Thursday, 30 October 2014

Having Your Opinion: Social Faux Pas and Laws

     A few busy weeks have passed, and although not much has changed on the website, wheels have been in motion. Home life had to take a front seat for a little, online projects on hold. However, online presence will increase as we get closer to christmas, as my external studies wrap up for the year.

     This week new articles are coming to the website. The feature article for the week is about Social Network faux pas. In an era where the Internet is a primary source of self-expression, it's no wonder that it's also a major influence of social opinion. Recently Ray William Johnson, vlogger on YouTube, broke up with his partner, Anna, who is also a vlogger. The break up was publicly amicable, however, when Anna place a video up about her new decision to stay single for a year, the comments she gained were surprising. I wanted to document the situation and why such comments were made, when the people who broke up themselves were polite towards each other. I wanted to discover if there was some Anna hate campaign, if the online world is too tempting for trolls, or if it was just bitterness for another reason, such as the theory that over-sharing online makes people feel threatened or even expected to make personal comments.

     The second article is a piece of legal investigation. Being an online writer, one of the first cautions faced is your rights of expression versus the rights of those you are writing about. Granted, I never openly express my own opinions, only show the evidence or information I found based on both side's opinion. That is the way I choose to conduct my articles, as I think the experts are those involved. The question of rights seems to be a very cautious one, as whistleblower laws that are active in "real life" are not active for online materials. There are certain legal representatives who hope to change this, but they are still in the process. I think it's an article that anyone writing anything online should be wary of. What are your rights? How does freedom of speech work online, when the laws are completely different to those we know in real life? The world is ripe of defamation cases, and legal professions predict they could be on the rise.

     Article three is a piece written on behalf of my profession. Being a counsellor, you often find people have certain beliefs about you -- certain stereotypes. I wanted to write an article to dispel the myths. My motivation for this is because there are often instances where people don't see the mental health professional they require because of these irrational beliefs, and then find themselves in more complicated negative emotional states when things become overwhelming. As an advocate for people getting quality medical care, and as a volunteer in the mental health profession, I care that people get the help they need -- when they need it. As I have stated previously, the world is a difficult place, and I rather people know their rights and services that might help, and limit their suffering.

     Myths about the profession don't surprise me, particuarly when the field itself is currently trying to evaluate how different education levels and experience determine "quality" of service. In Australia, several associations are pushing for bulk billing to be available for counselling services, with studies showing that earlier interventions mean better mental health outcomes. At this point, the government are working with industry leaders to decide what level of education/experience/speciality a counsellor needs to be deemed worthy of a provider number. In some non-profit areas, counsellors are only given a few weeks of training, meaning that sometimes they are not fully aware of their roles, and might give the wrong impressions to clients, so no surprises the general public often get the wrong image.

     The last is about Bubbling, which is being coined an Australian trend, for Australian people, myself included, to shrug our shoulders in confusion. The details of the phenomenon, I shall briefly describe as directing a particular body fluid in a particular way to create an effect. I decided to research this "trend", after the reports of Todd Carney's dismissal, but also the analyse where it originated from.

     For this week I'll close it here. There hasn't been any subjects I wish to fully explore in my blog, as my mind is busy with a new project that will be soon launched. I know -- so many projects! It's less than three months until Christmas and I have so many things on my to-do list. I want to work hard and achieve so I can feel satisfied as the new year rings in and I realise that's another year gone.

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