TECH OVER FAMILY TIME: IS OUR MOBILE DEVICES RUINING OUR FAMILY BONDS

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“Is your life overtaken by your technology?”


Have you ever been at a restaurant and seen families in today’s society? The mother holding her cell phone, the father is holding his, the children are on their iPads; even infants have been known to play around with their own mobile devices. Yet whenever their child takes on negative behavior, they always want to blame it on someone or something else. For example, my kids are the way they are because of the video games. Yet they have to play the video games because their parents refuse to communicate with them. So now they take on characteristics of whatever it is that has their attention. Whether it’s the video games or their social media accounts.

Well why, why are so many young people forced to connect to their social media profiles as a means to connect to people. For starters, this is not the days where parents can always be there for their kids. The cost of living has caused so many to work more, meaning a bigger generation of latch key kids. So a lot of parents are unaware at times as to what their children are doing on a daily basis. Who is to watch after them and who are they to converse with after school. Well, they are going to gravitate to the next best thing which is vagueness. And that’s what excessive use of social media really is; a vague sense of connections to people.

But is it all technology and no parenting? Parents have a hand in how their children turn out as well. Yes, they have to work, but their yours. It’s not the social media, athletes, or entertainers job to raise your children. You must be willing to put in the time to care for them. Because all the people you expect to care for your children have families of their own. You have to be an advocate for your children. You are the one that brought them into this world, so it really isn’t anyone else’s job to raise your children except you. So what’s with trying to always shift the blame elsewhere. Or, and there is an or; maybe for a second, some of it might be the entertainment.

Let’s look at entertainment for a moment. Our entertainment has found its way into our daily lives that now young kids are begging for fame even if comes at the cost of them looking like fools. From Instagram to World Star Hip Hop, entertainment outlets have been designed for connecting people are now used for negativity. So naturally kids gravitate to this, especially when they see people becoming famous or even the slightest bit of notoriety from bad behavior. See, in the end, there are a culmination of issues from children having too much tech and not enough family time. But technology is not slowing down, neither is parents inability to be around. So, this is the beginning, it may get worse, or technology can be used to connect if utilized appropriately.

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GONE AND FORGOTTEN: WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF ALL PEOPLE VANISHED FROM EARTH?

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“What if we weren’t around?”


I sometimes think about what life would be like if people disappeared from Earth. My intrigue sparked when I first saw the television show on the Discovery Channel Life After People. It was a one hour show that would explain what happens if people were to vanish from Earth. The show talked about the animals would reclaim the land, and how long it would take for the building we built to collapse. Almost immediately, grass and trees would grow into the buildings and engulf vehicles. What’s the most interesting is how long would it take to cover up any reminisces of our existence? Will that time ever come where people won’t be here on Earth? What would an Earth without us look like?

As time progress, in a few billions years the sun is suspected to swallow up Earth. My question is, will there be people on Earth when this happens? If so, can you imagine the hell they’ll go through when this happens. But, if you know anything remotely about the science involved, people will be dead long before this happens. Well why, why would people be dead long before this happens? It’s from the fact that we only have a limited room for growth and only so many resources that contribute to our quality of life. And because the Earth is a living breathing organism in itself. So it can’t last forever, yet it’s traveling through the cosmos to God knows you where. But speaking of God, that sounds like an interesting theory. Could religion possibly be right, or maybe not?

Or, what if people die out here, but the evolution starts over once again. Maybe, because after the sun engulfs the Earth, other planets will eventually follow suit. Then the universe will reach a point where the universe can no longer expand, then we will have yet another big bang. The universe will sustain back to its original state and expand once again. Then there will be yet another ability for evolution to take hold. Could that possibly mean as human die off, we will reemerge. Or is it possible that the universe has expanded beyond capacity before and we are leftover from some previous universe?

In the end, a world without people is hard to comprehend to us, but not in the universe. We are very small in the grand scheme of things. Humans on Earth are like a grain of sand on a beach, and Earth in the universe is a grain of sand on an even bigger beach. So our existence or nonexistence is small, but my intrigue is open nonetheless.

PRISON PSYCHOLOGY: HOW YOU CAN BE FREE IN THE PHYSICAL SENSE YET LOCKED IN MENTALLY

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“Ever find it hard to break free?”

