It’s because I’m a girl….

I consider my self to be a feminist. I’m encourage women and girls to strive to be the best people they can be. There are strong women, powerful women who have set the stage for the younger women that follow.

 

I stumbled across an ad campaign about 6 months ago, the Always #Likeagirl campaign. The video discusses the fact that emojis do not represent women and girls. Young women found that these happy and sad faces were very stereotypical and  were willing to provide suggestions about what they would like to have available when they are sending messages to their friends.

Is the feminist movement going to far in suggesting that there be gender equality in social media, specifically with emojis?

In learning about this ad campaign, I found that Always and TED collaborated to push this female empowerment movement.

 

Always used this #LikeAGirl campaign to change the “….Like A Girl.” statement from a negative to a positive one. Once it came to light and was shared via social media, it became clear that doing anything “like a girl” was not a bad thing.

There is a great deal of power in social media. The power of persuasion. The crowd mentality. The ability to reach one person who believes a particular idea and concept. Because I’m a girl, I’m strong and I’m confident. Is my gender fairly represented. Are women portrayed as empowered individuals? Are women overlooked and not included in social media today? What do you think?

 

 

 

Wait…there’s an app for that!

A few years ago, I was the proud owner of a Blackberry. I thought it was the greatest little “smartphone.”  Unfortunately, it was stolen. I lost photos and phone numbers. But I replaced it with an Android phone. This phone was even better. The camera quality was phenomenal and the phone features were great! I didn’t think it could get any better.  Then I purchased an iPhone.

Sigh….

The iPhone, iPad….Apple has managed to create an exclusive product that allows all Apple devices to work together. It’s amazing!  There’s an app for just about everything. There’s an app to help you sleep, hypnosis to stop nail biting, workout apps, meal planning apps, etc.  This phone is more than a phone, it’s my alarm clock, my radio, my newscasts. Oh my goodness, I need my phone. Can you be addicted to a phone? Is it considered a necessity? Hmmm.

Do I have a problem? The first step is admitting it. So I took to the internet and behold. An app that tracks the number of times you check your phone.

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/news/a30063/new-app-tracks-times-you-check-your-phone/   

According to the article, the app is designed to help you decrease the number of times you unlock your phone or check it. In my opinion, it will take more than an app to take the focus away from our phones.

Is the phone addiction becoming a “pandemic”? If we use apps for almost every aspect of our lives, how can we start depending less on our phones (tablets) and relying more on ourselves?

 

Let’s talk or whatever…

I’m wondering what the true effects of today’s devices are on children today. According to a study done by the Common Sense Advisory, social media has  positive effect on young people today. One in five teens say that social media make them feel confident. But why? Is it the ability to create an identity where no one really knows who you are? Is it because it provides the ability to hide behind a screen, an avatar or a profile that doesn’t reveal a shred of an individual’s identity.

I think young people have become very comfortable communicating through instant messaging, chat, texting, tweeting, etc. The instantaneous message, provides immediate gratification with respect to knowing what their friends are doing. Is there a correlation between confidence and the ability to reach people when we need to?

On the other hand, Periscope and now Facebook Live are two new tools that allow a different type of interaction where users can log in and interact live via Facebook and Periscope. Now we have access to the events in “real-time.” Can you believe it? Gone are the days of VHS and Beta recordings.

This need for instant “in the moment” answers are not limited to young people. These services allow users to ask questions via instant message during the live video broadcast. Businesses are using Periscope and live video streaming in their marketing strategies. Business use live video streaming services to give the business a human face. Q & A sessions are a great way for customers to learn more about the people behind the business. This type of video streaming is great for product demonstrations.  The common element is the need for interaction, an exchange or knowing that there is someone “behind the scenes.”

Does this mean that we still crave “face to face” time? Do we still need to see each other when having a conversation? Are we moving away from the “digital age”?

In my opinion, humans need interaction at all levels, and yes, we do crave it. It’s important. Cutting ourselves off from the world and creating personas that live behind a screen can be dangerous for both individual development and the growth of society.

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Take a minute….

I recently came across a poem called Look up by Gary Turk. The poem sums up what today’s society has become.

It saddens me to know that the world has become a place where people are hiding behind screens and phones. Why are we so afraid to be social while using a variety of media?

