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Texts on Street

Texts on the street


Flyers are pieces of paper where the public can spread all types of information. As we walk on the streets, we observe pieces of writing from all types of places. Flyers can be anywhere, cable poles, on stores, and even people volunteering to handle it out. These pieces of paper express one’s emotion whether it be for informative or personal purposes. As a community, we are able to learn about each other through the message being sent by each individual. Through these concerns, we maintain a certain role to fulfill, regardless of the various factors that may sway our interests. Even though it may not be a personal concern, it may be in our best interest to take a look. Though, many people consider it a waste of their time reading flyers and commonly ignore the hidden messages within their community, having knowledge in our own neighborhoods is essential

In New York City, people who lost their possessions can put up missing posters around the neighborhood. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), 85 percent of 1,000 households lost dogs and cats were recovered. These missing flyers range from cats, dogs, and even people. In some cases, there are rewards for finding the missing person or pet. There are literal jobs offered to people who actively find missing people. According to privateinvestigatorEDU.org, missing person investigators are the professionals called in when families and other loved ones want to find the truth about their missing loved ones, relatives, business associates, etc., regardless of the circumstances. Missing flyers are an important part of our streets. It provides safety to the people who fear the loss of their possession. Every resident of New York City has a responsibility to return items to the rightful owner. By doing so, items dropped can always be returned to the owner. Though this may seem impossible, there are countries where most lost items will come back to you as long as there is information. According to BBC News,  In 2018, over 545,000 ID cards were returned to their owners by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police  – 73% of the total number of lost IDs. Likewise, 130,000 mobile phones (83%) and 240,000 wallets (65%) found their way back. Often these items were returned the same day. As a result of these statistics, it is fair to say Japan is one of the safest countries. While it does not seem to be an immediate issue now, the number of items being lost will increase. This may deter tourists from visiting New York City due to the poor reputation. Also, another problem that arises due to not returning loss of possessions is the lack of information and communication with the owner. Careless people who dropped their wallets, sometimes do not receive their wallets back.  The reason behind this is because there is rarely personal information in one’s wallet. However, missing flyers, that will solve that specific issue. People within the neighborhood are able to connect with others in order to help each other in need.  Therefore, we must make sure to bring awareness to the loss of possessions through missing flyers. 

As we walk around New York City, we see many business companies in need of employees. To spread awareness about their goals and missions, they send out flyers looking for staff members. It is important to pay attention to these flyers as it is one way to job hunt. Thus, recruitment flyers are helping both parties. Compared to listing online, flyer printing is one of the most cost-efficient ways in promoting one’s market. Though, one may perceive flyers compared to the Internet will be less effective, it is not. According to the BrandSpark Canadian Shopper Study, found that 74 percent of all grocery shoppers prefer print flyers over digital flyers – a telling statistic for any business that wants to increase sales. However, one may notice that a recruitment flyer on one street may not be the same on the opposite side of the street. While both signs indicate that a company is hiring, a difference that may be noticed between these two flyers are the job requirements, the design, the company, the company’s goal. There are many differences between different companies. By recognizing the importance of these flyers, we can offer jobs to people in need. 

In modern society, politics is an important topic being discussed in America, especially during these times. Left-wingers and right-wingers want to advocate their side by presenting information on their representative’s goals. As a result, political campaign flyers will influence future supporters. According to https://huglondon.com/insights/the-power-of-print-in-a-digital-world, “Although the internet is a great tool to reach out, 70% of people are more likely to remember a brand they see in print than online. One reason for this could be our diminished attention span when we are viewing a screen. 

Today, your campaign needs to be the right blend of online and offline efforts.”These flyers are important for people to recognize their future leaders. Americans should have a right to learn about the goals of political leaders with accessible information. .Political campaigns not only exist in the upper level of society but in the streets of any corner. 

Each year, online flyers are increasingly becoming more popular as opposed to offline flyers. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), “social media plays a big role in teen culture today. Surveys show that ninety percent of teens ages 13-17 have used social media.” Online flyers provide more information and are more accessible. We can see different statistics of companies and political campaigns. Even better, due to search engines browsers are able to recommend a user based on their activity on social media. For instance, users are able to view online job flyers based on their interests. As opposed to walking into a company and asking for the company’s details there is a web page that gives all the information at hand. It is important for people walking on the street to pull out their mobile phones and view public information around their neighborhood. 

Overall, obtaining knowledge of our streets plays a significant factor in accessing information. By using missing posters as they are intended, we can return loss/stolen goods to the rightful owner. Recruitment flyers can prevent an increase in the homeless. Providing information on our political leaders will provide important information to the people who are unaware. Lastly, online flyers are free easily accessible information by the touch of a finger. 

