Video Production

The event reported for this assignment was a dodgeball tournament hosted by my Cross Cultural Communication course. This event was a fundraiser to raise money and awareness for homeless civilians in Laramie, WY. The funds went toward sleeping bags that doubled as coats for those cold nights. Each team paid $5 per player. There was also a raffle (each ticket costing $1) and the prizes included DP Dough coupones, Corona Village gift cards, etc. The event was a success, and very fun to film!

Something I enjoyed most about this experience was getting to be apart of raising awareness in a community I have been apart of throughout my college career. It was such a blessing to see high school kids, families, and participants from around Laramie come and play a fun game while contributing to the Laramie community. I did not enjoy filming a dodgeball game where participants were hesitant to really play. Filming a slow game was quite boring, so hyping up the players was definitely needed. The amount of work it took to make the video was absolutely insane. Our group seemed to have the worst experience with multiple computers shutting down, force quitting, and figuring out the Adobe premiere application. The frustration we encountered for this assignment was through the roof. It was one of the most challenging assignments particularly when it came to putting it all together.

Something that surprised me about this event in particular was finding people to interview for the video. Some people were so against being put on tape, and others took it as a joke. Something I would have done differently is tell the entire group that showed up we were going to be filming, so really enjoy the game and just have fun. The application needed to put the video together was surprisingly difficult as well. Without having used any kind of video production application prior to this assignment, the time spent with the TA and trying to learn how to use each feature was extremely time consuming. Furthermore, having questions particularly for the participants instead of just having them randomly talk would have been helpful.

After the experience I’ve had with this assignment, I honestly do not see myself using video in the future. I think snap chat is as far as my video production skills are going to go.

 

Wyoming Cowboys Defeat San Diego State at the War

For the Live Tweeting an Event assignment, I choose to tweet my last home football game as a student at the University of Wyoming War Memorial Stadium against San Diego State University. For the event, it was our responsibility to pick an angle to Tweet from, and inform the public (or your followers) where you’re at and what you’re going to be tweeting about.

It was a fun experience for the most part. With my boyfriend on the football team, and lots of my friends graduating and having it be their last football game as well here, it was bittersweet. Tweeting the event will be a cool way to go back through my twitter one day and reminisce on that game. Something that I did not enjoy was how often I needed to be on my phone, when I just wanted to watch the game. Also, the tweets were taking a very long time to post, so it was frustrating waiting and making sure they posted. Furthermore, I did not realize how excessive ten tweets were. It was overbearing at times, but I got some favorites so it seemed like my followers enjoyed the updates of the game!

Something I learned from this assignment includes the different angles you can tweet from. I was surprised at how time consuming tweeting was, especially during a huge event such as a college football game. Something I wish I could have done differently would definitely be to consider the event I choose to live tweet. I would have preferred to do something I wasn’t so interested in, so I could focus more on the conduct, output and presentation of the tweets I was posting.

In the future, I see myself using social media to promote myself as an employee. I would like followers and friends to understand that I am handy with social media, and it is something I am very interested in in the future!

Working with Audio – Dog Rescue

  1. My audio editing experience was a little tricker than I anticipated. When Michael Brown, a professor here at the University of Wyoming, came in to teach our class about the Audacity application, he made it look so simple. I had a hard enough time finding the right website to download the app from. When I eventually downloaded Audacity, I had to play around with the tools to understand the process, and go back to Youtube and look up videos to help me work this project. I had to redo the editing process 2-3 times before it sounded good. I found that it was easier to re-import the raw audio file than to try and paste a section I had previously cut out.
  2. I enjoyed interviewing Chloe. We met in a Business and Professional Communication course last semester, and have been working together this whole semester on different projects for a few classes. It was convenient to be interviewing and interviewed by someone you knew, so we were both calm and collected when doing the interview. It was also neat to learn more about her rescue process, I was unaware she was apart of such a great program. I really enjoyed having the recording application on my iPhone 6s as well; it was easy to use and I was able to just text the recording to my email and download it from there. I did not enjoy the Audacity application however. I give props to those artists and consistent users of an app like that; it was not easy to use.
  3. I was surprised how difficult the Audacity application was to use. With more experience and time, I would have definitely been able to eventually figure it out, but it was a lot of work for a first time user. Although the app was not the easiest to use, I was surprised how easy it was to cut out “ums” and “uhs,” as well as background noise and irrelevant audio with just a few clicks!
  4. Something I wish I would have done differently is work on editing the raw audio with a partner. After discussing the editing process with Chloe, she mentioned that she didn’t have too much difficulty with editing, so that would have been helpful for me to use her as a guide; but I am happy and feel successful for figuring out what I needed to.

