Category Archives: Personal

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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The Epic Battle Of Accepting That You’re A Facebook Stalker.

I, Emily R. Marciniak, am a hardcore Facebook stalker.

It’s taken me a while to get to this point- being able to admit it, I mean.

Let’s be honest, we all got a little creeper in us, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter make it SUPER easy to let it out.  Whether we choose to let it out in full force, full speed ahead, checking out the ex girlfriends/boyfriends of our crushes from 5 years ago and viewing each and every one of their 672 tagged photos, or in smaller forms by simply reviewing a person’s “wall” all the way back to 2009, we. all. do it.

I don’t care if you are shaking your head at me right now.  “No, Emily, I do not stalk people.  I am above that.  And furthermore, I honestly don’t care about the pics people are tagged in, or what my ex best friend is doing with my stupid ex boyfriend on their vacation in Miami.  I just don’t.  So shut up.” Well, no, I won’t.  And I think you are only doing yourself a disservice by not admitting your true identity.  Facebook creeping is nothing to be ashamed of people!  It’s a simple fact of life!

Let me first define what “Facebook stalking” is.  According to the nationally accredited Urbandictionary.com, Facebook stalking is “a covert method of investigation using Facebook.com.” Simple, but well put.  Okay, so maybe you don’t go quite as crazy as I do and look through the “Notes” people have written (who even does that… I’ll tell you, basically no one).  However, just checking out a person’s page and giving it a once over could be considered “Facebook stalking”.

I realize that because I already admitted I am a stalker, you might be thinking I’m just trying to justify myself here.  So take it from another internet sensation, “Jenna Marbles”, a popular YouTuber who got her start with a funny video on how to trick people into thinking you’re good looking (WARNING: Jenna is as addicting as she is explicit. Girlfriend doesn’t have a filter.)

To help  you all out if you are still unsure about whether you are a Facebook stalker or not, I’ve made this list based off of some research and some of my own creative stirrings.

11 Ways To Know That You Are In Fact, A Facebook Stalker!

1. You know the middle name of your current significant other’s ex.  You might also know where they went to high school, what their current s/o looks like, and who their friends are, because they’re stalkers too and they keep trying to friend you.

2. You know the times of day that certain people will be checking their Facebook.  Sometimes you get upset staring at their name on FB Chat because they are not instant messaging you. What the hell.  Oh well, we’ll try again same time tomorrow.

3. You check your profile page and go through your pictures nearly every time you add a new friend.  It’s only natural.  That girl who was your arch-enemy in undergrad just added you and you want, no NEED, to look good.  Let’s make sure there’s no ‘special’ photos we need to untag real quick.

4. You limit yourself to only two checks of Facebook per day during Lent at 15 minute increments.  This one might be too specific. Yeah, okay, you got me, this one’s about me.

5. You have a list of friends whom you immediately text every time a new engagement pops up on Facebook. Often times, it’s a race to see who can get the news out first.  And then it’s a race to the anxiety medication because you are SO far away from ever being at that point in your life.

6. Facebook is the first thing you check in the morning, and the last thing you check before bed at night.  In this case, FB is kind of like your relationship partner.  When you find that it’s more reliable than your real life relationship partner, then you have a problem.

7. When a friend ‘temporarily disables’ their Facebook, you assume you have been removed from their friends.  And shortly after send them sad faces in multiple text messages.

8. You have gone through at least one entire photo album of person you do not even know. It’s called “living vicariously”… or being a stalker.

9. You have gone all the way back to the beginning of someone’s “timeline” if they have the new timeline format.  I’m still debating how I feel about this new FB style.  Whatever, it allows me to see what people were doing in 2007 and makes me feel better about how awkward and disgusting I was then too.

10. You are reading this because you stalked my page.  It’s cool.  No one’s judging.  In fact, I’m actually flattered, so thank you!

11. You have ever poked anyone, ever.  This part of stalking is actually just not okay.  Just… just don’t do it.

I hope this helped everyone.  Just take your acceptance a day at a time, or perhaps, a photo, or a profile page at a time.

[For more ways to tell, check out where some of my inspiration came from: click here, here, and/or here.]

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Social Media and Being The Oldest of Nine Children

Unfortunately, to be the oldest of nine children means that you’re more likely to have restrictions on everything you do.  Things as vast and different as snowboarding, or breathing.  That being said, my social media history was a battle with both my lack of resources and my parents.

I was granted permission to have my own e-mail address when I was twelve-years-old, in 2001.  I don’t remember exactly what my address was, but I’m sure it was something along the lines of  BsBroCkSmYSox@verizon.net or ImANiceGirl@verizon.net.  I mostly e-mailed family members, a few friends, and then a couple years later I e-mailed back and forth with a boy who was my best friend’s brother, and in college (WHOA).  My mother also set me up with a pen pal- Kelsey, the daughter of one of my mother’s very good friends who she met through common interests on the internet, but lived in another state.  Kelsey and I e-mailed a bit back and forth as well, but it’s hard to forge a relationship when that’s exactly what you are doing- forging it.

Then the coolest thing happened- AIM arrived.  It hit my jr. high school like a tropical storm.  Before you knew it, everyone had AIM, and if you ever wanted to get that slow dance with Danny at the bi-annual school dances you had better get yourself a crafty avatar, a cute screen name, and get to typing.

Naturally, there were many limits in my house with the use of AIM.  In fact, it was deleted from the computer, unbeknownst to me, on several occasions.  I believe at the time, our family computer (the ONLY one in the house) was prone to viruses, which according to my father, were coming from the AOL Instant Messenger.  Luckily, AIM set up an AIM Express on their website that allowed for people to use it without downloading.  As long as I cleared the history and told my dad I was “doing homework”, I was usually good to go.  I did a lot of homework those days.

At some point in high school, the most amazing incredible social media site (I believe) to date was created- Myspace.  Magical.  EVERYONE had a Myspace.  I loved it because you could make it so personal.  You could pick your own theme, put in sparkly bubble letters spelling your name, stalk pictures of your crush at the all boys school (yes, I went to a private girls high school…), and post ‘bulletins’!  Bulletins were the best.  I’d spend 2 hours on a 500 question survey that asked questions like: ‘have you ever gone skinny dipping?’ ‘Pepsi or Coke?’ ‘What’s your best friend’s mother’s aunts name?’ Actually, looking back at that now, maybe it was like practice for all the security questions I’d have to answer for future social media and credit card sites.  Either way, I’d answer every damn question and I can tell you for certain that literally NO ONE read them.

Mom and dad hated Myspace too.  They were certain some pervert would work his way through my privacy settings, find my location, convince me to meet him at the mall for milkshakes and that would be the end of me.  I was NEVER allowed to have a Myspace, which made it that much more thrilling.  Many tears were shed over this fabulous website.

My senior year of high school was when Facebook took off.  I was skeptical at first because it wasn’t as pretty as Myspace, but eventually I let down my walls and fell in love again.  Now I am signed up for approximately 15 different social media sites, and I have been adding to list steadily since the start of this semester.  And since I’m living on my own now, the opportunities are truly endless!

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