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Ding Dong Conundrum: How Doorbells Alter Social Rules

If you did not grow up in a developed nation, then the small button next to the door would make no sense to you. Here, we call it a doorbell. A device which makes a noise inside the house when pressed which alerts people that you have arrived. You might be confused by the bell, why is it needed? Wouldn’t knocking due? And most of all, what is appropriate? Should you ring the bell at night or not? Is it proper to ring it many times? What happens if you can’t hear the bell? What do you do then? In a quote from Jane Jacobs in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, she says, “It is kept primarily by an intricate, almost unconscious, network of voluntary controls and standards among the people themselves, and enforced by the people themselves.” (Jacobs 32) The “it” is the construct of socially acceptable behavior. She is describing how the rules following any technology or structure are made up by the people who use them, as they are the ones who make sure that these rules are followed. The challenges with any given technology are the responsibility of the people to address. From the glitz and glam of modern doorbells, to the safety of using the technology to the formal laws surrounding the bell, all of these things are put into place by the need for people to construct and follow their own rules. And, for the most part, they follow these rules.

In the beginning history of the doorbell, a round, stand-alone bell would be screwed to the front door of the home. In one of the first patents for the doorbell, inventor J. B. Young, screwed a simple bell to the front of a door and called it a doorbell (Young). It was basic and not in any way glamorous, but, it worked excellently. Most doorbells aren’t much different from the original ones today. Only today they are showing the status of people. If you have ever seen the doorbell with a video camera then you are probably in a slightly wealthy home or area, considering these bells can run around $200. (“Doorbells”) Doorbells are a subtle showing of social class. Longer bell rings and grand tunes accompanied with the press of the button are often placed as a sign of higher social class, since these types of bells were not a simple trigger tap of a mechanism but rather were a pre-recorded sound, which was more expensive to bring into the home. Bells also showed status in that they originally were for larger houses.

For most of the 20th century, homes were only about a quarter of the size of houses today. In the 20th century a home may have only been 450 square feet, and if someone were to knock on the door while their friend was in the bedroom folding laundry, then the friend would have been able to hear them. However, in the 21st century, homes are around 1770 square feet, and getting bigger (Mason). With houses getting so big, it is almost certain that without the bell people would only be able to hear in the vicinity of the first-floor foyer. So, as the price of the doorbell became cheaper and more houses were built bigger in the late 20th century, we see the doorbell show up far more. This is a huge change from the Victorian era, where people either did not have a doorbell or did not use it in the way today’s bells are used.

The main mode of communicating amongst people at the front door of the house was the calling card in the Victorian era. Calling cards were a system of notifying a friend that you wanted to meet with them later and was the modern equivalent of texting someone and scheduling a meeting with them, only much more complicated. The cards must have a call back number or address, and there were many rules on folding corners down, addressing men and women of different social classes, and even rules about what time of day was proper to drop in. The system was complicated and there were many complex societal rules that must be followed to have the system run, and as time moved on, society got simpler, and the complex nature of the calling card was diminished (Tree).  Some of the traditions found in calling cards did transfer over to the increased use of the doorbell as is seen today. For instance, people should not be ringing the doorbell at 6 in the morning, nor at 10 at night, as these would be against rules set by the public. This is mostly because stopping by so late could wake people from sleep or disrupt people from going to work. Thus, original time constraints found from the use of calling cards carried forward over a hundred years. Other habits also carried over to the modern use of the doorbell from this era.

For most families in the Victorian era, children and women were not to answer the door. They were considered too weak and fragile to deal with people.  Today because of women working, and children often being left home alone during the day, children are expected to answer the door; but only to people they know. This is a safety measure with the assumption that society is not safe and that children are very susceptible to dangers. An article found in the Seattle Times addresses some concerns with parents describing methods for teaching children how to ignore when the doorbell rings stating, “Unfortunately, the majority of parents leave their youngsters home alone with advice as simplistic as, ‘Be a good kid and be careful!’ In today’s times that’s simply not enough” (“A Knock”). This article addresses the issues which surround teaching children that the door may not be the safest. It informs families that “Being careful” is not a tactic to parenting in the real world. This suggests that inside home is fairly safe, and outside the door- the world -is a terrible place where people are bad. While on a normal basis there are far more harms inside the house; matches, ovens, falling furniture, bad smoke detectors- the fear of society is the outside world. This is constructed by people but especially those people with small children or disabled children.

