Author Archives: John

Lorde Melodrama 2018 – Vancouver

Last week, I went to one of my favourite concerts by far. What made it good was the fact that I really like Lorde/Ella and I got pretty good floor seats (never too late to call and change, even if you bought them more than 6 months ago!).

I know some may disagree, but I enjoy photographing and recording memories on my phone. I like to re-watch concert videos once in a while to remember my experience, and managing to capture a good pic during a concert is pretty satisfying. Buuuuuut, I also like dancing and jamming in the moment, so it’s a constant struggle.

She noted that the mountains here reminded her of the ones back in her homeland, New Zealand. Her comment reminded me of how lucky and beautiful it is to be surrounded my mountains. I never realize how fortunate it is until I am reminded that some places do not have such magnificent views.  Take Ohio for instance; the 3 times I’ve visited, it was all flatland! No mountains in the distance and that made me a bit homesick. I grew up surrounded by mountains and nature, and it’s something that will always remind me of home.

I totally forgot about the concert (I got tickets back in June/July 2017!) and only realized 4 days prior. I had a big paper due 2 days after the concert, and I had volunteering the day after, and that leaves me with a really tight schedule. However, I had to play catch up and work extra hard a few days prior to ensure that I won’t feel guilty going out.

Looking back, I’m glad I grinded those few days because I was able to fully enjoy the concert without worrying about anything (as I usually do if I ever go out and I have assignments to do), just for a night.

Overall, I think what sets this concert apart from pervious ones is that I really enjoy and resonate with her music, and I actually know most of the lyrics to her songs. To be honest, I enjoyed all the performances so it’s really hard to pick my favourite. But, if I had to choose, it was definitely between Tennis Court, MagnetsPerfect Places, and Green Light! I was also pleasantly surprised by her cover of Frank Ocean’s Solo.

Overall, I had an ethereal experience and would go again!

5 Mindful Ways to Save Money on Buying Food

Okay, let’s be honest. No matter how hard you try to meal prep or bring food from home, it’s sometimes not satisfying enough or you’re still craving for more. I bring food sometimes, but other times I buy food; it’s all about the balance. No matter the reason, we eat out and that’s okay. Here are 5 little things you can keep in mind next time you go out for food:

 

1. Skip the Drink(s)

Try to opt for water because it’s free and good for you. Also, it adds up; but don’t be afraid to order that one drink once in a while though.

 

 

2. Keep Tips in Mind

If you’re at a sit-down restaurant, don’t forget to tip! It’s good to always add extra dollars/percentages when browsing the menu. Then, when you order your food, you will be fully aware of how much you will be spending.

 

3. Bring Food

I’ve yet to perfect the art of meal prepping, so I try to bring as many snacks or leftovers as I can with me. If I have a short class day, then I bring some snacks with me and wait until I come home to eat. If I have longer days, I’ll bring extra snacks and eat them throughout the day. However, if you’re not satisfied with that, try purchasing foods that are priced on the lower end (or something small aka something cheap). Then you won’t have to spend as much AND still satisfy your cravings.

4. Limit your Treats

Spending smart requires awareness. A way to limit yourself on overspending is to think, “well, I just bought ice cream a few days ago, I’ll skip this time”, or “I decided to not buy that frappuccino last week, I think I’ll treat myself today”. Another way to approach this is to limit ‘treats’ for celebrations such as finishing a midterm or overcoming an obstacle.

5. Plan Ahead

If your income for the upcoming week(s) isn’t looking too good, try to not eat out (or maybe just something small one day out of the week), but if it’s a thick paycheque, enjoy those cravings (or save your money!).

New Beginnings

Hey!!

First off, this blog was being originally used as a class project in spring 2017. Now, I think I am ready to revive this and transform it into a proper blog! I’m not sure how else to introduce myself, but you’ll get the gist of me in future posts. 😉

What will this blog be about?

Well, the idea is that I wanted a place share my student experiences and tips. Being a student for such a loooooong time (and still a few more years to go 😪😭), I’ve gained some knowledge that may help or humour.

Anyways, here you will see student life stories and tips, ranging from stories of locals to photography to life hacks.

 

Until next time,
John

 

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