Media Addiciton

My group recently lead the class and gave the first half of our presentation on the cons of social media and excessive phone usage. So, I have chosen to do my weekly eport post as a reflection of my personal media usage.

Our generation is truly unique. Mostly, my peers and I grew up in an environment without much technology. We experienced knocking on friends doors to see them, playing outside, and seeing technology usage such as watching television as a privilege. With the way technology has become increasingly prominent within our society, many my age now find themselves unintentionally addicted to their cellphones, computers and other devices.

Cell phones and other devices change your brain. When you take a drug, the structure of your brain is altered. You feel good, and want to do it again. The same applies to cell phones. When we see a notification appear on our cellphones, our brains are hit with dopamine, the “feel good” chemical. It compels us to compulsively check our phones whenever we get a text, a social media notification or even an email. Our brains want to feel good when they’re so used to it, so it becomes difficult to avoid the triggers for a reward in our brain, such as a cell phone.

Personally, I find I experience phantom vibrations on occasion. I will think my phone just vibrated, and check it just so see that nothing actually happened. Self control also becomes impacted in a sense. Often, I will find myself in class, or at work, and feel the vibration of my phone, and it becomes difficult to resist immediately checking what set the vibration was, and when I try to avoid checking it, I get an almost nagging feeling tell me to do so.

It’s difficult to quit an addition. When cell phones change our brains and make us feel good in the same way becoming dependent on a drug does, it can be difficult to alter our behaviors; however, there are steps that can be taken such as a detox. People going through hardships with drugs must detox first, suffer the withdrawal symptoms, and make an active attempt to change their actions. The same can be done with cell-phones. However, unlike drugs, cell-phones and social media are deeply intertwined with everything we do. Socialization, work, and school al revolve heavily around communicating through digital media.

Graduate Programs for IDS Majors

After class being lead by group one this morning, the video presented on a masters degree in Interdisciplinary studies stuck out to me. I decided to look a little further into other programs offered. Personally, I assumed there weren’t many options for a masters in IDS as I was under the impression that masters degrees had to be specified much more than an undergraduate degree.

When I began looking at IDS over the summer, I came across a program out of a university in California. The masters program there isn’t specifically IDS; however, they state that they look for IDS majors studying media arts. The fact that they wanted IDS majors was reassuring to me, and something I have kept in mind. It’s useful to know that the major I have is something certain programs will look for openly.

Learning that York University has an IDS masters program was helpful. Knowing there is an option to continue my education in a way that is geared towards the work I want to do in the future helps me to know I can succeed in my future as long as I am self-motivated and work hard.

A quick Google search reveals many online options for IDS masters programs, advice on how to apply and schools that offer this discipline in person. Many students early in their undergraduate degree aren’t necessarily thinking if they want to pursue a graduate degree. As an interdisciplinary studies major, I feel it is important to be thinking of your options. Many career’s now will require the minimum of an undergraduate degree, but prefer work experience and a masters degree. Knowing your options will only help you to specify your IDS bachelors degree, and know where you want to end up at the end of your four years whether that entails finding a job or applying for different masters programs.

Group #1 Eport post

The phrase “higher education”, means something different to each generation. For our parents and grandparents, having a bachelors degree would typically mean the ability to work at job with comfortable pay, and retire once you hit old age. For some, that meaning still remains. However, in today’s culture obtaining a bachelors degree is held the the same equivalency as a high school diploma was in past years.

Students today will typically not find a job in their field immediately upon graduation, and will often start at low salaries that make it difficult to get ahead when first starting off. Paying student loans, adjusting to life post-graduation and becoming settled are difficult tasks to accomplish all at once. So, the concept that college is a place that you attend in order to obtain a piece of paper that will gain you a job can be harmful. People will have a false idea of exactly how many doors are open to them after completing their undergrad, or may just chose to study a subject that they feel will get them a job without actual interest in the field.

Colleges try. General education programs are intertwined within a typical four year program, allowing students to explore interests as long as they fit into their schedule, and satisfy specific graduation requirements. However, as the article pointed out, these “curriculums” tend to place courses together that the university feels satisfies giving you degree; however, may not better you as a person or for the ever-changing world. Programs that are hard set allow students to take the exact same courses, and graduate with the exact same degree, all fighting for spots in the same job market upon graduation.

Programs such as Interdisciplinary studies allow a student to learn, while also putting together a program that fits their career goals. Rather than stick to a strict set of courses they must take, a conscious thought goes into building a major that makes sense for the education and professional goals of a student.

Personally, I believe as time goes on that interdisciplinary studies will continue to grow at universities. The world is far different than it was even ten years ago. Technology rapidly advances to the point where people are growing up proficient in tech that was just invented within their life time. Interdisciplinary studies allows a student to get a range of education while still specifying a focus. This not only allows people to be consciously thinking of their future, but also allows for them to show that they have a want to learn and be adaptable to what changes will hit the work force throughout their lives.

Comfort Zones

People are stuck in their ways a lot of the times. People are shy tend to have great ideas, but are afraid to speak up. Whether they’re afraid to say something out of fear of being shot down, or just out of being nervous. The best of ideas cannot be heard if never spoke, in addition, the manner of speaking counts. If you do not approach a topic with confidence and strength in your manner of presentation, the key points can be lost or looked over.

Linked in, a prominent networking website, outlines major reasons why a person should be stepping outside of their comfort zone in all aspects of life. An overview of this article’s key points:

Growth: Personal, career, and academic growth can all take place when a person decides to step out side of their comfort zone and do something that scares them. Personally, I never saw myself in leadership positions. Then, freshmen year of college, I joined a sorority. By the end of my first semester, I had decided to put fears, and shyness, aside and was elected to the executive bored the same semester I was initiated. I became Secretary, and now as a sophomore, am running for president. Never did I think I would want to be the face of an organization, or the key speaker at all events; however, by giving myself the chance to grow and put myself out there, I discovered that I enjoy leadership. I enjoy speaking, and writing for my organization. This also goes along with a Linked in point saying you will be able “to learn about yourself.”

Dealing with challenges: Leaders learn problem solving and conflict resolution. When you decide to establish yourself as someone worthy of leading, of stepping out of your known ways, you will take away key points of how to become someone who can deal with conflict in patient, respectful ways.

There are countless reasons to step outside of your comfort zone. You will discover that you are a different person in some aspects that you never considered yourself to be. It is worth the risk of failing. There can never be accomplishment without the risk of failure.

I encourage anyone reading this post to check out the LinkedIn article, and to do something this week that scares you.