Archive for the ‘Public Service Announcements’ Category

I’m not talking about technology today.  Today I’m talking about social history, triggered by something I read that made me angry. This is personal and anecdotal but it’s a topic that I’ve give some thought to over the years.

Today, the Washington Post posted an opinion piece by Dana Milbank called “The Weakest Generation?”  Please some time to read it, it’s worth taking in his point of view.  In it he talks about his parents attending the Great March on Washington and he quotes his father as saying, “’ When people talk about Martin Luther King, that’s my connection. It’s a small connection — no handshake or anything — but I’m proud to have been there.’”

This piece is the conceit of the most privileged of the baby boom generation filtered through one who embraced their self rewarding worldview.

His thesis is both wrong and insulting. How can he say of his, of *my*, “[w]e grew up soft: unthreatened, unchallenged and uninspired. We lacked a cause greater than self.” Isn’t that the same charge leveled at his parents’ generation by *their* parents. He’s internalized Boomer bullshit and regurgitated in this editorial.

Curating and passing on history has always been the dominion of the elite and the Boomer generation is no exception. Those who tell the tales Milbank takes as truth were able to go to college and had the free time to attend events like the Great March on Washington.  When they got out of college they went into positions that afforded them to freedom to write about their experiences as though they were nearly universal and to filter the experiences of others through their lens.

Like all older generations, they would have us believe that they made a lasting, positive difference in the world.  Well, that’s true for every generation. Whether it is a World War, Civil War, assassinations, financial upheaval, or fights for voting rights, every generation has had those historical movements and moments that marked its soul and shaped its legacy.

Let me put this into perspective for you: Boomers had a good time at Woodstock, my generation had a good time at Live Aid and contributed to a serious cause.  (And, for the record, his father is no more connected to Martin Luther King, Jr than I am to Madonna just because I was in JFK stadium that blazing hot day.)

They had the BC pill freeing them to enjoy a level of sexual freedom and be open and public about it. When most of us were beginning our sexual lives, AIDS was the ugly specter peering over our shoulder.

Boomers were raised, for the most part, in an age of prosperity and relative financial security. If you grew up in the 70s and 80s, you were much more likely to have had 2 working parents, or divorced parents, or live in blended families. or live through periods where a parent was laid off from their job.

When we were kids, having enough gas to power our cars became a serious, tangible issue.

After September 11, 2001, we may have been told to go shopping, but I also remember in the weeks after, men of all ages *volunteering* to go into the military. I remember all of the people who volunteered to help rebuild New Orleans and those who showed up to assist at my beloved Jersey Shore after Hurricane Sandy.

No, Mr. Milbank, is mistaken if he thinks our generation is untested by trial…[and] squandering American greatness by turning routine give-and-take into warfare”. As every other generation, we have our challenges and we, like any every other generation, have risen to those challenges. Sometimes only partially, often imperfectly, but we rise and will continue to do so.

And you know something, so will the Millennials, who are coming right up behind us, and their children and grandchildren and every successive generation.

Shame on Dana Milbank, shame on him for foisting his weak, biased version of social history off on us.

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This has been a busy summer. I’ve had some big things in the works that have kept me away from my beloved blog here but I’m going to remedy that. For the time being I will be using this blog to make shorter posts, maybe even Twitter sized, as a way of capturing ideas that I may not have the time to write an expanded essay on but want to return to at a later time.

My biggest news is that I am going to Purdue University 


Beering Hall, Home of the Brian Lamb School of Communication, Purdue University.

for my PhD.  I’m thrilled to work with the fantastic faculty and the other students I’ve connected with have been friendly and engaging. I know I will be challenged and stimulated. I am preparing to leave New Jersey early next week and this next part of my life in The Academy begins in mid August.

My new email academic address is  pjeter@purdue.edu

While I will miss my friends and colleagues at Rutgers University, the nice thing about being an academic is that those connections are never really broken. They are now my collaborators and fellow alumni. It’s not the end but a rite of passage, a transformation,  and that excites me a great deal.

Along those lines,  I will be co-presenting two papers at the National Communication Association 99th Annual Conference in Washington DC in November. If you are going, please  look for me, I’d love to grab some coffee with you. (OK, I love coffee period but I’d love to connect with  anyone who reads my blog). I’ll discuss those papers a *tiny* bit more in a later blog. I’m not giving too much away, though, I want you to come see the presentations!

Keep watching this space; my adventure continues.

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It has been far too long since I updated this blog and for anyone who has been following it, I apologize. Life has been very busy this semester and I have not had the time to revise the blog posts I’m writing for my class to a point that I felt they were ready to be posted. The wait will be over soon, though. I’m working on a post that I’ll be uploading something over the next week.

I  hope you’ll find it as interesting as I do and hope to get back to posting more regularly after the holidays.


I guess I got a bit bogged down this semester


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I am taking a course on Social Networking Analysis this semester. Part of the class involves writing a weekly blog post discussing our readings. As I did with my Mediated Communications class blog from last semester, I will be posting my blog posts and list of references here as well.

Since the posts for the class are limited to about 750 words, I generally have to edit out ideas to meet that constraint, however, I will be posting my entire post here. This will allow be to share my full thoughts with you as well as record them for myself for future reference.

I hope you find this topic as interesting as I do and, as always, please feel free to add your comments and questions.

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My name is Patricia Moore-Jeter and I am in the Masters of Communication and Information Studies at the School of information and Communication at Rutgers University. I am currently in the last semester and applying to PhD programs for Fall, 2013.

While I only began my Masters studies a few years ago, my interest in computer mediated communication goes back to the 90s. This is a blog  is about communication online especially as it relates to online communities of choice.

Since this is a blog, you will be treated to my personal observations, thoughts, questions and opinions as well as interesting facts I learn along the way. When possible, I will include any citations I think might be relative.

In addition, I have links to Communications websites and blogs I frequent that I hope a reader might find  might find helpful and interesting. If there are any links that you feel should be added please leave me a message in the comments, I’ll be happy to take a look.

Finally, I have dedicated a page to a series of blogs I posted for a class on Mediated Communication in the Spring of 2012.

The Path

Welcome digital traveler, I hope you enjoy this part of the journey we will be taking together.

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