Tag Archives: facebook

No, I won’t stop ranting on Facebook

As the upcoming election gets more heated, and as more states caucus results come back, the debate on social media has only gotten hotter. It’s impossible to scroll through Facebook without seeing someone’s political opinions being broadcast for the world to see. On Twitter, comedians make light of what seems like a hopeless election by tweeting jokes, most of which are about Donald Trump.

As our timelines are flooded with political posts, some are joining in and sharing their thoughts, while others see the posts as a nuisance. I can recall several posts I’ve seen by complainers who would much rather see cute animals pictures and Buzzfeed articles on their timeline.

The Facebook comment section serves as an easy platform for debates. Graphic from Market Pilgrim
The Facebook comment section serves as an easy platform for debates. Graphic from Marketing Pilgrim

Politics are extremely important. Yes, discussing politics can cause some divides in our communities, but these are things we need to discuss. When it’s March Madness, there are plenty of folks complaining on social media about the team they hate, but no one really complains about that. Not that sports aren’t important, but politics are our future.

I’m the kind of person who loves to use social media as a platform to talk about politics. I’m always sharing political articles, which I’m sure has caused some people to remove me as their friend or “unfollow” me. I don’t really mind, however, because if people are so small-minded that discussing a subject as heavy as politics makes them uncomfortable, I don’t really want to be their friend.

Social media wasn’t necessarily made for politics, but it has definitely had a huge impact in some major political revolutions. In 2011, Egypt, Bahrain and Libya went through quite a bit of political unrest, a time often called the “Arab Spring.” During this time, social media was essentially used to overthrow an oppressive government. Social media was a vital tool in transcending borders and allowing protesters to organize and discuss.

Social media can be annoying at times, of course. However, we shouldn’t brush off its importance. While social media is typically seen as a distraction and unnecessary, in political scenarios and elections, we need to embrace it as a platform to allow our voices to be heard. One of the great things about Twitter is that you have a direct line to politicians, celebrities and other high-profile people. Even if you don’t get a reply, there is a possibility the person you’re trying to contact may see what you have to say. Even if they don’t see it, others may join in discussing the topic, whatever it may be.

We have more technology and the easiest platform to voice our opinions on that has ever existed. We have been granted a great opportunity to use these tools to make a difference. Your opinions matter, and social media is the fastest way to share your thoughts with the most people.

This election, social media has been used by millennials to promote their favorite candidates. Bernie Sanders Dank Meme Stash, a Facebook group in which members share political memes in support of the presidential candidate, has been an amazing tool in unifying Sanders supporters. At the recent Trump rally on our campus, remnants of the group were scattered throughout the crowd of protesters. There was a very heavy internet and social media influence on many of the signs and overall attitude of protesters.

If politics isn’t your thing (although it should be), simply stay off social media until the election is over. Better yet, join in the political revolution and share your thoughts loudly and proudly.

Instagram took one more step in becoming Facebook

On March 15, Instagram released a statement telling its subscribers that they will be updating their newsfeed, making it non-chronological, similar to the way Facebook is set up. The way they organize the posts will depend on a variety of factors including the number of post engagements, and other social signals.

Instagram will also take into consideration the posts that you have previously liked in an attempt to find the correct images that are relevant and will interest the subscriber the most.

Instagram is evolving into Facebook. Graphic from Instagram Takipci Satin Al
Instagram is evolving into Facebook. Graphic from Instagram Takipci Satin Al

Since Instagram’s initial launch in 2010, their success has skyrocketed. They started out as, simply, an app used for teens to share the photos and socialize with each other. At the time, Facebook bought Instagram for 1 billion dollars, which in hindsight, was an incredible deal because Instagram is estimated to make 1.86 billion dollars in revenue just this year, thanks to its users constant social networking usage.

Although Instagram is attempting to update its aesthetic for the benefit of the user, there have been thousands of complaints. The users even created a petition on Change.org begging Instagram to leave the newsfeed alone. Most people complained because they didn’t want Instagram to look like Facebook, as well as the fact that Facebook is well-known for discriminating business pages’ content and their inability for users to reach posts. Instagram, on the other hand, is notorious for their chronological order and an unlimited reach of posts.

