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Archive for November, 2011

Does Disney create a “small world” afterall?

   “I can show you the world” is more then just a cute song lyric from Disney’s Aladdin but it is what Disney offers us. Disney culture has created “A whole new world” for us today. Disney portrays itself as magical, carefree, and happy. With their own channel, two amusement parks in the U.S., one in Paris, and two in Asia and a third one expected to be open in 2014, Disney has become part of many cultures throughout the world.

Growing up with Disney princesses always made me excited about growing up and getting married. I knew I wasn’t a princess nor would I ever be, but I did think I would be happily married by the time I was twenty-five. I also assumed I would not need to work, that’s what my husband would do! I even felt bad for him, whoever he may be. But Disney gave me, and thousands of other children a false perception on life. Women, the princesses, are made to be the damsels in distress who need a prince to save them. That was always the plot to the games my friends and I would play, mimicking the Disney movies. It just seemed right. Would you ever imagine a girl saving the day?

But as I got older I realized I couldn’t just say “When I grow up I want to be a singer and an actress” like I did when I was young. I realized I had to seriously think of what I wanted to do a career, what I would major in at college; Disney did not prepare me for this.

But they did teach me how to clean, and that you must change yourself in order for a guy to love you.

But Disney isn’t scrutinized for their stereotypes on men and women that they present to young children. In fact, they are praised. Disney promotes family and togetherness. Walt Disney World is even advertised as “Where Dreams come true”. Clearly an example of the bandwagon effect (Exaggerated claims that it’s “the best” ) This was never actually proven though. But deep down the inner child inside of me is screaming “IT’S TRUE!!!”

I’ve gone to Disney world about six times in my life, four of which were during my freshman through senior years of high school. I remember when I was young the excitement I felt seeing Mickey and Minnie Mouse and riding the Teacups and buying my first Disney stuffed animal. As I got older my Dad shared his interest in pin trading and as “nerdy” as it may seem to be, I loved it! It really brought my Dad and I closer. And my Mom and I too, even though she mostly made fun.

  Disney culture has influenced us in a lot of different ways. Is it all good? That is all up to interpretation, but it has made the millennial generation very different from the generations before us. We see the world in a different light. Perhaps we are in a bubble at times and don’t always see the evil in the world besides an evil step-mom. Maybe we think more outside of the box from watching Alice in Wonderland. Disney has come very far, it is a part of the world we live in and it is here to stay.

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Rahul Thadani speaks the truth in his article about Facebook when he says “it can be useful or disruptive, only if you allow it to be.”

Why do we like to spend our time on social networking sites and post our day-to-day activities online? How does it benefit us as individuals and as a society? Since what seems like the beginning of time Facebook has become a top social networking site.

Facebook does have many positives, such as reconnecting with old friends and promoting yourself and any other work you do. Thadani also listed that playing different video games and sharing music are positives of Facebook. Do you think those are positives? Sure they are an added bonus but more so they are there to keep you on Facebook longer. The longer you are on Facebook, the more advertisements you see.

A big part of how Facebook gains its revenue is through advertisements. Also known as indirect payment, Facebook made $1.6billion dollars in the first half of 2011. One article states that Facebook is the operating system for delivering ads on the web.

While you are writing on your friends' wall, playing a game, or reading your newsfeed thousands of ad's pop up on the side of your screen waiting to be clicked and viewed.

I for one am annoyed with the ads all over my Facebook homepage. It may be a positive to the Facebook Company but as a user on Facebook it’s annoying and unimportant to us. People go on Facebook to see what there friends (or foes) are up too. What are they posting? How do they look? Thadani says that some cons of Facebook is that people can go on your profile and know what is happening in your life at all times. I often find myself censoring what I say on Facebook even though it is MY profile about ME and I should be allowed to say what I want right?

WRONG

Anyone can see your Facebook profile, whether they are your friend or not. When looking for new employees and reading applications, employers not only read applications but also check out the candidate’s Facebook page. According to this article in the New York Times, if bosses see something they don’t like, such as provocative pictures and inappropriate language, then they do not hire that person. Is it okay for employers to do that? Would you consider this an invasion of privacy?

Not only can employers view your profile, but also so can thousands of your “friends” (let’s be honest, you aren’t actually close friends with EVERYBODY on your Facebook page) and they might not have such good intentions. Like that guy in your French class you turned down the other day, he might show your professor all of your ‘red cup’ pictures you took the night before the big exam. Uh-Oh! And maybe you shouldn’t have been complaining about how your adviser “sucks @ getting me the classes i need! i h8 her!!!!!” because your jealous roommate showed her that! So basically, censor your Facebook.

Saying I agree with the articles would be an understatement. Facebook, though fun and addicting, can be dangerous and harmful to your reputation. The old phrase “Think before you speak!” will soon turn into “Think before you post!”. And be sure to set your privacy settings!

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Towson’s favorite talk show host!

If you haven’t heard, Towson University was given a visit recently by the crew of the one and only Ellen DeGeneres!

Ellen has been entertaining America for years. Though I don’t follow her show on a day-to-day basis (“surprisingly”, I have tons and tons of assignments to do) I always like to keep up with what she is up too. Sadly though I did not make it on her show like some of my fellow classmates. Check it out here!

After hearing all the hype on Ellen I immediately went on Google, the world’s best search engine in my opinion, to find out all I needed to know about her. Who wouldn’t? She is just so interesting! This led me to her show’s website! I must say it is very well done. People can go on to her site to view more information on stories she had on her show and fun, exclusive videos that relate. The current popular topic, not surprisingly, seems to be teen sensation Justin Bieber!

But Ellen’s site offers more then just funny videos and recaps of the latest stories. She also has contests you can enter that are a lot of fun! Today’s contest was to send a picture of two cute things and write about it. To those of you who are wondering I did enter myself in so please wish me luck! These contests are put under the “Be on the show” section.There are so many ways you can be on the Ellen DeGeneres show such as sending her a funny videos or photos, email her, tell her about a secret talent you have.

One feature that I really admired was a section for a charity.  Currently you can find information on how to make a donation to Whitney elementary school. Not a lot of television shows talk about the importance of helping those in need. Besides Whitney elementary school, Ellen has worked with wonderful charities such as  The Gentle Barn, Feeding America, American Red Cross,and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. This particular story really touched my heart, I know one thing I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Of course, what would a website be without advertising? However, that is one thing the clever talk-show host lacks. There is one banner on the top of her page and the top and bottom both advertise Yahoo! The rest is all her! Fascinating! Would you say this is a positive or a negative? I think it’s nice to see fewer advertisements because personally, they annoy me. But do you think this was a good business move? She and her company could be making so much money just from indirect payment. Clearly Ellen DeGeneres is doing fine on her own and does not need to be supported by advertisements. Would you add more ads? I don’t think I would.

One thing I would like to change however is the colors. Each page needs more color and different tabs should be in different fonts, sizes, and colors to catch the reader’s attention. The white background tends to make a lot of things blend in and the deep turquoise color does not pop out. I would add some pink, yellow, green and even orange to grab the reader’s attention quicker. But this is all just my opinion, what do you think?

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