Our Understanding of Self

Our Understanding of Self

Perspective
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As a journalism major, I will take many communication classes and therefore have to study various theories regarding people and their thought processes. Many of these theories could be filed under psychology and how the brain functions, but you can also look at it through a communicable aspect in order to understand the reasoning behind why people choose to say certain words in certain manners.

Our entire understanding of the world has been, and will continue to be, influenced by our own perception of what is around us. As people we have come up with pre-defined meanings and interpretations for things based on prior experiences and events. Therefore, we cannot entirely see something through someone else’s perspective, or even imagine ourselves in their shoes. Because by imagining to be someone looking at yourself, you are using your own opinion on how people see you, rather than how the person views you. Interactionists call the phenomena of imagining how we look to others as “the looking glass self.” The A First Look at Communication Theory –Ninth Edition textbook defines “the looking glass self” as “the mental self-image that results from taking the role of the other; the objective self; me” (pg. 58). If the theory of communication is anything, it is a process of vocabulary words one must understand. Therefore, to put it in other words, a looking glass self can be described as pretending to be someone else in order to view yourself. Easy enough? Sort of.

The term “I” is the subjective self, “the spontaneous driving force” (pg. 58). What do I look like to them? Who am I? What am I going to do? While the term “me” is the objective -- “The image of self - seen when one takes the role of the other” (pg. 58). The text gives examples from social constructionist Herbert Mead in order to better understand this concept. “If the ‘I’ speaks, the ‘me’ hears. And the ‘I’ of this moment is the present in the ‘me’ of the next moment” (pg. 59).

If that wasn’t complicated enough, the concept of “generalized other” also can come into play. This concept essentially is explaining that the mental image you have of yourself is due to societal expectations and its reflection upon yourself.

The majority of us have probably created our sense of self through other people and their expectations -- who we believe they want us to be based on conversations and responses. Perhaps that is why most people have varying personalities depending on who they are with. One acts one way with their professor in order to meet the expectation. They act another with their family, to fit a portrayal. They then continue to become another character when they are with their friends. It’s a continuous and inevitable cycle.

But I believe it is important for people to understand as one self, you cannot fully know what another thinks of you or know what their expectation for you is, without clearly communicating it to one another. You can imagine being them and seeing you, but that still reflects your impression of yourself with regards to how you see their expectation of yourself. This can affect everything between how you behave in total and how you choose to interact with people. A small example can be found in how you greet people. Using examples from before, greeting a professor most likely would go along the lines of, ‘Hello, how are you?’ Greeting family may sound a little more relaxed, ‘Hey what’s up, how are you?’ While greeting friends will be comfortable, and the set of vocabulary you choose to use may be completely different, such as, ‘What’s good?’ Your choice of words and expressions is a direct reflection of your assumed expectation. This is an example of the communication aspect of influence in personal self, rather than psychological reasoning.

We do not know what others think of us. Only what we think others think of us. Even if you try to detach the self when you look at something or someone through someone else’s eyes, you can still be blinded by your own perception. I think it’s okay to be blinded sometimes, but don’t allow it to become your light.

Cover Image Credit: Google

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The 17 Best Unpopular Opinions From The Minds Of Millennials

Yes, dogs should be allowed in more places and kids in less.
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There are those opinions that are almost fact because everyone agrees with them. Waking up early is horrible. Music is life. Sleep is wonderful. These are all facts of life.

But then there are those opinions that hardly anyone agrees with. These ones -- from Twitter, Pinterest and Reddit -- are those types of opinions that are better left unsaid. Some of these are funny. Some are thought-provoking. All of them are the 17 best unpopular opinions around.

1. My favorite pizza is Hawaiian pizza.

2. Binge watching television is not fun and actually difficult to do.

3. I love puns... Dad jokes FTW.

4. Milk in the cup first... THEN the bloody tea.

5. I wish dogs were allowed more places and kids were allowed fewer places.

6. "Space Jam" was a sh*t movie.

7. Saying "money cannot buy happiness" is just wrong.

8. People keep saying light is the most important thing in photographing. I honestly think the camera is more important.

9. Bacon is extremely overrated.

10. Literally, anything is better than going to the gym.

11. Alternative pets are for weird people.

12. Google doodles are annoying.

13. It is okay to not have an opinion on something.

14. It's weird when grown adults are obsessed with Disney.

15. This is how to eat a Kit Kat bar.

16. Mind your own business.

17. There is such a thing as an ugly baby.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Please Stop Assuming That All Hispanics Are Brown

Do Hispanics have a default look? No!

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When it comes to the Hispanic/ Latino population, the majority of people assume that most men and women are brown, olive-skinned, have thick curly hair and brown eyes. While I am sure lots of people who are part of the Latino community have those features, I am here to tell you that not all of us do. In fact, some of us have straight or wavy brown hair, lots of us even have blond hair and blue eyes and are extremely pale.

Have you ever stopped and looked at why it is that the world looks at Latino culture and assumes that we all look the same? I can not tell you how many times I have had someone look at me in shock when I tell them that I am Hispanic. They size me up and say "Oh no way, you look so white" or "Hmm I would have guessed middle eastern." When I start speaking Spanish it really sets in how wrong they were, yet they still continue to make comments about how surprised they are that I was a Latina. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with being compared to other ethnicities, everyone needs to understand that your perceived look as to what a "true latin" looks like is 100% skewed and racist.

When looking at the population of Central and South America, the majority of people are mixed. You could have West African, East Asian, European, Indigenous, Middle Eastern or mixed features in any one person. When you look back at the media industries in the US, the projected image of Latinos is washed out under the ideas mentioned before. Even when looking at how the media projects any specific nationality, they seem to stick to the "traditional" view of how a certain ethnicity looks like, that its no wonder why so many people are confused when anyone claims to be part of a certain community. Though there are companies like, 23 and me or ansestry.com who are starting to promote DNA awareness, many people are still blindly unaware of how diverse the Latino community is. This is only a small start for people to come to a better understanding of how certain ethnicities are not branded into a particular look.

So, yes, the next time you come across a blonde haired woman or a curly haired deep-skinned man speaking Spanish, do not start off the conversation with "But you don't look Latino" because you will look extremely uneducated.

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