Comparison Essay

In the third essay project I will be comparing the writings of Danah Boyd, Clive Thompson, and Nicholas Carr. I will explain how each of these texts support and contrast each other’s arguments. I would like to explore the similarities and differences in each other these authors beliefs and claims. I have decided to pick the research route instead of the data collection. I think that the research I find on these topics can be more trustworthy and full of new information. If I were to interview people around me I think that most of them would all be the same age and have the same thoughts and experiences. This would not give me enough of a variety of answers so I would not have much to say based on their opinions. The research I conduct will hopefully give me answers and opinions from all different kinds of people with different backgrounds and experiences. Most of my sources will most likely be from the internet. I think I am going to read other chapters from Danah Boyd and Clive Thompson’s books so that I can get a better feel on their thoughts and I can relate them to each other. The other sources will back up my arguments and help prove points and claims. Each resource will be introduced, cited, and explained in order to make my opinions stronger. In my essay, I will be referring to all three of the primary texts that we have talked about in class. I am going to explain each of these writings and then compare them to one another. I plan on relating Danah Boyd’s book with Clive Thompson’s book first. Then I am going to explain how their arguments might contrast each other. However, I also will point out some quotes from each of their books that might be similar and help support each other as well. Next, I will relate Danah Boyd’s book to the article written by Nicholas Carr. I will explain how those to texts both support and contrast each other in different ways. I am going to use the book, “They Say/I Say” as a reference for how to set up each of these comparisons. Also, my course reader will help me with all of the citations and annotated bibliography that I will be making. This essay is going to be full of outside sources and opinions that are going to make all of my arguments stronger.


Danah Boyd: Technology Natives?

Have you ever been at a gathering with your family or friends and looked around to realize how many kids are sitting and looking at their phones instead of talking face to face? That’s because technology has stolen the interests of kids all around the world. When I was growing up technology wasn’t too popular. By the time I was in middle school, that’s when everyone started getting their own cell phones. However, now kids are starting to get their own phones, iPods, tablets, etc at a much younger age. Back home I coached gymnastics to kids between the ages of 5 and 12. Most of the 5 and 6 year olds in my classes  already had their own smart phones and knew how to use them very well. They would show me their apps and games and even some forms of social media.

Danah Boyd, in her chapter “Literacy”, claims that many people think of children to be “technology natives” since they grow up using all forms technology. However she says that this may not be completely true because they are not fully aware of the potential educational value of the technology they are using. I agree with this statement. I have personally met so many little kids that are constantly on technology playing games and socializing with their internet friends. However, this is all kids use technology for. It is not often that a child is using their cell phone or iPad to research a homework topic or watch an educational documentary. Kids may not even know about all of the different features on their devices. Technology, for kids, is used purely for entertainment. It is an addicting activity that takes up time and is fun for them. Also, kids do not understand or feel the need to learn about the technology behind the device. Most children do not know how a cell phone is made or the bills and payments that allow the phones to actually work. To them a cell phone is just some really cool toy that their parents bought for them.

Clive Thompson had said that technology improves your reading and writing skills and can be beneficial to you. Meanwhile, Nicholas Carr claims that it messes with your brain and makes you loose your ability to focus. I believe that technology is full of reading and writing so it can have an educational value. However, I think that the amount of time kids spend on technology can also take away from other key social skills that need to be learned. I think that technology takes up a little too much of children’s lives. Like Danah Boyd had said, technology should be used for more of an educational purpose and less of a pass-time activity.

Comparing The Two…

In my previous two posts, I talked about arguments from both sides of the question, is gymnastics a sport? Some examples that were given used the same rhetorical strategy just in different ways. Nathan Palcowski had explained, in an article, that the judging in gymnastics is unfair because there are no set rules and the judges can mark you down for just disliking you in general. On the other side, the ESPN video with John Brenkus had explained just how hard gymnastics really is by describing a skill and calculating the mechanics behind it. Both of these writers used the rhetorical strategy, exemplification to appeal to our reasoning or in other words, logos.

Nathan Palcowski gives examples about a certain part of gymnastics, the judging. Nathan is talking to the readers of the article and attempting to explain how gymnastics is not a sport. However, when he talks about it, everything he says is an opinion. He is just one person looking into the sport and deciding that the judging system is unfair. In his article, he does not give any evidence or cite any sources of where he could have received this information from. This is just what he thinks. What makes him correct? Why should we believe what one man is saying? Also, the part of gymnastics that he decided to talk about doesn’t even involve doing the actual sport. He is describing how the judging is bad but what about the actual performance and skills?

In the ESPN video, addressing all viewers, John Brenkus gives explains a specific skill on the balance beam, a back layout step out. However, since this is a visual presentation, he allows the audience to see exactly what he is talking about. He also uses mathematics to calculate the degrees and angles of the gymnast’s body and the speed at which she is flipping. This puts into perspective just how fast and how far and gymnast is traveling on a four inch piece of wood. The video also explains how fast gymnasts runs to the vault table, how high in the air she gets, and how strong her arms actually need to be in order to hold onto the uneven bars. There is a lot of proven facts and information for the audience to listen to as well as see visually.

The method of using facts, pictures, and resources was a more effective way to use exemplification. John Brenkus was more believable and trustworthy. Listening to an opinion of someone, Nathan Palcowski, who is just an outside source that may not even be relevant to the sport at all was not very convincing.  As an audience member of both arguments, the video was definitely a better way to go.

Why Gymnastics Is The Hardest Sport Out There


In my pervious post I talked about how, to a lot of people, gymnastics is not considered a sport. During my research, many websites said that it is too easy and not very athletic. Today I watched a video that proved gymnasts are some of the strongest, most talented athletes in the world. John Brenkus and ESPN made this video explaining just was gymnasts have to do in their routines. They gave three specific areas in which gymnasts excel in. The first one is balance. John Brenkus says, “When gymnasts flip on the balance beam, they have an angular velocity of 600 degrees per second”. The skill he is talking about is shown above in the picture on the right. Olympic gold medalist, Laurie Hernandez is doing a back layout step out on the balance beam during team finals at the Rio Olympics. ESPN calculated this arc of her body to be about 300 degrees and the entire skill is performed in less than a second. Another subject brought up in the video is speed. It was found that when running towards that vault table, the average gymnast travels at a speed of 16 mph. This then launches the athlete, after hitting the spring board and vault table, about 13 feet into the air. Also, when pulling your arms super tight and close to your body, the gymnast can rotate about 900 degrees in less than a second. The video also talks about spacial awareness. When doing giants on the uneven bars, the pressure that is put on your shoulders is equivalent to about 9 times your body weight (John Brenkus). This means that in order to perform this basic skill, you have to have a very strong upper body and a very good grip on the bar. A lot of skills you perform in gymnastics have a blind landing, which means that the floor or bar, whatever you are landing on, is not in your vision. This sport teaches you how to land all of those skills safely, practically with your eyes closed. When I was in gymnastics I would always do front layouts with full twists. This means I was doing a front flip while spinning 360 degrees. There was not way I could ever see the ground in front of me before I landed so I had to have good spacial awareness in order to not hurt myself.

Another article I found said that gymnasts are some of the strongest, pound for pound, most flexible, and most dynamic athletes out of any sport (USA Gym). I definitely agree with this idea. Doing gymnastics for so long helped me become better in any sport I tried throughout my life. In high school I did cheerleading at my school. Gymnastics had made me strong so I could lift the other girls, gave me coordination to perform all of the routines very easily, and caused me to become the tumbler who got to do flips in the front of each performance. I also did diving and field hockey throughout high school. Gymnastics helped my endurance so I was able to run fast, and helped my ability to flip in the air and land in the water correctly.

These two sources help me prove my point that gymnastics is extremely hard and takes a lot of dedication and talent to do. Gymnastics should definitely be considered a sport by all people in the world.





Is Gymnastics A Sport?

Gymnastics - Artistic - Olympics: Day 4kocian2-946x500

Many people think that in order to be considered a sport, some kind of ball must be involved. For example, football, basketball, soccer, baseball, lacrosse, hockey, etc all are played with a ball of some sort. I participated in gymnastics for the last 16 years of my life and in my opinion, it is one of the hardest sports out there. And after that many years of practices, competitions, broken bones and hard work, I have still been told multiple times that what I do is not a sport. Nathan Palcowksi wrote in an article that in order to be considered a sport, the activity must include athleticism and a clear winner. “Obviously the judges in gymnastics have rules but they are very loose rules that they have to go by. A judge could mark down a person for not doing something right just because they’re not a fan of that athlete. I’m not saying it happens often but there is never going to be an objective winner in gymnastics” (Palcowksi). First of all, you have to be very athletic to do gymnastics. With hours of conditioning and strength every weak, this sport definitely makes you stronger. And you must be very coordinated as well. Gymnastics teaches you air sense, flexibility, and how to fall correctly without getting hurt because in gymnastics you are going to fall over and over again no matter how good you are at it.