University of Wyoming and Colorado State Social Media Effectiveness

The purpose of this blog is to compare the University of Wyoming and Colorado State University’s social media accounts, and learn the effectiveness or ineffectiveness uses of their accounts.

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I chose to compare the two universities simply because I am a student at the University of Wyoming, and Colorado State University is our rivalry. Our football team recently defeated theirs, and brought back the Bronze Boot, so I was interested in seeing what their social media accounts really focus on; whether that’s academics, sports, or something different. (Insert picture of UW and CSU here).

Social media platforms used by UW include Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. UW’s presence and organization on social media seemed similar on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. I would definitely say that Instagram and Twitter are the two strongest social media accounts they use. The Facebook page was not very informative; there were a few articles discussing successful people at the University, but there wasn’t much on the home page about events or the university itself. LinkedIn just shared a description, and people associated with the Univeristy of Wyoming. The Pinterest page showed a few maps of Wyoming, followed by some university gear, but not much more. The Twitter page for the University of Wyoming was spectacular. Their tweets were currently about the athletic events happening during the Fall sporting season. The amount of favorites and retweets show how useful and informative their Twitter page is.

Social media platforms used by CSU include Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as well. CSU’s presence and organization on social media are very similar to UW’s organization and social media pages. Their Pinterest page seemed to have a few more pins that Wyoming’s page. Their Pinterest had more apparel and images of campus. Colorado State’s Facebook page shared images of the state, as well as pictures of their mascot and recent articles that relate to the University. LinkedIn shared similar information that Wyoming did in regards to people related to Colorado State University. Finally, their Twitter page consisted of sharing news about local professors, students, sporting event scores and statistics, and links to further stories.

The branding message presence was consistent with both CSU and UW social media accounts. CSU’s purpose for using social media was to share events and successes people associated with the University have had. UW’s purpose for using social media, at this time specially was the support our school has for our athletics. The videos, tweets, pictures, and posts lately have been mostly associated with the student body and the family atmosphere the University of Wyoming has.

CSU and UW both had constructive and effective performances when it came it Twitter. Both accounts use brevity, clear language, and good pictures and links when appropriate. They focus on the audience as those who are part of that University’s community, and it is obvious that their Twitter accounts also understand that possible students and others are looking to be a part of that community. Both accounts tweet just the right amount; each tweet is informative or engaging to the public. Both Facebook accounts are successful in terms of organization. There are tabs on the side of each Facebook page that guide the public to events, pictures, and more.

Three things that both Colorado State and the University of Wyoming could certainly work on include showcasing stunning photography. The social media accounts for both CSU and UW lacked professional photography. Instead, the images seemed to be taken in a quick snap, and posted directly onto the sites without careful thought. Secondly, presenting news in a new format would be highly encouraged. Social media is very powerful, especially today with such technological advances. Whoever is responsible for the pages needs to update their skills and create more inviting and warm pages. I was impressed with each University’s Twitter, but was extremely disappointed with every other account they used. Third, I would encourage each University to utilize Facebook live, and switch up their content. Both Facebook pages seemed very similar and dull. Utilizing these features the social media accounts offer hypes up the page and is more fun and enticing for those viewing the sites.

Based on the social media management panel, I learned specifically to not take on more than you can handle. From the looks of both CSU and UW’s social media pages, Twitter seems to be the primary focus, and the others seem to be left alone quite often. Perspectives they offered that I hadn’t thought of before were the analytics pages. I wasn’t aware of how useful and simple the analytics pages were to use. They seem to be what really helps the businesses understand what social media account posts are working, and what they can improve on.

 

 

 

Working with Audio

Using my iPhone 6s to record Chloe Muller was a fairly simple experience. I had completely forgotten about the fact that my phone can be used for much more than Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and checking email, until we were assigned the audio assignment. The application, called voice memos, was quick and easy to use. A new recording shows up at the top with a large red circular button to press when the interviewer and interviewee are ready to go. It was a different experience recording someone else. I had classes in the past that required an audio or video of ourselves, but never someone else. It’s a mindless task, but the background noise and distractions can throw off the whole recording.

Being the interviewee was the easiest part. I had questions written down and ready to go, so the pressure wasn’t necessarily on me. It was difficult for me to sit still when I was listening to Chloe, but not impossible. I was trying as hard as possible to not move around too much to minimize background noise. Being interviewed on the other hand was a lot more difficult. I wanted to be interviewed about moving from a big city to a small town. I’d discussed it so many times to others, I thought talking about it to Chloe would be just as easy; it wasn’t. I couldn’t think straight when she was asking the same questions I’ve been asked for years. My thoughts got tripped up and I was thinking faster than I could speak. Learning to breathe and slow down have always been a struggle for me, but it was definitely in the back of my mind during the interview.

I enjoyed the fact that our smart phones are so handy. It was easy to use this everyday device we’re so attached to for a good purpose. Our class schedules are similar as well, so we found the perfect time to meet up and take care of our assignment. Something I would like to have changed was warning my roommates about coming in the door and being quiet. They’re very vocal, and always greet people when they walk into the house. By the look I gave them, they knew to keep quiet though! Everything else seemed to work out just fine!

Chloe Muller Animal Rescue

Photojournalism

This assignment was trickier than I thought it would be. I am very good at talking to strangers, so that wasn’t a problem at all. But trying to use creative devices, while still keeping people in their natural setting threw me for a loop. Staged pictures would have been so much easier, so it was definitely a challenge shooting action. My phone also decided to act up, so there came a point when the pictures were shooting so slowly. It seemed almost impossible to capture the ball moving in the air, or Hope falling over doing yoga. I would definitely recommend a camera made specifically for action shots. An iPhone is great, but it’s hard to really focus on what you want without focusing on the entire image.

This image was taken in the dance studio at the University of Wyoming’s Half Acre Gym. I met Hope at yoga, and asked if I was able to take a couple shots of her. In this image, she’s falling over from trying to do a handstand. I made sure I was letting her be in her zone, and stay far enough back so I wasn’t distracting her. This photo was easy to get because I was using the Live picture taking option on my iPhone 6s. I really tried to frame Hope here, but I didn’t want to have to ask her to move, when she was at the studio to focus on herself and relax.

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Hope Golgart, 5:30 am, at Half Acre Gym on the University of Wyoming Campus. Sunrise Yoga is offered early in the mornings, depending on the week. 

Due to a bye week for the Wyoming Cowboy football team, the guys did not have practice on October 10, 2016. Instead, I stumbled upon them throwing a football around, and really enjoying their day off. I asked if it was alright for me to take pictures, and of course they said that it was fine. I tried to capture these photos at every angle. I was on the ground, behind them, in front of them, and right in their faces at some point. The setting was casual and fun. The lighting made it difficult to capture some of them, but it was an enjoyable experience getting to know more of our successful team this year! I tried so hard to focus on this image, but it seemed impossible when a ball was being thrown at Du’Ryan every few seconds. This image especially focuses on the person though, due to the natural background.

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Du’Ryan Ebbesen, a football player at the University of Wyoming, playing catch with his friends at the college apartments, The Verge. 

Ethan Patrick and Du’Ryan Ebbesen discussing their day off practice. You can see by their faces how excited they were, and it was an honor to be able to capture such a happy day for them. I walked in circles multiple times, just framing them in a way to capture the intimacy and connection these teammates have with one another. This picture reminded me just how strong a team can be, and it leads to family. Rule of thirds applies here. Du’Ryan as one third, Ethan as one third, and the background of the sky as one third.

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Ethan Patrick (left) and Du’Ryan Ebbesen discussing how well the football season is going this year. The Wyoming Cowboys are 2-0 in the Conference. 

This image was taken last week when the new recruits were finally able to come into the house and really start becoming a part of their sorority family. This image was particularly hard to shoot, because they were confused when this random stranger (me) came up and started shooting photos. Me being as outgoing as I am, just mentioned it was for a class and so they carried on. I really tried to focus on the woman in the middle. I believe she was standing there to even out the height between the three girls. Obviously Kodak moments are great, but it was hard to get a clear shot of them laughing while still being natural. I would say the rule of thirds applies here due to the fact that there are three people, it just worked out that way.

