Author Archives: Ryan Karran

How Does Social Media Effect Our Brain Today? By Ryan Karran

Social media is a way for people to share content, either personal or public, to a website or application where other people can view. Through social media, we can gain other people’s insight on a certain topic and make friends. It is a great way of keeping up with trends and being socially active. Some people believe social media to be a major distraction and an unnecessary time consumer but I find it to be a way for everyone to connect and relate to each other. In this essay, I will discuss how social media impacts individuals both emotionally and cognitively along with how it can effect visualization in the workplace.

Social media has been really extremely popular when it comes to surfing the web and has been known to be one of the largest time consumers. It has also given people a way to make friends easily and has opened up new opportunities for people that are socially or physically impaired to build relationships. Raymond Tay wrote an article listing both the positive and negative impacts of social media on society. In his article, Impact of Social Media, he mentioned how President Barack Obama gathered supporters and voters through the use of social media. Obama had made about 5 million friends on more than 15 different social media sites which attracted visitors to his website,

Social media was also known to help and support countries that underwent a natural disaster. Tay stated, “In 2010, after the earthquake happened in Haiti, many of the official communication lines were down. The rest of the world was not able to grasp the full picture of the situation there. To facilitate the sharing of information and make up for the lack of information, social media came in very handy to report the news about the affected area on what happened and what help was needed. Tweets from many people provided an impressive overview of the ongoing events from the earthquake. BBC covered the event by combining tweets from the work of its reporter Matthew Price in Port-au-Prince at the ground. Guardian’s live blog also used social media together with the information from other news organizations to report about the rescue mission. The most impressive part of the social media’s impact on Haiti is the charity text-message donations that soared to over $10 million for the victims in Haiti. People interested in helping the victims are encouraged to text, tweet and publicize their support using various social networking sites. The Global Philanthropy Group had also started a campaign to ask wealthy people and celebrities, like Ben Stiller and John Legend to use Twitter and Facebook to encourage others to give to UNICEF” (Tay, par 8). After this crisis, social media began to be viewed as a positive impact on the world.

Although social media is known for its ability to form and strengthen relationships, it has also been known for its ability to tear relationships apart because of its “variations of depression caused by the lack of meaningful quality relationships” (Anderson, par 8). According to Tay, privacy breaching is one of the most common problems with social media. Tay states, “The challenge in data privacy is to share data while protecting personally identifiable information. Almost any information posted on social networking sites is permanent. Whenever someone posts pictures or videos on the web, it becomes viral. When the user deletes a video from his/her social network, someone might have kept it and then posted it onto other sites like YouTube already. People post photographs and video files on social networking sites without thinking and the files can reappear at the worst possible time. In 2008, a video of a group of ACJC (Anglo-Chinese Junior College) students hazing a female student in school on her birthday was circulated and another video of a SCDF (Singapore Civil Defense Force) recruit being welcomed to a local fire station made its way online.”

A group of researchers did a study with Facebook users in order to prove how social media could impact emotion either negatively or positively. They had Facebook remove positive posts from the news feeds of more than 680,000 users and noted that these specific users began to make less positive posts and more negative ones. The opposite happened when they removed negative posts from certain users. Tanya Lewis in her article, Emotions Can Be Contagious on Online Social Networks, proves that emotions are contagious and can spread amongst people without their awareness. In a study that took place in January 2012, researchers selected 689,003 random Facebook users and once again manipulated the number of positive or negative post that they could view on their timeline. The researchers used a word counting software which determined whether a post was negative or positive and removed a percentage from the user’s timeline. According to Lewis, “On average, about twice as many posts contained positive words (47 percent) as contained negative words (22 percent), so the researchers removed a proportional number of posts of each kind” (Lewis, page 2). The results were the same and in addition, they found that people who saw fewer emotional posts were just less expressive.

Cognition is the way we acquire knowledge and understand it. It can be acquired through any of your five senses and can be interpreted based on past experiences. Social media has had an extensive grip over the way people see or understand things. A great example of this is shown by an experiment done by a researcher in the Department of Journalism & Communication named Janey Lee. In this experiment, Lee used photos of both older and younger candidates to measure the impact of Facebook user comments on young voters. Lee discovered that young voters trust older users’ evaluations more than they do other fellow younger users. We can conclude from this study that there are many factors that influence political impressions in social media such as the type of comment or the age of the commenter.

