All posts by Leaf Secrets

Nappy by Nature. Master's Degree Seeker. Free spirit and teacher but can humble my mumble and learn from any creature :-) But, seriously. My name is Melahnie Springfield. I am a master's student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. I am studying advertising and plan to discuss self-segregation in social media. The Dalai Lama was asked what surprised him most about humanity. He replied... “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then, he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And, then, he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present--the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die and, then, dies having never really lived.”

Social Ceiling: Discrimination on Social Media

by Leaf Secrets

I recently read a Mashable article by Zoe Fox entitled “38% of Children on Facebook are Younger than 12.”  Even though the subject matter of this blog is somewhat irrelevant in comparison to the content on Mashable, the associative nature of it in juxtaposition with society’s need to be surrounded by uniformity has me questioning the future diversity of America.  My question is the following: Can self-segregating on social media lead to a life of bigotry in race relations outside of it?

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Fox mentioned that, of 1,000 participants in her Facebook survey, 40 individuals–who were on this social networking site–where  under six years of age.  Her study revealed that 30% of children under 12-years-old spent more than two hours per day on Facebook.  Besides the dangers of sexual predators and cyber bullying, should we view a segregated society maintained by social media as a threat?

At the end of March 2012, Anderson Cooper reported on race relations and a child’s attitude on perception of race.  He recognized that color blindness began to fade around age five and that white children, in comparison to black children, thought the scene displayed was a negative portrayal between the two races.  The percent of those children who thought the story told a negative narrative was 70%.  Only 38% of black children viewed the image negatively.  Please watch the video for better understanding.

The reason I used Fox’s article was because it showed the power of social media.  Engagement on the internet and on social media is sparked at younger ages the years continue; with this comes the power to virtually share.  However, with whom and what we share is a completely different story.  I agree that a positive in social media is discovering more rapidly racial biases in the judicial systems through social media highlights; but, are we only sharing until we have reached our appropriate, social ceiling?

As Anderson continued, he spoke about children keying in on subtle, lifestyle hints and social cues from their parents.   They notice friendships and interactions outside the home. The issue, I believe, is that because the children are infrequently introduced to diversity in their home lives, there is no innate desire to pursue it through social media. There is no color blindness to eradicate  when everyone is the same shade on a chosen social outlet.

We have to ask ourselves these questions because social media is how society cultivates and influences circulating conversations. Does self-segregation, anchored by a type of implicit bias, void colorblindness and/or the innate desire to integrate through social media? Let me know what you think.

The Art of Internet Limitations

by Leaf Secrets

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Amy Grahan, a reporter for CNN, recently shed light on a study done by Pew entitled “Digital Differences.” Apparently, one out of every five adults in the United States does not have access to the internet.  Pew surveyed 2,260 adults over the age of 18; and, because it was a phone survey, they distributed it in English and in Spanish.

Although Pew’s report discusses the level of internet presence amongst different races, it also states that individuals suffering from disabilities are far more unlikely to engage in these social practices.  “The 27% of adults living with disability in the U.S. today are significantly less likely than adults without a disability to go online (54% vs. 81%),” Pew reports.  “Senior citizens, those who prefer to take our interviews in Spanish rather than English, adults with less than a high school education, and those living in households earning less than $30,000 per year are the least likely adults to have internet access.”

I wish Grahan pushed the envelope a little further because I am curious as to whether there is variation in levels of health and/or fundamental, social skills in those disconnected from the Internet verses those who never disconnect.  Is there an untapped level of appreciation of society as it changes; and, are they less narcissistic without hundreds of Facebook “friends” commenting on photos?

Grahan reported that most individuals without internet access opted out of this social practice because their household income was around 30,000 and/or their education level topped out after their high school graduation.  Even though, without the internet, they probably do not need a Facebook reminder every time a friend’s birthday comes around, there is still a social deprivation when it comes to the length of their reach.  Or, is the technologically savvy individual equally disadvantaged since life with internet still leads to some unwilling to break the electronic forth wall?

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A counter-argument for this topic is that those engulfed in the Internet are more likely to live a life of dependence and internal disconnect.  Americans’ believe they are knowledgeable because the world is at their fingertips; but, how many people actually take advantage?  Americans are becoming polished sheep who, through social capitalism, are taught that electronic subjugation is how we survive.  Maybe there is validation in self-segregation between those who connect to and those who disconnect from the internet.  We have to ask ourselves. Are we seeking knowledge, or are we seeking knowledge within preset limitations?  And, if we have knowledge, is that enough?  Let me know what you think.

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“Don’t let the Internet be the frame around your artistic mind.”

-Melahnie Springfield

How You Like Your Eggs, Fried or Pulverized?

by Leaf Secrets

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Okay. Not to laugh at the tomfoolery of a public, 21st century “The Boy is Mine” reenactment, but I think anytime virtual beef is organized into a 4D crime, it becomes pretty hysterical.  Emily Price, a blogger for Mashable reported on a squabble that occurred initially inside of a local, Georgia Waffle House. Yes, it all started over a plate of syrupy pancakes covered in canned fruit.

Apparently, the confrontation resulted from unresolved tension between two groups of women because the argument pertained to a changed, Facebook/relationship status.  The two groups of women took their argument outside, and shots were fired towards the sky–I am assuming–to regain control of the escalating situation.

Generally speaking, I blog about self-segregation in social media and try to resolve issues between political parties, types of class, race relations, relationships and so on; but, in this case, I think being an advocate for self-segregation may have yielded a safer result.

