COM0014 Blog Post #1 – What I Did On My Summer Vacation

img_5163 Ah, where did the summer go?!

I feel like it was just yesterday that I was digging my summer clothes and shoes out of storage and swapping out my winter gear. Now, here we are, it’s September.

I live in Northern Ontario so there are basically only two seasons: winter and construction.

Winter lasts anywhere from late October to mid May. I can remember years where we had snow storms on Halloween and Mother’s Day. However, perhaps with the rise of global warming (which is in fact a terrible issue, I might add) the past two summers in Sault Ste. Marie have been fantastic. We had another beautiful summer where it was almost 30 degrees + every weekend, which is why I am really not looking forward to another long, cold winter in the Sault.

Unfortunately for me, I do not have any vacation time with my current job, so I had to make the most of all of the weekends throughout the summer.

This past Labour Day, I decided that since it is technically the last weekend of the summer, I was going to take off to my parents house for the entire weekend and have a “stay-cation” aka my version of a vacation.

Luckily for me, my parents have a beautiful home at Sunnyside Beach on Lake Superior. For those that aren’t familiar, Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes and in my opinion, the nicest.

So, for Labour Day, I spent the entire weekend outside and on the water. The weather was gorgeous with temperatures in the 30’s each day. I stayed from Friday until Monday and had a blast jet skiing, kayaking, swimming, having bonfires and s’mores, and most of all being with my family and friends. My parents house is only about a 25 minute drive from my house, but it still felt great to escape the city and spend time on the lake for the weekend. I didn’t want it to end! It was tough going back to work on that Tuesday after the long weekend, but I felt rejuvenated and relaxed knowing that I spent my weekend doing exactly what I wanted to do and how I wanted to end my summer.

That, in a nutshell, is my idea of the perfect vacation. What is your idea of the perfect vacation?

To top it off, this summer, I also got to go to Detroit, Michigan, to see one of my favorite artists BEYONCE perform in concert. Let me just tell you, it was the best concert I have ever been to. I was also able to go to London, Ontario for Canada Day weekend to a country music festival called Trackside Music Festival, which was also fabulous. The rest of my summer vacation was spent hanging out with friends, exploring the outdoors and golfing – more of my favorite activities!

All in all, I had an awesome summer, and I hope you did too! I am already looking forward to next year! And hope that winter stays away… until December at least.

Favorite Social Media Apps

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In today’s society we are bombarded with apps, but today I am going to focus my blog strictly on social media mobile apps. Whether it be on your tablet, computer, or cellphone, you can access pretty much all social media apps from any of your devices.

There’s Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Maps, YouTube, Tumblr and Vine to name a few.

We are all pretty familiar with these apps, but do you have a favorite app? And why?

Personally, I enjoy using Instagram and Snapchat on the daily. I like Instagram not only to see my friend and family’s photos, but also to follow celebrities, teams, athletes, brands, health and fitness accounts, recipes, etc. I also like Snapchat for that same purpose as well. I am a huge NFL fan and I love to see the NFL snap stores on game day – it almost makes me feel like I am actually at the game! Seeing celebrities snapchat stores and photos also makes me feel like I have glimpse into their lives – it’s pretty neat.

Although I do use all social media sites to communicate with my friends, each app serves it’s own purpose and has it’s own reasons for why I may prefer one app over another.

I enjoy having Facebook on my phone for the messaging, and Twitter so I can get news stores, sports updates, and horoscopes all in one place. Pinterest is also helpful for when I am cooking at home and need a quick recipe, or for when I am bored and want to search for cool photos or quotes.

What do you like about having social media on your mobile devices? What do you not like about it? Is there an app that stands out to you more than another? What are some features about social media apps that you like? Feel free to share your thoughts below

Social Media: Helping us stay connected

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Last week, my grandfather passed away. Naturally, I posted a memorial tribute to him to Facebook with a photo of him and I and a special shout-out to him. Within minutes, I had 40+ comments from my friends on Facebook – some family, some close friends, and some people who I haven’t seen or spoke to in years.

During this difficult time, I have to say that seeing the comments and likes on my post really made me feel good. It was a great feeling knowing that so many people care enough to take time out of their busy day to comment on my post and send their condolences and well wishes. I don’t think I have talked to, or heard from some of those people in a long time. Without social media, I do not think I would have heard from all of these people. I felt like I was able to connect with these people on a personal level without actually speaking to them or seeing them in person.

To me, this is one of the best things about social media. You can connect and share things with people who you may have lost touch with over the years. It is great to be able to communicate with family that lives out of town, people I used to work with, and friends from high school and other parts of my life, and vice versa. I love being able to see my distant relatives photos and status updates to know what is going on in their lives. Although it is over a computer screen, it really is a way to come together and touch base while being apart.

Although people may be misusing or excessively using social media, I definitely think this is one of the positives about staying connected with others online.

What do you think are some more good things about social media in a personal or professional sense? Do you think social media has become one of the main ways of staying in touch with people? How do you think this will impact the future going forward?

#LikeAGirl

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While thinking about what to write about for this blog post, I decided to Google “Successful Social Media Campaigns” to hopefully gain some inspiration about what to write.

I have always found social media campaigns really neat and wanted to learn about more. I stumbled across the #LikeAGirl campaign for Always. Although I had seen the ad before, I never really took the time to dissect it from beginning to end. I had seen it on TV while barely paying attention, but watching it on YouTube again, it really grabbed my attention.

For those who haven’t seen the ad, you can watch it here.

