Final Post :)

Food for canvas

Some artwork of mine, that I am displaying at an art show at Mast Kalandar, Bangalore, India.

Websites like deviantART, a website for sharing and creating art, and Wattpad, a website for fiction writing, have shown collective effort on the internet that fits the description of cognitive surplus. These websites are for users interested in specific activities like art or writing to come together to create something. They put aside time, energy and effort to create useful stories, pieces of art, and so much more to generate surplus. Several community or destination sites such as these allow users to create and share their work.

I have personally benefited immensely from both sites over the past several years. It is not just a place to showcase my work, but seek comments from peer artists that I respect and admire. This participation is what makes these sites richer and keeps people coming back. In Wattpad for example, writers I know had not only found sympathetic and engage readers, but fans who design cover pages swap marketing tips. As with any community, the primary goal is to create a sense of belonging, a safe place to experiment and get encouragement and inspiration.
As an Indian kid working on manga, deviantART allowed me to not only sample manga work of many nations, but meet other similar kids who were crazy about manga as well (Otaku as we are called online).
I believe in looking at the positive perspective of life. Take the lost cell phone story we read a couple weeks ago, for example, after posting an advertisement and talking about the cell phone online, discussions with several different kinds of people sparked, the owner was able to retriever his cell phone. This would have never happened if there were not place online to discuss and meet different people. I think I feel enough comfortable online now, that I would post about my lost cell phone on Facebook or Twitter. Since I just got a Twitter for this class, I feel like it would be easier sharing it on Facebook as I have been there longer.
I really enjoyed this class and came across several new topics. I enjoyed the videos about NSA and cyber networking, as they were relatively new. They also scared me to a certain extent. It kind of made me wonder if the government was reading our blog posts as we were writing our opinions on them. (Looks around nervously!) We are now a generation heavily wrapped up in our own cocoons online, so I feel like it’s good if we are a little cautious every now and then.

Clay Shirky provided some interesting points. I liked that he stated that people should take time and effort on their own to create something (cognitive surplus). He states that this is easy to do so when one is in a community, like I have felt online with deviantART and Wattpad, and is comfortable exploring themselves and what they like. This allows them to forms skills and use tools to spread their message about their interest and dedication in specific fields.

My tools, for instance, currently include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. They allow me to spread word on what I am doing. Whether it’s a release of a new YouTube video or a new blog post for this class, I am able to share my dedicated work through several forms of media.

I have really enjoyed having a blog and hope to continue using one. It could kind of be like my online diary, though I am not usually comfortable having people read my writing, let alone my diary. This class has been a lot of fun and it was great interacting and meeting all of you! Good luck on your future endeavors!

Identity = Identity Online? Do I like myself? Who likes me? (Week 7)

nickbilton via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: nickbilton via Compfight cc

This week’s video had several popular culture references which I related too. I was literally jumping out of my chair, excitedly when I saw Tyler Oakley on the screen. YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, more the former two than the latter, have been shaping billions of people’s identities.

I recently started a YouTube channel myself, and I feel as though I understand a lot of the kids in the video. I haven’t decided whether that is a good thing or bad thing yet! Sometimes, like the Oreo that has rainbow flavors inside it, social media and data online can transform thoughts and mindsets. It gets people involved and catches their attention. Culture now cannot exist without technology and social media. It shapes our very identity.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Compfight cc

The “experiment on the Haifa day care centers proved that culture can be affected by a single change” (pg. 135). While parents previously had a flexible timing, some of them did come late to pick up the children from day care. Despite adding a penalty or a fee for not picking up the children on time, the parents continued to come late and did not seem to mind paying the penalty. It seems that a simple change can have a drastic impact when present and even after it is removed. The other example from “Culture” was the twenty-five dollar fee that had to be paid by the author because of a change in the return date of the flight. While the author did think that this was an understandable amount, he did not realize that it was the penalty toward the airline. These above transactions were all considered to be regular exchanges that occur in the market. In both cases the individuals did not consider them as penalties or a real disadvantage. It is clear that these transactions are ways of changing human behavior. Though the author states, “Some kinds of value cannot be created by markets, but by culture” (pg. 136). Culture is definitely a trendsetter and is the central focus of our values and beliefs. The current generation, obsessed with social media and constantly looking for approval from likes, uses culture and knowledge as tools. The reading definitely shows us that this is possible, and if there is community initiative and acknowledgement on a given topic or idea, I believe anything is possible.

Social media companies are smart. They collect massive amounts of data from every single person online. After collecting all the information online, they are able to create marketing strategies, suggestions and determine what the consumer wants. It has turned into a world where the consumer is able to tell you what they want and companies can give it to them. In fact, I feel that common interests and patterns traced online by social media companies is a tool mentioned in “Fitting Our Tools to a Small World.” The first example provided in the readings is a person that is riding a plane, a form of transportation and meets someone. The individuals both express interest in a specific topic. Boom! The individuals have formulated a smaller globe, just by a simple expression of similar topics. These are two individuals who don’t have any prior knowledge of each other. This could happen anywhere online, just as it does for many of us in the real world.

I guess we should start thinking of the internet as a whole other world that we could exist parallel to. On the internet, we can meet many random strangers, people we don’t know at all. It could be a fifteen year old or an eighty five year old behind a single persona online. On random, you can pick out two or three people who may have specific interests in the same topic. This is what companies have devised. Many companies have agreed to keep all the data which their consumers post online on their respective websites. It allows them to further create links and establish interests. This is all to do one thing- sell the product, idea or concept. It is about selling. I noticed some tweets for this week analyzed whether selling out could mean many things. Personally, I think it is all about increasing consumerism.

This week’s video, “Generation Like,” spoke on various levels how companies could sell anything and how teenagers have become obsessed with their personalities online. Companies use popular teenagers and young adults online, to sell their product. What’s interesting is that teenagers or the youth in general, are the primary target for this selling out. I feel as though this could also be psychological and manipulative on the seller’s side. Teenage years are a time where individuals hit puberty and feel insecure about themselves. They want to know whether they are accepted in society and are comfortable being themselves. All of a sudden, “do you like me” or “does anyone really like me”, pops into their heads. It doesn’t help that today, many of these questions may be stemmed from internet, technology, popular apps and media. It should not make them feel more secure if they have a certain number of likes on their selfies on Instagram or a profile picture that supposedly represents themselves.

Marshal McLuhan did not live long enough to see this current change in technology. Despite this, given his prior knowledge on the subject, I believe he could have predicted this change. I think he would be both dismayed and surprised by the industry and how it is all being carried out. All of these changes, has led to much of the population, especially the youth becoming slaves to consumerism. While companies have tried to bring it in subtly, it is now obvious to me, standing back and analyzing this. I’m not going to lie, I myself have been caught on this whole trap of consumerism. There are advantages and disadvantages of this rapid movement towards gaining attention online and increased consumerism. Hopefully, it plays out well and toward the consumer and market’s advantage.

Week 6 post

Technological determination is an interesting concept. I had no idea such a theory existed prior to this week. Marshall McLuhan stated that there were four occasions in human history where there were rapid transformations of one idea to the next that were revolutionary. These being tribal, literate, print and electronic transformations. All four of these were rapid changes with revolutionary results. What really impressed me was when he said that society was retribalizing. By this he meant that individuals were able to find tribes, or likeminded individuals worldwide. I really like the example of Comic Con as I have been to one myself, and thought, “Yes! We really do find likeminded people from all over the place interesting in a specific comic or series.”

When McLuhan talked about retribalizing and how we are currently a society constantly surrounded by electronic media, we are able to easily find likeminded individuals globally. He basically stated that there is a rise of a global village. More and more people are able to meet other people with similar interests, despite the fact that they are oceans apart. I was able to meet my roommate and several other people that

Retribalizing also made me think about this week’s reading of “Here Comes Everybody.” The examples in the chapter tried to portray that collective action was different from individual action. For instance, the 1989 protesters in the East German city of Leipzig show us that collective action can really go a long way. Even flash mobs portray the importance and purpose of collective action. I believe the interesting ideas about these two collective activities was that no individual person was singled out or specifically known. It was a group of likeminded individuals that got together for a single activity which they believed in. These activities are also now possible through communication technology with technology determination. Retribalizing allows this very concept of collective action.

The PBS video showed us the perspective of college students at MIT and how they perceived multitasking as effective. Many college kids today are constantly using many forms of technology and media all at the same time. Whether its kids at MIT, or students at Stanford, or even eight year olds at home we are able to see that different individuals use technology on a daily basis with ease.

I believe that mobile technology and the internet would be considered warm or even cool. I would say that various kinds of media and these specific technology used currently require several senses. I feel as though it is impossible to use just one sense. When I think of my daily activities I think of Facebook, Twitter, email and lots of YouTube. YouTube especially consists of lot of visual and auditory sense usage. In fact a vast majority of the internet is combing various senses such as seeing, hearing and even touching nowadays. While many individuals seem to think they can do it, multitasking is not as easy as it sounds. Like the study conducted on students at Stanford suggests, some tasks require all or most of your attention in order to then effectively. I would not suggest watching television and driving or even texting while driving. Although speaking on your phone or texting while driving is illegal, there are people that feel they can do it anyway.

It seems as though we are going back to our primitive ways. We started as tribes and we are ending up as tribes once again. I also feel that despite finding likeminded people we should also be open to finding individuals of different tribes. It is great to mix and mingle with different types of people. Many times when individual find likeminded people they tend to stick in that group and in their comfort zone. I believe that we should always be able to allow someone to push our limits and explore various possibilities. I believe that communicative technologies along with the internet allow us to do that as we are approached and interact with various kinds of people. While individuals may have similar interests they may also have different opinions and views on ideas. Technology does shape our society and culture. Now that we have it, I don’t think we can go back to a time where society did not require mobile phones or the internet. It is time to allow communicative technologies to enter our worlds permanently and embrace both the pros and cons of it.

 

The internet is freedom

I think I am proving the Asian stereotype when I say that I like things cheap. I truly dislike paying for something more than necessary, especially if I can get it free. This week’s material wanted us to think about whether we would pay more for existing internet activities that we have already have for a low cost or even free. This was because companies were battling it out and they wanted to see who could earn the most.

Currently, I live in South Asia, specifically India where network can be slow and sometimes just shut down when it rains too hard and a transformer blows out. Every time I travel to America I feel spoiled and also lucky as the internet is so much faster and efficient. There is limited network bandwidth on the speed of the internet each month here, at home. In fact, the first month I travel back to India, I forget that the speed of the bandwidth is limited, so I end up using it all within the first few days. I feel bad when I ask my dad if he could pay extra for the rest of the month. “How do you use it all up in such a short time?” my dad is flummoxed. He ends up making me promise not to use all of the bandwidth and to use it judiciously.

When I think about two internet companies that are charging more money for each other’s traffic, eventually it is the consumer that ends up suffering. It is definitely harder today to avoid the internet and data online because we are constantly using this. This class literally demonstrates the fact. We can get anything on the internet ranging from cayote urine (John Oliver on Net Neutrality) to having a job.

Net neutrality, having all data being treated equally, is not something we need at the moment. I feel as though I’m satisfied with the way the internet is. I still want to be able to watch TV shows and movies on Netflix without a price rise. How am I going to watch the latest episode of any of my favorite shows if I cannot afford it?

The internet works because it allows you to access whatever you need to. Maggie Reardon stated in the video that if you give people what they want and that there are no rules on how it is open, people enjoy the internet more. If you began restricting things, I believe that people will switch to other companies aside from these two. If these two companies are battling it out and there is another start up that provides the alternative of a lower price than maybe people will switch to that and both the companies will suffer.

If the companies are large content providers, it is tough to make a decision on accepting the price rise, as they are in our daily lives and we require them for education, work and even communicating to family and friends on a daily basis. In fact, it’s these large content providers like Google and Microsoft that allow for a smaller world and worldwide contact 24/7. People want to be able to access these large content providers with ease and as less cost as possible.

I feel I would also have a better opinion if I was keeping track of my finances. This past year I left home for college and haven’t really been paying my own phone bill and there is free Wi-Fi on campus. Once I start paying for my own bills and starting earning my own money, I feel I may have a different opinion than I do now.

Photo Credits: Stefan via Compfight cc

Introducing higher prices would have an impact on the economy. Only certain people could be able to afford these higher prices for data and network speed. If I had to pay higher, I would probably stop using certain data generated services. It feels as though we have just begun on an era of having the world become smaller. It would be criminal to let that go and stop using these services. On the other hand I would also argue that too much of our lives is on the internet and is out there. I remember chuckling at one part of John Oliver’s video when he says, “Do you remember physically having friends?” The internet has somehow also impaired us from actually communicating with our friends on a day to day basis. Physically meeting and making friends seems like a challenge when everyone is wrapped up online.

Week 4 Blog

I was becoming increasingly worried while watching both the videos. Considering how much information I feel I have on the internet and the amount of social media I use on a daily basis, somehow it was unnerving. Both the videos and the readings spoke about how information on the internet can be accessed by the government and how the US government was monitoring the phone calls, emails and information of American citizens and citizens of other country.