There is an argument, however, that the chronological newsfeeds are only effective when businesses post on Instagram every half hour and when their followers have very limited number of people that they follow. According to Optical Cortex data “based on 20,000+ Instagram users, average number of people they follow is 822.” This suggests that chronological order doesn’t matter anyway because the brands said users follow probably weren’t the first things they saw.

The change in newsfeed might be beneficial. If you post amazing pictures, your followers will see it even if it was posted hours ago.

“Instagram user survey indicated that 60% of Instagrammers learn about products and services on the network and 75% take action after being inspired by an Instagram post.” So all you have to do is be clever, be active, and post away!

There’s a link between obsessive Facebook checking and sleep-deprivation

Are you obsessed with checking Facebook? If you find yourself looking at Facebook many times a day, it may be a sign that you’re not getting enough sleep. A new study finds a link between obsessive Facebook checking and sleep-deprivation; correlating exhaustion, irritability, attention span with reliance on Facebook browsing.

Sleep deprivation linked with obsession with checking Facebook. Image from The Telegraph.
Sleep deprivation linked with obsession in checking Facebook. Image from The Telegraph.

“When you get less sleep, you’re more prone to distraction,” said head of research Gloria Mark, a University of California, Irvine (UCI) informatics professor. “If you’re being distracted, what do you do? You go to Facebook. It’s lightweight, it’s easy, and you’re tired.”

Specialists in the field of interplay between humans and computers seek to answer how lack of sleep impacts individuals so they can design better technologies and commodities.

“There have been lots of studies on how information technology affects sleep. We did the opposite: We looked at how sleep duration influences IT usage,” said Mark.

The research team gathered informational data from 76 UCI students — 42 females and 34 males — for seven days amid the spring semester in 2014. The study controlled for undergraduates’ course load, homework due dates, age and gender, and depended on sensors to impartially measure their conduct, activities and anxiety levels.

Undergraduates’ cellphones and laptops were rigged with a logging program, and time stamps were documented when research participants moved from one application window to the next and when they answered a call on their smartphone or texted a friend. They were requested to complete a survey of their sleep every morning and an end-of-day survey before going to bed.

Study subjects also completed a general questionnaire before the study and sat for an end-of-study assessment. Routinely during the week, they were presented with examining queries from the studies’ analysts with reference to their mood, the apparent difficulty of the chore that was at hand, and their status of activity in their work.

Mark said the research’s discoveries additionally found that the less sleep individuals have, the more periodically their concentration shifts between separate computer windows, which implies elevated inability to maintain one’s attention.

Mark’s UCI colleagues on the research were Melissa Niiya and Stephanie Reich from the School of Education and Yiran Wang from the Department of Informatics. The study was supported financially by the National Science Foundation.

Mark will present the discoveries of the research at a leading computer-human interaction conference in May.

New “Reactions” to Facebook

Some of us spend countless hours on Facebook while simply scrolling through our timelines. We stop to read posts, shared witty articles, and even leave a “like” or comment on statuses.

The future of Facebook is nigh folks, and it’s looking more enchanting than ever.

Facebook's new Reactions. Graphic from adweek.com
Facebook’s new Reactions. Graphic from adweek.com

Facebook will soon be releasing a new way to connect with friends’ posts and statuses, called Reactions. Soon users will be able to be “angry” and “sad”, or shout “yay” or “wow” — you’ll even be able to finally “love” a comment, photo or video posted on the social media giant.

The social media site is hoping these additional Reactions will boost the amount of time spent on Facebook, and more people will share their thoughts more at regular intervals during the day.

Facebook began testing the wide range of new expressions last October in Chile, the Philippines, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Japan and Colombia.

Facebook will soon roll out a wider range of reactions to posted items than “like.”

Soon its users will be able to be “angry” and “sad,” or shout “yay” or “wow” — or simply “love” a comment, photo or video posted on the social media site.

On Wednesday January 31, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, our lord and creator, said ”We want people to be able to share all of the things that are meaningful to them, not just the things that are happy and that people are going to like when they see it”. He added that the release of the new expressions will come “pretty soon.”

