Social Media (for dummies)

Today I came across a rare creature: a 22-year-old student who had never used Facebook or Twitter…trying to learn how to use Facebook and Twitter for the first time.

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As this social media deprived human attempted to set up his first Twitter account, it soon became apparent how foreign social media can be to those who have no clue how to use it. (Sorry mom for getting frustrated with you when I tried to teach you how to use Facebook). When he asked me “What is the purpose of the ‘@’ sign?” I knew it was in for a challenging next few hours.

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I am a social media addict. I check Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat more times a day than I can even keep track of. Most of us Millennials do. We’ve grown up during a social media evolution that has changed the way millions of people communicate around the world. We use #hashtags, emojis, memes, gifs, etc. Side note- today I also had to answer the question, “What is the purpose of a hashtag?” and “Can you tweet a meme?” and “Are tweets organized alphabetically?” *face palm* How do you explain something that might as well be as innate as breathing–How does it work? IT JUST DOES.–I’ve been using Twitter for 8 years now. My little cousin was Tweeting by the time she was 10 years old. A 2009 survey by the Pew Internet Research indicated that 61% of teens ages 13-17 use social networking sites. That was 2009…that statistic has jumped up to 71% of teens using more than one social networking site in 2016.

Nevertheless, we successfully made it through our social media how-to session today, and I gained a soft spot for those who have ever had trouble understanding the vast world of social media (especially if they didn’t grow up using it).

 

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Yeezy Making New Waves

T-minus 10 days until Kanye’s highly anticipated new album Waves will be released (along with season three of his fashion line). The debut of Yeezy’s latest LP is set to take place in Madison Square Garden, with the event streamed in theaters in 25 other countries. Tickets for showings in US theaters are not yet available (*cue sadness and frustration*).

As I impatiently wait for the debut of Yeezy’s “best album of all time” (featuring fire artists such as A$AP Rocky, Chance the Rapper and Earl Sweatshirt), I’d like to share with you my #1 favorite song from each of his past LPs.

1. The College Dropout (’04) – All Falls Down

2. Late Registration (’05) – Gold Digger

I had to go with this middle school throwback. Touch The Sky comes in a close second though.

3. Graduation (’07) – Good Life

4. 808s & Heartbreak (’08) – Heartless

5. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (’10) – Lost In The World

Honestly it was difficult to choose just one song because this entire album is insanely fantastic. I wanted to pick All Of The Lights to support my girl Ri Ri, but I have to go with Lost In The World. Yeezus and Bon Iver (one of my all time favorite artists) collaborated to create such a uniquely interesting sound.

6. Watch The Throne (’11 collaboration with JAY Z) – Gotta Have It

Just look at that power duo. Look at them.

7. Yeezus (’13) – Blood On The Leaves

Hello. It’s me.

I’m back from my blogging hiatus to share with you all things I find interesting and exciting in the worlds of marketing, music, health, technology and all other things that intrigue me.

Here’s an update on what I’ve been up to:

Recently, I landed a marketing internship with Moogfest, a music/art/technology festival held in Durham, NC, featuring artists such as ODESZA, Gary Numan, GZA and more. The festival also offers interactive experiences, visual art exhibitions, installations, film screenings, panel discussions and workshops. The New York Times calls it “a utopia of geekdom.” I highly recommend you check it out!

Today was my first day on the job. And it was a w e s o m e. I got to attend and work at Moogfest’s Disco Brunch at The Durham Hotel – yes, it was as cool as it sounds. Attendees enjoyed a boozy brunch alongside performances by local DJ artists, while the other interns and I promoted and sold tickets for the upcoming festival. This was the first of a series of monthly brunches featuring a new selection of DJs for each event.

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To all my brunch fans out there, be sure you make it out to the next Disco Brunch! It was a truly awesome experience. I can’t wait to see what the rest of this internship has in store for me.

The Future of Communication

I began this class with a love/hate relationship with my blog. I’ve never been a fan of blogging. Mainly because I never thought I had anything really important to say. But over the course of this class I’ve come to learn that my ideas as well as my classmates’ ideas are important—whether or not everyone agrees with them—it’s worth reading their blog posts.

One of my latest blog posts was on the topic of “living in the moment.” When I wrote that post, I had the mentality that technology (especially smartphones) are limiting people’s abilities to live in the now and distracting people from reality. People are too busy checking their texts/emails/Facebook notifications/tweets/etc. to appreciate each other’s company. Too busy filming concerts to enjoy the live performance in front of them. Too busy Instagramming their food to just go ahead and eat it… We’ve become a society too reliable on our phones and technology to get through our days without them.

Many of my classmates actually blogged about this topic—so many did that we discussed this topic in one of the following classes. That day, Professor Robinson and the class discussion he led changed my mentality about the negative implications of technology and social media. He taught me to see these things in a more positive light and to understand that social media is not limiting our ability to communicate but rather improving it. We live in an age where people are more interconnected than ever before and documenting and sharing information has never been easier. This idea inspired my final project for this class: a video about the future of social media and communication technologies. Enjoy.

