Author Archives: Terris Greene

A Texter’s Mind: The Loss of Memory from Texting by Terris Greene


2,022. That is the average number of text messages sent by an American per month. The question to be asked based on this statistic, is how much of the information from those text messages is actually retained? Due to the simplicity of accessing our messages at any time, we as individuals are spending less time remembering what is said to us, knowing that the information is available to us to read. Based on an article from Bustle, statistics from Business Insider, and interviews conducted on people in different age groups, I will be able to show the negative effect that text, instant and other forms of threaded messaging systems have on our memory. I will also present some of the counter arguments that support how texting is beneficial to the way we remember things as well.

The way we communicate today has immensely evolved compared to the forms of communication available just over two decades ago, when the SMS message was commercially introduced on December 3rd, 1992. A month later, the first AOL instant message was sent by Ted Leonsis to his wife (Shontell p. 5). Since then new technologies, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops help push the software advances of instant messaging, emails and social networking. Concurring with the luxury of unlimited messages and networking data, the amount of information shared between individuals has come to be virtually infinite. Certain plans were not available in the early histories of most phone carriers, placing a price on individual SMS messages that were sent, making the usage of sending them less common. In fact, having a cell phone or personal computer in general during the 1990s was considered a luxury in itself. In today’s world they’re seen as a necessity, both for work and personal uses. Corporations use services like Facebook Messenger to send messages to others due to its convenience. The idea of a message that sends across the world faster than we can breathe is enticing. The concern however, is will this be just as beneficial to our memory in the long run, or will it lead to the deterioration of one of most precious functions of the human brain?

The youth will one day rule our world. This can be both an exhilarating and frightening statement. Majority of texting comes from those ages 12-25, in which the average American would send 357 messages per month, based on a Globe and Mail article. Students ages 11-14 were included in an experiment that tested those that do and do use cell phones. Those that used cell phones were “a lot faster on the tests, but significantly less accurate” (p. 5) and also made “more mistakes in tasks involving memory, attention span and learning” (p. 3). Our world moves at a swift place, and technology places a major impact on that. Those that text vigorously tend to usually move faster than those that text on occasions, but prove to be less accurate in things such as tests, speaking and proper writing. This is due to the effect of our memory not being engaged since we are most likely not allowed to use our phones in most situations, giving our brains the visual of a new and unfamiliar environment. Based on John Medina’s Brain Rules, memory is based on us being able to “reproduce the environment in which you first put it into your brain” (159).

John Medina, a molecular biologist who does most of his study on the brain and how its functions, wrote a book that shows the basic functions of brain and how our everyday activities affect such functions. In his book Brain Rules, he says that we must “repeat to remember” (125). Based on personal interviews that I have done with classmates and relatives, this statement isn’t always correct. When asked if text messages are usually kept and referred back to, majority of those that I had questioned said that they do in fact keep their messages and look back at them, which the exception saying that they do not keep their messages at all. One person in particular however, my girlfriend Thaleisha Walker, had said “I don’t usually remember what I had said in text messages beacause I can easily just go back to it and see what it says.” This proves that we are taking less time trying to retain the information gathered in our digital conversations due to the simplicity of going back to reference it. Another fact that goes along with this is majority of those I have interviewed do not read the full text message when referring back to, they just skim through it. This is a great connection to  Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows, in which he mentions that due to the advancement in technology, he finds himself and others reading a lot less and that we “fight to stay focused on long pieces of writing” (7). I also asked those that I had interviewed if they read Web articles in its entirety, or if they just skim through those as well for main points. Those that skim through messages when referring back to them were the same ones that skim through articles on the Internet as well, but they’re also the ones that tend to remember what they read in those articles less as well. They are also the ones that rather hear something be told to them than read it, saying that they remember things better when Its verbally stated to them. This is why Raveen McKay and Jerard D’Andrade, both in their early 30s, rather speak on the phone than text, being that when asked they said they only send about 3-5 messages daily.

