Celebrities, They’re just like us…And we’re becoming just like them (by Margeaux Beran)

People from all over the world come to Hollywood.  They want to walk along the stars and take tours, looking at various celebrities’ homes.  Having your personal life for everyone to see is just part of being a celebrity.  But now, it seems like it’s becoming a part of being any person in modern day society.Image

Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.  There are so many ways to share your personal information with the world.  Lucky you! Basically everything you can know about a person can be found within these social media sites.  We are entering a time when secrets will not exist.  There will be no such thing as sharing your personal information because it won’t be personal anymore.  It will be public knowledge.  You might think, “Well, what if you decide not to post all of your information online?”  Although I cannot guarantee that a mind-reading social media site will not be invented, I can say that where we are headed is to a place where people will lose their “filter.”  Putting your information online will become second nature and normal.  There will be no thinking about the consequences.   Everyone’s doing it so it must be safe, right?

Social media created this idea that if celebrities do it and post it online, or anyone for that matter, than “it” becomes acceptable.  “It” can be an action, an outfit, a quote, etc.  But once someone does it for the first time, everyone will follow.  Social media has created a more empathetic, forgiving society.  It blinds us from our values and instincts.  Instead, we conform.     

I recently learned about Spokeo.  It is a website that compiles all of your personal information from various sites and makes a special folder for you.  All you have to do is search your name and you can find you address, phone number, your family members, and even see a Google Earth image of your house (just like the celebrity tours! Paparazzi status.).  These are the types of consequences we are already experiencing, and social media is still blooming.   



I strongly believe that our society has transformed into a sharing society. What was once considered to be very private and personal information has become free and exploitable content available to any Internet user.

What could be one of the largest and beneficial tools of our generation could also haunt us for the rest of our lives. An example of this is Amanda Todd. This young woman was abused on social media sites and later in person because of her actions. People shared information about her, and she was harassed to the point of suicide. The online hacker group, Anonymous, stepped in and, in return, used social media to send back the message of online bullying, and put an end to Amanda’s harassment. Amanda was a victim of online abuse, but it was because she had previously posted too much information on the Internet about herself. I think that people are becoming way too comfortable with sharing personal information on the Internet.


Other instances of this new phenomenon can take place in one’s life on a professional level. In recent news, many people have lost their jobs because of a picture or comment they post o

n Twitter or Facebook. An example of this is with Ashley Payne, a 24-year-old teacher from Georgia. She posted pictures of herself at the Guinness Brewery, and when the Principal of the school, Payne’s “friend” on Facebook, saw the picture, Payne was fired from her teaching position.

We need to be careful about what we put on our social media sites. Most of us have well over 500 connections on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more. People can watch our every move. If they have the intention to sabotage us, they will use that free material to take us down. 


Is It Necessary? (by Jason Luu)

As we discussed in class the various types of social media sites we currently encounter on a daily basis, a persistent question kept flashing through my mind, “Is it necessary?” After looking at Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to name a few, has social media changed us for the better or worse?

For college students, it is considered quite shocking for someone not to have a Facebook. After all, it is the “go-to” social media website to stay connected on up-to-date information with friends, and family. However, have you considered how Facebook has hampered your academia? How many nights have you stayed up browsing your news feed looking for juicy information on your friends? How many times have you put aside your homework because you couldn’t get off Facebook? With the recently launched timeline feature of Facebook, it allows users to track almost anything about a friend from where they were born, to which places they have visited. With a one-stop-shop for information about a friend, it certainly makes for good amusement and entertainment. 

ImageAs a result, people have deemed social media as a prohibiting factor to society’s development and growth. In a recent study, those who use social networking sites while studying scored 20% lower on tests and students who used social media had an average GPA of 3.06 compared to non-social media users  who had an average of 3.82. To solve this dilemma, we must first look within ourselves and understand the purpose of social media, which is to help us stay connected with long-lost friends (and current friends) as a group instead of interacting with each person directly. This is efficient, saves time, and saves energy. However, even though social networking is a great mechanism for keeping in touch with friends, use of social networking can also be kept in moderation. If one disciplines themselves into using social media for the right reasons, social networking sites can definitely be beneficial for society. The key is discipline and moderation. 



