The negative impact of “Cancel Culture” and how it affects our society

Should we cancel the “Cancel Culture”?

The term “Cancel Culture” isn’t new to us, but believe it or not, it only became universal after 2016, and all because of Twitter. When the singer Kanye West released a song that had a sex reference about Taylor Swift that she did not approve, his wife, Kim Kardashian, posted a video claiming the opposite, giving birth to the hashtag #TaylorSwiftIsCancelled, which would soon initiate the canceling wave.

That was the first of many similar cases, where someone, usually famous, says or does something that people do not agree with and the internet community decides that they should be “culturally blocked from having a prominent public platform” (Vox).

But how far is the “Cancel Culture” going and what is it doing to our society?

Can the “Cancel Culture” be beneficial?

First of all, it’s important to acknowledge that the “cancel culture” is valid a lot of times and it is used as an important tool for political and cultural changes in our society. People that have committed irreparable mistakes should be punished and accountable for the consequences of their actions, and it is extremely important for us to be able to point out those errors and claim justice.

The problem begins when we start putting those people in the same category as people who have said or done something with no intention of harming anyone at all but innocently did. There should be a difference between the “call-out culture” and the “cancel culture”, and the lack of division between those groups of people can be very problematic and irresponsible. 

What are we doing wrong?

On the talk show “The View”, the actress and activist Jameela Jamil, who is known for criticizing the approaches of the “cancel culture” on the internet, said that “[…] we now just cancel everyone and what that’s going to do is, it’s going to devalue progress and stop people from wanting to change because they think they will forever be cast aside because of their one sin from the past that they want to improve from, and if we want people to change we have to show them that there is hope to be reaccepted into our society”.

What I think she means by that is that we end up making people afraid of asking questions, questions that might help them learn in the future and become a better person, because of our attitude towards people that have shared a similar behaviour, consequently slowing down our society’s development and scaring possible allies, which is almost the reverse effect that this culture is trying to achieve.

I believe all criticism is valid and necessary, but it’s essential that it comes with an opening for a dialogue or a discussion, not to justify the mistake, but to educate the person who has committed it. We all make mistakes, but there is always room for improvement and if someone demonstrates that they are actively trying to change, they should be given that option instead of getting shutted down.

How can we change it?

It’s safe to say that we are all more educated today than we were five years ago, and that’s completely normal, we’re constantly learning and evolving, and that’s what makes us human. As the progressive Aaron Rose pointed out to Vox, by rejecting the urge of canceling people, we’re not giving up on accountability, we’re just simply defending the idea that people are not incapable of compassion and change.

The way I see it, the issue is when someone is constantly unaccountable and has the privilege and opportunity to change but refuses to do so. With that, I do realize it’s easier to condemn people than ideas, especially ideas that are embedded in structures that we still have today, but I’m much more interested in the root causes as opposed to the symptoms. 

In the words of the television host Trevor Noah, for the Breakfast Club Power radio station, “as a society, what do we hope to do with people who have wronged us? Do we wish to banish them of civilization or do we wish to educate them, inform them, punish them when necessary, and then rehabilitate them and have them come back into our society?”

We often don’t realize the power that the internet has and how platforms like Twitter have given voice to many marginalized people around the world. The “cancel culture”, for a lot of those people, it’s a way of using the only power we have, the one of ignoring the other, to force the people who are in actual positions of power to do something, but we have to be very careful not to undermine it.

The Power of Twitter in the News World

(Picture by Roberto Baldwin / Engadget)

It’s no surprise that Twitter is one of the most powerful social media nowadays when it comes to sharing information with one another. But how did a website that wasn’t originally designed for the purpose of news become so reliable when it comes to verifying information?

First of all, due to its wide accessibility, Twitter has a much more practical way to consume news when compared to newspapers, for example. So, is that enough to make people use it as their main source of information? Let’s break it down a little.

Real or fake?

One of the biggest issues with getting your information from online platforms is that we are often not sure if the source we are using is trustworthy or not.  With Twitter, there are some tools that can help us manage that better, such as verified accounts, headlines, trends and hashtags.

Verified Accounts

Almost every single company will have an official Twitter account, especially big news organizations. Why? Well, it’s a fast and easy way to post any kind of content, and the ability of knowing if an account is verified or not allows you to identify the accuracy of that information.