The first thing that I thought of was the fact that it was an invasion of privacy. I wouldn’t like anyone, let alone the government, looking through my emails, bank accounts, and other information I have out on the web, private or not. The program was originally made out of fear of more attacks like 9/11. I remember the scene in the video where Ed Loomis began crying, and spoke of how it was unfair that so many people died and that they did not figure out a way to find out such an attack was going to happen. He wondered how such an attack not be detected and whether there was a way it could be done.

The program was created to stop attacks from occurring on American citizens. It was meant to watch individuals who were ‘terrorists’ and not American citizens. When the program began, I’m not sure anyone really knew the full extent of it and how it would turn out. General Hayden aimed at creating a secure environment for America and aimed at reducing the number of humans involved in the process. The interesting thing about this whole system was that it was all online. There was no manual factor to it. The whole program monitored information which was online in the form of emails, phone calls, bank accounts, insurance and so many other factors. It tells me that we have become a more technologically dependent society. A large portion of the population depends on the internet.

I do agree that the program does have benefits in the long run. I don’t like that there is an invasion of privacy, but it may be beneficial to help keep the country safe. At this point, I also feel as though my opinion or the opinions of other American citizens don’t really matter as the government seems to do it whether we like it or not. Are we a free country anymore? Where we can do or say whatever we want?

Hearing about Flame malware or Stuxnet, shows us that there are individuals out there that can potentially destroy and steal information online. It shows me that governments should make sure that these sorts of weapons should not fall into the right hands. Also, if they are with government employees they should be used the right way. The podcast showed us that stuxnet was planted on targets to get information on the systems before they could design an attack on it.

Sometimes I feel that if the American people had not heard about the program it might have been easier to deal with now. The phrase what you don’t know can’t hurt you comes to mind. We would not have had all these arguments on privacy invasion and the government might have kept us safe. Though I don’t agree with the invasion of privacy the program allows for, it might actually be worthwhile.

A lot of the world’s conflicts have turned cyber and there has been an increase in the number of cyber weapons increased over the past several decades. International conduct is now dictated by their cyber weapons and cyber systems. Stuxnet is a classic example of this. Stuxnet had been in the public not to steal passwords or identities, but it aimed at looking for industrial operations (“Stuxnet 60 Minutes”). Stuxnet was a virus that had only one objective and affected every computer it touched.

Whether computer viruses or a whole program dedicated to analyzing various individuals’ private information on the web, anything on the internet can be accessed and is vulnerable. We must all remain hopeful that the universe will eventually settle it’s score. I am mixed on on my opinion on whether we should have the program. While I think it is unethical, I believe it may be worthwhile in the long run.

What’s your Internet media diet?

I've just sucked one year of your life away

Photo credit: Elizabeth Marten

My sister calls me a social butterfly. Every day I use a great deal of social media, be it Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and even Twitter for this class. Sometimes I read news on BBC or Slate, but I mostly use social media sites when I log onto my laptop. Reading the chapter on “Gin, Television, and Cognitive Surplus,” there was information which I was both aware and unaware of. For instance, I found the read on the Gin craze of 1700 fascinating. It was interesting to see it connect with information consumption and industrialization.

Gin consumption had become a part of individual’s daily lives. What was interesting was that it played a key role in affecting new social structures of society. It allowed people to forget their sorrows of urban life whether it was work, home or relationships. It was a temporary get away from their daily lives. It was not only gin that brought changes post industrialization, but also the fact that more of the population was getting educated. More individuals were asked to talk about what they felt and thought. This led to increased communication which ultimately led to the creation of sitcoms on the television. As stated in the reading, “Gin, Television, and Cognitive Surplus,” sitcoms became our new gin (Shirky 5).

Ever since I got to college, I stopped watching television. Aside from the fact that I was busy with classes and making friends, the fact that I didn’t really have one in my room contributed to my not watching. It was a good thing because I hang out with more people and communicate better when there is no television around. My main screen source of entertainment is YouTube and the internet. Although my friends and I don’t watch television at college, we have still continued to watch sitcoms and our favorite television shows. Whether it is Game of Thrones, the Walking Dead or Breaking Bad, we would continue to watch it online or by plugging in an HDMI cable to the television in our lounge. In a way, I completely agree that television shows are our new gin.

