A half truth is a whole lie

If the first words I ever told you were loud enough to make you speak up for a cause, then its inspirational. If the first words I ever told you were strong enough to make you take action, then its motivational. If the first words I ever told you were powerful enough to change your life entirely, then its momentous. But if the first words I ever told you were corrupt, misleading, and downright disrespectful, then its dishonesty and betrayal to not only yourself, but to the rest of the American people for what you’ve done. When Mike Daisy’s words were first spoken, This American Life should have been looking into the situation before deeming it a credible story. I believe it is just as much as This American Life’s mistake as it was Mike Daisy’s mistake for lying about a lot of the things he said.

This story should never have reached the light of day if they took the time to approve its validity and now, there are people out there who actually believe what Mike Daisy claims. I believe Mike Daisy was also lying when he said the main reason for his performance was to make people care about what was happening in China. Listening to the way he answered questions about why he lied shows that he never thought he was going to get caught. His intentions, he claimed, was to open up to the world about the lives of China’s factories workers, but you do them and yourself no good when you make false claims to raise awareness.

In Mike Daisy’s monologue he discusses all the horrible things he “heard” about dealing with labor conditions, but never mentioned the fact the Apple or Foxconn are doing things to improve them. Mike Daisy is a fraud in my eye and should never be credible or taken seriously ever again. I’m very disappointed in This American Life for releasing this story before finding out whether it was the truth or not. I believe the image of Mike Daisy has gone down and he deserves it. You can’t make things up and expect to get away with it. In the end, everyone gets caught.


Wake Up and Smell the Daisy

When I first heard Mike Daisy’s story I did have some concern about its validity. However, I brushed it off and continued to listen because if it’s on public radio and my professor told me to listen to it. By the end, Mike’s monologue further convinced me that Apple allowed Foxconn to treat their employees horrendously.  I actually called my mom to inform her about the “facts” I learned about how a thirteen year old, over worked Foxconn employees manufactured her new IPad. I soon informed everyone who pulled out an IPhone about the blood, sweat and tears that created their technology. To me, Mike Daisy’s monologue presented the cold hard truth.

Before I even heard Mike’s monologue, I read multiple article’s about Foxconn’s working condition.  I read stories about nets to prevent suicide, unbelievable working hours, standing for hours, dangerous chemicals and the horrific dorm conditions. So when I heard Mike’s first-hand accounts, I felt like his experience just solidified all of my previous knowledge.  But when I found out Mike Daisy lied, I immediately started questioning everything I read and heard about Foxconn and Apple.

Listening to his confession I felt torn between feeling sorry for him and angry at him. I felt sorry because his intentions were somewhat good, yet he still lied to people who depended on him to provide the truth. He lied about the guards, under aged employees, blacklist, dorm cameras, the man with the mangled hand, working conditions, and much more. The “facts” to his story were lies. I understand he wanted to make people care through telling a story that captured the totality of his visit, but he cannot lie about facts. Once you lie about facts, you can ruin the credibility for the whole topic. People now will question the validity of any Foxconn and Apple news they hear. In reality, his lie’s only give power to the very people he is trying to stop.

When Daisy performed on This American Life, he committed to telling the truth. He made people think his stories were true. The truth is not elusive, objective truths do exist. However, constantly people are forced to look at everything skeptically because our media has a reputation for fabricating or exaggerating facts.  The common image of media depicts desperate, wired reporters that will do anything for a story. This image causes people to mistrust articles and stories that present facts about different topics, not just apple.

To a certain extent, I believe the image is accurate. By no means I believe every reporter acts unethically, but I believe that it is extremely important to think critically about stories we hear. This is why Sociological Imagination is important. The Sociological Imagination calls for people to look at the whole story before you make judgments and decisions. Look at the ENTIRE picture, not just what you want to see. The Sociological Imagination forces you to look at both sides and make an education decision. If I would have done more research about Daisy and Apple, I would have discovered the different opinions and probably discovered that he lied a lot sooner than I did.