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Sorority sisters from Tri Delta enjoying life. Recruitment to join a sorority is the second week of school each academic school year! 

Another image of sorority sisters before the Annual Pancake Breakfast. This event is to help raise money for children at St. Jude Hospital. These girls were just hanging out on their balcony when I walked by, and since I had taken a picture of them a few days prior, they let me again! The atmosphere was definitely fun. Everyone was excited to eat pancakes all day long for only $5 (one time entry)! I really liked how they were color coordinated, and it was fun to shoot them! Color was used here, due to their color coordination. The yellow flowers and green plants really stood out next to the white on their house and shirts!

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Sorority sisters at their Tri Delta house before the annual 24-hour pancake breakfast. This fundraiser supports children at St. Jude. 

Taking a shot with creative devices

  1. For this first image, I waited on the bride that crosses the railroad tracks downtown Laramie. This man happened to be biking along, so I asked if he could slow down for me to use framing. This creative device is used here simply because of the architectural walls that are on both sides of the biker. I would also suggest color is used here, due to his bright red backpack against the dull color of the bridge and gloomy sky.
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A Laramie biker taking the bridge across the train tracks. It has a wonderful view of the railroad and downtown Laramie.

2. This photo is demonstrating texture. The close-up shot of the bark really shows vivid details about the tree, and how beautiful nature is. This isn’t just a normal brown bark, but the white definitely adds to the beauty.

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Bark from a large tree downtown Laramie, WY.

3. This train is representing rule of thirds. The train itself is clearly a third, and below the tracks is another, followed by the background (sky) of the train which represents the final one third.

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Union Pacific train that is no longer running, but seen on the side of 2nd street downtown Laramie, WY.

4. This image is representing color. The bright orange blossom stands out from the leafy green background of the plant. It is easy to focus on the plant as well, due to it’s vibrant color and exotic shape.

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A sunset blossom in the University of Wyoming Williams Conservatory. It is open for the public to view the exotic plants.

5. The fifth and final image shows leading lines. It was hard capturing the lines without the distracting trains further down the line, however, these two railroad tracks lead to a variety of places.

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Railroad tracks in downtown Laramie. Standing on the bridge when a train passes can be quite the rush!

This assignment was very challenging. I have always loved photography, and wanted to become good at it myself, but it takes a lot more work and practice than it seems. I had difficulty thinking of places to capture all of these elements, but it was a great time exploring Laramie, especially the Williams Conservatory! I shot around 130 photos, and still don’t feel near being a photographer. This assignment definitely discouraged me a little bit due to the fact that I had extremely high hopes for the most amazing photos. I can’t wait to shoot more though!

The Weight of Collegiate Athletics

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Renfree recovering from tearing right UCL in thumb. Photo courtesy by team member Richard Bettencourt.

Football from a young age…

Football is more than just playing the game; it is meal planning and two-a-days, mental toughness and physical strength. The hard work that goes into this sport can be rewarding at the end, or it could be the opposite.

Every fiber in a person’s body needs to be committed to a collegiate sport, especially football. The problems that can arise from such competitive and contact sports are never ending. The weight gain and loss, particularly, is entirely straining to the body.

Charlie Renfree, one of Wyoming’s well-respected former football players, went through the process of weight gain and loss, as well as injuries, and ultimately ending his career in football.

Renfree started playing tackle football at just twelve years old. Due to his size, he had no choice but to play with kids a year or two older. As the years went on and he continued to play, Renfree lost a significant amount of weight, just so he could play with his friends.

“I remember the July going into 6th grade, I lost 27 pounds in a month using the “South Beach Diet” leading up to the weigh-in.”

Each game required a weigh-in, so Renfree had quite the plan.

“I would eat scarcely throughout the week, eat nothing the day before games, take a steam shower the night before and only sip water before weigh-in.”

Renfree confessed that immediately following the weigh-in, he would eat and drink as much as he could before a game, but end up puking. This was his routine every football season from the fifth grade to the eighth grade.

Although this was routine for only four months out of the year, these habits were extremely unhealthy especially considering his health in terms of physical and mental development.