Additionally on Wednesday, Facebook released its earnings report. The company reported that during the last three months of 2015, Facebook brought in $5.8 billion — a growth of 52%. Making $1.6 billion in profit — an increase of 123% from 2014.

Facebook is now making more money off it’s users than ever before. There are now 1.59 billion people who use the site each month. Facebook makes more than $13 per user, a 50% increase from the $9 they made per person in 2014.

Other changes made to the site, like live video and collages, more tailored notifications, the ability to hide your exs and a more powerful search tool, keep people on the site for longer, and allows Facebook to learn more about its users — using advertising to target people much more effectively.

Facebook may be making more money off of us, but they are giving much more back to us in return. The new Reactions added to the site will generate so much more money, and may mean a huge increase in Facebook’s earnings report of 2016.

#PeaceforParis

On Friday, November 13th, ISIS terrorists attacked a stadium, a theatre, and least two restaurants in Paris, France. Six attacks in total occurred claiming more than 100 lives, some of which were missing at the beginning of the investigation. Social media such as Twitter and Facebook helped to save lives and show support on Friday, using hashtags and inserting the French flag into profile picture. Social media played a huge impact in this horrific event, but without social media, the attacks could have been much worse.

Melanie Marten, my cousin, who lives in Paris, France. She shows her support by inserting the French flag into her Facebook profile picture. Photo from Facebook
Melanie Marten, my cousin, who lives in Paris, France. She shows her support by inserting the French flag into her Facebook profile picture. Photo from Facebook.

The night of the attack, a hostage inside the stadium, in which 100 hostages were being held captive, used Facebook to post what was happening during the attack, essentially telling the French police to raid the place because the terrorists were killing the “one by one.” Facebook allowed for the hostages to communicate with the outside world, getting the help faster than without social media. The hostage, obviously, didn’t want to talk on the phone in fear of being caught. With social media, they didn’t have to.

After the attacks ended, people in France were using the hashtag “ #rechercheParis” which translates to “ search Paris,” to find each other through the panic, chaos, and sadly, carnage. “More than 100 tweets per minute used the hashtag, according to Twitter’s data. And by Saturday evening, more than 64,000 tweets had used #rechercheParis.” The hashtag #PorteOuverte (open door) was used on Twitter to let people know that they had a place to stay if they had nowhere to go. People using this hashtag were offering up their house as a place to stay. Twitter allowed for communication to happen all throughout Paris in a quick and easy way, making it unknown to all French people what was happening and what their option were. No other form of communication would have been that quick or reached that many people.

Social media, potentially, saved many people’s lives by informing them of what was going on and what option they had to stay away from the terrorist attack. Twitter and Facebook allowed for the knowledge of what was happening inside the stadium to go to the police and created a community for people who had endured the attack or those who were affected by it. This is why technology is important in the world and should never been limited or taken away.

Highlanders Anonymous: Aches and pains

“Why does my back always hurt?”

Sometimes your back aches because of bad posture. This can be caused by slouching during the day and while you walk. That same pain can be caused by the positions you sleep in each night. Back pain is basically inevitable, if you want to deal with it, here are some quick tips:

  1. Be more mindful of your posture when you walk and sit.
  2. Do some research and find back stretches that can relieve your pain.
  3. When doing any heavy lifting, lift from your knees, not your back.
  4. Make sure to sleep in positions that do not put weight and stress on your spine.

“One of my friends keeps posting things on my Facebook through my own account when I leave my phone on the table. It really drives me crazy! How can I get them to stop?”

If it’s a true friend, they’ll respect your wishes for them to stop if you simply ask. If you’re still getting to know them, or don’t want to confront them, don’t leave your phone lying around. That’s probably good advice for any time. Our phones have lots of sensitive information on them, like your bank passwords, email passwords, and often private conversations between you and others via social media, just like Facebook.

“My feet hurt a lot after work! How can I make it easier on my feet?”