A different article from argues that, “To be a sport, an athletic activity substantially has to be objectively timed, measured or scored.” The author of this believes that gymnastics does not fall into this category. However, gymnastics is timed, measured and scored. Both floor and balance beam routines have to be choreographed to a certain length of music. Which means you have to fit all of your tumbling passes and dance skills into a short amount of time, and if you go even a second over the given amount of time you get a deduction. Also, every skill in gymnastics is measured. They are all given a difficulty score and well as a category for what kind of skill is it. And every routine needs to be made up of a certain number of skills and a certain difficulty score. And of course in gymnastics you are scored, on everything. And sometimes you may think that the scoring in unfair but the judges don’t judge you on whether or not they like you, they don’t know anything about any of the gymnasts so one cannot argue that their judging is easy and unfair. Not only has gymnastics been a sport in the olympics, but it is one of the most popular ones. This year the USA women’s gymnastics team was awarded Team of the Year for the Olympics in Rio. They would not have given this award to a team that was not athletic and not considered a sport. I think that all of the people who say gymnastics is not a sport should try it out and see how hard it really is.


Antisocial Phone Tricks

Renny Gleeson is a public speaker who gives a speech describing his views on handheld technology. He is reaching out to all of his followers that have showed up to witness his presentation and to everybody watching his video online. In the speech, Gleeson is trying to help the world realize that life is better when you are not looking at a phone 24/7. His argument is that we should put our cell phones away more often and have conversations face to face with the people around us. Gleeson claims cell phones are taking away the focus of all people who own one. Instead of paying attention to real life, people are too busy worrying about what is going on in their small device. To prove this point, he uses the rhetorical strategy, description. Gleeson describes real life situations that his audience members have all witnessed in which our cell phones took away from socialization. For example, he explains the “Lean” (when you lean to the side to look at your phone without getting caught) or the “stretch” (when you lift your phone out in front of you just enough to be able to read it at the dinner table. Gleeson also shows pictures of relationships where one of the teenagers is too focused on their phone to be also focused on the relationship with their partner. One specific picture shown, was of a father who was staring at his phone while a young girl, possibly his daughter, stared at him. This gives the assumption that the cell phone is more important to the man then his own child is to him. This is an example of the use of pathos. Gleeson is appealing to our emotions and making us feel bad for the child, who is not getting the attention she is looking for.

The fact that Renny Gleeson’s examples are so relatable help his argument become more persuasive. This is how he uses the rhetorical strategy, exemplification. When listening, his audience members will realize that the exact same thing has happened to them, or that they have ignored a friend or a parent in order to look at their cell phone once before. This will make them want to believe that everything Gleeson is saying is in fact true. I think that Gleeson’s argument is effective for this reason. In the very end of his presentation, he makes one call to action. He requests that we help technology make people more human. This will cause the audience to want to put down their phones every once in a while and become more social with the world and all others surrounding them.


Writing on Social Media

Hi my name is Heather and I use reading and writing in my everyday life. Many people like to write on social media through Facebook or Twitter. They express their feelings, tell stories, or have conversations with their friends. I don’t write posts as much as I like to read them. I think it is very interesting to read about my friends different views and adventures. I also tend to share pictures every once in a while through Instagram and sometimes Twitter. I write a little bit in my captions explaining what the picture is of, who is in it, or what I am doing. However, I usually don’t write any more then that online. One app I do use for both reading and writing is Snapchat. I log on to Snapchat daily to send pictures to my friends or chat with them. Most of my friends are off at different colleges across the country so these social media apps allow me to easily keep in touch them and hear about everything new thats happening. Although I don’t really like how technology is taking over our lives, I do think it is important to talk to old friends and meet new ones as well. Social media helps bring people together while we are practicing our reading and writing skills.