Photo drawn by Cami Neimann


I have never gone to jail, but I have been around people who have gone. And there is this institutionalized inability sometimes for them to coop in the dominant society because they have been locked away for so long. They tend to ask permission to go to the bathroom, they’re subordinates to everyone around them, and there is this slight paranoia when people unfamiliar to them are around. Because when you’re in prison you have to learn to survive under duress. You have people trying to physically harm you, you’re stuck in a tightly packed confine, and the food is horrific. So matriculating from prison to the outside world is tough.

But that’s people who went to jail, yet not everyone is like that. A lot of them receive their diplomas or even college degrees in jail. So how is that they are more productive being locked up in prison than free on the outside. Well, that’s because depending on the person, freedom is subjective. Not everyone walking outside feels free, and not everyone in prison feels trapped. Prison can be a very mental construct. A construct which brings people in the correctional institutions to be begin with. So how does a person, or better yet how can you spot a prison trapped person? One of the ways you can tell is by the person’s lack of realization of their own potential.

When people go to jail they can focus on college unlike on the outside because it forces to you to evaluate yourself. You can’t leave the confines of this small space, so you have time to reflect and figure out what you can be in life. And hopefully, if you’re going to be free one day into general population you can reach your potential. It’s hard to get to that point when in society because all you see is what’s in front of you. As well as you look at your situation relative to everyone else around you. For example, in society you can see people prospering while you struggle. And it appears to you, there is no upside for yourself so you feel trapped. But when in prison, you’re locked out from that outside world. So you can’t see them living it up as you struggle. You can focus on your situation more without comparing yourself to someone above you.

Another way to spot prison minds is by how people having a lack of curiosity for new experiences based on their own ignorant views from limited knowledge. For example, my older sister introduced me to sushi; and I never would have tried it otherwise. Because to me, people are crazy for eating raw fish. My lack of getting to know something as simple as a food dish, was helping to shape a view of a group of people I had never met. Or me not wanting to ever travel to Germany because of the Nazi history from 70 plus years ago. Not putting yourself in the know is a prison minded person. Here I am afraid of Germany because of a Nazi past, yet my racial experience in America made me content with being here with no problem.

Other prison minded ways of thinking is being content with not advancing. Thinking that this is what I was born as, and there is no upside. Living in New York City, you would be surprised by how many people have never been to Times Square from New York. They’re so locked in mentally, that they don’t even realize it’s a $3.00 train ride, or even a walk away. This can be very prevalent in the economics of an environment as well. Where people growing up poor think of even a middle class lifestyle as far-fetched. Because when you’re poor you live for today and think about tomorrow when tomorrow come. Middle class people think about next week today, and upper class people are anticipating the next couple of months.

So in the end, just because you are not in prison does not mean, your mind is not locked up. As a matter of fact it’s worse to be locked up mentally than to be locked up in a correctional facility. At least in prison cells, everyone around you is in the same predicament. Outside in society you see the world passing you by. Sad thing is, some people will spend their entire lives trapped. Not realizing their full potential or self worth.

THERE’S JOBS, YOU’RE JUST NOT QUALIFIED

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“Where do I begin to look?”


In the United States today, the topic of job creation has been such an issue it was an indicator into Trump becoming president. But do we really have a job problem like we think we do in America? Or, is it the fact that the news plays it up like it’s this major cause for concern? To me, America is a $17 trillion economy, if we had this major job problem, why haven’t we taken a drastic dip in GDP? Another theory I came up with is that we don’t have issues with people finding work. But more so we have an issue with two areas: lack of qualifications and lack of direction. No one has skills or directions where they want to go in life.

The most obvious is the qualifications of the people seeking employment. A lot of Americans don’t have the skills to find a job. And what I mean by skills, I mean the know how to do the job. Everyone want someone to show them how to do something rather than go out into the world and do it themselves. And the reason people need to be shown is because they work their day jobs, and go home. They don’t learn any other discernible skill, just working. Then when they are deemed unemployable they become frustrated. It’s the content mind-frame that makes us irrelevant in society. We just think that because we get a check this week it will be there next week.

People are not used to sitting at home learning a skill that can help them gain an edge while they are out of work. They say stuff like, “I’m tired.” “That new stuff is too advanced for me to learn.” “I don’t have the money to learn.” All three of these responses are realistic issues, but society does not care. People are not the least concerned with your ability to grow in the world. If you are not willing to get up and carve out a life for yourself, you just won’t have it. So this leads me into my next reason why people have a hard time finding a job. They say I need a job, but what does having a job truly mean to you? They lack any real direction in where they want to be in life.

