How We Change For the Better

Hello and good afternoon,
Time sure does go by quickly when you are filling your brain with knowledge and news ideas. I have to admit that when I had realized that I had enrolled in a class that emphasized the idea of “digital fingerprinting” and “digital citizenship,” I was thrown back a bit. At the beginning of the semester I believed that I had a pretty solid grasp on the benefits and dangers that the internet had to offer, but as it seems, I was greatly mistaken.

As this is the final project, I find myself with an unfamiliar feeling inside of me, and that is I am bummed out about not having to write any more blogs. At first, I was hesitant to writing blogs as I was almost afraid of doing voice threads, and over the duration of the semester both of those ideas have changed. I would have never thought of myself as enjoying the weekly blog, or a type of recorded report. It has become such a desire that I have registered a domain name and starting a website that will have many blogs and ideas on it. It is under construction at the moment, but rronoproduction.com should be up and running sometime in the new year.

Over the course of the semester, we covered what I would call “the basics” of personal online security.  We all buy software to protect our computers from viruses and email attacks, but what do we do to protect our identity or our dignity? What I mean is what does the individual do to make sure that our true character remains safe from other believing that we a good human being and have been forever? There are many people that will post a questionable picture on twitter or facebook thinking that no harm can come out if it, and the next day is fired from a job, expelled from school, or even worse, permanent loss of character. Having a good idea that what it put on the internet, stays on the internet, can help one avoid such incidents from occurring.

Other lessons learned were crap detection. Not only should one have a full understanding that there is no law written to this date that prohibits people from posting outright lies, but one should hold that at the front of their mind when surfing for information. We all can use a refresher course from time to time to detect BS, and if we use false information in school, work or even conversations with friends, disaster could be sure to happen. I think that we have all witnessed someone misquoting or using false information, and it is downright embarrassing for everyone involved. Not to mention how important it is to get you facts straight when making a substantial purchase, applying for a job, doing research for a job or term paper, or any other crucial decision in life.

Now that we are at the end, I leave my many readers(who am I trying to kid)with this thought. What we hold dear today often becomes irrelevant tomorrow, and what is so hip and cool to one person, is repulsive and offensive to another. With that said, remember that when creating something that represents you, your ideas, and your character, be careful of how you do it. You never know who might get a hold of it, or who is going to hold it against you. The internet is a powerful tool that can help you succeed in many ways, just be careful how you use it.

As I always say, Be good to yourself, to others, and remember to have a fantastic day

CDR

Change in the Classroom

Hello and good afternoon, this week we are focusing on how the classroom of today needs to change with the different types of technology. We have tools today that were not available thirty years ago. Heck, if you think back to what was available just ten years ago, the information available and the methods of how to retrieve it are far better than before. We were given an article written by Micheal Wecsh, and his TED talk to watches well, which are both ideas about how powerful the internet is and how do we bring it to the classroom to better the education of tomorrow.

The internet is more powerful than most of us realize. How Powerful? Little over a year ago there was a trend that went viral for all the right reasons, and that was the “Ice Bucket Challenge“. If you are not familiar with it, I will explain it briefly. Via Facebook video, a person would announce that they were donating $100.00 to ALS, dump a bucket of ice water over their head, then challenge three of their friends to do the same. This internet trend raised over one hundred million dollars and led to the biggest breakthrough in ALS research. The leading research company stated that if it were not for the money raised by the challenge they probably would have never made the break-though. That is how powerful the internet has become. If we can get that power into the classroom, then the future has gotten a bit more exciting.

Both the article and video spoke of using this power for better material and broadening the horizon of the student. Not only to expand the pool of information, but to also expand our way of thinking. The idea that instead of “just a textbook” and lecture, the classroom of the future could revolve around specific topics and evolves with the current information as it is published or documented. We all know that vital information can be found in textbooks, but the information is moving faster than the speed of light, and new ideas and discoveries are released and published daily. If we look at the textbook as if it is the database of a class, it is then that we get the idea of how much faster it needs to be updated. Everyone has the power to access the internet and any given time, may it be a phone, tablet or laptop, so why not use this for the classroom? The classroom is more interactive now than ever before so the tools used to teach should be just as interactive.

