Thanksgiving has been digitally disturbed: What was it then, what is it now?



On the fourth Thursday of November, Americans get together for a day fill of food, football and family. Today’s Thanksgiving is far from the original celebration of Thanksgiving in 1621. I think it is important in today’s media and technology-controlled world to look back at the traditions. How have they changed?

Thanksgiving began in November of 1621 when the Pilgrims’ had their first successful corn harvest. Governor William Bradford organized a celebratory feast including a group of Native American allies. This celebratory feast was a three-day festival.. This is remembered as the “first thanksgiving” even though the term “Thanksgiving” was not yet used. The meal is said to have featured fowl, deer and due to low sugar supplies and no ovens, there were NO DESSERTS—all very different from today’s Thanksgiving holiday.


It was not until 1817 that New York officially accepted an annual Thanksgiving holiday. Though, in 1827, magazine editor and prolific writer Sarah Josepha Hale launched a campaign to create the national holiday of Thanksgiving. It took her 36 years but in 1863, Abraham Lincoln listened and at height of the civil war, he established the national holiday of Thanksgiving.



What was once a religious, wound healing, celebratory holiday for harvest and for the success of the Pilgrims’ is now a very consumer driven holiday. How did this happen? How has digital disruption changed the tradition of thanksgiving?




I think first and foremost—digital disruption has changed the conversation. Lets look back to my childhood. Kids didn’t have IPads; they didn’t have IPhones. They had books, puzzles—technology didn’t rule our lives. In contrast, this weekend I saw first hand how the conversation has changed. When I was younger, the focus was the conversation, it was the dinner table.

Interestingly, I think back to the eating dinner with your family campaign probably many years ago now. How is that different today? Are we still trying to sit down with our families? I think so. Though, how is it different? It was evident at my own thanksgiving and even more evident when researching statistics on social media use during this year’s thanksgiving. Is the conversation now only about social media, about online purchases, viral videos, crazy research published on one’s Facebook Newsfeed, about black Friday plans, and cyber Monday deals? My aunt, an avid social media user to aid in her real estate business, says, “The conversation is always about the Newsfeed, and I am at fault too. The News Feed provides convenience. The Internet allows me to know anything I want and I take advantage of that. But asking me if the conversation is changed/worsened? I don’t think it is worse but it is definitely different.”

With the many conversations around this subject I both loved/hated this weekend, people seem to get very heated when discussing the subject of technology, of social media! One conversation came up often, one that was very similar to the one we debated in class, “Is social media making us dumber and more socially awkward?” I personally think it is crazy to put the affect in such jarring terms. The truth is social media and technology, in my eyes, has changed things-changed the conversation to things like discussing Snap Chat’s live feed of the AMA awards and maybe even Taylor Swift’s performance with crazy eyes. It has changed the conversation and with that it has changed the tradition. Though, I am not sure it is worse.

Let’s take a look at statistics on this years Thanksgiving and social media use. Scroll through the presentation below developed by Salesforce Marketing Cloud. The total post volume in the 24 hours of Thanksgiving was 718,931 which is based 650 million data sources from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogs, news sites, and more. Interestingly the most posting occurred between 5 pm and 4 am—hours when people would be eating Thanksgiving dinner with their families, watching football, and then beginning to black Friday shop. This is fairly intriguing—hours when you would think people are with their families, preparing and eating dinner, having conversation, and even going to bed are the hours when people are most frequently posting on social media sites. 

Are families still having conversation or is everyone on their phones? Additionally, this research looks at what is being talked about online. The fourth slide breaks it down—50,000 people are mentioning cyber Monday and the excitement/anticipation for Black Friday, 21,000 people were discussing/mentioning the protests in Ferguson and planning to use #BlackoutBlackFriday, and finally 8,000 consumers were mentioning excitement for free shipping offers during Black Friday. My question is where is the mentioning of family, of cooking, of traditions? Is the conversation on Thanksgiving now solely on consuming—consuming food, getting ready to be consumers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday? I think the evidence is there.


Yes, the conversation has changed. Now, I would like to look at how digital disruption has changed the traditions. This infographic demonstrates Thanksgiving then and Thanksgiving now. I think you’ll all enjoy knowing that Turkey wasn’t even served at the first thanksgiving! I kind of feel lied to! Well what are the traditions? Let’s look at them then and now.



In simpler terms,


Is the glitz and the glam of Thanksgiving now more important than the traditions? Is the Macy’s Day Parade now the tradition of Thanksgiving? Is football? Is Black Friday? After reading this article, I know I am not the only one asking these questions. Read this article here and make sure to look at the graphs below.

Author Kit Daniels states, “Black Friday is more popular than Thanksgiving, according to Twitter, highlighting America’s trend away from family life and toward Idiocracy-style consumerism.”

This article is very telling of how digital disruption has changed Thanksgiving, how it has changed tradition. Black Friday, which is the day after Thanksgiving, is considered as the first day of the Christmas shopping season. Black Friday was stated nearly 25% more often than Thanksgiving at their peaks on Twitter, 77,400 times vs. 59,100 which was revealed by social media analytics. See graphs below:




Based on these graphs, we are able to see that Black Friday has taken over social media use on Thanksgiving and also has begun taking over the holiday itself. Black Friday leads to more and more business openings on Thanksgiving day, forcing people to work which takes away from a holiday meant to be spent with one’s family. It has become a holiday centered around consumerism, technology, and social media use all on the Internet, our televisions, and in our laps and hands on laptops and cellphones.

I would like to share a little about the digital disruption I experienced this weekend. I created a photo gallery of my Thanksgiving experience filled with my social media use as well as those whose social media use I came across. Let’s think about this: Was there marshmallows at the first Thanksgiving? Were babies on cell phones (LOL) ?

Photo gallery: 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What about the food? How has that changed? Take a look at this infographic below:


I think it is fairly alarming how much the traditions have changed and how many people are talking about it!

I thought it would be interesting to see what Mindy Wasserman has to say on the subject. Mindy is a 360° Integrated Marketing & Content Specialist who has tremendous experience in marketing, business, and management related to the following organic & natural products, consumer packaged goods, health & wellness, beverage, media & entertainment. She specializes in video & digital storytelling, content/social media strategy, brainstorming/ideation, and partnership marketing. Due to her experience, I thought she would be the perfect person to interview in regard to Thanksgiving and its’ digital disruption. While we spoke on this subject a lot in person, Mindy chose to email me her answers to the questions below. 


  1. What do you think the word digital disruption means? 

-Changes to how we communicate/interact on both a personal and business level through integration of digital technology/social media

-It’s changed the way we work, the way we live, and the way we make and maintain friendships.

  1. What is your favorite thanksgiving tradition? 

-Spending quality time with family and friends

  1. How has that tradition changed today? 

-Yes… Through technology I’m able to connect virtually with friends & family (that can’t be physically present) in a more meaningful way

  1. What do you think digital disruption has done to conversation? Are conversations different because of technology/media/etc.?

-Email and social media communications aren’t better or worse than in-person ones; they’re just different.

-They complement each other.

-The online world isn’t taking the place of the offline one; it’s enhancing it.

-Regardless, conversations have changed. For example, In some cases less personal and easily misinterpreted and in some cases more interesting because people have access to more information.

  1. How has technology changed your job? Do you focus on different things around a holiday like Thanksgiving? 

-My job has become more 24/7 because of technology.

-My job focus doesn’t change because it is Thanksgiving or any other holiday.

-However, some of my clients will market more heavily around certain holidays. For example ‘Imagine’ does a lot of marketing online and offline during Thanksgiving because their soups and broths can be used in many holiday recipes.

  1. How do people market to the holidays through technology? 

-Email, Email and more email

-Mobile…Digital coupons, shopping apps, beacon technology… more and more consumers are using their mobile devices for shopping. Many retailers are using beacon technology to send push notifications or marketing materials right to the phones of individuals who are in or around their stores.

  1. Can you tell me a little about your job and how you cater to today’s media controlled world? 

-Job Function….Integrated Marketing and Content Specialist

-See below links for more in depth explanation

Mindy On LinkedIn

Mindy’s Website

-How Do I Cater….?

