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Opinion

Political Usage of Social Media: A War of Words

Political Usage Social MediaHow does a President interact with their citizens?

Franklin Delano Roosevelt once led the Nation through the Great Depression, reassuring his citizens with a series of fireside chats via radio. Richard Nixon holds the record for most Oval Office addresses on television. Donald Trump addresses his constituents with 140 characters through Twitter.

It seems that whenever he sends a tweet, news organizations flock to what he has to say. This phenomenon is due to the amount of weight a tweet of his possesses. In his first year as Tweeter-in-Chief, he has had so many precedents. He tweeted his proposal to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, announced a travel ban on Middle Eastern countries, and informed the country of his two-week “working” vacation on a Bedminster, NJ golf course.

He has also remarked on Confederate statues being toppled, asking if Washington or Jefferson would be next. Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio was scurrilously pardoned via Twitter. One day after the Las Vegas shooting, the biggest mass shooting in American history, Trump tweeted the “FAKE NEWS” fabricated this event. When a typo happened, the infamous “Covfefe” incident, it was played off as a secret code word. But, even a typo gained national news coverage.

What alarms me the most is his candor when tweeting. He is unafraid to call people out by name and insult them, mainly, North Korea’s Kim Jung Un. He has called the North Korean leader “short and fat”, and appeasing Un with the nickname “Rocket Man”. On Jan. 2, Trump tweeted a threat to Kim Jung Un: “…Please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”

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Dressing for the Day

Dressing For The DayWhen I was in high school, some clothes just didn’t fit my body and style. I looked at how the other guys dressed: t-shirts, sweats, hats -- casual wear. I was wearing the same things, but I wasn’t feeling comfortable wearing them in public. I didn’t want to adhere to the same, social dress code every day because it made me feel like I was just “sitting through” the day.

Schools celebrate differences in their students by judging their skills and talents, but it is hard to judge dress when everyone looks as “special” as a grain of sand. During my first year of high school, however, the morning announcer declared over the intercom that Feb. 11 was going to be the school’s “Dress to Impress Day.” Everyone was allowed to dress as sophisticated as they pleased. I knew Feb. 11 was the day I would dress sharp enough for me to be able to cut enough class for ten people.

It is not easy putting on a thick, brown suit jacket after gym class. Did I look good, though, or did I look great? I didn’t care that the sweat on my hairline made me look like a seagull who earned a ribbon of participation instead of his flight license. I was on cloud nine.

During Language Arts class, my white dress shirt inhaled air as I tugged at the collar. My classmates and I were working on what we called “Do-Now’s,” worksheets that asked a few questions on what was covered last class. That day, we also had a substitute teacher. He was an elderly man who busied himself with his Monroe Township Newspaper as we worked on our assignments.

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Today's Hookup Culture

default article imageIf you are having trouble finding a snack to have with your Netflix Original, the odds are you can get one through your refrigerator - or through your direct messages. You may want that “sweet treat” to chill with you, but you are split between the happiness that it might bring and the shame you will feel afterwards for indulging.

Hookup culture stems from not wanting to have a serious, romantic relationship, but still wanting the personal connection. These casual relationships have become the norm for younger generations.

I think it is natural to want an intimate experience with someone under the right conditions. It is alright to want to leave the emotional baggage at the door. The nuts and bolts of hooking up appear to be simple. However, before you enter through the door, it’s best to know what kind of person they are. Learn a little about their interests and who they are as a person.

Do they like sports, or do they prefer watching anime? Are they shy, or are they extroverted? The more you are on the same wavelength with the person, the more you have a chance of actually enjoying their presence. Having conversations about these topics can help increase your level of comfort with each other and create less awkward situations.

And, perhaps this could turn into more than a one-time thing. A real, meaningful relationship may develop.

If meeting a person “in person” is too intimidating, it can be more convenient to hookup with someone with the aid of online applications. Tinder, Grindr, and Bumble are options that allow users access to each other’s’ profiles in order to swipe an opportunity for a chance in the bedroom. This is especially useful because each profile has a biography you can read to let you know if you are compatible.

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Endless Possibilities of Travel Destinations

default article imageItaly, Britain, France, Germany, Austria: the possibilities of travel destinations are endless. When picking somewhere to travel, one may think that planning a vacation or trip is a lot of work. Sure it can be exhausting, but once it is all planned out, enjoyment of your trip can actually begin.

When you arrive at a certain place, the possibilities of activities are truly endless. The food, the sightseeing, and the people you travel with will make your trip complete. If you do not like the idea of getting on a plane, a road trip to anywhere would be just as great of a trip. A nearby state, or just an hour or two away to somewhere you’ve never been still counts.

Wherever the interest comes from, the trip should be something that will be remembered. Deciding on where you go truly depends on personal preferences. Temperature is one of the biggest decisions of a trip and how you map out your time there. One can either be pulled to the warm weather days of Mexico or the chilly mornings of Canada.

