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Archive for the ‘Personal Entry’

Social media does more than connect friends

We all know the basic functions of social media. It is to be social with your friends. You can post pictures from your weekend trip and tweet what you are doing that day to keep your friends and followers in the know. Surgeons at the Houston’s Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital used social media to live-tweet an open heart surgery to help teach other surgeons and answer questions regarding the procedure.

It is amazing what we can now do with social media from our computers and now with smart phones to spread images, text, and video to instruct and inform others. Not only were those who followed the live-stream of tweets learning from the information, but the event was translated for other countries such as India and China so that they could also be a part of the experience.

I think sometimes it is easy to forget to think outside the box in terms of social media tools and know that there is so much more that can be done. This live tweeted surgery can open a whole new world in medicine and other professions alike.

What would I do?

After reading an article on mashable on contestants who purged themselves of social media for two weeks, I wondered how I would react in a similar situation.

Social media is involved in almost everything I do in life. When I am on the go I have my Twitter and Facebook that allow me to get instant updates right to my phone, so I never miss a notification. I use my google account to make googledocs for the various organizations that I am involved with on campus for sign-ups and other group oriented tasks.

What would it be like to take this all away? How would I pass the free time at work if I wasn’t pinning on Pinterest or commenting on a friends photo? I’m afraid to admit that it would be hard to just pick up a regular magazine, or book, or a crossword puzzle, without thinking about social media in the back of my mind. Not that I don’t enjoy reading a book or a magazine, but social media has been so ingrained in my life as a way to connect with friends, family, and co-workers, that I know there would be a serious void if it was taken out of the equation.


The videos below are of a man who decided to give up using Facebook for lent.

Day 1.

Day 2.

One week.


Spring is in the air

With the amazing weather that has entered the mid-atlantic early this year, I’m starting to notice that I don’t spend nearly enough time outside enjoying it. I should be outside getting a healthy dose of Vitamin D. Instead, I am inside a slave to technology: my laptop, ipod, TV, smartphone. Although these are tools that help me finish my work everyday, I feel that I need to take a step back and appreciate Spring.

Things that make me think about Spring

Rita’s Italian Ice. Ice. Custard. Happiness


Cherry Blossoms in D.C.

Fresh strawberries and salad




Reading outside


Now, more than ever, the world is connected into one global community. We have the ability to communicate with those in other cities, states, countries and continents. Now, more than ever, we can make a difference in the world using social media.

The grassroots organization Invisible Children, that started nearly a decade ago, just launched their newest campaign employing social media like never before to get their message heard by anyone and everyone that will listen. This organization is committed to seeing through the capturing of Joseph Kony, a Ugandan warlord who has abducted at least 10,000 children and forced them to become child soldiers.

Below is a video that was released by Invisible Children that has gone viral on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Joseph Kony and Invisible Children are now currently trending on Twitter worldwide.

This year, Invisible Children is showing how much of an impact social media can have on a cause. If enough people share the video, and tweet about the cause, the more awareness will be made about the issue, and in turn, the more people will go to the website to pledge to help save these children and catch Joseph Kony.

The video, which runs approximately 30 minutes, has had almost 2,000,000 views already on YouTube since its release yesterday at noon. To learn more about the cause I urge you to visit the website and spread the word through your own social media outlet. The world is connected now through the Internet. The more people who are connected, the more of chance there are to stop injustices.



My name is Allie, and I am a Pinterestholic

I do it at home. I do it at work. I’ve even done it during class. I have a full on addiction to Pinterest, the new and fast growing social media site. Linked through Facebook or Twitter, users can “pin” pictures to their own boards after searching through countless categories and other user’s pins. Your friends on Facebook can even follow what you “pin” on Pinterest.

What about this website, though, is so appealing, especially to women? It gives women a chance to not only share comments and photos from their own life, but things they find online that can serve a purpose for them. I have found countless health tips and new recipes on Pinterest. The website allows you to create different boards that help to organize the pictures you find into a cohesive place.

Now that Pinterest has such a high user population, businesses are trying to figure out how to utilize the website to advertise for their products. According to mashable.com’s article on Pinterest, about 82% of Pinterest users are female and about 85% of all consumer purchases come from females. Businesses that utilize Pinterest effectively have just hit a gold mine of advertising potential.

From the outside, Pinterest doesn’t make much sense. Is it just like a jumbled google images search? It may appear that way at first, but looking through countless pictures never seems to get old on this site. At first I wasn’t sure why but now I am starting to realize that it allows you to connect with people and share images at the same time. The images you are sharing aren’t of you, like they would be on Facebook, but rather of ideas and recipes or inspiring messages.

Here is a very interesting breakdown of Pinterest from a males perspective:

Maybe Pinterest in general is targeted more for women, hence why I can’t go a day without logging into the site. I don’t think Pinterest’s popularity will fade anytime soon as it is constantly updated with new pictures. I find it to be an amazing resource for visually finding ideas, especially for “do-it-yourself” things (something every college student should utilize). I have even been pinning while writing this blog post- hey, I needed inspiration!

Nomophobia, is that contagious?

It can be the worst feeling in the world. At first your heart rate increases slightly. You start scowering the area looking for it. Could it be in the other room? Your bag? The car? WHERE IS IT? Full on panic.

No, you’re not searching for a wedding ring, your last will, or the deed to your house. No, you’re having an anxiety attack over your cell phone. Nomphobia, or the fear of losing our cell phone, has become a reality for the mobile dependant citizens of the world.

