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Currently enrolled as a college student, Ryan Menig begin’s his studies in media and communications. What’s interesting is that both of his parents are cops as well as three of his grandparents. When you walk into Ryan’s house, you might be greeted by his parents and his two large dogs. It’s easy to understand how his personality matches those of his parents. They are all full of energy, yet easy to approach and talk to. Ryan’s love for outdoor activities exemplifies how outgoing he is and how he tries to find ways to interact with others in daily activities. Even though his family is very much involved in law enforcement, he still has a different future in mind. He plans on either being a radio talk show host or being involved with a televised talk show. This way he would be able to express his opinions freely and talk about current topics. Ironically Ryan states, “I feel so limited living with two parents who are cops, it’s almost like living in a prison.” However he still understands what it means to serve one’s country if you are able to do so. When the attack on the World Trade Center occurred on September 11, Ryan had a reason to be scared. Both of his parents were working in the city at the time of the attack. Luckily, his parents were unharmed, but he quickly learned of the potential dangers of foreign influences in the United States. He states, “With two parents in law enforcement, being aware of the things that threaten us has played a big role in my life.” It is still early on in Ryan’s life, but I’m interested to hear more from Ryan next time we meet.
You are strolling through your college campus and what do you see. Chances are, most people walking past you have their eyes glued to their phones. You may see it with a family at a restaurant or even with parents. Society has become more dependant on our smartphones as a way to connect to people through social media. Even I admit i’m greatly affected as I have my phone right by my side as I am writing this. But why are people get so distracted? It is said that around 20% of people own a smartphone in the world. These smartphones have have adapted to meet the needs of most individuals and as a result, smartphone addiction has become a serious issue in most areas. Even though people have been able to communicate in more ways than ever before, there have been harmful effects from smartphone use that many people aren’t aware of.
Do you ever wake up in the morning and begin to panic as you realize you don’t know where your phone is? If so, then there is a possibility that you have nomophobia. This is a term that describes the fear of being without one’s phone. Anyone can develop nomophobia if they have a fear of losing their phone, are unable to use their phone, or are constantly checking to make sure they have their phone. This can affect an individual in a very negative way and can lead to physical symptoms. However, it was reported that this syndrome is more common with women than it is for men. It is said that the stress levels of a person with nomophobia are almost identical to the stress levels of a person before their wedding or a person who is about to go to the dentist.
Some physical effects from smartphone use are problems with the hands and elbows. Finger cramping and soreness in the muscles can result from the constant scrolling and browsing through a smartphone. Smartphone addiction can lead to inflammation in certain problem areas and can negatively impact conditions an individual may have including tendinitis. A person with a smartphone will most likely be subject to soreness in the fingers and pain in the elbows after bending them for an extended period of time. Nicole Danisi, a student student at St. Joseph’s college also recognizes the impact of the physical effects. “ I have never had any finger cramping before because of texting but there were a few times where they hurt, and I needed to take a break. Most people I see in school are always on their phone but I’m the same way. I can see this becoming a problem for some people though. It sounds like something I never want to get.”
Those who spend hours staring at the screen on their phone may experience serious back pain or neck strains. This is because you back muscles are strained as you hunch down to look at your phone. Most people don’t have their smartphone out in front of them in a position where their back isn’t arched, but many people are suffering physically because of their addiction. This may not seem like a long term problem initially, but it can severely affect a person’s posture and lead to complications with the spine. Being a college student, it is tough to have this problem and then have to spend hours sitting at an uncomfortable desk without any stretching or moving. Try avoid to avoid this issue otherwise it could be a real pain the neck.
Phantom Pocket Vibration Syndrome has also been a serious issue that has been reported in several experiments. At many points I have fell victim to this. People, myself included, become anxious to receive a text or some sort of response because an emotional connection is formed after a verbal exchange. It describes when a person may feel a vibration and check their phone when in fact there was no vibration made by the phone. In other words, more people are experiencing false vibrations as a result of their smartphone addiction and become more anxious when they feel they have received some sort of notification. Christopher Jerman, a student at LIU Post states, “ there have definitely been many times where I reached into my pocket and when my phone didn’t even get a message even though I thought it did. It kind of goes to show how important my phone is to me. I don’t think it’s that serious though.” According to (psychologytoday.com), Dr. Michelle Drouin, a professor at Indiana University, approximately 89% of her undergraduate students felt these phantom vibrations about every two weeks although only a few felt like they were distractions. Those who felt this was more of a distraction were said to be also more dependent and emotionally involved in text messaging.