While we tend to forget things due to our ability to just reads over messages, scientists are conducting experiments that will show the benefits that come along with it. As shown in an article by Psychology Press, SMS text messages are being used to help those with brain injuries acquire basic mental functions, the main two being attention and memory. “There is a sound evidence that mobile phones and text messages may be an effective means of supporting impaired memory function” (106). This experiment shows that participants revealed improvement in recalls for goals reminded by text messages. Also referring back to Medina and how we should “repeat to remember”, reading messages in its entirety to refresh ourselves of what was said would improve our long term memory overall. This will be a task for our rapidly moving society, considering that majority of people would rather skim through messages or just not refer back to them at all if it’s not needed to. Text messages are still works of writing, and just like any book, continuously seeing this information will be a positive action towards strengthening our long term memory.

Our memory is more than just a function of our brain; it’s our own child and should be cared for like as if it has a life of its own. Technology continues to advance as fast as we do as human beings, from the Internet to even simpler aspects like text messages. Within these advances, we should try our best to keep our elongation of our memory moving at the same pace of technology, trying to keep it in tact before we realize that we have taken for granted the one of the most important functions of the brain.

Works Cited

Barton, Adriana. “Texting may rewire young brains.” The Globe and Mail (Canada). (17 August 2009 Monday): 802 Words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. 25 Nov. 2015

Carr, Nicholas G. The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing t Our Brains. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010. Print

Culley, Campbell and Jonathan J. Evans. “SMS Text Messaging As A Means Of Increasing Recall Of Therapy Goals In Brain Injury Rehabilitation: A Single-Blind Within-Subjects Trial.” Neuropsychological Rehabilitation 20.1 (2010): 103-119. Academic Search Complete. Web. 25 Nov. 2015

D’Andrade, Jerard. Personal Interview. 7 December 2015

Greene, Twana. Personal Interview. 7 Dec. 2105

McKay, Raveen. Personal Interview. 29 Nov 2015

Medina, John. Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School. Seattle, WA: Pear Press, 2014. Print

Shontell, Alyson. “The First Ever Email, the First Tweet, and 10 Other Famous Internet Firsts.”        Yahoo Finance. Business Insider, 23 Apr. 2013. Web. 8 Dec. 2015

Walker, Thaleisha. Personal Interview. 1 Dec. 2015

Terris Greene – Majoring in CIS: Hopes of Being a Computer Systems Analyst

My name is Terris Greene, and I currently attend New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn. My major is Computer Information Systems, under the Computer Systems Technology Department of the School of Technology and Design. My goal is to graduate from the program with my Bachelor’s degree in Computer Systems Technology to become a Computer Systems Analyst. I chose this career path because of the high availability of this job and the pay, based on the Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Department of Labor Statistics. I also have a passion for being able to find solutions to problems that are found within the software of computer, and being able to keep the computing aspect of a company running smoothly would be a great thing to do in my opinion career wise. Using the City Tech College Catalog, I will be able to see how my major and classes will help me achieve this goal.

My major is Computer Information Systems, which is the Associates major to Computer Systems Technology Bachelors major. According to the City Tech College Catalog, the Associate’s program provides students with “a solid foundation in the field of computer systems which enables them to make a seamless transition to the bachelor of technology in Computer Systems” (College Catalog p. 222, par. 2) For the current semester, I am taking Introductions to Computer Systems, Problem Solving with Computer Programming, English Composition I, and Public Speaking. These classes serve as the basic skills needed for the field that I hope to progress in, with Intro to Computer Systems and the Problem Solving class being two of the more important since they are two of the Program-Specific classes. Public Speaking also has great value since it teaches me the skills needed to give presentations and talk in front of a group of people. Along with 9 other CST classes, such as Web Programming I and Introduction to Computer Security, I have to take other Flexible-Core classes, for example Introduction to Psychology, to at least receive my Associate’s Degree. Using what I plan to learn, I hope to find an internship within an organization, and then eventually become a Computer Systems Analyst, which “study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures and design information systems solutions to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively”, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (Handbook par. 1)

Like most computer based jobs these days, computer systems make a very decent salary. Based on the Occupational Outlook handbook, the median annual wage for computer system analysts was $79,680 in May 2012 (United States par. 5), and $81,190 in 2013, based on The U.S. News website (U.S. News). This salary is based off working full-time hours, usually more than 40 hours a week, with the pay rate being at average $38.31 per hour. Compared to other computer based careers, computer system analysts have one of the top salaries, having only software developers making more. The highest paying cities in the United States for this occupation are more within the West Coast, such as San Francisco and San Jose, California. The exceptions of this would be the District of Columbia and Bridgeport, Connecticut. I find this to be a really great rate of pay, especially since the average salary for computer systems analysts increase every year.