While many think that social media have a positive outlook towards the way we think, others may argue that it has a negative or no correlation at all. Researchers Jesse Fleck and Leigh Johnson-Migalski conducted a research project called The Impact of Social Media on Personal and Professional Lives: An Adlerian Perspective to inform us about changes within both our professional and personal lives due to social media. Unfortunately the research resulted in social media having a negative effect due to a higher ratio of negative post compared to the positive posts. A similar research project orchestrated by Esam Alwagaita, Basit Shahzada, and Sophia Alim showed that social media usage actually had no correlation when it came to academic performance. In their project, Impact of Social Media Usage on Students Academic Performance in Saudi Arabia, they evaluated the number of hours students spent on social media within a week and the GPA scores of the college students. However, the scatter plots showed that there was no correlation between the two subjects due to the students’ great time management systems.

Saad Kabir, a high school student, claims to spend about 4 hours a day on all of his social media sites. After being asked for his response to social media’s impact on cognition, he spoke of him using social media as a news source. Kabir stated, “I find social media very useful when it comes to acquiring knowledge because its actually my primary source for news. For example, the terrorist bombing in France was completely in the dark to me until I logged onto Facebook and checked my feed. Upon entering, I saw a whole bunch of posts and links to articles relating to the event” (Kabir, par. 6). An interview with Janita Karran, a middle aged woman, seems to share a similar view to social media’s impact on cognition. After being asked how she acquires information from social media and if it affects the way she views certain information, she replies saying that often times she is surprised after reading other people’s insight towards certain topics. She gives an example of this by saying, “After hearing about Donald Trump’s idea to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country, I was certain that he would do whatever it took to protect the people. However, after reading some of my Muslim friends’ comments and posts towards this idea, I too understood what he was proposing was madness and negated what America stands for” (Karran, par. 7).

Visualization is the way we see something in our minds and the ability to form mental images. Our brains process visual information rather quickly and when it comes to social media, data visualization is a very useful tool. Often times, the sharing of visual content will often result in a higher level of engagement compared to just posting plain text. John Dietrich in his article, Data Visualization for the Social Media Pro, provides to us some different tools that we can use in social media sites to help improve visualization amongst other users. Dietrich states, “Social media tools tend to focus on visualizing the data being collected and are an indispensable resource for social media professionals. There are a lot of tools available for the many social media networks out there, but again, those that focus on visualizing data tend to provide better results” (Dietrich, par 3). Simple graphs and charts can be used just to capture a user’s attention along with giving them additional information rather than having them read the information from text.

Many people find visualization within social media to be positive influence but can the same be said for employees in the workplace? According to Donna Ballman, nearly 90 percent of companies use social media for business purposes. Half of these companies allow employees to use social media for non-business activities. However more than 70 percent of these employers report having to take disciplinary action against employees for misuse of these privileges. While many companies felt like they had enforce harsher restrictions or keep a closer eye on employee social media use after hearing this news, Ballman had a totally different reaction. Ballman stated, “Holy cow! Seventy percent of employers not only monitor employee social media but are disciplining employees for expressing incorrect views. I have to ask, what the hell are we coming to when employers think they have the right to monitor and control employees’ opinions expressed on their own time in their own blogs, Facebook pages or other social media. What kinds of things are employers monitoring and cracking down on?” A study from the company Proskauer tells us that 80 percent of the surveillance goes towards misuse of confidential information. About 71 percent goes toward misrepresenting the views of the business. Another 64 percent goes towards both disparaging remarks about the business or employees along with harassment. Lastly, 67 percent goes towards inappropriate non-business use.

Even though it was established that employees are constantly being disciplined for social media abuses, it is still proven how the workplace benefits from social media.  A company by the name of Advanced Visual Systems works alongside many social media sites to gather information in order to reveal patterns and correlations that are difficult to determine. It’s an efficient system that incorporates various workbench analytical tools in order to create reports for a business’s decision makers. This advanced data visualization is being implemented in many businesses today because of its ability to efficaciously analyze and produce accurate results based of off data gathered from social media sites.

In conclusion, social media impacts society in both positive and negative ways. However the positive seems to outweigh the negatives in a large majority. Social media can impact us in three different ways. It seems to have a large effect on emotion due to a human’s nature to give what you get. Research projects intended to determine how social media impacts emotion shows that we post negatively or positively based on what we see more on our time feeds. Social media also impacts cognition meaning the way we acquire knowledge and understand it. Interviews showed that people use social media as a source of news and that it could also help you to understand a piece of information from someone else’s point of view. Lastly, social media’s grip over visualization is a debate that can be discussed for a long time before coming to a final answer. However, businesses today rely heavily on the feedback received from social media sites which really makes social media a positive influence when it comes to visualization. It is difficult to say whether these results will be accurate 10 years from now but one thing that will remain true is social media’s evolution. Social media will continue to further advance and will be used throughout many lives therefore impacting many others as well. In the future, businesses will probably start finding more efficient ways to profit off of data that they receive from social media sites. After all, social media is a major source of advertising. Establishing a good time management system is a good way to limit social media use for those out there that spend a prodigious amount of time on it.