Our attachment to smartphones has affected our awareness of our surroundings. People have become so addicted, they would rather document an emergency rather than to take action against it. An incident occurred in late September last year when a man pulled out his pistol and killed a 20 year old student named Justin Valdes on a commuter train. Security footage showed that the gunman waved his gun around at one point and aimed it down the aisle yet nobody noticed because most of them were focused on their phones and tablets. Indirectly, smartphones have lead people to become less socially involved.
Some people report that it is actually more difficult for young adults to connect face to face and hold conversation than before (pmag.com). Why is this? Smartphone addiction and our rapid use of text messaging has affected the way we are able to communicate. Through text messaging, we must alter the way to say things to the person receiving the message. This is because this form of communication limits our emotional connectivity with the person we are speaking to and many times messages are misinterpreted for their actual meaning. Smartphone addiction has also lead more people to stay inside. With the brightness of the screen, most times people want to find shade in order to see what’s on the screen. People use smartphones to become socially involved, but their social skills are indirectly affected in a negative way because of their addiction. Lori Fontana, a mother of two, describes how smartphones affect her older daughter and how she communicates with her family. “ My younger son doesn’t use it as much, but my daughter is always on it. Even at the dinner table she is always on it and I had to tell her to put it away many times. It’s really a big distraction for her. It kind of takes away from the whole family dinner experience when you aren’t even able to have a conversation with your child because she is talking to someone else who isn’t even at the table.”
It is great that we are able to find unique ways to communicate and to access the news, but we have lost sight of the real world. Rather than text a person, go and meet them. Hang out with them and exchange a friendly conversation so you have the pleasure of becoming more emotionally involved. Instead of tweeting about a place you want to go or a movie you want to see, just go. Try and prevent the panic attack your parents might get when they see your phone bill. Smartphone addiction for many has created the need to seek out attention and talk about everything that goes through our minds. We have become so afraid of the real world that we would rather just talk about it at home than to rather experience it for ourselves.
It’s easy to get the urge to go out a grab a bite at a local fast food restaurant. It’s both time efficient and to most people the food tastes good. The media has also played a substantial role in promoting their product and their low prices which ultimately seals the deal for many Americans. Instead of going out to a local supermarket to buy some fruits and vegetables, it seems easier for some people to drive to a nearby McDonalds or Wendys and grab a personal meal for around five dollars or maybe a little less. This is extremely prevalent in highly populated states like New York where times flies and a quick meal may seem like the best option. I have also fell victim to this. Sometimes after late night shifts I crave a quick meal as I am driving home and the first thing that comes to mind is fast food. Like I said before, the constant commercials and big signs are major promoters for these corporations but eating at these restaurants frequently can be extremely unhealthy.
Why aren’t supermarket companies promoting themselves the way fast food companies are? The product is much healthier and is just as accessible to anybody with a car. You don’t see nearly as much commercials or ads for supermarket product as you should. As a result, fast food restaurants dominate the media and obesity becomes a serious issue. Time is the key factor. Is there a way supermarkets and other venues supplying healthy food can make shopping more rapid and accessible? I believe there is connection between obesity and heavily populated areas. Not only that, but many people are quick to conform to the social norms. So if you see you friend or family member eat frequently at a fast food restaurant or junk food for that matter, you might be convinced to do the same. It seems like an idea that should be explored.
For this documentary, a lot of civilian feedback is necessary to understand the way people think when they get a craving for food. In 2013, the fast food industry generated a total of about 191 billion dollars in the United States according to (statista.com). A number like this is extremely alarming. With that being said, it is also estimated that there are about 230,000 fast food establishments in the United States. In comparison, (fmi.org) states that there are about 38,000 supermarket establishments as of 2013. With that being said, for every supermarket in the United States, there are six fast food restaurants in the country. A ratio like that is just unacceptable.
A topic like this is generally easy to discuss and gather people to talk to because they are able to give their honest opinion and discuss why they eat the way they do. For certain families, it may be because of the location of where they live that affects the proper food establishments nearby and are then more enticed to go pick up fast food. For others, it may be the low prices that convinces them to look for the unhealthier foods because it is lighter on their wallet rather than buying quality fruits and vegetables for a little but more of the cost. Our economic system prides itself on generated capital which is why these fast food establishments have no problem providing low quality food as long as they promote it effectively and make a lot of money doing so.
