COM0014 – Blog #1: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

It has been 13 years and I still haven’t received my acceptance letter to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. I was disappointed for a while but I decided to take matters into my own hands by going on a trip to Universal Orlando to see it myself!

In May of 2017, I went to visit Universal Studios. I’m a child at heart. I’m in love with movie magic, and I have never been so immersed in magic before while at Universal Studios. The smell of butter beer and sweets wafted through the streets of Diagon Alley as I passed the Leaky Cauldron; kids ran out of Ollivander’s with wands in their hands and chased each other into the Owlery; but my favourite of all, the dragon at the top of Gringott’s Bank blew out warm flames every few minutes.

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Diagon Alley

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Ollivander’s Wand Shop at Diagon Alley

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Leaky Cauldron at Diagon Alley

After riding the Escape From Gringotts ride and exploring all of the shops in Diagon Alley, I hopped on the Hogwarts Express at Platform 9¾ and took a trip to Hogwarts and Hogsmeade.

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Hogwarts Express Train (Fun fact: it’s actually a ride AND a mode of transportation that takes you from one park to the other)

First stop: Hogwarts. Walking through the castle made me realize how long this must have taken to build. The attention to detail was mesmerizing. The castle had holograms of the characters walking around while speaking to each other, and the pictures on the wall moved. After riding the Hogwarts attraction, I explored Hogsmeade. The whole place – Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, Hogwarts – was identical to the Harry Potter films that I know and love. Every building, every window, every crack in the sidewalk was almost an exact replica. The rides were interactive and in 4D, aside from the insanely fun inverted roller coaster, The Dueling Dragons.

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Hogwarts

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Hogsmeade

My favourite ride was Escape From Gringotts. The detail and the ride itself were incredible! While everyone waited in line, you got to walk through the bank where the Goblins actually moved as if they were just working at their everyday jobs! The ride was a roller coaster with a 4D twist and it was so fun! I unfortunately didn’t have my camera with me at the time to take photographs or videos, but here is a video from YouTube if you are curious: https://bit.ly/2N7roOb

If you love roller coasters, warm weather, and most importantly Harry Potter, then I highly recommend making the trip down to Universal, Orlando. I couldn’t even express in words at the time how amazing the experience was. They created an entire London street with a Knight Bus, a replica of King’s Cross Station, and a secret passageway that gets you into Diagon Alley, very similar to what is in the films.

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“London”

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The Knight Bus

 

Have you been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida? What was your favourite experience there? If not, would you want to go? Leave a comment down below!

 

For anyone interested in travelling and for those that want to see more, here are some helpful links to get you started:

Universal Orlando Resort – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Hogsmeade Walkthrough

Diagon Alley Walkthrough

The Power of Social Media and Creating Viral Celebrities

I’m sure most of us have heard the term “viral videos” before. YouTube was the main resource for all viral videos back in it’s early years in 2005 (i.e. Charlie Bit My Finger, SaladFingers, Keyboard Cat). I find that nowadays, most viral videos are now posted on Instagram or Twitter first, before they even make it to YouTube, and the people starring in the videos become viral video celebrities and memes.

The Power of Sharing a Video

Through the power of retweeting, liking, commenting, and sharing, average everyday people can become famous. I think that Vine was responsible for creating these overnight viral celebrities. For those who do not know, Vine was an app where anyone could post a 6 second video for anyone with the app to see. The videos could also be shared through Twitter and Facebook. Many average people became famous from their Vines, such as King Bach, Cameron Dallas, and Shawn Mendes, to name a few. The site was shut down a few years ago, but is rumoured to be revived in the near future.

Now that Vine no longer exists, social media users are posting their content on Instagram and Twitter. It is easy for one to quickly take out their phone and film something right in front of them, and post it immediately online. Average Joe’s are becoming well-known around the world for their strange quirks and embarrassing moments. Here is a list of a few viral video stars that you might recognize.

The “Walmart Yodeling Kid”

Yes, I am bringing this up. To be completely honest, he was my inspiration for writing this blog post.

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YouTube.com

Last week, Mason Ramsey decided to do a spur-of-the-moment performance of Hank Williams’ “Lovesick Blues” at a Walmart in Illinois (you can watch the video on YouTube here: www.youtube.com). His fame did not rise from YouTube, though. After someone shared the video on Twitter with the caption “Me: Where can I find the lightbulbs?; Walmart Employee: (the video),” Mason became a meme and an instant social media viral sensation.

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Twitter.com

Mason has a lovely voice, which lead to people commenting on the Twitter post saying that they have listened to the video more than ten times. Twitter users were adding GIFs of people dancing to the online thread saying that they could listen to it all day. With all of the sharing and retweeting, Mason is no longer an average everyday kid, and he is now a viral celebrity. The video was even made into an EDM remix (that is super catchy, might I add). Check it out below:

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YouTube.com

The comments also show that he is trending worldwide.

