Month: November 2013

Social Media’s Effect on Personal Relationships

Words: Maryam Elhabashy

If you were to go out on any normal day and ask someone at random how many friends they have, they would most likely respond with a question: “What do you mean?  Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Tumblr?” It seems that in the modern world, most people don’t have an absolute number of “friends.” People have forgotten what the term “friend” even means. So what is a friend? A friend is a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.  Now you can look back at all of your social media followers – how many of them do you actually know? Furthermore, how many of them do you actually like?

According to Edison Research, the average number of friends a person has on Facebook is 303. Anthropologist Robin Dunbar, creator of Dunbar’s number suggested that the average person is capable of maintaining 150 stable relationships. Dunbar’s number is a theoretical limit to the number of people with whom any individual is able to sustain a stable or meaningful social relationship, a correlation between primate brain size and average social group size. This indicates that at least half of the 303 followers you might have on Facebook aren’t even your friends. If they aren’t your friends who are they? Why do they have the right to see all of the things you are posting about your daily life if they’ve never had anything to do with it?  The best answer to this is egomania.

The followers a person accumulates creates an artificial, temporary confidence. The more “friends,” the more “confidence.” This confidence is built on bricks of social media that don’t deserve the term “confidence.” However, everyone can relate to that exhilarating feeling when your phone is blowing up with extol. However, the world isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. I know people who receive multiple likes and comments via Facebook.  But a single comment makes them so upset I receive a phone call that transforms into talk therapy – “confidence” should not deflate completely that quickly. Apparently, people don’t understand that there is will always be someone that doesn’t like you. When someone can only judge you on social media posts, they have free reign over judgment. Almost every time I speak about an actual friend, at least one person in the group will scour at the mention of their name. “Well then! Do you even know them?” The trademark reply is often, “No, but I follow them on Facebook, and they literally post everything they do! It’s annoying!” I rarely convince them that my friend is actually nice; that who they are on Facebook isn’t necessarily who they are in real life.

Otherwise, social media is a waste of time more than it is anything else. In July of 2012, Americans spent 230,060 years on social media in that month alone. According to the Wall Street Journal, the average time spent on Facebook is nearly seven hours. It has come so far that studies prove that people’s bodies react to tweets and Facebook posts the same way they react to actual interaction. What does this mean about society? What might happen in the future? Like in most other situations, we won’t realize the problem until we personally feel the effects; so, the future really is in our hands.

Traffic Light Malfunction Causes Delays

Words: Miranda Mason

On Monday, Nov. 4, and Wednesday, Nov. 6, all first period teachers were told to hold attendance because a large number of students were arriving late for the 7:25 a.m. bell due to a traffic light malfunctioning.

The light at Old Annapolis Road and Centennial Lane was not turning green for drivers attempting to turn left from Old Annapolis Road onto Centennial Lane. Centennial’s School Resource Officer, Mark Perry, went up to observe the problem after it was called in by a Centennial faculty member. Perry had to briefly control traffic before county officials arrived to fix the problem.

“The light would miss a couple of cycles,” said Perry. “At one point I directed traffic.”

According to Kris Jagaratu, Chief of Traffic Engineering in Howard County, the light is controlled by a camera, which informs the system whether or not anyone is waiting to turn.  A spider web was blocking the lens of the camera, which prevented the system from recognizing the cars. The light should function normally from now on.

Girls Soccer Faced River Hill for Regional Finals

Words: Michael Moore

On Tuesday, Nov. 5, the Centennial girls’ soccer team took on the River Hill Hawks for the regional championship.

The game started and went scoreless for over 20 minutes, but a nice play by Reese Western gave the Eagles a one-goal lead with about 16 minutes left in the first half. However, River Hill scored late in the half to tie the game at 1-1 going into halftime.

In the second half, both teams played strong, and good defense and goalkeeping by senior Lindsay Davis kept the score tied. Senior Ruthie Lucas, junior Anna Mitchell, and sophomores Megan Oliver and Western led the offensive attack for the Eagles. The Eagles had opportunities to take the lead, but nice saves by the River Hill goalkeeper and a shot that hit the post kept the game tied. At the end of the half, two great defensive stands by the Eagles forced the game into overtime.

The first overtime went back and forth; both teams had good possessions and opportunities to score, but were unable to find the back of the net. After 10 minutes of play with no score, the game advanced into a second overtime period, which is sudden victory.

Less than three minutes into overtime, the Hawks won the game on a shot to the top of the goal. Although the loss is disappointing, the Eagles had an impressive season, finishing with a record of 10-2-2.