Author Archives: Darien Laurencin

“Social Media Hashtag Happy” By Darien Laurencin

The technology world we know now was easy to adapt to. Going to a Technical College was a goal since I was in the 6th grade, but as I transition into college I soon realize that the connection between technology and emotion is larger than what it seems, specifically social media. The advancement in social media from MySpace to more popular applications such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram has positively increased the emotional empathy for others. Emotional Empathy is the ability to have emotion such as sympathy or sadness for the situations of others and their problems. Because of this, social media have increased the notion of cyber bullying creating emotional empathy through the sight of someone getting cyber bullied. Another implication that provides the connection between emotional empathy and social media is when a dramatic event occurs. The 150 plus death toll in Paris that occurred resulted in over 6 million post on Instagram using the hash tag prayforparis to express emotional empathy. Whether a person watches news on television or not, because of this increase use of social media, a person is locked in on almost every event that happens. As people scroll down on their news feed, watching post or statuses, awareness starts with the emotional aspect of what a person is viewing. Knowing what emotion the thing you are viewing causes, determines its popularity. Emotional Empathy is not always a good thing depending on how a certain situation is, For example, if there is a conflict between two people and one person decides to express their emotions more on social media than the other person, even though they are right or wrong, the person who expresses their emotion more would have a better chance of emotional empathy from others thus bringing down the other person.


Cyber bullying has become a huge epidemic in the 21st century. The effects of cyber bullying can range from someone crying to committing suicide. Social Media has increase cyber bullying, but it has also help increase awareness of cyber bullying. Increased awareness of cyber bullying causes an increase in the emotional empathy of others. One article stated, “Cyber bullying in adolescence is gaining increased research attention because adolescents’ use of the Internet, in particular social networking sites (SNS), continues to increase rapidly. Cyber bullying victimization has been found to be associated with symptoms of social anxiety,” (Dredge, Rebecca, Gleeson, and Garcia 287). This statement by the article insinuates that because of the use of the Internet cyber bullying becomes a major problem in adolescents. In addition to adolescents’ connection with cyber bullying and social media, the emotion empathy of people from the cyber bullying of these adolescents has grown. Based on my own experience on social media such as Facebook, I have seen countless times views of people getting bullied by others online, but also have seen comments that were against the cyber bullying as you can see in the photo bellow. The first image shows a woman being victimized for having four kids at a young age. The “2015 car” represents the woman being young, and “200,000 miles” tried to imply that the woman was being very sexual active. The second photo showed people standing up against the hateful image. These comments exemplified how people are able to seek emotional empathy from other when being cyber bullied on social media.

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Dramatic events occur everyday. Before social media grew, the primary resource of information was television or reading the newspaper. Now social media is the news for everything, from catching up on a new celebrity to a committed crime. Social Media has been the main watch for news for about two years. My father watches CNN and MSNBC all the time and every time I come home from college he notifies me on what he recently watched, but little did he know I have already knew what is the latest breaking news because of social media. This information ties to emotional empathy and social media because unlike the news programs on TV, social media doesn’t hide, or choose not to hide the more explicit content. This is because social media such as Facebook want to create more emotional empathy that televised news cannot or fail to create. In a recent interview with my farther Swithin Laurencin age 57, I asked him various questions on how he started using Facebook for the first time versus how he uses Facebook now. Swithin Laurencin said that, “ When I first used Facebook, I used it only to chat with my family from St. Lucia because it was free and easy, but as time went by and got better at using Facebook, now I see many stuff on my newsfeed that I do not see on TV. I see stuff like women getting abused, somebody getting shot, and one time a beheading of Spanish woman”(Laurencin 12). I then asked him, what news makes you more emotional, news on TV or news on Facebook? He simply stated, “ The news on Facebook of course” (Laurencin para.14.). As time went by I started to notice my dad more active on Facebook because social media captures a person emotional aspect more rather than a visual aspect that TV provides. Swithin Laurencin being age 57 exemplifies that not only the new generation about age 25 and under gain emotional empathy from what they see on Social Media, but people much older creating an increase in emotional empathy.

Although seeking for emotional empathy through social media is overall positive, there are some instances when emotion empathy can affect other negatively. During my experience on social media apps I tend to see relationships getting broken, and arguments through the use of post. One my best friends name Usman Alli he suffered from heartbreak not to long ago. I decided to interview him on the conflict between him and his former girlfriend, and how social media played a crucial room in the emotion empathy of others. My friend answered by saying, “I loved her, but she decided to put our business on Facebook, and portrayed me as villain on social media. She said on her statuses that I broke her heart by breaking up with her, and didn’t really care for her. That was not true, but because I didn’t want people to know our business I didn’t come back at her for saying these things, which made me seem like a bad guy to others on Facebook,”(Alli para.5.). While Usman did not try to seek emotional empathy from others, his former girlfriend did. All the status that his former girlfriend provided, she was able to get good and positive comments saying things like it, “You’re a strong girl,” “You don’t need that boy,” “ He doesn’t deserve you.” Does statuses help her self-confidence, but Usman got seen as a villain towards some of his peers. This type of emotional empathy on social media can be very dangerous, and would not resolve any issue. On the other hand someone did receive emotional empathy, boosting his or her self-esteem and confidence. According to an article about Facebook comments tying with emotion it was reveled that Facebook had more positive comment vs negative. The article said, “The researchers did not see the actual content of posts, as per Facebook’s data use policy. Instead, they counted only the occurrence of positive and negative words in more than 3 million posts with a total of 122 million words. They report that 4 million of those words were “positive” and 1.8 million were “negative,” (Varma para.5.). Even though there are people being seen as bad, the overall comments its emotional empathy is positive.

As I grow older and try to build a name for myself, I tend to be more active on Facebook. Whether I’m posting about my life or sharing something sad, I use emotional empathy from others to gain likes. In my opinion most people do not understand the power of emotion. Emotion is what separates humans from any other species. We seek sadness, laughter, joy, pain and hope. All these emotions are what give people either the will to live or the will to die. As a college student, I have to surround myself with positive vibes in order to be successful. Social Media created a separation of personalities of others, one person seems to be happy on Facebook, and then in reality they are hurting. One piece of information a reader should get out of this essay is that negativity will never prosper.

Work Cited

Alli, Usman. Personal Interview. 27 November 2015.

Dredge, Rebecca, John F. M. Gleeson, and Xochitl de la Piedad Garcia. “Risk Factors Associated With Impact Severity Of Cyberbullying Victimization: A Qualitative Study Of Adolescent Online Social Networking.” Cyberpsychology, Behavior & Social Networking 17.5 (2014): 287-291. Academic Search Complete. Web. 30 Nov. 2015.

Laurencin, Swithen. Personal Interview. 30 November 2015.

Varma, Subodh. “Emotions Sweep across Facebook Networks, Study Finds.” The Times of India, 15 June 2014. LexisNexis. Web. 04 Dec. 2015.



“Reaching For The Stars”

To most people who know me I would be referred to as Laurence. My full name however is Darien Aasin Laurencin. I’m a student in the School of Technology and Design at New York City College of Technology, (commonly known as City Tech), obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Computer System Technology. Computer System Technology, also known as Computer Programming dates back to the early 1950s when programming was just zeros and ones, evolving to high level language, creating amazing applications and software such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Google. The love I have from Computer Programming didn’t start not long ago, while I was a high school senior in my first semester I didn’t have any idea of the major I wanted to study, but through the inspiration of a teacher, I was able to stop the lie of wanting to become a biomedical engineer and start my path as a computer programmer. My passion towards pursuing this major grew as a City Tech student. Observing the love that my professors’ have for computers, made me come to a realization that I also have a love for it. When I’m in my programming classes, the work seem to be effortless yet challenging to me compared to my non computer classes. I believe finding a career in this field wouldn’t be hard, by having various computer skills in network security, and application though my major, I would be able to go from protecting people from hackers, to creating amazing applications that can better the lives of others. With all these aspects my journey to being a great Computer Programmer will be a success.

Within the 21st Century technology that’s being created, most of the machines have to be programed in order to do a specific task. The first programmer was a lady by the name of Ada Lovelace. Ada Lovelace was the first person to write code, or simple instructions for the first programmable computer made by Charles Babbage. According to When Faster is Slower Armour stated, “Early 1970s, the only available computer was a large main frame. When I say large, I mean physically; in memory size it was miniscule. The computer’s primary function was running a steelworks and any software development task requiring computer resources had to wait until the machine was not engaged in more important tasks” (Armour 1). This quotation showed how programming started with mathematicians using simple coding to calculate numbers on a huge computer that held little memory space. Machine language were instructions, using ones and zeros evolved to new and improve English like instructions. To understand the concept of how the history of programming evolved, in the early stages of programming to make a program instruction true or false a programmer would use one as true and zero for false. Today programmers can actually use simple words to make a program work, and programming languages such as C++, Java, and Html are used every day from making an app to making a webpage. A famous programmer that most people know is Mark Zukerberg. Mark Zukerberg is one of the cofounder of Facebook which have over 2 billion users. He has a net worth of about 35 billion. His programming journey didn’t start of easy. First Mark Zukerberg had to study, and that was what he did. He became a programmer at 12 and learned C++. He did created a program that made his parents two computer interact with each other. Mark Zukerberg along with his colleagues made an app that allowed people to interact with other in Harvard University, which started the idea of Facebook. To me the “Golden Age” of programming was in the early 2000s. This was when applications and software was making billions such as Microsoft. Microsoft profits increased substantially by making programs and applications such as Internet Explorer, Windows 2007 operating system, and Microsoft Office. Because Microsoft made all these applications, the CEO Bill Gates became, and still is the richest man in the world.

It was the first semester of my senior year in high school and my counselor handed me a piece paper of my class schedule. The schedule had English, Pre-calculus, gym, and HTML web design. All the classes I received were familiar to me except for HTML web design. I was thinking, “What the heck is a HTML.” The class seemed hard, so I was tried to switch my schedule while I had the chance. My counselor convinced me to try the class for a semester, and if I want I’ll be able to switch. During the first few days in the class the teacher, Mrs. Duffus, said HTML meant Hyper Text Markup Language and it’s a high-level computer language that most people use to make web pages. I thought making web pages would be fun, but it’s not for me. For the first few weeks the teacher was mostly talking web pages and learning how to make webpages, until one day it was time to finally create a web page. The first web page I ever created was supposed to show at least four people that inspired me in life. It sounded easy on paper, but when it was actually time to make the web page come to life, I struggled. There was days I spent extra time in class after school when me and my teacher would work together on my web page. She taught me various ways to make the styles of webpage, and use different website making programs such as Dreamweaver and Notepad++. Due to her extra support I was able to put my first ever web page up online before anyone else in the class. By the time it was time I was making my second webpage, “All about me,” I became a pro. I used more advance colors, and coding to create my website. I knew that I wanted to stay in this class my second semester. I soon found out there was other ways to program besides HTML and wanted to learn it all. HTML was my first program I became a pro at, then went on to CSS to help my webpages become more interactive. I made a decision that would change my life forever. I initially set my major to a bachelor degree in biomedical engineering at the University of Rochester, but then at the last minute made a decision to study Computer Systems Technology at City Tech. At the end of my high school year I left with a love for programming, creating three webpages and won the Award of Technology.

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Going to college is both an exciting and challenging experience, from joining clubs to dealing with strict professors. As I progress in my first semester in college I had to learn everything it takes to became a computer programmer and graduate with my bachelor’s degree. To know what it takes to graduate at City Tech with a person major, someone will refer to the City Tech College Catalog. The City Tech College Catalog stated, “A grade of “C” or better in each course designated with the prefix MST and/or CST will be required for progression towards graduation” (College Catalog 222). So in order for me to get one step further to my goals I would have to get a C grade or better to graduate with my bachelors. City Tech College Catalog also said that I would be able to take a course in Multimedia and Mobile Device Programming. This course according to the College Catalog, “Covers Java language support of applications on cell phones, PDAs and other small computational devices. Strengths and limitations of using the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) on small devices. Issues involved in moving large multimedia files between platforms and their storage in databases” (College Catalog 227). This specific course in my Computer Systems Technology degree will help me create applications. Being able to learn how to make application on a cellphone has been something I’ve wanted to do since I was fifteen years old. In addition my present time at City Tech have been both challenging and exciting. In my, Introduction to Computer Programming class, my professor thought me how to turn the decimal numeric system which is numbers zero through nine to the binary numeric system which is just zero and one. When I was thought this is was challenging at first, but when I got the hang of it, I had fun converting the numbers. My professors also helped add on to my goal of being a computer programmer, and graduate with a Computer System Technology degree. When my computer programming professors teach, I observed they teach with passion and excitement exemplifying their love for programming. This made a deep connection between me and my professors. Within the next 4 years I will obtain a bachelor degree in Computer Systems Technology. With this degree I will then start my journey to become the best computer programmer.

The hardest challenge I believe that will face on my journey to being a computer programmer is finding a career in where I’m financially stable. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook my major allows me to go into many career feels such as, Web development, Software Development, and Information Security Analysts. Between those three careers the one I’m mainly interested with Information Security Analysts. The reason for this is because The Occupational Handbook stated about Information Security Analysts is, “Employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 37 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for Information Security Analysts is expected to be very high, as these analysts will be needed to come up with innovative solutions to prevent hackers from stealing critical information or creating havoc on computer networks” (United States para .5.). Knowing that there is an increase demand for this type of field may insure that I get a career faster then the average person. In addition being in the Information Security Analysts field allow me to make the Internet safer for people to use and ensure that I acquire the knowledge to protect my own self from hackers. The Occupational Outlook Handbook also stated that the annual pay rate for that job is $86,170. Earning $86,170 would make me financially stable and also help my parents retire early. Being in the Computer Systems Technology field will allow me to gain access to computer knowledge far beyond what people just see on a computer screen. Each time I’m in Manhattan I would usually go in the apple store and observe the work environment. During my time at the apple store I received a warm and friendly welcome, and in addition I would observe the tech specialist work on fixing people broken or malfunctioned Ipads, IPhones, and MacBook’s. Due to my observation before I receive my bachelors degree I would like to work with apple at the apple store and become a tech specialist. If I become a tech specialist I can utilize that work experience to move on with my career or hopefully get promoted at the store.

Being a computer programmer would be a fun, but it takes a lot of hard work and determination. The belief that one day I’ll grow up and become successful in the computer field have been instilled in me ever since I graduated high school. I believe my true journey to success has not even start yet. My parents always told me work hard; play later, maybe that’s why I’m both a full time student and full time worker. No matter what bumps and bruises I face I can achieve anything and my love for computers will help me keep my sanity on that journey. If I’m ever upset or down, I would just turn on my computer and start designing a new webpage or study more on programing. The famous Mark Zukerberg said, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.”

Work Cited

Armour, Phillip G. “When Faster Is Slower.” Communications of The ACM 56.10 (2013): 30-32.                       
Academic Search Complete
. Web. 28 Oct. 2015.

New York City College of Technology- College Catalog 2015-2016 (City Tech). New York: New York City College of Technology, 2015. PDF

United States Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Computer and Information Technology. Occupational Handbook. Washington: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 8, January. 2015. Web. 28 October 2015



” A Negative Mind makes a Negative Life” By Darien Laurencin

Hello, my name is Darien Laurencin, and I’m pursuing a major in Computer Systems Technology at New York City College of Technology. A topic I would like to discuss that is personal to me is the impact that negativity has on the mind. It is personal to me, because as I walk through life I have dealt with a great deal of negativity, and learned to withdraw from it, but unfortunately for others, things turn for the worst. I believe that negativity weakens the mind mental capacity in which it is not able to function properly. There are different variations of negativity in the world. As I progress through life from a young boy, to becoming a college student, negative influences, or thoughts, changes the mind as a person ages. The human mind is like a super computer, but like everything else, there is a limit to what something could take, and like a computer, the mind can only take a certain amount of negativity, then starts to turn against its carrier by embracing the side effects of what negativity causes. Like negativity in the physical world, in this generation the digital world is also very important, showing how negative variations can be exemplified across the world, by Facebook, Twitter, CNN and other media, which can then alter the state of mind. By preserving my mind with positive thoughts, and emotions I’m not only nurturing a healthy mind, but also strengthening it to fight against negativity when it comes my way.

