Tag Archives: Personal

A Rough Semester…

Currently, I am a month away from being done with my first year of university. Looking back, there have been a lot of ups and downs. But for this post, I am going to focus on the past semester, because it has been anything but easy.

During winter break, I went through a tough time. Not only was I adjusting to being back home in Washington, but I was also dealing with a breakup. I felt sad and alone, even though I was often surrounded by family. Things got worse when essentially all of the friends I had made at university decided to break things off with me. I couldn’t believe that in one month, I had lost so many people.

Luckily for me, I was around family during this time, so I didn’t go completely insane. But eventually, it came time for me to go back to Vancouver. Unfortunately for me, I got a major tooth ache a couple days before I was supposed to travel home. The day I spent traveling home from Vancouver was filled with pain and puking (from all the medication I had been taking for the pain). However, I was happy to finally be back in my dorm.

For the next two weeks, I was extremely lonely. I ended up taking a two week break from social media, and so I spent my time working on homework, watching Netflix, and face timing my mum. Slowly, things got better. I started to reach out to new people and make new friends, and I began to get over the breakups I went through with my boyfriend and my friends.

The next month was pretty great. I spent time with new people, visited my sister in Pennsylvania, turned 18, went to San Francisco and spent time with family. However, I didn’t escape unscathed — during the month of February, I got sick twice. Once with mild bronchitis, and once with strep throat. After all the stress of winter break and January, my immune system shut down.

Despite all the havoc of the past semester, I choose to keep a positive outlook. Now, as we near the end of March, I am doing much better. I have a wonderful new boyfriend, and some great friends. Even if things didn’t go well for the majority of the semester, that doesn’t mean they will continue to go badly. I still have three years left of university (at least), and I plan to make them as memorable and happy as possible — and I am looking forward to seeing what my second year of university has in store for me.

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Keep It Canada with Matty Matheson

Nic and I love food and recently I started watching food videos on Youtube with him before we go to bed. He introduced me to Munchies which is the food segment of Vice and here, we stumbled upon a glorious Canadian man by the name of Matty Matheson.

Toronto Life wrote a cool piece on Matty which you can view here! Born in New Brunswick and runs three restaurants in Toronto, Matty is the epitome of a fucking cool man. He gives no shit, lives life to the fullest and has a potty mouth that is incredible entertaining. With all of that, watching his Munchies videos on Youtube has given me life and appreciation for Canada as a whole like no other. Once a wild party man, Matty suffered a heart attack at the age of 29 and I believe that was an eye opener for him to get his life and cooking career in order.

On Munchies, he has two playlists which are his How-To and Keep It Canada segments. They’re absolutely hilarious, entertaining and well paced. Matty has an insane dose of energy and that energy reflects in each video and of course, the food he makes. What makes me respect and love this man even more is that he made a couple of Lord of The Rings references in a few Keep It Canada videos!!

Here are some of my favourites from both playlists,

So to you my bright readers, Canadians and non-Canadians, I summon you to watch every single video of Matty Matheson and be awed of his presence, language, style and culinary technique.

Things 15 Year Old Me Never Thought I’d Have To Deal With As An Adult

  • Figuring out which wifi network to join.
  • Watching your parents age.
  • Learning your parents are people with lives before you, and personalities that might not always fit your definition of “right”
  • Thinking about what life will be like after your parents die.
  • Co-ops.
  • Remembering to empty the recycling.
  • Dealing with people you love leaving you, and your feelings for them never being resolved.
  • Dealing with the fact that some people wake up at 80 at still aren’t happy and realize they’ve wasted all this time.
  • Remembering not to waste my time.
  • Scrambling for money.
  • Having to clean up someone’s puke with my hands at 12am because the bar back is busy and I spotted it first anyway.

Vancouver, Snow, March – Huh?

It snowed in March!!! Here are some pictures of SFU on a snowy March day.

A very unexpected time for Vancouver’s winter this season as we have seen more snow in over a couple of years. I’m very fortunate enough to experience so much snow in my life ever! Coming from Brunei where it’s just heat and rain, getting the opportunity to live and play in the snow was super fun at the beginning but it slowly became a hassle as commuting between home and campuses became difficult as buses would get stuck in the snow! There were several times where classes were cancelled as buses were not able to drive up to the mountain as road conditions became too slippery and dangerous.

Nonetheless, I still love the snow (only when it’s fluffy and fresh!).

Breitbart: A Reputable or Treacherous News Network?

By John Luu
February 28, 2017
954 words

If we, users of the Internet, were to accept everything we read online as facts, then there would be a widespread of fear and confusion. To combat this, users can use media literacy to tackle “massive information literacy problems [such as] … fake news, misinformation, disinformation, and other types of spin” (Caulfield, 2016, para. 7). Polarized news sources that are based on political perspectives can provide opportunities for Internet users to exercise their media literacy skills to determine if it is a reliable source of news or not. Breitbart is a good example of a notorious and influential right-wing conservative news outlet that is heavily producing bias content and thus have implications on youth’s political opinions.