In active jobs like waitressing or even retail, you are often running around to get things done or standing for hours upon hours each workday. To soothe your feet after a long day, I’d suggest a foot rub and a soak in the tub. If these options aren’t enough, I’d suggest getting insoles from a local pharmacy or Walmart.

High heels can also crush your toes and cause blisters and aches in your feet. The shoe you choose to wear will also determine the shape of your feet at the end of the day! Standing in one place for long periods of time can also cause back and feet aches. If you are able to find time to stretch sometime during your work, that can go a long way. You could even try doing it during your break.

 

Silicon Valley offers 20k to delay your family

The tech industry’s most high-powered companies have a reputation for outstanding benefits doled out to employees. The newest perk being added to the benefit packages of Facebook and Apple employees has attracted a few raised eyebrows: egg-freezing.

The procedure will be an option for female employees and spouses of employees in order to give the opportunity to avoid starting a family for as long as they choose. Coverage will provide $20,000 (or about two egg-retrievals) towards the procedure, which is nothing to sneeze at.

Despite her ticking biological clock, a woman may prioritize her career over  starting a family. Graphic by Grace Higginbotham
Despite her ticking biological clock, a woman may prioritize her career over starting a family. Graphic by Grace Higginbotham

Giving female employees and families the option to put off having children is an effort not to lose valuable employees’ time and skills to a split attention between home and work as well as an incentive for females to come work for these companies in the first place. There has been more and more pressure on Silicon Valley to live up to ideal diversity statistics, but as of Aug. 2014, the average male-to-female ratio in Facebook and Apple was roughly 7:3.

While this sounds like a great step for companies in considering the needs of their employees, egg-freezing isn’t a perfect solution.

Firstly, it’s nowhere near a fool-proof method off putting off childbearing until whenever you’re ready. Only about 30 percent of eggs retrieved from women 25 years or younger result in a successful pregnancy. Doctors don’t traditionally advise women to elect for this procedure when not necessary, either, as it has only recently had its experimental label been removed from The American Society of Reproductive Medicine.

Secondly, some critics are concerned of the pressure that this might have on women. Are women who elect to have children or already have children while working for the tech giants somehow less valuable? Will women feel that their employers don’t want them to have children and feel the need to choose between family and career?

There’s much room for speculation as to the long-term effects of both the procedure and the pressure of women (and men, while we’re on the subject) in the workplace who want or have children. Yet, the option of receiving coverage for such a pricey and elective procedure could be just the type of forward thinking that has kept Apple and Facebook ahead in Silicon Valley.

I f–king love SCI2

Elise Andrew is the curator of the IFLS (I Fucking Love Science) Facebook page and website where a large portion of inspiration for the lovely content you find right here comes from. Later this year she will be teaming up with the Science Channel to bring you the best science videos the internet has to offer.

The collection will feature on TV through the SCI2 channel and concentrate on popular science. And, according to Andrew, she’s excited to have the opportunity to weed through a lot of junk science to provide a thoroughly proven assortment of real science. She hopes to get the name out for other bloggers and Internet do-gooders who simply really fucking love science and want to share what they know with the world.

Yeah, science! Graphic from Geeks of Doom
Yeah, science! Graphic from Geeks of Doom

Andrew’s Facebook fame is a story or surprising success, even to her. She began to compile interesting facts, images, and videos and post them on a page for her own amusement and claims she never expected it to go farther than a few dozen of her friends. However, within the first 24 hours of creating the page, Andrew had over 1,000 likes and within six months reached over 1 million. As of Oct. 26, the page has 18,689,377 likes.

Significantly less popular, but hosting similar content, is Andrew’s clean (language-wise) Facebook page Science is Awesome. While it has just as good quality content, perhaps you might recommend this to kids and stick with the original for your adult friends.

The Internet can be a fickle friend, however, as was made clear in March 2013 when Andrews created a Twitter account for the IFLS page with her face as the avatar. Fans seemed shocked to find out that Andrew’s was a woman, despite sharing that information on several occasions. The reactions were rather sexist, Andrew claims, and she was baffled by the sheer stupidity — er, lack of observation — from her supposedly science loving followers.

Andrew’s and the Science Channel’s team up isn’t the first of its kind, nor is it the first for Andrew. She has also curated videos for Discovery Communications in Aug. 2013 for their streaming site. To get caught up on this previous collection, find them and much more on IFLS’s Youtube channel.

Anti-abortion Libertarians: Living, Breathing Contradictions

The Libertarian party has picked up quite a bit of steam in the past couple of years. More and more Americans are identifying as Libertarian, although few seem to actually vote Libertarian. I started following the Libertarian Party on Facebook last year when Robert Sarvis was running for senator in the state of Virginia. For those of you who don’t know, Libertarians typically preach little government control in many different aspects including gun rights, drug legality and use, and abortion.

Pro-life protesters. Graphic from The Blaze
Libertarians seem to have diverse views on abortion. Graphic from The Blaze

Overall, Libertarians truly emphasize the importance of liberty with little government interference. One post on the Libertarian Party Facebook page shows a woman, standing nude with the words “I’m a Libertarian because my body is my property.” When you ask a true Libertarian what their stance on abortion is, typically the answer will be somewhere along the lines of, “I believe you can do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t interfere with my rights.” Whether or not they necessarily agree with abortion, the motto for the Libertarian party seems to be, “it’s your choice.”

Reading the comment section on this particular post, the true Libertarians seem to be few and far between. One comment read, “her body is her property, the babies property is HIS property.” It’s obvious that by “HIS” property, this person is talking about God. Several other comments were similar to, “I don’t agree with abortion, but I’m a proud Libertarian for many other reasons!” Many more of these pseudo-Libertarians argued that abortion was actually against the ideals of the Libertarian party because the “unborn babies rights were being violated.”

Let’s break this down. Libertarians believe in little government interference in people’s personal lives including gay marriage and abortion, along with many other rights. We believe that you can do whatever the hell you want, as long as it doesn’t obstruct someone else’s rights. If anyone says they’re a Libertarian but would willingly vote against abortion, they’re not a Libertarian. If one would willingly take away a woman’s right to get a safe abortion because “that baby has rights too,” they’re not a Libertarian. No true Libertarian would agree that an unborn cluster of cells has more right than a living, breathing woman.

One of the best arguments I spotted while scrolling through this comment section was that a Libertarian would never agree that if a child needed a kidney, the parent should be forced to give up one of theirs. It’s the same concept. If a woman finds herself pregnant whether by rape, failed birth control, or whatever the case may be, she shouldn’t be forced to volunteer her body for 9 months if she doesn’t want to. Pregnancy is a great source of stress, mentally, physically and emotionally. I’d imagine being pregnant when you want to be pregnant is stressful enough, I can’t imagine what it’d be like if you didn’t want to be pregnant.

Although I’m happy that more Americans are accepting the Libertarian Party as a legitimate political party, there are going to be a lot of fakers. Being a Libertarian takes a lot of tolerance that I don’t think the Right side has. Unfortunately a lot of neoconservatives seem to be getting confused and identifying as Libertarian. The ideals of this party need to be put out on the table with the words “no exceptions.” Hopefully once the ideals of this party are put out in the open, we can weed out the true Libertarians and the party can move forward with few controversies.

Humans of The Middle East

If you have a Facebook, you’ve probably seen a Humans of New York (HONY) post at least once. HONY was started in the summer of 2010 by Brandon Stanton as a photography project. Stanton walks the streets of New York City and photographs the intriguing people who live there.

humans-of-new-york
“Stanton has a remarkable talent for talking to complete strangers and photographing them in a way that lets you see just a glimpse of their everyday lives, including a quote by the subject.”

Stanton has a remarkable talent for talking to complete strangers and photographing them in a way that lets you see just a glimpse of their everyday lives, including a quote by the subject. Sometimes these quotes are playful and innocent, but sometimes they’re extremely personal.

For example, one post showed a young man with a Mohawk and tattoos wearing spikes and leather. In his quote, the man explained that he went to jail for threatening to kill an older man who was stalking his younger sister. Many times Stanton photographs people’s hands or feet as they confess something personal, to keep their identity hidden. But even the photos that don’t show the hardship in people’s eyes somehow manage to show emotion.

