Posts Tagged ‘ Twitter ’

Facebook: The Nature of the Beast

I, once a strong-willed man, caved. I reactivated my facebook.

I know what you are thinking, I never thought I would either. Most of my friends can tell you, I was very stubborn in my rejection of the popular social media site. I had no problem reminding people, “I don’t have facebook.”

That, however, is in the past now. As much as I did not want to, I rejoined facebook because of what my time away from it told me. I lost touch with a lot of people…a lot of people. I did not intend to, but without that constant blip of status updates and photos, I simply forgot about people. It does not mean that I meant or wanted to, I just did.

I made it a goal this year, kind of a New Year’s resolution, to pay more attention to news. After all, being a journalism major essentially requires you to be in touch with what is going on in the world.

For the most part, I think I have done a good job. I will remember articles that I have read, videos I have watched and the like during everyday conversation with folks. But it dawned upon me last week that I was not in touch with the news that should matter most to me: The news of my friends and family.

It was not until last week when I realized the “media” aspect of social media. I realized I had been going about facebook all wrong. When I was young and stupid (i.e. two weeks ago), I despised the idea of facebook because I did not want “everybody” knowing so much about me. I did not want my information easily accessible on the Internet, despite having nothing to hide, mind you.

Then I realized that American journalists have fought for transparency since the origination of this country. What I was doing by removing myself from public view was eliminating transparency.

As journalists, we are the representatives of the public and we, therefore, become public figures in doing so. That realization made me go back to facebook.

Does this mean I am going to post everything I do on the Internet? Not in a million years. Even public figures need privacy. But I see this return to mainstream society as a way to reconnect with the people closest to me and the content they produce.

This brand of news is that on which I should be educated the most.

That Ohio Weather

Meteorologists must be losing their minds right now. At the very least, those in the midwest must be a bit confused.

Yesterday, as many celebrated Leap Day – how one goes about doing so, I do not know – people were treated to warm temperatures. Thermometers swelled to nearly 70 degrees Fahrenheit in Athens while thunderstorms moved across the Southeast Ohio region.

The forecast calls for snow Sunday with temperatures on Sunday and Monday barely creeping out of the 30s.

Yes, weather has a tendency to fluctuate often in the midwest. This brand of fluctuation, however, is an entirely new beast. Walking between classes in a college town like Athens come with the soundtrack of happy students discussing how nice the warm temperatures are on days like Wednesday. Who can blame them? 70s in February comes around once in a blue moon.

But then when the temperature drops the next day and its back to wearing coats, parkas, gloves and scarves, out come the complaints. It’s almost a given that someone will see his or her Twitter timeline sprinkled with a few statements about “that Ohio weather.”

“Only in Ohio,” say countless self-proclaimed geniuses across the Twitterverse. Despite popular sentiment, it is not just Ohio that deals with dramatic changes in weather. Ohio isn’t a bone stuck in the heart slot in Mother Nature’s giant game of Operation causing her to unleash her wrath on Ohio.

There is no debate, warm weather is nice and cold weather is a pain. That won’t change any time soon, but the rants and raves should come to an end.

People won’t be so happy with 70-degree temperatures in March when it’s 110 every day this summer. Plants will grow back too soon, thinking it’s spring, only to end up being choked when a cold spell hits the region. Thus, food supplies will shrink as crops are killed by spurts of freezing temperatures and prices will rise…and people will complain.

Doing the math, people will be  complaining as a result of something they cheered for months earlier. Seems backward. Then again, so does “that Ohio weather.”

Here we are, one day into my challenge and I didn’t write yesterday. Woof. You know what that means: two posts today. It’s on. Be on the lookout later today.

Peace be with you,

–BP

Return to the Writers Circle

I know what you’re thinking. Oh my goodness, Bradley Parks, where have you been? I’ve missed your blog posts filled with interesting information and fun commentary. I’ve been loyally waiting on your return.

Okay, so you probably weren’t thinking those exact words, but I suspect it was something of a similar variety. So, why the long absence from the Web? I’ve been busy.

It’s a catch 22. I work a paid job to stay in school, which forces me to give up many journalistic opportunities – journalism being the reason I go to school. However, if I were to devote more time to journalism, that would necessitate devoting less time to my paid job, which keeps me in school. In comes the aforementioned catch 22.

The good news is that I have regrouped and regained the focus with which I came. I once again have the mentality that I can do anything and everything I set my mind while staring straight into the foreboding face of little sleep and a few bitter tears left on the desk.

That is the reason why I am embarking on a challenging voyage into the world of journalism. I may not have time to be part of countless organizations and their meetings, conferences, etc., but I always have time to be a journalist.

Like the old saying goes: news never takes a holiday. It’s my goal to produce something on this site every single day. Whether it be a written piece, a video, a podcast, a photo, anything, something will be posted on this site every day. No days off.

Many photographers take this challenge, to post a photo per day on their websites for one year. It’s a way for them to spend quality time with their craft and try to improve each day.

I’m bringing the 365-day photo challenge to journalism in the form of a 365-day writing, filming, journalisting challenge thingamajig. Each day’s post will bring something different. It could be a commentary on a news story, an opinion, random babbling or even the story of what happened in my day. Who knows? The only thing certain is that something will be posted.

The goal will never change. The goal is to be more involved with my craft even if it isn’t in a formal setting. I won’t be doing my typical job of suiting up (the pants, shirt, tie, jacket sort of suiting up) and hitting press row for a basketball game, but I’ll be involved, doing the journalist thing. Maybe people will read, maybe they won’t. Either way, I’ll be producing content.

For those who choose to tune in, I hope you laugh. I hope you cry. (I know I’ll be doing a lot of both.) I hope you gain something out of reading and watching what I have to give. At the very least, I hope you give me at least a few seconds of your time before flinging me at the window like a poor fly on a hot summer’s day.

Daunting? Yes. Challenging? Yes. Exciting? Yes, even more so. For me, I’ll take this time producing content as a means of rediscovering my passion buried in an ever-growing pile of school bills.

So here’s to journalism and here’s to rekindling the flame. Get ready for one heck of a ride.

Cheers,

–BP

This will serve as my first post. Look at this, my first day and I’m already cheating. To keep up with the journey, stay tuned to bplusblog.wordpress.com and my Twitter profile @Bradley_W_Parks.