Social Media: Should we believe everything we see?

The New York Times posted an image titled, Social Media, and it reveals the sad truth about people portraying themselves falsely on social media. The overall meaning of this image is that social media makes individuals seem happier, and show them living a more fun and adventurous life; but this does not represent reality at all. In simpler terms, social media depicts individuals incorrectly. 

            As stated before, this image was found in the New York Times, which shows that the target audience is adults primarily ranging from their 30s- 50s. It is important to reach this audience to reveal the ugly truth about people pretending to be someone they aren’t on social media. The reason is to bring awareness to the viewers to not believe everything they see on social media. 

            Many different concepts are used in order to reveal this message of social media allowing an individual to be someone they aren’t. The usage of color in this image truly reveals how social media represents this “happier” and “livelier” life. The colors used are all bright, including a lot of pink, and some green and yellow. These colors make the viewer feel happy, peaceful, and relaxed, which all explain the life shown on this social media account. Whereas, the rest of the colors used are very dull, strictly black and white. The colorless part of this image reveals the man’s real life to be plain and boring, since it displays no real color in his life. 

            Another aspect seen in this image is the usage of lines. When looking at the black and white part of this image, the lines are seen to leave some gaps and don’t completely connect with the other lines. This may represent the “gaps” in the man’s life, which may include the lack of adventure and happiness in his life. Another idea is social media may fulfill his life. This is seen because once you reach the colorful part of this image, all the lines are connected.

            Lastly, the major symbol being used in this image is the cell phone. The cell phone allows this man to portray himself as a different person. It also leads the viewer to the theme of this image, which is escaping reality. Once this man picks up his phone and looks at it, he instantly escapes reality and becomes someone else.

            Overall, this image has a message that is very true and deep. This image is mainly used to bring awareness that many people may reveal themselves differently on social media. Even though this image is not as complex as others may be, it still reveals a very truthful message. In the end, there is much more to a person than what is displayed on social media.


Is the authoritative parenting method enough to apply to every culture?

My research paper incorporates how the authoritative approach is too vague to apply to every culture. This approach started from Diana Baumrind in the 1960s, and a lot of research has been done since then. 

From this, I dived into different cultures and looked for how they parent in different ways. I searched the ways parents in different cultures display their love, the reasoning for why some cultures say “I love you” and others do not, and the supervision of children.

The most interesting discovery was that in Japan, children as young as six years old walk to school and run errands without supervision. Parents in this culture want their children to be prepared to take on the real world so they follow this idea of “raising children to leave us”. They want their children to be very independent in the future, and also parents have full trust in the individuals in their community to look out for their children. 

 Compared to other cultures, especially the United States, supervision lasts all the way to a child’s teenage years. This is because the United States has less trust in the individuals in their culture than Japan, who has full trust in their individuals.

The other topics I explored had interesting surveys, opinions, and differences in each culture. The one study with 900 Chinese and Filipino high school students explained how their parents use a lot of instrumental support. All these topics helped show that each culture has different views on the best ways to parent. 

From all this information, I established two different directions that we can go to help alleviate this problem. The first, each culture finding all their similarities in parenting to include in the new authoritative approach definition. This will be a very detailed explanation of all the ways the cultures feel is a successful way to parent. Although, this will leave out a lot of additional information that could help each culture, like the don’ts and more successful ways to parent. 

The other direction is to simply drop the authoritative definition we have now and for each culture to establish their own definition. Then, each culture can add in all the dos and don’ts, so the parents in each culture have a good sense on how to parent. This direction is likely to be much more successful and will be able to include a lot more.

 If we tackle one of these ways, this will lead to more hope to having more self- reliant, successful individuals in the future. Do we really want more selfish, un-reliant people in this world? We all want the future generations to be happy and victorious, therefore this is where we need to start to make the individuals better in this world.

