that traditional mass media sources of news and information, such as newspapers and television networks, are being increasingly substituted by users who trust and use alternative media sources (Christie, 2003, p.0). These sources are available mainly through the internet and the problem is the lack of expertise, trustworthiness and credibility (Christie). For instance, one does not need to have a diploma in journalism, they just write freely in blogs. Or anyone can post a video at YouTube about anything. The author of a Time magazine article called “The Beast with a Billion Eyes” wrote the influences of the videos posted at YouTube. “On the Web, anyone with a digital camera has the power to change history (Poniewozik, 2007, p.63). Steven Johnson, the author of “The Ghost map,” wrote in his article “It’s all about us” that some “amateurs are filling the vacuum created by everything the old media chose to ignore (Johnson, 2007, p.80).”
Additionally, Johnson described and analyzed the consequences of this freedom to publish and people’s selection. “There is undeniably a vast increase in the sheer quantity and accessibility of pure crap… (Johnson).” This high-tech era can signal the end of quality and professionalism (Johnson). With this thought in mind, one can be dragged into becoming “alienated” from good news and people are exposed to what they think is news or relevant to them. The problem is that our society has become extremely vain and too concern with itself. Brian Williams, the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, explained how U.S. citizens have made the media core more democratic but it had its cost. “Americans have decided the most important person in their lives is… them, and our culture is now built upon that idea (Williams, 2007, p.78).”
Although high-technology has contributed to a diverse of good outcomes among them it brought the “power to the people (Grossman, 2007, p.42).” Lev Grossman, a Time magazine writer, said the media is controlled by us, ordinary individuals who can be described as citizens of the new digital democracy (Grossman).
This self-centered notion has manipulated the actions and lives of many. Selfishness has become a huge problem leading to obscure consequences where individuals no longer will be interested in picking up a magazine or newspaper to read, that might be too ancient for them. No better words could’ve been stated to the problem with this high-technology of today: “The danger just might be that we miss the next great book or the next great idea, or that we fail to meet the next great challenge… because we are too busy celebrating ourselves and listening to the same tune we already know by heart (Williams).”

Work Cited

1-Christie, Thomas. (2003). Conference Papers -- American Association for Public Opinion Research, 2003 Annual Meeting, Nashville, TN, 0.
2-Grossman, Lev. (2007). Power to the people. Time magazine, 168(26), 42.
3-Howe, Jeff. (2007). Your web, your way. Time magazine, 168(26), 60.
4-Johnson, Steven. (2007). It’s all about us. Time magazine, 168(26), 80.
5-Poniewozik, James. (2007). The beast with a billion eyes. Time magazine, 168(26), 63.
6-Williams, Brian. Enough about you. Time magazine, 168(26), 78.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A matter of trust…Are they liars or is it me?

Just like any other human being, I have a lot of qualities but also a lot of things that I need to work on. As an example, I could say that I have a hard time trusting people, especially when it comes to love relationships. I have the tendency to always look beyond and kind of not trust my boyfriends. I always think they are either lying, or not being completely honest with me or just simply betraying me. The problem is that nobody tolerates this kind of accusations all the time and I end up losing that person that I care about. How could I improve to learn how to trust someone that I love?

rihanna - break it off

This song rocks! It is my favorite at the time.. So have fun listening to it!


by Luciana Loureiro

Living in a foreign country brings different challenges and trials. I always expected things to be a little different here compared to back in Brazil. When I say different, I mean the food, people and culture. Back in my country, I was considered white. Here I've been called olive skin, darker complexion and tan, golden skin. In effect, everything but white.
Some have said, "Oh, you're from Brazil? Cool, I speak Spanish!"
How should I reply to a comment like that? My reply in the beginning was, "I speak Portuguese, not Spanish." Today, I just say "Good for you!"
Sometimes, even after explaining that I speak Portuguese, they would insist, saying: "But, you do speak Spanish too, right? Isn't it the same thing?" For your information, Spanish and Portuguese are not the same thing. If they were the same, one would not be called Spanish and the other Portuguese; they would have the same name. Spanish and Portuguese have some similarities, just as Portuguese has to French and Italian. It's also funny that is easier for Portuguese speakers to understand Spanish than the other way around. Maybe we are just smarter. Just kidding.
Speaking of languages, Americans have invented a new one - Brazilian. So now in Brazil we speak Brazilian. In the United States, we speak American. Funny. My point here is not to offend. Rather, I want to inform and voice my Brazilian pride. I'm from Rio de Janeiro, the city of Christ the Redeemer, soccer, beaches and "Carnaval." But it doesn't mean I am the "Girl from Ipanema."
Someone even said the capital of Brazil is Buenos Aires. Wow! Yes, I thought the same thing ... (It's really Brasilia). But the most surprising thing to me was receiving a different title. Here in Utah I'm labeled something that I am not - Hispanic. I am from Brazil, and the definition of Hispanic, according to a dictionary, is "one of or relating to Spanish-speaking Latin America, or relating to a Spanish-speaking people or culture." Other Brazilians and I do not fit this category. Being called a Hispanic or anything related to Spanish is one of the biggest offenses one can make against Brazilians. My ancestors are from Portugal and Italy, which have nothing to do with Spain or any Spanish-speaking country.
Another clarification needs to be made. Latin and Hispanic do not have the same definition. People here usually get the two of them mixed up. I could be considered Latin for the fact that I'm from Latin America. Also, just like Italian and French, Portuguese is related to the languages that developed from Latin. Even though it is technically correct to call myself Latin, I do not like the stereotype.
It is such a BYU thing to label people from different places. Each time I meet a BYU student, it is as though each asks the same interrogatory questions. It seems like all of them have a little checklist. When you start talking and they notice your accent, they always ask, "Where are you from?" Second question: "When are you going back to your country?" To me that is just not polite. It just seems like they want to get rid of you. I am also aware that people sometimes don't realize they are offending someone else because of their lack of culture and knowledge.
As an example, one of my co-workers from a foreign country recently asked me how I could distinguish Mexicans from Brazilians. That really hit me. I did not speak with her for the rest of the day. There is nothing wrong with being from Mexico, Peru, Guatemala, Chile or Argentina, but I am just from Brazil. It is a fact, not a choice.
(For comments, e-mail Luciana Loureiro at