But really, what are your thoughts? From this class I’ve learned that no idea is too far fetched. In Professor Robinson’s words, “predicting the future is an intelligent crapshoot.” Much of the technology that we will use in the future might be things we couldn’t even imagine. 20 years ago, would you have imagined being able to send pictures to friends that would disappear after a few seconds, Skype with someone halfway across the globe, or stream all of your favorite TV shows and movies to any of your devices? Probably not. So go ahead, let your imagination wander. You might just come up with the next best way to stay connected, share information, and make life easier.

True Life: I’m a Cord Cutter

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I’ve been a cord cutter for about a year now, and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to hear of the internet television service, Sling TV. For just $20 a month, you can get a live TV package with 16 channels (including ESPN, AMC, CNN, A&E, The Food Network and more) on all of your devices without needing cable. It’s like Netflix for personalized, live TV. And it’s what’s been missing in my life.

“It’s watching the season finale of your favorite show the moment it airs. It’s the latest episodes of your favorite shows and hot new movies on-demand. It’s ESPN and more without the cable company. No commitment. No cable and no strings attatched. It’s sling and it’s time to TAKE BACK TV.

In her blog post, Lauren posed the question: “Have we finally reached the time when traditional TV is becoming obsolete?” I don’t think it’s become obsolete; however, I do think that online streaming platforms have seriously disrupted the way that people consume video content. In today’s world, the viewers are in more control then ever before. They determine which shows they want to pay to watch whether it’s through cable/Netflix/Hulu/HBO Go/etc, thus, determine which shows get produced. And what people want to pay for is quality: a great user experience, seamless access to content, and personalized service. Personally, I’d be willing to pay for a service like Sling that let’s me watch what I want, when I want. and where I want it. The most appealing quality of the service is that I can access it on any of my devices. The downside: the TV package doesn’t include all of my favorite networks. If Sling were to expand their selection, I foresee it as a very profitable and sustainable television platform in the future.

My Ad Consumption Habits

“How to advertise to millennials” seems to be a hot topic in the marketing world right now. NPR’s New Boom series asks: “How should brands and advertisers go about reaching millennials if they’re so powerful, but also so different, than generations before them?” While I can’t speak for all millennials, I can give you insight into how to best advertise to myself: a 21 year old female college student who spends an excessive amount of time on her iPhone, laptop, and in her car.

Best ways to advertise to me (in order of best to next best):

1) Mobile

I have my phone on me 24/7. I’m constantly checking Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat. So if you want me to see your ad, you should put your content on one of these social media platforms. Also, the best type of content is video content (as we discussed last class). Videos are more entertaining and visually stimulating—they will keep my attention better than any other type of ad.

2) Video Streaming Services

Thankfully Netflix doesn’t play ads throughout TV shows/movies, but Hulu and HBO Go do. I can’t watch Modern Family or Game of Thrones (T-minus 15 minutes until the season 5 premiere!) without being interrupted by multiple ads. This isn’t my ideal viewing experience, but it’s the only way I can watch the shows because I don’t have cable. The nice part about Hulu’s ads is that it asks you “does this ad pertain to you?” after viewing it, so you have more control over the type of ads you’re shown.

3) YouTube Commercials

I’m obsessed with YouTube and watch an unhealthy amount of music videos, stand up comedy acts, and late night talk show clips. That means I see a lot of YouTube ads too. For me personally, YouTube is an extremely good platform for ads, especially because I will most likely watch your ad more than once in a short span of time. I’m also the type of person that doesn’t click “skip add”—if an ad intrigues me enough I’ll watch the whole thing.

4) Billboards

I have made the 9 hour drive to and from Chapel Hill and Nashville more times than I can count on two hands. The drive is loooong and boring. At least billboards are there to keep me entertained, informed, and direct me to the nearest Chick-fil-a.

Have You Updated Your iPhone Today?

Apple just released its iOS 8.3 update which has a cool feature everyone has been waiting for: over 300 new and more racially diverse emojis.

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This article adds that Apple’s new mobile operating system not only includes small bug fixes, but it has also added 32 new country flags and new languages for Siri, including Danish, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish.

“Apple supports and cares deeply about diversity, and is working with The Unicode Consortium to update the standard so that it better represents diversity for all of us.” – Apple spokesperson

It’s been about a year since Apple began pursuing this diversification of their emojis, and I’m glad it’s finally here. As a Latina, I personally am thrilled that myself and every other iPhone user can now express themselves with more personally relevant emojis. Like I said in my last blog post, consumers like personalization. And with the expansion of their emoji set, Apple’s updated keyboard can now appeal to their entire consumer base.

Emojis are becoming the norm in the world of communication. Active (some might call it excessive) emoji-users like myself leverage the use of the emoji to express emotion and add to the conversation in ways that text simply can’t. Some might argue that the use of the emoji is “dumbing us down” in terms of communication skills, but I have to disagree. Some might consider them pointless or silly, but I find them insightful and humorous. I believe that they enrich the conversation—you can convey a lot of meaning with just one simple character. Side note- you can also tell a lot about a person from their “recently used” emojis list (maybe it’s just me but I like to make up stories based on my friends’ most recently used emojis…kind of like palm reading…but through characters instead of lines…and on a phone screen).

All in all, the emoji is here to stay, and Apple made the right move by diversifying their people emoji set.