Although the photos from NYC have always touched my heart, HONY’s newest adventure has done something incredible. In August, Stanton set out on a 50-day adventure around the world to photograph a whole array of people. While on this adventure, Stanton visited the Middle East.

Since 2001, the Middle East has been depicted as a desolate land full of barbarians and terrorists. Since then, it’s been hard to humanize the Middle East. But in the 13 years since 9/11, Stanton has done something that no one else has: he somehow overcame that barrier, and humanized the Middle East in a way that is absolutely beautiful.

If you’re a faithful HONY follower, you can appreciate the conversations that Stanton has with his subjects in New York. When you compare the posts from New York and the Middle East, you can see the same issues come up. One post in particular, a college-aged girl in Jordan explains that she pushes people away because she’s afraid to get hurt. I don’t know about other girls my age, but I’ve felt that way a million times.

Some of the heavier stories include a shop owner recalling the day the Taliban ripped apart his store and killed his friend. Seeing the sadness and terror in his eyes as he recalled the event is truly amazing. We hear about these things on the news, but we brush them off. Seeing a photo of the person, and seeing the words they have said really bring it home.

Since 9/11, there’s been so much judgment and hate towards Middle Easterners. I can recall snide remarks being made about some of my high school classmates who were of Middle Eastern descent, even if they lived in the US for their entire life. What HONY has done in the Middle East may be the most beautiful art project I’ve ever seen. Reading what these people have to say and what they’ve been through is heart wrenching.

No matter what stereotypes an area has, we must remember that the stereotypes are only true for a small group. As humans, we have to open our hearts and see that there are others who have the same battles, and there are some who have seen horrors beyond our imagination. Regardless, we need to start realizing these are people, just like us.

I challenge everyone to spend just 30 minutes scrolling through HONY. It will give you an amazing new perspective on not only the Middle East, but the people you pass on the streets. You never know what amazing stories someone has.

ISIS brandishes a new weapon of mass destruction: Twitter

As much of a threat as al-Qaeda has been in the past few decades, they’ve never gotten over the phase of cave dwelling and using cheap camcorders to publish their beheadings. Unfortunately, if you want to get people’s attention nowadays, you have to do it in 140 characters or less, and your videos must have the option to skip the ad before it.

Twitter is the new weapon. Graphic by Grace Higginbotham
Twitter is the new weapon. Graphic by Grace Higginbotham

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, commonly referred to as ISIS, is becoming the center of attention because of their ability to do what so many marketing companies are struggling to do — market their product through social media. The same sites you use to complain about biased refs in football and stand on your soapbox for whatever activism is going on that week are now being used to recruit terrorists.

Their attempts to reach out to the youth of the world goes as far as to draw on quotes from TV dramas and popular video games to use in their videos. They use tools like YouTube and Soundcloud to release reports and reach a wider audience. Every time their Twitter account gets suspended, they open a new one and start all over. They use infographics, have an annual publication, and post videos in a variety of languages. This new batch of terrorists has such a firm grasp on social media that the Department of State (DOS) has a hard time keeping up with it all.

Using careful phrasing and effective trigger words, ISIS is able to portray themselves as a group that vows vengeance for the oppressed Muslim groups and swears to seek justice against its oppressors, buying them a bit of support from people who would be interested in joining.

Using the hashtag #thinkagainturnaway, the DOS has been launching a Twitter war with ISIS recruiters in a way that would make the Drake Bell / Justin Bieber flame war seem trivial. Counterterrorism now comes in 140 characters or less. God bless America.

The worst part is that when they finally release the video of the beheadings, news sources like CNN rush to be the first to put it online so everyone can see. The virality of the content is through the roof, because there’s always a fringe group of people who are curious enough to want to see the beheadings for themselves.

Our elders like to complain that too much social media will destroy our generation’s ability to communicate with one another, but when it’s used to find potential terrorists around the world with little to no effort, it raises a whole new range of concerns that would make that aunt of yours scan through your recent Facebook statuses and find that one questionable post.