Working a job at McDonald’s is a job, but people say that McDonald’s does not pay. Well you said you wanted a job. Then they look at you like you’re crazy. Like you’re supposed to know what they mean by a job. Why do people say they need a job because they have no real direction in life. They say a job and employment, but there is nothing to say to that. I don’t know your skills or qualifications. I don’t know what motivates you. So people say, that they want to make good money. But what is good money? As you can see, this is yet another reason why it’s hard to hire a lot of people. They say they need something, yet have no clue as to what it is they need. And then they expect you to know what they need.

In the end, American citizens looking for work are like crying infants where you don’t know why the infant is crying. Then when you ask, they can’t respond because they can’t talk. It’s like this, but the adult can talk, yet can’t communicate what they need or want. So now you’re stuck with a group who have no clue why they wake up everyday, but want you to give them purpose. The fact of the matter is that you give yourself purpose. If you don’t have a job, it’s not Trump or the market. The market is what the market is, Trump is who he is; the fault will inevitably be you. You and your lack of preparation.

MY MONEY, MY RULES: HOW PARENTS USE FINANCES TO DICTATE THEIR CHILDREN’S FUTURE

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“Are you a hostage to your parent’s wallet?”

Do you or someone you know have a parent that have told them that if you don’t pursue the career endeavor I want, you will not be receiving my financial support? I have heard parents tell this to their children. And the result of not pursuing what I want as a parent is either refusing to support your career choice or some parents have went as far as to kick you out of the will. The push for students having their career path chosen for them is more of a foreign decision than an American one. Yet there are families here in the United States who carry this same ideology. Luckily for me, I didn’t grow up in this sort of household.

You see, for me, my mother always encouraged me to pursue what could not only make me successful, but something that I loved. She not once told me nor my sisters that if we didn’t pursue what she wanted, she would not be there for us. That freedom to know that whatever career endeavor I chose she would be behind me, is what I needed. Yet, I wish more kids had that type of moral support in their lives. So, when I told my mother I wanted to pursue a career as a writer, she was right behind me. But why aren’t more parents behind their children’s plans.

For starters, parents don’t take their children serious. There is a lot of work that must be put into being what you want to be in life. Parents feel they should steer their children in the right direction because their kids can not be taken serious. For instance, a kid tells their parent/s they want to be an archaeologist. Now archaeologist don’t make that much of an income, so you have to really be passionate about being one. Parents look at their children and go, “You’re not serious about this.” And a lot of times they’re right. They know you’re not willing to put in the time and work. So, in order for them to respect you, they must see your progress.

Now, there is another aspect of parenting when it comes to their children choosing their goals in life. And that is that parents don’t want to fund something that is not a good enough return on their investment. Children are an investment and when you put your life into them and they throw it away, it becomes angering. They think to themselves, if I put this much into you, I hope to get this much back for you. Meaning, it can cost $1 million believe it or not to raise a kid from age 0 (at birth) – 25/26 years old when they graduate college in graduate school. So pursuing acting, writing, singing, dance, sculpting, archaeology, etc. that has to do with the arts and/or humanities is seen by parents as a waste of time. They want you to pursue a career in law, business, engineering, or medicine.

In the end, parents want to steer you because they think they know what’s best for you. But in reality, for them to force you into a career field not knowing if you possess a skill or desire is pure selfish. They are stripping you of an even better life. So in my opinion, if you want to go off and create your own future, you have to be willing to disobey your parents. Which is hard because most of us want to do what’s expected of us. But the only way to show your parents you’re serious is to stop receiving their help and build it yourself. Because ultimately, your parents want to respect to you. And nothing is more respectful than building your own future independent of them.

GALVANIZE: WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO TAKE US SERIOUS

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“What must happen?”

Looking at how divisive America is right now in regards to the political landscape is mind-boggling. In this country you’re either a Democrat or Republican. You have to pick a side when deciding who you’re voting for in an election. But, this topic is not about voting Democrat of Republican, it’s about the lack of promises met. Promises that each party states every election. Yet when they attain power they never keep their promises. For whatever the reason nothing is accomplished. With that said, there is no wonder Donald Trump could have been easily elected president of the United States. People are angry and desperate for leadership.

My questions is, how long will we continue to endure the lying from the government before we attack back. Or, elect a person who is a dictator as long as he/she keeps their word. The country right now is desperate, a lot of bad decisions tend to be made under duress. Will we see an overthrowing of our government or will people adjust? My best guess is that people will be forced to adjust to the change in times. It’s something that we’ve all had to do over time. The same will be for my generation as time goes on as well.