If Americans cut down on all their television hours, they would have ample amount of free time. This is what the author of “Here Comes Everybody” complains about. The author brings up the term cognitive surplus which portrays that many educated individuals endlessly spend time on various user generated sites on the internet. When I think about my own life, every day I spend at least a couple of hours on YouTube, Tumblr, Facebook and even educational sites for school each. Granted, I don’t feel as though I am wasting time on these sites but learning a great deal.

The Internet, particularly social media sites, always have certain topics which are trending. Tagging and trending are a way for people to get together online and discuss what they are thinking and feeling. I remember when the Red Wedding episode of Game of Thrones came out, it was trending for almost a month everywhere on the Internet. I don’t mind that a great deal of information is constantly vetted and verified often after the fact. It provides various opinions and avenues of thought when the same piece of information is criticized, analyzed and verified. User generated sites are appealing. They allow interaction and opinion into different people’s lives.

While there are benefits to information being produced on the internet, there are also disadvantages. There are various advertisements, fake scientific sites, and false information spewed across the internet. Facebook often contains these pages for scientific sites, advertisements and so on. In fact lot of the information people receive are stemmed from social networking sites. Whenever I intend to look for something credible and or am actually going to find some real piece of information needed for school, I tend to go to educational sites and news sites. Otherwise, I tend to stick to networking sites to stay in constant contact with my friends, classmates and family.

All in all, my internet media diet consists of a lot of snacking, some unhealthy YouTube obsession and some healthy fiber in the form of Deviant art.

Week 2 – Technology Invention & Community Building

To be honest, I did not know a lot of the information about the the internet – hidden or otherwise or even the telegraph that was discussed in the presentation and podcast. Both the readings were enjoyable and I felt as though they were more relatable and easier to analyze than the video.

The Invention Process

I was surprised to learn how much the invention, adoption and propagation of both the telegraph and the modern internet have in common, despite the hundred and fifty years that separate the two events.

  • Multiple people in disparate locations working on the same or similar problem, many times unaware of each other or their work.
  • In both instances, small inventions, seemingly unconnected or unrelated went on to create a tipping point that resulted in life-altering communication technologies.

For instance, the internet as we know it today, tipped when the physical network and the standard TCP/IP protocol that ARPANET used combined with cheap hardware running open source Linux, public key encryption, the World Wide Web protocol and the modern browser.

Similarly, the critical role that government played both as funder and as a customer is quite similar for the telegraph and the modern internet. Without active funding and support from the government, both inventions would have had a hard time getting out into the real world.

User Generated Content

User Generated Content

Infographic by mycube.com via myreputation.com

Both the readings showcase how the prevalence of online communities and tools to create and share content are enabling community creation in ways that just would not have been possible or economically feasible in the past. Both examples illustrate how user generated content be via photos from a natural disaster or man-made disaster can give rise to communities at practically no cost. Both the story of the Sidekick from “It takes a Village to find a Phone” and the introduction of a photo sharing social network known as Flickr from “Sharing Anchors Community,” portray the cooperation of society with advancement in modern technology.

In “It takes a Village to find a Phone,” Evan helped his friend Ivanna find her phone by creating a simple webpage. Initially what was just a webpage evolved into a widespread message sent around the community, which allowed Evan to get access to expert community resources, exert pressure on the police to act and even get free legal advice. Due to online technology, he was able to get the phone back and get the culprit arrested. Many individuals who found the website, wanted to help out and offered their support. While Evan may have just intended to post the idea and message on a simple website, he received massive support from different people.

When we look at “Sharing Anchors Community,” individuals can spread ideas, concepts and information very far just by using a variety of online technologies . The reading illustrates various new tools that remove older burdens that were once present when sharing ideas traditionally. For instance, the images on Flickr have zero transaction cost and can be seen anywhere at anytime. It also allows for certain images with similar concepts and ideas to be tagged. This allows grouping ideas together – often the same pictures in different ideas or tags. These newer tools pave way for better community building.

Technology & Community Building

Today, the internet, smartphones, and other smart devices, are tools that allow community building. They make it easy to contact people on a daily basis – whether it is using images, having a contact list, videos, texts and various apps. It is in human nature to interact with others and form groups. Now that it is easier to do so, we strive to form groups and have created newer ones. It is interesting to see where these groups we form in our communities will take us.

This has probably been mentioned but another similarity I find in all of the readings, is the reduction in costs as technology has developed. With the introduction of the internet and websites like Flickr there has been a reduction in transaction costs, and various other costs that had prevented groups from forming easily. There is also a level of convenience from having information and ideas online. Through the course of time it is exciting to see where technology will take us. It is also intriguing to see its effect on community building, as it has already improved it.