After the last youth football camp Renfree attended, his whole routine would change.

High school football…

Renfree needed to “gain as much weight as humanly possible.”

Renfree used to love eating as a kid, but it all changed when he reached his sophomore year in high school; he began to dread it.

“Food became merely matter to me and only functioned as a means to put weight on.”

His mind was consumed 24/7 with the responsibility to gain as much weight as possible by eating.

Collegiate athletes…

With high hopes for collegiate football, Renfree gained 100 pounds all for an edge at his position and the opportunity for recruitment.

Dalton Fields, a current University of Wyoming Cowboy football player, also went through weight gain. Over the course of his career, starting as a freshman in high school, he was also responsible for gaining 100 pounds.

Fields stated, “The most rewarding thing is seeing your body change for the better and knowing that you are closer to reaching your goals. #Gainz.”

Jake Elliott, a current wrestler at the University of Wyoming started his career at roughly 147 pounds. He wrestled and competed in the weight class of 149.

“Now, naturally walking around I weigh about 175, but when season is in full swing I get to around 155. Then I make the cut to 149 pounds.”

Elliott mentioned that this year might be a first to wrestle at 157.

“The most rewarding thing about nutrition was my energy levels. When you eat healthy, your body feels good, you get better sleep, and mental awareness is increased. Altogether, your lifestyle benefits from fitness to academics,” expressed Elliott.

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Elliott competing against Nebraska 2014. Photo courtesy of wyosports.net

Discussing the nutrition with Fields, Elliott, and Renfree, they listed both benefits and negatives of the nutrition and process they go through to gain and lose weight.

Renfree sighed, “On the flip side, I have experienced health problems such as sleep apnea due to the excess weight in my upper torso as well as a bad lower back and stiff hips. Also, for some linemen I’ve known, they fear that being too big is physically unattractive and don’t want to gain weight for that reason.”

He began high school weighing 205 pounds. The next fall, he weighed in at 250 pounds. By the time his senior season began, Renfree weighed 285 pounds.

Wyoming football…

After being recruited by the University of Wyoming as a center, weight gain was a struggle. With a busier schedule and the obligations of a collegiate athlete, it was tough. After high school, Renfree’s weight dropped down to 255 pounds, and was accountable for working his way up again.

“I gained the weight back by lifting heavier weights, especially squats. I put a lot of it [weight] in my legs. A lot of the weight was in my gut because I was always eating and drinking and full.”

 

Renfree was 17% body fat at the end of last summer. At the beginning of the 2015 season, his body fat was around 22.5%. Weight that he had been putting on throughout the season was not healthy. Renfree confesses, “I basically ate whatever I wanted at that point because any weight was good weight.”

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Photo courtesy of trainer Garrett Shinoskie at Zone Performance in Scottsdale, AZ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The only thing I can say about weight gain in college football is that it’s just part of your job. Some people will say it’s unhealthy but at the end of the day it’s really something that is required to play the position I played and having a size advantage is huge.”

Other aspects of football are crucial as well; lifting and running particularly. Renfree started lifting at a very young age, and never had any injuries until he reached the collegiate level.

“In college, after having lifted a lot for years prior and lifting heavier than I ever thought I could, I started getting injured a lot. Probably 75% of the injuries I’ve had have been directly related to weightlifting or other non-practice, non-game, football-related activities. The other 25% is mostly made up of concussions and other injuries from practice. Believe it or not, I have never been injured in a game.”

Renfree’s injuries were the ultimate reason for receiving his medical disqualification. In middle school, he fractured his right humerus. In college alone, he has torn the right UCL in his thumb, torn his right bicep and right labrum, separated his right AC joint, and ruptured a disk in his back. All of these injuries resulted from football and all required surgery.

 

 

 

 

Blog Post II

For this blog post assignment, I needed to explore the Los Angeles Times “Homicide Report.” When I first clicked the link to this tragic page, an appalling fact stated “644 people were killed in L.A. County in the past 12 months.” The fact was placed on top of a map with red pins, distinguishing where these homicides were taking place, the name and age of each victim. The neighborhoods are also defined, and you can click anywhere on the map to read more about what happened there.