Works Cited

Alwagait, Esam, Basit Shahzad, and Sophia Alim. “Impact Of Social Media Usage On Students Academic Performance In Saudi Arabia.” Computers In Human Behavior 51.(2015): 1092-1097. Academic Search Complete. Web. 23 Nov. 2015.

Anderson, Janna, and Lee Rainie. “The Future of Social Relations.” Pew Research Center Internet Science Tech RSS. 1 July 2010. Web. 6 Dec. 2015.

Ballman, Donna. “70% of Employers Think Your Social Media Posts Are Their Business.” LexisNexis. 6 May 2014. Web. 7 Dec. 2015.

Beattie, Alex. “Social Media and Its Effects on Our Emotional Well Being.” Social Media and Its Effects on Our Emotional Wellbeing Comments. Metro Blogs, 15 Aug. 2013. Web. 23 Nov. 2015.

Dietrich, John. “Data Visualization for the Social Media Pro.” Social Media Today. 16 June 2015. Web. 7 Dec. 2015.

Fleck, Jesse, and Leigh Johnson-Migalski. “The Impact Of Social Media On Personal And Professional Lives: An Adlerian Perspective.” Journal Of Individual Psychology 71.2 (2015): 135-142. Academic Search Complete. Web. 23 Nov. 2015.

Kabir, Saad. Personal Interview. 30 November 2015.

Karran, Janita. Personal Interview. 7 December 2015

Lewis, Tanya. “Emotions Can Be Contagious on Online Social Networks.” Scientific American Global RSS. Scientific American, 1 July 2014. Web. 23 Nov. 2015.

Thapa, Samita. “Beyond Social Media: The Role of Data Visualization, E-Learning, and Digital Mapping in Diplomacy.” Atlas Corps. 4 Nov. 2015. Web. 7 Dec. 2015.

Weaver, Lauren. “The Impact of Social Media.” The Impact of Social Media. 25 Sept. 2014. Web. 23 Nov. 2015.


What Exactly Is Computer Information Systems? by Ryan Karran

My name is Ryan Karran and I am a first year college student studying in Computer Information Systems at New York City College of Technology. I plan to pursue a career in Computer and Information Systems. I want to become a Computer and Information Systems Manager for a variety of reasons. Not only is it a high paying with great working conditions but it also has a low stress level. There are a variety of workplaces that support this type of career and this isn’t just a career. To me this is my passion, something I love doing very much. They say “choose a job that you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life” (Confucius). Luckily for me that’ll be a high paying, low stress, and exciting job. In this essay, I plan to inform you about what it is that CIS Managers do along with telling you how I plan to excel in my career in the hopefully near future.

For the career that I plan to pursue, I will require at least a bachelor’s in Information Technology along with some additional training. The name of the degree that I plan on receiving within my next four years is called a Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science. The department which offers this degree is called Computer Information Systems and is found within the School of Technology and Design. This major teaches you everything that you could possibly learn about a computer along with how and where data is being transferred. In doing so, you also learn to code in various coding languages along with managing networks and database systems. It also enhances your problem solving and analyzing skills which are not only valuable skills in any profession but valuable life skills. According to the City Tech College Catalogue, my major intends to “provide highly qualified professionals who can understand, apply, manage and anticipate cutting-edge technology along with preparing marketable candidates for positions in the information technology field. Also to provide students with the command of applied skills in technical fields that require a solid foundation in scientific and mathematical theory as well as excellent communications, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, allowing students to anticipate the direction of technology, not just to follow it.” In short, this degree doesn’t just familiarize the student with technology, but it makes them an adept learner and trend spotter.

