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The Selfie Craze

The selfie craze has swept over social media the past five years, with people ranging from celebrities, politicians – even Pope Francis – posting selfie shots on various social media. And I’m sure we all know at least one or two people who post nothing but selfies on Instagram and Facebook. They are everyone’s favorite people.

But selfies aren’t just a trend among teens and 20-somethings; the word itself is becoming everyday slang. Last year, the Oxford English dictionary named “selfie” the word of the year after research showed its frequency of use had soared over 17,000 percent in only 12 months.

But what makes us all so drawn to taking and posting selfies? We can start with the validation we receive. By posting a selfie online you are inviting all of your friends and followers to like and comment on your picture, and the more likes and comments like “beautiful” or “hot” that people receive, the more loved they feel.

“To some degree, we all require validation of our looks and confirmation that we’re sexually attractive. This doesn’t make us narcissistic, but merely human,” says Julie Mastrine, author of “Make Your Own Sandwich: A 20-Something’s Musings on Living Under (And Smashing) The Patriarchy.” However, even if we shouldn’t, many people do.

Many people are passive-aggressively slammed on Facebook through other people’s status updates, and photos shared or mocked. These people are taunted for being “self-centered” and “narcissistic.” There have even been studies that discuss how these selfie addicts tend to consistently have lower self-esteem than those who refrain from entering the selfie game.

Dr. Carole Liberman confirms what we all may be thinking, too. Photos like selfies are desperately crying out, “Look at me!” This starts in childhood not getting enough attention as a child from their parents who could be too busy working, or who are self-centered themselves.

Some schools are even taking steps to prevent selfies, like the University of South Florida. They have banned students from taking selfies during graduation while getting their degrees and if they are caught taking selfies they will face disciplinary actions, such as having their degree withheld.

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Yik Yak: A Way to Encourage Cyberbullying

Yik Yak is a new social media application that made its arrival on the scene around April 20 of this year. Here is the description: “Yik Yak acts like a local bulletin board for your area by showing the most recent posts from other users around you.” However, what the creators forget to mention is that Yik Yak is an anonymous board that allows users to say anything they feel about anyone without being held responsible for the content. This has had a big controversy in the anti- bullying world, because a lot of individuals are going online and stating harsh things about individuals who attend or teach at the school. One reviewer even wrote “Responsible for way too much drama. This app needs to be taken down immediately because it’s causing serious problems. Make the report system better and actually take down posts that have names.” Some examples of these on our own Frostburg board are:

  • “________ complains about grades…then makes us sit and watch a 3 hour movie when we could be studying. Good thinking genius.”
  • “___________ from DZ is gorgeous. Killed me inside when I heard she was thot. Now I can never love her.”

 

There are even people who pretend to be the president of the university (DrGibralter) and post under his name, with tons of typos:

  • “Doin naked bong rips in the bean bag playing me own character on NBA jams, how’s yall Monday goin.”
  • “Don’t even play like that, sheetsz where it’s at.”

 

After a post is made, students then have the option to reply and either like or dislike posts that have been shared. Depending on the amount of likes and comments, made students are able to make it into a category called “Top in my area.” But it is not okay for posts such as these to be liked so much by the students in the Frostburg area.

Frostburg isn’t the only school that is having problems with the cyberbullying.  Fox News recently reported about Fairfield Public Schools who “utilize its GPS technology to block access to the app within all of its campuses.” This came about after parents in Connecticut “received a message from the public schools warning them that Yik Yak was creating opportunities for mean- spirited, bullying behavior at some of its schools.“ The note said, “The issues range from bullying behavior, racial harassment, sexual harassment, to bomb threats and threats of physical violence.”

So what can Frostburg do to counteract the use of Yik Yak? First, as a school, we need to rally to stop the use or download of the application. Next we need to make an effort to reply and dislike the posts that are negative, and especially the ones that include people’s names. Lastly we need to inform more students of the effects of cyberbullying. Hopefully these changes can help the number of students who are cyberbullied decrease. 

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‘I Want To Do Social Media Marketing For the Rest of My Life’

My name is Katie McCartney, and I want to do social media marketing for the rest of my life. Social media marketing just means using social media to promote an organization, event or idea. I want to study this in graduate school. I want to do this as a career. My life revolves around social media.