Plan for Research Paper

My plan for this research paper is to do it over the course of several days. I am not a person who likes to do a long paper in one day, but rather spread it out. I first want to start with finding my references and taking notes on the important information incorporated in each one. With this information, I then can discover my different claims and then use those claims to determine my evidence found in my references. From here, I will connect my different paragraphs and make the essay sound smoother. I do have fears that I may have an essay that is very repetitive since my topic is very narrow and there is only so much to talk about. Also, I am nervous that I may incorporate too much background, but with a lot of time to do this essay and many drafts, I feel that I will be able to create a successful research paper at the end.

Follow-Up: Authoritative parenting in different cultures

My thesis for my argument is, does cultural background influence how the authoritative parenting style is expressed? I chose to do this question/ topic because it something that is very important and discussed a lot about in my major. I find it very interesting and truly want to know the answer to this question. It is basically how we all agree on authoritative parenting being the most effective parenting, but it is too vague to correspond with every culture. Therefore, every culture needs to establish their own definition for authoritative parenting. I am very excited to write about this topic and learn more!

Proposal: Why is there such a consensus for authoritative parenting? Why do all cultures have different approaches for this “most effective parenting method?”

For my proposal, I wanted to write about the most effective parenting style when raising children. During my research, I discovered that all my sources revealed the same exact information, saying that authoritative is the best because it allows the parent and child to have the best form of communication. Source after source I was getting the same information, all saying the same stuff. From this, I thought I would explore why we all agree that authoritative is the best and why this idea is all established in our minds. From this new research, I learned that we all say this is the best parenting, but culture after culture there are different guidelines that fall under this parenting approach. Asian Americans seemed to have a lot of differences in the best ways to parent and it was more of the parents making sacrifices than physically showing love and comfort toward children like the white American families do. I am still trying to form my thesis/ question on this idea, but this is the direction I’m heading now for my proposal (consensus that authoritative parenting is best, but differs depending on cultures).

If everyone is the same, what is the point?

Transhumaism has many components to it, but the one I am going to focus in on is how this will take away from the fact that we are all special and different in our own ways. If transhumanism is a success, then it will turn into all people thinking and acting the same way, which goes against the idea of self actualization in each individual. 

Everyone is born differently, some struggle more than others and some things come easier to others. We are born a special person and each individual has to use their different strengths to achieve that idea of being the best person that they can be. If transhumanism is added, everyone is going to think intelligently and act in similar manners. This whole concept takes away from individuals being special in their own ways because it is going to bring us all together to basically make the same person in each individual. 

Think about how boring it would be to live in a world where everyone acts and thinks the same. How will we compete with one another? How will we act differently to certain situations? How are we supposed to feel human emotions if our thinking is being controlled? This is the downside to transhumanism where we lose all human features that make us special and who we truly are. 

Transhumanism truly does everything for you, it makes its own decisions and thinks on its own. It is truly just a body with artificial intelligence doing everything for an individual. Where truly the question needs to be raised, what is the point? A human is completely lost inside the body now because there is no more thinking and reacting going on in our minds, and we lose the emotions we typically feel, which is one of the most important aspects of a human being. 

People admire having different thoughts and feelings towards certain events than other people do, it is what separates people and allows them to be unique in their own ways. Transhumanism will erase all the special components in an individual, and will make everyone the same. No more conflicting points, no more making young teenage stupid mistakes, no more emotions regulating our behavior. All components of human life will officially be lost if artificial intelligence takes over the world.

