Course Reflection Post (With First-Ever Podcast Recording)!

For the past four months, I have been enrolled in a class called Social Media & Digital Communications. During this class, I was assigned to create this WordPress blog, which has opened me up to many wonders and possibilities of the Internet. I discovered that I love blogging, promoting and researching current events and interesting global news. I enjoy trying new social media sites like LinkedIn, Foursquare and Tumblr, while also attempting new mediums of expression such as podcasts and videos.

Though my interests and passions have been sparked in many ways, they have also dwindled in others. I realized how much I have relied on social media throughout my life without even realizing. Now, I more honestly see how the use of social media affects my life – primarily Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I looked into research (as mentioned in attached podcast recording) that depicted peoples’ use of social media and our capacity to maintain relationships, etc. I don’t need as many Facebook friends, I don’t need to scroll through all my apps before I get out of bed, I DON’T need to post photos of everything I do in real life on multiple social platforms – and neither do you.

The most important thing I have taken from this course is that social media and digital communications are extremely useful and simultaneously wonderful. They allow us to have access to so much the world has to offer. However, we must take care not to distance ourselves too much from the real world.

• Spend a certain amount of time outside everyday – fresh air and nature are key ingredients to happiness
• Maintain healthy relationships – spend time with friends and family, socialize in person!
• Experience things and be fully there – don’t miss out because you were busy documenting
• Value your education, learn all you can, be attentive
• Remain calm and relaxed – detach from your computers, tablets and smart phones
• Make room for passions in your life, not just straining your eyes and thumbs on your touch screens…go hiking, learn to crochet, read a book, take up photography, travel, play piano – work and reward
• Live to the fullest – if you aren’t happy, perhaps you need to reevaluate what’s most important to you

With that said: back to my experience during this course, blogging and the key takeaways. I may preach until I am blue in the face about how important the things other than social media are, but I certainly think social media is great in moderation. It provides a great way to express ourselves in a healthy, communicative and intelligent way. For example, as a project for the course, we each wrote and recorded our own podcasts on a subject of our choice. Watch the video attached to hear mine! This project was great. We looked into current social media issues and what techniques and qualities make the best podcast. We utilized many skills for the course, while maintaining a great interest in the subject because we selected the topic.

I recommend to any fellow college students out there to take a course focused on the significance of social media. There’s much more to it than updating Facebook statuses and posting photos, I’ll tell you that!

Keep looking for more posts from me, everyone! I will likely be expanding my content to subjects other than social media, but will keep some similar content as well. Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

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Ben & Jerry’s Did It Right

I recently read an article about Ben & Jerry’s social media marketing campaign that caught my eye.  Ever hear of “Free Cone Day?” I participated in the event last year at their shop in Manchester, VT.  It’s when Ben & Jerry’s serves anyone and everyone with one, free regular cone of any flavor they choose on the first day of their open season. The tactic they chose to promote this event spread the message like wildfire across the U.S. through social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more: the huge component being the use of their hashtag, #FreeConeDay.

They ended up reaching over 10% of the entire population. Ben & Jerry’s goals were the following:

1) Engage a global audience

2) Drive awareness about the event and traffic to their stores

3) Fuel customer participation that would propel word-of-mouth and increase their brand reach

All it took was a paid promotion through Twitter. Once people saw the ad, they shared, and shared…and shared.  I find this story so particularly interesting because it shows how incredibly far a small investment in advertising can take a business. As a junior business student interested mostly in marketing, Ben & Jerry’s success is awesome and super exciting. Social media is hugely transforming the business world.  Can any of my readers enlighten me about some good marketing success stories? Thanks, and to those approaching finals right now like I am…good luck!

Evolving Language

Social MADia

According to the Oxford Dictionaries Online quarterly update, “Technology remains a catalyst for emerging words and is reflected in new entries”. Over the last five years, there has undoubtedly been a strong social media influence on today’s social lexicon.

New acronyms like BYOD (”bring your own device”) and FOMO (“fear of missing out”: anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere) are examples of how we have change the way we define our environments, daily activities an even ourselves.

A couple of weeks ago, there was a big buzz about the word “selfie” being named the word of 2013. The word Selfie in fact can be traced back to 2002 when someone on an Australian online forum posted: “Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped over and landed lip first (with front teeth coming a very close second) on a set of steps. I had…

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The Social Media Effect Infographic

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Giving Thanks

thankful defined

Hey everyone!  Today I feel like posting something different. With Thanksgiving (one of my favorite holidays) on its way, I thought I’d share what I’m thankful for.  I try to maintain gratitude on a daily basis, so my list may get a little long.

I am thankful primarily for my friends and family who support me, believe in me, and inspire me to do well and live well. I am specifically thankful at the present time for my boyfriend who supports and loves me through everything, helps me, understands me, respects me, protects me and makes me laugh at least 10-30 times a day. I am thankful for my educational opportunities, my health, my wealth and all the love I give and receive each day. I am thankful for my challenges, which have brought me to a better understanding of myself and my place in life.  I am thankful for delicious food, for my skills like crocheting, drawing and helping people, and for the incredible views out my dorm room window.  Lastly, though I could keep going for pages and pages, I am thankful for the big world we live in. It may have its ugly times, places, sometimes people, but I try never to forget how majestic and wonderful it is.  There are always reasons to be thankful for the life we’ve got and the world we live in and there are always people who will help us.

I found such a great link from BuzzFeed called “35 Pictures That Prove The World Isn’t Such A Bad Place” http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/the-world-isnt-such-a-bad-place

With all that said, I’m curious about what my readers are most thankful for. I always try to go back and see what I forgot, or what I may be taking for granted.

Lastly, thank you to all my readers and supporters. Thanks for following, commenting, liking and sharing my blog. Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and possibly enters a food coma shortly after the meal. Never forget how lucky we are. Don’t get caught up in the unimportant things…

Facebook on a Generational Decline

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Recently, I’ve started to notice that more of my friends (ages 18-25) are deleting their Facebook accounts, posting less, responding less frequently to private messages and spending lots of time on other social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat and Tumblr.  I’ve also heard some buzz about the number of users nation-wide decreasing as well.

Apart from trying some classic Google searches, I tried to think about what I could personally come up with as for why people might be losing interest. I generated a list of possible annoyances my fellow generation may have experienced (that I feel mutually annoyed about), causing them to give up or decrease Facebook use:

  • Increased use of sidebar ads and promoted pages that show up at any given time
  • Facebook’s tendency to spy on your other Internet browsing activities, and show you ads according to these activities (a pair of boots I was thinking of buying were displayed on my sidebar from Overstock.com for about two weeks)
  • By clicking on someone’s profile one time, Facebook thinks you want to see that person’s every post or activity displayed on your newsfeed – your newsfeed then shows the activity of about 20 random people out of the 500 you are friends with, plus a small handful of the people you interact most with
  • Most of what people post is about some silly status game, where if you “like” the post, they will assign you what to do next in the game (i.e. List a number of facts about yourself, list things you like, or dislike that all start with the letter “B”, etc.)
  • Frequent game invitations that you have no interest in
  • The increased use by adult and elderly family members
  • The increased rate of employers searching to find out about us through Facebook profiles and tagged pictures, which supplies anxiety
  • Has become heavily business-focused – every business is on Facebook, promoting and sharing – it feels like a world full of ads at times
  • Left and right, it feels like a space for people to brag about how cute their baby is, how nice their new house is, how gorgeous their vacation is, or how healthy and beautiful their relationship is…

(Feel like you can relate, now?)

There are probably more reasons that I haven’t noted personally, but from what I’ve come up with, I see plenty of reason for the site to slowly phase out of the interest of younger generations. As more and more social networks are generated and spread throughout the world, the more options people have, leaving less need for tolerance.  People freely drop one account and replace it with another, fresher, more innovative one.

Adults and businesses are using Facebook as often as ever, so it won’t phase out at any foreseeable time in the future.  In fact, according to Forbes, Facebook stocks have increased by 2.23% today.

Sources

Marks, Gene. “Why Facebook Is In Decline.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 19 Aug. 2013. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.

Bosker, Bianca. “Facebook’s Rapidly Declining Popularity With Teens In 1 Chart.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 23 Oct. 2013. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.

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