Scarves and Swiss Rolls

Friday, March 6, 2015

Lessons My Mama Taught Me: Stay Out of It

We have all seen it. Scrolling through Facebook and someone has posted a status stating their opinion on something. Ten minutes later it has 53 comments and is quickly turning into the dramatic event of the day. Your curiosity gets the better of you and you decide to read the conversation, and by the time you reach the end, you are angry and want to tell them that they are all wrong, and that their fighting is stupid. Or perhaps you want to weigh in on the subject and put your opinion into the conversation as well.


Think about what you are about to do. Anger is a passionate emotion and a strong motivator in decision making. However, jumping right into the fray isn't always the smartest thing to do. Growing up, I had a habit of jumping into online arguments without thinking, and would always leave the situation even more riled up than I was when I began. My mother would always tell me to "Just scroll past it" and walk away from the situation. She said in the long run it would be better for my sanity and emotional well-being that I not get involved.

One day I decided to listen to her.

Instead of getting involved in an argument I saw, I thought about why I was going to get involved, and realized that there was no point in getting involved. There is never a clear winner in those situations, and everyone will claim that they are right until the bitter end. Standing outside of the conversation and watching, I saw what I think most people see when they look at a thread like that. Somehow, when we partake in an argument, we lose the ability to behave like functioning adults, and retreat into childlike behavior (seriously, I just saw a bunch of people fighting in a group about something that is worth a dollar). We act like we are a bunch of Kindergarteners fighting over who gets to use the red crayon. But I think even 5 year olds have more class than some of the things I have read people post.

The problem is the growing ability that we all have to hide behind our computers. Nowadays, it seems easier to say something mean and "get away with it". My management professor said once that we lose 60% of communication cues when we take away face to face contact. We can't see how the other person will react, so we don't think about what they may be feeling as much. Therefore, when we get into online arguments, we let our emotions blind us and post before we think.

Overall, I don't think that magically we all will stop jumping into arguments online. I still find myself getting involved from time to time. But I more frequently hear my mother's words and decide to keep scrolling. It isn't worth the headache to me.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

5 Reasons Why Seth MacFarlane's McDonald's Tweet Wasn't Funny.

I'm sure a lot of you saw the McDonald's Commercial during the SuperBowl. It is a new marketing strategy by the company that gives away food in exchange for selfies and hugs (look for the ad on YouTube). After the commercial aired, Seth MacFarlane tweeted about it.

This attempt at a joke missed the mark by a long shot. I typically don't take offense to many things due to my pacifistic nature, but this tweet really disappointed me. Lately I have noticed ignorance about diabetes everywhere. So I put together a list of 5 reasons why that tweet wasn't funny.

5 Reasons Why Seth MacFarlane's Tweet Wasn't Funny.

1. It is a misrepresentation of information.
Diabetes is an autoimmune disorder of the pancreas which means that the body can't process insulin well (Type 2) or produce it at all (Type 1). There are not many known causes of diabetes. What is certain, though, is that it isn't caused by eating too much sugar. The tweet that MacFarlane put out there perpetrates the idea that eating sweets does cause it, and while a person who knows better would just say "that's not how it works" and move on, many people in this day and age take things at face value without checking their facts. While believing something what they hear says nothing about their intelligence in my opinion, the more myths like this spread around, the more likely it will be that someone will get hurt by it.

2. Indirectly blames patients for their condition.
When comments like this are made, it indirectly will blame a diabetic for their condition. Diabetes isn't something you can control or prevent. I was diagnosed in 2005 out of nowhere, but I have had people ask me what I ate to get it. Once, some people who sat behind me in class whispered that my mother must have poured sugar down my throat when I was a baby. Can you imagine a child being told by society and by individuals that their disease is their fault? Making jokes like this won't help dissuade the stigma.

3. In some ways, it can be seen as a slur.
You wouldn't make a joke about someone who has cancer would you? Would you laugh at a racist joke if you knew that it would hurt someone's feelings? I hope you wouldn't. Jokes made at someone's expense are mean and a horrible way to be funny. While realistically you wouldn't say anything like "That's so diabetic", making a joke about diabetes can be viewed the same as saying "That's so gay" or something of the like. It is rude and makes diabetics the butt of the jokes.

4. It makes light of a serious medical condition.
Having diabetes isn't funny. It is expensive and deadly. It kills more people each year than breast cancer and HIV/AIDS combined (source). Why would someone think it would be funny to make a joke about that? Children die because they aren't diagnosed in time. Diabetes should be taken seriously because it is serious.

5. It is insensitive.
Last year, an acquaintance of mine made a joke at a club meeting. She told the club members that there wasn't a lot of food because "we wouldn't want to give you diabetes." Even though I was there the joke was still made. I was hurt and deeply offended because these people knew I was diabetic and they knew that those jokes made me uncomfortable. MacFarlane's tweet did the same thing. It made me, and I'm sure many others, uncomfortable. When jokes like that are made, it creates a disconnect between the disease and the people who have it. People with diabetes are real people and they aren't just their condition, and that is an important thing to realize.

While it can't be expected that all people will take the time to go out and research diabetes and become experts on it, it would be nice if people would stop making jokes about something that spreads misinformation and myth.

I'm looking at you, Seth MacFarlane.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A New Beginning

Hello my lovely readers! l recently decided that my blog needed a revamp so here we are with a brand new blog. l am really trying to improve my mental state so l felt that restarting my blog with a clean state would be a good way to get out my feelings about various areas of my life. My mind is a weird place, but l hope to share it with you all as it grows. Be prepared for fandom rants, reviews on books and movies, craft tutorials, pinterest tests, recipes, general nerdy discussions, and anything else that crosses my mind. So strap in while l introduce myself and enjoy your ride on the crazy train.
My name is Danielle, but a lot of people call me Danni. l am a student at Western Carolina University, which is in a tiny little mountain town called Cullowhee. l am a hospitality and tourism major, with an intent to go into the convention and meetings industry. l am a type 1 diabetic and was diagnosed in 2005 when l was 12. l am a huge scatterbrain and sometimes l jump from subject to subject within one conversation. That's why l could never have a blog for just one subject, and l don't have the time to run multiple blogs. As a result, this blog will be a patchwork of my interests and random topics, just like my personality.
l am going to try to update often, and l hope to get at least two more posts out this week. However, l am a college student so other things might come first. For example, this week l have midterms before we go on fall break next week, so l may have to push a post back in favor of studying. Hopefully though, my time management skills will allow me to blog frequently.
Until next time, then.