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NAU SOC 301 - SOC301_Midterm_Paper

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Kristina SimonovicSOC301Risa L Garelick22 July 2018Midterm EssayMy fears stem from many different factors in my life. Fear remains to be an evolutionary response to an intuitive stimulus in the brain when the body feels it is entering a threatening situation. In the podcast, “World With No Fear”, Alix Spiegel mentions, “Ralph Adolphs discusses our overall fear threshold - that is what triggers our fear - is something that evolution has set and set at a high level for a very good reason”(Spiegel 2015). Fear is inherently instilled in our behavior and the way we respond to situations in our lives. These fears come from not only our biology as mammals, but also from the way we’ve been socially conditioned in the modern world through culture, parental input, as well as mass media. Culture has created a set of traditional ideals as the foundation of how we live our lives. Society teaches us that it is normal to maintain a life’s plan of graduating high school, graduating from a university, starting a career,getting married, starting a family, etc. With the constant pressures of living up to a societal norm,this creates fears of not living up to this standard, whether it’s not finishing school, not finding a life partner, not being able to bear children, and so on. The fear of not living a life up to society’s standard causes us all to make choices based on society’s image of how our lives should be. Our parents instill their fears in us through their impact on us during our upbringings. When parents are constantly overcome by fear, that translates over to their child’s threshold of the fear stimulus. Mass media is highly influential in our ability to handle our levels of fear. The mediaconstantly broadcasts news on crime, reminding us to constantly be on guard and to worry about the world we live in.Through culture, parental input, and mass media I have developed fears that influence the way I live my life. The culture of our society has deeply embedded this image of how I should live my life and as a response, I have strong fears of not living up to this image that society has created for me. I haven’t ever been in a serious relationship to this day, and I fear that I will end up alone without a partner in life. It has caused me to make certain decisions that weren’t good for me. I found myself jumping into relationships that weren’t healthy for me. It has caused me to put up with partners that were toxic to keep in my life. My parent’s as well instilled fear in me by passing their fears onto me. They constantly pushed me to be a certain way because they ultimately wanted me to be their version of successful. As good as their intention may have been,they forced many ideals and their way of living onto me. I developed the fear of being unsuccessful in life. I thought that if I didn’t live a certain way or if I didn’t study a certain subject, I would not live up to what their expectation of successful was. Mass Media has conditioned me in a way to constantly be overly-cautious with my interactions and surroundings.I am scared that I will be a victim in a mass shooting or that I will simply end up at the wrong place at the wrong time and find myself in danger. The podcast, “World With No Fear”, mentions“The problem, Adolphs says, is just that modern life - it's constantly triggering our fear in all kinds of ways that our natural world didn't”(Spiegel 2015). We have these fears running the way we operate day to day and it has a strong impact on the way we live our lives. While our response to fear can deeply effect our lives and decisions, it can be to our benefit at times. Being overly-fearful is unnecessary and can cause extreme psychological problems, however a healthy amount of fear can actually serve us well. Living with certain fears, likefitting society’s image or our parent’s image of who we should be, can guide us in a way of thinking for ourselves. Living with fears the mass media instills in us can give us a sense of awareness of threat and teach us to respond to intuition when we feel it. Fear can give us a sense of strength and self-confidence in overcoming certain threats. Fear can be good to some degree, but it is hard to differentiate a heathy level from a self-destructive level. Overtime, as I’ve become more consciously aware of myself as an individual, my fears have started to dissipate in a way where I’m becoming less affected by this predisposed image I once felt very forced to live up to by society and by my parents. I first realized this when I relocated and moved to Flagstaff. Idistanced myself from my parent’s views and through immersing myself in my education, I cameto the understanding that the image of success is very versatile in the ever-changing society that we live in. I learned the biased nature of mass media news and decided to seek information from less opinionated sources like BBC or NPR. I noticed that disconnecting from the sources of my fear, caused me to use that fear productively and not in a way that it was influencing my every thought. Certain fears have had positive impacts on my life while other fears have had negative impacts on my life. The fear of not finding a partner in life may have had a negative impact on my thought process for a long time. While it caused me to be in relationships that were unhealthyfor me, it taught me to revaluate my image and made me realize that I need to be more selective with the interactions that I invest in. It showed me that I didn’t need to seek out a relationship to satisfy someone’s image of how I live my life. In regards to my fear of being unsuccessful, it caused me to develop some insecurities in myself and it made me question what I wanted to study and the career path I wanted to take. In the process, I realized the meaning of success varies with every individual. With the fear of not making it in this world, I was able to develop ashift in my perspective of what success is to me and my own image of where I want to be in life. The fear of avoiding every threatening situation instilled through mass media had both negative and positive effects on me. It closed me off to certain situations, making me hesitant to want to interact with certain individuals. Being a young female, mass media has created a strong mindsetof always being protective of yourself and being aware of your surroundings, which is certainly positive in many situations, where my best


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