Another thing that intrigues me about this career is the extraordinary job availability. Technology continues to advance daily at a very fast pace, so there will be a need high demand for technicians and analysts in this field. Holding over 520,000 jobs in various industries, systems analysts manage to maintain positions to work based off their high demand alone. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the top industries hiring these computer workers are computer system companies, being responsible for 27% of the hiring of analysts. Other industries hiring such workers are finance and insurance companies (Handbook par. 3). It is predicted that the employment rate for this career will be faster than all occupations continuing to 2022. What also appeals to me is the work environment for this profession. My personal preference is to be able to have chance to work alone and in a group, and being a systems analyst will give the best of both worlds. There is even the possibility of traveling to other places to manage your business, even though most of the communication done is this field is telecommunication, or communication done through technology.

While money plays a key part in me choosing this career, I feel I want to be a computer systems analyst to be able to help others and say that I was a part of something major. There are numerous opportunities to do something spectacular in this field, including analyzing and designing information systems. They research the problem found in the system, plan out a solution to the problem and then recommend software and other possible systems to resolve the issue. This is key to help keep things running within industries, especially majority, if not all, major companies today are ran off a large network computer system. So being in control of how well that functions is not only an outstanding accomplishment, but a rather great honor as well. A good example of how systems analysts help solve problems is shown in the Nature article entitled “Security ethics”. This article discusses the challenges that computer-security researches have with finding solutions, due to the fact that their method of troubleshooting consists of hacking the security of the systems. Although they are attacking the security, the researchers do it to find the flaws in the systems for a solution to be found. This method seemed to be unethical, stirring up controversy within companies even though the flaws in the system weren’t announced to the public until a resolve to the issue was identified. Still these analysts continue to do their job in order to better other companies, hoping that more industries become more open to their strategies. This example shows the dedication that these workers have and the risks they are willing to take in order to fix all the possible problems within a computer system. This is something that I would like to be a part of, hoping to see a growth in my work ethic and determination towards tasks, regardless the difficulties of them.

I hope that the goals that I set for myself aren’t ones that are impossible to reach, knowing that this is something that I want to dedicate a lot of time and effort towards doing. I expect my journey to becoming a computer systems analyst to be a challenging one, but I know once I finish school and find a job within the field, everything will start to look up from there. I feel more than ready to start a successful and happy career in the technology field, bringing the most help that I can to anyone that’s in need.



Works Cited

“Computer Systems Analyst Job Overview.” U.S. News. U.S. News, n.d. Web. 8 Nov 2015

New York City College of Technology College Catalog 2015-2016. New York: New York

City College of Technology; 2015. PDF

“Security Ethics.” Nature 463.7278 (2010): 136. Web

United States. Department of Labor. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Computer Systems


Occupational Outlook Handbook. Washington: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 8 Jan 2014.

Web. 8 Nov 2015.

Music: The Hold It Has On My Life by Terris Greene

My name is Terris Greene, and I major in Computer Information Systems at New York City College of Technology. Growing up as a young boy from Brooklyn, the sounds of Jay-Z, Barrington Levy, and the Backstreet Boys would fill my Brownsville apartment. The balance that music brings to everyday life is something that should not be taken for granted. Through various style and genres, such as Hip-Hip and Pop, I relate with and connect to the emotions that we receive from listening to the different genres. The way that I speak, dress, move and approach life are all based off the lyrical influences of Kendrick Lamar, and production from beat makers like Kanye West. Whether you were born and raised in the melting pot known as New York City such as like I was, or are from the depths of France or Italy, the appreciation and transfer of music is universal. This makes it more of a living aspect of my life.

I keep my headphones on me at all times, listening to anything when I get the opportunity to. Artist like Lupe Fiasco, Kendrick Lamar, J Cole and Nas, speak on matters that are important to society such as police violence. These songs are enhanced through producers such as Kanye West, Just Blaze, 40, Boi-1da and many. Whatever I decide to feed my ears with are usually based off my emotions at the time. If I feel the need to turn up and dance then I’ll listen to something upbeat like Daft Punk’s Discovery album. If my mood is calm and relaxed, I’d listen to Old School Rap, more with a Southern feel. The sounds of OutKast and TI give a mellow feel to my emotions, as I enjoy the slow downed tunes and uplifting lyrics. Still with me being human, I also have my sad and depressed moments as well, which is when I would let R&B or alternative Rock, such as Ne-Yo and Panic! At The Disco, take over my mind and keep me in a positive state. This is something that I’m truly grateful for, knowing that these days there is a song for every emotion and occasion. I appreciate this more due to the fact that I have had a dark past and I would need something to listen to as a reminder of the state I’m in now and how much I have grown from the person that I was a few years ago. The song that I listen to for that constant reminder is “u” by Kendrick Lamar, in which he would speak from the views of a person in my situation.

