I recently read an article on Inc titled “11 Reasons a 23-Year-Old Shouldn’t Run Your Social Media.” Let me start off by saying that yes, I did read the generalization pardon. Yes, people shouldn’t be hired just because they are “really good at Facebook” (that’s how my parents describe what I do, because they’re not social media saavy). No one should ever be hired “just because.”
That being said, “just because” someone is a new graduate doesn’t mean they are ill-equipt to work in the professional world. I would bet that it’s these types of generalizations that are helping keep the unemployment rate up for new graduates. Read more
I’m currently watching Mark Zuckerberg’s live announcement about Facebook’s unveiling of a merger with Skype, allowing Facebook users to video chat with their friends. They revealed group chat as well, although if you were a group user on Facebook you’ve had this functionality for at least 6 months. Now, you don’t have to have created a group prior to attempting to chat.
Recently, I noticed that chat has been integrated with Facebook messages. That way, you can access people who are not online in your “buddy list” of friends and still send them a chat message. This can be good and bad. Many people will notice the green circle indicating that a user is “online,” but what about those users who are unaware of this update? How long will it take before your friends get used to this?
I’m really excited about this merger. It doesn’t mean I’m going to stop using Skype. I have my network on Skype, and I can be signed in without revealing myself on Facebook. To be perfectly honest, Facebook chat has often failed me. My friends and I will start a chat on Facebook and move to Skype in frustration. I’m wondering if Facebook chat will be as difficult when it comes to working with video. Also, will I be able to video chat with say, my father, who does not have a video camera? Skype offers this functionality, where the user that is camera-less can type responses while viewing the video of another user. How will that work on the Facebook interface.
Video calls have launched. I’m ready to try it out.
I was reading a New York Times article, “Feel Like a Wallflower? Maybe It’s Your Facebook Wall,” and it really made me think about the effect social media has on our (social) lives. FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out, is something I often suffer with upon going online. I may be perfectly content sitting and watching a movie, relaxing. Then I check my twitter feed and see that four of my friends are out at the bar, having a blast. I always want to join.
This is something I have been struggling with for many years. I used to hate it when my friends would make plans and not invite me. It was one thing if just two friends were hanging out together, but it’s entirely different when it’s a big group. I always want to be a part of it, if only to remember that they like me. It seems childish but we all seek that approval. Social media has really impacted they way and think I feel about this issue. Going online reminds you that you’re online and not out, living life.
There are some opposing views. For example, with smart phones (and it’s 2011, so more and more people are being forced by providers to acquire such phones) we can be connected at any point in time. This means, we’re not necessarily sitting at home alone and reading about our friends’ fun time. We could be out having our own fun. However, there is still a natural emotional pull to be doing what your other friends are doing. You want to be where they are.
So, does this mean that we leave social media? Is it affecting our lives so much that it causes depression, leaving us unable to function? I say, “Nay!” It is our job to find a balance and accept that people can not revolve around our own lives. On the other hand, it would be an agreeable statement to say that social media does lead to depression. It does lead to a sense of isolation and loneliness. Growing up is hard, and it’s made harder by our ever growing number of connections. Our minds are overwhelmed. We can only process so much.
In the end, now that we’re so connected, it may be next to impossible to disconnect yourself. Yes, you can delete your Facebook and Twitter. In theory, you would never have to worry about it. However, more and more invitations go out on Facebook. You may crave the knowledge that comes with living your life online.
Good luck with your decision making.
This weekend was the third annual Lansing Give Camp, a weekend long event where web developers, designers, and database ninjas donate their time to create programs/software/webpages for non-profits. It officially began at 5PM on Friday and ended at 5PM on Sunday afternoon, where we gathered in the basement of Impression 5 Science Center in Lansing. I met my team: Amelia Marschall from Gravity Works Design, Daniel Hogan of Ginger and the Geek, and Kathleen Kiester to help re-design the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council (Mid-MEAC) webpage. The old webpage is still hosted on the domain as of today, but you can also check out our re-design here. I created the favicon, the tri-county Michigan iconography, the Facebook landing page, Twitter background, and did content editing across the site. Overall, we didn’t have as much work as I had expected. I initially brought a bag with clothes to stay the weekend, but we finished relatively early each night.
The experience was incredible. I was surrounded by some of the most talented designers/coders in the Lansing area all working non-stop to create incredible projects. In addition, I learned a lot about the awesome non-profits in the area and the work that they do. For example, 401 Change was an idea not previously backed by any online presence. With every good action you do, others will do good. These good deeds will help change the world. 401 Change was designed to track those good deeds and show the good that people are doing all around the world. It’s amazing the ideas that people have and their desire to change the way we think about our lives. Non-Profit work is some of the most difficult and most rewarding work that one could take part in. I’m glad I got to be a part of it for at least one weekend.
So many companies sponsored our meals, donated prizes, and helped make this possible. Other Give Camps exist across the country, something I find thrilling. I plan on continuing to participate in Give Camps, if not in Lansing, then other places around the United States. Nothing feels better than knowing at the end of the day, you made a difference.
You were the change that the world needed to see.