Tag Archives: social media

How To Be American

I truly apologize for being M.I.A. for so long… but I recently bought an iPhone. Well, it was recent about 6 months ago.

Yes world, I have FINALLY graduated from the ugly dark world of the Blackberry (sorry, not sorry RIM), and I feel like I am a part of the general American public again.  I fit in. I belong. Thank God.

Since inauguration day just passed, I decided this would be a great time to bring up what I believe has become an integral part of American culture and will continue to rise in popularity- FourSquare.

foursquare-rolls-out-first-ads-e2ad2a5185

My love for FourSquare began with my first semester at NYU this past January.  I had experienced people posting “check-ins” on Twitter, which at first really annoyed me, but then made me curious…  Where do I go to check-in?  Why would I want to check-in places?  Why does Kathy think I care that she checked-in at Fat Bob’s 7 days in a row this week?  Actually I might be a little concerned for Kathy… Regardless, I had to give the social media site a try.

Eight months later and I am a check-in fiend. I am also the mayor of Allegro Cafe, my house, Carrabba’s Italian Grill in Amherst, and Zonies (a 3AM drunk Buffalo, NY favorite- real proud of that one), among a few random others.  What does it mean to be mayor? It means you have successfully checked-in to a certain location more times than any other person in the world. Exciting! WEEEE.

178922_10200241633942584_1193747372_n

A ton of people have been asking me why I bother with FourSquare and most mention the creepy, people-knowing-where-you-are factor. While business- wise, FourSquare has many benefits, I’ll stick to the lay person reasons to use it this time:

1. It has the potential to open your eyes to places you didn’t even know existed. To be fair, this is much more true in urban areas than suburban ones. When I lived in NYC it was fabulous. One quick FourSquare search and I was able to find every cupcake joint within a 15 mile radius. I honestly couldn’t have survived my 3-month stay in the city without it. Back home in Buffalo, I use it to find gas stations when I’m running low (so, daily) and where the nearest Chipotle is.

OH, but I do work downtown now (NBD), so I plan to take advantage of that feature much more often.

2. It makes you feel like you have a social life. So, this seems sarcastic, and it is. HOWEVER… it is also kind of true. It’s nice to look back and see the stuff you’ve done. More than that, it’s convenient (again for more urban areas) to be able to look back at places you went, incase you forgot what/where they were. This doesn’t happen often in Buffalo, but in NYC I’d go to so many random little cafes or bakeries (duh), that I’d sometimes forget where in the city they were. NEVER FEAR, EMILY. You checked in. Way to go.

3. You can show off to your friends that you have a social life by posting your check-ins to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google+… No. This was 100% sarcastic. Don’t do this.

4. Sometimes you can pick up a good tip. Like Yelp, and other popular review sites, people are able to “review” locations by leaving a “tip” on them.  Every time you check into or search a place, you have the option to read tips or leave one. This can be either useful or stupid. Or entertaining. Or all of those things.

5. Depending on your location, FourSquare will show you the hottest spots around you. Don’t know where to go for dinner? Check the “Top Picks”. How handy! For example, from in my living room, the top five “top picks” are: Walgreens (anticlimactic), Cole’s (popular bar and delicious dining), Anderson’s Frozen Custard (yes.), The Wellington Pub (another popular bar/grill), and Pano’s (a great trendy Greek restaurant in an equally trendy neighborhood). Fab.

IN CONCLUSION, FourSquare isn’t the most amazing social media site to hit the Internet, but it’s pretty useful and it’s pretty cool. Why not?

Tagged , , , , , ,

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.

Image

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”.

Image

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!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

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).

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Help Me I’m Poor.

There’s been a lot of buzz lately on the horrifying news that some employers have been asking for interviewee’s Facebook passwords.  If you haven’t heard about it yet… you must have a job.

I first learned of this apparent new trend while sitting in my Social Media class a couple Wednesday’s ago. One of my fellow students mentioned it to my professor, astounding myself and many other students.  At this point, I can’t even tell you where this started.  If you search “employers asking for Facebook passwords” on Google.com, a number of articles pop up, all telling different stories of different people going in for an interview and leaving feeling a bit violated and severely confused.

I realize that today’s job market is more competitive than ever, and people are doing whatever it takes to land a job, any job.  For that reason, I am even MORE astounded over the fact that Congress did not vote in favor of a law that would prohibit employers from asking for passwords like this.  Granted, I know very little about the way that law and government works, other than what my Communications Ethics, Law and Regulation class is teaching me this semester.  However, someone needs to protect us unemployed desperately indebted peoples!

I read in the Wall Street Journal last week that student debt has now surpassed $1 TRILLION.  Do you KNOW how much money that is!?!?  In an effort to be as cliche as possible- desperate times call for desperate measures.  So if a potential employer, a.k.a. a potential solution to my thousands of dollars of debt, asks for my password, well, I might give it to them.  I probably will at least think it over… don’t judge me, I’m poor!  And so is SO much of the rest of the 20-30-year-old world these days.

[Photo credit to mmaytheoddsbeeverinyourfavor on Tumblr]

I just have a simple question for all of you to answer- what is this world coming to?  Since when is it “okay” to ask for someone’s password, for anything?  [Side note: No, it’s not okay for your boyfriend/girlfriend to ask either.  My only advice for you people dealing with that issue is to run.  Run far, far away.  Knowing your s/o’s Facebook password is a dangerous, scary thing that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.  I’M SERIOUS GUYS DON’T DO IT YOU WILL HATE THEM OR YOURSELF AFTERWARDS… Whoa.  Sorry.  Flashbacks are a very real thing.]

I understand that background checks are a part of the employment process in more ways than one, but I truly believe that asking for Facebook passwords is taking it just a tad too far.  I doubt I could find anyone who disagrees with me, but PLEASE, if you do, give me your rationale in the comments.  Any other support- monetary or otherwise- is welcome.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

A New Way for 20-Somethings to Feel More Single

 And Also How to Help Your Business Grow in the Social Media World

Well guys, my heart has been completely consumed by a new lover- Pinterest.com.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, I highly suggest you do, but only if you are willing to accept the fact that you are moments away from tossing hours of time to the wind, and, at the risk of sounding sexist, only if you are a woman… a woman with no shame.

The reason I say this is because Pinterest has become a sort of haven for girly things and girly dreams and WEDDINGS. Yes ladies, thanks to Pinterest, you can now plan out your entire wedding- colors, flowers, gown, favors, table numbers, cakes versus cupcakes, wedding rings, etc- FOR FREE! And you don’t even need a fiancé!

Some people are a little alarmed by this… namely stupid boys.  BuzzFeed.com recently posted this little number on the up-and-coming social media site. Shockingly enough, it was written by a woman.  She must either be married or really, really bitter.  Okay, I’m making a lot of assumptions here and throwing out way too many opinions, but that’s half the fun of blogging right!?  Sorry Ashley McCollum, I’m sure you’re a lovely lady and far more secure in your present marital status than your article suggests that the rest of us are.

Anyway, businesses who are smart will hop on the Pinterest bandwagon, and fast. The way it works is users are either ‘invited’ to join the site, or request to be invited. Once a user has an account with the site, they begin to create ‘boards’, or groups, within their profile, and each group is labeled per a specific topic.

For example, one of the suggested boards the site offers is titled “Dream Wedding”.  As you can see in the BuzzFeed article, some people like to get a little more creative with their titles, but it doesn’t change the fact that the board’s purpose is to collect wedding related things of interest to the user.

After creating boards, users get to pinning! On the site itself, you can browse through what other people are pinning and repin things for your own boards.  OR, you can go to some of your favorite websites, blogs, and so forth and pin things you want to keep tabs on.

According to BostInno.com, Pinterest users are 80 percent female and 71 percent are between the ages of 18 and 45. In addition, an article on Mashable.com stated the top four categories were Home, Arts and Crafts, Style/Fashion, and Food (how did wedding planning not make the list??? Maybe I’m only thinking of myself again here…).  Knowing this, the fashion industry, craft stores, home and garden sites… should all be taking advantage of this opportunity!

Businesses- start your own boards!  Make categories so that people can find your products!  Put a ‘Pin it’ button on your website so that viewers can keep tabs on their favorite products of yours!  Check out how other companies are successfully using the site, like Birchbox and Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.

And ladies- wedding dress search to your hearts content.  What harm are you doing by dreaming of what will hopefully be the greatest day of your life?

 I mean… who cares that right now there’s no way in Heaven or in Hell that you could possibly afford an extravagant outdoor wedding with chiffon tents and lavender scented candles? And who cares that you’re mother told you that you would be disowned from the family if you planned an outdoor wedding anyway because it’s against the Church? And WHO REALLY CARES that you’re not engaged, aren’t anywhere close to being engaged, and/or have anyone that you could ever in the next five years see yourself being engaged to??? Not me. So pin away.

As I always say, with social media, the opportunities are endless. And it’s all free! Holler!

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

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.]

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Why Facebook Is Not Helping My Anxiety

Look people, the reality is, whether you like it or not, Facebook is officially a part of your life.  Whether you have a page or don’t (and chances are  good you do- according to digitalbuzzblog.com, about a year ago, 1 in 13 people on EARTH had a Facebook… on EARTH), you’re making decisions based on Facebook, or because of Facebook, every day.

Every time you meet someone, what’s the first thing you do?  Check and see if they have a Facebook.  Let’s be honest, if they don’t, we assume there must be something wrong with them.  If they do, we first cross our fingers and wish on every star that their privacy settings aren’t so severe that we can’t even see their profile pictures without ‘friending’ them.  If we come across something strange, we DO judge.  Even though in most cases (but definitely not all, I’ve stalked people I’ve never met before), Facebook is like a second impression, it’s become just as important as the first, if not more important.

