From the time I started college, I have had a TV in my room.
I can’t sleep without turning the TV on and just letting it play.
Most of the time I am not actually watching it.
I just like it for the noise and light.
Before I started college I used to watch cable all the time.
I used to be obsessed with making sure I watched my regular weekly shows that I was into to.
I would be extremely upset if I missed them because then I could not engage in conversation with my friends at school.
Once I got to college I did the same thing.
I made friends and we watched shows together and I would watch plenty of cable by myself.
I would time it correctly so that I could get home from class and watch Sabrina the Teenage Witch for a couple hours.
Yep. That was the life.
At least I thought it was anyway.
After a year at my old college I transferred to my new college and decided to make a change.
I realized that I could have been doing so, so much more with my time rather than watching cable.
When I transferred I still put a TV in my room and I got an Apple TV and I only really watch it when I am going to sleep.
Honestly it’s been the best thing I have ever done.
I like to focus on positive things in life and I never noticed how much of a negative impact that TV had on me.
I started realizing that it was altering the way that I viewed reality.
It sounds crazy but I was living as if I was on a TV show.
Not only was I living my life like that I was also missing out on the life going on all around me.
Life moves fast.
Do not waste your time on watching TV.
Honestly you can go out and live a life that’s so grand that you would never need cable again.
I’ve found myself being able to do so much more since I have cut the need for cable out of my life.
I have found a love for running and I’ve run two half marathons and am training for a full one.
I had a love for outdoorsy things before ,but since I’ve cut cable out of my life I love it that much more.
I used my friends longboard all the time and I just bought one for myself so I am completely excited.
I used to look at a lot of things on TV and would say to myself why can’t I do that or I would say I wish I could do that.
The truth is I can and you can too just cut useless things out of your life, such as cable.
This world has so many things to offer.
I always see this quote on things like twitter and tumblr and it says “You were not born just to pay bills and die.”
You also were not born just to waste your life away sitting and watching cable.
Besides all the good shows aren’t even on cable anymore.
It doesn’t benefit you at all.
Get out in the world and do something that does benefit you.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Stefan/ Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
What Do You Think?
You Might also like
I love America.
I appreciate and cherish the rights and liberties afforded to me by those who fought for them throughout time.
I also believe in justice and what is fair.
As I grew up and learned who I wanted to be and what I wanted to believe in, I realized that in this post 9/11 world I was living in, there was so much hate, so much injustice and so much sadness that it would be impossible to align myself my ideal system with those who didn’t believe in equality for all across all spectrums.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a registered Democratic voter and a staunch supporter of all things that were supposed to be deemed “Democratic.”
As I spent time around those who didn’t grow up in the privilege bubble I lived in and exposed myself to other ideas and opinions, I started to question everything I had once believed true.
The 2016 Presidential Election has been the most divisive, abusive and zany political experience I have encountered in my very short time as an educated voter.
The rhetoric, the antics and the very pointed “journalism” by both sides to discredit the other has been extremely off putting.
Then I saw a Tomi Lahren video.
The first time I saw a Tomi Lahren video it was on my Facebook newsfeed and it was “liked” by one of my many “friends” on the social media platform.
I took the time to watch the brief two minute video of Ms. Lahren expressing her opinion on the Black Lives Matter movement and the radicalization of it’s members.
Her delivery was sharp, her tone was unapologetic and furthermore she was not afraid of whatever backlash was to come to her.
She wanted her audience to know her “Final Thoughts” on that topic and shed light on what she felt was the truth.
For those of you who don’t know who Tomi Lahren is, she’s a young Conservative political commentator who rose to prominence in 2015 over her remarks about the Chattanooga shootings.
Since November 2015, she has been working for The Blaze, owned by the one and only Glenn Beck, known for his very staunch Conservative views.
She’s gained quite the following among the Republican base both old and new and brings a millennial feel to the Conservative movement.
On a daily basis on her Facebook page she has new content of her show “Final Thoughts” usually about a topic that is in the headlines that day, whether it be the Dallas shootings, the 2016 election, or her thoughts on what’s going on in the world at the time.
She doesn’t hold back and her segments back it up.
Video after video I’ve watched, often times binging if I’ve missed a few, I find her words resonating with me because she brings a different look at headlines, often times forcing viewers to think outside the box, strip away the big media machine telling you what they want you to hear and laying out the facts.
Yes, she is a Republican.
Yes she often says things I don’t agree with, but I also identify with the views she so often shares with her viewers.
She takes her targets to task for their actions, specifically the Black Lives Matter movement, the Clinton & Trump campaign, our government officials, and those who can often times be so one sided.
Her intent is to get viewers thinking, to be engaging in civil discourse about issues that matter.
While her tone and her rhetoric may often be described as subjective rather than objective, she also backs up her pieces with fact, whether it’s statistics or it’s video clips or reports.
She’s a woman who understands accountability.
Her intent isn’t to incite a riot, rather it’s to awake her demographic from the mainstream media news cycle we’ve grown accustom to.
It is because of her I’m able to further engage in conversations with my peers about the issues in our community as well feel confident enough to ask questions and do my research and take an interest in subjects I may not always feel so comfortable with.
If anything, I’m grateful for Tomi Lahren because she allowed my bleeding blue Democratic heart to be challenged and force my hand to continue to learn.
Take a moment, regardless of your political beliefs and view one of her videos and then think about all the issues you weren’t actually thinking about before you watched her.
That is the magic of Tomi Lahren.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.Cover Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 502
What Do You Think?
Spinks Megginson has a rare mix of entrepreneurial spirit and love of weather. He also really can’t stand that weather app you have in your pocket right now and has little patience for national weather sources.
He has a bit of a radical idea- that people want to get good weather information and a sense of community while receiving it.
He launched RedZone Weather, a hyperlocal weather and information brand in early 2015. It has quickly grown into a sustainable business by serving the communities that dot Southwest Alabama and Northwest Florida. But he has dreams for bigger things as well.
Here’s 10 questions with Spinks Megginson:
1) RISE NEWS- Where did your whole fascination with weather come from?
Spinks Megginson: I’ve wanted to study weather and teach others about meteorology for as long as I can remember, and that’s no exaggeration. I am incredibly thankful for my family and their support even when I was quite young. I can remember when I was 3 or 4, they would ask me to point to the “red spot” on the television screen. That’s one of the reasons why my company is RedZone Weather.
Also when I was super young, I was learning states and geography by putting glass stick-on puzzles together on the back door. They bought me maps, atlases, and books.
We also went through Hurricane Opal in 1995 as a family, and that was a defining experience. Nine years later, I had a Gateway (remember that?) desktop computer and I was able to track Hurricane Ivan as a seventh grader.
I think there’s a natural interest there and there always has been. That, in combination with my family fostering the development of an interest, has been a real blessing.
2) RISE- How did that development continue when you got to high school? Did you ever express your weather love in class?
Spinks Megginson: I can see #weatherlove trending!
I worked at WEBJ Radio in my hometown of Brewton, Alabama during high school. This allowed me to learn quite a bit not only about communication during severe weather events, but also about announcing news, daily weather, and sports. I also became a student member of the National Weather Association. That gave me some insight into the weather enterprise through their publications.
I didn’t ever really express how much I enjoyed meteorology to others in class during high school, but it definitely was a known fact that I was interested in the subject. People would often ask me about weather, even then.
3) RISE- What about your college experience? How did it help you on your path?
Spinks Megginson: College was an integral part of my growth, both personally and professionally. In addition to learning a tremendous amount about the broadcast communication industry, I connected with many different people across the nation. I am thrilled to maintain these connections even now, more than two years after graduating from The University of Alabama.
My professors at UA were truly spectacular. Dr. Chandra Clark and Dr. Jason Senkbeil are the two professors that really stand out. I learned a vast amount of knowledge and acquired “real world” experience just by taking their classes. Dr. Clark is a former television producer, while Dr. Senkbeil is a former television meteorologist.
I think the specific opportunity that helped me most was being able to work on staff at WVUA23-TV during and after college. It was an honor to be one of the only weather interns to ever be offered a job at WVUA. The staff at WVUA, particularly Chief Meteorologist Richard Scott, involved me in daily operations and also in multiple severe weather events. That enabled me to learn so much more than being in a class ever could. I also worked with WVUA-FM, furthering my radio résumé.
4) RISE- How long have you been thinking about something like RedZone Weather then? Because it seems like you had other career options coming out of school.
Spinks Megginson: It’s true that I’ve had several job offers to do TV weather, right after college and as recently as a few weeks ago. I’m grateful to have those opportunities and I’ll certainly consider each opportunity I’m given. I consider it an honor to even have the chance to work with some of the great people in television in Alabama and beyond. I still occasionally do fill-in work on the evening newscasts at WVUA. I like to “keep my feet wet” in the TV world. Moreover, I like to be reminded of just how wonderful my current schedule is outside of television.
RedZone Weather is a bit of a culmination of my life experiences and a grandiose opportunity that I couldn’t ignore. I’ve been thinking about the concept for years, and that’s not an exaggeration. No “old media (for now, anyway).” Simply “new media.” That’s the goal. Meet people where they are already. People aren’t watching 10 o’clock newscasts. For many reasons, but that’s a discussion for another day. People ARE, however, increasingly on their smartphones and tablets all the time. The initial thought was to build a company around that. My time at UA helped me form the initial thought process on how to successfully do something like this. Ten months after graduating college, I started the company.
I didn’t, and still don’t, have all the answers. It’s a day-by-day learning experience. I’m having a blast though. I’ve done so many presentations about RedZone over the past few weeks and months that I can’t even tell you how many people I’ve met. That’s been a highlight. It’s truly a wonderful company with hopefully a bright, sunny future.
5) RISE- What has been the hardest part of starting your own media business?
Spinks Megginson: I’m the “everything” for this company. That means I’m the weather guy, sometimes the producer, director, janitor, PR man, IT coordinator, CEO, editor, “you name it, I do it” individual. That fact has its perks at times, but overall, I wish there were more people involved. It’s a fine balance though because I’m not interested in having a massive company right now, either.
Bruce Thompson has been with me since the start… I told him about what I wanted to see with RedZone, and he helped me set up the company as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Bruce also has been active on severe weather days with the company. He and Leigh Margaret Bostic, who is one of my best friends, have been phenomenal at producing on-screen content during the severe weather events of the past few months. I’m thrilled to not only call both of them friends, but also have them involved in RedZone Group, LLC.
It’s certainly difficult being a “one man band” at times, but so far, thankfully it hasn’t been an insurmountable challenge.
Like this? You can write for us too!
6) RISE- So you’ve been active with it for over a year now and things have seemed to go well. Have you been happy with the response from the community?
Spinks Megginson: For me to simply answer yes would be an understatement. I’ve had so many people from around the region rally around what I’m doing. I think it’s obvious, based on the comments that are publicly accessible on Facebook and Twitter and based on the large number of positive comments people have said to me in person, that this service is truly beneficial for our community and our region.
RedZone Weather is one of those things that people didn’t realize they needed until it benefited them directly. Like on February 15 and 23rd, when two EF3 tornadoes moved across our region. It’s a hyperlocal weather service designed with rural communities first in mind. This isn’t about putting profits at the forefront, like most radio and television stations have to do. This is about helping people. Communicating urgent weather information that has the potential to save a life. Being present in the community across the region and actually caring that people know what to do during severe weather. That’s what it’s about.
“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” I don’t know who said that quote, and evidently the Internet doesn’t either based on my Google search, but it’s exactly what I want RedZone to be about. So far, I think we’re doing alright with that.
WATCH: RedZone Weather report on the start of Hurricane Season.
7) RISE- How do you compete with the notion that some people have that apps do a fine job of giving local weather information?
Spinks Megginson: Great question. Why should weather guys like me still be a part of a person’s life on a regular basis when he or she could easily look at the free iPhone weather app that comes preloaded on every device?
That means I’m competing with the app in almost everyone’s pocket. Android has a weather app. I assume Windows/Blackberry phones do too. I assume even most feature/flip phones have some type of weather access. That’s a pretty daunting challenge.
The difference with what I’m doing versus the apps is huge.
What most people don’t realize is nearly every weather app (including the iPhone weather app, by the way) is a view of raw model output statistics. No specific model is always right. Not one. They all have individual flaws. I take a blend of individual models AND incorporate what I know about specific recurring model errors. Models can’t do that. I can. TV weather guys can. I then apply corrections and refinements and produce a forecast.