Personally, I prefer the heat of tropical islands and other warm places before the cold. I like to make the best of my trips and try to do things that will be memorable to me.

Every trip I go on my goal is to try something new; either food or activities. I find the most fun branching out with excitement and curiosity in my heart. By the places I’ve traveled to you can obviously see that. Some of my favorite destinations I’ve traveled to are Spain, California, the Bahamas, and the Dominican Republic. Because these are my top four travel destinations, I will always suggest them to someone who is looking to travel.

With all of those destinations, I have managed to stick to what I want as well as trying something new. I went hiking to natural pools in Spain, saw new sights in California, swam with dolphins and seals in the Bahamas, and ventured to local hotspots in the Dominican Republic.

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Social Media Stalking

default article imageWalking around campus you see at least a hundred faces in one day. Some are your friends, acquaintances, or just plain strangers. Thanks to social media, and a simple click of a button, we can keep up with everyone’s online lives via innocent online stalking. We’re all guilty of it.

We know specific details about individuals we have only met once. You know that the kid in your math class has an Aunt Judy and that her birthday was last weekend. You know that Kate in your Sociology class went to a concert last weekend in Asbury Park.

Whether it be Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, social media stalking has definitely become a norm in today’s society as a way to find out how a person portrays their life on a screen versus in real life. Social media accounts are said to be the perfect way to present our lives to others, but of course only what we want other people to see.

We’ve all been in this situation, the late night Instagram scroll when you’re lying in bed ready to fall asleep. You come across someone’s photo and you like it, then you click on their page and do some more scrolling on there. You can even see someone you’re interested in or have seen before on campus, so you decide to click the tag and do some more searching.

Now, social media has become the closest and fastest way to find out any information about a person, just by simply looking at their posts and accounts. It makes it easier when we see them, there is something to talk about when you go to have a conversation with them, giving you more confidence knowing that you have something in common by what was posted.

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Rock 'N' Roll Is Here to Stay

Rock and RollMusic: it keeps the world turning. There are so many genres of music available for us to listen to; pop, rock, R&B, metal, indie, country, and electronica, to name a few. However, there is only one genre that stands out from the rest, the one genre that remains eternal; rock and roll.

First off, rock music has a unique way of combining relatable feelings with powerful instrumentals. It is for this reason that this genre provides both listeners and musicians a sense of strength, courage, and exhilaration. Nothing can compare to the electric guitar riffs charging through your body, the upbeat drums beating with your heart, the thumping bassline that keeps you dancing, and the emotional vocals that leave you no choice but to sing along. However, rock music is more than just the thunderous instruments and melodious vocals. The empowerment that comes with rock music brings fans together, therefore forming a sense of community.

Rock and roll is also the most inspiring genre of music. It has the ability to motivate musicians and listeners alike to shape their lives into something magnificent. It has been inspiring people since its rise in the 1950s to the present day, from The Beatles to Fall Out Boy. Rock music has had such a significant impact in my life and was even the inspiration for the plot of my very own novel. It is mainly for this reason that rock music plays such a major role in my life.

Not only is rock the most inspirational of all genres, but it also gives listeners a burst of optimism and confidence. When I press “play” on my playlist and start singing along to my favorites, I feel like I’m ready to take on the world; especially in my car on the way to my first class of the day. Rock music gets us through hard times knowing that we’re not the only ones feeling the way we do. Overall, rock has inspired me to be more outgoing and to face my fears headfirst.

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New Year, New Me!

New Year New MeWe have not only started a new semester at Monmouth University, but we have also entered a new year: 2018. Students smile and greet each other with refreshed appearances: new clothes and straight posture at their desks. Going forward, what goals will make our lives better? What goals will define our lives for the year? I decided that I wanted to improve my life by eliminating stress and increasing my rate of achievement while in school.

As a student, I struggle with two main things: who I am and what I will become. Every student tackles these issues for different reasons and with different remedies. I am searching for my niche as a creative writer by learning about different genres and writing techniques. What kind of writer am I, though? What kind of writer will I become?

I tell myself that my goal is to make class a profitable experience. However, large goals require smaller ones in order for them to be achieved. My small goal, for this year, is to eliminate stress factors from my life in order to unlock new possibilities.

I have lost or damaged some precious things, as a result of stress over these circumstances. Like eating a box of Ring Dings with a gluten allergy -- which I have -- I indulged in some unhealthy coping mechanisms. Looking back in time as a junior, I notice these tragedies extend back to my freshman year.

As a first-year, I obliterated a stick of deodorant over my frustration with a long textbook reading. As a sophomore, I threw my backpack against the wall following a heated discussion with my professor over grades. Since my first semester as a junior, the plastic screen of my Godzilla poster still bears a scar -- from my dorm keys.

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'Tis The Season of Giving

Season of GivingIt’s the holiday season, a favorite of many. Each year, we wait for things like peppermint mocha coffee, being bundled up around a warm fire, and of course, presents; because who doesn’t like presents? One thing that I think many people forget is that it’s not just about getting that expensive handbag you asked your significant other for, it’s about giving. I remind myself of this every year.

