There are skies and dislikes, favorite things, day to day descriptions of what they are doing and whose opinions are very clear and out there about everything. Yet we feel as we know these people more than our actual acquaintances that we spend time with. He starts his story by taking a brief blast into the past and discussing how much easier things were when social media was just distant ideas for the future. When we didn’t know all these details about our so called friends and the only way to communicate was through a simple phone call. It almost seems as if Stein liked it better when these social websites didn’t exist.

He describes these pages as having a “public vow of friendship on friend based websites”. Stein goes on and even Jokes about his virtual friends being a bit aggressive because of all the Invites to share photos and commenting on their comments and wall posts. It almost seems exhausting for Stein to keep up with everything going on with all his friends on social media. He says ” these sites aren’t about connecting and reconnecting. They are a platform for self branding”. He sums things up by sharing that old people worry about this new enervation who blobs and constantly posts their every move, a danger to privacy.

He defends these sites by saying that we only share what we want to share and have the ability to block, delete and change what we want. He concludes his story by offering a clever idea of his own, a new social media website titled “atrociousness’s. Com”, where people can rate each other kind of like high school and those with the highest score would be most popular. In my opinion, social media friends are the reason I constantly log in and check my wall and statuses. Of course I want to know what everyone Is doing and what Is going n with their lives.

If gives me a chance to unwittingly compare my life to theirs although I know things are always candy coated. What excitement, to be noses and might not be my real “friend”. If I need money or a shoulder to cry on like a real friend would be there for, I know these virtual friends would do nothing more than “like” my status or Judge with a comment or two. They may not be my friend in real life, but I’m not theirs either, we are even. In the short story titled “A brother’s murder”, the author, Brent Staples shows a deep message for the reader.

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Throughout he story, he shows that you can have something if you really want it. And what Brent wanted was a better life for himself, to prove that you can change the life and title that you were supposed to live by. He grew up in Chester, a place surrounded by death, violence, fear and limited opportunities. That place where as a child, he saw the bloody streets for himself. That place where he was already categorized to a stereotype of being “black, male and most likely to be murdered or murder”. Brent was already tainted by these horrors, however, he dreamed to leave, to get out and make something of his life.

Unlike Brent, his brother stayed in the thug life, surrounded himself with violence and let Chester define him. His brother was part of the stereotype and was murdered by an ex childhood friend. Yet at the end, fueled by the memories of having witnessed his own brother’s death, Brent left this crime filled city, started over and proved to himself that change was possible. He proved it was possible to break the cycle and change the stereotype that once labeled him. He accomplished a better life, “within 10 years of leaving my hometown, I was over educated. ” Beret’s story is very inspiring and admirable.

Anything is possible”, no matter how you were raised or what negative things surrounded you. You cannot change your past, but you can definitely write a better future. All these messages from his story are very relatable. Living in a multi-cultural city, I hear tragedies like the one Brent lived through all the time in the news. And to read about someone who crossed that bridge into success tells me it is possible. I also can relate to the feelings he had when he tried and tried to reroute his brother’s path and was unsuccessful. You cannot change someone who is so set on their ways.

All you can do is try to help, communicate and hope they lead and follow the positive examples. In Mimi are not my friend” by Joel Stein, Stein is writing the story to his social media friends. Where he somewhat confronts the fact that they are not a real friend but rather a virtual nuisance of an acquaintance. I want to argue back with Stein while reading the story to add my own input and opinions. In “A brother’s murder” by Brent Staples, he is writing his to share his story with the reader. While reading, I cannot help but feel sympathy for Brent and happiness for his outcome.


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