Now, that’s easier illustrated with business once they don’t usually post fake content about their own brand, but with news that can be a little tricky. Thankfully, Twitter has around 25% of verified journalists, which can guide you through searching what information is real or fake.

In fact, 75% of Twitter users get their news from the platform, being the majority Millenials and Gen Z, who represent around 65% of all users. Being able to select the kind of content directed to you is something that the newer generations have found very suiting. 

On top of that, Twitter users are able to interact and to see other people’s interactions with a post when they click on it. Those interactions can be helpful for the public to collect more information about a determined subject and for the companies to analyse their response to it.

Headlines

Twitter is also well known for allowing a limited number of characters on a post. Some of you might be familiar with the term “clickbait”, which is used to define headlines that immediately catch the reader’s attention and make them want to click on the link to know more about it. 

On Twitter, headlines considered “clickbaits” end up being the most effective ones, due to the flow of engagement of the users when on the platform. But then again, if the clickbait is fake, that could ruin a company’s reputation, so you might want to be careful with that.

Trends and Hashtags

Another useful tool on Twitter is the tab located right beside your timeline, called “trends”. Trends are purposefully directed to your location, interests, and the accounts you follow, so that the user can easily find or search for anything at any given time.

When it comes to promoting news content, just like any other social media platform, Twitter takes advantage of the famous “hashtags”. Hashtags are probably the easiest way to get some extra attention to a certain post or subject people have been talking about lately.

According to the website Oberlo, Twitter users spend an average of 3.39 minutes per session on the platform, so the expectations are high when it comes to quickly finding what they are looking for. That’s why hashtags are so important for both the public and the companies in the business.

Other News Features

As pointed out by the website My GSC, Twitter “is now known for its up-to-the-minute communication from reputable “breaking news” accounts” due to features such as live news broadcasts and placing breaking news tweets at the top of user timelines (Forbes).

The Future of News

It is still early to say if Twitter will eventually overcome the traditional massive media communication platforms, such as Television and Radio, but its influence in the news world leaves no doubt that the competition will only get tougher with time. 

New streaming service brings new ways to watch short films and series.

If you have a quick few minutes to spare on your daily bus ride or lunch break at work it’s an attractive draw to pull out your phone and watch something. Quibi hopes to video content specifically with these habits in mind. 

Chief Executive Officer of Quibi, Meg Whiteman, stands on stage during a keynote speech at Consumer Electronics Show 2020.
“We believe we barely explored all of the capabilities of our mobile device and how they can transform storytelling.” Meg Whitman, (Chief Executive Officer of Quibi), on how they aim to be to T.v. what T.v was to radio.
Image from Quibi’s CES 2020 keynote.

A streaming service just for your phone. 

This April a new streaming service is launching, and it has a few distinctions to set it apart from the growing sea of on-demand services. Quibi is focused on providing content for the people who like to watch on the go, probably switching the orientation of their phone as they go.  As explained during a keynote at CES Quibi hosts and produces high budget short films about 4 to 10 mins long. 

Quibi’s crown innovation is that it uses technology that is in modern smartphones to tell a story in ways that cannot be told in just a traditional screen. It could be as simple as using the Gyroscope to sense the orientation of your screen. Depending on how you hold your phone when you move your phone mid-movie from landscape orientation to portrait it will switch to a different shot that will fit the new aspect ratio. 

Films that adapt to how you watch. 

You might think, “Wait doesn’t ‘hu-flix-prime+’ already turn my show right side up. ?”  Yes, it does, that’s all it does. Quibi’s content doesn’t just re-crop or shrink the show to fit the screen, which is what most of the streaming services do. Quibi developed What they call Turnstyle Technology.  it will switch seamlessly, to a different version of the same film that will use the full screen of the phone, no matter the orientation. 

two pictures of the same shot from Quibi Original series, Shape of Pasta. It shows the composition of the shots depending on how you hold your phone.
This is how Quibi’s Turnstyle would look like. While some shots are simple ‘crop to screen’ conversions, some shots and elements are recomposed to properly fit whenever you decide to turn the screen. (Images grabbed from Quibi’s 2020 CES Keynote.)

Quibi also showed off how this Turnstyle Technology can be used to offer the opportunity to have the audience interact. In a Short Thriller titled “Nest”, turning your phone from landscape to Portrait changes the shots from a traditional widescreen thriller scene, to a view of what interactions the main character is having on her phone. 

Smart Films for Smart Phones.

Technologies Quibi plans to use from your smartphone include the time of day, camera, and GPS. Quibi is offering all these tools to their content creators to let them creatively figure out how they can use these technologies to tell their stories. 

For Steven Spielberg, he set out to make his horror series “After Dark” only watchable once the sun goes down. Another example of Quibi’s use of smartphone technology is unlocking episodes once your phone reads where you are, what time and whether or not the sun has set or not. 

With new creative tools being brought out from smartphones it will be interesting to see how more storytellers will tell their stories and take advantage of the new tools. For $10 a month ($7 if you don’t mind ads) it will also be interesting to see how many people flock on to this new service that is trying to innovate and set itself apart from traditional ‘Hu-flix-prime+’ services.

The Future Of Entertainment

Make a choice: Do you want to engage with your media passively or actively?

[Source Photos: THE POST- RILEE LOCKHART- example of the choice.]

Interactive storytelling is a form of digital entertainment in which the story line is not predetermined. The author creates the setting, characters, and situation which the narrative must address, but the user experiences a unique story based on their interactions with the story world.This allows us to build complex narratives that include loops, guiding viewers back to the main story when they strayed too far, giving them a chance of a do-over.

NETFLIX BRANCHES OUT

The December 2018 premiere of Netflix’s Black Mirror Bandersnatch offered consumers a new way to experience the entertainment they’re watching. What viewers might see as a simple choice, such as which breakfast cereal a character begins the day with, could affect the whole show’s story line. There are other choices to make as well, some of which change the plot, and some of which may not.

Viewers aren’t watching these interactive films just once. Rather, they are watching them over and over again to find each ending and post maps of the plot lines. I think I sat on my couch for nearly three hours straight trying to find all of Bandersnatch’s choices as it followed a programmer and designer through the process of game development.

[Source Photos: ETSY- dice used in DnD to play an interactive storytelling game.]

CONTROLLING YOUR OWN DESTINY

Dungeons & Dragons provides a way to understand and expand what Bandersnatch explores. Role-playing games let players pick characters with multiple traits, such as strength, health and special skills, and work together to achieve story-driven goals.

Role-playing games started with players gathered around a table, keeping notes on paper and rolling dice to incorporate the role of chance and probability into the adventure. A human game master coordinated everything, keeping track of what was happening and working with players to advance their stories and the overall plot of the adventure.

ILLUSION OF CHOICE

With Bandersnatch, Netflix used software to process viewers’ choices and deliver the appropriate video. When watching and “playing,” I wondered if there were too few choices. The show offered only two choices of breakfast cereal, and the viewer couldn’t choose to skip breakfast, make eggs, or open the freezer to grab some ice cream. But maybe there’s a very good reason for these constraints.

FUTURE OF INTERACTIVE MEDIA

There will be more interactive movies. Netflix has built its own software for Bandersnatch, which it can use for other stories too. There are already several addictive interactive kids’ shows, including Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale and Buddy Thunderstruck.

Gamers are already familiar with this style of film, interactivity, and branching narrative. Cinematic video games, like Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain, let players make choices in dialog and other cinematic aspects, all of which alter the endings. 

As technology continues to grow and expand, so do movies. Choosing your own ending adds a twist and excitement to entertainment today and will be the future of Media. 

Point and Shoot Photography (How to capture incredible images)

The Capture

The best way to select a perfect photo is by deciding whats feels important to yourself. It can be a selfie, family portrait, wide landscapes, or even your pet dog. Choosing a photo is a personal choice, and that’s what makes a photo unique.

To capture the best photo, the camera that you need is in your pocket. The smartphone’s camera is one of the best commonly used devices to capture images.

The way to find out what the best camera is, you will need to know three categories:
-Capture Resolution
-Video Display
-Printing Size

Or you can visit TechRadar to find out more about cameras

Romania

Camera Angles

There are many different angles to capture an effective image. Each of these angle shots will give different contrasting effect to the image. The higher the camera is the stronger the contrasting effect will be. The lower the camera angle is the less contrasting effect will be.

Here are some examples of camera angles for your image:
-Birds Eye View/Aerial
-Eye Level
-Point Of View (POV)
-Overhead
-High Angle
-Low Angle
-Worms Eye View

marinauzelac

Shot Sizes

Now that you understand what type of camera angles there are. Next, we have shot sizes. There are many different types of shot sizes that can tell different narrative value.

Here are some examples of shot sizes for your image:
-Extreme Close-Up (ECU)
-Close-Up
-Medium Wide Shot
-Wide Shot (Full Shot)
-Extreme Wide Shot (Long Shot)

www.studiobinder.com

Lighting

One of the important elements of a camera is lighting. You can use any kind of lighting, but that depends on the mood you are going for.

Author: Broden Halcrow-Ducharme

design on the computer

Affinity V.S. Adobe

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign… These are our Industry Standard programs for design illustration, and layouts… but why? There are so many alternatives out there for cheaper, and that have better features. There are several companies that are constantly developing and improving their programs. So the question is: will Adobe be able to keep up and keep their users invested even with the high monthly or yearly fee? Or will they get ran over by competitors in the next ten years?

Adobe programs are taught in design and art schools for good reason. A very large portion of the creative media industry makes use of these programs everyday. There is a major discount for students and teachers which influences the continued use of it in schools. Adobe is professional, and has many good related services for licensing fonts, choosing the right color palette, and stock images. They’re all at the fingertips of anyone with a Creative Cloud subscription. But there are many downsides to Adobe.

Issues with Adobe:

If you’re using older versions of Photoshop, Adobe can sue according to an email many users with older versions received. I highly doubt they will sue every person, but nevertheless the intent is there. Let people use their ancient CD’s man.

Subscriptions partially make sense. They prevent piracy, makes getting updates for programs much easier, and lowers the price overall compared to their old box set says Adi Agashe. But what will they do when a competitor offers a one time purchase for every update? Affinity is around the corner, and that’s exactly what they’re doing.

Here’s why Affinity is charging in like a ox:

Within five years, Affinity has been catching up to Adobe’s tail, and excelling in some ways. The price point is a huge deal. All of Affinity’s programs are a one time cost of $69.99 for each. They only have 3 programs out at the moment; Affinity Photo, Designer, and the newest one, Publisher. These three are all comparable with Photoshop, Illustrator, and Indesign.

Affinity Designer Interface

Most of the IMA students are aware of the great capabilities of the Adobe programs, but there are many great things in Affinity’s software as well.

A few features Affinity has over Adobe from the help of Photography-Raw, and Affinity Revolution:

  • Affinity has the feature that saves your undo history even after the app is closed, so you can go back to a version if need be
  • Live brush preview; so when you hover your brush over something, you can see the changes it will make
  • Live previews for blend modes and gradients
  • More customizable interface
  • Cheaper

Affinity is constantly improving, but Adobe is still a powerhouse. Both are great in their own ways. I think Adobe needed this competition to hopefully push them further, but I hope to see Affinity take the crown some day.

What are your thoughts on emerging programs in our creative field?

The Exciting World of Virtual Reality

(The Oculus Rift S VR Headset – Image retrieved from www.Oculus.com)

The latest craze in technology has been on a steady rise in popularity since it’s conception in recent years. That’s right, I’m talking about virtual reality. Virtual reality (VR) is opening up entire avenues for online interaction that would’ve never been possible even 15 years ago.

Here are some of the ways that VR is impacting the modern world:

  • Medical Procedures – VR is being tested in the context of planning and practicing medical procedures in hopes of increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of medical professionals worldwide. The medical community is looking for ways to be able to preform complex procedures in remote areas using robotics, which would be controlled by a professional using VR equipment.
  • Gaming – VR is making waves in the gaming industry by allowing gamers to take immersion to the next level and feel what it would be like to experience their favourite games as if they were the main character. Not only is it extremely immersive, but it has the most responsive controls ever made because it is as if the players are preforming the in-game actions themselves.
  • Business – Through VR, some businesses are able to conduct entire meetings and collaborate on projects with partners across the world. This allows for lower costs for businesses because they don’t have to fly employees across the world for meetings, which also cuts back on toxic emissions that harm the planet.
  • Entertainment – Since VR headsets have become easily accessible, many new avenues for entertainment have opened up, such as virtual reality podcasts that get streamed live to viewers across multiple platforms. Podcasts in virtual reality are able to be performed completely within the medium, with camera operators and sound engineers being able to create their own workspace within the set and change camera angles and adjust the volume of individual hosts, all without taking off their headsets.