The human brain is an amazing thing. Age however changes the human brain as we grow. During my transition from a young boy to a man, my mind gradually developed, based on my life experiences. One important experience that changed my mindset as I grew up was in middle school. Throughout my time in middle school, I was a straight “A” student. I worked hard, studied hard, and tried to the best of my ability to stay in my high level class. Marine Park was the name of my middle school, it is a dominantly white school with both staff, and students. The class level ranged from 8-1 to 8-12, 8-12 being the highest level. The level of classes was based on academic performance. I was in 8-8, which meant I had privileges classes 8-1 to 8-4 didn’t have, such as band class, art, and music. One day during my walk to math class, one of my friends got in trouble, so I asked him, “What’s wrong?” The teacher standing by him told me to mind my business, and then I told her to “watch who you talk to.” After that incident the “white” principal, and “white” dean of the school demoted me from 8-8 to 8-4. The teacher who I had the conflict with was not one of my 8-8 class teachers, therefore that punishment was invalid. In addition to that I also lost my 8-8 privileges. Being one of only three black students in my 8-8 class, and now I’m being forced to leave, something felt wrong. Even though I was demoted to a lower level class, which included mostly African-Americans, I maintained my 90 average, but still wasn’t able to move back up to a high level class. The negative value of that situation created a dramatic change in my minds view point on education. I believe that I was targeted as a black man doing well in a dominantly “white” environment. This belief made me think that in education, African-Americans are being downgraded no matter how much they try to achieve their goals. The negative mindset I had in the past still haunts me till this day, because now that I’m in college, I’m scared to even talk to my professors, thinking that they only want me to fail. Negative thinking like this weakens a student’s mind ability to function properly when confronted by their professor, or teacher. It does not only weaken the mind ability, but also weakens the connection between teacher, and student because of the distrust from the student.

Have you ever watch a commercial about some sort of drug? The commercial starts saying the positive values about the drugs, but then a few seconds before the end the commercial, it talks about all the side effects such as nausea, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Negativity is similar to these commercials. Negativity feeds the mind into thinking that whatever negative circumstances a person is surrounded by, must happen. To elaborate on that, 2 years ago in 11th grade at Acorn Community High School there was this student by the name of Danny. Danny loved to fight from boys his age, to even the school safety agents. At only age 17 I’ve seen Danny in three fights, so one day I approached Danny to ask him, “why do you fight so much?” Danny simply answered, “I like to fight.” In Danny’s case he feels the negative attribute of fighting is a part of him. Like the commercials I stated earlier, fighting was like Danny’s pill, and soon after he will have to face the side effects. When it was time to transition from 11th grade to 12th grade, I didn’t see Danny in the senior orientation. 3 months pass by, and I finally saw him in school. Danny didn’t seem that he was fighting anymore, but did seem depressed and sad. I soon realize that the negative influence of fighting consumed Danny’s mind. Danny wasn’t able to focus in school, and eventually I stopped seeing him in school. What I learned from this experience is to get out of your negative influence, pleasure, or emotions before it’s too late. People are surrounded by negativity every day; we do not have to embrace it. The side effects of negativity are much more drastic. Similar to Danny case, after negativity consumes the mind to the limit it can take, the mind starts to give up on its carrier. Danny kept on fighting, and fighting until soon after he couldn’t bare the sight of fighting anymore. He faced the backlash of the constant fighting, by falling under depression and sadness. Don’t let your mind give up on you. The biggest side effect of the mind turning against its carrier is suicide, and everyday an increase in suicide is shown on the news. If we stop those negative influences, pleasures, and conflictions early we are giving our minds a second chance to not only function better, but to also help the mind distinguish from what’s right, and what’s wrong.