The power of sharing a video on social media truly amazes me. With a simple click of a button, an average person can become a famous viral celebrity. To leave you all with a few thoughts, here is something to think about and discuss in the comments below: If you think back to a few years ago, an attractive teenager named Alex worked at Target (“Alex From Target”). A young girl took his photo without his knowledge and shared it Twitter, where it blew up and became viral. Although Alex became famous, and even was a guest on Ellen, Alex’s managers at Target were unimpressed and he almost lost his job. So, keeping this in mind, and the repercussions of being a viral star, do you think that Mason, the young Walmart yodeler, would have wanted to be filmed and shared on Twitter? Was his viral fame a blessing or a curse?

 Social media allows for average, everyday people to get their 15 seconds of fame: https://bit.ly/2Jv0MRC 

 One single retweet is powerful, and could create a viral video star: https://bit.ly/2Jv0MRC 

The Social Media Will and Testament

It is inevitable — one day we won’t be here anymore. It’s an uncomfortable thought that makes me cringe, but it will happen. The reason why I bring this up is because of an interesting debate I heard a while back on the talk radio station NewsTalk 1010, as well as in a social media class I took in university. The question for debate is:  what happens to your social media account after you die, and who should have access to it?

 

Should anyone have access to your account?

Facebook has already taken this thought into consideration. According to an article posted on The Telegraph, a Facebook account can be “memorialized,” or a user can choose a legacy contact when they first create their Facebook account. This legacy contact will then have the access to delete the Facebook account or create any changes to the profile (Telegraph Financial Services, 2017). However, there is a privacy issue that needs to be considered. According to Facebook, it is a violation of one’s privacy to have another person log in to their account (who is not the legacy) to deactivate it, and is considered “breaking the law” (Telegraph Financial Services, 2017). Personal information is housed in social media profiles, and if this information falls into the wrong hands, it could be detrimental. Who would want to get charged for that? Would it even be worth it? I honestly do not think this is all worth the effort and trouble.

To play devil’s advocate, I can imagine the frustration that goes on. What if someone you loved dearly passed away and you wanted to access their social media? What if there was something that could have been stopped and they shared it with someone online, and since it could be considered “a crime,” you would not be able to access their account?

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Photo provided by Pexels

Is it all worth the hassle?

Other social media sites require a death certificate or a form to be filled out. Why all the hassle for just a social media account? In an article on CBC.ca written by RJ Skinner (2017), whoever has access to your social media account after your death, or if anyone has access to it, is totally up to you. Consider it your Social Media Will and Testament; you can pick and choose if you want someone to be your legacy, or you can choose for your account to be locked, forever.

 

What do you think of all this? Would you want someone to be your social media legacy, or do you not care if someone takes over your social media account?

 

Referenced articles:

Skinner, R.J. (2017). What happens to your social media accounts when you die is up to you. CBC. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/life/wellness/what-happens-to-your-social-media-accounts-when-you-die-is-up-to-you-1.4060609

Telegraph Financial Services. (2017). What happens to your social media accounts after you die? The Telegraph. Retrieved from https://www.telegraph.co.uk/financial-services/retirement-solutions/funeral-plans/social-media-after-death/

 

Curious about what happens to your social media accounts after you pass on? Me, too. Click here to find out: https://bit.ly/2H14KRa 

 

What will happen to your social media profile if you die? Click here to read and find out more: https://bit.ly/2H14KRa 

Pinterest Positivity

With all the different social media platforms out in the universe, it is hard to maintain a positive outlook on our own lives. I for one, can easily say, that scrolling through Instagram and Facebook, I get jealous. Plain and simple. It is so easy to become envious of other people’s lives. Sometimes, it’s people I have never met before!

“Facebook Depression”

I read an article in the past about a term called “Facebook Depression,” coined by a man named C.R. Blease. Essentially, Facebook Depression is the “affective result of spending too much time on the social networking site” (Blease, 2015, p.1). The article found that while on Facebook, one’s well-being does not decrease, however, Facebook is a platform for impression management. All of our “friends” on Facebook only post the best images of themselves, the best moments in their lives, which in turn, can potentially lead to self doubt and lack of confidence. You can check out the article here.

Instead of comparing my life to someone else’s I found another way to find a more positive outlook on social media. I have found myself using Pinterest and I have never felt more optimistic.

What is Pinterest? 

I’m sure most people know what Pinterest is, but for those who do not, I’ll explain in my own words: Pinterest is an online vision board, where you can “pin” images of items (i.e. clothing, travel destinations, furniture and decor) to your online profile. The more you pin certain items, the more of these items will show up on your feed. You can even curate what content you want to see.

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Photo courtesy of Pinterest.com

Why and how does Pinterest provide positivity?

I feel that this type of social media is a lot more “positive” in a sense than others. I can use Pinterest for inspiration and fuel my creative fire, find tips on writing, a brand new outfit and hairstyle, and ideas to re-vamp my bedroom, all in one place. I feel so inspired and eager to try new meals and baked goods. I feel motivated when I scroll through Pinterest and start pinning new workout moves and protein snacks. Pinterest is an all-in-one social media site to find motivation and also be connected to friends. You can follow celebrities and your friends and see what they are up to on Pinterest, and you can follow certain “boards” to see specific content.

