Monthly Archives: April 2012

Social Media Ignorance Is Not Bliss

A recent phone call conversation with a deeply anti- social media proponent spawned this post.  You’re welcome for all of the fury that you are about to experience.

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I realize that social media is a relatively new and extremely fast paced, ever changing world, and that can be kind of scary for some people.  However, making sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube out to be evil, is absolutely absurd, and, dare I say it, ignorant.

Granted, I can cite many situations where a social media website was used poorly, if not in a down right evil manner.  The awful suicide story of Megan Meier who was cyberbullied by a friend’s mother on Myspace is one example.  Another is the story of Jamey Rodemeyer, a teen living outside of my hometown, Buffalo, NY, who was openly and proudly homosexual, and often posted YouTube videos about it to help and encourage other homosexual youth.  Anonymous hate posts telling him to die on a semi-popular social media site called Formspring, and constant bullying on YouTube and in school caused his suicide. Not mention, the great number of times that people, specifically those in the public eye, have posted discriminatory and/or racial content on Twitter.

Additionally, social media can be used poorly in other less fatal, but offensive, ways.  Passive aggressive status updates are a teenage girl’s best friend.  Opinions that should often be kept to yourself are often vomited all over our news feeds- save extremist thoughts for the the dinner table, no one wants to feel offended while trying to look through their friends vaca photos.

To quote my mother, “Everything can be used in a good or bad way. Breathing, eating… even sleeping!  Sleeping could be used in bad or evil way too!”  Although I can’t currently think of a way that sleeping could be seen as evil (Oh wait, I got it- sleep is definitely evil during exam week.  So tempting and desirable, but so unproductive), she has a point!  Even the most wonderful, beneficial, nicest thing in the world, intended only for good, could be turned around and used the wrong way.  Just look at the Genie in Aladdin… once Jafar had control of him, everything went to shit.

Anyway, after this incredibly annoying phone call, I took to the Internet and Googled (naturally), “why people don’t like Facebook”.  People, I struck gold.  Say hello to sickfacebook.com.  I encourage you to read some of the articles posted, but I have to warn you that you will probably lose a few brain cells in the process.

The best article I read, which also happened to be the first, was titled “6 Advantages of Not Using Facebook“.  The only thing worse than the arguments made is the grammar.  Keep in mind, this is listed as one of their “Popular Posts”.

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I have decided to respond to this article and each of the six “advantages”. Sickfacebook.com, I hope that you read this.

1. Don’t Have To Worry About Privacy– Yes, it’s true, Facebook does have some privacy issues. However, for those of us high-function humans who know not to jump into a van driven by a man who’s offering us candy, were able to decipher when it’s a good idea or not a good idea to post something on our page.  I like to call it common sense.

2. Facebook Is A Waste of Time– So is your web page.  So is the majority of the Internet.  HEY, that’s a good idea!  GUYS I GOT IT!  Let’s ban the Internet!  We will all be SO much more productive.

3. Control Over Types of Conversation– You actually have to read the article to understand what the heck this means.  Actually, I still don’t really get it.  This one is just funny.

4. Avoid Higher Risk of Effecting Your Computer From Malware and Scams– In this part of the argument, the author states that some people click on links on Facebook that lead to scams… again, as long as you know not to cuddle with a knife at night you probably know not to click 2f./bylgi.crp for the lifetime supply of iPads that your ex best friend from kindergarten, who you haven’t talked to in seven years, randomly messaged you.  Also, this brings me back to the idea I got in response to number 2- we should probs just get rid of the Internet altogether! YEAH!

5. Reliable Communication– Here the author explains that sometimes people don’t go on Facebook very often! So how the heck are you supposed to get a hold of them!? DELETE YOUR FACEBOOK IMMEDIATELY AND REPLACE THAT CRAP WITH A PHONE. Because you can’t have both.

I mean, really.

6. Can Keep Things To Yourself– Refer to number 1.

Yup, that’s it.  Good one, right?  But I think it’s actually serious.

Have you ever had a conversation with someone that truly hated Facebook? Or Twitter (see my last post)?  How did you respond?  Do you agree with any of these arguments, or have any of your own?  I know I was pretty blunt in my responses, but I do really want to understand where you are coming from if you find yourself against the social media movement.  Fill me in or back me up in the comments! Gracias!