The first factor that influenced me to choosing this career would have to be the average salary that I could possibly receive. There are two different types of jobs that one can choose when entering this field of work one of which is a government job or a corporate job. The government tends to hire more workers and give employees shorter work hours. Whereas the corporate is much more competitive, has to work longer hours, and must be kept on standby at all times in case of an emergency. Both jobs have their disadvantages and advantages. The average pay for a government job as a CIS Manager is about $101,690 along with the possible benefits one might receive such as government housing, healthcare, and many others. The average pay for a CIS Manager working for a specific company is $133,120. The median salary for any CIS Manager is about $120,950 per year which is approximately $58.15 an hour. About one-third of CIS Managers work more than 40 hours a week in overtime. In choosing which field to work in it depends on the person. If a person would like more leisure time then a government job would be best, but if a person wants to earn more money but have less time on their hands they’d have to go with a corporate job. It’s the classic case of what’s more valuable, time or money. Luckily the pay for any jobs in this career is very good and more than enough to live on.

Another factor that influenced me to choose a career in CIS is the workplace environment. Not only are the hours manageable but with the increase in technology, telecommuting to work has become more common. Essentially, working from home is now a dream come true. While the job may be demanding at times working from home is one of the best benefits this job entails. Working from home gives the person one of the most comfortable environments ever. While some people may say that working from home is a detriment to the company because the employee would feel lazy and slack off just because he’s home is wrong. Many people, including myself work better in a familiar environment. It provides people with the calm and relaxed atmosphere to do their work. Not only that, but it also prevents a lot of social interactions which is very helpful for the people who tend to be more introverted such as myself. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “As network speeds increase, telecommuting is becoming more common. Although few Managers can work remotely, many have to supervise employees who work from home” (Bureau of Labor Statistics Page 2).

My last and most important influence that led me to pursue this career is because of its low stress level. Joe McKendrick’s article, Jobs that demand concentration and split-second decision-making top the list as most stressful, indicates that a Computer and Information Systems Manager is number nine on the list of well payed jobs with minimal stress which can also be supported by Vivian Giang with her article, 15 High-Paying Jobs For People Who Don’t Like Stress. Giang writes how her list, “measures how frequently workers must accept criticism and deal effectively with high stress on the job” (Giang par. 3). Giang also put CIS Manager as the ninth on her list and gave it a stress rating of 64.3 from a scale of zero to 100. As most people know, stress can be very harmful not only to the work environment, but also to an employee’s personal life at home. Stress depletes an employee’s work productivity and leads to major downfalls that can impact other fellow employees within the company. This is a major reason why I would like to avoid stressful jobs and actually do something that I take pleasure in.

In conclusion, a Computer and Information Systems Manager is a job well suited for someone like me. It has a high annual salary of around $120,950 per year along with added benefits depending on what type of job is chosen. This position also offers great working conditions along with flexible schedules and maybe an optional choice for telecommuting. This career has been rated a low stress level job on many websites and has been known to be one of the best high paying jobs with low stress impacts. Upon finishing my bachelors here at City Tech, I plan to get a master’s degree in Computer Information Systems at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hopefully after studying at MIT, I am guaranteed a position at any company that I’ve applied for. Within the next 5 years, I would hopefully have graduated and started working as CIS manager in a private company. Getting moved up into a higher position in this career takes time and devotion to your work so I plan to be able to get promoted to the highest position in my field within at least 10 years once I start working. Employees in this position sometimes may even be able to take over the company as CEO after a large amount of years working within its ranks.

Works Cited

United States. Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Computer and Information         Systems Managers. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Washington: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 8 Jan 2014. Web. 4 Nov 2015

Hellman, Nathan. Best Technology Jobs IT Manager. United States: U.S. News & World Report.     Web. 3 Nov. 2015.

McKendrick, Joe. 10 Most Stressful Jobs for 2014, and 10 Jobs That Pay Well with Minimal Stress   ZDNet. 3 Dec. 2013. Web. 7 Nov. 2015.

Giang, Vivian. “15 High-Paying Jobs For People Who Don’t Like Stress.” Business Insider, Inc, 6     Nov. 2013. Web. 1 Nov. 2015.



How Does The Internet Impact Me? By Ryan Karran

My name is Ryan Karran and I am a first year student college student studying Computer Information Systems at New York City College of Technology. One factor that has really shaped me into the person I have become is the internet. The internet has impacted not only myself but all of society in both positive and negative ways. Some believe that the internet has made users lazy and very dependent. Others believe that the internet gives people resources that help to ease their daily lives. I find it to be both an interesting and useful tool that should have its limitations. Most tasks that people perform using the internet that impacts me are browsing social media, watching movies/playing games, and simply researching topics.

