Northern Star




Northern Star

Northern Illinois University’s student news organization since 1899


Ensure student journalism survives. Donate today.

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

In Focus: Tips for getting through finals week

By Colin Remes | December 1, 2011

Colin Remes Columnist Study early and often, but study just a little bit at a time. Instead of going home and watching TV during your free time, pick up a review sheet or write a few words in that paper you've been putting off. There will always be another...

What not to get your mate for Christmas

By Alyssa Pracz | November 30, 2011

Besides fighting viciously through crowds and rushing for the last pair of Ugg boots, Christmas shopping has another factor that could potentially make or break your relationship: What to get for your significant other.Now I don't have a clear answer...

In Focus: Black Friday Survival Guide

By Martha Lueck | November 17, 2011

Martha Lueck Columnist You should definitely bundle up! I know, common sense, right? But you'd be amazed at how many people seem to think the excitement for hot sales is enough to keep them from freezing throughout hours of waiting for the doors of Best...

It’s a bit too early to have the Christmas Spirit

By Alyssa Pracz | November 16, 2011

A lot of you are probably thinking "it's the most wonderful time of the year," just like the popular Christmas tune. But it's not that time of year yet. I understand some people love Christmas, but hold your horses, it's still November. If you are one...

In Focus: What does Veterans Day mean to you?

By Alyssa Pracz | November 10, 2011

Parker Happ Columnist Veterans Day is getting better. One of my friends, a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan, has return home and earned a job working on Marine One. Another one of my friends who came home this past year was able to see his son born...

Rushed relationships usually don’t work out

By Alyssa Pracz | November 8, 2011

You see it every day: Boy meets girl. They start to like each other and date, and eventually they get married, living happily ever after. Notice the emphasis on the word eventually; as in don't propose to someone after a few months of dating. I'm sure...

In Focus: What’s the most under-utilized resource in DeKalb?

By Jack Baker | November 3, 2011

Jack Baker Columnist It's kind of amazing how many people don't take advantage of all of the scholarships offered through the scholarship office. There are hundreds of them for just about every major and activity offered at NIU. However, so few people...

In Focus: What’s the best and worst things about Halloween?

October 27, 2011

Martha Lueck Columnist Best: Dressing up. It's a chance to be fun in how you present yourself. Even if people judge you for dressing in a bizarre fashion, this is the one day of the year when you can go all out and not care if people think you look like...

Horror films aren’t what they use to be

By Alyssa Pracz | October 25, 2011

Watching scary movies is a must during Halloween. There's just something about the season that makes watching them a little creepier than watching them in the summer. I feel, though, some of the latest horror movies are slacking in their fear factor....

In Focus: Why is our government broken?

By Aaron Brooks | October 20, 2011

Aaron Brooks Columnist Our government is broken because it does not work for the 99 percent of Americans but for corporations and the wealthy. As reported by CBS News in November 2009, a report by The Center for Responsible Politics found 44 percent of...

Does texting make communicating less personal? Yes.

By Colin Remes | October 19, 2011

Everyone can agree that our technological advancements have made our lives significantly easier. However, texting has increasingly made communication less personal. Because of this, messages are often misinterpreted and oftentimes unknowingly hurt or offend people.

Back in the day--before cell phones became attached to our hips, people had no other choice but to call on a house phone if they wanted to get a hold of someone. Nowadays, I often hear my friends say, "ehh...I don't feel like calling I'll just text them," when trying to get a hold of someone. Yes, it is more efficient at times to shoot someone a text if you have a quick inquiry, but we shouldn't make texting so much of a habit that it's awkward to call someone. I'm sure people have been in a situation before where they're arguing with someone through texts because they want to avoid the confrontation in person. This creates a problem because people sometimes read the message differently from the way you communicated it.

There is more to communication than just words. People communicate through facial expressions, their tone of voice and body language. Something you might be sending to a person might be sarcasm or a joke, but they might take it as that you're trying to be mean. Remember: All they see are words and nothing else. According to an article on titled "Types of Nonverbal Communication", "While nonverbal communication and behavior can vary dramatically between cultures, the facial expressions for happiness, sadness, anger and fear are similar throughout the world." Sending a text that reads, "I'm fine," may make it hard for the recipient to tell if you really are fine or are upset without seeing your facial expression or hearing your tone of voice. "Depending on the topic of conversation it can be hard to do it through texting because people can take it the wrong way," said sophomore special education major Lauren Wright.

Using texting as a main source of communication also affects people socially. I know you're thinking, "Well of course it does, I text my friends on the weekend to see what's going on." However, if people get too used to texting all the time and rarely use a phone or have face-to-face conversation, it impacts the way they interact with people. It may sound silly but communicating everyday with people allows you to practice your communication skills and develop confidence in other aspects, such as an interview, a speech, or even just being able to hold a conversation.

I'm not trying to tell anyone to stop texting or that texting is bad. Let's be real, you're probably texting someone right now, just as I'm about to. The main point is to not let texting control the way you communicate to people. Still make the effort to call your parents just to hear their voice or meet up with an old friend to catch up in person rather than just the occasional "How are ya?" text.

What’s the best way to enjoy Homecoming weekend?

What’s the best way to enjoy Homecoming weekend?

By Aaron Brooks | October 13, 2011

Parker Happ Columnist My roommate and I encountered a less than sociable person while traveling home on Hillcrest last weekend. Some hot mess decided a fence line would be a great place for a drunken nap, despite being in full view of the road. With a...