Disabled children are the next target of the dreaded doorbell. They have the same logic as children but often do not understand danger the way other people do. One way to combat this is by training kids.  In a new study, scientists developed a method of teaching children with autism to go tell a caretaker that someone is at the door instead of answering it themselves and possibly getting hurt because of it (Summers). This study showed that it was possible to teach these children about how to handle a situation with a doorbell, but more importantly shows how we use the doorbell. This is an issue which can be addressed by families, but what can people do about the friends in their life with disabilities? Including people with disabilities is partially governmental, but mostly because of rules made by people.

One of the ways the government contributes to the inclusion of people with disabilities is through the use of Americans with Disabilities Act. In the 2010 edition of the act the standard stated that residential buildings needed to have a hard-wired doorbell (“2010”). This is an interesting mandate because it involves drilling holes in walls and mandatory installation of a technology. This means that new homes built must come with a doorbell. Along with mandating that there be a doorbell, it must also include a visual signal (“2010”). Meaning that there must be some sort of light in the doorbell apparatus for inside the home. This increases the need for the mechanics of the doorbell to include LED lights, and thus the effects of the mandate also create a new field for the technology. Perhaps this is a contributing factor to the growing changes in doorbells. The once very plain and stagnant technology now is the star of the front door.

The change in technology may be the reason for the rise in video camera doorbells. These are the cutting edge of safety in today’s age. People now don’t have to look through a window- informing the stranger of their presence, but rather just pretend no one is home and have the stranger go away. This new type of doorbell is a literal view of home protection. The doorbell can be used as a vital first line of screening for families. Still, while the doorbell is a line of screening, the communities who use them still have fears which have been engrained for decades.  One of the more elaborate fears which people face is the ghostly tale of the doorbell ringing, and having no one at the door. Many people believe that by opening the door when no one is there, that one could be letting evil spirits into the home.  In an explanation from Sensing Angels, they described that sometimes good spirits may like to play with electricity and just might be trying to get someone’s attention (“12 Common”). But whether there are or are not ghosts, this can be extremely frightening. The fact that the technology is not in one single area, but all around the house can mean that the annoying ringing could happen at any time. Also, usually, the homeowner is not the one ringing the doorbell. This means that the rest of the world has the accessibility to front doors but not the homeowner. This concept elaborates on why most people follow social standards. However, problems come up when people do not follow these social rules, which results in others not knowing how to handle those situations where people break rules.

The other, more realistic, fear that people have about others breaking social rules happens with break ins. In an article from crime safety and security, they describe how half of all break and entries happen because someone has opened the door after the doorbell has rang and forced themselves into the home. This is the primary fear that people have about the doorbell. This fear comes from the fact that communities have laid out rules for the doorbell saying that if you ring the doorbell, then you will respect the person’s home who you have the privilege to visit. When people don’t follow this construct, homeowners don’t know what to do, because breaking social rules is not a normal procedure. If it was we wouldn’t see people being fearful. Homeowners cannot protect themselves from the outside world if the people from the outside do not respect the inside space of the home. Hence why communities must be diligent about how they address people at the door and always have a spot of skepticism for strangers. Still, there are people who do break these social rules because they do not care about them, or do not know about them, such as children.

Most children find something to do when they feel bored, such as watch television or bug their siblings, others play ding dong ditch.  It seems like a harmless game, and while some kids go to the extremes, there are laws against this. When this game is frequently repeated, it can cause pain for homeowners by disrupting the peace. Many towns have ordinances which dictate that people shall not be subject to annoying noises which disrupt the peace of their lives (“Ordinance”). So, if a family has problems with the dog barking and the baby crying when the doorbell rings, then constant annoyance from the doorbell ringing could cause stress for people.  In the case of disturbing the peace, a person will have a misdemeanor filed against them. Hopefully by filing this complaint they will learn the social rules following the doorbell. Some people feel stressed by people not following social rules, but some people are stressed by people who do follow social rules as well.

