The BACKSTABBER!

😡 I cant even begin to explain how I feel toward Titus.

Violet was sick. So Titus took her to the hospital after malfunction. She already felt awful about what she said to Quendy at the party but she also felt relieved to scream.  As Violet was in the hospital she sends him a list, a Definitive list of things she wanted to do. Something like a bucket list. As Violet chats Titus he begins to ignore her. He starts to avoid and delete some of her messages. When Violet needed him the most he was drifting away! Violet finally got Titus to decide to go to the mountains with her, it was one of the things on her list to do, as was staying in a hotel, and so they did. Then Violet starts pulling some moves on Titus to be romantic being that she’s his girlfriend and all. Titus couldn’t go through with it. Her dying was the only thing he could think of. So they have this argument! 😡  They break up. I was so upset! Titus why! Would you let that happen when she told you before in the hospital (216) that she wouldn’t forget you that you’ll always be in her memory! 👿 Such a guy move.

Then. Titus eventually starts to date Quendy! Seriously Titus Quendy. Quendy just wanted to be loved I understand but Seriously???

Sometime later Around summer. Titus feels something is wrong. He sees Violet laying in bed literally like a potato. Of course Violets father was heartbroken. Violet had no hair she couldn’t move or speak. Of course Titus leaves because he cant handle the truth. Its too late when he comes back Violets dead. What a way to end.

When I first read this book I though it would be boring. As I read along I built a relationship with the characters. I believe the reason why Violet died was because of the implantation at a late age and her trying to resist the feed didn’t help either. Plus all the stress. All she wanted was to live a life where she wasn’t categorized, where she was free to think and like what ever she wanted.

I know Titus cant feel. I know he doesn’t want to be dumb. But I do believe if took violet a little more serious. He would understand more. He would feel more. I know he tried and it made them further. But Titus decided to leave. Titus decided to date Quendy. I keep thinking If Titus would’ve left Violet alone when they were on the moon. Would she have still been hacked? Would she have left early instead of helping Quendy with her stupid hair to cover her stupid lesion. If they never bothered Violet would she have still been alive?

Violet was a great girl she didn’t need to be left alone. She shouldn’t have went out like that. My jaw dropped and I literally almost shed a tear.

I still believe Titus is a backstabber. I feel you shouldn’t leave someone when they needed you especially when you were that close.

 

1%

We now learn who Titus has become. Through Violets fathers words and her condition, we are taken to a mad sad place. And the feed delivers ever more ominous messages on the state of the world.

People are rioting in the malls everywhere as their skin disappears. It is peeling off and nobody knows why. America is being threatened by “The Global Alliance” who issued a statement that says, “the physical and biological integrity of the earth relies at this point upon the dismantling of American based corporate entities, whatever the cost.”(p.243)

People have been disappearing….whole suburbs. Large groups of people have been found dead. Maybe it is happening already. Nobody knows anything including what a corporate entity is. The feed continuously delivers these types of messages while advertising shaving cream and sales on jeans. The bombardment of information leaves no time to sort it out. There is no thinking.

Titus deals with his breakup with Violet by getting trashed. He is really not capable of feeling. Losing his so called mind is his intention. He hasn’t been able to communicate with her for awhile but going mal weakens him. The concept of death is so foreign and he won’t deal with it, not even for Violet. But he tries and this rips them further apart.

We never get to understand what time is. The feed distorts everything. All we know is that this teenager has moved on. SchoolTM where Titus seems to learn nothing is over. He has become attached to Quendy. While he is away with the guys, he misses her….and life goes on.

The message revealing Violets decline stops time. The feed has made Titus unable to feel but he must find out what happened. After Violets father blames himself for skimping when buying her feed, he blames Titus for helping his daughter get hacked. We really feel the fathers pain through his flying words. Titus can’t understand a word and he demands over and over, “tell me”.(p.291) Violets father wants him to read it himself and find the answer but he won’t do it. He cannot read. SchoolTM teaches them how to use the information given them. They don’t have to speak, feel or read as long as they have credit.

Titus is numb. The sight of Violet with the disks and tubes has had an affect on him. He strips and forces a moment of silence by exhausting his credit. He is invisible.

The act of deleting someones memories and dreams is haunting. The vision of Violet, so helpless and still having the strength to want some part of her to live on is extraordinary. The story of Titus and she coping with a disintegrading life, together and alone is so sad. The book is ending on that note. The bond of these two is forever and forever is a dream. Titus has finally learned something.

Throughout the novel there has been a feeling that Violet would be punished for her thoughts and behavior. She is told that they won’t help her with her feed because of her profile. She is so brave and at this point we understand the value of life. Once Titus clears his credit so to speak, he sits with her. He whispers his memory to her barely beating heart; “Together, the two crazy kids grow, have madcap escapades, and learn an important lesson about love. They learn to resist the feed.”(p.298) And now we know that this is the beginning of the end.

The Ecological Devastation of the Utopia

Ok so yeah, I would definitely like to make this entry about the idea revolving around the Utopia chapter or section/part. I don’t even know what’s it called. But anyways back to the utopia topic, there were many big important events happening within Titus’s life and his surroundings. But I only want to focus on several of them. One of the issues or topic I’d like to write about is the TM business and the environment in general. It seems that the entire environment has been official made artificial, there is no more trees, the clouds are all polluted to extinction, there are no animals which in my opinion is pure ridiculous. The air is artificially made, schools are also TM based, and everything that has to do with weather and the sun and night time are controlled! The audacity of this so called utopia has made is enraging to its people, in my opinion. But of course no one seems to realize this except the Feed resisters. The clouds and air are factory made and it seems like the clouds are holograms mixed with some artificial gas that has been dyed white or other white to dark gray color line dye. Or perhaps the clouds have just been replicated through a corporation. Oh yeah, so I won’t forget, TM stands for Trade Marked. Schools have been bought by corporations and marked TM to increase the Feed networks  and teach based on the feed. Another crazy thing, is the thing with the animals. When Titus and Violet go out into the country, apparently they end up in Beef Country. Throughout the land was just a complete extension of how the meat they eat seems to be processed. He mentions how there were like tissue throughout the land and how the heart seems to pulse and flex a muscle of some sort. I found it really strange that there would be meat without animals to get it from. Now the meat is artificially made like the clouds and are completely replicated. The craziest thing to manipulate is basically time, in which they do also. Titus briefly mentions how each home is barricaded and the seasons are changeable. Also that the day time and night time are also controlled to replicate the real thing. It seems like they probably live underground with still access to the “surface.” ITs crazy how their technology has even surpassed natural human sexual reproduction. Genes are no longer necessary to create a child. Now its all based on one’s tastes and likes. For god’s sake, Link turns out to be a replica of Abraham Lincoln. I think I spelled his last name wrong, oh well. Parents can say, hey I want my child to this person’s chin, or hey my little boy should have a feminine face; lord its horrible. Well im w\running out of time so my last comment will be that its actually not that far from happening in our time because nowadays, our future parents can customize their baby’s eyes and hair colors through technology.

Feed Part Three: Utopia

In this Portion of Feed called Utopia (by M. T. Anderson) we learn more about how Titus and Violets relationship grow. We also learn how they been spending more time with eachother. Violet is not like the rest of Titus friends and himself, shes honest and she does what she thinks is right for her and not what she thinks is normal. For example At one point in this part, Violete tells Titus and his parents her thoughts on air where they live, Titus father disagrees with her and they have a strong discussion about it. This shows how she is different and how she thinks different from everyone else because everyone else depends off their feed and not theyre senses or ideas, which in this case is not normal but Titus grows very strong emotional feelings for Violet and Violet for him eachday,and as this happens things start to change such as Titus relationship with his friends. Towards the end of part three, Titus and Violete go to a party where all his friends (Calista,Loga, Quendy,Link and Marty) are and at a point they are all playing spin the bottle with eachother and with other people that are at the party. Everything is going well until Marty spun the bottle and it landed on Violet, Marty got up and went to her and was disrespecting Violet and she got upset so she got up and started to act differently and yell. I thhink Violet acted the right way and she started to yell things that were going on in society but things that people didnt pay attention to at all because they were to busy playing spin the bottle and hovering in the air while there are people starving. According to what happen earlier on in the beginning of the book, going to the moon and space was really expensive and so she thought that the way everyone was viewing society instead of helping it was useless so she got upset and started to not feel or look well. Titus got scared at seeing how Violete was looking because he remembered Violet told him that ever since the hacking in their feed she was not functioning well and was not good. Titus got scared and was screaming to please call the abulence after she had insulted everyone, but no one wanted to help. Everyone at the party kept saying “Shes in Mal.”

From what iv read based on their relationship i think that what they have is something clearly true and beautiful And all Violet wants to do is send out a message to show and explain to others that the feed is not something necessary, that it something they can live without. I think Violet sees society this way because she was raised a different way and the way her father is also effects the way she sees things. Violet is the only one who uses a pencil and and knows how to actually write and who knows something unlike the others who HAVE to use the feed for everything. This gives me an idea of how technology is distracting us from real world issues and problems we face everyday but we dont realize them because were to busy on our devices.

Eden

In this portion of the book we begin to learn what not having the feed would be like. It is written in English and quite unaffected compared to Part 1. We can really begin to understand how powerful this connection to the feednet is. It really controls them and being without seems so frightening.
Titus describes having nothing in his head. This is referred to as credit. Having no credit meant he had to speak to people directly. His hospital room is described as “nothing but the walls” and the picture on one…uninteresting. Without the feed everything is quiet. They are in the hospital after being hacked. The police are present and everyone looks horrible. As they are waiting for their parents, the major concern is the feed.
Acceptance of the situation is a process. Through Titus we learn a little history of the feednet. He doesn’t know life without it. Being able to have your desires understood and your questions answered has made these people lazy. To use your brain and make a decision has never been necessary. Dealing with real time is something they cannot understand.
Feeling their frustration made me sympathetic to the situation. These teenagers should not be struggling with making a sentence. They should be able to rest assured that life will continue and everything will be okay. As they start to open up, the relationship between Violet and Titus changes. Her father does not come and she is having a feed problem unlike the others. They are forced to deal with each other and they form a bond. It was the newness of this friendship that enabled them to get through this event. Actually, they seem to begin to enjoy themselves.
Learning about Violet is different. She calls herself “pretentious” and we begin to see her personality emerge. Titus has feelings for her and actually expresses himself.
Being trapped in the hospital has made this group very anxious and they cause chaos at some point. They are bored and destroy some stuff in the hospital. All this time, they seem to be having fun. They get away with the behavior because everyone feels sorry for them.
I want them to go home without the feed. As they begin to act like real people with vulnerabilities, personalities and opinions, you can begin to imagine life without the interference. Although it would be a struggle to survive in this crazy world they live in, it may be a possibility. They seemed almost happy for the first time. The language used sounds a little more complex. With time, maybe they would be able to function. With strength, maybe it could happen. This time in the hospital has changed them and they are scarred in some way. They may be traumatized but they seem better off. After all, they are kids and normal development can’t be a negative.
Just like that, the confusion is over. The ordeal is over and they turn the feed back on. And they forget how much fun they could have without it. They forget the tears and talks and fears and real time. As the narrator said, “and the feed was pouring in on us now” and just like that they were lost in it. They were “dancing in it” and this to them was cause for celebration, for now.

Catfish

Nev chatting with Megan

Nev chatting with Megan

The documentary “Catfish” was produced on August 2007. The characters include Nev Schulman, his siblings’ two filmmakers (Ariel and Henry), Angela and her family (Vince and Abby).

Nev lives in New York City and Abby an eight year old artist in rural Michigan became Facebook friends which broaden to include Abby’s family (Angela, Vince, Megan). Nev begins an online relationship with Megan.

Megan's profile picture

Megan’s Facebook profile picture

She sends him songs she covers but Nev discovers that the songs are all taken from YouTube. Nev and his family friends decide to make an impromptu visit to Michigan. They finally arrive and  were welcome by Angela. In their conversation Angela tells Nev that she had uterine cancer. After a lengthy chat, Angela drives Nev and Ariel to see Abby. While talking with Abby andher friend, Nev learned that Abby never sees her sister and wasn’t a painter either, a day after Nev received a text message from Megan saying that she has had a long-standing alcohol problem and cannot meet him because she has decided to check into

Nev and his two siblings on their way to Michigan

Nev and his two siblings on their way to Michigan

rehab. This was confirmed by another facebook friend but Nev realizes that this is likely another lie from Angela. After face to face meeting with Angela, she admits that the pictures of Megan were of a family friend, though her daughter Megan 19 is in rehab. She also confess of haven painted all the paintings that she had sent to Nev. Nev therefore realizes that he was talking to Angela while believing he was talking to Megan.

Angela confesses her dubious activities on Facebook as Nev is astonished to her testimony

Angela confesses her dubious activities on Facebook as Nev is astonished to her testimony

Angela confesses of maintain 16 different facebook accounts and was using Megan as one of the alternate accounts to talk to Nev. According to Angela most of what she poses to be is what she had wanted to in real life.

Angela husband Vince talks of how there are people in everyone’s life who keep them active, always on their toes and always thinking. He tells Nev a story about the fishermen who found that putting catfish in the tanks with the cod kept them active and ensured the quality of the fish.

Vince - Angela husband

Vince – Angela husband

At the end of the documentary from the screen text, I learnt that Angela did not have cancer, she doesn’t know the girl on the picture, but also the person on the picture (Megan) was Aimee Gonzales, a professional model and photographer.  Angela deactivated 15 of her profiles and remains with one. Nev is still on facebook and has 732 friends including Angela.

The story of the Catfish can be supported by both Turkles “The Flight from Conversation” and Marche’s “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?” on their drive to espouse conversation as against connection.

On page 6, paragraph 2 of Stephen Marche’s article “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?”  He states that “It’s lonely business, wandering the labyrinths of our friends’ projected identities, trying to figure out what part of ourselves we ought to project, who will listen, and what they will hear.” Angela uses fake name and picture of Megan to capture the mind of Nev. Like Vince put it, there are people in everyone’s life who keep them active. Nev became romantically attracted to Megan base on the way she projects herself. It is unfortunate some individuals sole use of the social media is to trick and scam innocent people. Angela may have not only devastated the mindset of Nev but made him feel empty after thinking that he has finally found a romantic relationship.

In the article “The Flight from Conversation” by Sherry Turkle, page 2, paragraph 3 she said “Texting and e-mail and posting let us present the self we want to be. This means we can edit. And if we wish to, we can delete. Or retouch: the voice, the flesh, the face, the body. Not too much, not too little- Just right”. Angela did exactly that. She presented herself in the best form she could have loved to appear in real life, she fine tune her voice and personify herself into different characters with the sole aim of catfish. Angela purported not to be happy with her current life as that wasn’t what she dreamt of. I’m not sure catfish can achieve the flamboyant life she had expected rather it will lead to a more embarrassment.

 

 

Zishan’s Long Response to Catfish

The 2010 documentary film Catfish, directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost, depict the life of Nev, a young man from New York City. Both directors hold a close relationship with Nev (Ariel being his brother and Henry a close friend). The documentary starts off with Nev receiving a painting from eight year-old Abby, a young girl with a lot of artistic talent. Even though I didn’t quite understand why she sent him the painting and how their relationship began, Abby begins sending paintings of various things to Nev all the way from Ishpeming, Michigan. They become friends on Facebook and very soon he’s Facebook friends with Abby’s mother Angela and her half-sister Megan. The friendship quickly becomes stronger between Meg and Nev after he receives a painting made by Meg of Nev’s Facebook profile picture. He says she has “the biggest crush on me” and without much delay they begin chatting online all the time. Up till this point, Nev has never talked to Abby, Meg and has talked twice with Angela over the phone. Meg begins sending songs to Nev that she claims to have sang herself and things continue to sail smooth. After some time, however, Nev finds out that the songs that Meg has been “singing” for him aren’t sung by her, but actually are songs from the Internet. It’s at this point that Nev’s feelings are hurt and he wants to back out of the whole relationship he has with Meg, however, his friend and brother convince him to continue the relationship for the sake of the documentary and since it’s only the “tip of the iceberg”. They continue to investigate and find out a few more lies (I can’t recall all of them at the moment). With the help of Google, they locate and contact the owner of Abby’s gallery where they sell Abby’s art from. They find out from the gallery’s owner that the gallery is vacant and has been for four years! With too many blank spots and a lot of curiosity, Nev and the guys decide to travel to Michigan and pop-up in front of Meg’s house uninvited. Upon arrival to Michigan, the crew decides to visit Meg’s farm where she supposedly lives to see if it’s true. The farm is empty and Meg is not home. The next day, they drive to Abby’s house to meet Angela and the young artist. After a slight delay with Nev knocking on the door, Angela opens the door with her husband Vince behind her. Angela lives there with Vince and his two mentally handicapped sons.They meet and Nev asks to meet Abby. They then have to drive to another place to meet Abby. By talking to Abby, Nev understands that Abby isn’t actually the artist she’s supposed to be and she has no idea where Meg lives and doesn’t even know what she looks like! They tell Nev Meg isn’t around, that she has a drinking problem and is currently in rehab… Finally, at the near end of the film, at Nev’s request, Angela tells her the truth. Angela herself is “Meg” and the artist, the talented painter whose art Nev has been receiving. The Facebook profiles are all fake, created by Angela to authenticate her lies. And the pictures of “Meg” are of their family friend’s who is a professional model…

From watching Catfish, I learned something new that I couldn’t even have imagined before. Without real-life interaction with people/society, we could become miserable with our lives. And that was the case with Angela. Living in rural Ishpeming, Michigan, with her not-so-smart husband and two mentally unstable kids, she must have had a lot to cope with. With that being said, it is not a justification for her crimes, but it is the source of her pain. Social media is a tool, as John Cacioppo said in Stephen Marche’s article “Is Facebook Making us Lonely?”; it could be beneficial or harmful depending on how that tool is utilized. Angela curated an exhibition of herself in a very efficient and sadly truthful manner. She created approximately 15 Facebook profiles, each a form of backup for her vast lie. She claims them to be “fragments of her”, pieces of reality she wished she was/had. However, I think this video is a clear and literal way to understand the complicated ideas of “ersatz intimacy” and “curating the exhibition of the self”. By this I mean that in the film, Meg’s relationship with Nev is artificial. Meg doesn’t even exist yet Nev is in a relationship with her! This raises a very interesting question of weather true emotion could exist between a person and someone who doesn’t even exist. I believe that it cannot, or can for an extremely brief moment. I for one need to meet a person in person to be able to judge them and feel comfortable in engaging in any emotional connection with them. The next point of curating an exhibition of the self is also represented clearly by Angela and her life on Facebook. She has a beautiful woman as her Facebook’s profile picture (a lady she obviously looks nothing like). In reality, I like to think of curating the exhibition of the self as putting up your best pictures, cropping out anything unwanted, portraying one as perfect as possible. In conclusion, I feel sympathetic for Angela and all the people in this world, especially Americans, who find happiness/their true selves over the Internet. Communication has no value today because it isn’t “required” anymore, we have everything we need over the web. I really get amused by the ads in the trains that say “such-and-such is just a click away and it has never been this easy”. Sure this is an amazing form of technology and we are evolving like never before but that shouldn’t make us lose value for the things we had. We shouldn’t forget the true values life brings for us and with that in mind, utilize technology as efficiently as necessary.

P.S. Sorry for writing so much… =)

“Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?”

I joined facebook in 2010. I had approximately 345 friends. 75% of whom I have never met in real life. I’m also a member of 41 groups on facebook but only active in 4.  I sometimes post and also comment on different posts. The groups I actively participate in are Sierra Leone Issues, online salone, exzenithors, and fullah progressive union.

Mario Colao knew binge drinking, smoking and overindulging in food were slowly killing him. So he stopped, cold turkey. Learn about his 200 pound weight loss journey and see his awesome transformation: http://cnn.it/1eJCkJD via CNN Health

Mario Colao knew binge drinking, smoking and overindulging in food were slowly killing him. So he stopped, cold turkey. Learn about his 200 pound weight loss journey and see his awesome transformation: http://cnn.it/1eJCkJD via CNN Health

My activities on facebook include chatting, posting, liking and commenting. I check my account 2 or 3 times a day with an average of 15 minutes per logon. I have uncountable like pages which includes City Tech, Sport world, CNN, BBC Africa and few others.

The question by Stephen Marche “is facebook making us lonely”? I will say loneliness is a relative term. Facebook had never made me lonely rather it makes me feel fulfilled and happier.

Barrie: I was this young the last time I saw Ms. Jalloh

Barrie: I was this young the last time I saw Ms. Jalloh

Most of my childhood friends that I had no clue of there whereabouts are being found through facebook. Recently, I got connected with Ms. Jalloh after 12 years. She’s currently living in Staten Island and we are in constant touch as bosom friends.

Despite the connection of old and new friends, facebook is the greatest source of information for current happenings in my country, I felt at home.  At any given time, I have a minimum of 10 active friends online.

In page 1, paragraph 2, the article states “within two week, by technocrati’s count, vicker’s lonesome death was already the subject of 16,057 Facebook posts and 881 tweets”. This is a clear manifestation of Facebook fulfillment in our lives. It doesn’t only connect us but also enable us to express our thoughts and perception on topical issues thereby making us less lonely.

It’s hard to distinguish what constitute loneliness. On page 5, paragraph 4, the article states “A recent study out of Australia (where close to half the population is active on Facebook), titled “Who uses Facebook?” found a complex and sometimes confounding relationship between loneliness and social networking”. Facebook is a social networking site that has eliminated social loneliness to a greater extent for instance when I’m bored, I logon to my account and engage on either chatting with friends, watch posted videos or read different posts.

I see myself happier, connected and less lonely with the social media. I learnt new things or see amazing things every time I’m on facebook. It gives me the optimism and motivation to face real life challenges.

Barrie: Facebook is a great source to find your lost friends.

Barrie: Facebook is a great source to find your lost friends.

One could not totally disagree with the article statement on page 5, paragraph 4 “Facebook users had slightly lower levels of “social loneliness” – the sense of not feeling bonded with friends – but “significantly higher levels, of family loneliness” – the sense of not feeling bonded with friends”. That could be a point but looking at the definition of social media – it’s the interaction among people in which they create, share, and/or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. This definition excludes family ties. It could be true, people might be too engage on social media with little or no time for their immediate family but that doesn’t mean loneliness, sometimes, it can be bored listening or discussing the same topic over and again.

Facebook made me fulfilled. No more loneliness.

Facebook made me fulfilled. No more loneliness.

Depending on individual perception and commitment one should outline the buffer zone between social media and family affairs, priority should always be given to family but in generality, Facebook has been a fulfillment to my life and I believe to the lives of many.