You’ve definitely seen it before. Many public places, whether it be in the grocery store, at your local municipal center, or here on campus have Christmas trees set up that aren’t just there for decoration. They are decorated with ornaments that give a child’s age, and what he/she would like for Christmas.

Many people just walk past them without second thought. Have you ever thought that maybe the wish written on that piece of paper is the only gift that child will this year? Have you ever thought that maybe if no one takes that tag off that tree, that child will watch their classmates show off their new, shiny gifts and have to sit and wonder what that feels like?

Of course, Christmas is not just about presents, but imagine being able to make that kid’s day. So every year, my mother and I both pick a tag off of one of those trees and do our best to be able to do just that. They often don’t ask for much, maybe a jacket or a new outfit. These are things people need, not just want.

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Being Called "Pretty"

We live in a society that heavily bases a person’s worth on how attractive they are. People seem to believe that more attractive people have the upper-hand in life, and that they “have it easy,” but this past summer I learned quite the opposite.

Growing up, my weight was always a huge struggle for me. At the tender age of ten, I was told that I was overweight by my pediatrician, and I never looked at my body the same way again.

While I have always been self-conscious about it, I never found the strength to make a change until this past summer, when I was going through a particularly bad break up.

I made the decision to let my break up build me up, instead of tear me down. With a little inspiration from Khloe Kardashian’s own “revenge body,” as she called it, I decided to get a little revenge of my own. I was going to prove everyone who ever called me fat wrong. I started hitting the gym hard, and eating a lot healthier. Fast forward a few months, and I ended up doing exactly what I set out to do; I got my revenge body, and am currently in the best shape of my life.

While getting in shape has certainly had its benefits, like giving me more energy, boosting my self- esteem, getting sick less often, etc., it has also resulted in some very unexpected disadvantages—the most important one being harassment.

At first, compliments were nice. Others were noticing all of my hard work. It was nothing crazy; just things like, “Oh hey, you look like you lost some weight! Good for you!” It made me feel good, but compliments soon turned into remarks, and remarks quickly turned into insults.

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Is Cuffing Season Real?

Cuffing SeasonThe holiday season is here and by that, I mean it is cuffing season! Suddenly, the weather drops, and everyone is cold and lonely and wants to be tied up to a loved one. Depending on who you are, and your relationship status, this can either excite, or terrify you. It is like musical chairs and it seems like everyone is scrambling to be in a relationship. The people that are in relationships, found a chair to sit in, and tell others that one day it may be their turn to find an open seat. The people left still standing are panicking because everyone around them seems to be getting “cuffed,” or paired up. But is cuffing season even real? Or is it just a made-up phenomenon?

Personally, I think cuffing season is an actual part of the cold weather season. Even research has found a common theme with humans getting into relationships as the temperature begins to drop. According to Sameera, a relationship expert, psychologist and CEO of the matchmaking site, Lasting Connections, “People who would normally rather be single find themselves desiring to be tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and spending lots of time inside makes people lonely, so they are looking for someone to spend this time with.”

The cold weather is an ideal time to cuddle, and snuggle up with someone. In addition, all of the holidays and festivities including Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas make one want to take part in the activities with a significant other. For example, around the Monmouth area there are so many perfect holiday date ideas- like going pumpkin picking at local farms, ice skating at the ice rink at Pier Village, or even going to Walmart to buy gingerbread houses to decorate.

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Why Thanksgiving Is The Best Holiday

I know we all dread the “how’s college?” question our families always ask us on Thanksgiving. If your family is as crazy as mine, you’ve experienced the cousins fighting over food, the adults arguing over politics, and overall everyone trying to talk over each other at the dinner table.

We’ve all witnessed someone in the family screaming at the TV during the football game and then immediately falling asleep on the couch right after. We’ve also experienced being put at the kid’s table with all the little cousins, which makes you wonder if your aunt will hand you crayons and a piece of paper to trace your hand into a turkey.

 But in the end, behind the dysfunction, our families give us so much to be thankful for. There’s way more to Thanksgiving than dealing with our crazy yet lovable families.

While we’re sitting at the table hearing an embarrassing story being retold for the thousandth time or someone going on about what they are most thankful for this year, we realize that we wouldn’t be half of what we are today without our families. We realize that family doesn’t just come and go; they will always be there, no matter what.

Many people prefer the holidays when you’re exchanging gifts and setting up dazzling decorations inside and outside of the house. For this reason, Thanksgiving tends to be such an underrated holiday. However, nothing can beat the warm turkey, the creamy sweet potatoes, the fluffy corn bread, or the delicious pumpkin pie just waiting to be eaten. There’s no denying that we all look forward to the whiff of the turkey right when it comes out of the oven. And the best part is, we get to have another feast the day after with all the delicious leftovers. (Except for the sweet potatoes, which in my family is the first to go)!

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu