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Monday, January 14, 2013

opinion dump: media

I believe that it is incredibly important to be a critical consumer of media and information in general.   What we watch has a direct influence on how we behave, believe and view the world.  This belief stems from a variety of places. My religious beliefs point to desire to watch "clean" and "uplifting" media. "If there is anything virtuouslovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."  The For the Strength of the Youth pamphlet says "Choose wisely when using media, because whatever you read, listen to, or look at has an effect on you. Select only media that uplifts you.  Satan uses media to deceive you by making what is wrong and evil look normal, humorous, or exciting. He tries to mislead you into thinking that breaking God’s commandments is acceptable and has no negative consequences for you or others. Do not attend, view, or participate in anything that is vulgar, immoral, violent, or pornographic in any way. Do not participate in anything that presents immorality or violence as acceptable. Have the courage to walk out of a movie, change your music, or turn off a computer, television, or mobile device if what you see or hear drives away the Spirit." 

Another source of this belief is my education.  I recently learned about the Information Processing Theory (don't mind my nerdiness for one minute) and how we processes media.  We don't imitate the exact action or behavior that we see, but it does change how we respond to real life situations.  For example, lets say we are watching a movie and there is a very nice guy that sees his beautiful maiden of a girlfriend being harassed by some evil villainous man.  The hero then goes and sword fights the villain, kills him and rescues the girlfriend. After watching this, if a guy were to see another guy picking on his girlfriend, obviously he is not going to imitate the same behavior and kill the guy.  The theory would suggest that he would most likely use violent means to get the guy to stop, like punching him in the face.  Additionally, the current literature on the effects of violent video games is very clear that "Exposure [to violent video games] is positively associated with heightened levels of aggression in young adults and children...Exposure [to violent video games] is negatively associated with prosocial behavior." (Anderson) If you don't believe me, take either SFL 333 or 358.  There's a whole world of quality research done on this subject and it's awesome.

So what's the point that I am trying to make?  That all media is bad and awful?  Absolutely not!  If what we take in is so powerful, why not just focus on what it can do for us?  My generation is called a number of things, but one title that I really like is the "do-good generation."  I think that this is heavily influenced by the number of rockin' documentaries and movies that have been produced in our era that focus on social issues and world events.  So while I agree full-heartedly that we should strive to consume media that is clean, we should really focus on what it makes us want to accomplish.  



p.s. Want a couple of suggestions for really great films?  Check out ic.byu.edu.  


Anderson, C. A., & Bushman, B. J. (2001). Effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior, aggressive affect, physiological arousal and prosocial behavior: A meta-analytic review of the scientific literature

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Year in Review


All I have to say, is that my 20th year was pretty darn wonderful. 

20th Birthday in Jerusalem. 

December in Jerusalem.


Got married to Jesse.  Couldn't be happier about it!






 Gained another family. 

Drove out to Chicago with my family for a second reception.


Had a sister in law get married.






Had our first garden.
Photo: I like this picture of you too.
 Saw Andrew Bird with Jess

Finished working at Alysse's Bridal.

Gained the cutest nephew in the whole world.


Sent this brother on a mission

Other mentionables:
-moved into two apartments w/ Jesse
-completed two awesome semesters at BYU and almost completed a third.
-went rock climbing all summer long
-road tripped to Cali with awesome people
-started a new job
-started a new calling in church as a primary chorister
-voted for the first time
-went down the orange slide at seven peaks
- saw Sleigh Bells weeks of finals and loved it!
-read Life of Pi, Catcher in the Rye, The Chocolate War, East of Eden, and The Book Thief.
-learned how to make sushi
-kept a bi-weekly vlog (youtube.com/jessnless)

Well folks, it's been real!  Thanks for making it possible!
*wedding photos by Anna James


Thursday, November 8, 2012

"You never check your religion at the door." Politics edition

Now that the elections are over, everyone has done their rejoicing or mourning, I would like to share what I learned from this election season.  

My mother shared this gem of advice with me.  “The beauty about this country is that everyone has a chance to vote on what is important to them.”  Moral of this: learn about the issues and figure out what is most important to you.  Second moral: it’s GOOD for people to have different issues be most important to them.  If everyone was like me, all our country would be doing would be aiding Palestine.  I’m grateful that there are people that have pet issues like gun control, immigration, education reform, etc.  

My co-worker, Eliza has asked me why I voted for who I voted for.  People ask this all the time when they encounter someone that is voting differently than they are.  The beauty here is that she was asking to understand me and what my opinion is, instead of trying to change my mind.  We have had fantastic political conversations where I have learned to value her opinions on a spectrum of issues and where she has respected mine.  Moral of this: it is GOOD to have strong opinions.  How to apply this: avoiding loaded language and using correct terminology is one way to share ideas and learn about others ideas without hurting the other person.  

My husband, Jesse, is doing an internship where he gathers information about North Africa for a government contracted agency.  He will pull 4 or 5 articles all covering the same event, but with extremely different viewpoints resulting in different take away messages.  He has encouraged me to do my research and learn about what is going on in the world, in our country, in our state, and in our communities.  Moral of this:  information is GOOD.  Take away message:  get your information from more than one source.  Be a critical consumer of your news.  Just because something sounds good to you, doesn’t make it truth.

I would also like to share two stories shared by classmates.  One classmate is an african american, athlete, model and BYU student.  He is a really solid kid and I thoroughly enjoy having class with him.  He said that this election has been horrific for him.  He said that people that he has known his whole life have said terribly unkind and untrue things about Mormons to him, both in person and unthinkingly on facebook.  Other friends have said extremely inappropriate and hateful things about african americans and other minorities, both in person and unthinkingly on facebook.  He said that what has been keeping him from lashing out and hurting them back is what he has on his desktop.  THINK.  Is it True?  Is it Helpful?  Is it Inspiring?  Is it Necessary?  Is it Kind?

My second classmate shared her story about having a pre-existing condition of diabetes.  When the recession hit, she was dropped by her insurance.  Her plan had been to start applying for grad school at Harvard, but she instead had to figure out a way to get her insurance, so she get see a doctor, who could prescribe her insulin, which would keep her alive.  She applied to 240 insurance companies and was denied 240 times.  She lost 50 pounds, but many of her friends that were in her same boat, lost their lives.  She said that what was the most painful thing about this whole experience was listening to people rant about how the Healthcare act was going to take away their agency when she was just struggling to stay alive.  I’m not saying that Obama Care is perfect or not perfect, but it is a matter of life and death to some people,
be thoughtful in what you say. Moral:  It is GOOD to want to help others.  Personal opinion: we have an obligation as human beings to take care of each other.  Whether you think it is the governments job or not to take care of those in need, get out there and help other people.  It doesn’t have to be huge, but you do need to be aware of those around you.

Lastly, I think that President Holland said it best when he said, “You never check your religion at the door.”  Politics is no excuse for name calling, lies, and hurting other people.  

Just to wrap things up, I would like to say that I have been extremely impressed by the moral courage of so many people during this emotional time.  I would also like to sincerely apologize for anything that I may have done or said during any part of my life.  I have definitely made some big mistakes when it comes to respecting others opinions and I have made it a personal motto to focus on respecting others and respecting my own opinions and beliefs.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"just do it" - Nike

I just finished an internship with Melissa Blackburn, the dressmaker and creator of the coveted "Heidi" dress.  Every minute was so much fun and I loved it loved it loved it!  I learned a ton about fine sewing, handwork, and how to run a small business.  Melissa really inspired me to go for my dreams, basically saying, "Just do it."

So I am.  Right now, I am in the process of starting a small swimsuit line.  I will post pictures when I can. :)  Wish me luck!

p.s.  What things do you love/drive you crazy about swimsuits?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Vegan Recieps

This blog has some of the best recipes! And she is giving away $100 gift card to amazon.com. Love that! click here if you want to enter!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Less is More

What's the difference between this:



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and


this?

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Presentation matters.

images by: Thomas Kinkade and Edward Hopper

Friday, January 20, 2012

"Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal." Martin Luther King, jr.


Jess is big into peace. He is calm when I’m riled. Mr. everything-will-be-ok when things go wrong. He has theories on how to create peace in the middle east. He’s pretty amazing like that.
One of my favorite articles of clothing that he proudly wears is this baby:

He purchased this at the Provo DI almost 2 years ago and it has been a friend ever since.

While studying in Jordan, Jesse met the original owner of the shirt: Stacey. Apparently, she had to wear that shirt everyday for two weeks while touring Europe right out of high school. Oh, share the joy of recycled clothing.

Have you ever met a previous owner of a thrifted piece?