Much still remains to be seen about how credible the ISIS threat is, but one thing is for certain, they’ve really got a grasp on 21st century cyber warfare, and that is as scary as it gets.

Heartbleed affects Radford

Earlier this month, a significant Open SSL security vulnerability called Heartbleed was uncovered. In response, 52 percent of RU students plan on changing their passwords. Open SSL is a free service that exchanges keys in order to encrypt website traffic. The majority of web servers implement this service. Continue reading Heartbleed affects Radford

Oculus Rift and your virtual reality options

Facebook recently bought out Oculus Rift, the current leader in consumer-ready virtual reality gaming that strongly resembles the visor your Sims wear. Anyone with internet access has heard of this — and the backlash it caused. However, many may not be aware of exactly why people are in such an uproar. Continue reading Oculus Rift and your virtual reality options

Local Facebook yard sale grows like a weed

A Facebook group called Pulaski County & Radford Yardsale is growing in popularity. It’s an invitation-only group similar to Craigslist: members post objects that they’re either selling or looking for, then the seller and buyer meet somewhere in Radford or Pulaski County (hence the name). Continue reading Local Facebook yard sale grows like a weed

Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Black Santa

Something strange is brewing when I side with Fox News on anything. I don’t think I could’ve bashed them any harder this semester if I tried, but I can’t get behind the latest Fox News blunder that’s been picked up and exploited by the liberal media.

Megyn Kelly stirred up a massive controversy when she tried to poke fun at an essay that called out the traditional depiction of Santa as a ‘fat old white man,’ arguing that this depiction made the writer feel ashamed as a child and the character should be changed to a penguin. Kelly then rebutted that it isn’t racially insensitive to depict Santa as white, since that’s just the way it’s been since his commercial origins.

In response, every liberal Facebook page I’ve ever liked went on an angry rant spree and was sharing pictures of black Santas captioned, “Share this photo of black Santa because it pisses off Megyn Kelly.” It was off to the races with another case of liberal outrage.

black-santa-16x9
How does skin color play a part in Christmas tradition? Image courtesy of MSNBC.

We can’t have nice things because we’re stuck in the old mentality that white people are the only ones that can be racist. I hate myself for sticking up for Fox News, but can we address the fact that the writer also called Santa ‘melanin deficient?’ Isn’t it racist to say that white people are lacking melanin? When did it become common to assume that only white people can be racially insensitive? Does a race need to have endured centuries of slavery to earn the right to be racist?

The fact of the matter is that Megyn Kelly isn’t wrong. It isn’t racially insensitive to have a white Santa. What this tells me is that political correctness has become so severe that it’s now racist to have white characters. The fact that Megyn Kelly was called racist for saying that Santa and Jesus are white is absurd (although I do take some issue with the factually incorrect white Jesus).

I can’t stress enough how wrong liberals are on the issue of political correctness. I would say we’re being white knights, but that would be racist by today’s standards. Of course racism is wrong, and I think there’s so much more we should be doing to ensure the empowerment of minorities. Why does that have to mean we need to make white people feel bad for being white?

We need to stop looking for outrage where there’s none to be found. We need to make an effort to encourage racial sensitivity where it’s actually a problem. If a melanin deficient Santa makes you feel ashamed, maybe you’re the one who’s racist. If you want to make an ad that features a black Santa or a penguin Santa, you can do it. If you want to make a spinoff of your favorite show where the main character is of a different race, you can do it. Someone created the idea of Santa and envisioned him as a jolly old white man who drives a sleigh with reindeer and delivers presents to every good kid’s house. You can’t take away someone else’s vision of a character. We need to let go of this ridiculous high horse that is political correctness so that maybe — just maybe — we can have nice things.

Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Being Liberal

I always make a great effort to show that I’m not just another liberal sheep spewing back what MSNBC tells me to think. Don’t get me wrong, I think Rachel Maddow is a fantastic human being — but I’d be lying if I said everything was fine and dandy within the Democratic party. To finish off the semester with a bang, it’s about time I took a shot at my own and maybe slapped a little sense into somebody out there. Continue reading Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Being Liberal