I did some further research about the campaign and found a quote that really hit this one right on the money and explained the succesful campaign in one sentence:

“Always’ #LikeAGirl campaign has taken the advertising industry and consumers by storm. By subverting the insult ‘like a girl’ to mean something far more powerful and positive, Always has gained recognition as a brand with a purpose far more philanthropic than sales targets.”

This social media campaign was super successful; having over 80 million YouTube views and being one of the Top 10 YouTube video’s in 2014, the ad itself won several industry awards as well.

So, what makes this campaign so successful?

In my opinion, it is so successful because it is so relatable to so many young girls. How many times have I been told “you run like a girl” or you “throw like a girl”? Too many to count. The ad is about being yourself and doing things your own way and being your own person; a concept that a lot of young girls struggle with in today’s society, especially when they are young and going through puberty. Along with the video, creating the hashtag #LikeAGirl helped spread the word, and gave people the opportunity to share their story, and maybe their own struggles with doing things “like a girl”, which in turn can inspire others and help them overcome self esteem issues and stay confident. All in all, I love this campaign and find it really positive and inspiring to women of all ages. It helps girls and women realize that they do not have to feel any limitations in life and they can be confident, strong, brave, powerful women. They do not have to give in to the limits that society tells them,

Always definitely gained a positive reputation from this campaign, which in turn can boost sales and brand image. It was absolutely a home run for Always.

To visit the Always webpage on the campaign, click here.

What are some of your favorite social media campaigns? What do you think are some successful social media campaigns? Why were they successful? I really love reading about different social media campaigns so please share your thoughts below!

Likes and Dislikes

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg recently announced Facebook will be testing a “dislike” button. For the past 11 years, we have been liking things on Facebook. Any avid Facebook user will be familiar with this button. The “like” feature gives users the opportunity to express their agreement, or the fact that they literally “like” post on Facebook.

It is kind of crazy to believe that this is what social media has now come to.

It’s been talked about with speculation for a long time now, and finally we have had some light shed on the status of the “dislike” button.

However, Zuckerburg has been “hesitant to install the “dislike” button because it promotes negativity.” But, states the reason for creating the dislike button is so users have the opportunity to show empathy for moments they don’t like. Obviously, not all moments are good, or worth “liking” – maybe when you see a sad post or something negative on Facebook, it would make sense for the dislike button to be used.

I can’t help but think with all of the lack of self esteem in individuals and cyber bullying that happens over social media, that having this dislike button may cause a negative reaction with users. Many have expressed concerns over the potentially destructive feature, and I have to agree with some of the feedback in this article.

So, feel free to weigh in on this new Facebook feature below.

Would you “like” or “dislike” this on Facebook?

New Subject in School: Social Media

After reading Lesson 3 in this course, we now know how important it is to be conscious of your personal brand and the image you portray over social media. We know that potential employers are now taking to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to sniff out potential job candidates. We are aware that what we put on social media is not always private, even if we use our best efforts to ensure our accounts are protected. This is now reality in the social media age.

But what we don’t always hear about is how social media can play a role in Colleges selecting students for their programs, and viewing applicants’ social media accounts.

This video discusses how high school students need to be cautious and mindful of their social media presence. According to Kaplan Test Prep’s most recent survey, 35% of Admissions Officers now check in on applicants’ social media accounts. Perhaps a new subject should be added to the high school curriculum: Social Media, and how to use it appropriately.

Students may be harming their educational future by posting certain things on social media. However, it is not all bad. Social Media has now provided students with an interactive and direct way to communicate with prospective Colleges and Universities. If students have questions or concerns, they can communicate and interact with the schools over social media. If they visit the school, they can post a picture and tag the school they visited.

“A chance to start a dialogue with a College and make a good first impression.” – Marina Hutchinson, The Associate Press.

Do you think that social media could alter a students chance of getting accepted into a certain school? What are your thoughts on the benefits of students interacting with potential colleges over social media?

Feel free to share your thoughts below.

Instagram: Real or fake?

A friend of mine posted this photo to Instagram recently and it really got me to thinking…

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It got me to thinking about how – maybe these statements could be true? Is Instagram creating an outlet for narcissistic behavior?

In today’s society, self-esteem and image are HUGE. Everyone wants to look good and be the best of the best, and have the best of the best and tell everyone about it. I don’t want to stereotype anyone, but I do notice this a lot with adolescents 25 years old or less and ironically – a lot of the friends that I hang out with!

I know friends of mine who will delete photos on Instagram because they “didn’t get enough likes” – but why? It seems these days that individuals are measuring their self-worth based on likes and followers and comments. Why would we get upset because we didn’t get “enough” likes on Instagram? And what classifies as “enough”?

Now, I understand this quote is speaking to appearances and is attempting to get across the message that there is more to someone than strictly how they appear, but, is Instagram enabling this us to feel this way? Do we only want to post photos of the “good things” i.e. things that make us look cool or interesting? Do we simply post photos and *selfies* to Instagram just to see how many likes we can get and who they are from?

Do we ever see posts on Instagram of something negative? Do we use our Instagram photos to draw attention to ourselves?

In Lesson 2 of this course, we read an article about the the impact of social media on society. Could this issue be one of the negative impacts?

Lets put this into perspective: Let’s say this is ten years ago and Instagram does not exist. If you were to take photos of a vacation you went on recently, you would have them developed and then put into in a fancy photo album. You then would show only your close friends or family whom you interact with often, you would not be purposely posting them publicly around the world just for people to see, like, or comment on.

With the new technology that is Instagram, is it causing people to become obsessed with their image and creating damage to one’s self-esteem just because they only got ten likes on their selfie?

In addition to Instagram, do you believe Social Media has created an outlet for narcissistic behavior?

Feel free to share your thoughts below.