Power of Social Media

After doing the Peer Review assignment as well as seeing the explosion on social media after last night’s Grammy awards, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the subject.

It’s amazing to me that a mere 6 years ago, I would never dream of checking Twitter constantly while watching an awards show just to see the hilarious things people were saying about it (like Tswift dancing). I almost feel as though if you don’t have social media at this point in time, you are missing out on a major part of our culture.

Courtesy of Huffington Post

I say this because I went on a social media detox over winter break and although I treasured not being constantly connected on some level, I felt lost. I had no idea what was going on in the world or with my friends. My news knowledge was basically zero and that just felt wrong.

But social media is a double-edged sword. Everything you’ve ever done or said can be searched, quantified and judged. I heard today about new software that uses facial recognition to scan the Internet for pictures even if you aren’t tagged or its set on private. That scares me. Not because I have anything to hide but because I feel like the room for personal errors is growing smaller and smaller. One bad night in college that someone took a picture of could harm your entire future. That’s terrifying.

With that in mind, I think assignments like the peer review are good assignments for reporters. Sometimes we don’t think about ourselves as reporters on social media, especially as college students. Things like this remind us that social media can be both a tool but also a curse depending on how you use it.

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If My Life Were a Blog

Today is a shameless plug day apparently because I keep finding amazing stuff while I’m just sitting here waiting for another story.

I found this blog called American Twenty Nothings, which is basically my life materialized in a blog. Its accurate to a point of almost being creepy. It’s relatively new and therefore still raw and funny as hell.

I also really appreciate that it’s anonymous still. I feel like the blogosphere is riddled with fame-seekers and good material becomes commercialized and fake over time. This blog hasn’t lost that and it’s awesome.

This blog is funny enough that I refuse to read it in any location where laughing out is unacceptable. Consider yourself warned.

On My Mind

I read this article a couple of weeks ago and I keep thinking about it. It’s a Yahoo article that brings up some great points. Bottomline: successful people are apparently morning people.

This poses a huge problem for me personally. I am not and never have been a morning person, ever. As in, at 3 weeks old I was sleeping through the night until 10:30. However, I have noticed than morning people do seem to get more done and therefore I’m making it my end of semester to try and become more of a morning person. I’m going to start small by waking up a half an hour earlier than I’m used to. Hopefully, this small change will start building on itself so that I can begin waking up early enough to accomplish something before I go to class.

I feel like I’ve had a lot of goals posted on this blog and have accomplished none of them. But I keep thinking and coming back to this goal. The goal is to remember how much I keep focusing on it when I’m laying in my warm bed in the morning.

Voice it Loud, Voice it Proud

I stumbled across a really great blog post today that I thought I’d share (I really enjoy reading them, just don’t enjoy writing them). The reason I found this post so great is that the author’s voice is so unbelievably great. It is so clear and tangible. Maybe it isn’t the most “serious” of all articles you’ve ever read in your life but it is hard to deny the subtle greatness of her (Hannah B) voice.

This is the kind of voice that I hope to one day achieve in all my writing. This is the voice I feel like Katherine was talking about in lecture on Tuesday. She also said, what I’m hoping will prove to be a very true statement, about how new reporters often feel like they lose their voice when they first start. This has been a main issue I’ve been struggling with internally all semester. I feel that every article I write is very generic sounding with very little of my voice even making an appearance. Apparently it is all part of the process and I feel like I should trust in that but I hope that I find my voice again soon. Without it, I’m feeling a little lost

silence-the-voice-of-the-customer

But check out this amazing example that I hope to emulate  

25 Things Every Woman Needs to Know

Learning to Localize

I’ve been reflecting on why I’m so nervous about this class and I’ve narrowed it down to a couple of reasons. One of those reasons being that I have a problem with finding local stories interesting. National and international stories have always grabbed my attention faster than local ones. At first I thought it may be because I didn’t grow up in Columbia and therefore feel no need to be heavily invested in community news. However even at home, my news consumption habits rarely included local stories. I often find local stories trivial and pale in comparison to bigger stories that effect more than just a community.

My beat is community and I think my biggest challenge will be finding stories that I find newsworthy. One of my goals this semester will be to spend more time localizing my news consumption. Hopefully in December, Columbia will have changed my mind.