VR is an extremely versatile tool that has expanded past a very niche group of users and hit the mainstream. Many technology experts firmly believe that VR is the future of life as we know it, even allowing users to work from home in a simulated office environment. Some users of VR have even built their own living spaces as 1-1 replicas in the virtual world, allowing them to experiment with different furniture layouts without the heavy lifting, sit on their couch to watch TV, or even live their lives within a virtual space.

VR looks to be the future of everything from work to play, and although it may not facilitate all of our everyday needs quite yet, I suspect that in the near future people could be able to live fully in VR, and never have to leave the comfort of their own homes. I also believe that in the near future, consumers will be able to use virtual reality to buy goods and do their shopping without stepping out of the house.

Is Media Ruining Body Image?


The images of perfect bodies and gleaming smiles that fill social media are being blamed for causing profound insecurities among many young people.

 

Adolescents has always been a time for feeling awkward and unattractive, a problem made even worse when social media posts suggest everyone else has the perfect figure.

 

Zachary Cullen is a student finishing his freshman year in high school, “I feel like there’s a lot of things you you feel like you need to do and need to be, I feel those things too. ” Cullen says. “In high school, it really changed because there’s a lot more people and a lot more peer pressure to look the best way you can.”

 

And social media isn’t helping those who struggle with body image.

 

 

On the other side of town, counsellor Ryan Sturgeon works with teens who are struggling with body issues, “One in four teenage boys have tried dieting to change the shape of their body.” Sturgeon says. “[And] one in two teen girls, according to Canadian Pediatrics Society.”

 


Though men are typically not the target of beauty campaigns, they are also victims to media’s portrayal of what men should be.

 

Todd M. Wysocki, a professor of Psychology has conducted research in his article, Male Body Image: The Best Kept Secret , “215 college men completed a body image questionnaire developed specifically for this study.” Wysocki says. “More than half indicated some level of body dissatisfaction and 86% identified a desire to change parts of their body.”

 

But are body positive campaigns really aiming to help those who are struggling with body image, or are they a simply a target for advertising agencies?

 

Campaign Backlash

 

Dove, a beauty company that has a well known background in promoting heart felt body acceptance campaigns – received negative backlash when they decided the create shampoo with different “body shapes” to represent the diversity of shapes.

 

Some consumers are not please with Dove’s philosophy behind their new product. (Photo taken from www.Dove.com).


“Our six exclusive bottle designs represent this diversity: just like women, we wanted to show that our iconic bottle can come in all shapes and sizes, too.” Dove said on
its website.

 

Though on the consumer side of things, Nicolle Neulist is not impressed with the product. “I don’t want fat representation in soap bottle form.” Neulist says, “I’d prefer it in a form of fat people not being systematically treated poorly.”

 

It seems that she is not alone, many people have taken to twitter to voice their opinion.

 

Photo taken from www.twitter.com.

 

Photo taken from www.twitter.com.


Beauty companies that campaign for body positive isn’t fighting the real problem that alot who struggle with their body image: eating disorders.

 

The University of Pittsburgh has researched the correlation between eating disorders and social media. “[The] subjects who spent the most time engaged with social media each day had 2.2 times the risk of developing eating disorders.” The report continues, “ [Additionally,] those who most frequently checked their social media feeds weekly carried 2.6 times the risk.”

 

Back in the city, Cullen is taking a more healthy approach – he has been boxing for almost a year now. “It’s not really how my body looks now,” Cullen says. “It’s how boxing makes me feel. I am more confident in myself.”  

Brief collection of logos and icons for software I have covered in this blog post. Working clockwise from the top: Open Office, OBS, MEGA upload cloud service, Lucid Chart, F.lux

Essential Software for College Students.

