Let’s Get This Started

Hello.

Though I suspect only my professors and classmates will read this, I’m going to pretend other people will, too. Maybe it will come true.

I’ve just been getting into blogging websites, and this url represents my first tong-term effort at being a prosumer. It also happens to be for a class I’m taking at Hunter College, “Feminism, New Media, and Health,” so the first few months of posts will probably hold close to those topics. If I have the time and neither of my professors ask me to keep on-topic, I’ll drop the occasional additional off-topic post (say that five times fast).

Anyway, who am I? I’m Catie Watson (hence Baron “Wat”—the focus on paternal lineage associated with my surname has bugged me for a few years now).  I just entered my second year at Hunter College, where I’m struggling to find the balance between three-desired-majors-plus-an-honors-program and actually surviving my undergrad education. I enjoy reading, writing, long walks on the beach

Scratch that last one.

What really drew me to this class was “New Media,” especially concerning the use of it to enact social change that the preceding “Feminism” implies. The internet has enabled me to find the information that my school textbooks did not teach. It connects me not only to my friends, but to the world, from silly pictures of cats to the livestreams and twitter feeds maintained by heroic reporters at Tahrir Square during the 2011 Egyptian revolution. Twitter actually enables users to learn about incoming earthquakes before they hit, as this xkcd strip points out. To me, New Media represents equal access to information and equal access to a voice—to those wealthy enough to have access to it. The internet is the greatest tool of the information age thus far, in some cases supplementing or even replacing the need for traditional (expensive) schooling through free courses and textbooks.

The internet is also a connection to humanity that can provide second opinions to the bullied and emotionally abused and access to emergency help. It is where I have seen people find emotional, social, and ideological sanctuary from homes where their religious affiliations and sexual orientations were hidden or led to them being abused. It is where some of these same people found physical sanctuaries after being expelled from their homes. It is a collection of humanity so vast that (nearly) all of its users can find a group where they feel safe and feel that they belong.

So what precipitated the start of this blog was my Feminism, New Media, and Health class, but my desire to proliferate information and to become one of those ideological sanctuaries led me there.

To seeing where this new path leads,

Wat