A newer fear that comes along with the doorbell is social anxiety.  While the fear of doorbells is not technically a phobia, there are many people who get stressed or even have panic attacks because of the sound of the doorbell (“Phone”). Researchers call doorbell anxiety a form of social anxiety because the sound of the doorbell comes with the responsibility of taking to the person behind the door when answered. Often times, people behind the doorbell need information or are coming by unannounced, so homeowners are caught off guard and can be fearful of it. This also shows how the doorbell has changed over time, where people are no longer encouraged to show up uninvited, where in the past guests were. While at one time the doorbell was welcoming just a few decades ago, the prevalence of their technologies such as the smartphone and home security systems push away people from visiting. This changes the construct of the doorbell as being one only used for solicitors and the mail man. Typically, now, friends only ring the doorbell if you don’t see their text saying that they are here, or if the in-laws drop in because older generations used the doorbell as the primary method of entering a home. As time has moved on generations have thought of the doorbell as less of a functional aspect, and more of a random device that the house comes with.

Even though the doorbell is considered a random and forgetful piece of technology, this technology has a big impact on the world. Doorbells include plastics and metals for the push button, copper and precious metals for electrical wiring, and nicer bells include LEDs and glass for video cameras.  While the environmental aspect of doorbells is initially not very bad, because doorbells themselves have a fairly long life expectancy (around 50 years). Also, especially with hardwired doorbells, only one component of the system may break at a time, meaning that only that part of the system needs to be replaced. The problem comes in when we look at how many doorbells are in the world.  One demographic said that the number of households in the US was about 118 million (“Quick”). If most have a doorbell, that’s millions of doorbells. That doesn’t even include the doorbells which have been around since their modern invention in the mid-1800s. So clearly the waste adds up. Adverse effects with any mining and production of doorbells can span across the entire world. In E-waste, the recycling centers designed for electronics can take in old electronics. With these electronics, they can sort them into different types of electronics and start taking them apart by hand. By separating out these electronic components they are able to save hundreds of pounds of precious metal such as copper. With all of this information, it is important to look at the picture of the larger context in not only looking at getting materials for doorbells which last long, but also get better information on how that should work in the larger scheme of the world. Such aspects of the doorbell are not often brought up in conversation because of the social rules guided by people. Most people do not care about the destruction which is created by their doorbell. But they should. Still, since the pieces of doorbells are so small it is not likely that a mass doorbell recycling program will be popular anytime soon and people usually don’t go out of their way to recycle such an insignificant piece of technology. However, if companies produced these products with recycled materials maybe they could cut back on these objects being produced with new materials and taking the natural resources which are available for this prolonged societal system which we call the doorbell.

As society moves forward, the rules surrounding the doorbell will continue to change as people continue to change their social interactions with other people. The rules following the doorbell will become reflective of the people who will use them. Maybe there will be more stress to come from the doorbell or maybe there will be less in the future. The only thing to note for sure is that while laws might be able to combat negative social interactions, it is truly people who interact with each other who make these rules.

 

 

Works cited

 

“12 Common Signs Spirit Send Us to Let Us Know They Are Around – Gifts?” Sensing Angels, Sensing Angels, 2013, sensingangels.com/free-stuff/articles_1/12-common-signs-spirit-send-us-to-let-us-know-they-are-around/. Accessed 25 Apr. 2017.

2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. Department of Justice, 2012, http://www.hearingloss.org/sites/default/files/docs/2010ADA_Standards_for_Accessible_DesignDOJ_9_15_2010.pdf. Accessed 15 Apr. 2017.

“A Knock At The Door — How Should Kids Left Alone At Home Deal With A Stranger On The Doorstep?” Living | A Knock At The Door | Seattle Times Newspaper, Seattle Times, 10 May 1992, community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19920510&slug=1491045. Accessed 24 Apr. 2017.

“Doorbells & Intercoms.” Doorbells & Intercoms –  The Home Depot, The Home Depot, http://www.homedepot.com/b/Electrical-Doorbells-Intercoms/N-5yc1vZbm92. Accessed 24 Apr. 2017.

Greene, Joel, and Melissa Cockrell. “Curiosity Quest Goes Green.” E-Waste, Kanopy, ntserver1.wsulibs.wsu.edu:5354/video/curiosity-quest-goes-green-e-waste. Accessed 16 Apr. 2017.

Mason, Moya K. “Housing: Then, Now, and Future.” Housing: Then, Now, and Future – Architecture, Domestic Space, Average Lot Size, Floor Plans, Bungalows, Evolution of Housing, http://www.moyak.com/papers/house-sizes.html. Accessed 24 Apr. 2017.

“ORDINANCE NO. 1279.” 11 July 2008, pp. 1–3., http://www.ci.bonney-lake.wa.us/UserFiles/File/Government_Downloads/City_Council/Ordinances/1200-1299/Ordinance%201279.pdf. Accessed 16 Apr. 2017.

“Phone Avoidance and Avoiding Answering the Door.” Avoidant Personality, WordPress, 9 Feb. 2012, avoidantpersonality.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/phone-avoidance/. Accessed 15 Apr. 2017.

“Quick Facts: Resident Demographics.” National Multifamily Housing Council, National Multifamily Housing Council, http://www.nmhc.org/Content.aspx?id=4708. Accessed 25 Apr. 2017.

Summers, Jay, et al. “Teaching Two Household Safety Skills to Children with Autism.” Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, ScienceDirect, Mar. 2011, ntserver1.wsulibs.wsu.edu:2114/science/article/pii/S1750946710001194. Accessed 28 Apr. 2017.

Tree, Viola. “Calling.” Can I Help You? Your Manners–Menus–Amusements–Friends–Charades–Make-Ups–Travel–Calling–Children–Love Affairs, L. And Virginia Woolf at the Hogarth Press, London, 1937.

Young, Jerome B. Mode of Hanging Bells. 4 July 1854.

 

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Technology in Society

Doorbells are have made changes in the culture which cannot be denied. From the instance folklore, to developments in technology and education based all on the doorbell and the culture it brings. In a quote from Jacobs she says, “It is kept primarily by an intricate, almost unconscious, network of voluntary controls and standards among the people themselves, and enforced by the people themselves.” (Jacobs 32) This is the way Jacobs describes the function of a sidewalk but more importantly the functions of society as a whole. People watch over people, and enforce those norms which they preside over as a way to create order and reliability for those technologies and innovations which have been created over their lives. Not only that but the overall changes which are made by these technologies, the doorbell, are enforced and relied upon for a method of protecting what is important to people.

One of the many strengths of doorbells is its capacity for home protection. One of the more elaborate fears of the society as a whole is the fear that if the doorbell rings and no one is at the door that by opening the door the homeowner is letting in spirits which may be good or evil. This type of fear is prevalent thought many societies, a blogs such as ‘Your ghost stories’ which describes the fear of a man who hears the doorbell ring at two in the morning and hears a child laughing but no one else in his family can hear it. This type of fear of the unknown or the unseen is common, but what is more frightening the ability for the technology to reek havoc on the function of the lives of people. What should be this protecting factor could lead to this situation where people are not protected by unknown forces. Still, we don’t know if ghosts are a real threat to society, but one threat that is real is the threat of answering the door and have an unknown person force themselves into your home and hurt you and your family. In an article from crime safety and security, they describe how half of all break and entries happen because someone has opened the door after the doorbell has rang and forced themselves into the home and hurt people. This is a fear people should actually focus on, in the way of teaching special groups such as people with disabilities and children about door safety. In a new study, they developed a method of teaching children with autism to go tell a caretaker that someone is at the door instead of answering it themselves and possibly getting hurt because of it. This may be the reason for the rise in video camera doorbells. Because people can now see who is at the door they do not have to walk over and look through a window, informing the stranger of their presence in the house, and rather just pretend no one is home and have them go away. While a lovely thought and a great additional feature for family homes, it goes to have many problems with wiring and overall draw backs on the environment for producing circuit boards and glass which have no place to go when they are done being used. Dangers of installation come up when people who are not technical with wires have to put them in, or cause added stress of finding someone to install this type of enhancement to the doorbell.

