Thursday, March 29, 2012

Twitter's Facebook Similarities vs. Differences

I have talked to a number of people that have this expectation of Twitter being pretty similar to Facebook and not really standing out. Although I had this impression for a while, I recently began tweeting and have found it useful for a number of different things. It is easy to update, therefore easy to read what my friends and family are up to all day long. Also, you are able to follow your favorite celebrities. This is something different from Facebook because Facebook does not allow you to get near celebrities social page. However, Twitter allows you to read what their updates all day long, just like you can do with your friends. Even though Twitter is almost like Facebook statuses, it allows you to be more personable with other people, even celebrities, with replying and retweeting. The reality is that these two social networks vary greatly, and both have great things to offer! If you haven't already, give Twitter a chance! You might actually become addicted to tweeting, like me!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Is Facebook Taking Over?!

Let's face it, almost everyone has a Facebook page from 80-year-old Grandmas and newborn babies to one of my friends' cat. Many of us impulsively check our pages and update our statuses not simply daily, but several times, habitually, throughout each day. Some may log onto Facebook merely to chat with their friends while others browse Facebook marketplace or search through a band's page and listen to music. Facebook has evolved considerably over the last several years and it now serves dozens of purposes. Walgreens even recently added health advice to its Facebook page and other businesses are trying similar tactics to earn precious 'Likes' from Facebook users. (Story Here) There are not that many online 'needs' that the average person cannot fulfill by simply logging onto their Facebook page, which sounds great, right? Well, maybe. Is Facebook going to expand to such an extent that we rarely use any other source when we use the Internet or will it always be just the friendly blue site that we go to to see what our friends back in our hometowns are up to? Who knows what the future will bring, but do you think an expanding Facebook would be good or bad? Would it provide easier and faster access to what we want online or will it narrow our sources and even viewpoints?

With more and more people becoming acquainted with technology, individuals, especially younger ones, are more likely to open up their laptops or smart phone devices to check current news.  You don't find many students these days that prefer paying for a paper.  Most would rather catch up at their convenience.  In saying this, though Facebook started out as a means for communicating and promoting businesses, but  more recently turned into a digital newspaper itself.  Very frequently articles are popping up, whether it be on the side or main news feed, and viewers are actually paying attention.  In reality, Facebook is becoming a main educator about the news and individuals are becoming more involved with topics that are happening locally and worldwide.  Facebook allows articles to be not only posted, but shared by millions.  Most of these articles are very current and are keeping people involved, which in turn is allowing there to be a higher opinion response rate.  Many didn't expect Facebook to become a source of education, but in reality, it continually provides us with the news that we might have not heard elsewhere.

If you have any news articles or videos that you have stumbled across on Facebook, we ask you to please share them with us in your comments below!

Facebook vs. Employers

We've all heard people say it, "Be careful what you put on Facebook! Employers are always looking at that stuff..." When people say that, it usually means not to put pictures of yourself drinking underage or anything else illegal that could count against you while looking for a job. While this is all true, there is a new controversy happening. Not only do you as the Facebook account holder have to be careful with your privacy settings, but some employers are now asking for social networking passwords on job applications so they can personally go into your accounts and look at everything. With this new problem arising, Facebook has taken the next step by warning employers to NOT do this, and if they continue to do so, they will take legal actions against businesses and corporations. So, how far would you go to get your dream job? Would you give them your Facebook password, or do you think there should be a line drawn to not allow employers to do this? Check out the whole story below and give your opinion!

Employment Screening Resources

Monday, March 26, 2012

Facebook: Outgoing vs. "Facebook Outgoing"

What is the point of Facebook? A way to communicate with friends? A way to voice your opinion? A way to publicize your business? A way to procrastinate? This question has crossed my mind, and the minds of many others, on multiple occasions.  The point of Facebook is not clear, I suppose it is all of the above.  There is one aspect of Facebook that scares me though.  This is expressionism.  Some people are relying solely on Facebook to express themselves.  These people tend to be the least talkative in person, but the most active on Facebook.  Without naming any names, I know plenty of people that are like this.  This is one of the biggest concerns previous generations have for our generation.  We use texting, ichatting, and now Facebook to communicate with each other, rather than speaking face to face.  Facebook can give people the ability to hide behind this page of theirs and say whatever they want without having to say anything outloud.  There are even Facebook pages that say that texting and Facebook have somewhat ruined relationships.  Though some believe that Facebook helps insecure people come out of their shell, I think it puts them even farther in it. Don’t get me wrong, I love Facebook and use it daily, but I do think we need to be aware of the negative aspects of it.  People in our generation need to realize they cannot rely on social networks to express themselves.  Use your voice and the world will listen! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Facebook: Social Networking vs. Inappropriate Usage

When Facebook first created in early 2004, it is safe to say that many people were interested but skeptical about the new social networking site. However, in the last eight years, this website has become one of the most visited by people on the internet. If you asked most people what they believe Facebook is used for, they would say to stay connected with their friends and family. While this may be true, it is also being used in negative ways that a lot of people don't expect, including bullying and the site being a source for self-esteem. The most recent occurrence of this was "The Most Beautiful Teen Contest" flooding many's news feeds. Teens from all over the world posted photos, subjecting themselves to the critiques from the rest of the Facebook world. The contest was shut down by Facebook shortly after, especially after all the hurtful comments and the risks of people being exposed to online predators. We don't expect this fun social networking site to be used in these types of ways, but they do occur more often than we think. What are your opinions on this? Is Facebook still mostly a way to stay connected with loved ones, or is it evolving into more, unacceptable ways of communication and exposing opinions?