Retrace Forward

As a writer, I look forward to using my writing skills in my academic career at Baruch. My intended major is Marketing Analysis and that will require a lot of future writing assignments including business plans, product suggestions, and documentation completed for clients. These writing assignments will be a great opportunity to gain experience in real-world job tasks. Being fluent in writing is extremely important because it is one of the main forms of communication. As a technologically dominated society, people are expected to communicate within their community and even overlap with others. Even outside of an academic setting or a work environment, writing is essential in everyday life. Pieces of writing are everywhere, the projects “Text on the Streets,” Layers, and Mapology taught me this concept. I believe that Ho(o)dology’s main purpose is to illustrate the concept; words are everywhere, in a subconscious matter. This class changes my perspective on writing and opens the idea to keep a keen eye on writings even in a casual setting, such as walking on the streets.
As mentioned, a technological dominated society heavily determines the growth of many writers. In this class, I have done research on the impacts of social media on future generations. Though I mainly depicted social media in a negative spotlight, there is still undisrupted factual evidence of the benefits of having growing technology. Many academic scholars and institutions incorporate technology into their systems. Though technology certainly assisted many people in their writings, there are cases where it does not. It is uncertain to foresee the benefits of technology on society, but it is shown to be a necessity at times. For instance, in a global pandemic, it would be impossible to attend this class offline. Technology has become a great asset to allow people, specifically Baruch students, to communicate with each other in hopes of improving their writing skills. Recently, my partner, Erin Bergin, sent an email to ask for clarification on their Mapology project. This action would be impossible without modern-day technology and would be difficult to find resources or assistance in an offline manner. In contrast to my retrace inward, I described myself as a person who lacked the ability to communicate with others. Helping others is typically something that I would not do. However, I decided to give detailed information and step-by-step instructions to help a fellow student. Knowing myself, in an offline environment, I would have given a short reply of “I don’t know.” However, it is because of technology that I was able to respond, instead of struggling to find my words to communicate properly. In a way, technology helped me improve socially, even if it was a small improvement.
My writing will grow based on my performance in this class. I really loved the message of this class and the meaning behind it. As opposed to a normal English class, it is actually practical. English class was never personally exciting, however; this class did not require us to spend hours reading books. The change in expectations was a nice experience to have.

Retrace Outward

I am a writer within the Baruch community. As a writer within this community, I am granted access to many tools to assist my skills in writing. For instance, the Baruch library offers scholarly articles and research among this community. Writers are able to discuss with each other to help contribute to research material. In doing so, we connect a social interaction and develop a social life. By developing good relationships, there are many opportunities in the future to work with each other in an offline and online environment. A smaller community would consist of my current writing class. Though it may be an online course due to the pandemic, there was still a lot to learn. Recently, as a class, we students pitched in an idea to be taught grammar. Many of us did not learn grammar despite being so necessary for the English language. Despite the semester ending soon, members of the community will be in contact with others and will still be a part of the community. 

Writers are people who are willing to explore and adventure to narrate a story. The bigger community of writers includes writers from all over the world. They write and produce books that are still well-known in the present and the future. The future generation of writers are inspired by these nostalgic stories and pieces of writing and will put in the time and effort to do the same. There are many skills to learn from other writers including creativity. Though as a writer, I lack creativity, I can analyze the skill set of writers who are stronger in that specific field. Those writers who are experienced are well-acquainted with many other experts, thus being a part of an experienced writing community. As a writer, I should be comparing my sense of writing style with theirs. Though comparing oneself with others is usually portrayed to be a negative trait, it is sometimes necessary to improve a specific skill.  

In fact, I have personally experienced this sense of comparison. In my household, my brother works as an English teacher. Ever since he started his academic career, his English skills have always been excellent. It was the one subject he excelled at among the dull transcript. As a competitive person, I always felt slightly envious of his ability to write fluently. Since my parents are unable to write fluently they usually ask for my brother to help write their documents. I sometimes feel discouraged or disappointed, but I know that it is important to focus on my own pace, rather than focusing on an individual. 

There are many ways for a writer to improve. One way to improve is to focus more on oneself and obtain a greater knowledge of their writing consciously. As a writer, one uses different techniques to send a message to readers around the world.  Thus, it is important to acquaint me with those that catch my interests or benefits. In the long run, they will benefit my own opportunities and theirs. 

