Pinterest – Our virtual pin-board

I have to admit, I haven’t actually used Pinterest in a while now. But yes, there was a phase where I had 20 different boards with one for everything from ‘Nail Art Designs’ to ‘The Vampire Diaries’.

Pinterest can be an extremely addictive social media platform when you do start to use it, but I can’t help but feel how it is a partial rip-off of tumblr. “In terms of visual micro-blogging or social bookmarking websites, Pinterest and Tumblrhave taken center stage as image-driven organizational centers for billions of images, categorized and curated by each user to create their individual profile.” (Happe, 2012) I absolutely love tumblr and do check it once every 2-3 days and have a couple of my own blogs on it as well. However, with Pinterest, when you first start to use it, it’s super exciting with the option to segregate the images you like and the tons of DIY projects it hosts. I even made my own makeup-remover wipes once, which were a fail, but come on, I tried. My mother did start to go crazy with all the projects that I wanted to try and was on the verge of trying to shut down my account somehow (Oh boy) but I stopped eventually.

On a personal note, I don’t think it’s something, like Facebook or Instagram, that could stick on or have your attention for a very long time. It feels a lot like a one-hit wonder to me. Now if only they decided to update it and switch up a couple of things to make it more desirable…

Reference:

Happe, M. (2012). Tumblr v. Pinterest – which is right for you?. Retrieved 2014, from http://college.usatoday.com/2012/05/01/tumblr-v-pinterest-which-is-right-for-you/

The 100 Happy Days Insta-Challenge!

We’re all #instaobsessed with #Instagram and we #knowit. Okay, i’ll stop.

Welcome to the world of great food photography and selfies. That’s Instagram for you in a sentence. One of the ongoing fads that Instagram is flooded with is the ‘100 Happy Days’ challenge. This challenge basically gets you to sign up to the challenge’s website, pick your form of social media (most people pick our favourite, #Instagram) and then start to post an image of something that makes you happy every single day for the next 100 days.

I was feeling particularly excited one afternoon and decided to take it on. “Interestingly, the simple sounding experiment has a fail rate of 71 percent. Most of those who give up say they lack the time to get involved.” (Gardner, 2014) And unlike the 71% of people who didn’t manage to complete it, I did. I have to say though, it is sort of hard to document something every single day and to remember to post it on time. I had days where it was hard to pick between 3 amazing photos and days where I couldn’t even find one. This challenge has definitely got people using Instagram and helped it gain SO much more popularity.

If you’re looking for something to motivate you to get more social media-savvy, I’d recommend trying this challenge for sure!

You’ll be hash-tagging #APA referencing at the end of it! Haha.

Reference:

Gardner, J. (2014). The daily delights of the 100-day happiness challenge. Retrieved 2014, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2609273/Photographing-daily-delights-100-day-happiness-challenge-social-media-users-posting-shots-one-thing-day-brings-joy.html

Twitter – Helping journalists since 2006, or not?

Being a journalism student, since the beginning of university, almost every professor in week one of class has said ‘ Less is more’. Now of course, they aren’t referring to the amount of assignments. What they are actually talking about, is word count.

As journalists, we’ve been trained to believe that the lesser words you can tell your story in, the better it is. And i’d say if you’re a journo using Twitter, the 140 character-limit that they have definitely make you rethink your statement and gives you a chance to better your writing. “There’s actually a reason behind the not-so-arbitrary 140 character limit of Twitter and that is simply to fit in an SMS message. It’s a limitation that actually defines and sets Twitter apart from other services in so many good ways. It is easier to consume, cheaper in terms of SMS/data sent and received, and it actually encourages people to get straight to the point.” (Tan, 2011)

But what if you’re not a journo? What if you’re a teenager who’s going crazy over the new One Direction single? You’re not going to give a s*** about the spelling! That’s when you start to shorten your words by eliminating vowels and risk yourself sounding like someone who needs to go back to grade school.

The reason for the 140 character limit existing is so that it was similar to the length of a single SMS. Well, if this is how things are going to go on, I’m positive that Twitter isn’t going to help make the world a better place, well at least not their English.

Reference:

Tan, F. (2011). Why Twitter Should Never Expand Beyond 140 Characters – The Next Web. Retrieved 2014, from http://thenextweb.com/twitter/2011/02/21/why-twitter-should-never-expand-beyond-140-characters/

Is YouTube restricting you from going global?

How often has it happened that one of your international friends from uni has shared a YouTube video on their walls which looks super hilarious or extremely interesting at the least and you click on it hoping it’s in a language you understand, and bam! There pops up a message from the bitter-sweet video portal, stating ‘This video is not available in your country’. How many of you has this happened to? I’m guessing heaps.

Being a student at Bond University automatically guarantees the fact that you will have a social circle with people from everywhere in the world. And with everyone being extremely tech-savvy, you’re probably bombarded with posts in about 4-5 different languages every single day, almost half of them being video shares, on YouTube. I’m a very social person and absolutely love learning more about different cultures and I personally feel YouTube puts a restraint on my cultural growth and enhancement by blocking videos in various countries.

They say that you learn more outside the classroom than you do in it. And that learning definitely happens via the sources we have access to in our daily lives which includes the internet. “Students with better basic Internet skills and who viewed the learning environment as promoting the use of the Internet favored using the Internet for learning.” (Hong, 2003) You can learn a lot about almost everything from YouTube, from how to open a can to how to build a boat. But if it isn’t ‘available in your country’ then how are you going to learn?

Think about it.

Reference:

Hong, K. (2003). Students’ attitudes toward the use of the Internet for learning: A study at a university in Malaysia. Retrieved 2014, from http://www.ifets.info/others/journals/6_2/5.html

Dear Youtube, if we wanted ads we would watch television.

So imagine this, right? You’re all ready to watch the Fault in Our Stars trailer and the page loads up. You can’t control your excitement and you hit play. And what pops up? An advertisement. Am I the only one who gets frustrated by the 15 – 30 second advertisements that Youtube has now been placing before ‘popular’ channels? Or more like ‘people who get paid to be funny on YouTube’ channels?

As we all know, over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth. (YouTube, 2014) Woah woah. There seem to be a lot of videographers out there, I must say.

Getting back to the adds. YouTube is the largest video sharing platform in the world, which means that they are aware of the fact that even if they do start to make the site more commercial by putting up adds, they will not lose their viewers. I mean, it is true to a point. I do get annoyed but I’d probably just refresh my Facebook homepage about 5 times in the meantime.

Well, let’s hope YouTube decides to switch things up and maybe try keeping adds restricted to the sidebars, headers and footers; rather than in our faces.

 

Resources –

Youtube. (2014) Statistics. Retrieved June, 2014, Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html

Are you Facebook Official yet?

According to a new study in the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, “People who use Facebook more than once a day are more likely to report relationship conflicts arising from social media.” As soon as I say ‘relationships’ most of you think of either your own boyfriend/girlfriend or another couple you know of. And that’s perfectly normal, because most people at our age are thinking about it. Family, friends, acquaintances all come after that one special person. Gone are the days where doves flew to and fro with love letters. Bye-bye little birdy. Hello Social Media.

But is it necessary to show your affection for your partner online? On conducting a survey between people aged 15-25 via Survey Monkey, I found that a surprising 88% of respondents said that it’s not. With the large amount of ‘affection’ that we see splattered all around our news feed, we’d expect the amount to be much higher. But still, social media manages to take us over. When writer Holly Sidells’s boyfriend was not very keen about posting stuff about them online, she freaked out. (Sidell, 2011) “The real issue was that I attached meaning to his action (or rather, inaction). And that meaning I attached was that he’s not as in it as me, that I must have been making this whole love thing up in my head, and that he obviously doesn’t like me as much as I like him. WHOA. That’s quite a conclusion to jump to without any substantiated evidence!” she said. We make assumptions before even giving our partners a chance to give us answers to all the WH questions in our heads. Relationship downfall alert!

I am sure I’m not the only one who’s seen this couple going on about their love for each other online and as soon as you see them in public, you would not believe they are romantically involved with each other. Dr. Rachna Jain believes that people easily confuse ‘digital intimacy for true intimacy’. (Jain, 2010) It confuses you to see your friends talking about their relationship, sharing cute photos, quotes, and the likes online but barely ever even sit together in public. People might be shy in public, their families might be unaware, or maybe they are just trying to show EVERYONE how ‘happy’ they are, hence, all the love uproar online. In some cases, technology might just be the only way a relationship is still working. For instance, the ‘internet’ couple, which is basically, people who have never really met each other but have fallen for their online personalities. A survey respondent said that the Internet allows superficial relationships to happen but prevent meaningful relationships and are limited on many levels.

Also, technology is a major element of LDRs i.e. Long Distance Relationships with 76% of the young adults that took my survey, being in favour of it. It might be the only way they can communicate. Online dating expert Julie Spira talks about the beauty of old methods of communication. “Social media shouldn’t be a complete substitute for old-fashioned courtship or you might just find yourself with a digital pen-pal. Picking up the phone to hear someone’s voice will never go out of style.” (Spira, 2012) There were some conflicting views based on the concept of LDRs wherein one view said that it made people closer and appreciate the relationship more whereas the other said that it increases ‘fights, misinterpretations and false judgment.’

Social Media Marketing Expert Aanam Chashmawala said, “I think that with the era we’re in, there’s very little information that’s not already out there; so something like relationships is a matter of personal choice. From friends of friends to public, from exes being able to stalk you right up to the prying eyes of family members, the reach of the content you post will be far so as to the extent of your privacy settings.” (Chashmawala, 2014) We don’t realise the content we post on our respective social media handles until some friend stalks you and starts to like your posts from years ago. Aanam, however, supports the online media completely. “The point of social media has always been to enable communication, connect people, bring them together under one gigantic global roof, I think that it’s doing precisely that.”

We have the most control over what we put up online, and all we need to do is monitor what’s meant for the public and what’s not.

References:

Chashmawala, A. (2014). Facebook Relationships.

Jain, D. (2010). 4 Ways Social Media Is Changing Your Relationships |. Retrieved 2014, from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/4-ways-social-media-is-changing-your-relationships/

Sidell, H. (2011). Dating And Facebook: ‘It’s Complicated’. Retrieved 2014, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/holly-sidell/facebook-relationship-sta_1_b_1098478.html

Spira, J. (2012). Social Media Etiquette: Do You Kiss and Tell?. Retrieved 2014, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-spira/social-media-etiquette-do_b_1892369.html