Transhumanism destroys components of human life

The Impact and Connection with Photojournalism: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Photojournalism

The Ethics and Aesthetics of Photojournalism essay by Author Smolens was filled with different modes of persuasion and used many reliable sources in order to support her argument. Her appeals to the readers emotions are very effective in her argument and allows for the reader to make a stronger personal connection with the topic. She uses a real example of a photograph from war and explains how this image provides true insight for the observer about the topic of war and danger. Her diction also connects with her emotional appeals by using sad words, like grotesque, broken, and scary. In addition, she talks about the media today and how that has an impact on photojournalism. This was powerful because she uses an example that the reader most likely has a lot of knowledge about, which makes this connection between media and photojournalism a lot easier. Further, she uses many different sources to obtain credibility in her essay. Sources like National Press, Code of Ethics, and the New York Times all shared their input on photojournalism and this information was able to support Smolen’s claim. It may be argued that she used too many sources, but the more sources that were provided supporting her claim, the more informed on the topic Smolens seemed to be. Lastly, two photojournalists themselves shared the reasoning for taking these photographs and how they are meant to send out a message to everyone. Overall, the author was successful in explaining her argument and provided the reader with a lot of unknown knowledge.  From this, she delivers the message that observers now need to be aware of this personal connection that occurs through photojournalism and how it is supposed to help individuals.

The Ethics and Aesthetics of Photojournalism

By Marina Smolens


  • “Before there was language, there were drawings on cave walls. Then came the written word, and eventually, we arrived at photography”
    • Explanation of how the world has evolved to lead us to having photographs
  • Uses a lot of resources to further explain their thesis
    • NPRA, code of ethics 
  • “They warn photographers against being “harshly intrusive,” but the fact remains that exploitation is sometimes intrinsic to “good” photojournalism because the primary goal is to share important truths that the photographer feels the public should know about.” 
  • “They are photographs of real people in real situations, and photographers are just doing their job when they pick up their camera and capture that moment.”
    • Reason for doing their job
  • Susan Sontag
    • Victims want representation of own sufferings, although want suffering to be seen as unique 
  • “While edited images can skew the reality of the situation, they allow the photographer to focus on specific elements of a picture that may lead to a deeper truth that would have been missed out on had the image remained untouched”


  • Explaining how Salgado uses photographs of migrant and refugees and showing their ribs so you can see how skinny and weak they are
    • “starvation clearly from the ribs and shoulder blades”
  • Shows an African woman and her children walking in the desert during a drought and war-stricken time period. 
  • Pellegrin encourages documentation of historical and political events in order for the viewer to connect on a different level with his images; images usually contain a story that is unfinished/ untold
  • Tim O’Brien discussion about war and how grotesque but beautiful war can be 
  • Images meant for the viewer to make a personal connection with them
  • “They deliver to us beautiful, haunting, informative, truthful, horrific, meaningful, profound images, and so what we do when we view them is just as important”
  • Pellegrin wants to “produce an experience” in his work
    • Images explain human conditions that can be harsh, but also are meant to support hope and courage in one’s life 
      • Meant for the viewer to feel a sense of compassion
      • To be touched by these photographers


  • Mentions certain photographers and the purpose for their work; shows authority with authors many resources 
    • Sebastião Salgado explanation for his photographs
    •  Michael Kimmelman of the New York Times
  • “As long as we remain engaged observers who are willing to consider, reflect, and learn, then the ethics of a photograph are upheld.”
    • Show of authority 
  • Kimmelman states 
    • “ images are starting to have less and less effect on people, and therefore, elements of beauty are essential to hold our attention.”


  • “but it is another thing to try to do so now, when the number of images that flash across television and computer screens diminishes the value of any single image you may see.” Therefore, since the number of media that we see every day has increased greatly over the years, photographers now struggle to make a picture has a lasting effect.”
    • Explaining media today and how it impacts us


  • “While photojournalism may be exploitative, this exploitation is not always unethical and sometimes even necessary in creating an image that is both beautiful and impactful. This allows for photographs to reveal truths about human activity and humanity as a whole, as well as encourage compassion and reflection within viewers.”
    • Explains that photojournalism is needed in order to emphasize on human activity that occurs today and a way for viewers to connect/ reflect about photographs/ events


  • Society 
    • Specifically people who view photographs; need to look closer and pay more attention to message trying to be revealed 


“There will be endless debate about the morality of photojournalism, but one thing is clear: no matter the manipulation, aestheticism, and exploitation, it is an image of real people and their realities, and viewers must always be mindful of that.” 

Clearly arguing to make a point about photojournalism, all using clear, straight facts to argue


  • Uses real life images that are very sad in order to hit our emotions about the impact photographs have on us
  • Very honest and confident in beliefs/ thoughts 


  • Thoughts well organized 
    • One paragraph be about unedited photojournalism; next on edited 
    • Splits up examples of photographers and certain photographs throughout essay, not only in one part 
      • Examples very effective 


  • Very formal 
  • Many comparisons 
    • This happens, BUT this can also result positively from it
  • Uses sad words when explaining a sad photograph
    • broken , grotesque, scary
  • When talking about photojournalism throughout
    • Hope, wisdom, communication, connection, truthful
      • All positive! 


  • Someone who believes photographs have a very large impact on our world and what we see 
  • Photographs are needed in this world for us to make constant connections with
  • Thoughtful and intelligent

Secret Revealed: 18 Years too Late

        For 18 years I have been surrounded by a family who has been hiding the biggest secret from me. All these years I felt like I was living in the perfect home with the most ideal family, but soon I discovered it wasn’t all that simple. My family consists of a very loving and caring mother and father, and two older brothers that I am forever grateful to have in my life. My brother Matthew is 20 and brother Joey is 31. As the youngest I became extremely close with my brothers, especially Joey who I built such a strong friendship with. He is the true image of a brother.   

My family

Joey and I were inseparable growing up. We constantly would spend time with each other and he was always there for me. I had my struggles growing up and Joey was the one who was always in my room talking to me and telling me it was going to be okay. He left for the military when I was 10, news that would leave a scar on my heart forever. Even though I lost my best friend when he left, distance could never break our friendship.    

            The day before I left for college was a day filled with emotions and stress about leaving home. Although, this day also included my father having a very serious talk with me. Of course, I was thinking that this was going to be my pre-college talk just like every student gets before they leave, but I would soon learn differently. 

“You know your mom and I met at a very young age,” my father begins with. My heart immediately drops to the floor. I immediately feel pain in my chest. I didn’t know what he was about to say. I didn’t want to know. The next few words that he says are a total blur to me. But then the secret was revealed.

“I adopted Joey. He is not my actual son.”

I immediately went speechless. I felt my face burning up. I lost feeling in my body. I just sat there motionless when he told me. I didn’t know exactly what to think about this. Joey was my half- brother. Half? That can’t be, I tried to tell myself. 

My father explained the story to me. He always wanted to tell me he explained, my mom just thought differently. He went on and on explaining everything to me but this information was not important to me in the moment, only one thing was. Why did my parents not tell me this years ago? Why is an 18-year-old girl finding out her brother is really her half- brother? The truth is that my mother was ashamed all these years. Ashamed that Joey was not my father’s son, but someone else’s. Ashamed that she has lied to me all these years. 

I had some time to think about this. To think about me having a half- brother who I thought was my true brother all these years. I struggled to actually believe this. It was on my mind for days, but I never could make any sense out of it. I finally told someone. I thought if I told my friend it would help trigger my feelings. It helps to say things out loud, to say the truth out loud. Is it weird that I still don’t feel anything after all these days? In all honesty, I still felt like he was my true brother just like I thought he has been these past 18 years. I can’t change these past 18 years now, and I don’t want to change my years ahead.

I was told a secret 18 years too late. I found out I had a half- brother. I was 18 years old when I discovered the truth about my family. This secret taught me more than I would’ve ever learned. It doesn’t matter what someone’s real title is or where they come from. When you love and care about someone so much, it doesn’t matter who they really are. In my heart Joey is still my complete brother, and he forever will be. 

My forever brother ❤

About me :)

Hi everyone! My name is Jenna Walters and I’m majoring in early childhood education. I live in New Jersey and have two older brothers. I’m a very active person who loves to play sports and go to the gym. Also, I enjoy hanging out with my friends and watching movies.

Nice to meet you all!