Tag Archive: English Class


Back on track, I have to answer my English class question (I’ll be posting two this week), What do I find most helpful and problematic about social media? 

There are many benefits, as well as some definite downsides, social media is just a tool though, so it all depends on how you use it.

Pros:  I travel a lot, I meet a lot of people, and I like to keep in touch with as many as possible, I even write old fashion letters to a few people, but that is outdated, slow, and takes time from our already busy schedules.  With Facebook and Twitter (or even this blog) I can keep in touch with an infinite amount of people, all with the click of a mouse.  I can update people on my whereabouts, my adventures, I can post pictures and tag old friends, I can meet new people and stay up to date with old friends.  I can create a birthday event and instantly have people invited to my party.  I can create a fan page and have people follow my books or my writings, honestly the possibilities are pretty endless.

There are some snags however.

Cons:  One of the major problems with social media is the fact that even if people aren’t commenting or “liking” your posts or pictures, many people will still read what you have to post, and falsely believe that they are current with your life.  The problem with that is then that people stop feeling the need to talk to one another, instead just scrolling back through someones “wall” and “catching up” rather than ask about specifics.  Another major issue, my biggest pet peeve, is that with the instant results of the internet, people are now finding less and less time to hang out with one another, and meet face to face.  I ask to go out to coffee with friends three or four times a week, and maybe one of those will happen.  it is sad really.

It really all matters on who you use your instruments, in this case social media.  Are you going to use it to gossip and talk behind others backs, or are you going to post inspirational and uplifting messages?  The choice is yours, but for me having the use of social media is a great thing.   

Another English class requirement, why is social media and communication important?   Well the obvious is that social media (Facebook, Twitter) has the outreach.  With Facebook you are able to reach hundreds and hundreds of friends with a click of the mouse.  Online blogs however, don’t have as high an audience rate as Twitter would, but offer you far less restrictions while writing.  With the combination of the two, outreach and no limits, the possibilities are greater.

What happens next though?  How do you get people to follow the link you posted to Facebook that connects viewers to your WordPress?  That in itself is another question altogether, and might even require a degree in marketing to really fine tune.  In today’s day and age it is hard to capture the attention of youth, and more and more so with young adults and the older generations too.  Whatever you have to say, you have to say it fast, otherwise you have already lost their attention.  Think Twitter, 140 characters max.

By fusing your social media sites and online blogs together, you have a higher audience and can potentially reach more people.  And although no all of your “friends” will click on the links to read your deeper insights, there is always the chance that that one person will read something you wrote, and be inspired.  With today’s capabilities we are able to reach exponentially more people around the world, than has ever been possible before.  Let’s use this our benefit.

This weeks English class blog question caused me to pause for a minute.  What event did change me?  The simple answer, all of them, and none of them.  Let me explain.  This summer I focused heavily on myself, my problems, and my past.  Not in an egotistical way, but one that would help better me as a person.  During that time time I started to go back and track growth throughout my life.  It showed me how much I had already changed, areas I should revert back to, and areas where I was wrong both then and now, and still needed evaluating.  Even though all of them helped shape me into who I am, no single event defines who I am.

For my response to the blog question though, I would have to answer; The event that defines who I am, would have to be coming out as a gay man.  Now above I said no single event defines me, and coming out was no single event either.  I had several coming outs, which used to be the norm, but now-a-days kids are coming out younger and more to everyone at the same time, rather than in waves like I did.  The process of me coming out was around a two year period.

Everyone always wants to know, did I always know I was gay?  The answer, yes.  Or, as aware of my sexuality as any young child is.  I remember being 5 to 8 years old, my aunt bought me a human physiology CD Rom.  You could see all the different parts and systems of the body.  Bones, nervous system, the veins, as well as being able to see the man (or woman) completely nude.  It was an educational disk, and I learned a lot about bones which I always found cool.  But I also liked to look at “Adam,” as the male version was called.  Adam usually had a fig leave covering his privates, but with the click of a button you could remove that.  Not knowing about sex or even sexuality at the time, I didn’t know why I liked Adam and not Eve, but that was just how it was.

Fast forward to my early teens and I had confusing feelings.  All the guys around me suddenly became interested in females, when just the summer before we thought they were gross.  I was confused further when I became more interested in my guy friends, than I did about the girls they were talking about.  I always kept it hidden, it was my dirty secret, no one could know, and no one did know, not for a long time.  When I was 17 I confessed to my parents that I was “struggling” with homosexuality, and I wanted help.

Anytime you suppress a part of who you are, a defining characteristic, you run into problems.  Stress, depression, anger, bitterness, and the list could go on.  With more years of “struggling” with my sexuality, of seeking help from professionals and other gay men that had “left homosexuality,” years and years of prayers and tears, I still was unable to change.

I spent my first two years at a pretty famous Christian college, and sought help, prayer, and the bible for answers.  But while I watched prostitutes, drug deals, and woman abusers all seemingly grow and change, the one “sin” that was never able to be helped was that of one man loving another.  I stuck with the college though, confessing to more and more people I was “gay, but working on it,” and went on to apply and be accepted within the school for missions work in Brazil.  That fall I had five online courses, a full time job, I was working on support fundraisers and news letters, and I was busy going around to other churches and groups of people to raise awareness and support.

In February of 2011, a month before I was due to go to Brazil, the school called up and dismissed me.  They wouldn’t give a straight answer (and still won’t to this day), but I was being “let-go” (as they called it), because of my sexual orientation.  Something that is literally not able to be controlled.

In hindsight I probably could have legally pressed them for that, but at the time I was too hurt to even tell anyone.  That might have been difficult at the time to handle, I see now that it was the catalyst that would start my growth, or probably more aptly, my re-birth.  No, I am not talking any form of mythical Phoenix death and re-birth, but a new start and out look on life.

Fast forward another two years, to the present day, and you have a maturing and proud homosexual man.  One that is not afraid to be different (where I used to hate being different), one that is not afraid to be true to me (even when others don’t accept me), one that realizes being gay isn’t a choice, and ISN’T a sin.  In other words, a brand new man.

It may not have been a single event, or even a short period of time, but coming out has defined who I am today, and it has taken years, more than a decade honestly, to be able to say this, but I am proud to have been born gay.