I’ve watched young people sit next to each other and text each other rather than speaking to eachother. Is this out of fear? Are we becoming more and more dependent on social media? Why are we so afraid to speak to eachother or go out? Instead we hide behind screens that vary in size. As a result of our attachment to devices, we may be missing out on special moments. Hugs, kisses, family reunion.

Isn’t it better to snuggle with your dog than to look at a picture posted six months ago of yourself snuggling with your dog? Is the digital age taking over? Is being “connected” interfering with regular interpersonal communications. Is the immediacy of a text message better than someone picking up the telephone.

Multi-tasking has become a buzzword since we can talk, text, watch television and do homework all while having a conversation via text message. Multi-tasking, nowadays, means nothing can get your undivided attention. Take a minute and look up, you may find something worth seeing.

It’s trending….but does anyone really care?

“Did you hear that  Bieber is dating Kim Kardashian’s sister?”

“No, I only heard that he broke up with Selena Gomez.”

Social media is now determining what is deemed newsworthy. Gone are the days of finding information by watching  television news or reading a newspaper. Now it seems as though we only know what’s “trending”.What is deemed newsworthy by one tastemaker may not be newsworthy to another. I think it’s a matter of timing. What’s interesting at a given moment. A video of a woman falling off of a scooter could go viral if it’s made visible by Steve Harvey or by Justin Timberlake via Twitter or Instagram. Something so simple can become the next big thing because if who posted it. What does that say about society today? Are we truly the “squirrel!” generation. Are we becoming distracted by trivial things like cats in sunglasses or parodies of popular music videos?

What does that mean for our traditional television news anchors and radio broadcasters? I think now that we are bombarded by videos, Facebook and Twitter posts we may be losing sight of what is really important to us and following what’s trending in our news feeds. 

Are trending hashtags reliable? Are these news stories or media events based on facts. Who is fact checking? What are the repercussions. The evolution of social media is astounding. The reach of online posts and performance measurement has come a long way. My mom told me not to believe everything I read. Now I tell my children not to believe everything they read online. Is social media the new word of mouth, considering how quickly a post can travel and how quickly the story can change.

Social media has undoubtedly changed the way we receive news. According to Kevin Allocca, videos go viral three reasons:

1. Tastemakers- the people who post the video or talk about the video;

2. communities of participation –  who is sharing the video; and

3. unexpectedness – timing.

The same can be said in determining the newsworthiness of a story, blog post, video, etc.

Why Videos go Viral? 

To be honest, I believe that Kevin is right. It’s a matter of being at the right place at the right time.

COM0011-T.M.I.-How much information is too much?

I have a friend, who recently lost a very close family member. Unfortunately, week after week, she posts lengthy passages on Facebook about her family, her feelings, her struggles, her state of mind, etc. My friend, let’s call her…Maria, quit her job to take care of her mother before she passed, and is still unemployed.

The problem with the “Internet” is that once something is posted, it can never be taken back. A mutual friend said “Does Maria ever want to go back into the workforce?” Her actions beg the question “How much information is too much information?”

Maria’s rants delved in all the emotions associated with grief. She struggled with her faith and religious beliefs and she expressed a great deal of rage. She lived through this range of emotion via Facebook. Unfortunately, she is not fully aware of the repercussions that these posts may have on her future. Then I got to thinking about the repercussion of addressing her online behaviour through an online forum.

The article Employees Must Practice Caution When Using Social Media refers to employees; however, article can also apply to potential employees. Employers are looking for serious people who will fit in with their company culture. Often they browse the social media accounts of potential candidates to see if there are any posts that are controversial. This practice is becoming more common among organizations. The article Should social media activity cost you your job? discusses the issues of policy, trust and privacy.

We saw several examples in the past federal election of how social media mistakes (even as a teenager) can come back to haunt you, ultimately altering the course of your future. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-election-2015-ala-buzreba-tweets-1.3195193

Does commenting on or “liking” her status posts encourage her continue this type of oversharing. As it is done in such a public forum, will this have negative repercussions for me? My suggestion to Maria is that she avoid discussing religious or political beliefs on Facebook or any other social media platform. She may want refrain from using inappropriate language or commenting on the actions of others. Another idea calling a friend and chatting about how things are going over coffee. There is a point where oversharing becomes problematic. When it starts making others feel uncomfortable. The fact is that social media isn’t private. Even if you send a message or create a post in a private group. It’s on the Internet. Social media is a platform to share ideas and opinions but as a diary or a form of therapy I think Maria should go back to pen and paper.