Another concern for the doorbell is the issue of children playing pranks. Today a popular pastime for young boys everywhere is the ding dong ditch. Often thrust upon the common teacher as a way for harmless humor for friends. While there is no physical dangers associated with this, some kids have gone to the extremes getting their plans to be full proof, including buying costumes which look like shrubs to blend into suburban yards. However, if this type of behavior is repeated many times it can often cause pain for homeowners in the way of disrupting peace. Many towns have ordinances which dictate that people shall not be subject to annoying noises which disrupt the peace of their lives. So, by having doorbells, if Jimmy plays ding dong ditch every day which cause Fido to bark, hence waking up baby Suzie, well, the peace has been disturbed, and a case may be filed against Jimmy. This is a small misdemeanor but it can add up for people who have special cases or if the doorbell is being rang at inappropriate hours.

One interesting thing that arises with doorbell is social anxiety. While there is no name for a fear of doorbells there is a slew of people who get anxiety from the sound of the doorbell. This is mostly a stem of social anxiety, and the fear of talking to someone when you answer the doorbell but there really is no solution to this fear. More and more people today have some small fear of answering the door because of who may be behind it or needing to know information or even just being caught off guard by there being a visitor. If someone has this fear, then having children who like to play pranks on them may lead to even more anxiety and can even cause full blown panic attacks for people. It is defiantly a field where professionals should look into ways of resolving this fear.

Also interesting is how society has addressed issues with accessibility for disabled people. Stating that it is a standard that residential buildings have a hard-wired doorbell. This is an interesting mandate because that requires electrical work in a house hold that must be up to building regulation codes and involves drilling holes in walls. This means that most modern homes must come with a doorbell. The doorbell must also include a visual signal. Meaning that there must be some sort of light in the doorbell apparatus for inside the home. This is interesting to know because I have recently been seeing inside boxes which include LED lights around the edges, most likely for the light requirement per ADA rules.

Past the fears of the technology are the reasons it came to be about, while there are some systems which existed before the doorbell, they are vague, because doorbells have been around for so long, one of the most recent processes equivalent to the doorbell were the use of calling cards. Calling cards were a system of notifying the homeowners that you had arrived at the door, only there was a way to get back to the information by leaving a call back number. The system was complicated and there were many complex societal rules that must be followed to have the system run, and as time got to be more simple it is possible that the complex nature of the calling card was diminished. Doorbells however have been around centenaries, originally a hanging bell which someone would ring when they wanted to enter to create a louder sound for the homeowner. (from the book Can I Help You?) In addition to this calling card system a article called Remembering the Ladies documented the proper system for calling cards included a time constraint from noon to three in the afternoon. This is not so different then in today’s societal norms which dictate that people should not be ringing the doorbell at 6 in the morning, nor should they be ringing the doorbell at 10 at night, as these would be against rules set out by the everyday people. Such disturbances could wake a small child from their sleep or cause the dogs to bark annoyingly. It is with this original time constraint that has carried forward over a hundred years later. In this document, however, they discuss the overall function as being a way of screening people from who was allowed to visit in the way a peep hole is the first look to the person who you are answering the door for in today’s society. Although the use of a peep hole is a completely different topic in itself which may or may not be related to the function of a doorbell.