For example, look at men who used to mule pull for farming. Do you realize how many of them lost out to the combine? Or the people who worked for companies that made telephone books. Now, who even owns a telephone book. I bet you most people don’t even remember what they look like. But where is the sympathy for them; there is none. Yet it’s easier said to keep moving then it really is to keep moving. So, my next question is what should the people do now? What is our next step in dealing with the system?

Well, there are a few ways to deal with the changes in our society. The obvious decision is to adjust and keep it pushing. Struggle during these days and work at some sort of craft. Try building your experience and expertise in whatever it is that you’re interested in. Now the other choice is to fight back. That could mean protesting and boycotting until you get what it is you want. This could further hurt the U.S. economy, but it might work. It worked during the Civil Rights Movement when the African American population wanted voting rights. But whatever, it can’t be a violent interaction because then you really won’t get your point across.

In the end, people will need to come together for a greater cause. That cause has to be planned and well executed. It must not come through means of violence because then your plan is lost. On the other hand, nothing drastic has to take place if our system is willing to sit down and have a coming of the minds. Agree with each other no matter what political affiliation as well as meet the grievances of the people.

A PEOPLE IN PERIL: HOW WELFARE HURT BLACK PEOPLE IN AMERICA

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“Do we really need it?”

For the past few decades, the African American community have depended upon the welfare system from the United States government. But this welfare has come at the expense of the taxpayers. Now, don’t get me wrong, population wise, more Whites are on welfare than Black people. But the percentage of our group on welfare is problematic. So the percentages relative to the group is much higher for us. My question is how long will it last? How long will America continue to open its hands to giving and giving. And yet, what is coming of all this giving. How many people actually break away and become successful. Better yet, how many people break out of the grips of the welfare system all-together.

For me, growing up in a single parent household, my mother was temporarily on welfare. The moment she made half decent money she was done. I didn’t understand as a child until I became an adult the problem with the system. To a lot of struggling mothers it’s a way to feed your children. But to me it became a systemic construct that your child could almost never break out of in America. Children born into the a welfare household have higher chances of breaking the law and going to jail. Children born into welfare homes also are more likely to repeat the cycle of their mother. Is it something written in the policy? No, it’s the unwritten implications. The unwritten that has to do with rewards for a father not being present.

To a woman, she’s receiving the money because she need to feed her children. But when you really look at it, it’s a check for a father not being present. So now, we will finance your cost of living, but he can’t be present. Which in reality, just because a man is there, does not mean the family is going to live fine. There are plenty of families where two incomes come into the household and they struggle. So the idea that a man, even though on average make more than women, can justify a family not needing help is ridiculous. Welfare should be based around the family, not having more and more children with a financial payment for every kid you have. Now look what it breeds in the long run.

It breeds a few problems in society. Number one, it creates a lack of accountability on behalf of the man and woman. He says why should I contribute, the government will take care of her. And she goes, I don’t need him, the system will give me a check. And the children grow to see there is this quick route. A route that will eventually run out because in the long term the system cannot sustain welfare. Another problem from welfare is that people depend on the benevolence of an ever changing system. Meaning, Black people have spent more time in America without government assistance than with it. Why are we now operating as if a government cares when it has not used capital to build infrastructure so you won’t need their assistance?

Now, you might say, hey we need it. But do we really? The original Africans were brought to America as indentured servants in the 1610’s. Soon after came the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. Large scale buying and selling of Black people like commodities, coming from Africa to the Americas. Tribes of people who didn’t speak the language of the person to the left or to the right of them. But we made the journey and survived the next few hundred years. We survived another nearly 100 years of Jim Crow South. Back to back to back drug epidemics, poor education with a lack of educational opportunities and rejection from institutions across the country, police brutality, poor access to healthcare facilities, lack of employment opportunities, and discrimination in housing. So to think that welfare, if stopped will be the death of us, is preposterous. We survived all of that, we can beat this as well.

In the end, the problem is the system, not the people. The system says we are helping, but there will come a time it will stop. And it won’t be gradual, but swift and immediate. Then generations will be left destitute from depending on a systematic policy that had no intentions on helping in the first place. We have to be willing to turn away now. Go through the initial bad days, but it will work itself out in the long run. Because sooner or later, the gravy train of checks for your tots will run its course. And if no progress has been made from a community to prepare ourselves, we’ll be worse off than prior generations of overt racial segregation and societal ostracism.