Below the map, lies several posts about individuals who were murdered. These news stories release exact location, dates, and accounts to follow on Twitter for more information. To the left of each short summary of what happened, shows a picture with a pin point on the map where the tragedy happened.

Exploring this web page was very easy. Hovering the mouse over bold words or pin points on the map directed me to a new page. There wasn’t more information revealed when clicking on anything, but it made the article easier to focus on. I chose to click on a few of the red dots where the events took place, and gained knowledge of the shootings and murders that took place in L.A..

Navigation buttons were large enough for a lap top, but could potentially be more difficult with a smart phone. The pins were a little tricky because they were all so close together, so zooming would definitely be the best option for a smart phone or tablet. Clear labels were visible, and made the web page exceptional to read. The text was a large enough size, but not overwhelming. The coloring of the text was simple also, so it was not a distracting website by any means.

On the main page I was lead to, the contact information was easily accessible. It was at the top right hand corner of the web page. I was expecting to find a list of contact information, but instead, my computer opened up my email with the homicide report email in to “To:” box.

Now it’s time to see if Devin navigates the same way.

“Oh wow that’s a pretty high number,” he says as Devin first clicks on the link. I watch as he immediately hovers over the places where these homicides took place. He doesn’t click on any of them though; because he points out that the same stories are posted below. As Devin scrolls through the web page, he reads some of the shorter stories and takes a look at the pictures posted next the facts.

When he clicks on one of the bold titles, it takes him to a similar page I viewed. His comment was, “that was pointless.” Like I previously mentioned, it was the same story with no more information, just alone on a web page this time; instead of sharing space with other stories.

When I asked if he could find the contact information, he quickly scrolled to the very bottom, and then to the top when he saw it wasn’t there. He found it just as quickly as I did.

Our usability tests were similar experiences. I did not verbally comment about the site, but I was also alone. When I asked Devin to do so, he was commenting aloud. I’m assuming because he wasn’t alone.

I think the website did a great job keeping the page simple. The pictures added more life to the articles, and the website was easy to navigate.

When clicking on the contact information, I was a little thrown off when my email was automatically opened. I believe it would be more beneficial to have a list of contact information viewers can choose to use or not. Clicking on the bold names didn’t reveal any more information that was already on the main page, so it was a waste of time and navigation. Finally, I would suggest the map being a little larger so that people who are accessing via smart phone or tablet, they won’t have so much complexity.

Blog Post I

2001 was the first time I really paid any attention to the news. I was in second grade, and the World Trade Centers had been crashed into. I remember being so confused, scared, and not wanting to go to school that day. however, since that day, I have paid very close attention to the news.

“You can always count on Amy to know what’s going on in the world,” is something that I hear from friends and coworkers daily. I am a bit of a news junkie, and concerned with what is going on in the world. From a young age, the TV was always showing news or sports. Both of my parents stressed how important it is to know what’s going on in the world, especially as I have gotten older.

Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are all sorts of social media that my generation is extremely familiar with. I hear people all the time claim that these sites are their forms of news, and I can relate. However, having an Apple phone has a default news setting, that let’s you explore the most recent news stories from CNN, NY Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, and many more. “China’s Record-Breaking Glass Bridge Is So Popular, It Had To Close,” “FBI releases Hillary Clinton email report,” and “Presidential Debate Moderators Are Set, With Lester Holt for the First” are all headlines that shine through my phone screen today. It changes constantly, but has been a great way for me to keep up with our world today.

NFL Mobile, ESPN, and BuzzFeed are also applications on my cell phone that keep me updated on sports, the Kardashians, what clean eating cleanses are out there, and much more. MSN.com has been set as my home page for the last five years, and that keeps me updated on money, health, lifestyle, goals, travel, and everything you can think of. The top stories of the day are shown in a slide show at the top of the page, and totally keep me updated. Screen Shot 2016-09-02 at 1.53.05 PM.png

I truly believe that all these sources are informative, however, it still is very important to double check facts, especially from Twitter and Facebook. Especially in today’s world, everyone thinks they are an expert on politics. I just make sure to be extremely cautious and openminded when surfing the web anymore.

With all that said, I am constantly checking the news and talking to everyone I know about what’s going on in the world. Just like my parents taught me, I think it’s extremely important to stay updated and know what things are happening, and where. Avoiding it won’t take the bad away, but understanding it can help better each of us.