-Good question… generally don’t cater to it but rather determine how to use it to my and my client’s benefit.

-As an integrated marketer, I am channel agnostic.I work with clients to understand their marketing objectives/goals and identify the best programs/marketing channels (online and/or offline) to achieve these goals.

-Although I will say, having a digital footprint (e.g. website, FB, Pinterest, etc) is a cost of doing business in this marketing environment.

  1. Do you think “social media is making us dumb”?

-Yes and no…

-The Pluses…There are no boundaries–we have exposure to the world–globalized voices, Immediate access to information. Knowledge well beyond simply what we are taught

-The negatives …Lots of misinformation, diminished face to face/interpersonal and grammar skills, diminished analytical skills due to ‘Copycatting’… getting answers and insights from social networks without doing any actual thinking

  1. Is Thanksgiving now a consumer/purchase driven holiday?

-Yes…As long as I can remember it has always been that–the official start of the holiday shopping season.

-FYI… The term “Black Friday” was coined in the 1960s to mark the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season. “Black” refers to stores moving from the “red” to the “black,” back when accounting records were kept by hand, and red ink indicated a loss, and black a profit. Ever since the start of the modern Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, the Friday after Thanksgiving has been known as the unofficial start to a bustling holiday shopping season.

  1. Did you prefer life/ work/holidays before media and technology were a part of everyday life? 

-Definitely pros & cons to media/technology but overall it has enhanced my life.

-Ultimately, I choose how and when I engage with both. Sometimes to be more productive and knowledgeable and sometimes just for mindless fun.

Now, please take a look at some photos of my Thanksgiving food festivities. Some new traditions, some old.

Food Photography

Food Photography

Thanksgiving Food Instagrams

Foot Photogrpahy

Thanksgiving Food Instagrams


So what’s next, what’s the future of this digitally disturbed holiday?  How do we move away from Black Friday deals being the focus of social media use and the focus of this holiday? How do we change the conversation back to who we met that day, or this crazy thing we saw and not some crazy thing we saw on our News Feed?

What I thought would be the use of technology, social media etc. to find new recipes and post family pictures, is not the case. Rachel King, for Between The Lines, explains, “roughly 278,000 posts have been stamped with the hashtag “#blackfriday” and another 8,000 labeled “#deals” versus just 85,000 with “#Thanksgiving.”” So what is this about? Why are we so focused on social media and consumerism on Thanksgiving instead of the holiday and its’ history. The answer is Walmart, Target, Best Buy are all getting in our heads, according to this article. So has the conversation changed? Are the traditions different? Is Black Friday now more important to the vast majority than the holiday of Thanksgiving? Has Thanksgiving been DIGITALLY DISTURBED?

I think yes.

What do YOU think?

Check out this video and see what my friends, classmates, family, and maybe a dog or two have to say about how social media and technology influenced their Thanksgiving’s (as well as a few clips of my personal snap chats from the weekend). Almost everyone felt that social media and technology were a part of their Thanksgiving’s–some thought so in a positive way, some in a negative way and one attests to not really using it at all! You will see the difference in how people of different ages discuss Thanksgiving and and how if, for them, it was DIGITALLY DISTURBED.

Check it out:


So, I think we can all be sure that whether one’s opinion is negative or positive, Thanksgiving has been DIGITALLY DISTURBED.

Please share your opinions below. Maybe we can start another debate. Is social media and technology going to change Christmas and Hanukah celebrations this year?







I do not think “Social Media is Making us Dumb and Socially Awkward”.




While I do agree that there are positives and negatives of social media use, I definitely do not think the negatives are as extreme as, “making us dumb and socially awkward.” Social media gives people another platform for communicating. This communication is occuring through devices and sites such as cell phones, laptops, facebook, instagram, etc. this communicating can be very positive as this infographic demonstrates. People are able to use social media to maintain “real life” friendships. People use social media to share good news, schedule plans with friends, stay in touch with faraway friends as shown in the infographic below.




Importantly, this infographic identifies that 39 % of Americans who completed the survey spend more time socializing online than face to face. I think this number is significant in pointing towards the very small population of people who allow social media to take over their lives.


Additionally, in a CNN Report, “Teens say social media more positive than negative.” See below:

In fact, according to a report last year by the nonprofit child advocacy group Common Sense Media, one in five teens said social media makes them feel more confident, compared with 4% who said it makes them feel less so.

In the survey of more than 1,000 13- to 17-year-olds about how they view their digital lives, 28% said social networking made them feel more outgoing versus 5% who said it made them feel less so; and 29% said it made them feel less shy versus the 3% who said it made them feel more introverted.

I think these are important statistics. Teens feel a positive influence from social media and I think most adults would agree. Social media is making life more convenient, more connected. I think the issue lies in the “eye of the beholder.” Social media is what you make of it and it is not making me dumb or socially awkward.

In fact, like the infographic shows, I find that social media enables me to do more. Perhaps for me, the greatest asset of social media use is its’ ability to keep in touch with friends and family. Through facebook in particular, I am able to always be connected. While some might feel that constant connection to be wrong, I think it can be beneficial. It allows for safety, it allows for strengthening relationships, it allows for connecting. If not taken to far, it can only be positive. Positive for school work, for discovery, for relationships, I think it is very clear.


On a regular basis, I was facebook, instagram, and snapchat for keeping in touch, learning about others, sharing things about myself. In many ways social media is simply about sharing and I think that is really cool—the ability to share so much of oneself through these online methods. This sharing doesn’t make us dumb, it does not make us socially awkward. I think it has made me more open, more well rounded in understanding and in my relationships. If I could change the phrase given to us… I would say, Social Media is making us better connected, socially exposed and aware.






I think it was really interesting to watch a full episode of Good Morning America. While I have often seen bits and pieces, clips of this show. Though I have not sat down and watched a full episode with full attention. This episode started with breaking news on the weather, Veteran’s day, etc. I think this was an important start!

images-5 good-morning-america images-4

As this newscast was on Veteran’s Day, I was definitely expecting and looking forward to coverage stories, etc. regarding this. First, the newscast went into detail on the man who killed Osama Bin Laden. This man is finally breaking his silence against the common policy that navy seals so not talk about secret operations. I thought this was an interesting story especially as it was Veteran’s Day. I think they handled this story well, with a serious and fair tone.


Next, Good Morning America moved to a discussion on giant sinkholes forcing evacuations in Florida. One plus of this story was its’ use of graphic images to explain what exactly happens as the limestone underground gives way which creates sinkholes. By using graphic images, like a textbook would, it made the information accessible. In this story, the use of examples, videos, and quotes give way to a well told story.

Following this, GMA touched on the death of Joan Rivers and the potential law suit to come as more information on mis-practice is exposed. I thought this was a very well detailed story, they related to Michael Jackson, explained opinions on what could have been done better/ correctly, and also report on exactly what happened. In this way, I think this story was carried out well.

At this point, while watching, I felt that they jumped around almost too quickly. Each story became hard to follow. While it is definitely supplying good information, relevant stories and images, it is almost too fast!


The show then touches upon a billion dollar divorce (one of the largest settlements in history) involving the company Continental Resources, then moving to a women who miraculously lived after many hours on pace maker. GMA then moves to a clip from the last night’s dancing with the stars as two of the dancers will be on later in the show.

Quickly, they move to a discussion on a hostage situation in Oklahoma, the death of Timothy Engelhardt who was a weather reporter. They then discuss the importance of safeguarding your home with a recent break in and almost kidnapping of a young girl in Utah.

I think it is really important that GMA looks to each story and recommends fixes. Though, I do think it is somewhat of an information overload. I think this may be why people listen to GMA in the background, as noise, maybe raising the volume when hearing a story they are interested in.


Next, we learn about one of the hosts/reporters and “Survival Week.” We get to see first hand the experience of diving with sharks and then hear from the reporter in studio. I thought this story was done really well and while it did not alleviate my fears of shark, I guess maybe now I know to punch them in the snout area?


Within the “GMA Heat Index,” we learn about a Calvin Klein advertisement/ model debate. We also see an interview with Lea and Artem from dancing with the stars.

The focus then shifted to Veteran’s day in what I thought was the best treated, most well thought out story of the day. I think they handled this subject well. The story, carried out by Michael Strahan, was on 2 American heroes, Sean and Mark, whose friendship was born on battlefield. Michael meets them and interviews them by ground zero. By showing images of their families was a great angle, adding sensitivity and background. I think this story was done well and it was very important on this day. The lasting message was for all on Veteran’s Day—to keep going and enjoy and live one’s life to honor all who lost theirs fighting for our country.



Lastly, there was sweet and quick interviews with Taylor Swift on her October concert with GMA and new music video and also Darby Stanchfield from the ABC TV show Scandal.

To see Taylor Swift’s GMA Performance, see below 🙂

Additionally, Robin Roberts is honored or recognized for her honor at the Glamour Magazine’s 2014 Women of the Year. I think it is clear that there is a great atmosphere on set, or at least a supportive one. I was very happy and intrigued to research more on Robin Roberts and her award; I think she deserved it!

Look at this really interesting article/video with Robin Roberts & Shondra Rhimes below by clicking here!

Or look at this youtube video which includes Mindy Kaling as well.

Finally, Robin Roberts sits down to interview with Tim Shriver on his book Fully Alive. In this interview, I was happy to learn about the importance of the Special Olympics. Learn more about Tim Shriver and his work with the Special Olympics here.  

Fitz & The Tantrum sing as the show closes.

Overall, I like how each hosts takes different story. It seems to builds a mosaic of different stories and angles. Though, as someone who doesn’t watch this show a lot, it is somewhat hard to recognize the different reporters and remember each of their stories. I think I will watch GMA more often. I definitely learned a lot.


My First Food Related Article!

Click here to see my first article for University of Michigan Spoon University! As a vegetarian, I am very interested in finding creative and healthy ways to create and eat my meals. This article displays some of my favorite vegetarian places in Ann Arbor.

I chose to focus this blog on food and health because I have a strong interest in how technology is changing the food/health industry.

Enjoy the food porn from the article and be sure to check out the article!

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Person Prominent In My Field..

For this blog assignment, I chose to interview Liz Neporent. Liz Neporent, in addition to being my aunt, is a Medical Reporter, Medical Social Media Director at ABC News National.

Liz Neporent is a health, wellness, and medical journalist. She looks to make people healthier through education and awareness. Early on in her career, she worked in corporate wellness all while having an equally successful career as a writer. She has written for the New York Times, NY Daily News, Shape, Self, AOL, etc. Additionally, she has written six books for Harvard Health Publications, as well as two other best sellers, Weight Training for Dummies and Fitness for Dummies.

Liz is known for taking complicated and complex medical topics and explaining them in ways that are more accessible to all people. For the last 3 years, Liz has worked for ABC News National on the medical team as a medical reporter and also as the director of medical social media.

I think it is clear that Liz has extensive knowledge on the use of disruptive technology. It was very interesting to discuss digital disruption with her, a term she says she does not use.

I think my aunt uses new media positively. In question four, she states, “All of the positives are in sourcing, presentation and promotion. The negatives are in doing the job and how you get paid. I used to get a couple of weeks to do a story I now must do in 5 hours. Plus you get paid a lot less. You now compete on equal footing with bloggers that could never be hired in a journalism job—no offense to anyone.” I think this touches upon a great deal of our class discussions. Is Instagram taking away a market from photographers? I think Liz has an interesting perspective—one that is in favor of new media and technology and its’ involvement in journalism but also one that sees the downsides.

Moreover, I thought it was really interesting to hear how Twitter influenced her work and research on Ebola. She explains that she was able to find interviews through Twitter posts in Nigeria. How cool is that?

Finally, while she works a great deal in relation to the beat I have chosen, I thought it was particularly interesting when she talks about blogging and how in regards to food, bloggers now have the power. I aimed to demonstrate this in my audio interview project. My aunt states, “Bloggers are now more important than food critics, TV or cookbooks. If I were selling a Food related book I would spread it out to bloggers first. That’s how you get it to go viral.” I think this is really interesting.

Check out the interview below:


1. How has media influenced the way in which you and your colleagues carry out research?

It has revolutionized the way we source things. For example for breaking Ebola stories I am able to go on Twitter and see what people in West Africa are talking about. I can also find an interview in 15 minutes rather than the 3 days it used to take. When Nigeria was declared Ebola free I was able to reach out to their minister of health on twitter and secure an interview.

2. How has digital disruption (the interruption–good or bad–of technology in journalism, media, etc.) changed the way you present your work?

Writing is different for digital than say magazines or books. The reader needs to take in an eyeball’s worth of info without scrolling or they move on. Headlines have to change too. You have to do the teaser thing to get people to click. You write short sentences and graphs. Easy to take in quickly.

3. How has something like Twitter/Facebook/Instagram, etc. changed the way you work and promote your work and yourself?

I would spread social media to Pinterest, LinkedIn, storify etc. are all-important for promotion. Every story I do gets posted immediately on all of my own social accounts as well as ABC’s. Success is now judged not only by page views but also by social shares. Everything is tracked with links.

4. Do you believe digital disruption has been positive in your industry?

I have never used that term. It is very academic. All of the positives are in sourcing, presentation and promotion. The negatives are in doing the job and how you get paid. I used to get a couple of weeks to do a story I now must do in 5 hours. Plus you get paid a lot less. You now compete on equal footing with bloggers that could never be hired in a journalism job—no offense to anyone. The result is much quicker shallower reporting that is likely less accurate. Not good for the writer or reader.

5. Do you use digital media in every aspect of your work?

Yes. Bloggers are now more important than food critics, TV or cookbooks. If I were selling a Food related book I would spread it out to bloggers first. That’s how you get it to go viral. This includes micro blogs like Twitter, Reddit, etc. the hope is the promotion spreads from there and that gets you onto major sites, GMA etc.

6. What changes do you think digital disruption has made in food/health/medical related journalism?

I could write a book for last question. I think the above covers a lot of what this question asks.

Check out her website here !!!

A few photos of her online work:

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Mobile/Online Shopping

Technology has begun to drastically change the food world. The article Technology Will Drive Food Industry Growth, Finds KPMG Survey notes interesting points about the importance technology has begun to and will continue to have on the food industry. In my interview on digital disruption and my beat, I had not thought about one important aspect. In my interview, I focused simply on how the Internet and social media sites have changes food knowledge, popularity, recipe availability, and also restaurant reviews online. I did not think about the importance the ability to order food online has changed the food industry. Through the development of technology, we can now order food online and receive it in the mail. This has completely changed marketing of foods, online website prevalence, etc. Now if you don’t have an online presence, chances are you are desperately trying to create one.



This info graphic demonstrates the six main areas technology has changed the food industry. The first three, in general, are fairly similar to the main points I discuss in my interview. Though the fourth, as I have already mentioned, is very intriguing. The ability to order online creates a whole new market, a whole new field for food companies, restaurants, small businesses, etc.

Personally, I have found that everyone around me uses online shopping as a means to acquire food products. Whether it is ordering someone Baked By Mellissa’s cupcakes online, or purchasing a Zingerman’s holiday basket to ship home to your family, or even ordering water bottles from amazon. It is clear that the ability to use technology to purchase our food and beverage needs has caused an large change in the food industry which in turn has changed, how one can be successful in the food industry. An online presence is now key for success. Without one, it doesn’t seem probable to compete with those who do.

I think the following quotation is very important in understanding this dramatic shift and is particularly important for the technological advancement of mobile/online shopping: “The food and beverage industry is experiencing significant change,” said Patrick Dolan, national line of business leader for consumer markets at KPMG LLP, in a press release. “Technology is redefining how companies identify growth opportunities, operate their businesses, and manage risk – and the companies that adopt and utilize these tools most effectively are positioned to capitalize on improving business conditions.”

In closing, it will be interesting to see how further technology and also specifically the Internet continues to change the food industry.


Even Starbuck’s is trying to catch up! Look at this recent article which explains why Starbuck’s  is looking to add a delivery service with connections to their app, allowing for online ordering.

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Data Visualization

When thinking about my beat and data visualization, I was somewhat worried about finding valiant information and that information expressed in a visual strain. But to my surprise, there were many info graphics demonstrating the importance of health foods and exercise, obesity rates, and other food and health related posts. In these info graphics, data is presented in a friendly way—pictures and graphics are used. I looked at the following three info graphics. I think these info-graphics are somewhat different from traditional journalism. While it does present important information, it appeals to its’ audience in what seems to be a non-scientific and less confusing way. It shows data in a way that can be easy to read, comprehend, understand and then also, remember.


I looked at two info graphics, which use clear images in order to present ideas. They do so by using a mix of large bolded words and smaller text. In the first info graphic, they use photos with many arrows and by doing so; they develop a sort of flow chart. It is easy to follow. This info graphic also uses images to explain the development of fat cells, and does so through deductive images and explanations. The only noticeable shortcoming here is the length and the inability to look at the info graphic on your page as a whole.


The second info graphic discuses the “weight of the union” and “A Call For Better Health.” In order to discuss this, they created an info graphic demonstrating the percentage of US adults who are obese using a map. They then demonstrate the numbers involved in money spent on food and also present a line graph on the progression of obesity over the last 50. I think this graph was successful because in many info graphics, people have trouble reading/understanding what graphics represent. Interestingly, people in class were quick to mention how it can be hard for them to read graphs. I think this info graphic is very friendly to people of all skill sets. In addition, this info graphic discusses the toxic behavior of Americans today and how that has contributed to obesity. They do so through a chart that used images to identify that toxic behavior and then text. Finally, they discuss fitness, differences across the US using a map, differences in gender and also possible solutions. I think a possible shortcoming here is it may throw too much information at the viewer. While each part is clear, I am not sure a viewer will come out of viewing this info graphic with one clear understanding of anything due to the array of information presented.


All in all, I found exploring info graphics in relation to my chosen beat—food/health/restaurants—to be very interesting. I definitely learned a great deal.






See link to view info graphics:

Digital Disruption Regarding Food/Food Related Media

I decided to speak with Jennifer Stone, who is a classmate and close friend. I thought it would be interesting to discuss how food media has been changed by digital disruption. In the cases of restaurants, restaurant reviews, searches, recipe postings, food photography, etc., the internet has created an explosion in the ability to find information regarding food online.

Jenn and I had a really interesting conversation about how food is a large part of the media we use today. In particular, I have found it really interesting how food has led to the popularity of certain foods. The internet and social media have given foods the ability to have power-power to “get likes”, to accumulate followers, power to be ordered, talked about and so much more.

The prime example we discussed is seen below in many pictures. It is AVOCADO TOAST!!


Listen below:

My NPR 1 Experience!

I found listening to NPR One Radio to be very worthwhile. It allowed me to access news stories that I would not normally come across on my own. While listening for a half hour, I enjoyed the ability to play and skip stories I was interested in. It was interesting to see how as I would do this, more stories that I have interest in would arise. Though this did not happen right away, as I began to move further into listening, it became increasingly personalized. For example, if there were a health related story and I continued to listen, a few stories later, another health story would arise. I thought this was very helpful. It showed me that this is a news source I could use more often.

In terms of the types of stories offered, at first it was stories in a wide range of interests. I chose to listen to stories in the following topics: Health, Controversial Television, Women’s issues, Education, Social Media, and Food Ethics. In some cases, I do question the efficacy of customization but in this case, I find it to be really helpful. In this context, it proves helpful. By being able to choose which topics/stories interests you, you are able to learn more about your interests. Though, you are also able to listen, whether briefly or not, to other topics/stories that have worthwhile information but that you may not have listened to on your own. Thinking back to class, we have discussed the ability of new media to create an increased access to news for many people. NPR One creates a similar effect. While people do need to choose to use NPR One in order to receive these effects, once one does, they are exposed to news in so many categories. Personally, I think this is highly beneficial especially for a student who wants to learn as much news as possible in a short amount of time. Because of this, using NPR One is definitely an experience I would repeat. I think it would help increase my exposure to news in many topics.