My research stems from the question, Is our reliance on digital technology (namely, our phones and social media) impairing our ability to form strong community ties and interfering in productive civic/political engagement?
My thesis to this topic, is that social media, the platforms and the devices that circumference online connectivity (Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, cell phones, etc.) encourages online engagement and are important factors in the current stratosphere of civil engagement and politics, and the ability to connect online and view current news and affairs, partake in discussion and discourse on web forums, and share our own individual viewpoints via digital share sites not only encourages us to want to be more politically active face-to-face, it ensures that our voices remain a part of the conglomerate of politics, so that they are not drowned out by rarely seen individuals with deep pockets who have tremendous influence over politicians and the words they share.
For my research paper I chose three scholarly journal entries to outline the benefits of connectivity via social media websites, and a fourth article discussing money in politics.
One article that chose, titled Can Information and Communications Technology Enhance Social Quality? (by Claire Wallace) discusses modern advances in information sharing and how online connectivity encourages people via participation to indulge upon other avenues of political engagement, regardless of the empathetic effects of social media on the individual.
Another article that I chose, titled Politics and Ethics in Social Media (by Clare Archer-Lean and Heather Pavitt), talks about how politicians, companies and news organizations utilize social media in various ways to convey specific messages, and how social media platforms allow everyday citizens, or unionized workers to get out their message as rapidly and effectively as previously mentioned groups.
As I am not yet complete with this part of the research, I personally cannot tell you if my own opinion has changed. I have found compelling proof while conducting research (similar to some of the articles that we have read) that social media can in fact come with negative effects, but I do still stand by a belief that these platforms, whether stressful at times or overbearing, gives we the people an extension of ways to voice our concerns about our communities and the overall arena of politics in our Nation.
Amadeus is a play written in 1981 by Peter Shaffer. It revolves around the life and times of Wolfgang Amadeus, a famous composer of the late 1700s. The play is inspired by a short play from 1830 by Alexander Pushkin, called Mozart and Salieri. Antonio Salieri, composer and teacher, was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s rival. Another character from this play was Constanze Weber, Mozart’s love interest and wife. Mozart was Weber’s first husband of two. Lastly, another character from the play was Caterina Cavalieri. Cavalieri was a student of Antonio Salieri. She does not have any audible lines in this play, but she does have a speaking role in an adaptation film from 1984, in which she is played by the actress Christine Ebersole.
There are many great scenes in the play Amadeus. One great scene would be the first scene, which opens up with Mozart’s rival, Antonio Salieri, in old age and talking directly to the audience. In this scene, Saleri is seated and engages in very passionate dialogue with the audience. It is in this moment that he reveals an assassination attempt against Mozart. Shortly after, the play goes back to a period where Salieri was much younger and had never met Mozart before. No other characters are every present in this moment. There is a scene right before Salieri talks to the audience, but it feels as though the play begins when he speaks.
Another great scene is where Mozart is frolicking around and lovingly playing with his love Constanze Weber. Mozart is young, and it shows in his demeanor, as the two roll around on the floor exchanging kisses and very adolescent remarks about one another. In this scene, there is a table in the background, and a rug. It would appear that the two are alone in a living room.
There is a lot of satire and comedy in this play, which made it truly enjoyable to watch. The play takes place in the 18th century, and it does a great job of showing the audience exactly what 18th century actions would look like. Every character fulfills their role rather dutifully, not falling short of ensuring that they are to accurately portray what it means to be present in an 18th century setting. I also really enjoyed that Mozart was a gifted composer with a sense of humor. He was young, and he acted young. He knew he was great and had plenty of skill, but he didn’t let it deter him from acting young. Amadeus is a great play about one of the world’s greatest ever composers. I am interested now in watching other adaptations of this play.
It was not a hard decision for my mother to buy me my first cellphone. It was a year after the September 11 attacks, and I was entering middle school. Tensions were high in society, and parents wanted to keep in touch with their children. At all times. In any situation of security, it is important for parents to know where their children are, and that is why I believe that as children get older, they need to have cell phones. I feel 10 years old is still too young for children to own cell phones. While cell phones are perfect for keeping constant communication with someone, there still must be a point where someone is too young for this device.
First, cell phones can be entirely too distracting. A lot of adults find it difficult themselves to remove themselves from the addictions of social media, so how could we expect our children to act any differently? A child as young as 10 would use cell phones as a means of avoiding family time and other structured development events. For a child, texting would replace face-to-face communications at a time where it is mostly needed. Children will spend excessive amounts of time on their cell phones, taking about from their study and homework time.
The Academy of Pediatrics as implements rules for children over 6 who are given cell phones, and through their studies have said that children as young as 10 ought to have severely limited time with these devices. Cell phones make children sedentary, not moving for hours at a time. In this time, it is possible that they are accessing a lot of information, some which might be too sensitive for them at their age.
Maturity is also a factor. Children as young as 10 are exceptionally good at finding out new things or figuring things out, and their lack of maturity may lead them to discovering things over their cell phone which might not be suitable for their age. If they are advanced, they could even keep what they have discovered hidden from their parents. A child’s actions must be monitored, and so if a parent is going to give their young child a cell phone, there has to be a series of limitations that prohibits their child from potentially harming themselves.
Ultimately, I feel that a child as young as 10 is too young for a cell phone. There are too many inherent risks at that age, and we still don’t understand the long term effects of a lot of screen time. It will be up to the parent to make the final decision. If a parent decides to buy their child a phone, I hope that they are always monitoring their actions, and that they do not allow this new device to substitute that child’s desire to go outside and be active.