I am able to interview many different people for this topic but it would be more logical to receive to varying perspectives. Lisa is a vegetarian who at some moments will eat chicken if it is prepared a particular way. Generally she is a healthy eater and rarely visits a fast food restaurant or consumes junk food. These are the questions I would ask her.
How often do you go food shopping?
How often do you visit a fast food restaurant?
Does you family affect the way you eat?
What type of food establishments are you usually exposed to through media?
Do you consider yourself a healthy eater?
I could also speak to a parent who provides for a family or even a younger adult who possibly attends college and has to deal with college expenses. These are questions I could ask.
Why are you convinced to buy unhealthy food rather than look for healthier options?
Does cost affect your decision between fast food and healthier food?
Do you think income has anything to do with the quality of food someone receives?
Does media play a big role in the food you get?
Do you spend more trips to a supermarket or a fast food restaurant?
This documentary will allow for personal interviews with everyday people. I will able to confront people in a nearby fast food establishment or at a nearby supermarket. The topic itself is current enough for almost anybody to talk about and give their honest perspective on. The questions focus on time spent at either food locations and the reasoning behind their decisions to go to a specific food location rather than the other.
We can personally observe and record the amount of people within a fast food restaurant and the traffic that a supermarket receives at one point during the day. We can also identify the cost of certain product and the unhealthiness of certain foods and compare. Talking to associates at either a fast food location or a supermarket would be helpful in gaining some insight on what customers look for when buying food. There are unlimited opportunities.
On April 22, Hofstra University held a series of events on campus to promote Earth Day and gain awareness. Earth Day is an annual event that promotes the protection of the environment and everything that inhabits it. The first event began at 9:00am and the last event concluded at 9:00pm. The Hofstra community was heavily involved including the Sustainability Studies Club and the Department of Geology.
The Arboretum Tour led by Fred Soviero, Director of the University Arboretum, presented the beautiful campus and the variety of plants that can be seen all over. Later on, Mr. Soviero displayed his impressive knowledge of Hofstra’s Horticulture and spoke about why it is important for everyone to take environmental issues seriously. These decisions would allow us to live in healthier and safer circumstances. “ We were hoping many years ago, when the arboretum was first conceived and now know for a fact, that making plants readily available in an attractive way to people, will spark their interest and jump start that process of knowledge. Where they take it from there is up to each individual,” he stated.
Dr. J Bret Bennington, a professor in the Department in Geology, Environment, and Sustainability at Hofstra gave his insight on our neglect to the environment. “ I’m not so sanguine. But I guess we’ll find out soon enough if humanity can continue to thrive on an environmental dysfunctional planet. We know what we need to do to sustain the natural systems that sustain us. We just lack the political will to do it,” he stated.
Students were encouraged to take part in the garden planting event in the southern part of the campus near Stuyvesant Residence Hall. There were about twenty Hofstra students and faculty members but most of the attendees were young children from local pre-schools. Tomatoes, cucumbers , and other crops were planted.
Workshops and power-point presentations were held during the later hours discussing responsible investing in greener options for the future. Fossil Fuels remained one of the main focuses in the 12:45 pm presentation and why our dependence on them has will have a negative impact on our future. Some of the featured speakers included Dr. E. William Colglazier (Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State), Dr, Burrell Montz (Professor and Chair at East Carolina University) and many others.
On Wednesday, April 23, an Earth Day Open Air Festival took place in Caulkins Quad where many local community organizations celebrated collectively. The Hofstra community hoped that with these events, people would recognize the damage we are causing and how we can salvage our resources more effectively.
Here is a link to a presentation giving some fun facts about Earth Day.
Here is a link to slideshow where students celebrate Earth Day at Hofstra.
Here is a link to a Storify page representing some of the media coverage on Earth Day.
Here is a link to a fun video on students actively involved with Earth Day events.
Bill Danisi currently works at Joseph Danisi Trucks with his two daughters and his older son. The shop specializes in truck repairs and sales. The shop is located in Deer Park, NY, and exists as a fairly new shop.
Bill Danisi works at a higher position with his son and they strive to elevate the company and its success. There are many aspects of the job that he really enjoys but he talks about his passion for the business and auto-bodies.
Below is a slideshow with an interview from Bill Danisi and images representing his hobbies and work experiences throughout each day.