For the past year and a half, I have worked for the Social Marketing Team on campus. And for the past year, I have been the social media coordinator. This means that I run the Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts for the team.  Have you ever heard of the @TheSocialBobcat twitter account? It’s also known as FrostburgStateLife. Well, that’s me. My job consists of scheduling tweets for the upcoming events on campus, writing Facebook posts for things specific to our team, and making sure photos get uploaded to Instagram on a regular basis. And I love every part of it.

Through my job, I have learned much more about my school, the organizations on campus and the students who go here. On Twitter, I get the opportunity to interact with students through retweeting, favoriting, and answering questions students have. I love it when followers interact with the content that we put up and when they share their own content with me. There have been many students who send me announcements about upcoming events for their organizations.

Having this job has helped me grow in so many ways. No only has being the social media coordinator showed me a potential career that I would love, it has also given me real-life professional development and experience for that career. In this year alone, I won an ACUI Steal This Idea Award for the work I’ve done on Twitter, and have been offered a potential internship in the future to do exactly what I do now. For now, I can only wait and see what the future holds for me with social media marketing, but I’m so excited to find out!

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Check out some of the amazing things that are happening right in our own backyard. Then go and vote for this video at Cc Planet Forward. > http://bit.ly/1lqjjz0

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Unplugging Over Spring Break …

By: Alex Baldwin

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Creative Commons Licensed Image From CaseIntrend.com

I love using social media every day. It’s a way for me to stay connected with all my friends and family on sites like Facebook Twitter, and Instagram. There have been times that I would go on Twitter, then check my Facebook and then go right back to Twitter. This year, for Spring Break I went to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina with some of my friends from school and the house we were staying in for the week had no Wi-Fi. I thought that this would be a great opportunity to unplug myself from social media and enjoy my vacation instead of tweeting about it every minute.

Not having social media for a week allowed me to enjoy myself more and have less stress. Since I wasn’t able to use Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram I needed to keep myself occupied in other ways, and found myself reading during the vacation. I haven’t read in years. I would go for walks with my girlfriend along the beach or the boardwalk; I played a lot of board games and card games with my friends, and watched a lot of movies.

 I found myself in a more peaceful and stress-free environment because without having social media I was able to actually listen to full conversations and my attention span seemed to increase. I was more focused on what I was going to do while on vacation rather than what is new on Twitter. I felt more connected with everyone because I wasn’t refreshing my news feed or timeline every couple of minutes. I was more concerned with what was happing right in front of me. I learned that putting your phone down and not having it with you 24-7 is a great start to unplugging because it gives you the chance to see what is happening around you. Who knows, maybe you will actually enjoy yourself and not stress over social media. 

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Google Me: Strengthening Your Online Presence

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Graduation is less than two months away, and it is time to start thinking about what you want to do in the future.  Your options are simple: get a job or go to graduate school. Either way, it is time to think about your online image. As more of the world becomes electronic, you need to consider your online presence.  It is time to take a chance and “Google” yourself: go to Google, enter your name and see what comes up in a search. What most people don’t know is that there are many jobs and schools who go online and search your name. In order to reflect your best qualities, you should strengthen your online presence.

  1. Google Your Name.
    1. When I first Googled myself I noticed that a lot of the things that came up were from when I was younger. All of the things I had accomplished at Frostburg State were coming up on pages 2 and 3, where they were most likely to not be seen. The first thing you have to do is to find the pages that you want to come up on the first page. After you have found pages that you feel reflect your best qualities, you should begin to visit these pages more often. The more times a page is visited in connection with your name, the higher it will appear in your Google search. An example, in my own Google search, is the amount of page visits I receive on my Pinterest account now that I have been posting weekly Pins for FSU. Because of the amount of visits it receives, it now appears first on my Google search.
    2. Delete Negative Posts.
      1. During my first Google search on myself, I noticed a note I wrote to the Better Business Bureau about the customer service I had received from a company with whom I had done business.  While the article wasn’t negative, it portrayed me in a light that is outside of my character. I eventually got it taken down by contacting the BBB and it no longer comes up on my Google search.  You can also go into a website and request that a company remove negative images. If that doesn’t work then try to visit the websites with suggested positive images, and push the negative images to the back of your search.
      2. Make It Count
        1. Make every post available online look as though it could be featured on your resume. When I search my name now I come across articles I have written, organizations I am in and hobbies I enjoy. These all allow a business or a college to see me when they are reviewing my applications. This is what you want. The Internet should be your resume, a reflection of you.