Overall, you can see how easy it is to spread news about something as big as Apple. Hell, after thirty minutes of listening I called my mother and told her about what I just heard. This exemplifies the importance of telling the truth. If you don’t, rumors and lies will inevitably spread.  Even worse, when you lie like Daisy, you aren’t the only one who loses credibility, your cause does as well.

Real Eyes Realize Real Lies: Spotting a Liar

Mike Daisy is a liar.  I do not care about what his intentions were in the long run, or that some of the events that he describes happened in other places.  He told us, the public, a falsified and exaggerated version of his story in order to make us aware about a problem.  Initially he was able to get the attention of many on the situation, but once his “retraction” piece came out, it seemed like the only problem he ended up creating awareness for was his credibility problem.  Daisy lied about everything from not being able to get in touch with the translator again, to fabricating a story that he met victims of a n-hexane incident.  Now some of these things are also just exaggerations, but the fact that he sat there and told this monologue, claiming everything in the story as truth, makes him a liar, and completely defeats his own purpose of what he set out to do in the first place.  Let’s look at the effects of what he has done so far.  When he first told his story, he affected the public by revealing poor working conditions in China, specifically in Foxconn where Apple products are produced.  It created a stir. Continue reading

Do I Control Electronics or Do They Control Me?

Growing up as a kid, I was very technologically sound, and what kid isn’t these days? Everyday I walk around campus, everyone is on a smartphone, whether they are checking their e-mails, listening to music, or playing words with friends, technology has really impacted our everyday lives. I remember when I was younger and I got my first cell phone, all I used it for was calling my parents. Eventually, texting starting to become the next major thing. People weren’t calling each other anymore, they were texting each other. So what did I do, I got a new plan and got unlimited texts. Next, Blackberries became all the rage since you can now access the internet from your phone, which was a big deal for any kid growing up in the internet age. So I got a Blackberry and began to search the net from my phone and not from a computer. Then, a revolution broke out when I was in high school that would forever change our technological society, the iPhone.

Apple, known very famously for its computers and the overwhelming success of its iPods, decided to join the cell phone industry and changed the business completely. On this phone, you could have an app for your e-mails, an app for finances, an app that played guitar sounds, and even an app that could track your phones whereabouts even if you lost it. It was revolutionary on the grandest scale, and what did I do of course, I bought it. So I held in the palm of my hand, something that could  not only make phone calls and write texts, but an electronic device that could give me access to all my e-mails, finances, music, social media, video downloads, etc. Hell, I even have an app that  makes the phone a flashlight. I mean, even the flashlight industry took a hit because our smartphones now emit enough light to help us see in the dark, which is ridiculous. So what happened after?

Zombies. No not zombies in the sense that people are going around trying to eat humans for their flesh. I mean zombies as in people now have become brain dead and increasingly less social amongst each other when meeting physically. Every time I am out to dinner with friends, people are just constantly on their iPhones. And doing what you may ask? Playing a game, posting a Tweet, reading a blog; it’s ridiculous. I remember when I used to have full conversations with people, now and even including myself, we all just text or even send snapchats of ourselves for social communications. This product from Apple has completely changed our lives. Even now, computer sales are dropping as people are now switching from their Macs to iPads. So what’s next?

I know about Apple and their business methods. They use sweatshops to create their products and constantly change their products on a yearly basis just to increase sales and sometimes not even value of the product. Mike Daisy describes the horrors he saw in Chinese sweatshops and how terribly they treat their employees. Are sweatshops bad, of course they are. Do I feel terrible because I use products like Apple or Nike, where they use these kind of places to make their products, most definitely. Unfortunately, my technological addiction that I have developed over my entire life from these products has consumed me to the point where I block out the bad automatically and relish in the good. And I’m not the only one. Most people today believe sweatshops are terrible, but they still buy the products that these companies create. So why? It’s because we have created a new society where technology controls our lives and we have fallen victim to its vast innovative power. We are consumed by its sleek and innovative design and are astounding by what such a little item can do. But what did I lose in the process, am I now consumed completely to the point where this phone controls my life? What do you think?