Understanding Social Media and its Greatness (by Cameron Coates)

Understanding the power of social media is something I have long lacked. It is hard to believe that Twitter was created in 2006 and I didn’t create an account until last week. What’s even more disturbing is the fact that I have yet to create an Instagram account as I enjoy photography and try to take photos when I find the time. My history with social media only includes the most common avenues: Facebook and Myspace. I used Myspace and only converted to Facebook when Myspace became both lame and impractical due to its limited use. I don’t resist new forms of social media, but I am often infected with chronic laziness when it comes to keeping up with the latest and greatest on the web.Image

Through “Intro to Social Media” and my own reflection, I have already realized that social media has much to offer. It is not just a collection of food photos or commentary on the obvious; instead, it is a collection of data that cannot be obtained through any other media source. Don’t get me wrong, the traditional forms of media are still important. I will continue to read the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, but social media fills a gap that has not been addressed in previous times. Through social media I can instantly gain access to my favorite athletes, sports teams, actors, and inspirational individuals. In addition, I have access to niche topics and streams. The opinions of peers and consumers are far more valuable these days than those that come from people who are paid through advertisements and promotions. While my past with social media is rather weak and vague, I am going to make an attempt to change these patterns in the future. I used to avoid newspapers, but when I began reading them for a class, it became a daily habit. I hope that I can learn to use social media in such a way that will enhance my knowledge, passions, and hobbies for years to come. 


Transparency is Key (by Sarah Havner)


Target’s social media campaign is not what I expected. When I was searching for the company’s Twitter account, I assumed I would find a single page with information regarding the current store discounts and nothing more. I was wrong; Target has not one but two Twitter accounts. The first account is simply Target, which is a participatory site announcing discounts, DIY tips, and even asking customers about their go-to Halloween costumes. I was interested to see that Target was so involved with social media and had an interactive site.

Then I found the second account, AskTarget. I was shocked when I learned that Comcast has a Twitter purely dedicated to customer service. I could not believe that a company would be willing to display tweets from unhappy customers online. But Comcast isn’t the only company doing this.  Much like Comcast’s ComcastCares account, the AskTarget account is dedicated to answering customer questions, concerns, as well as complaints. After scrolling through the feed, I discovered tweets about damaged products, delayed refunds, and unsatisfied customers. Each customer’s tweet is responded to within an hour with either an apology or information explaining where to find further assistance.

I find it very refreshing that Target is so open and honest about their company. Clearly, a large corporation is capable of being transparent, but it would be nice to see a lot more companies doing the same thing.  By showing that they are responding to customers quickly, I am still willing to shop at Target despite the defective products and unsatisfied customers displayed on their Twitter. I believe other companies would really benefit from creating accounts dedicated to customer service.



Social Media: A Site for Everyone? (by Sophie Allen)

If we were to ask random people on the street what they believed was the definition of social media, each person would most likely have a fairly different definition. Although some people may have similar understandings, my guess is that you would find a very large array of answers. Why is that?

To my understanding, and what I believe to be one of the greatest things about social media, is that there is a different outlet and way of use for every kind of person. The photojournalist on the street might say that social media is used as a way of personal expression. The sorority sister might tell you that it is a means of staying connected with people and planning events. You might even find a teacher on the street to tell you that social media is first and foremost a tool for education. The beauty is… ALL of them would be right!

Social media is amazing in its all-encompassing vast array of different outlets. We have the professional outlet of LinkedIn, the social connection outlet of Facebook, the DIY and dreamer outlet of Pinterest, the artistic outlet of Instagram, the educational resource outlet of Scribd, and many many more. Although each different social media outlet lends its hand to a different kind of need, they are all encompassed under one similarity. Social media is accessible to any person that desires to be apart of it.

But why social media? Why doesn’t the photojournalist stick to her camera, and the party planner pull out her address book? I believe that social media provides the tools to allow the journalist and the party planner within each one of us to surface and explore its own hidden talents. So who are you today? A journalist? A photographer? How about a teacher?

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