I thought the Eli Pariser video on “Filter Bubbles“was very thought provoking. I never realized how all of these different search engines tailor the information that they feed to you based on what they think you want from previous information. Sometimes I get so frustrated when I am searching for something specific and the search engines take me to all of this nonsensical stuff that has nothing to do with what I am actually looking for. Now I understand that it is because of the filter bubbles. I don’t want to be boxed in or censored by what someone else thinks I want. I want the world at my fingertips! I want to discover things outside of my normal focal point. Isn’t that the point of having this vast world wide web available to us? Isn’t supposed to provide us with all the possibilites and not just the ones it thinks we want?
The most disturbing part of the video was that facebook essentially edited out his conservative friends from his feed because he was more active with his liberal friends. What we want to incorporate into our online database should be based on our own personal decisions, not decisions made by technology that has interpreted what my likes and dislikes should be. I do not want to be controlled or restricted based on data compiled from prior inquiries that may have nothing to do with my current needs. No one should decide who I am and what I want but me! I will leave you with one final thought, the following is a quote by Eli Pariser that we should all consider the implications of carefully, “Your filter bubble is your own personal, unique universe of information that you live in online. What’s in your filter bubble depends on who you are, and it depends on what you do. But you don’t decide what gets in — and more importantly, you don’t see what gets edited out.” (Eli Pariser) Do you want to allow someone else to decide for you, or do you want to control your own destiny?
A standpoint. Your standpoint. My standpoint. Well, before I get into my standpoint, I will briefly describe what a standpoint is. A standpoint is a place from which to critically view the world around us. Sandra Harding and Julia Wood claim that the social groups within which we are located powerfully shape what we experience and know as well as how we understand and communicate with ourselves, others, and the world. Our standpoint affects our worldview. So what makes me who I am today?
Growing up in Barrington, NJ, in a white, middle class neighborhood is only one piece of the puzzle that I call me. Being female is a piece of my puzzle. Catholicism is also a piece of my puzzle. My parents raised me to be who I am today so they are another piece of my puzzle. The people who surrounded me were also a big piece of my puzzle. Creating a standpoint is like fitting together the pieces of a puzzle. They all together are pieces of a whole. All of these things made me who I am today. These plus so many more!
Starting off, when I was growing up and going to elementary and middle school, the town I live in was mostly white. There were very few different races in my neighborhood and the schools that I went to. So from a racial view, I was new to the whole thing. Being young, I didn’t really know much about other races or cultures. I wish that I had more experience then so that I would have been able to transfer it over my high school days. In high school, it was almost half and half since there were three towns that went to one high school: Barrington, Haddon Heights, and Lawnside. And as everyone knew, Lawnside was majority African American. Going in to high school with different races was new for me. It took me some time to get used to it, but I feel as though I adjusted well. I wasn’t someone who treated anyone differently because of their color. I like to think of myself as someone who treated everyone with the same amount of respect. It was the amount of respect that I wanted others to give me. My mother always told me to treat others the way that I would want to be treated. That was something that stuck with me and will always stick with me.
I felt that being a white individual had its ups. I never felt bad for being white. I did sometimes feel bad for the African Americans, because in my school, and probably everywhere, there were stereotypes that they did not work hard at all, and all they knew how to do was wear their pants below their butts and curse. Yes, there were some who did that, but also some white individuals did that as well. I did not like how they didn’t discriminate against the white individuals. There were many African Americans who tried just as hard as me in school and they deserve the respect that I was given. Those who tried hard and succeeded, or maybe did not succeed, should not be grouped with those of the same race who were making their race look bad. In my opinion, everyone is their own individual. What you do shapes the way you should be noticed and respected. It should not be based off of the color of your skin.
In school, I also felt that as a female I had it a little easier than the males. It seemed to me that the males were always left behind. Females mostly were the ones who tried harder and got more attention from the teachers. The teachers held high expectations for the females and it felt like the males, if they did not meet those same expectations, were left out. The teachers would not work with them as much to make them better. I’m not really sure why this was so, but it seemed to be a trend even through high school. It didn’t happen as much in high school, but it did and I never really understood why it happened. That is one of the reasons I never complained about being a female in school.
Being catholic was not a huge influence on me as a person. I know that this is terrible to say, but this was not a major part of my life. Yes, I went through all the years of CCD, made my confirmation, but I really did not focus on this too much. Going through CCD, I felt like I was being made to go. Back then I never really wanted to go, but I am glad that I did. Even though today I do not go to church like I am supposed, I do not shun the beliefs I have about God. I should make time to go to church, but scheduling just never works out. It is not a big part of who I am, but it is still a part. When I need guidance, I always have someone to turn to and I know I will get answers.
My parents, family, and the people who surround me are the biggest part of who I am today. My parents raised me to be an all-around good citizen, and I feel like that was accomplished. They taught me to be responsible, to be kind to others, and so much more. I do my best every day to utilize what they taught me. Some days are harder than others, but overall I feel as though I am doing a fantastic job. My brother and sister also helped shape who I am today. Without them, I don’t really think I would be the same. We always argue and fight, but I still love them. It’s just who we are and I’m okay with that. I always say that I would jump in front of a bullet for them, and I hope that they would do the same for me.
Nine years can really do something to a person. That’s why the members of the Haddon Heights High Voltage colorguard changed my life. Without colorguard, I feel as though I would be socially awkward and have nothing to do. They made me believe in me and conquer my fears. I thank God every day that he gave me the opportunity to be part of such an awesome organization. Words cannot even describe how much different my life would be without it. But like we always say, “colorguard, to those who understand, no explanation necessary, and for those who don’t, no explanation possible.” Again, all the people in my life truly made me who I am today.
My standpoint, like all others, is genuine. I don’t make up lies to make my life seem better. My life is the way it is. I would not change anything. The present is what makes the future and without the past we would not have a present. So things happen that affect the way we live today. Family and friends were a major part of who I am and still are today. The way that they changed me and helped me to grow helps me to see the world in a whole new perspective. I will always put others before myself. Everyone around me has done the same, so I feel as though I must live up to that. It is a great thing to live by. By helping others, will help me become an even better person.
The world today seems to be much different than even ten years ago, so I can see that things will always be changing. I must keep up and continue to change myself. Nothing ever has to be set in stone. Things can vary and even change back. Until I find the perfect me, I will continue to reach for perfect. I know perfect is a term not used very often, but I do not need to be perfect in others’ eyes, only in my own. This puzzle we call ourselves, will never be complete. Things change constantly, so who knows even what our puzzle will look like tomorrow. Be constantly on your toes and good things will happen!