Retrace Inward

Retrace Inward

My mind brimming with thoughts, selecting the perfect words. Like a machine, I select words based on a recollection of factual evidence. But, when asked to create a personal piece of writing, my heart sinks. My mind completely shuts down and I struggle to even begin. Personal pieces of literature were and still will be my biggest fear as a writer. Whereas, I always preferred informative pieces of literature due to the accessibility of information. However, this fear is the cause of my writer’s block. It was until high school when I was introduced to the terms: ethos, logos, and pathos. To no surprise, I was continuously told that I lacked pathos. I find it ironic that I am able to perceive other people’s thoughts and emotions to a degree, yet when it comes to myself, my mind blocks the idea. In terms of perceiving the writer, people may categorize me as a psychopath. Often mistaken for psychotic or insane, it is a vague word that is interpreted as a person who lacks the empathy of others and strives for the best outcome in many situations, including conversations. Though, I am conflicted to wrong their assumptions as they may be true. In human nature, people will project their flaws and faults on others. However, in this case, it is an internal fight against myself. 

Apart from the inability to communicate with others, I lack creativity. Compared to my peers, I am certain that I am the least creative. This is mainly due to the fact of my daily lifestyle. Every day is a repetition of the previous. From the meals to the daily activities, it is all the same. In fact, I have not gone outside ever since the pandemic occurred. Lately, I have been pondering whether to break this cycle I am trapped in, but I see no merits in going out. I wouldn’t say my disinterest in going out is due to the pandemic because this is always how I have been. More specifically, I have rarely gone out of my room, commonly no interactions with my family. As a result of my lack of outside experiences, I find myself at a loss of creativity. When a person is stuck in a room for many years, there are a limited amount of different thoughts produced. 

There are many ways for a writer to improve. One way to improve is to focus more on oneself and have a greater knowledge of their writing consciously. As a writer, one uses different techniques to send a message to readers around the world. However, there are certain limitations that affect the writer, whether it is a writing style or even personally. In my case, personality and the lack of real-life experiences are determinants towards me being a good writer. Though, it is necessary to improve me as a writer and figure how to break out of the cage I am in.  

Retrace Backwards

In the past, I found writing to be challenging. In comparison to other subjects, writing is a form to express one’s idea to find an answer without a right or wrong. Though there is no exact solution, I had challenges trying to formulate all the vast ideas into a concise piece of writing. I tried to run away from the challenges that exist in writing. Before Baruch University, entering an English course or writing course caused a lack of motivation to learn. In fact, due to the mental stress, I never tried to focus on improving my writing thus I always receive the same feedback from my peers and mentors. Ultimately, the poor results led me into an ESL program (English Second Language), which was initially embarrassing. However, I soon realized that it was the first stepping stone to overcome my anxiety towards writing. It took me three whole years to finally accomplish the hardships of passing the finalESL exam. I was proud to face my mentors and expressed my success in achieving a near-perfect score on the exam. Though, passing the exam hardly meant anything during my time in high school. The expectation in the NY State exams and the NY State Regents was a tremendous gap. There were many types of writing styles expected to be used during my high school experience. For example, it was the first time I heard of ethos, pathos, and logos. Once I did, I understood the importance of these techniques. The rhetorical appeals capture the focus of the audience and draw them into reading. As a result, it makes the piece of writing considered to be attractive. The concept behind this was extremely intriguing to my writing experiences. As a child, the word “writing” illustrates a bland, boring, informal piece of literature. I never considered that writing could ever be interesting or attractive. However, people soon recommended pieces of literature for interests, I started to fell into a “rabbit hole”. I soon engaged in reading books and watching movies, activities I never considered to be useful in the past. I found myself enjoying many different kinds of writing styles from famous authors and even directors. I learned that writing isn’t simply a piece of work on paper, but as an idea created to inform or even entertain the audience. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I felt that my writing skills have bloomed. The first indication of this was the English Section of the SAT. I scored a near-perfect score in the reading section, only making one mistake in the historical comparison of two similarities. I felt it was ironic that the only mistake I made was my initial imagination of the term writing: a bland, boring, informative piece of literature. Currently, I feel confident in my abilities as a writer, though it is not anywhere near perfect. Though my goal is not to be a famous writer, writing is still essential nevertheless. As a result, I look forward to seeing my ongoing progression as a writer.


Layers: Research-Based Problem Solving 

Social media is constantly depicted to negatively affect young adults in a learning environment. However, it is not limited to an academic detriment, it can be seen affecting those who walk on the streets. Facebook, one of the most popular social media platforms, and is used by anyone of all different backgrounds. Every day one walks out, they can expect to see other people attracted to using Facebook. Facebook is constantly distracting people from their daily lives, expanding to social interaction and behavior with others. 