By no means am I condoning violence; I just believe that if you start a new relationship and have knowledge of a jealous ex boyfriend/girlfriend and his/her patterns of behavior, maybe un-friending him/her (from all partners involved) is the best option.  It is beautiful to be proud of your significant other; but, it serves as an alternate purpose if you are using your relationship to coax a begrudging response.

Be the bigger person… or, at least, find another Waffle House.

A Sight for Sore iPhones

by Leaf Secrets

Doug Gross, of CNN, recently released information regarding the personality switch in iPhone users once Instagram was made readily available for Android parishioners.  Because of this, a sort of “snobbery” began to resonate amongst those believed to be more technologically advanced than the owners of Androids.  As Gross pointed out, some iPhone users like @Joelby1328  used Twitter to express sentiments like… “Instagram went from a gated community to section 8 all in 1 day.”  When did this self-segregation in class bleed to self-segregation in social media?  Or, is it because a choice in technological community equates to a choice to self-segregate that the lifestyle preference (and resulting attitude) is not a result from segregation but a reflection of reality?


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Gross reported on Emily Dreyfuss from CNET stating, “…[t]he most remarkable takeaway of this phenomenon, I think: that which smartphone we own has begun to inform our identities.  In our gadget-filled lives, our phones have become another way for us to organize ourselves into separate groups, to label each other as ‘other’ and ‘apart.’ Our tech has come to define us.”

Classism only continues to evolve with the types of technology we choose to introduce alongside of it.  Gross spoke of a sort of pomposity ignited by Instagram for Androids, but that type of arrogance engulfed American culture.  Social attribute theory explains by stating societal members attach meanings like “only the upper-crest” and/or “only the hip” understand the value of an iPhone.  Self-categorization theory also explains that consumers are defined by their product consumption.  However, this highlights and does not excuse the toddler-like attitude of some consumers in the technological world.  Not everyone chooses to define their lives by societies definition; but, because segregation is innate, these definitions eventually occur.

The unfortunate part about technological classism and self-segregation in social media is that those most underrepresented are those holding the short end of the technological stick.  But, how can we even begin to fix this problem?

Economic Cost of E-Reading

by Leaf Secrets

Above images comes from the New York Times website

I recently read an article by Amy Gahran  on CNN entitled E-books spur reading among Americans, survey says.  The general concept of America increasing its thirst for knowledge is exciting.  As Gahran began to close her statements regarding the positive outlook on America as a result of the introduction of imaginative technology (i.e., the Kindle Fire and iPad), she only hinted at those in poverty breaking even because they received the short end of the technological stick.

According to Gahran, “As the price of e-readers approaches zero, it opens up more opportunities for people who have been left on the wrong side of the digital divide to access the same wealth of information, entertainment and education as people with normal vision and average-or-better income.”  But, what are we sacrificing in the name of high-tech advancements?

Last year, alone, the hot ticket item for Christmas was an iPad. Children were no longer asking for the cuddly and, yet, creepy laughter from a Tickle Me Elmo; and, not everyone can afford these pricey items.  Their hunger for technology shows the shift of a paper society to an electronically geared one; but, in the process, we lose jobs because of what we choose to actively support.

 Clyde Prestowitz , a reporter for CNN, wrote on jobs created by Apple in China.  Jobs are maintained overseas instead of in America.  Along with that, production from other companies that assist the assembly of items needed to create books are negatively afflicted.  This trickle creates a economical depression by way of technological advocacy.   So, I ask, are we self-segregating technological production to support filthy lucre abroad?  Do we support technology, or do we support America? And, why can we not do both?

I understand that technological betterment echos societal growth; but, America is not sustaining alongside high-tech progression.  Gahran mentioned that Americans were still more likely to read paperback over an e-book, but Americans are, overall, reading more because of e-books; however, in doing so, we bankrupt businesses like Borders.  This is just one of many independent businesses that have had to cut spending, productivity and jobs based on consumer preference.

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We must ask ourselves what we want and be prepared for the answer we receive because, as of right now, the actions of individual companies are continuing to contradict the growth of a desired America.

Pinpointing Herbert the Pervert

by Leaf Secrets

For those of you that are not familiar with the popular Family Guy character, Herbert the Pervert is an elderly man who continues to make sexually suggestive comments towards, Chris Griffin, the son of Peter Griffin.

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In the show, his innuendos are viewed as comical; however, what about the perverts in real life? Well, now, there is an app for that too. Sam Laird wrote an article for Mashable revealing an app called Friend Verifier. The phone application scans your current Facebook friends against the national sex offender registry. However, my question in this form of electronic discrimination is whether this is should be incorporated into our lives?

I think it’s an interesting concept. I understand the concerns of a parent wanting to screen their child’s friends so they are not vulnerable to the unfamiliar friend; but, what if one of your friends is highlighted on this particular list? What would be your next step? Would you care more about quickly defriending those filtered out by the Friend Verifier, or would you overlook the crime because of your relationship with your friend? I agree that the type of crime will influence future perception of the individual; but, by creating this type of segregation, are we infringing on civil liberties? Or, is it that because privacy is expunged on social media that lack of consistent respect of civil liberties is to be expected?

One of the major aspects of the national sex registration is that it harnesses rapists, molesters and statutory rapists. Some of the people that end up on lists as these can come from an 18-year-old dating a 15-year-old. Not every crime is heinous and, yet, we publicly display and/or chastise these individuals equally.

Let me know what you think about Friend Verifier.