How has technology changed me, my friends and my world?

Technology is part of my everyday life. It has been for many years now but I have noticed a significant increase since I have been in college. It seems like there is always something new coming out that everyone has to have. Whether its a camera, accessory, phone, app, computer, watch, tablet or something engineered for outdoor enthusiasts like myself. There’s GPS’s, mojo decoys, electronic calls, feeders, trail cameras, depth finder and many other items that hunters and fisherman can use to benefit them in the field. Technology has changed the world that we live in now and I believe it effects everyone.

I will admit that my phones consumes way more of my time than it should. My dad is always telling me to get my head out of my phone and live my life. I know I shouldn’t be so concerned with what other people are doing but it is also become a way for me to network with people in the outdoor industry. I have the opportunity through social media to connect with other women and men who share the same passion for the outdoors as I do. This common interest has lead me to promotional staff positions with Huntress View and Tanglefree Waterfowl. It has also provided me with a mentor, Jake Latendresse, whom has introduced me to an abundance of opportunities within the industry. One is with the Super Retriever Series where I will be a sideline reporter at these field trials this summer and another with Bassmasters where I might also have an internship this summer. Social media directly affected my life and has encouraged me to add an emphasis in public relations to my major along with a minor in journalism. I don’t know if I ever would have found that I have an interest in writing without technology.

The way I hunt is not even the same as it used to be a few years ago before I became interested in photography and videography. Now, I not only focus on actually hunting but also capturing the hunt through images and video. Sometimes I think I get too consumed in trying to make everything perfect and taking all these pictures with different angles that I lose sight of whats really important. The hunt and the connection that I feel with God, nature and wildlife. I get so frustrated sometimes if my camera is not set up right or fails to get what would have been an amazing photograph. However, when I do get that awesome image, its almost as good as the actual pursuit of the animal. Its just a different aspect of hunting that I find very intriguing. I then like to publish my photos on social media and share with my community of friends and followers.

There are drawbacks to my social media as well. Sometimes I feel like I am obligated to post or that there is so much pressure on me to be perfect and say the right thing. I know I can’t please everyone but I think I put too much pressure on myself. I have 12.5k followers on Instagram and luckily I have hardly ever received any hate messages from anti-hunters. However, I just saw today where Miley Cyrus attacked a woman my age, Kendall Jones, who also hunts. Check out this link: <https://www.instagram.com/p/BCdDqTuQzNl/?taken-by=mileycyrus> Kendall Jones receives a lot of flack from the haters because of her African hunting adventures where she killed the big 5 trophies. She is strong and rises above the haters only trying to educate and inform them about how hunting is ethical and necessary for the survival of all game species. I don’t know how I would handle the situation if I had people commenting hateful things on my posts but I know it would be hard on me with how sensitive I am.

Since the dawn of the internet and technology there has been a new form of bullying arise, cyber bullying. People are more willing to lash out with their thumbs on a keyboard and faces behind a screen rather than confronting someone in person. People try to push their opinions and views on others or call out people on why their views are wrong just because they are different from their own and it just causes an uproar. Everything from politics, views on abortion, daily life, sexism, racism and other topics are spread over the internet. I see it on Facebook all the time where my friends will post huge rants about a topic and then their feed will be blown up with comments about people telling them why they are wrong. Why can’t we all learn to accept each others differences? I know not everyone agrees with hunting. Thats fine. Let me sit down and have a conversation with them about it for 5 minutes and I can probably help them better understand why hunting is necessary. However, I would never seek out and attack them on social media just because their opinion is different than mine.

I have noticed the impact of technology on my friends and family in a variety of different settings. For example, when we eat at a restaurant we almost always have our phones out. Sometimes I even see families sit down to eat and not look up from their phones. That is sad. I think phones hinder peoples communication skills, but I am a victim of it myself. I notice my parents on their phones more too and they are always asking me questions about how to operate them. Instead of talking after dinner my parents and I usually just sit down and watch the news on TV. I sometimes feel like valuable quality time is being lost because of the TV or cell phone. While growing up my family had a rule that no TV’s are allowed in the kids bedrooms because they did not want my brother and I to exclude ourselves to our rooms. I think this is a great rule and I will definitely implement it with my family one day. TV and all technology is great but sometimes you just have to get away from it before it consumes you.