Firstly, Breitbart news appeals to the conservative publics. Its main website allow like-minded users to contribute political news and opinion articles, which are often bias. It can also allow for the “production and circulation of discourses, … and debating and deliberating” (Fraser, 1990, pg. 57) of opinions. Breitbart provides this public with a possibility to engage and participate in commentary through its comments section. Since this site is intended for right-wings, the vast sea of comments are clearly echoes of conservatism. In figure 1 and 2, users America is Great Again and DiscusstedConservative shares their right-wing political beliefs in the comments section and their usernames plainly points out their political views as well. There are even the upvotes for these comments, which suggests that more people agree with their comments.

 

Figure 1: Article comments. Screenshot taken from www.breitbart.com

 

Figure 2: Article comments. Screenshot taken from www.breitbart.com

 

Furthermore, other comments reinforce that Breitbart has a large following of conservatives that remind us of their traditional values.

 

 

Figure 3: Article comment on traditional values. Screenshot taken from www.breitbart.com

 

Breitbart’s merchandise also blatantly illustrates their support and promotion of Republican views. Figure 4 shows of a t-shirt with a border wall logo that references Trump’s wall plans and the mug in figure 5 depicts a rhino behind a target scope, suggesting that democrats are a “scourge upon the Republic” (Breitbart Store, 2017) which points to a bias political opinion.

 

Figure 4: Border Wall Breitbart Tee Shirt. Screenshot taken from https://store.breitbart.com/collections/all-products/products/border-wall-t-shirt

 

Figure 5: Breitbart Mug. Screenshot taken from https://store.breitbart.com/collections/all-products/products/rino-hunter-jumbo-coffee-cup

 

In addition to their publics engagement through the comments section, Breitbart News Network creates sensationalized headlines that attracts attention and fear.

 

The titles of Breitbart articles is arguably sensational and misleading, which can insinuate fear amongst its audiences. For example, an article titled Report: Social Media is Driving Americans ‘Insane’ (Nash, 2017), is blaming social media as a detriment to Americans. The argument of this article is based solely on one external source (Nash, 2017), which limits the credibility of Nash’s article. Also, Breitbart News website is designed to capitalize the letters article headlines, which can project an alarmist tone to readers. Before concluding his article, he mentions that “left-wing media was largely responsible for the public distress following Trump’s win” (Nash, 2017, para. 7). Upon further investigations of Charlie Nash, the young tech reporter is found with bias opinions on Liberals and the offensive use of a gunman for his tweets on his Twitter account. With the conjunction of Nash’s online activity and opinions, is it evident that his content can be seen as bias towards a certain political ideology.

 

Figure 6: Charlie Nash’s Retweet Showcasing Dislike for Liberal Ideologies. Screenshot taken from https://twitter.com/tciccotta/status/836098983135166468

 

Figure 7: Nash’s Tweet With Use of Elliot Rodgers, Murderer and Misogynist. Screenshot taken from https://twitter.com/MrNashington/status/833495979219415040

 

Referring back to his article, he claims that social media is a problem. This can ignite fear mongering amongst Breitbart readers/visitors and may believe that social media is actually affecting Americans. These types of “fearful headlines draw people in by capitalizing on their concerns and anxieties” (Boyd, 2012a, para. 3) that can shape opinions based on insufficient or incorrect information. Overall, Nash’s contributions to Breitbart faces an ideological trap of technological determinism. As Watson (2016) explains technological determinism, it can be applied to Nash’s content which it is presented through a deterministic stance, believing that technology determines human behaviour and ignoring the “subtle investigations of use and adoption practices.” Through the use of fear as an attention-grabbing tactic, Breitbart News can influence teen opinions.

 

With the rapid rise of teens as digital natives, bias online news outlets affect teen’s political education. For teens, the networked public is their new playground for social interaction and a participatory culture of generating and posting content to be seen (Boyd, 2014b, pg. 206). Some teens even actively follow politics and transcribe their political opinions into their networked publics (Boyd, 2014b, pg. 206). However, with questionable and unreliable news source such as Breitbart on the rise, the spread of misinformation can persuade teens into misleading advocation. For example, teens may jump on the bandwagon of the ‘Men’s Rights Activism” simply because a conservative news outlet promotes it or that it appears edgy to defy ‘political correctness’ (Hadfield, 2016). With such a large following, Breitbart has no issues spreading their opinions.

 

 

Ultimately, Breitbart News is a immense and proliferating bias news sources that favours the conservative ideology, which has a negative impacts on adolescents. However, news cannot be fully objective, because there will be varying levels of bias in every news. Personally, Breitbart News is an appalling news outlet that are more anti-liberal than their proclaimed conservative stance. On the contrary, one might disagree and support Breitbart’s opinions; which by all means, their gaudy merchandise can be found and purchased through their blaring advertisement on the homepage.

 

References

Boyd, D. (2012a). The Ethics of Fear and How It Undermines an Informed Citizenry. Retrieved from http://www.poynter.org/2012/fear-undermines-an-informed-citizenry-as-media-struggles-with-attention-economy/192509/

Boyd, D. (2014b). It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens. New Haven and London: Yale University Press.

Caulfield, M. (2016). Yes, Digital Literacy. But Which One? Retrieved from https://hapgood.us/2016/12/19/yes-digital-literacy-but-which-one/

Fraser, N. (1990). Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Hadfield, J. (2016). The Men’s Rights Movement: A Smart, Necessary Counterweight to Man-Hating Feminism. Retrieved from http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/08/02/mens-rights-counterweight-feminism/

Nash, C. (2017). Report: Social Media is Driving Americans ‘Insane’. Retrieved from http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2017/02/24/report-social-media-driving-americans-insane/

Watson, S. (2016). Toward a Constructive Technology Criticism. Retrieved from http://www.cjr.org/tow_center_reports/constructive_technology_criticism.php

 

Process Post: Revamping my image.

Since reading my 2nd peer review, a lot has changed in my life in relevance to adulting. I lost my glasses which is -1 adult point, but also found a place to live and move out to, which is +4. I got a minor raise at work for my social media use which is +2, but I haven’t been feeling very creative about it which is maybe a -0.5. A lot of changes are about to happen but one thing that has been supremely constant this whole semester, is that I haven’t had any relationship progress. I went on two dates with this guy I’d been seeing before I went travelling in 2016, and the first date was to check in and see where we were at. The second, was me trying to give him a hint that maybe this wasn’t for us. He’s in India right now and hasn’t texted me since that second date so I’m thinking he got the message.

In the mean time, I’m still where I’ve been since I started this whole thing. Serving at the pub, trying to do school work and blowing through a season of the West Wing every week and a half. And pining over my ex. Sort of.

They say never shit where you eat, but apparently I .love shit, because every relationship I’ve ever had has been with someone I’ve worked with. That’s three relationships, and three jobs. The first time he moved away. The second time he quit before we broke up. Now I’m not so lucky. My ex has worked for the group that owns our pub for five years. He’s got a hundred connections in the industry. I’ve worked here for just over a year and although I am moving up and getting my networking done, he’s a million steps ahead. Chances of him quitting any time soon are not likely. So I see him almost everyday, and it’s fine. We get along swimmingly, which is exactly the problem. The reason we broke up isn’t because we didn’t get along. It’s because we weren’t getting it on. Enough for him, in any case. When it first ended I did my whole play the victim thing, “Oh, how could we break up over such a dumb reason”. But the truth is, I hadn’t been feeling too attracted to him towards the end of it and had considered breaking up at times as well. But we were so in sync that I didn’t really want to try.

We’ve hooked up a handful of times since that initial breakup and now it’s been almost 7 months since our last one, but I still stay over at his house from time to time just to crash if I’m working late so I don’t have to take a $60 cab over the Alex Fraser back to where I live. In a month this won’t be an issue anymore because I’ll have moved closer to work than where even he lives, so no more “oh I missed the last train, mind if I crash?” excuses for me. I’m not in love with him. But I feel a lot of affection towards him still and I like being around him. When you work with someone like that, who you think also feels the same way but isn’t going to do anything about it, how are you supposed to move on? There are days when I think about quitting but for the most part I like my job and it’s perk and the $250 tip nights. Recently we had lunch and he talked to me about maybe moving to Toronto to work at the group’s expansion of pubs out there. I told him I didn’t think he should do it for a number of reasons, his schooling, his family, and how he’s told me numerous times he doesn’t want to work in the industry forever. But if he did move, wouldn’t it be easier? Of course I would miss him, but if he left then I wouldn’t have to see him all the time. I wouldn’t feel like I’m constantly torn between wanting to be with him and wanting to laugh this whole thing off. We only dated for six months, and they were great, but six months in is pretty early to not want to be having sex with your partner anymore. Isn’t it?

Regardless, it’s an issue I’m dealing with. Sometimes I tell myself I don’t care but the reality is that I get jealous so easily I can barely function and I need/want his attention all the time. Which I feel like is the equivalent of -100 adult points. So what I’m changing about my blog, for this process post, is it’s image. This isn’t a dating blog. It’s a personal blog. Despite my insistence that that personal blogs are crazy boring, I’ve already turned this into one and so by changing the design, the feel, and a little bit of my life anyway, I’ll steer it towards what it’s been all along. A blog about not-romancing. A blog about me.