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all share one major thing in common, they are all connected to the internet. All these applications and websites are able to share news and information quicker. Some news are loveable such as a picture of a kitten to a dog getting rescued, but as I observe the activity on these sites, the information people are more attracted to is rather negative. Negativity is generated faster, and easier through the internet without someone even leaving their home. When I’m on Facebook, I would usually see funny videos, lovable videos, but the more viewed videos are negative videos, such as fights, bullying, and gossip. The negative videos would usually get the most likes then the uplifting videos. A few weeks ago I decided to conduct my own study on Facebook. On the first week of September, I wrote positive uplifting statuses for example, “Keep pushing no matter how much you fall down,” “Remember to love yourself,” and “You are amazing never forget that.” The likes I got for these statuses were around 10 to 14 with no comments. The week after I wrote negative statuses such as, “I’m tired of people, they get on my nerves,” “I hate this girl,” and “Ready to fight someone.” The likes I got for these statuses was around 17 to 25, which is above average for my Facebook. As I observe the negative statuses outcome, I had got many comments, including inboxes asking for more information about them. The comments and inboxes seemed to be more nosey, and trying to gossip, then caring comments to help me. This led me to the conclusion about what negativity on the internet have done to the mind. People, mainly the youth minds are being program to react to negativity, and withdraw from positivity. The human minds adapts to what a person do every day. If someone is consistently flooding their mind with scenes of fighting, arguing, and other negative things, then the mind will be program so that negativity is all a person be attracted to. I also being a victim to this form of programming, the mind want to be able to find out more on the negative interest a person is watching, that is why drama shows gets more, and more views each episode. I’m always watching fights, and arguments, not because I love watching fights, but because my mind have been program to be focus on only negativity on the internet. The mind have been so used to seeing negativity, it is unable to distinguish the positive aspects of something on the internet, making it unable to function properly. So whenever you see something that looks like any form of negativity, KEEP SCROLLING!

The mind needs to be preserved with positive thoughts and emotions. Because of continuous negativity, one cannot love or feel love the way a positive person would. The minds functionality is based on what you see, hear and feel. When I filled my mind with the negative environment I stated in my previous paragraphs, my mind was unaware of the positivity I was surrounded by. I have a wonderful family, and great friends. My mom would be always there for me, no matter how much I annoyed her. When I’m feeling down, or angry, I have good friends to cheer me up with laughter, hugs and food. With these positive aspects in my life, I was able to now withdraw from negativity, and pull in positivity. Knowing that I am surrounded by an army of positivity, it relaxes that mind to a state of peace and calmness which helps the brain function properly. One day while walking down the streets of Manhattan, I came across two homeless brothers asking for food. At first I passed the homeless brothers and went in Dunkin Donuts. While I was on the line, I was thinking to myself what if that was me, and my brother. I decided to get them a sandwich and orange juice. When I gave the two brothers the food and drink, they broke down into tears, then started thanking me a lot. That moment filled my heart with joy, and so much love, I wanted to do more. If I ever come across a homeless person, I would try my best to give them what I can, even if it’s the only change I have. I am not only filling my mind with positivity, but I am also passing on my positive vibe to anyone I help. The same way this positive chain works, a negative chains could be created. If I didn’t help the two homeless brother, other people would take notice and not help them either, but because I decided to help the homeless brothers, people took notice of that and gave them money. With a great deal of positivity, one is putting less stress on the mind, and giving it a healthy antidepressant. Ways that I keep my mind on the positive side is by helping others, writing positive statuses on social media, and listening to uplifting music. When I do those things my mind stay worry free and functions better.

Peace, happiness and good vibes should be in all of us. Positivity comes to those who stay positive through it all. In the future I seek to gain a deeper understanding of the mind connection to negativity. By learning this I am able to overcome all obstacles. As technology advances, the sight of negativity will increase in the minds of the youth. I want to be able to speak to the youth and share my experiences with them, so that I’m able to shield them from the negative world. It is a harsh world out there, and the mind is too important to waste. The mind is your overall control center that guides you through life. We need to be able to say at the end of the day, “I lived a good life.” On quote that I made for myself to stay positive is, “Be kind to your mind, because with that, positivity you will find.”