People often ask the question, “what is the future of education”, and “how do we integrate technology into the classroom”? As a student I cannot answer those questions, but I know that is needed. Not only does the instant interaction need to be enhanced, but also the the interactions between classrooms across the world studying the same topics or issues. Imagine a classroom that has no boundaries, nor borders, students across the world participating in the same lecture, hmm, sounds interesting to me.

I am looking forward to the changes to the classroom, and very excited for future, especially for us that are focused on trying to bring a better tomorrow. The planet is in bad place at the moment, and we are the future that plans to clean it up. We have the tools that we need, and it is time to start using them.

 

Remember everyone to smile, make someone else laugh out loud, and have a fantastic day.

 

CDR

Extra Extra…..Read all about it!

Hello and good morning, as we have all heard over the radio, or seen on the news cast, there has been a horrific event taking place in France. Multiple bombings causing hundreds of casualties and 129 deaths,(My heart goes out to all of the family and friends of the victims). As most of the readers of this blog know that I am involved in a university study and we are digging into social media and how it can be beneficial for everyone. Facebook and Twitter got the call on Friday and they stepped up to the plate and hit one out of the park.  First, just moments after the first attack in Paris occurred, Facebook launched a new feature called the “I am safe” page. People that were in the attack zone(Paris) were notified that such a page was available and could be used to notify all those friends and loved-ones that they were safe and out of danger. I was at work Friday night when a person at the bar received a notification from Facebook informing her that her friend had checked in and was indeed safe. The new setting that has been introduced by Facebook is a marvel in many ways, it notifies everyone on your friends list simultaneously saving precious time that would be taken by texting or calling each individually, thus getting the information train running much quicker.

Also Twitter came through like a champ as it was a major player in the crisis.  As French government put a strict curfew in place and almost a marshal law atmosphere, many were out on the streets with no-place to go or stay. With word traveling fast of multiple bombing locations and people astray, and other areas being threatened, Twitter users all over Paris sent tweets out to direct those in need of sanctuary that there was personal housing, shelters, or hotels offering shelter for the night. Those caught out in the mayhem were now finding shelter, all through a touch of a couple of buttons. This is a prime example of how social media can be used for the good of the people and how powerful it has become. I cannot say for sure that lives were saved, but  can say that many slept better that night by either having a place to stay, or knowing that a loved one was alive and safe.

Even though terror has tried once again to break the spirit of the people, the world has shown that the free will can never be broken. The French Red White and Blue is being flown around the world in support of our allies and friends, the French.  The symbols of support can be seen on Facebook, Twitter, and the lighting of national monuments, capitol buildings and religious figures all around the world. The message is clear from all free nations that we stand together against fear and terror and our will will not be broken. My heart breaks for those that had to sacrifice, but as I once read at the Korean war memorial, “Freedom Is Never Free”.

CDR

 

Fully Emerged

Hello and good afternoon. For the past couple of months, I have directed my focus on the world and communities of LGBT. When I started this journey the research intended was to concentrate on the social issues that occur day to day. As I went further down the rabbit hole, I found that the issues are not that unfamiliar than those that are not part of LGBT. In no way am I insinuating that there are no social problems, nor that the social issues of LGBT are not unique in their fashion, it’s that many of them are the same for anyone growing up, finding their sexuality, trying to find their place in this chaotic world that we all try to survive in. Hell, I just celebrated my 48th birthday, and I still can’t figure it all out most of the time. My heart has grown with the LGBT community, and I show full support to those that battle the pressure of our society. “Be strong and be yourself,” that has been my motto for as long as I can remember and I am sticking to it. It has worked for me and maybe it can work for you.

This week I hyper-focused on health issues and ideas of how I could show support, or to get involved. Many states are focused on AIDS awareness this month, and there is a national focus on cancer, and cancer prevention. Even though both of these diseases are not exclusive to the LGBT, they are necessary to discuss. For the most part, we all know how to prevent the spread of HIV or AIDS. It is well known that many students do not have a “never-ending” supply of funds, nor a whole lot of time, but by getting yourself to the free clinic or the health center on campus to obtain some preventative measures, it just might be a life changer or saver. With most of the LGBT pages/groups that I have been following there are seminars and talks scheduled all over the county about HIV and AIDS awareness, along with other sexually transmitted diseases. Not to mention there are support groups for those that have already contracted and living with either of the two. It is never too late to show support to those that are suffering from these horrible conditions, nor is it too late to prevent them yourself.

While attending Ventura College, I met a man that has been living with full-blown aids for over twenty years. He mentioned how he had to take an entire cocktail of medications(up to seventeen pills per day) and how they seemed to take as much life out of him, as they were supposed to give. When he spoke to our Psychology class, his message was precise and powerful, only you can make that decision to take preventative action, and it is ultimately your responsibility. I have met many wonderful people in my collegiate career, and would hate to lose even one of them, due to something that could have been avoided altogether.

On that note, remember to keep smiling, make someone else laugh out loud, and have a fantastic day.

CDR

 

Just a little note to my many followers, in no way shape or form do I ever intend to offend or insult anyone for any reason. The topic chosen is highly sensitive and can be taken the wrong way, and I apologize in advance.

Still Diving In

Hello and good afternoon, this week has been a very colorful(no pun intended) week as I am still diving into the communities of LGBT. If you have not been following my blog, I will sum things up for you in just a few words. I have been taking on and researching the social issues that might occur using different types of techniques. First I started with the database here at school to get some hard to the facts literature on the subject. Then it was off to the internet to see what else I could find out and if there was anything I could do to help or show support to those that rally for equal rights. At first it was scanning FaceBook and Twitter to acclimate myself with the terrien. Then I spent a couple of weeks just lurking around and seeing what I could. Now here I am engaging in the LGBT and having some interesting conversations to say the very least. At first I was met with some hesitation and unpleasantries, but now I can honestly say that I have met some awesome people. Now that you are all caught up let’s get to this week’s topic, The various effects Halloween has on some.

Halloween is a time for most of us to dress up and be someone or something that we are not. May it be a superstar athlete, a mutated zombie, superhero, in my case a super-villain or whatever fun get up you can think of. But for many people that are transgender it is the one day they get to shed their costumes. The costume that they have to wear all year long, being someone they are not. Both transgender men and women get this one day to be who they truly are without ridicule or worry. Now we all know that more and more people are transitioning from one gender to the other and that the western world is starting to open their eyes to and hearts to those doing so, and I give those people all due respect.
On Halloween night, I was at a party where there was an entire cabaret of Drag Queens on parade, and it was fantastic. There was Joan Rivers, Marilyn Monroe, Jane Mansfield and many more. I spoke to many of the girls and they were all having the time of their lives going party to party showing off their beauty, inside and out. Many said that they were transgender, but this was an especially special night for them as they could really shine. As one sang out loud, “There ain’t no stopping us now”! and I don’t think anyone was going to try.
The next day while scrolling through Twitter, I ran across some similar stories of people that had strong ties to Halloween and being able to shine on that special day. Halloween is a special time for me as I get to use my creative side, the side that most people never see. That sentence has a whole new meaning to it now as I sum up this week’s blog. “A side that most people never see,” that phrase just leaves me speechless. It leaves me like that because I am talking about my hobby, not who I am inside. It leaves me in silence because I know that many people are waiting eagerly for 364 to pass so they can shine again.

Next week I will be covering some health issues and ways to deal with them. Until then, remember to smile at others, get someone to laugh out loud, and have a fantastic day.

CDR

Diving into the World of LGBT (Revised)

Hello and good afternoon,

This week we dive into the world and communities of the LGBT.  As mentioned in previous blogs for the past few weeks, I have played the “Lurker” and watched events unfold from afar. I have followed a few groups while,  The Los Angeles LGBT Center, LGBT News and Human Rights Campaign being the favorite choices of the many sites available.