Although I am an avid user of other social media sites, such as Instagram and Facebook, I find myself scrolling through those sites and getting bored, or worse, upset. Sometimes it’s hard to forget that Facebook and Instagram are full of edited and filtered moments. If you take a step away from these sites, and expose yourself to something more positive, such as Pinterest, the green-eyed monster goes away, and I find that a more productive and inspired self comes to light.

Do you have a Pinterest account? What kinds of boards do you have on your profile? I’d love to see what you are all interested in. Leave a comment below!

 

 

Referenced Article:

Blease, C.R. (2015). Too many friends, too few likes? Evolutionary psychology
and Facebook depression. Review of General Psychology, 19(1), 1-13. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/features/gpr-gpr0000030.pdf

 

 

facebook Need a little positivity  in your life? Try some Pinterest Positivity!: https://bit.ly/2G4JMQd

 

Twitter Tired of seeing vacation photos and proposals on your feed? Try some positivity with Pinterest: https://bit.ly/2G4JMQd

 

 

Fitness Frenzy: Finding the perfect Instagram fitness guru for YOU

I am a huge advocate for fitness. I found my passion for working out and going to the gym when I felt at my lowest. I was unhappy with how I looked, even though there was nothing wrong with me. One day, I decided to join the gym, as my best friend was a regular gym-goer. That was when everything changed. I discovered that I loved working out, and I noticed significant changes, not only just within my body, but also my mind. I felt lighter, happier, and more confident.

Fitness has become a “trend” on social media, especially on Instagram, and to be completely honest, I am totally here for it. Not only do these people have the confidence to post their workouts, and their sweaty faces, all over social media, but they do this out of the goodness of their hearts to help others.

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Find the person that best suits YOU

There are numerous people on Instagram, of many different ages and genders, that are a part of the fitness community. I happened to stumble upon a few, but not all of them seemed to work for me. As we all know, everyone’s body types are different, so not every workout plan, meal plan or cardio routine is going to suit our needs, especially with different life schedules, fitness goals and genetics. The best thing to do if you are looking to find an Instagram fitness guru, is to almost “shop around” the different fitness pages, look at their fitness posts and what they do. Are they cardio focused? Do they religiously count macros and micros? Or do they focus on a healthy and balanced eating lifestyle and incorporate heavy lifting and occasional cardio?

Your fitness goals are what YOU want them to be. It is your choice who you want to look up to and who you want to follow. Once you find the right people to help you start your fitness journey, you will immediately start to feel more confident. It is sometimes hard to scroll through Instagram and see people who appear to have the unrealistic body type, but there are people out there who tell it like it is.

Here are some of my favourite Instagram female fitness gurus that tell the TRUTH about fitness, provide you with key advice and constant support, and most importantly, they don’t Photoshop themselves:

Krissy Cela

Krissy Cela, a 23 year old law student in England, supports women by providing them with high intensity workouts, as well has heavy lifting. She creates personalized fitness plans for clients, and manages to balance law school, planning a wedding, and her own personal life. She answers emails herself within 24 hours, and responds avidly to her followers and calls them her family. Visit her Instagram page here: https://www.instagram.com/krissycela/ 

Katie Crewe

Katie Crewe, a young woman from Canada, is a nutrition and fitness coach and she focuses on personal strength. She has a large Instagram following, and is known for doing “explosive” push ups. She definitely provides a different meaning of working out “like a girl” in the best way possible. Visit her Instagram page here: https://www.instagram.com/katiecrewe/ 

Gabby Scheyen

Gabby Scheyen is my favourite fitness guru. She and I are around the same age, have very similar body types, and go through the same fitness struggles. Gabby tells the real truth and her struggles with fitness and eating, and she always likes to poke fun at herself with Instagram versus reality. Visit her Instagram page here: https://www.instagram.com/gabbyschey/ 

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Motivation is KEY, and Instagram fitness gurus provide all kinds of it

It is hard enough, as a young woman, to go into the gym and be intimidated by all of the big and muscular people, but because of the 3 Instagram fitness gurus that I listed above, my motivation has sky rocketed, and I couldn’t care less about what I look like at the gym and I am no longer shy while working out.

Want to find your motivation? Check out these two articles on finding your Instagram Fitness Guru:

23 Fitness Stars Everyone Is Following on Instagram – Cosmopolitan

30 Fitness Instagram Accounts That Will Motivate the Hell Out Of You – Men’s Health

Do you follow any Instagram Fitness Gurus? Has this post inspired you to start a fitness journey? Leave a comment down below!

Now, get out there, find your Instagram fitness guru, and hit the gym!

 It’s time to start on that New Year’s Resolution that you’ve been putting off for a while… Find your Instagram Fitness Guru to follow and get motivated: Fitness Frenzy: Finding the perfect Instagram fitness guru for YOU

 Have you been wanting to start your fitness journey but have no idea where to begin? Well, there’s an Instagram Fitness Guru for that: Fitness Frenzy: Finding the perfect Instagram fitness guru for YOU