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Nick, Be a Winner, Get a Twitter

AKA, Why You’re a Loser if You Don’t Have a Twitter Yet

#SorryNotSorry for that subtitle.  (And the title was necessary to save a soul, clearly) But it’s true!  I was having this discussion with one of my best friends, a previous roommate from my undergrad and also classmate in high school, the other day.  The girl refuses to sign up for a Twitter account.  I explained to her that there are numerous benefits to signing up, that if she doesn’t, she’s going to be left behind by the rest of us and our vast knowledge of current events, AND that her voice is not being heard by the MAN because she doesn’t have a Twitter to broadcast it… nothing.  I even told her she could follow Edward Cullen. She still refused.

Therefore, I have comprised a list of reasons you are a loser if you STILL do not have a Twitter.  We have long since moved past the notion that Twitter is JUST (not saying they don’t still do it) a place for preteens and teenagers to vent out their frustrations in 140 characters or less and for middle-agers to post pics of whatever they ate for dinner.  Twitter is the land of the informed, the conscientious, and the revolutionizers. YEAH.

Top Four Reasons You Are A Loser If You Don’t Have A Twitter:

1. The reality is, news is being broadcast on Twitter FIRST, before anywhere else.  A prime example is the announcement of Facebook buying Instagram.  I received an e-mail for the NY Times about the $1 Billion purchase, as soon as it was written, right to my phone (a Blackberry… wah).  Immediately after, I clicked on my Twitter app to post about it, only to find that it was old news!  People had been posting almost an hour before then about the Instagram buyout and how they felt about it.  If you want to be an active and knowledgeable participant in LIFE in general… you’ll get a Twitter account and keep yourself up-to-date.

2. Twitter is creating a worldwide community.  Yes, Facebook connects you to people you don’t always get to see… BUT with the exception of the occassional attractive looking person of the opposite sex that requests your friendship, you will not add people that you do not know- at least we have been taught that it is the smart and common sensical thing to do.  However, Twitter is all about connecting with strangers and making a name for yourself amoung them.  It’s not creepy to “mention” someone in a response to what they “tweeted”, whereas it’s hella weird to like a stranger’s status or photos… or, dare I say it, write on their wall.  You want to know how people think and connect with them on a regular basis? Get a twitter.

[*cough* *cough* Social work is about knowing how SOCIETY and the PEOPLE in it think and work, and how to use that knowledge to make them think and work better.  Seems like Twitter is an obvious spectacular resource. *cough* *cough* *COUGH* Yes, that one was directed at you, Courtney.]

3. You can gain credibility just from having an active Twitter.  I’ve seen classmates turn into go-to sports commentators because of their Twitter accounts [on that note, check out @NickVeronica for great updates during most Buffalo sports, Yankees, and/or Canisius College games, with a hint of humor and interesting observations occasionally thrown in. Oh, also, bear with him when he posts pics of himself in a tie.  He’s really big on that]. In the last few weeks, I’ve gained a handful of followers who are interested in social media- I’m assuming as a result of both this blog and my posts on Twitter.  If you use the site for what it was meant, you can gain a LOT from it. Check out this article I got from @TweetSmarter on how to make yourself more of an influencer.  Granted, this is more directed towards businesses, but you can still apply it to yourself.

4. The corporate world is watching. Now more than ever before, companies are paying attention to what the public is saying. With our economy slowly repairing itself, and the Internet becoming more vast and easy to use, there are a million and one options that we consumers have at our finger tips, but only a few precious dollars to spend, so whoever has EXACTLY what we want, gets the cash. And companies reliant off of consumers know this. Good organizations are all over Twitter, engaging in communication between the company and the public, and understanding exactly what it is that we want.  I think that’s pretty cool.  Corporations (in this sense at least), are actually listening!  Because they HAVE to!  But if you don’t have a Twitter… nobody hears you. [Side note: I tweeted @Wegmans, my favorite grocery store from home (Buffalo) the other day about how much I missed them, and they tweeted right back at me, saying they missed me too!  I’ll shop there forever]

IN CONCLUSION (I’m terribly sorry to every high school English teacher I ever had for ending like that), if you don’t have a Twitter, you are losing.  You’re losing your ability to make an impression on the corporate world.  You’re losing the chance to make a name for yourself out of nothing, and to network with people who are already great influencers. You’re losing the chance to mix and mingle with people of so many different cultures and backgrounds that you otherwise might never come in contact with.  Most importantly, you’re losing, because you’re ignoring what might possibly be the greatest news resource ever created, and having access to this up to the mili-second current events timeline is something that people never even dreamed of, as they woke up every morning and read their daily news paper to see what happened yesterday.

Get a Twitter account.  It’s free dammit.

P.S. Follow me!  I have an account geared mostly towards PR (@EmilyMarciniak), and a more personal account with funny observations on daily life, and posts on social media (@EmmyRose104).

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