Modern students are expected to accomplish rubrics that form curriculum’s. It’s an integral part of education. Other expectations that are essential to college students is getting acquainted with new software, saving on finances and organization, among other drawbacks. I’m Brian Denton, writing this blog in hopes to elaborate how to boil down your college needs with software efficiency.

First wave of software I’m running down will be centric towards word processing. Microsoft’s One Note is available enough for college students as Microsoft offers deals to colleges, but open source softwares such as OpenOffice, LibreOffice, and AbiWord; all user friendly replacements for Microsoft Word if you don’t have access to One Note. If writing isn’t your forte, or find yourself easily diverted, you might be looking for software such as DarkRoom which is a distraction free word processor. LaTex, which is used for writing down extensive research papers, is recommended for STEM students.

Some students find starting assignments as their biggest obstacle. If this sounds like somebody you know, they may have the option to video record and study off that or build presentations through this action. Open Broadcast Software and Icecream Apps are free softwares used to capture and record audio/video from your desired computer or device, with OBS being used to also livestream your recordings elsewhere.

My final coverage for this blog will be about Organization and Health. Cloud Servers such as Google Drive and MEGA.nz are a good start to storage. LucidChart is a collaborative group editor for flowcharts. 7-Zip is used to compress large files into a single folder, making file sharing that much less painful. TreeSheets is a note management service that structures your notes out in lieu of a tree. Lastly, students should take breaks to relieve any strain on their eyes, with f.lux software, your screen-burned eyes will be tended to after installing this app. F.lux works by taking your systems time and location and applying an algorithm that changes the overall screen colour – or “Temperature” over time or through a schedule. This helps on our eyes as they see light at different depths. Warmer colours are easier on the eyes than colder colours. Having a system that transitions from cold to warm throughout the day may relieve any optical discrepancies you may face as a student glued to several school monitors.

Hozier’s “Wasteland, Baby!” Review 2

To Noise Making (Sing) – It starts with some bursts of guitar, piano and light drums so the focus is on the vocals. It has a very uplifting sound to it. He is once again using the choral harmonies. The bursts kind of carry through it. A couple choruses in they add some clapping. With overlapping of vocals.

 

As It was – There is an eerie blues guitar in the beginning. His vocal tone is dark and quiet. Then piano and violin kick in, the whole vibe is dark. As it progresses there is a standup bass. I like how his vocals build in the chorus. It ends with a cool droning sound. Read More

Anchor.FM: The Easiest Way to Podcast

It’s either people are listening to podcasts or creating their own podcasts nowadays. The audio streaming industry is now better recognized and paid attention to because of its contents’ ease to access and inexpensiveness to create. As a matter of fact, people are more inclined to consume content on their own time. If you’re one of those people who would like to join in on the fun of podcasting but is clueless where to start, you should know there are several hosts out there that can serve your podcasting needs. One app that I would like to recommend is Anchor.fm.

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The most popular massive multiplayer online types

With the changes in the internet some people who like to play video games may want to play with lots of other people who share similar interest as them. For some people when they think of massive multiplayer online(MMO) games their mind think of the massive World of Warcraft, and there is no surprise to that because of the millions of people who still to this day are playing. Read More

Billie Eilish: When we all fall asleep, Where do we Go? Album Review

 

After releasing her EP don’t smile at me, March 29, 2019; Billie Eilish released multiple singles separate from this project.

My first impression to her music was that it was a breath of fresh air for the pop genre, the broodiness of the lyrical content doesn’t get in the way of the fun of listening to it while Billie’s performance, personality, and  execution shine through.

The advertising of the album was rather intrusive much like drake’s 2018 release Scorpion, and the social media presence she has had the past year has stirred the topic that she could be an industry plant.

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Embrace The Square: Why You Hate Instagram But Still Use It

 

There’s no denying since the release of camera-competitive smartphones, Instagram revolutionized the way we take and share pictures. It’s the only app that restricts its main posts in one specific dimension (600×600 pixels) and yet, even with this fact, 95 million photos are posted every day. I’ve wandered off Instagram at some point in my life and switched to other photography platforms like VSCO — which I still love, by the way — but found my way back to the now-Mark Zuckerberg-owned application. Instagram is like that one annoying friend you just can’t get rid of because #1, everybody likes her and #2, apparently, she is all the buzz even with her dull and copycat personality.
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