Archive for the ‘ Life ’ Category

How well are we seen behind a screen?

My generation is involved.

My generation is active.

We’re guilty for being so operative…

…And enjoying every part of it.

Has our obsession with shiny new toys and tools and gadgets and platforms dawned upon us as beneficial?  In my humble opinion, electronic media has certainly altered the way the world can see the rest of the world.  Personally, I always find myself staring at some sort of screen, whether it is my iPod, laptop computer, TV (which is rare, unless Glee is on), or BlackBerry… Most of us can admit to being addicted to these exciting technologies that are readily available to literally everyone.

Just how obsessed are we? By the numbers.

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night, Smartphone by your pillow side, and checked your tweets or Facebook notifications? Guilty? Weirded out? You’re not alone… Nearly half of us do the same thing.

Do you peek at your news feed or Twitter stream during meetings, class, sex, meals, or potty time? What’s that…? Yes? A whopping 62% of us do. Whatcha lookin’ at?!

Does this surprise anyone?

How accurately do others “see” us when we are online?  Do we talk online the same way we talk to people in person? Are our lives being more positively or negatively affected by this entire media?  It certainly isn’t an effective way to prevent carpel tunnel, loss of hearing, strained eyes, or obesity.  My information technology instructor last semester always joked to our class about how social media is simply “reverse stalking.” Nowadays, instead of people having to find out where we are themselves, we tell them.  Tools and tactics such as geo-tagging, tweeting, location-based outlets, and other platforms let other users no where we are and what we are doing. Word to the wise: Most people don’t care what color socks you’re wearing. Make your tweets memorable and allow people to engage in conversation based on what you tell everybody.

On a completely different note, I recently learned about William Wordsworth in my British literature class. “The World is Too Much with Us” was my favorite poems by him.  Being the Romantic he was, he emphasized imagination, the beauty of nature, and how people (even way back in the day) did not spend enough time enjoying the Creator’s gifts to Earth:

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers

Little we see in Nature that is ours

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers

For this, for everything, we are out of tune

It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

In “The world is too much with us,” Wordsworth seems disappointed with Earth’s populace for not being connected to nature.  Not only are people disrespectful of Earth’s beauty, but also unappreciative and oblivious.  The sea, moon, and winds are personified, which can symbolize the expected unity and relationship between humans and Earth.  Wordsworth is trying to make it a point that we all share this planet and should treat it like one of us humans, i.e. care for it, be loyal to it, respect it, etc.

I did some research on the meaning of the sonnet… Wordsworth is criticizing the materialism of the early 1800s.  People are “getting and spending” – Whatever they earn, they spend it on themselves and have little concern for the wellbeing of others or nature itself.  The line “We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!” makes me think that Wordsworth was trying to inform people that they have surrendered to the money-oriented and acquisitive social norms of the time.  It humored me that nowadays, humanity is still extremely materialistic, even more so than the period in which this poem was written.  Technologies have come about that have made us a lot more dependent on machines and electronics, and the Industrial Age is what really sparked the change in society’s reliance on these.  In today’s Information Age, people are constantly behind some sort of screen, whether it is a television, cell phone, computer, or any other electronic device.  Wordsworth would not enjoy being surrounded by what he would consider a modern monstrosity.

Wordsworth’s disgust, sorrow and frustration are shown by his obvious lamentation over society’s need for luxury and selfish fulfillment.  He is trying to make a point that people are letting the earth-shifting movement take away from the marvel of nature, possibly to the point at which people fail to notice its beauty.

Do I love social media? Absolutely. Am I willing to admit that I am becoming absorbed in the evolving media world among us? Indeed, I am. We still need to pay attention to our natural habitat and take advantage of what beauty surrounds us.

Now I feel like taking a walk out in this winter wonderland. Too bad Glee is on in one hour…


Locks of love

If there’s one part of me I wish would never change, it would be my hair. I dread the day I discover my first gray.

I take pride in my hair. I twirl it, comb my fingers through it, smell it, braid it, and brush it constantly. I hate putting it back in a ponytail (like it is now) all day because I can’t get the full effect of this mass of tresses. My hair is exactly 19″ in length. It grows like grass in the summertime. Every time I see my mom, she asks me if I’ve been eating fertilizer. Nope, I just eat a Flintstone vitamin once a day. Oh, and I do the Herbal.

According to the salon I used to go to when I was all into the highlighting and dyeing kick, my hair is a mixture of espresso and auburn. I’m so over coloring my hair. I have made a vow to myself that I won’t dye it until that aforementioned dreaded day. I used to hate my hair (I secretly wanted to be blonde). Sometimes I still do hate it because there is an awkward kink in it from elastic ties and it never falls the same way. However, I have grown to embrace it. Its rich color and unattainable length are what I love most about it. My hair says a lot about me, and I can’t go anywhere without my friends commenting on its length. Yes, I’m well aware my hair is freaking long. No, I don’t have split ends… not anything noticeable at least.

Back in high school, my hair was even longer than it is now. When I cheered, my ponytail would sweep the floor as I flipped and flipped and flipped across the basketball court. When I would be sitting in class and a hair would land on my desk, I would be so enthralled by the strand and become distracted. One day, my AP English teacher caught me playing with a string of hair and called me “Cearapunzel.” The name stuck. And I didn’t mind it one bit.

I always hear girls complain about their hair: split ends, bleach gone wrong, bad perm, frizz, dullness, lifelessness, weird part, awkward hairline, dark roots, or crappy pampering products. Have no fear, chicas! There are lots of miracle products out there that can save your mane. Quick Tip: I usually venture to Sephora or Sally Beauty Supply for my favorite products, but drugstores and wholesalers carry a lot of awesome stuff, too.

And now… Hair products Ceara swears by:

Herbal Essences None of Your Frizziness Leave-In Conditioner
Smells fresh, never sticky or greasy, a quarter size dollop (even for my length of hair) goes a long way. I use this every single day. I’m thinking about stocking up on this magic potion in case they discontinue it, which I hope never happens!
Redken Satinwear 02 Ultimate Blow-Dry Lotion
My recently discovered savior. My mom would freak out when I would blow dry my hair with no protective lotion… I learned quickly that it makes a world of a difference when I actually use something to protect the follicle. Leaves my hair schilky-schmooth all day long.
TRESemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo
Sometimes when I’m in a time crunch and don’t have time to wash my hair, I lather this wonder foam throughout my hair and PRESTO! Insta-soft-hair-sans-H2O.

I’m always willing to try new products, but I do some research before and ALWAYS read the back of the bottle.

Ladies (and gents), you’re not going to have your hair forever. Grow it long and be proud of it! Actually guys, for Pete’s sake, shags are so 2000-and-late.

“The hair is the richest ornament of women.” – Martin Luther