Recently, I started seriously dating someone.

I don’t think I need to even explain the relevance of this situation here in relation to Facebook, but for the sake of this blog, I will.  One of the most important parts of anyone’s profiles, is their “relationship status”.  If you saw the movie based off of the true story of the beginning of Facebook, “The Social Network”, you would know that this was the final addition to the website that Mark Zuckerberg added before making it public.  The relationship status is the cause of pain and suffering, jealousy, numerous arguments, and serious dilemmas. Which brings me to my current situation.

My last relationship I kept off of Facebook.  Obviously, this was wise because it didn’t end up working out.  It always seemed so obnoxious to me.  Why does every single one of my far and distant friends, including, but not limited to, the guy I met at a bar one time a year and a half ago, my sister’s best friend’s little brother, my great Aunt Susan twice removed, and every single person I ever spoke to in any one of my classes from undergrad- actually I take that back, it doesn’t really matter if I spoke to them or not- NEED to know about my relationship change?  And why go through the potential embarrassment of dealing with your break up being broadcast to hundreds, if not thousands of people, who are guaranteed to make comments like “I didn’t see that one coming”, “you must be really upset”, “you’re better off without him gf!”, and “I’d love to take you out for dinner…”

That being said, my new boyfriend is someone I’ve known for a while, and we have a lot of mutual friends.  Currently, I live in New York City, and he lives in Buffalo, so I don’t get to see or talk to our friends very often.  Thus, I have been debating making the relationship “Facebook official” (this is a very real phrase- you may have heard it in the sentence: ‘It’s not official, until it’s Facebook official’), and I’m not lying when I say it has been causing me a great deal of anxiety the last few days.  Granted, I am pretty neurotic.

Still, I know I am not alone in this.  My roommate is from Italy, where her significant other also resides.  Being “Facebook official” has been the subject of their arguments for the last two weeks.  No lie, it actually caused him to delete his Facebook page for a few days.

This past Saturday, my sister got married.  Approximately 8 hours after saying “I do”, her last name on Facebook was changed and she went from being engaged to married.  8 hours.  Meaning on her actual wedding day, she found the time, rather, she made the time, to go on Facebook and make these changes.  And she’s not alone in this.  I’ve found this to be the case for all of my friends who have recently tied the knot.  Often in even less time than that.

Relationship statuses are just the beginning of how Facebook affects our daily lives.  I could go on for days. What’s your opinion on the matter?  Are you for or against the relationship status?

Tagged , , , , ,

The Night Twitter Saved My Life… #notreallybutstill

February 12th, 2012: A beautiful day for an incredibly obnoxious but irresistible awards ceremony- The Grammy’s.  I got my work done, went to church, purchased a tub of cookie dough ice cream, made a pound of pasta, and had my personal Twitter account open with the hashtag #Grammys saved… I was SO ready to watch.

Disclaimer: This isn't actually me, it's my best friend. However her expression matches my enthusiasm for the Grammy's this night.

Disclaimer: This isn't actually me, it's my best friend. However her expression matches my enthusiasm for The Grammy's this night.

I started my all night television marathon on E!, watching Ryan Seacrest and Giulianna Rancic interview stars on the red carpet.  This is almost better than the actual awards ceremony because you get to see the absolutely ridiculous things that people will wear to appear wealthy and/or to get attention.

I love Twitter during awards shows.  It’s fascinating watching people respond to what I’m seeing on TV in real time.  I also make it a challenge to be ‘retweeted’ by someone who doesn’t follow me- it feels kind of like being a twitter celebrity.

During the last BET Awards, I tweeted “awww poor girl” #failofafifteenminutesoffame #betawards” [Click here to watch what I was talking about] and got retweeted by @RAEdiantlyRare.  One of my proudest social media moments.

When the clock struck 8pm, I flipped the channel over to CBS to watch the actual awards show and almost burst into tears as I stared at a blue screen and the bouncing words “No Signal”.  Heartbreak.

Throughout the night, the signal went in and out and so I was able to see bits and pieces here and there, but honestly I didn’t miss a thing thanks to Twitter.  I knew exactly who was performing at all times, what they were wearing, what they were singing, how the performance was, how many people wanted to be physically abused by them and more [Check out Buzzfeeds story on the girls who would ‘wouldn’t mind getting beat up’ by Chris Brown…disturbing].

Social Media has completely changed the way people watch events like the Grammys, the Superbowl, and even popular TV shows like ‘The Walking Dead”.  Somehow, that show managed to be a Trending Topic for at least a few minutes during the Grammys, which I think definitely says something for both the show, and how diverse and real Twitter’s users are.

I was an active participant during the show and tweeted all night.  A couple friends joined me, while a few other’s found it incredibly annoying. What do you think? Isn’t this how Twitter was meant to be used? To connect us to people all over through our similar interests? Or maybe we should just all go back to tweeting about what we ate for breakfast this morning…

Tagged , , , ,

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!

Tagged , , , , , , , ,