My communities

Overall, technology has had a positive impact on community building whether in terms of sharing or creation of social tools to alleviate burdens of groups formation. Personally for me, this has been a boon. As a fan of manga, while growing up in India it allowed me to reach out to other fans elsewhere in the world (we’re called Otaku) – similarly deviantart.com, a community of artists and user generated art has been a source of inspiration as I’ve tried to learn and grow as an artist. Such communities would have been nearly impossible, but for today’s Internet.

 

Am I an early adopter?

String Phone

photo credit: gfpeck via compfight cc

I never stopped to consider this question – whether I’m an early adopter of technology. Hmm, let me think about it for a moment.  I would say that I am an early adopter, having paved the way for my friends to try many a tech trend with me.

Having lived half my life in California and the other half in India, I feel as though my methods as a technology adopter have varied. In California, I was younger and strove to impress my parents and friends and did not care as much about technology as it wasn’t as important yet. When we lived in the Silicon Valley many of my neighbors were Asian friends who had all the latest gadgets. I never really considered myself as an early adopter, as everyone else seemed to have tech that I had and if I stop to think about it I’d say we were on par. It was as though it was part of the culture, the system and society lived.

Living in India as a teenager and going to high school, I strove to be the early adopter. Technology, and its varying forms, was a way to reach popularity, not entirely without some consequences. I did cry in my room sometimes because of a stupid chat conversation with a boy, but all in all was a way to learn many ideas and concepts. Through high school and my pre college years I hoped that I wasn’t the individual who lagged behind in using technology tools to communicate with others. Until I got to college at UIS, I never really understood the concept of being an online learner and the importance of technology on a whole other scale.

Being an early adopter was something that came naturally. Not just because my dad was an engineer and I grew up part in the Silicon Valley, but because it was something natural and I understood easily and quickly. My dad set up my first email when I was just 6 years old. It was at 6 years old that I sent my first email to my best friend who also had one. It was surprising to me and cool. Astonished that replies and chats could be instant, I have not been off the internet since.

I am going to be a sophomore at UIS this fall. It is obvious I am a social media junkie, as I met a vast majority of my friends on Facebook, including my first roommate. Almost every form of social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, figures in my daily routine. All except the one I had to create for this class which is Twitter and now a WordPress blog.

Twitter somehow hadn’t enticed me as fast as the others had. I think I see the relevance for it now, due to this class. Aside from the internet and social media, on a daily basis my iPhone and music player see heavy usage both to communicate with my friends and to entertain me. Sometimes my friends and parents consider me married to my phone because I am constantly texting, using apps, or posting a picture (embarrassing as it is to admit, possibly a selfie).

Music plays a huge role in my life especially for communication. My mom, who is a professional Indian classical singer, made sure it figured big in my life while growing up. Whether it was the endless Bhartanatyam, Indian classical dance classes my sister and I had to take, or the violin lessons, music was rarely absent from my day. With the introduction of mp3 players and iPods, my sister and I found a getaway to listen to Western pop music, which was very different from my mother’s Indian classical style. My mother created podcasts, CDs and YouTube videos to share her music to the rest of the world. The combination of an artist’s music with communication technology allows the rest of the world access and understand a part of them. I learnt from the ideas my mother established in the context of music, that I could do the same with my artwork. I used Tumblr, deviantart and am thinking about starting a YouTube channel for just my artwork.

In the upcoming weeks, I aim to use YouTube and Twitter, two different forms of social media to spread ideas, messages, and communicate who I am to a larger audience. I believe these would be beneficial to reach out and allow the world to see who I am and possible to relate to one another in the long run. YouTube is form of entertainment and information I use when I need to relax when getting back from classes or just need to kick back and stress out less. It is extremely beneficial to me and my friends, and by adopting it, I feel as though I can give back to the rest of the community by sharing a piece of me.

Recently I discovered slideshare, and have been able to post a few humorous slideshows regarding some topics on my daily life. Check it out if you need a laugh or two.

Link

6 Awkward Questions I get asked at Indian Weddings

If you thought going home for thanksgiving was stressful, attending a desi aka Indian wedding can easily top it, especially if you are a single girl. This past year I have been shuffling between two countries and cultures. As difficult as it is each time to permeate each culture, I always end up viewing the humorous elements on both sides of the world.