My Beat!

Landing upon a particular discussion topic was a challenge. Naturally, I resorted to topics of which I had great familiarity, specifically sociological topics that impacted large waves of people. To start my research path, I rediscovered a 15-page research paper written for ICM 501, exploring the influence of text messaging on teenagers’ formation of romantic relationships. In the greater spectrum, I chose to use this topic as a basis, and instead report on how technologies impact interpersonal relationships across various demographics. In the modern world, we not only have the convenience of text messaging, but we have Skype, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, Instagram, picture-messaging, etc. To put it lightly, the list is endless and far more advanced than the old-fashioned phone call.

I feel qualified to report on such a topic because I grew up during the technological boom. I was sitting in 5th grade classrooms with students who held call phones (flip phones, at the time). I attended college with students who sported fancy Mac computers, not to mention that everyone had some sort of computer device. I sat alongside classmates who chatted on smart phones, took notes on iPads, listened to iPods and read books on Kindles. Although not all of these technologies function as communication mediums, I have been swimming in the seas of technology for years. In fact, I cannot remember a time when text messaging, emailing or Facebook did not flood my life. Since technology has so heavily influence relationships in my life, as well as the lives of my same-age peers, I can directly relate to the research. By relating to the research, I can attempt to make sense of it through the lens of an individual who experienced it firsthand.

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7 comments
  1. You have chosen a subject that is familiar while proposing to explore the effects of technology on relationships. I like the angle because I’m interested in the same topic but from the opposite perspective. I see life before cell phones and as it is now with its full gamut of gadgetries. Your point of view is of great value as I’m intrigued by what might be the matter-of-fact acceptance of being immersed in a cumulative technological environment.

    • Thanks for the feedback! Though I must add that I’m not only going to be focusing on the positives, but the negatives as well. I do believe our communication now has become polluted with technology. It isn’t even possible to talk without a text or phone call anymore.

  2. samoic said:

    Your beat is a great choice. It really hits home to our generation. You caused me to really reflect on my middle school days and that I still do all the things I did back then, but now with better technology. We still had blogs like xanga and the start of MySpace. We still had messaging with AIM, and though flip phones now seem ancient, I can still beast it with T9 word. Some of the older generation may think that we’ve lost touch with communicating with others personally. Though I agree with that, we have lost touch with seeing people in person, we haven’t lost touch in reaching out to people. We communicate more than ever with this technology and now it’s just better than before. I’m looking forward to seeing more of what you have to say on this topic.

    • Thanks for the feedback! And I agree. Though we’ve lost touch of face-to-face communication, now we’re in constant contact with each other. Everyone is either texting, looking at updates on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or SnapChatting. There is really no downtime when it comes to communication nowadays.

  3. You clearly work hard on your writing Escapist. You have an evident passion for writing. But your part of your effort goes to unnecessary overwriting.

    These pieces are heavy. The paragraphs and words are physically dense when they don’t need to be. Why say The Establishment of Romantic Relationships when you mean dating? Who are you preparing to write for? Academic articles are nothing to emulate when you want to reach an audience.

    Rather than resort to old-fashioned outreach methods, such as using a landline phone or sending a handwritten letter, Americans are able to communicate with one another through the convenience of a mobile device, no bigger than the average hand.

    Outreach methods? I feel like I’m getting a report to the mother ship. I agree with Zinsser when he says do not write how you would not speak. Would you ever say to a friend, “nice Macbook you are sporting today”?

    Isolating your sentences can help you recognize overwriting.

    Recently, young Americans especially have been taking advantage of the mobile text messaging option to interact with friends, romantic interests and family members at rates exceeding all other age demographics.

    “Recently” and “especially” can go first. Then remove “have been taking advantage.” And finally “of the mobile text messaging option.”

    American teens text more than any other demographic.

    It’s that simple. I am not dumbing down the language. On the contrary, simple is more rare, difficult to achieve, and effective for the audience. The audience should never have to decipher language. And good writers will always steal more efficient ways to express ideas from general conversation when they hear them. Nobody “utilizes text messaging” anymore. We text, all of us, plain and simple.

    I use the bio and beat assignments to point this out in a different way.

    Beat assignments usually end up being the better bio because they focus on your credibility. They focus your life story on your topic. Focus is another form of simplification.

    The bio and beat are drafts for your About You page. In an About You, the audience wants to know why you are writing about your subject. That’s it. The second half of your beat assignment comes closest to simple and credible. Your experience as a Millennial is important to your topic, but I would like to know more about why this topic for you?

    Have you had either a good or bad experience with texting? A personal story about a particular texting experience could both reach your audience and establish your credibility to write about it. See if you can come up with one.

    Good work Escapist. Good effort is always good work. Welcome to 506.

  4. Thank you for the feedback, professor. I have struggled with wordiness for awhile. Throughout my undergraduate experience, professors seemed to enjoy the academic “feel” that wordiness suggested, so I never felt the need to tackle this. But I certainly agree with Zinsser and yourself, in the sense that a writer should write how they speak. In simple conversation, I’d never speak similarly to the language in my first post. Instead of filling each sentence unnecessary diction, it actually sounds better – and more scholarly – to simplify the sentence. Not to mention, far easier to read.
    Thanks again for the feedback.

  5. Hi Escapist Theory. As usual, brackets for superfluous words and parenthesis for suggestions…

    Landing upon a particular discussion topic was a challenge. Naturally, I resorted to [topics of which I had great familiarity] (familiar topics), specifically sociological topics that impacted [large waves of] (many) people. [To start my research path, I rediscovered a 15-page] (I decided to use a) research paper written for [ICM 501, exploring] (a previous class that explores) the influence of text messaging [on] (within) teenagers’ [formation of] (and how they use this media with significant others) [romantic relationships]. [In the greater spectrum,] I chose to use this topic as [a basis] (my beat), [and instead report] (while focusing) on how technologies impact [interpersonal] relationships across [various] demographics. In the modern world, we [not only] have [the convenience of] text messaging, [but we have] Skype, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, Instagram, picture-messaging, [etc] (and more). [To put it lightly, the list is endless and] (This new technology is) far more advanced than the [old-fashioned] phone call(s of previous generations).

    I feel qualified to report on [such a] (this) topic because I grew up during the technological boom. I [was sitting in 5th grade classrooms with] (remember in 5th grade when) students [who held call] (had cell) phones [(flip phones, at the time)]. I [attended] (went to) college with students who sported fancy Mac computers, [not to mention that everyone had some sort of computer] (and other tech) device(s). [I sat alongside] classmates [who] chatted on smart phones, took notes on iPads, listened to iPods and read books on Kindles. [Although not all] (While some) of these technologies (do not) function as [communication mediums] (a way to communicate), I have been [swimming in the seas of] (surrounded by) technology for years. In fact, I cannot remember a time when text messaging, emailing or Facebook did not [flood] (impact) my life. [Since] (Because) technology has [so heavily] influence(d) relationships in my life, [as well as] (and) the lives of my [same-age] peers, I can directly relate to the research. [By relating to the research, I can] (will) attempt to make sense of it through the lens of an individual who experienced it firsthand.

    **Its interesting to connect with someone who shares similar interests, regardless of different backgrounds. I remember when email and cell phones first came out – and when my folks came home with their first desktop! None of us knew how to use it and we were so afraid that it would break if we touched it. hahaha. I also remember my senior year of undergrad when cell phones became popular and all of the freshman had a nokia that beeped really loud and acted similar to a walkie-talkie. They were so annoying on campus that I wanted to strangle everyone that had one! A year later, I purchased a newer style that was much less obtrusive and featured the ‘vibrate’ option 🙂

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