Don’t even get me started about how many times I’ve seen the stock iPhone weather app be dead wrong. I can communicate “a line of storms will move through around 6AM Tuesday, followed by cooler temperatures and clearing skies.” The iPhone app displays nothing but a lightning icon for days in advance. The same holds true for many other apps. This isn’t a far-fetched example… It happened recently!
The media for how we communicate weather information is changing — and always will be changing. What doesn’t change is the need for people to communicate weather patterns. Weather-related models, computers, and apps are getting better. Slowly, but surely. I’m convinced that there won’t be any time in our lifetimes, no matter if you’re 4 years old or 84, that we don’t need people to communicate weather info, especially in the high-risk, panic-prone moments of a tornado or a hurricane.
8) RISE- So in a way, you are trying to push back a bit against the blandness of automated information sources like apps and broad ones like the Weather Channel?
Spinks Megginson: I view the network you mentioned and others like it as entertainment/broad information sources. Certain large weather vendors seem to have lost the local connection and the targeted focus of their past. There are a few large weather vendors that do a nice job, but that’s also a discussion for another day.
9) RISE- Right now you are entirely focused on a specific geographic area (Southwest Alabama and Northwest Florida). How do you keep up with everything happening in your region?
Spinks Megginson: It’s impossible to keep up with a massive number of events. I do try to keep up with as many events as I can. People seem to really like the hyperlocal forecasting for specific events, so I try to incorporate as much of that as feasibly possible.
Some events are regularly scheduled, like high school and college football games. I had many encouraging comments about providing specific forecasts for those last year, and I would imagine we will do some of those again.
I’ve had requests to do forecasts for other sports and miscellaneous events. There’s a balance, though, of keeping things generalized to cater to a wide audience from across our ten county dedicated coverage area as well.
10) RISE- Where is RedZone Weather going? What do you think the future of it will be?
Spinks Megginson: I have somewhat of a grand vision for RedZone Group, LLC. I think the next step is continuing the daily grind of building the company. What does that look like? I think visiting and being a part of our local communities — and not just my hometown. I think the exposure and brand recognition in my hometown (where RedZone started) has been fantastic. I am SO appreciative to everyone who supports us in Brewton, Alabama. I think there’s more to it than strictly Brewton, however.
Presentations, lectures, helping people with weather radios, seeking opportunities to help communities around the region and around the state.
This next step isn’t as “sexy” as other things we do. It’s not necessarily “in the spotlight” for everyone to see, but I think it’s a necessary step. Getting to know people takes time and letting them know how much you care takes time.
I can’t imagine ever retiring from something like this (says the 24 year old who probably doesn’t realize what he’s actually saying). I’m having a blast. Another ill-defined quote that I love… “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
I truly love what I do. It’s sometimes not the most agreeable or pleasant job, but it’s always worth it. What an honor it is to be able to talk with people about something that affects literally ALL of our lives. 100% of us are directly and indirectly affected by… Weather.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Spinks Megginson.Post Views: 982
What Do You Think?
By Staff Report
After going on an hour long tirade that many considered unhinged at a concert in Sacramento, Kanye West has decided to cancel the rest of his Saint Pablo tour.
The news was confirmed to Pitchfork by a West representative.
The following tour dates have been canceled. Tickets will be refunded in full at the point of purchase.
11-22 Fresno, CA – Save Mart Center
11-23 Anaheim, CA – Honda Center
11-26 Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center
11-28 Denver, CO – Pepsi Center
12-01 San Antonio, TX – AT&T Center
12-02 Houston, TX – Toyota Center
12-04 Fort Lauderdale, FL – BB&T Center
12-06 Orlando, FL – Amway Center
12-08 Atlanta, GA – Philips Arena
12-09 Columbia, SC – Colonial Life Arena
12-11 Albany, NY – The Times Union Center
12-13 Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center
12-15 Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center
12-16 Newark, NJ – Prudential Center
12-18 Toronto, Ontario – Air Canada Centre
12-20 Louisville, KY – KFC Yum! Center
12-22 Auburn Hills, MI – The Palace of Auburn Hills
12-27 Washington, DC – Verizon Center
12-28 Boston, MA – TD Garden
12-30 Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center
12-31 Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center
Cover Photo Credit: Pieter-Jannick DijkstraPost Views: 616
What Do You Think?