Facebook has over 2.8 billion monthly active users. A majority of these are young adults, 65%, are addicted to social media (Mohsin). Unlike common drug and alcohol addiction, Facebook is easily accessible through mobile.  As of April 2021, 98.3% of users have the mobile app and it ranks first among all social networking apps (Mohsin). These statistics tie in with the current issue of social media addiction. It is concerning that many students are exposed to addiction at an early age. Though it is expected that people are glued to their phones on the train, however; it is unacceptable at family restaurants. The addiction affects all members of the family at the table. According to a “Tech Timeout” survey conducted by Harris Interactive: “61 percent of people surveyed agreed that the overuse of technology has had a negative impact on family life.” The atmosphere created by Facebook addiction is perceived to be negative by the majority of families. 

Facebook is not only ruining people’s social lives but academically.  Facebook® users reported having lower GPAs and spending fewer hours per week studying than nonusers (Kirschner and Karpinski, 5). Though intentionally, Facebook was used as a method to connect with peers and family to gain access to new information. However, that is not always the case. Facebook and social media are often an excuse for distraction, in fact “over 78% of students reported social media use as distracting, with levels similar to distractions from in-person interactions” (Emerick, Caldarella, and Black). The primary source of using social media to be a medium for information seeking is being transitioned into a source of entertainment. A research was conducted by sociologists to observe the long-term outcome of social media. It was found that “for every hour of electronic media exposure reported by students on average, GPA was reduced between 0.05 and 0.07 points” (Jacobsen et al.). It is clear that using social media as a means of assistance will increase distractions, which will negatively impact students’ learning experiences. 

A student’s low GPA will often encourage them to use Facebook as a way to cheat. In recent times, technology has evolved in a way where people can interact and start a conversation with multiple individuals instantaneously. Unfortunately, school administrators often mention the ongoing issue of academic dishonesty when discussing the dangers of allowing students to use social platforms like Facebook in a learning environment. In a study conducted by Finn and Frone, “the results show that cheating is more likely among lower-achieving students when they do not identify with school” (115). However, academic dishonesty is a temptation that affects more than the lower-performing students. According to International Center for Academic Integrity, McCabe’s surveys of over 70,000 high school students at over 24 high schools in the United States demonstrated that 64 percent of students admitted to cheating on a test, 58 percent admitted to plagiarism and 95 percent said they participated in some form of cheating, whether it was on a test, plagiarism or copying homework (Simmons). Cheating affects even the most prestigious students, in 2012, 71 students that attended Stuyvesant High School were caught cheating in the New York State Regents.  The most bizarre part of the event was the scandal was organized by a single student and 69 other students decided to help him; the other student was caught in an unrelated case. Despite being in a highly prestigious school, students will not hesitate to cheat for their own benefits. Though individuals may briefly benefit themselves, the act of cheating may hurt others in the future due to their incapability and lack of knowledge. According to Monster’s 2019 State of the Recruiter survey, 85% of recruiters said that candidates exaggerate skills and competencies on their resumes. Consumers would feel cheated off of purchasing services from someone who cheated their way into a career. 

Online disinhibition is causing future generations to gradually become more violent than ever. Human interactions with another online would be completely different, the effect encourages cyberbullying, groupthink, and even threats (GoodTherapy). On a social media platform like Facebook, where users have free reign over their comments, there is no strict limitation on their actions. In a university study, experts created 240 Facebook profiles for their university students. The experts observe the activity of those Facebook users in terms of “the quantity of interactions, the positive or negative quality of those interactions, and also the degree of narcissistic self-presentation present” (Khalis and Mikami). One’s profile is a strong indicator of a reflection on their actions in real life. Thus, it is important to pay attention to users who demonstrate a dangerous level of violence and negativity in their profile. 

In addition to the negativity presented online, many extreme users will take actions offline. On September 9, 2013, Rebecca Ann Sedwick committed suicide due to cyberbullying from her peers (CNN). There were multiple death threats texts received by her bullies, including “You should drink bleach and die” and “Die please” (Sullivan and Orlando Sentinel). Sedwick was a victim of online interactions with people who felt that they could act a certain way behind their screens. Sadly, suicide is only just the beginning, more crimes are being committed due to an influence over social media platforms, mainly Facebook. Other than Facebook’s popularity, Facebook Live is a function that allows an individual to live stream to an audience. The main purpose of this function is to bring attention to a topic or even entertainment purposes. However, the desire for fame may turn dark, on January 22nd, 2017, three men broadcast in a private Facebook group video raping a woman in an apartment in Uppsala (Solon). The reason behind their actions was simple, yet disturbing: attention. These men did not want to be recognized as unknowns, but rather felt it was better to be famous for doing terrible acts. Facebook is giving the incentive to commit acts for attention, despite the consequences. 

