This morning I watched an amazing TED Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who is a Nigerian author that has won many awards over the last decade. Listen or watch her lecture she gave on stories titled "The Danger of a Single Story" in July 2009. Listen or watch the lecture before reading my comments below. My comments will make a lot more sense after you have had the chance to hear what she says.
I was not expecting the message she gave. I really enjoyed her way of incorporating "stories" into how we see and create stereotypes. Below is a quote from her lecture that I really loved.
The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.
This is so true in most of our lives. I don't think there hasn't been a time in anyone's life where they haven't taken a single story about a culture, religion, race, gender, nation, etc. and placed a stereotype on them. I see this every day. Just because someone is a Muslim does not mean they are a terrorist. Just because someone is gay doesn't mean they are flamboyant or don't want marriage and a family. Just because someone is a feminist doesn't mean they want to overpower men. Just because someone immigrates to the United States from Mexico doesn't mean they are here illegally.
I have always felt that it is impossible to engage properly with a place or a person without engaging with all of the stories of that place or person.
We cannot truly appreciate a person, a place or a culture without engaging in all aspects, not just one. There are many things that make me who I am today. There are the good stories and the bad. Next time you place a stereotype on someone think about all of their qualities that make them who they are, not just the that is present. Next time you place a stereotype on a group of people, think of them as individuals with their own personal identities instead of one body of people.
In one of my classes this semester I was introduced to a podcast called RadioLab. The podcast covers a variety of topics, most of them related back to science in one way or another. After we listened to an episode in one of my classes I browsed other episodes to see if any other ones would be interesting to listen to. One of their episodes is titled "Detective Stories" which has three segments.
The Greatest Hits of Ancient Garbage
Goat on a Cow
I thought this episode was so fascinating! I especially enjoyed the last two segments talking about a mystery of letters and the DNA factors involved in the the Genghis Khan segment. You can listen to the episode below or by visiting their website - Detective Stories.
This episode made me even more excited to present my case study on DNA at RootsTech next February. By the way, if you didn't already know, registration is open for RootsTech next February, 12-14, 2015 in Salt Lake City. Visit their website to register and learn more about this amazing conference!
How many times have you gotten off the phone with customer services and you are more frustrated than when you first called? I know that has happened to me a LOT, especially with companies such as Comcast and VitalChek.
There have been times where I want to contact customer support not to necessarily fix an issue or problem, but I just want them (and everyone else) to know how unhappy I am with their service/product.
One of my biggest frustrations when contacting a customer support is how much of a time-waster it is on my part. In most cases when you call a customer support line you get a recording. In my experience many times the first thing the recording says is something like "For English, press 1." First, I am in America. Why do I need to press 1 for English? Then, the recording often gives you options for this or that, but none of them get you talking to a REAL person. How many times do those automated recordings and options actually fix what you called for in the first place? I have spent many phone calls going through loop after loop with those recordings before I can finally get someone on the phone. By that point it isn't in mine or the customer support's best interest for them to be talking to me because I am already extremely frustrated with their stupid recordings. Just let me talk to a real person in the first place - that is why I called!
Half the time it seems impossible to even find a phone number to call in the first place. I have spent so much time before navigating the company's website trying to find a phone number or email to even contact them. Yeah, that's really good customer service...
I have found time and time again that one of the best ways to contact the company is through their social networks, specifically Twitter. I don't have to take the time to find a phone number or email. I don't have to sit on the phone wasting my time going from one recording to the other and I have found that companies' social media avenues return the fastest responses.
Why is this? Here are my opinions why social media like Twitter are some of the best and fastest ways to get a response from the company.
What brought up the topic for this post? This morning while I boarded Trax (Utah's light rail train system) heading up to the university I felt like one of many sardines. I board the train at 5300 South, next to the big hospital. Usually there are plenty of seats or standing space in the trains. However, ever since school started again a week ago the trains have been so packed and uncomfortable! This morning was especially bad. So I took a photo of how packed the train was and I posted it on Twitter, tagging UTA so they could see how bad it was.
Not even 5 minutes after I posted this picture and tweet I got a response from UTA.
Now, did my tweet fix the problem? No. Was I the first one to tweet or let them know about the issue? Obviously not. But, it did let them know that the issue is still present and that people are aware of how they can contact them about the issue. Not every tweet of post on social media is going to fix an issue. Not every tweet is meant to fix a problem. Sometimes I just want the company (and others) know the issue I have had an how happy or unhappy I am with their product/service.
My interests are Architecture, Genealogy, Mac and Windows computers, Android, Photography, Social Networking, Technology, Landscaping, Travel and more...