Social media has been really active in my life when it comes to consuming time. Social media has given people, like myself, a way to make friends easily and has opened up new opportunities for people that are socially or physically impaired to build relationships. I always found myself to be quite antisocial or nervous around people so social media has been a big role in my social life. It didn’t really help me to actually make friends but it really helped me with my communication skills. An example of this is when I use Facebook to comment under posts or even privately message them.

Unfortunately social media has also made me grammatically illiterate. I noticed that as I began writing essays or taking notes, I started to spell things wrong such as the way I would normally write things to my friends. For example when I would write “I’m” it changed into “im” or my “because” became “cuz.” I also noticed that my handwriting had really begun to degrade since I was used to typing and texting. I was so used to keeping my phone around me that I didn’t notice when I shouldn’t be using it. It was made known to me when my mom pointed it out while I was eating dinner at the table. From then on I decided not to give it social media the attention I craved for but to limit it to only two hours a day. In our society today, most of us teenagers put in a large amount of time browsing through Instagram or texting friends. Instead we can be doing something productive like learning to cook or exercising.

One form the internet took that really impacted me is entertainment through apps such as Candy Crush, Flappy Birds, Talking Tom, and Piano Tiles. They were meant for amusement or something to do with your free time but some people play it too often which ends up at their disadvantage. Every morning when I woke up, the first thing I would do is unlock my phone and play a quick game of Hearthstone. I also later became a Netflix addict in which I didn’t want to leave the house to do anything. This caused me to become a really lazy couch potato. Although it kept me entertained, I felt as if my days were getting shorter so I decided to try and take up some new hobbies. Today I learned to reduce my Netflix time to at most 3 hours a day.

Even though it proved to be a big distraction, I don’t regret it. I would only resort to watching Netflix or playing games when I have nothing else to do so it was the only way to spend my time at that moment. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that TV shows and games are educational or beneficial but they certainly are relaxing and require little effort. They help me to relax and sometimes even help me to fall asleep. Most nights I usually can’t even fall asleep without watching TV. Some games such as Hearthstone or Clash of Clans introduce needs for strategy and patience. For example, in Hearthstone you are required to beat your opponent using a specific set of cards you have. Perhaps some cards work better with others or perhaps you should wait another turn to play a card that you have in your hand. Playing games such as Hearthstone helped me to develop my analytical and problem solving skills along with learning not to be so hasty.

The last and most important role the internet has played in my life is for education purposes. Throughout my high school and junior high experience, I’ve been assigned research papers, online readings, and even educational videos so the browsing the internet was a must for me along with most other students. The internet consist of most if not all the information in the world. I find this to be the most useful resource provided to us because it not only saves us time and money but simplifies terms in a way that even elementary school students can understand. The use of internet is being implemented everywhere even in classrooms so I believe I will continue to use the internet as a source of information throughout my college experience as well as my professional career.

Although the internet was proven to be a great and reliable source of information for me, I found myself reluctant to pick up a book and read. Things were always much easier to just read it from a monitor or my phone so I never found a need to actually pick up a book. Today, most things come in a digital form so it saves the need to have to walk around with a physical copy. This way you can read from any device an open it from wherever you are whether it be your phone, tablet, or computer. In my opinion, this is a double sided blade meaning that it’s both beneficial and in a way harmful. I do prefer reading articles online rather than reading the newspaper or magazines, however staring at my monitor or even phone for long hours is unhealthy and has caused me a lot of my eyesight. Some have negative opinions while some have positive. Either way, if society today is implementing it into their lives, you’d better get used to it because eventually it will become common.

Stephen Hawking once said, “We are all now connected by the Internet, like neurons in a giant brain.” This really caught my attention because after reading this, I began to notice how dependent society is on the internet today. This problem may not seem so bad at first but the more I think about it, the more I realize the possible problems that could occur. Not only I but most of our society rely on the internet so heavily that if something were to happen in which we would have to rely on the old ways, it would be quite very difficult. The only solution that I could think of was to not be so reliant on technology itself which can also prove to be challenging in our society today.

I find myself relying on the internet because I use it so often. It’s part of my daily routine and may continue to be for a long time. I also plan to use it throughout my professional life as I’m sitting in front of a computer all day. I can conclude that the internet impacts me in both positive and negative ways but I’ve found a way to limit myself in the time consuming aspects of the negative ways. I’ve grown very dependent on the internet in that it makes my life easier especially when it comes to research and my social life. I also find it to be a huge time consumer but also a necessary stress reliever in the form of entertainment. Through the internet people can now find jobs, purchase items without leaving the comfort of their homes, and even socialize. This creates new opportunities for all of us and inspires a sense innovation.