Though many scholars and young students may argue for the importance of social media in their daily lives, it does not outweigh the negative effects that come along with it. In higher-level courses, technology dominates over the traditional methods in academic learning (Ali et al.). Social media is used as a communication platform for a collaborative learning experience. However, a collaborative learning experience online is often awkward and is less efficient compared to in-face group collaboration. As mentioned previously, there are distractions everywhere in an online environment. Even more so, online learning requires more discipline and self-motivation as it lacks that attendance requirement in a face-to-face environment. Whereas, in a traditional classroom engaging with peers often gives more motivation and helps the likelihood of a better social life (Pitt). Offline interaction is statistically a better social experience and a better learning experience compared to using online platforms like Facebook. 

Social media is often perceived as accessible to communicate with people locally and overseas. However, the intentions of the user are often unknown. It is already difficult to determine a person’s true intentions in person, online relationships make it that much more difficult. Provided personal information online is extremely dangerous, yet social media stars do it all the time. Blinded by their own success, safety precautions are not a priority for them. However, it should, Kim Kardashian was robbed in 2016. The robber had accessed her personal information, thus allowing them to threaten the celebrity at gunpoint and stolen over  $10 million worth of jewelry (France and Verdier).  Facebook as a communication platform is not safe since it provides personal information to strangers. 

Facebook is an advanced technology that allows individuals all over the world to communicate with each other. Though it may offer positive intent, the effect of using such programs without any regulations proves to be harmful to these individuals and the community as a whole. Social media usage needs to be limited as it negatively affects our generation and will continue to do so throughout human history. Facebook deters academic progression, alters human interaction and behavior, and causes multiple media-influenced crimes. It would be foolish to use Facebook to socially interact with our community as a replacement for offline relationships. Limitation of social media provides a healthier social life and major improvement for local communities. 



Works Cited

Ali, Murad, et al. “Strengthening the Academic Usage of Social Media: An Exploratory Study.” Journal of King Saud University – Computer and Information Sciences, Elsevier, 10 Oct. 2016, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1319157816300787#:~:text=To%20understand%20the%20primary%20use,33.33%20percent%20for%20socializing%20purposes.

Finn, Kristin Voelkl, and Michael R. Frone. “Academic Performance and Cheating: Moderating Role of School Identification and Self-Efficacy.” The Journal of Educational Research, vol. 97, no. 3, 2004, pp. 115–122. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/27548020. Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

France, Lisa Respers, and Camille Verdier. “Kardashian Heist: Police Say Social Media Made Her a Target.” CNN, Cable News Network, 5 Oct. 2016, www.cnn.com/2016/10/04/entertainment/kim-kardashian-police-social-media/index.html. 


Jacobsen, Wade C., et al. “The Wired Generation: Academic and Social Outcomes of Electronic Media Use Among University Students.” Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Publishers, 19 May 2011, liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/cyber.2010.0135.

Khalis, Adri, and Amori Yee Mikami. “Talking Face-to-Facebook: Associations between Online Social Interactions and Offline Relationships.” Computers in Human Behavior, Pergamon, 27 July 2018, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0747563218303558.


Mohsin, Maryam. “10 Facebook Statistics You Need to Know in 2021 [New Data].” Oberlo, Oberlo, 24 Mar. 2021, www.oberlo.com/blog/facebook-statistics.

“Online Disinhibition Effect.” GoodTherapy.org Therapy Blog, www.goodtherapy.org/blog/psychpedia/online-disinhibition-effect#:~:text=The%20disinhibition%20effect%20of%20online,him%20or%20her%20in%20person.

Pitt, Darienn. “Face-to-Face Learning Is Better than Online.” The Crimson White, 8 Apr. 2020, cw.ua.edu/64870/opinion/face-to-face-learning-is-better-than-online/.

Simmons, Andrew. “Why Students Cheat-and What to Do About It.” Edutopia, George Lucas Educational Foundation, 28 Apr. 2018, www.edutopia.org/article/why-students-cheat-and-what-do-about-it.

“Statistics.” International Center for Academic Integrity, www.academicintegrity.org/statistics/

Sullivan, Arelis Hernández and Jerriann, and Orlando Sentinel. “Cyberbullying-Suicide Suspect: Yes, I Bullied Girl Who Killed Herself.” Orlandosentinel.com, Orlando Sentinel, 18 June 2018, www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-rebecca-sedwick-cyber-bully-arrests-20131015-story.html.

“Why a Rising Number of Criminals Are Using Facebook Live to Film Their Acts.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 27 Jan. 2017, www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jan/27/rising-numbers-of-criminals-are-using-facebook-to-document-their-crimes.