My love for music also helps push my love for dance. I have been dancing since I was four years old but I haven’t done on stage performances until my first my year in middle school. I would listen to Michael Jackson and imitate his style of dancing. It took me several years to properly learn how to do the Moonwalk and even to this day I still don’t feel that I am doing it correctly. I also learned the famous Thriller choreography like every other child at my age, and I would perform for my family and their friends at get-togethers and family dinners like Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Aside from MJ, I also learned from Usher, and like their style of singing, their style of dancing was different as well. Michael Jackson was more precise and smooth, where Usher showed a lot more aggression and energy with his dancing. Picking up from both styles helped me develop a great sense of rhythm, and eventually I would start incorporating what I had learned into other styles of music like Pop or Electronic. Listening to Daft Punk and watching the music video for “Around The World”, I learned about popping at the robotic style of dancing. As time passed and I’ve gotten more comfortable with the different genres of music, my passion for dance grew. I wanted to learn how to incorporate movement into all different styles, which led to me joining the Performing Arts program in Middle School.

I attended Medgar Evers College Preparatory School, which ran from Grades 6 to 12. I had been a part of the Performing Arts program the full seven years I attended that school. With a variety of styles of dance, including Modern, Ballet and even African, came different styles of music. From Afro-Caribbean to Live Instrumentation, I found an even greater appreciation for instruments, pitches and tempos that came from songs. It also helped me show emotion that I had felt from either listening to the music or from how I was feeling from before. Songs with a strong bass and heavy play on drums and pianos led to stronger, aggressive movements that would derive from my anger, while softer, acoustic based songs had more of a gentle and liquid like flow which helped bring a happy and calm vibe to my choreography. What I enjoyed the most though was when my dance teacher would bring in West Africa drummers to play while we dance. The energy of fast tempo of the beating always brought a whole new life to the dance studio. I would jump and move so fast that I sometimes forgot how tiring it is to keep up with the drummers. The influence of the music would energize me in such a way that is hard to describe, and is one of the things that keeps me going while I dance.

The way I dress and act comes from me wanting to be more like my favorite artists and wearing something close to what they do. At the moment I can’t afford to wear exactly what are talked about and shown in music videos, but the ideas and the influence is still grasped. I could remember wanting to wear baggy sweat suits from Sean John, RocaWear, Enyce when I was 5 and 6 because Brooklyn rappers like Jay-Z and Fabolous would wear them and talk about them. From there it moved to wanting a pair of Nike Air Force One’s all because Nelly said that it was cool to do so. Around Halloween time I wanted to be a different version of Michael Jackson, from his Billie Jean outfit to the Bad era. Eventually I started to listen to more Old School Hip Hop and became influenced by Run DMC, trying to have every Adidas, a trend that I still follow today. My biggest fashion influences today are Kendrick Lamar, Chris Brown and A$AP Rocky. From my influences I also learned that your demeanor is key in life. From the lyrics of Kendrick Lamar I could tell just how humble and grateful he is for success. Listening to him just about every day I pick up on some of his ways, including his humbleness and appreciation for the small things in life. From him I also learned to always remember where come from, because that’s the place that made you how you are today. I have no shame in where I’m from. Being raised in Brooklyn has made me aware of things that I don’t see myself possibly learning anywhere else. Plus the fusion of cultures from New York City as a whole helps me learn about other cultures and adopting them into my everyday life, including their music.

If I could make a successful career out of listening to music just for my own enjoyment, I would do so in a heartbeat. My appreciation and love for music has helped shape me into the person I am today. I learn that everyone is different and being judgmental only holds you back. There is so much you can learn from others, and the type of music of music they listen to in my opinion is one of the best ways to connect with them. Music affects all in some sort of way, and its hold on the world is one that will always be appreciated.