The resources from these early technologies were typically a metal bell with a ringer on the inside attached at the top of the door. A little later they would use bell-hop types of bells and screw them to the center of the front door to use the same function. The doorbell has become a necessity for homes as they have gotten bigger, for instance, in the 20th century a home may have only been 450 square feet, and if someone where to knock on the door while one was in the bedroom folding laundry, then they would be able to hear them. However in the 21st century, homes are around 1770 square feet, almost four times the size of the houses a century before. With houses getting so big, it is almost certain that people would only be able to hear the bell in the vicinity of the first floor foyer. Hence for the need for a loud announcement for the home, which we now call the doorbell. In a document called Slow Technology is one which reflects on the fact that a doorbell changes slowly over time. This is because in order to change the technology the person studying the technology needs to learn it, understand it, then apply the changes, and finally address the consequences of using said device. This however is not the simple list process which the author uses in the document because understanding the consequence of a technology may take decades or even entries to fully understand what types of effect that technology has on society. In the same regards though, this is why it is “slow” technology. It does not specifically change massively over time.

The production of the doorbell is a simple one which doesn’t seem to have much of an impact of the world around us, however, it the larger scheme, ever piece created leads to more waste in the world eventually. For some places, like in the EU, doorbells are considered to be an electrical component and are supposed to be disposed of in the same fashion as a computer or other electrical components. I have had very little information about how doorbells themselves work in the larger scheme of things. However, some components which are included in doorbells are plastics or metals for the push button, copper and other electrical wiring, and if the bell includes fancy things like LED lights and glass for video cameras, the impact is the same as the use of those components. Doorbells themselves have a fairly long longevity. Especially with hardwired doorbells, only one component of the system may die at a time, meaning that only one part of the system needs to be replaced at any given time, expanding the life expectancy of the system. In one demographic said that the amount of households in the US was about 118 million householdsIf even half of these houses had a doorbell, then the accumulative waste would surely add up over time. Since doorbells come in many shapes and sizes and new doorbells are always being added to the market, ones which now include cameras, digital music, and sleek designs with LED lights in them, people are looking to update their systems to be with the times. In the video Price of Sand they discuss the effects of mining sand which is used for glass. Only a specific kind of sand can be used for glass production and this sand is very scarce to find. One of the places where it can be found is in the middle of small country town. This has adverse affects on the people of the small towns who start to have problems with their health due to the mining of the sand.

Adverse affects with any mining and production of doorbells can span across the entire world. Another affect is the effect of recycling electronic pieces. In E-waste the recycling centers designed for electronics can take in old electronics. With these electronics they can sort them into different types of electronics and start taking them apart by hand. They punch a hole in the circuits to save security of the people they came from. While a doorbell may not need to have much of a circuit board, newer models such as the ones with the video cameras may have the capacity to store information, and in the future there may become a problem with security amongst people. However, even with this by separating out these electronic components they are able to save hundreds of pounds of precious metal such as copper. The video also mentioned the amount of lead which is left in TV stands. If the lead were to be filled into a land fill or into a water source the damage on humans could be detrimental, by recycling these, the environment can be much safer. With all of this information, it is important to look at the picture of the larger context in not only looking at getting materials for doorbells which last long, but also get better information on how that should work in the larger scheme of the world. Since the pieces of doorbells are so small it is not likely that a mass doorbell recycling program will be popular anytime soon and people usually don’t go out of their way to recycle such an insignificant piece. However, if companies produced these products with recycled materials maybe they could cut back on these objects being produced with new materials and taking the natural resources which are available for this prolonged societal system which we call the doorbell.

It may be a small world, but the doorbell has entered in a world which revolves around the front door. Concerns about safety and health of people are derived from the cleaver ways in which the doorbell has turned them into the world we live in. Not only is there a need to bring to light this technology but a need to think about all of the little things we take for granted every day.

 

 

http://www.hearingloss.org/sites/default/files/docs/2010ADA_Standards_for_Accessible_DesignDOJ_9_15_2010.pdf

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19920510&slug=1491045

https://avoidantpersonality.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/phone-avoidance/

http://www.ci.bonney-lake.wa.us/UserFiles/File/Government_Downloads/City_Council/Ordinances/1200-1299/Ordinance%201279.pdf

“Violence breeds urban anxiety: Yet, this spate of crime and tragedy must be kept in perspective.” Edmonton Journal (Alberta). 549 words. LexisNexis Academic. Web. Date Accessed: 2017/04/10.

