Throughout the essay Jamison talked about the phenomenon of the Morgellon disease. Morgellon disease is essentially an illness that is an unsettling feeling of the skin. The author went into detail about how she became frustrated and angry about her misdiagnosis over the years and decided to pursue a position as a nurse to turn her frustration into useful work. A nurse whose legs showed white patches and later found scabbed and lesions upon her skin. Dawn eventually diagnosed herself with Meorgellions (Jamison, 225). An important quote directly from the author that I believe plays an important role within this essay is when she stated “They didn’t know what this matter was, or where it came from, or why it was there, but they knew… that it was real.” After reading this it made me think that since morgellons disease was so unstudied and had little knowledge upon it , how did the author come upon diagnosing herself with morgellons? Also another thing that is important to think about when learning about Morgelleons is that only approximately 12,000 people suffer from Morgellons disease. On the other hand, since this disease was unheard of often it eventually became a controversy among the CDC ( Center for Disease Control).
After reading the chapter “Unfollow” by Adrian Chen I was left shocked as well as bewildered. The girl in the chapter, Megan Phelps-Roper, went through a major transition from the beginning of the chapter to the end. At the beginning of the chapter Megan belonged to the Westboro Baptist Church and this church held some strong opinions on homophobia, anti- semitism ,etc. At the age of five Megan began protesting and then later started to speak out on social media, via Twitter, about speaking the word of the church. In the beginning of the chapter the church would stand outside of funerals with signs that said “ God hates f*gs” and many other hateful slogans that relate to similar topics. Later on in the chapter Megan started using Twitter as a platform to spread the word of the church. She continued to post hateful comments about gays, dead soldiers, and other negative topics the church taught. The more and more post she would write the more followers that she gained. Megan then said “ its proof that people are seeing it and reacting to it.” Later on, in the chapter Megan began questioning her beliefs, and then later eventually leaving the church and becoming an activist. At the end it said “ Phelps-Roper no longer believes that the Bible is the world of God, she still reads it to try to find scriptural arguments that could encourage Westboro to take a more human approach on the world”.
Megan used Twitter as a platform and this embolden her initial message that was engraved into her brain from the church. This mostly embolden her message because it allowed thousands of people to see what she was preaching, it gave her the opportunity to have light be shed on what shes saying. This embolden her because it gave her the ability to say what she wanted without the face to face confrontation with the others, this gave her the confidence to behave the way she did on social media. Megan then said after receiving 7 thousand followers “ That explosion of activity, that was insane”. This just proved the exposure that she was getting during this time of preaching the church’s words. I believe social media affected Megan’s shift in personal beliefs because she eventually saw all the comments that people were commenting and confronting her with, all these people were arguing the other side of the argument. People that were commenting on things such as “Do you really want to ask God to ask to hurt people?”. This lead her to think more about what she was preaching and started finding cracks in the preachings and then started to question what she thought was right.
In the text It shows how Phelps-Roper had started to change her mind on her beliefs and in my opinion I believe message, tone, and perspective all play a part into this. I saw all examples on how each of these played a role in this , but the most prominent ones were mostly messages and perspective. Perspective played a role in this because there were so many people who found contradictions to her tweets and presented them to her via Twitter and by the flooding of all these different perspectives allowed Phelps-Roper open her mind just a little bit. Message also played a major part in this as well because she upheld conversation with multiple people about her teachings once she opened her mind up a little. I did a little more research on this topic and I found an interview that Phelps-Roper was in and she said that “I understood that we could be wrong about something. … That was the beginning of the end for me. I had this unshakable faith and it had been shaken.” I believe this quote pulls her transformation all together. Her transformation teaches us a lot about confronting hate speech because it shows how no matter how deep someone is set in their ways there is always a chance to open their mind to new ideas and perspectives. This also shows us a lot about redemption because you can’t change your past because you can always push forward and work on personal growth.
If I had the chance to meet Phelps-Roper and had the ability to ask her questions about her past it would be hard not only for me to ask but also hear. I am a big supporter of the LGBTQ+ community and this topic would be very raw and hard to talk about with someone who was raised to see them as less then and despicable in God’s eyes. If I had to ask her I would probably first start off with asking her what kept her going with the Baptist church once she was old enough to make her own choices? Also I’d like to ask her how she could read all these comments on her post and contradictions and still fully believe in what she believes in after seeing how hurtful these statements are? This story relates to me growing up till now with regards to social media because anyone has the ability to hate through a screen and be protected, but In all reality is this because they think its just “cool” or maybe it’s just what they think? Things like this have been going on for years and still seems to be occurring to this day and for me all I could say is I hope people like Phelps-Roper will see her story and follow in her footsteps.
Throughout my life revision has been an important part of my writing. I believe it is the most important key on having your writing become more evolved and efficient then before. In reality revision is like the cherry on the ice cream or the “finishing touch” before putting it out. One of the more important time that I needed revision to be part of my writing process was for my College admission essays. This experience was both negative and positive because at first I didn’t really know how to revise correctly so I got stuck and confused a lot. Once I learned how to correctly revise during this process it made things so much easier, as well as making my writing the product I felt good to submit. The positive side of this story was that I’ve learned how to revise efficiently and provide my best work. After reading Jenks passage he provided me with some new insights on how I can improve my revision for the future. An interesting statement that I thought was very important was when Jenks said “The strength and worth of a work depend on deliberate artistry as much as, if not more than, the writer’s talent, desire, and inspirations”. Another thing that Id like to point out from the writing that will help me is that through revision new ideas and concepts for a deeper meaning in my writing could come to me if the revision process is focused on as well.
“Literary art is neither all conscious nor all unconscious…”- Tom Jenks