September 24, 2009 Volume CXXVI Issue 3

Be loud and clear:

The consequences of speaking up
Staff Writer

Two weeks ago, I was a guest in the PHA house. But since then, I have become more and more assimilated into the PHA family. I have come a long way: from being a stranger, to jumping on the pile of mattresses from the top of the wall with all those fantastic boys. Yes, we jumped from the wall; then down the slope. Due to the courtesy of the spare mattresses in the dorm and those mattresses which had had to get up reluctantly from the comfortable beds, including mine. No one was severly injured.

I want to attribute this improvement to the very positive responses shown by the PHA boys to my first article published in The Georgetonian two weeks ago. Now I am glad that I made an effort to let people know my point of view. The day after the publication of that article, some of the boys told me during lunch that they had read the article and liked it. At that moment, I was not able to see that they meant it more than just a compliment.

In fact, I was a little worried that I might even have upset them. On the contrary, they have not only appreciated my speaking out loud, but also tried to help me become a member of the family. That same evening I was hanging around with my friends in the room next to mine when one of them said, jokingly, “Next time we cook dinner, we’ll let you prepare. Not that we’ve ever cooked dinner in PHA.” I was really pleased with his joke because when I wrote that particular sentence, I meant it to be taken literally. There is nothing that binds people closer than cooking and eating a meal together, though boys will always be boys and would not love the idea of cooking.

Nevertheless, there still are plenty of ways to get oneself dissolved into a group of people. During my first week in the PHA house, some of the students who live upstairs asked me to feel free to drop by their rooms and hang around with them. But I have not paid them many visits except for the time when we watched “Matrix Revolution” in Ryan Smith’s room and everyone fell asleep halfway through the movie. (Just for the record, Jordan was the first to fall asleep.)

And I was really grateful when Tristan reaffirmed his invitation after he read the article, because until then I had not been quite sure if I would have been a nuisance to my housemates if I had barged in on their rooms. Now, I am feeling much better because I know that I am much welcomed in my dorm. I believe that it is always a good thing to express one’s opinion to the other people as long as they are objective and optimistic. Even if you are in disagreement with others, there always is room for compromise. And better still, your needs might even be accommodated just like mine were. So express yourself. Be loud and clear.

Facebook friends: Add at your own risk

Staff Writer

We’ve all been there. You’re sitting at your computer, minding your own Facebook business. Then you see it —the dreaded “Friend Request” from your overprotective dad, your annoying colleague or even your retired grandmother. The fact of the matter is that everyone is on Facebook. In fact, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg brags that the number of users on the popular social networking site is almost equal to the 307 million U.S. citizens.

Let’s face it. Facebook is beginning to be as integral to our lives as the internet itself. But there are ways to deal with the unwanted friend request. First, think about why you don’t want to add the person as a friend. Is it because you only add people that you are really close friends with? If so, just tell them. Wouldn’t you rather have only those people on Facebook whom you actually like instead of a bunch of people you’ve barely met clogging up your home screen with quizzes and status updates you really couldn’t care less about?

Next, consider: Will they be a Facebook stalker? Facebook stalkers are the most annoying people on the face of the earth. They comment on every status update or quiz that you take. They even start conversations with you on comments that you’ve written on other people’s posts! Besides, they probably don’t have any real social lives, and they just want to compensate for that by having more friends than anyone else. Do NOT add these people. End of story.

Do you just not want them to know every detail of your life? Let’s think about this for a second because this one actually isn’t their fault. Facebook is a place where everyone can see your information, everyone knows the extra details of your life and everyone is okay with that. If you find yourself to be somewhat secretive, Facebook probably isn’t the place for you. However, they do have nice, little privacy settings where people can see only part of your Facebook life. It’s called a “Limited Profile,” and you can find it under Settings.

Saying “No” to an acquaintance is fairly easy. However, ignoring Granny’s friend request is easier said than done. Most of us just don’t want to break her feeble old heart. But think of the consequences of adding her. I mean, how many old people actually know how to use a computer properly? She will end up writing things on your wall like, “Don’t forget to change your underwear every day!” thinking that only you can see it—instant embarrassment.

When I added my grandmother, I knew my Facebook life was over. Now, everything I post is bleeding with grammatically incorrect comments from her. My home page is filled to the brim with “Farm Town” pictures and requests for more people to send her some corn, or something to that effect. Don’t get me wrong; I love her so much—just not so much on Facebook.

If you do decide to accept the geriatrics into your online life, be sure to lay some ground rules. But to some extent, you can’t blame these people. This is the way the world is moving, and they just want to move with it. However, there must be some compromise. We’ll add them as a friend if they promise not to send us hundreds of quiz requests and write all over our walls. Just like the real world, the virtual world that Facebook creates is at least somewhat about compromise. The main piece of advice is to add at your own risk.

If you’re not careful, this could be your grandmother - clogging up your Facebook news feed with quizzes and Farm Townrequests and commenting on all your statuses with embarrasing comments about your undergarments.

If you’re not careful, this could be your grandmother - clogging up your Facebook news feed with quizzes and Farm Town requests and commenting on all your statuses with embarrassing comments about your undergarments.

A Comical Moment:



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