I kept seeing this Daily Show video and article being shared by so many of my Facebook friends and it piqued my curiosity. Of course I watched it and I was amazed at what I saw. At the beginning of the video I thought to myself, “here we go again, another hateful video about the south.” But what happened next totally shocked me. After a statistician predicted that Mississippi and Alabama would be the last two states to legalize same-sex marriage, The Daily Show interviewed him. They then figured out that he had never even been to either of the states, so the show sent Al Madrigal to investigate. He filmed two actors pretending to be a gay couple to see what the response would be and what he found will shock you. Not only did one person comment to them that they looked like they were really in love and told them it was “beautiful,” they also received applause after getting “engaged” in a Waffle House. Of course the South still has a long way to go, but this video gives me hope that Mississippi isn’t quite so “backwards” after all.
I love the fall. I love that it’s time for sweaters, boots, fires, Halloween and Thanksgiving; but most of all I love the fair. I enjoy the rides and spending time with friends and my boyfriend. I love walking through the petting zoo and riding the ferris wheel, but just like any other Mississippian, I really just go for the food. It is sad to say that my group of friends, probably like most others that go to the Laurel fair, spend more money on food than on wristbands for rides. As we walked through the rows of vendors I could not help but notice that every booth offered mainly fried foods. There was chicken on a stick, blooming onions and French fries. The usual. But I was constantly surprised by the random, already unhealthy foods that we (in the south) make worse by throwing them in a pot of grease. There were vendors selling deep-fried pizza, macaroni and cheese, oreos, apple pie and even just a block of cheese. I could not help but think that this is why our state is known for obesity. I am still having a hard time believing that someone out there ordered deep-fried pizza. I can’t even imagine.
When I consider communication in today’s world, my thoughts go immediately to technology. I have a hard time recalling conversations that I actually had in person. Pretty much the only time I actually talk to someone is at work, at school or in my apartment. Face-to-face communication does not always happen in those places either. I can think of many times I texted my roommate something funny or sent a snapchat instead of walking to the other room to talk to her, or at work I sent an email from my desk to my supervisor down the hall to let him know my work was complete. Technology poses a few communication problems in today’s world. I think people have relied on technology a little too much that now people do not know how to communicate in person anymore. Conversations just get awkward if you’re too used to sending text messages or emails. Another problem is that you cannot interpret someone’s tone through messages. It is hard to know if someone is joking, being sarcastic or being serious. I cannot even begin to list the amount of times I have fought with my boyfriend over something he said in a text that I completely read the wrong way, or vice versa. It is hard to know that mean comment was really just a joke, and a “haha (:” does not let me know you were kidding. These challenges can be easily overcome. Just pick up the phone or talk to someone face-to-face. This seriously saved us a lot of arguments. Not kidding. Just get up and walk those few steps to talk to your supervisor or friend. It is not that difficult. I will never stop sending snapchats to someone in the same room as me, no matter what.
With the use of computers becoming more and more popular, it seems less attention is paid to newspapers and even TV stations. While many still use those forms of communication, a lot of people are looking to social media or news sources on the internet to get their information. This is not really a bad thing, it just means that the future of journalism lies with technology. Social media is a major source for news. On Facebook you can “like” local news stations’ pages to keep up with local, national and world news. Or you can just keep up with local stuff through your friends’ pages. Anything your friends post is probably news to you anyway; such as a wedding, a new baby or a death of someone in the community. All with pictures of course. While Twitter has become very popular, it has not overtaken Facebook…yet. This is only because older people have not quite figured it out yet. Twitter could possibly take over in the near future (if it has not already) because Twitter allows reporters to update faster and a continuous and easier stream of updates. Take the special election for example, everyone was able to keep up with what was going on at city hall because of the reporters’ tweets. I was at Dupree headquarters and that is how I posted updates was through Twitter. Social media and online news are the future of journalism.
The Hattiesburg mayoral election, which began in June, continues. It was taken to trial in August and the judge declared a special election for September 24. Well, because of absentee ballot problems, it continues. As of 4:00 p.m. today, only 2 out of 14 precincts ballot boxes have been reviewed. I have been watching the #haelex hashtag on Twitter to keep up with the whole thing. I was at Dupree headquarters on Tuesday night while the votes were counted. I will be honest and say that I have never felt more unwelcome in my life. I showed up to report for the Printz. I walked in and after a few minutes I was asked to leave. I stood outside from 7 p.m. until around 12:30 a.m. That is when the media was finally allowed to come inside for Dupree’s speech. “We will go to bed 32 votes behind, but tomorrow when the absentee votes are counted we will be victorious,” Dupree said to his supporters and the media. So far it seems that this election will not end this week and even if it does there are grounds for either side to appeal after it is over. A group title “No seal, no deal” has organized to march on City Hall if the votes from Rowan are not thrown out because they were not sealed. The whole process is pretty interesting, but at this point I am ready to tear my hair out. I have been pretty invested in the whole thing, using my breaks from work to pore over coverage from the first election and the trial. Enough is enough. It seems that either person elected mayor will have a divided city on his hands. Even the media have had a rough time, openly fighting through social media. I am interested to see how the whole thing ends.
I saw a very disturbing article on CNN today that really made me think. In my American Government class we have been discussing the constitution and what our rights are in America. Our professor asked, “as an American, do you have a right to keep everything you do on the internet private?” and “should the government be able to look through those things?” As I considered if I wanted someone sifting through my emails or all the websites I visited, I thought “yeah, we should have a right to keep those things private if we want.” That was until I saw this article. This article made me change my views on this a little bit.
Basically, this guy goes online and talks about kidnapping, raping, murdering and eating children. He exchanges some child pornography and, boom, he’s busted. If the government had not been able to look through his posts and messages with others who were sharing child porn, he probably would not have been arrested. I am not really sure how they figured out this guy was doing something bad, but I am so glad that they did. I mean, without police being able to sort through his messages and exchanges with others, they would not have known about the “dungeon” and he could have gotten by with a shorter sentence. Pretty scary stuff. I think I will sleep a little better tonight knowing that man is behind bars for the next 27 years.
But, I still have to wonder, where do you draw the line with this? When is it okay for your messages to be read? When is the government able to sort through your computer history? Most people, like me, will probably respond with “if you are not doing anything wrong, why is it a big deal?” My opinion is that police must have probable cause to go through this stuff. In my case, all they will find is an online shoe shopping addiction, some serious Facebook stalking and my weakness for binge-watching Netflix shows. Small price to pay to put someone like that behind bars.
I’m Nikki Smith and I am a junior broadcast journalism major at the University of Southern Mississippi. I love to write, exercise, crochet, bake and go to the beach. I own more yarn than I know what to do with. I have a soft spot for missions and enjoy traveling. I work on campus with the Office of University Communications and just began writing for the Student Printz. I’m addicted to black tea and Desperate Housewives.
I cannot go a day without listening to Coldplay or City and Colour. I love all types of music. I have recently fallen in love with Frank Sinatra and Etta James all over again.
This is probably my favorite C&C song. [:
I attend church at First Hattiesburg and just joined a growth group, so I’m pretty excited to see how that goes! The one I joined will be a group of ladies crocheting scarves for cancer patients. I cannot wait.
This is my first shot at blogging, so here goes. [: