Monthly Archives: March 2014

My college newspaper won five awards at the New Jersey Collegiate Press Association

This post could be considered bragging but sometimes, you just have to show off a little.

I just won third place in the New Jersey Collegiate Press Association’s contest for biography/personality profile writing and I will have the honor of joining the staff of my school newspaper at an awards ceremony on April 12! Yes, I know it’s third place but it’s still an honor!

Here are the winning profiles:

“Angie Falcon: Rowan Graduate and Singer Songwriter”

This was a story I wrote about Rowan University alumna Angie Weeks who went on to become singer songwriter Angie Falcon. Angie used songwriting to help her get through a difficult relationship and since then, has grown to make songs for others.

“Katie Light and Kailee Whiting: Defended Wendy’s Employee Against Bully”

I wrote this story about a couple who defended a Wendy’s employee against a rude customer. The story made national headlines when Yahoo Shine broke the story via a Reddit post about the situation.

In addition, my co-workers won some awards as well and I cannot be more proud to be a part of The Whit staff!

Here are the winning articles:

Second place in Biography/Personality Writing to Erica Avery

“Andrew Bowling: Music student singer and composer”
“Student Melissa Wiltsey and Professor Tracy Sareyka: Reunited student-teacher pair after 13 years”

First place in Column/Opinion Writing to Matthew Turner

“The Washington Outsider: Momentum swings against domestic spy program”

First place in Enterprise/Investigative Reporting to Christian Hetrick

“Confusion over GPA requirement keeps candidate from running for SGA position”
“Microfridge required for freshmen”

Photography to Robert Oszust

RTN prep for Telethon that hits home
“The Uhl family”
“Shaun T:Rowan alumnus and Insanity workout visionary”
“Homecoming concert and Pep rally”

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Twitter ruined my TV shows — How to prevent social media from destroying your TV viewing experience


Courtesy of Creative Commons

The evening is finally here. It is now time to forget about the daily responsibilities of adulthood and turn on your TV. Fans can immerse themselves into a world full of fictional characters with lives way worse than theirs. They can watch the shows with family and friends or they can choose to embark on a television adventure alone.

However, TV fans are never truly alone because they will always have a few million people joining them and they will not care about keeping quiet as long as the viewer is near a computer, smartphone or tablet.

Yes. It is no secret that social media has changed the way we watch TV but has it changed the way we enjoy TV?

Two major television events happened this week that drove Twitter feeds crazy: an episode of “The Walking Dead” featuring the deaths of two characters and the fourth season finale of “Pretty Little Liars,” which featured a major cliffhanger and the resolutions of several mysteries.

I was not able to watch this week’s episode of “The Walking Dead” live because I was checking out the “Veronica Mars” movie (a movie where I also coincidentally avoided reading too many social media posts in order to avoid spoilers). However, as soon as I got home around 10:15 p.m., just minutes after the conclusion of “The Walking Dead,” my mom told me to avoid Twitter so the big plot twist wouldn’t be ruined. My mom is not tech-saavy at all and even she knows how social media and spoilers work.


Later on, the show was almost spoiled when one of my professors tweeted me. The only words I managed to see in the tweet were “Lizzie” and “sociopath.” I sensed the character of Lizzie was headed down a dark path when she almost suffocated a baby several episodes ago but seeing those two words confirmed it and I was not happy. So I yelled at — yes, yelled at — my professor on Twitter with all caps to tell her not to say anything else. She replied with a simple “oops.” Of course, this was after I saw the trending topics on Twitter which included “Carol” and “#CrazyLizzie.”

After watching the episode, I learned that Lizzie stabbed her sister in order to turn her into a zombie and show the others that the zombies are not much different from them. The episode ended with Carol, the mother figure of the group, shooting the psychotic Lizzie in the head.

I then opened Twitter and decided to actually read my professor’s tweet completely. It said, “Was Lizzie a straight-up sociopath? Or just sorta crazy with a peculiar affection for dead people?” I never even had to yell or make a fuss about anything because the tweet was vague enough and didn’t spoil a thing. Boy, I’m a jerk.


You can hush the Twitter audiences all you want, Aria. They are not listening. -Courtesy of Pretty Little Liars Wiki

The other major TV event came from the season finale of “Pretty Little Liars,” the most-tweeted show on television. I was lucky enough to watch the show live and I was able to learn the resolutions of 90% of the mysteries that have been brewing since the pilot. Nothing was spoiled as I saw the “#AliTellsAll” and “#IsEzraAlive” trends. I read all of the tweets and found myself agreeing with and retweeting all of the positive reviews the episode received. After all, so much was revealed and I was left wanting more just like all of the Twitter world.

My opinions immediately changed after receiving a text from a friend asking me about my thoughts on the episode. I didn’t actually enjoy the season finale. While a lot of loose ends were tied up, not much else was revealed going forward. We still don’t know who killed Alison DiLaurentis and we still don’t know the identity of A, the elusive stalker who has been terrorizing the show’s main characters since season one. I wanted to know more. Now that I think of it, I was not forming my own opinion and was instead aggregating all of the tweets I read in my mind.

When watching TV shows in the age of social media, it is important to realize two things:

1. Understand that other people are watching with you. If you want to avoid spoilers, just turn Twitter off and watch the new episode as soon as possible.

2. Don’t let others’ tweets define you. It is okay to have your own opinion as Twitter will never stop inviting you to to sit in the cafeteria with the cool kids.

3. Just think of Twitter as the snack you eat while watching the show. The snack is awesome and the show is awesome but they are two separate entities. You can always enjoy both at the same time.

Also, follow me on Twitter and I promise you that I will stop letting Twitter define me!

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