http://www.crime-safety-security.com/Myths-and-Urban-Legends.html

http://www.yourghoststories.com/real-ghost-story.php?story=11366

http://sensingangels.com/free-stuff/articles_1/12-common-signs-spirit-send-us-to-let-us-know-they-are-around/

Barwise, Jon, and Jerry Seligman. “The Rights and Wrongs of Natural Regularity.” Philosophical Perspectives, vol. 8, 1994, pp. 331–364., http://www.jstor.org/stable/2214177.

http://www.moyak.com/papers/house-sizes.html

http://rdcu.be/qDvU

http://www.jstor.org/stable/40073438?Search=yes&resultItemClick=true&searchText=(doorbell&searchText=etiquette)&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3Fso%3Drel%26amp%3Bacc%3Don%26amp%3BQuery%3D%2528doorbell%2Betiquette%2529%26amp%3Bhp%3D25%26amp%3Bfc%3Doff%26amp%3Bwc%3Doff%26amp%3Bprq%3D%2528door%2Betiquette%2529&seq=4#page_scan_tab_contents

http://livewell.honeywell.com/honeywell_wp/wp-content/uploads/32304384-001_Rev_C.pdf

http://www.nmhc.org/Content.aspx?id=4708

https://ntserver1.wsulibs.wsu.edu:5354/video/price-sand-silica-mines-small-towns-and-money

https://ntserver1.wsulibs.wsu.edu:5354/video/curiosity-quest-goes-green-e-waste

 

Presentation outline

The other day I called my dad and told him we needed a new doorbell that played Slim Shady, so that when someone showed up, the house would be notified for the real slim shady to please stand up, and go get the door. My dad said yes, but sadly my mom disapproved of the idea. She also disapproved of it playing Beyoncé, Taylor Swift, or any other non-traditional noise. I can see why. You see, the doorbell, while necessary for life, really brings up dread and panic for most people. From myths of ghosts, to breaking and entering, to causing panic attacks, the doorbell has turned into a sad reflection of it’s former self.

First thing to clue in on this technology is with the fear people have with things they can’t see. In many cultures, ghost stories surround the front door. For instance, in a blog from a normal guy, he describes how at two in the morning, everyday, he hears his doorbell ring and a child laugh. No one else in his family can hear it and says he is crazy, because he has no evidence that there is a child at his door. This isn’t just terrifying but it leads to the problem with the doorbell, that it is this electric component which can only be used from outside the home, in which someone is trying to gain access into the home. Some say that by answering the door, you could be letting spirits into your home. This idea of fear that by opening a door to an unwanted stranger isn’t completely wrong. Nearly half of break ins occur when someone answers the door to strangers and that stranger forces their way into the home. Some people have had children kidnapped from answering the door. The doorbell is one of these seamless technologies which blends into the home and can be used to harm other people. In one study, about teaching children with autism to find an adult when the doorbell rings instead of opening it found that there is a way and need to teach children early on door safety because of those hazards associated with the door.

But then, why have a doorbell? They are loud and obnoxious and make the dogs bark. Well, it’s a safety measure, quite literally today, doorbells now have cameras and light notification of someone’s arrival in which homeowners no longer have to peek out the window and show they are at home before they answer the door but rather, they don’t even have to go downstairs anymore. With these additions, the doorbell becomes a line of screening of guests. Also, the doorbell does its job fantastically.  Back a hundred years ago, doorbells were not needed because houses were half of the size of a house today. As houses got bigger a doorbell was necessary to notify a homeowner of someone’s arrival because a knock would not be loud enough to hear in the back or upstairs rooms of the house. Today, the volume of the doorbell can be adjusted in ways that it just couldn’t in the past.

The doorbell does have its upsides and downsides, but there is no denying that it has altered the way we function. If you have ever played ding dong ditch as a kid, you may not have known that you were actually breaking a law. In most city ordinances, the entertainment of ding dong ditch can be a form of disruption of the peace. So your mean fourth grade teacher could have acutally filed a report with the city and have you charged with a midomener of disturbing the peace if she really wanted to. But what’s more then the muddy rules of the city, are the social affects of having a doorbell. If you have ever felt anxious when the doorbell rings in the middle of the day, well then you might have a form of social anxiety. The fear of doorbells, while sadly is not considered a phobia, is consistent with research done with social anxiety. The sound of the doorbell has actually caused people to have panic attacks because of the association of a doorbell and talking to a person when answering the door, and for some people this can be truly a challenge.

Instances such as these point out how as a society, we do not expect to have unexpected guests before. Think back to the last time you heard your doorbell at home. Did you answer the door? No, was it a mailman, probably. When your friend arrives at your house, do they even ring the bell, or do they send you a text saying “I’m here.”? The doorbell just a few decades ago was a good, thing, a guest had arrived, today, they don’t mean that, they mean someone you don’t care for wants your attention. That isn’t necessary a bad thing, but it makes our interactions with the front door interesting.

As we move farther into this century, I imagine we will see more of the technology you find in your smartphone to leak its way into the doorbell. It looks like it will start to become more like a security device then a nice things. With all of the annoying aspects which the doorbell creates, try to remember that the doorbell is an essential part of interacting with people inside and outside of your home. It is not a simple button, but rather a very small yet influential device which will surely last for a hundred more years.

Semester analysis

The writing which I have produced this year has brought me to a different type of writing then I have encountered. When I came into this class I had mainly worked on quick writing. So, most of my writing development was with getting ideas down on a paper in a half hour to an hour flat and developing analysis in that time. However, as this paper has been developing I hope to address a few other things such as the introduction and the outline of the paper so I can get all of my ideas down in a way that is readable.

When it comes to the writing I used at the beginning of class it was mostly quick writing-take a quote and stick it on a page, then write the two to one ratio of analysis. With this, I was actually doing pretty well throughout college so far and did not feel that the type of writing I was doing was a struggle at all or diminished my coursework. I even had professors say that my writing was good. Of course there is always room for improvement. I like how my research chosen happened over so long and how I can really think through my ideas an learn information which I can process and turn in as being insightful for the first time. I have found where I have run into problems, one of the main components being my introductions. I am terrible at them, and now I am starting to find ways to introduce my ideas. The other problem I still have is with the organization of my paper. I have so many ideas which I want to get out on paper but I struggle with having these ideas connect in a way that is not so choppy and seems to go with a strong thesis-also an issue-to get out my ideas. In my analysis I have also found that I don’t have a specific tone, I have found that I sound like myself. That sounds odd, but I have tried for so long to be very funny or serious and I am neither. This is why I have not tried to write based on that tone but rather with the method of topics first.

For the specific essay which shall be turned in soon, I have found a few interesting components which I have developed over time. The first interesting part of the process was how many sources are on the internet compared to the sources I found through the library website. The key thing is to look up keywords which will get you around the topic you are talking about. While I cannot find much around doorbells, etiquette, is a good word to describe the social aspect of the world surrounding the doorbell. Some sources such as in MASC, were cool because of how old they were, the resources such as these ones give a glimpse of the world before today and to know what people focused on back then. I really enjoy those articles written by people in pop culture, I love looking to Youtube for references because it is a different method of analysis then a book. You have to look though the bias an focus but these also help you lead to other things that you didn’t even think about and I find that truly fascinating. With that there are also things that totally dislike, like reading long books because I don’t like taking all the time to read through a thousand page book. And I probably never will.

Still, with that being said that the research techniques which I have learned over this semester should help me to bring up a better essay then what I have put together before I began this semester. Hopefully my final project will have a good flow to it as well as a good introduction and finally have a strong analysis which will make someone think.

Today’s analysis

Today, i was able to produce about four pages of work in the hour we had trying to follow the pattern that Wilson wrote. I like this guide as an opening paragraph and found that using her type of method that I wrote a much better introduction as hers. I found that during my historical part of the essay I could not stay on track with her model because of they type of history my technology. Also, I think that when writing about history, I see it as a serious topic and find it hard to balance the facts and analysis while keeping a personality and voice. So following her model is weird with that section. I also just didn’t write part of the beginning sections because it didn’t fit with what I wanted to talk about.