I have to start this article by saying that I was advised to use an alias account to research this topic, but I was reluctant to do so as I felt that I should be representing myself, and not a fictitious character. It almost felt wrong to be someone that I am not, or to mislead others into believing a lie. So with that said,  with my personal Twitter account, I became a follower of all three of the groups mentioned before.

It came as a massive shock to how much SPAM and Male hook-up sites were received almost immediately. As one that is researching the well-being of a community and how they fight for equal rights, I must say that I was set back by this type of response.  What I thought was supposed to be a community center for the LGBT of Los Angeles is more of a trolling site.  I have never experienced such a personal violation in my life. It never dawned on me that men were so free and eager to showing private parts to complete strangers over the internet. I mentioned the encounter on another feed and asked if that was normal? Being greeted with hesitation and complete dismissal, and being told that a straight man had no business being a part of a gay community came as no real surprise, it was just the tone used and the choice of language. As I mentioned before that, I have received this type of rejection before.

Part of me is saying to myself, “what were you thinking”? While the other half of me is thinking, “what’s the big deal”? If one does not understand the truth of a subject, then one must dive deeper into that topic. What I do know is that there is an entire world of LGBT that is screaming words of equality and unity. Other words ring out as well, like peace and love, and freedom for everyone. I am not going to go deep into this, but I will say, that road is a two-way street. There is a gap that is between the heterosexual world and the homosexual world, and it come together equally by BOTH sides, and not just one adapting to the other.

For the next couple of weeks, I will still be diving into the world of LGBT, but I will stick to official pages and focus on the health issues that arise day to day.

Well as I always say, keep smiling, make someone laugh out loud and have a fantastic day.

CDR

 

Just a little note to my many followers, in no way shape or form do I ever intend to offend or insult anyone for any reason. The topic chosen is highly sensitive and can be taken the wrong way, and I apologize in advance.

Being the “Lurker” (part two)

 

 

Here we are in the second installment of “Being the Lurker”.  For those that might not know what a Lurker is, I found a few definitions for you that should be helpful getting you up to speed.

Google defines it as: (of a person or animal) be or remain hidden so as to wait in ambush for someone or something.

Urban Dictionary has it as, spying on people online, while you remain invisible

Wikipedia goes further to say: In Internet culture, a lurker is typically a member of an online community or PLN, who observes but does not actively participate.

The experiment at hand is to find some websites/social media pages on the topic of LGBT and Lurk them, spy on them from afar, sneak in and take a peak without anyone the wiser. Being the natural lurker that I am, this task came with no hesitation or delays.  I have been lurking some great Facebook pages on the topic of LBGT, And I will continue to do so after the research is over.  The Los Angeles LGBT Center, LGBT News and Human Rights Campaign are some of the groups that I have been following the closest.
The Los Angeles LGBT Center page on Facebook by far is more progressive and is always being updated with events, news, and information on support groups. It is a constant feed on who is promoting equal rights for the LGBT community and who is adamantly against it. An announcement that came on Monday was a partnership between lavender.com and Birth Sevices to offer Los Angeles families the first LGBTQ childbirth classes.  For more information go to www.lavender.com as first classes start in November. On the darker side of the news, it shares information on an NFL team owner donating money to oppose equality in Houston. For the most part, this social media community has to be one of the best. It is a place where all can come to find useful information on all aspects of the LGBT.
On the Human Rights Campaign site, there is a compelling video that should be seen by all.

The message is clear and it should be understood. People are people regardless of our differences. “People are people so why should it be, that you and I should get along so awfully?”(GORE, MARTIN) This is a question that has been asked far too many times without a respectable reply. It is from a gay man to a straight man, and the question at hand is why all the hate, aggression and rejection? How are we so different? In my opinion, were not. I have witnessed the road to equality has been bulldozed, and is on the way of being paved. The acceptance and understanding of each other is stronger now than it ever has been. I feel that in years to come this will no longer be an issue of any kind, not social or ethical. It will not be overnight, but the day will come when all humans stand together with equal rights.
This project has opened my eyes to many issues, both fantastic and horrifying and has been a wonderful experience. But as I mentioned before, “I am a Lurker,” no denying it. Sometimes while on Facebook or Twitter, I will participate in the everyday shenanigans, but most of the time I am in and out with no-one the wiser. It is okay to be the life of the party, but most of the time i decide not to be.

Well as I always was, keep smiling, make someone laugh out loud and have a fantastic day.

CDR

 

 

Being a “Lurker”

Hello everyone and I hope that you are having a fantastic day. Today’s topic is Lurking and those that lurk. For those that might not know what that means, here are some definitions for you.

Google defines it as: (of a person or animal) be or remain hidden so as to wait in ambush for someone or something.

Urban Dictionary has it as, spying on people online, while you remain invisible

Wikipedia defines it as: In Internet culture, a lurker is typically a member of an online community or PLN who observes but does not actively participate.

Some people have used the terms: Stalk, creep, creeping, spy and watching or even scanner. All the same, it is one that surfs the web checking in on different pages or communities and does not interact with it. As I do not agree with labeling this as a type of stalking, as that has harmful intent. I find it better to lurk before you speak because sometimes what is on your mind does not fit the community.

The idea of this week’s topic is to become a lurker and scope out some web groups without revealing my identity nor interact within the groups. Well, I will tell you that was not a hard task for me as I am a lurker. I have been lurking for years (maybe forever). I do not stop nor start with the internet; I do it at work, school, and heck wherever I can. It is not that I do not want to intervene, it is that I like just to be quiet and listen to what other have to say. For instance, I went to a cosplay workshop biweekly for six months and never spoke to one person other than the person that introduced me to the group, which I might add only went two other times. I find it easy to be quiet when not called on.

My two favorite places to “Lurk” is a Facebook Group called (sorry if offended) is “The Phreak Shall Inherit the Earth”, and “Giving F*cks for Therapy.” Both of these support groups were created for different reasons. One is to allow people to say what is on their mind and to give the problem the finger; the other is to show respect for a fallen friend of many and to share memories. At one time, I was active with The Phreak, but it had a different title and different purpose. Originally the group was named “Blayne Punches Cancer in the Face” and it was a support group as he went through his treatment, but in May he lost that battle and the page evolved with its purpose.

But how about the LGBT community?  I have taken lurking to a whole new level when it came to research for my social issue project. During the last segment of my blog I spoke of many groups that were found on Twitter and Facebook. The Los Angeles LGBT center, LGBT News and Human Rights Campaign are a few that I will visit to find out the latest on local and national news or current events such as “coming out day” or the signing of a bill in California that gives transgender people a new list of equal rights. Some might ask why I lurk these groups instead of becoming a member, and the answer is that I have not been invited. When I took on sign-language a few years ago, I sought out somewhere I could speak with the def instead of other people that were trying to take on the language. I was met with a bit of hostility due to that many def people are not receptive to people learning their language. It was a community of their own and I respect that. I have also received similar responses when I worked at Men’s club in Hollywood, and sometimes when attending a pride. Not from everyone I assure you but the hesitation is there at times. I am a straight man and some people feel that I have no place in that community. I reassure you that I have nothing but love for all and have no ill will, but I will always show respect when due. So for now I will remain the LURKER and witness from afar. 

As I said before, “I am a Lurker,” no denying it. Sometimes while on Facebook or Twitter I will like, share, re-post, tag and even comment from time to time. But most of the time I am in and out with no-one the wiser.

Well as I always was, keep smiling, make someone laugh out loud and have a fantastic day.

CDR

Social Issues Go to Social Media

Hello everyone, today we dive into the huge world of social media and what it has to offer the LGBT community. I chose the three formats that I have an existing account for, due to that I really did not want to open new accounts just for research purposes. I am quite amazed with the amount of pages and how diverse the selection is. On Twitter alone there had to be hundreds of links to different tweet pages and different types of blogs.  LGBT Foundation, Rainbow Noir, Buzz Feed LGBT (fun page to read). Think Progress (more political news) and Los Angeles LGBT ctr. were some of the twitter pages that I dove into and am now following. They list everything to latest news, upcoming events, where to find support and much more. When I went to Facebook I had the same result. The two pages that caught my eye were Human Rights Campaign and LGBT News.  Both pages “stand for the equality dealing with the most serious issues in the LGBT community.

As my attention turned to YouTube that is when things got REAL. Last week a few of my classmates and I were discussing “coming out’ and how it can be a very scary time. Not being gay myself I could only use my imagination and try to understand. I had tried to show my support and let them know how I felt but my words came out wrong and I may have either sounded like an idiot, or maybe even offended them, which I apologize for.

 

 

After watching this video I was left in tears and still remain very emotional on how this young man was mistreated. This is the type of behavior that sends today’s society back to the dark ages of understanding and equal rights. I understand that some people just do not, nor want to understand the LGBT community or the people who are in it, but what I do know is that day will come to an end. The word is spreading to be good to each other and live in peace with our differences no matter what they are. I can tell you that over the past few weeks I have learned so much about LGBT and all that it has to offer, and I am glad that I have.

So remember to smile, make someone else laugh out loud, and have a fantastic day.

CDR

 

Social Issues Part Three

This week we dive even deeper into the social issues of the LGBT community. As a Health Science major and one that is very concerned with the well-being of my fellow student body,(and everyone else for that matter). I wanted to know what type of health issues were common and uncommon in LGBT, and if treatment is consistent and available. Many websites are biased and misleading, and many times just fake and unreliable.  Wanting reliable sources for this topic, I turned my search to the database we have here on campus, as I was not disappointed. With countless journals at my disposal, I dove right in.

It came to no surprise that victimization has no boundaries and that everyone needs to be careful of when it comes to the “people” you meet on the internet.
“The main points of interest are online and in-person peer victimization (including generalized and bullying forms) and online and in-person sexual victimization (including generalized and sexual harassment forms).”(Ybarra, M.) LGBT youth were more likely to have online friends and to be more open with and console with then their in-person friends at providing emotional support. What is shocking is that peer victimization and unwanted sexual experiences were more common within the LGBT community than non-LGBT youth.
When researching health risks and differences in the different communities, the information was staggering.  LGBT youth is more likely to become homeless. They also have a much higher risk to attempt suicide at a rate of three to one. LGBT populations have high levels of abusing tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use, and are less likely to get preventive services. Lesbians and bisexual women are more liable to be overweight or obese which can lead to heart disease or diabetes. Gay men are at a higher risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, especially among ethnic communities. Specific to transgender individuals, a significantly higher prevalence of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, victimization, mental health issues, and suicide.

It was clear in many articles that the health care that is available to many of the people in the LGBT community comes through free clinics or public health services. It is not necessarily bad health care, just most of the time it is poorly funded, under staffed, and most of the time over crowded. Sometimes people wait for hours just to be told to come back tomorrow. The quality of the care itself might be not as thorough as a more expensive private practice or hospital.   Not to mention that most of the clinics mentioned do not have a Psychologist or Psychiatrist on staff for those with thoughts of suicide. Here at CSUCI we have a fantastic facility with excellent care and someone on staff if one needs someone to talk to about issues.(Sage Hall)

The grim information was repeated over and over in journal after journal. The more I read about LGBT health risks and suicide rates the more emotional I became.  When I decided to become a health-care practitioner I had a desire to help everyone that I can, no matter what. I can tell you that fire has a new fuel on it, and it will never stop burning.

(edit) Remember to have a FANTASTIC day, smile, make someone else laugh out loud, and all you guys out there, open the door for the ladies!

CDR

Sources:

Carabez, R. , Pellegrini, M. , Mankovitz, A. , Eliason, M. , Ciano, M. , et al. (2015). “never in all my years…”: Nurses’ education about LGBT health. Journal of Professional Nursing : Official Journal of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 31(4), 323-329.

Ybarra, M. , Mitchell, K. , Palmer, N. , & Reisner, S. (2015). Online social support as a buffer against online and offline peer and sexual victimization among u.s. lgbt and non-lgbt youth. Child Abuse & Neglect, 39, 123-136.

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