I think my generation relies on technology and cell phone for constant communication. We feel like we always need to be multitasking and cannot focus on one subject at a time. It is hard to watch a whole movie without checking my phone or sit through class without at least glancing at it once. I don’t know what it is that makes us feel like we constantly have to know what other people are doing and how they are living their lives. We are in a very much so “now” society and we want and have everything at out fingertips. Once again this can be positive and it can have its negatives as well.

I think its great that we can connect with people across the world through technology and social media because it allows us to gain more knowledge about other cultures. It allows people to come together to share ideas and influence which can benefit society as a whole through allowing us to be more culturally diverse. However, sometimes this sharing of beliefs causes conflict between individuals or even countries. We pass judgement upon what other people are doing and some tend to disagree if it is different from their own way. However, I think the good outweighs the bad.

Recently in the 2016 Presidential Campaign I have noticed how much the media affects and can sway peoples opinions. People fall victim to bias television stations reporting and interpretation of the news. The political campaigns would be completely different without technology. If people could not watch debates on TV they would not know near as much information about the presidential nominees. People would have to physically go to the campaigns when they were visiting the state if they really wanted to know more about them. Basically with the influence of technology it has allowed more sharing of information and people to be informed. People are able to watch a political debate on TV and physically see the candidates and form their own opinions about who they are through watching their mannerisms and voice inflection.

This is the first time I have been so interested in the news and politics since I am taking news writing and we have weekly current events quizzes. I now enjoy staying informed and I like to use unbiased news apps on my phone and iPad to keep up. It makes it very convenient because I am always so busy that I am not always able to sit down and watch TV at a certain time each day. My roommate, Lindsey Triplett, suggested I watch the news on my iPad every morning as I get ready for class and I absolutely love it. Its become a daily habit that has truly influenced my political views and understand of our world just from being more informed. I had the right piece of technology to assist me and now I am a much more educated citizen, especially for the upcoming election.

I attended high school at Mount St Mary Academy in Little Rock, AR. Its a small private Catholic high school in which I am truly thankful to have been a graduate. I noticed going into my sophomore year in 2009 that the school started implementing smart boards, powerpoints and online homework. I was baffled at how this technology was changing the way teachers were teaching and students were learning. I remember teachers fumbling with the smart boards and not knowing how to use them correctly but it didn’t necessarily distract from the lecture. We were all so amazed at the smart boards capabilities that we were more interested in the lesson we were being taught. My generation is able to understand and adapt to technology a lot quicker than the teachers, some of whom were nuns, so using it in the classroom was very beneficial. The fact that we were able to do online homework on snow days so it still counted as a full day in the classroom was quite a blessing too.

The transition from taking notes by hand and being given print outs of powerpoint slides has affected the way I learn here at Arkansas Tech University. I am the kind of person I have to write something down in order for it to stick in my mind so it is a lot harder for me to pay attention in the class room when the teacher already gives us our notes. I have been struggling in a one of my finance classes where this occurs and so I have to take the extra step to physically rewrite my notes from the handouts she gives us. I do not always do this which is why I am having a hard time. There are other classes where I have tried to take notes on my iPad and I actually enjoyed it. Typing is not the same as writing but I like being able to better organize everything. I would still rather have my books in hardback copies than online ebooks. Although ebooks are great, you just can’t replace having a physical book in your hands and reading from pages.

The same principal applies with all technology. Computers, iPhones, iPads, iwatches and excreta are great but theres nothing wrong with doing something the traditional way. I feel like sometimes I am stressed because of everything available to me at my fingertips and the stream of constant information. Instead of linking us together technology also has the ability to also drive us apart. I think it is important for everyone to realize that and try to not get so consumed by always having the next best gadget. Yes, they are very beneficial but sometimes I wonder how our world would be different without technology. This exercise has been a nice way for me to reflect not only on myself but on how technology affects other people in our world.

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