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SOCIAL MEDIA - Blessing & Curse; Undergraduate Essay-Challenging a Belief or Idea


mdr18 1 / -  
Oct 29, 2013   #1
PROMPT: Reflect on a time when you challenged a belief or idea? What prompted you to act? Would you make the same decision again?
Currently at around 830 words-needs to be under 650...oops
I definitely think some of the info in the first few paragraphs is irrelevant and can be removed but I need help figuring out what exactly...help!!

I also hate the ending so any suggestions there would be appreciated :) thanks!!


As a generally non-confrontational, often passive person, I have never had any interest in involving myself in any form of drama. Yet in this day and age, with the limitless opportunities that social media presents for young people, drama is far more prevalent than in past generations, and thus is far more difficult to avoid. In this way, social media has proven to be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it allows more room for self-expression than ever before. With self-expression, however, comes vulnerability, and at such a crucial developmental stage we as teenagers are often more vulnerable than most. We innately crave others' approval, and when we fail to receive praise, we are quickly depleted and discouraged.

Personally, I thoroughly enjoy assuming the task of making others feel good about themselves online, whether I always truly agree with the praise I give or not. My motive has always been the belief that no harm can possibly come from a little "white lie" if it is told simply to boost someone's self-esteem. Is there really such thing as being "too nice" to someone? I have always viewed kindness as inconsequential-totally incapable of harm. A few weeks ago, however, I was confronted with a situation in which I challenged this belief, and discovered that this may not always be the case.

When I noticed that a handful of senior boys had decided to single out an openly homosexual junior for his flamboyant YouTube videos, I was compelled to step in. I decided to privately message the openly homosexual boy, (let's call him X) to encourage him not to let their insignificant, ignorant opinions change him. I ended the message with my favorite quote: "Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

READ BELOW
vangiespen - / 4,136 1449  
Oct 2, 2015   #2
Monica, there is certainly room for editing in your essay. Your first 2 paragraphs, to start with, can easily be deleted because it just takes up space but is not really directly related to the incident you speak of. Don't waste the reviewer's time, always start off your introduction with your hook so that you can entice the reviewer to continue reading your paper. If you waste space with a very long introduction, you are sure to lose his attention.

In the meantime, I was able to bring your essay down to 625 words. I am posting it below. I made some very minor corrections, by replacing a word here and there, that I hope you won't mind :-) I also spaced the paragraphs for readability and topic discussion.

When I noticed that a handful of senior boys had decided to single out an openly homosexual junior for his flamboyant YouTube videos, I was compelled to step in. I decided to privately message the openly homosexual boy, (let's call him X) to encourage him not to let their insignificant, ignorant opinions change him. I ended the message with my favorite quote: "Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

The drama soon subsided, but as I was basking in the glory of my good deed, I was faced with a massive moral dilemma. X, whom I had just praised for his individualism, posted a new video titled "Annoying People at School". Intrigued, I began watching, only to see him blatantly mock several of the special needs students that I work with. Appalled, furious, and utterly torn, I weighed my options.

I feared what the all students who had commented supportively would think of me if I spoke up, yet I feared what I would think of myself if I remained a bystander. With respect towards homosexuals being a very touchy subject among young people in America today, I was obviously nervous to offend anyone. Even though I am aware that I am not homophobic, I feared that others would have the misconception that I was if I gave X anything less than praise.

Ultimately, I decided to speak up-classily, of course, but forthrightly nonetheless. I told X that the kids he had impersonated are incapable of controlling their actions and that he had no right to label them as "annoying". I also exposed his hypocrisy by articulating the fact that if he wants others to tolerate and accept him for who he is, he must practice what he preaches and follow the golden rule: "do unto others as you would have them do to you." My comment was followed by an unforeseen amount of support for the disabled children at my school--so much that X ended up deleting the video.

This experience not only taught me a great deal about standing up for what is right, but it also taught me a lot about myself. I realized that I am entitled to have an opinion as long as I am respectful and kind about how I choose to deliver it. It was also brought to my attention that we as a society have not yet achieved a balance between tolerance and bigotry.

X, for instance, is different, and people fear confrontation with people unlike themselves. We fear insulting those who are different, so we walk on eggshells around them, often overlooking the wrongs being done by those who have been wronged. What those who are craving and fighting for their equality, like X, often neglect to realize is that equality means that they will receive equal punishment for their wrongs in addition to equal praise for their rights.

The next time I am confronted with a situation like the one I experienced that day, I will be sure to act in the same manner that I did. I truly believe I made the right decision, and that I acted without expectation. I did it not for praise or acknowledgement, but simply because I believe that being a bystander to an injustice is equally as immoral as committing one, and that being "too nice" does indeed have its consequences.

If injustices are overlooked, they are also enabled. If I had conformed with the rest of the commenters and neglected to address X's hypocrisy, it is highly likely that he would continue to repeat his behavior for further praise. In the end, the confrontation I dreaded was nothing in comparison to the lessons it taught me about tolerance, speaking up, and myself.


I really appreciate the essay that you wrote. It was an excellent, dare I say, perfect response to the prompt. Give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done :-) Review this version of the essay and then let me know if you want to revise or edit it some more. I'll be glad to help.
justivy03 - / 2,366 607  
Oct 5, 2015   #3
- ...and thus it s far more difficult to avoid.
- InT his way,
- On onethe other hand,
- ...vulnerable than mostanyone .
- We innately crave others'for other peoples ( for future reference on the word "others", there is no need to add an apostrophe) approval,

- whether I alwaysregardless if truly agree...

Well, the ending is not that much to be hateful about, however, I feel like it's not as a compelling ending as you want to put it especially that you are writing an essay for your undergraduate course. More so, I'm not convinced that you have justified what is asked if the prompt.

The story in the last paragraph which is your ending should be the 3rd paragraph from the body and you have to come up with a well grounded conclusion.

Maybe something like this;

Overall, belief is challenged more times than you can imagine, what you can do is stay grounded at all times and weigh the pros and cons before challenging this belief. Moving forward, I believe that I can be able to establish my own set of beliefs and practice them religiously, for now, I think before I click on my social media participation and when my day is not going what I hope it will be, I turn to social media to pump me up.

Something like this on the ending of your essay. I hope this helps.


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