Take these last two months and begin to organize yourself and become the person you want the world to see.

For more information check out these articles 

http://www.razorsocial.com/5-tools-to-grow-your-presence-on-google-plus/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/penny-c-sansevieri/the-new-seo-how-to-build-_b_2076273.html

By Tavarsha Timmons

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Smile, Write, Blog

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By: Tavarsha Timmons

I heard once that if you were going to do anything in life, make it something you love. It was freshman year in my biology class when my teacher told us that what you study in college and the career you pursue should be something that makes you happy when you wake up. I walked out of class that day and changed my major. I knew that I would never want to wake up every day and be a biologist, it just wasn’t in my heart. Anyway, I changed my major to English because I loved to read, and what better job is there than to read all day long? It wasn’t until my last fall semester in college that I actually found what I wanted to do with my life. Can you guess what that was? Yup, write. The next problem I battled with was what do I write, and how do I reach my audience? I decided to write a blog and to use social media to reach audiences all over the world with my writing.

The Web has several different types of blogging domains that are connected to social media platforms. There is Tumblr, Wordpress, Blogger, Blog.com, Medium, etc.. These websites all offer different advantages. For example Tumblr is both a social network and a blogging site, giving it the versatility to be more widespread, just from the fact that people are constantly reposting articles. I, however, chose Blogger because it easily connected to my Google Plus account, so when you Google my name and click on my account and it would come up. This has increased my visibility.

Once I choose my blog I then had to choose my topic. This was the easy part because my blog is an extension of me, so it must feature things that I love such as: cooking, literature, poetry, and current campus events. I talked to a few of my classmates from my Social Media in journalism course about my topic and showed my teacher some sample articles to get their opinions. I then tested those sample articles to a bigger audience on my Facebook Page. Once I had enough feedback, I knew I wanted to pursue these topics, but not overwhelm my readers. Now I had a blog!

The great thing about Blogger was the step by step process they take you though when you first setup your blog. First, you pick a domain name.I choose the name Dear You. Next you begin to design your page. As a cook who always documented my work it was easy for me to take pictures of things that I had already made and make them my page background. Then I choose my favorite colors and incorporated them into the page; this made my page feel more at home when I got on it everyday.

Finally the time had come for me to debut my blog. I posted several different articles, then began to share it into the social media world, and it has been a blessing ever since. Not only have I grown as a writer, I was also able to land a great internship in the social media department on Frostburg’s Campus. Now I am writing this article about a dream coming true. I wake up every morning and I love what I do. So start a blog, make it something you love, let it grow through your social media, and then land a job that makes you wake with a smile.

 

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Social Media and Student-Athletes

BY: Alex Baldwinimage

My name is Alex Baldwin, and I am a senior at Frostburg State University who is majoring in Mass Communication. I am an assistant coach with the football team. I love sports, especially the Baltimore Ravens and Baltimore Orioles. I am also a social media intern with Frostburg’s Communications and Media Relations division. When I am not doing school work I am in the football office always doing something.

In today’s age of social media, it’s hard to find a person without a Twitter or Facebook account. Once you put something online it’s there forever, and anyone can see it. Student-athletes at colleges and universities are among the most popular choice of people to follow on Twitter, but that also makes them the biggest target for trouble.

Recent examples of student-athletes in hot water over social media include members of the Saint Mary’s University football team, who were suspended for tweeting hateful and sexist remarks. Five of the 10 players who were suspended were freshmen on the team, while the others were all upperclassmen.

Athletic teams around the country usually have a player manual which describes the do’s and don’ts of the team because you represent not only yourself but also your team and university. I know here at Frostburg State University we have a social media meeting at the beginning of every football camp so the players know how to act and what not to post. I feel that as a student-athlete, you should be responsible for what you post online about your team or coaching staff because it not only makes you look bad but gives your university a bad image as well. If a university’s own students talk bad about it, then what is stopping anyone else from doing it?

Being a member of the Bobcat football team, I have learned how to act on and off the field. We are role models to a lot of people around this area and even back home to our friends and families. One thing I have learned is when using social media don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see. I know that sound cheesy, but it’s true because how would your family feel if they saw you tweeting sexist or racist comments about people.

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