We use it to text, tweet, browse the Internet, talk to our friends and family, and update our Facebooks. But what would happen if all of this were suddenly lost? It is amazing that such a small piece of technology could have such a hold over our psyche. We seem to forget that it is a block of plastic and wires that can be easily replaced.

For those in a panic, here is a video that may help you track down your addiction.

I experienced a bit of this withdrawal while I was studying abroad in Europe. My Blackberry did not have the capability of texting or calling while in Italy, so I had to turn it off and put it away for a month. The first few days were alien to me. Not texting whenever I wanted, not being able to check my Facebook or Twitter no matter my location? Blasphemy!

Over time though it became liberating to not be a slave to the technology and checking things once back in my dorm room on my laptop became sufficient enough. Cell phones are an amazing invention that can be useful tools, but it is important to remember that there was a time without cell phones and people seemed to be able to survive. It will be okay!

Chris Brown pulls an Ashton

Chris Brown got himself into some hot water after he sent explicit tweets from his account after the Grammys. Brown, apparently, did not agree with the negative feedback that he was receiving from some viewers.

After I read this story on mashable, I immediately thought of Ashton Kutcher and his “spoke to soon” comments on Twitter concerning the Penn State Sandusky scandal.

Now I understand that everyone has a right to tweet whatever they want, whenever they want. But, I’m happy that I don’t follow Christ Brown. I don’t want to read someone’s thoughts that are just gloating about their own life. And for the record Chris, winning a Grammy doesn’t eradicate a Felony charge for assault.

This is just another example of how Twitter can be either be used for constructive, informative means, OR a way to vent to the world. There is no rule of conduct that celebrities need to follow on Twitter, but for their own PR, I think that they should have more responsibility in what they tweet.

Chris Brown must have some smart people on his side because shortly after this and other similar tweets were posted, Brown deleted them from his account. The damage was done though, obviously, because I can read about it on mashable.


Sh*t I say about those videos

I always wonder what makes a video go viral. (Secretly, I want to make a video go viral) I feel like the best videos tap  into very specific emotions and they help you relate to something.

If you have been living under a rock for the past month, chances are you missed out on the video phenomenon “Sh*t People Say”. I first encountered these videos while I was at work, as I’m sure many other people did, when a co-worker told me to watch Sh*t Girls Say.

I had never seen a video like this before and it made me laugh for one very simple reason: it was true.

It only took a few weeks and it seemed everyone was making their own version of this viral video, and I couldn’t get enough. Some were more funny than others, some I just didn’t understand, and others I was embarrassed to know that I say some of those things, like Sh*t Sorority Girls Say.

Sh*t Girls Say even has their own Twitter account that you can tweet, tag, and reply to.

This trend has began to slow down, and I’m sure in a few months no one will be making or searching for these videos anymore. I don’t think that it is because these videos stop being funny, but that another viral video comes along and takes its place.

Mashable made came up what they thought were the best 15 of these videos, and I agree with most of them, especially the one making fun of people watching these “Sh*t people say” videos.

How social media influenced a decision

On Tuesday, the Susan G. Komen Foundation announced that it would restrict its previous funding to Planned Parenthood for low-income women in need of mammograms.

I found this news out not on television or in the newspaper, but on my Twitter account. My timeline was littered with posts about the Komen Foundation’s decision. Almost all of them bashed the foundation’s decision to cut their funding from Planned Parenthood.

This decision was not only documented in the traditional news outlets, but through social media avenues such as Twitter and Facebook. Articles, videos and interviews were shared and everyone was giving their two cents. There was a lot of backlash and by Friday, the Komen Foundation had reversed its decision and have posted apologies and explanations.

Here is one from the foundation’s founder Nancy G. Brinker


The Komen Foundation posted a statement on their blog to explain the details of their decision and what they plan to do moving forward.

What has happened with this particular situation has shown that social media can be used as a tool to have your voice heard. My personal reaction to this event is that social media is this generation’s picket sign. Instead of marching and waiting for news outlets to react, people are able to use their individual voices to make a clear statement about what they want.

In this case, it obviously worked. Social media isn’t just for casual conversation anymore. The conversations have become much more important and could potentially spark any type of revolution.

Your future job could be on the line

When Myspace and Facebook first emerged, I never worried about what pictures were posted of me or what comments were made on my page because I was a teenager and having a career was so far in the future I couldn’t even contemplate it. I was having a fun time and I didn’t care who saw it.

I wish I had known better.

What goes on the Internet never leaves the Internet, even after you have deleted a post or picture from your page. If an employer really wants to find it, they will. Best advice? Don’t post these in the first place! It will save you from having to worry about it in the future and having it cost you that dream job you worked so hard to get.

After reading this article on social media and how it can affect your job search, I now know what I need to clean up on my social media sites before I begin to network with potential employers.

There are five essential steps outlined in the article that give very good advice about cleaning up your social media behaviors.

  1. Watch out with who you are friends with- Friends can post really inappropriate things on your wall without asking you first. Make sure everyone knows not to do this and delete any unsavory material.
  2. If you make a site, use it!– An inactive site shows that you don’t know how to utilize social media and you didn’t finish what you started.
  3. Be discreet- If you are using social media to network, don’t let employers see your interactions with other potential job opportunities as they may lose interest in you.
  4. Don’t rely on your site– It is still important to utilize face-to-face interactions when networking for a job.
  5. Don’t get sucked in- A lot of time can be used up while social networking. You log on to check for notifications and three hours later you realize who are still surfing through profiles and forgot to do your homework!


If you feel like you are social media savy and are looking for a career, Mashable has many job listings that are updated often for you to look through!


And just for fun, here is a cool video about the impact of social media in the world as of 2011.