Here is a video discussing "The Most Beautiful Teen Contest"'s shut down. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ed Hardy Model VS The Drug Industry

Getting involved with drug and alcohol abuse seems to becoming an ongoing occurrence within the fashion media industry.  It is becoming more popular as time goes on for models to use selling drugs as a side job to earn some quick cash.  These drugs are also furthering their ability to lose weight and maintain a "model" body type image.  Most recently, Ed Hardy model, Simone Farrow, was caught and accused of running an international drug ring.  Most people wouldn't expect people like herself, a beautiful, chic, young woman who use to be the face of a upbeat high quality brand, to be involved in this large mishap.  But, what we need to realize that this is becoming a hobby for many young people like Simone.  We need to take a step closer to finding more of these men and women involved in these activities and try to do something about it.  Drugs are a huge part of reality right now.  Is this what we want our models and pop stars known for?  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Kony Vs. The World

Two words: Stop Kony. As of March 2012, those words have been heard all around the world because of one YouTube video. Jason Russell, a founder of Invisible Children, Inc. put together a video introducing Joseph Kony to the world. He wanted Kony to get as much publicity as possible, making his name known to every single person in the world, but not for good reasons. Joseph Kony is the head of LRA- Lord's Resistance Army- a Ugandan guerrilla group.Although he does many negative things, he is mostly known for abducting children and using them as sex-slaves and child soldiers.

When news of Kony spread, the world was shocked. How could something so horrible be happening in the world and nobody has heard about it? This video, which is one of the most watched YouTube videos ever, was simply an eye-opener. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the video; people not thinking it's accurate or the donation money does not go towards helping these "invisible children". Regardless, the goal is to capture Kony in the year 2012 and to help the world by defeating him as a group! The reality is that things are happening all over the world that we are oblivious about, and it's our job to be aware and tell others about terrible events. Below is the link to watch the video. Take 30 minutes of your life to witness what is happening in the world and together, we can stop Kony!

Kony 2012

Reality vs. Expectations of U.S. Soldiers

Last week there was a tragedy in Afghanistan.  The least expected action from a U.S. soldier occurred.  The expectations of soldiers in the U.S. Army is so high, yet the reality is, they are humans too.  A lone gunman left his base and according to a Washington Post article, is “held accountable for the worst atrocity by a U.S. service member in the decade-long war.”  He went on a shooting rampage and shot 16 civilians, including nine children, allegedly shot by a rogue U.S. soldier in southern Afghanistan the day before.  This is a crisis that one would not expect a solider to be responsible for.  We put our soldiers on such a high pedestal because they are representing our country.  The reality is that this soldier was probably extremely troubled, and though his horrible actions cannot be justified, he is a human too.  I feel extremely awful for the families impacted by the shooting, but I also feel sorry for the soldier and his family.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Government Good vs. Evil

This is not the first time that Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has been in the news, and not for good recognition. However, this time his scandal is becoming a reality to him, his family, and the United States. After being "convicted of 17 of 20 counts" in his second trial, mostly for trying to sell a seat in the Senate "in return for political favors", he will soon face a harsh reality this Thursday when he begins a long, 14 years in prison. Even though he says he believed he was never doing anything against the law, he is taking responsibility for what he did and leaving his wife and two children to go behind bars. The shocking part of this story is that he is not even the first Illinois Governor to be put in prison, especially in recent years. Now, if you're thinking this only has happened in Illinois, you're wrong. Just because not all issues are publicized, doesn't mean scandals and crimes don't occur extremely often within the United States government. I can't tell you I know a ton about politics, but what I do know is that people's expectations are and should be that we can trust our government to make the best decisions for our country. When situations like this occur, it can really make us open our eyes and question whether or not we are able to. So, I guess my question this week is how much trust should we put in our government? If there are other politicians involved in corrupt acts like this, can we really believe everything the government is doing is for the greater good, or is it just for power?

 Read Full Article Here


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hard News vs. Soft News

Today, while I was browsing The New York Times website, I stumbled upon its 'Most Popular' tab. Under this tab I noticed that the most viewed news story today was titled, "Obama's Rating Falls as Poll Reflects Volatility." This didn't surprise me in the slightest as in any run-up to a presidential election there will be coverage of the President's approval, but what did surprise me was the article that was listed at the number two slot. "Findings: Refining the Formula That Predicts Celebrity Marriages' Doom." This article discusses an intricate formula developed by two scientists that predicts the demise of famous couples' marriages. Although the article is surprisingly interesting, it made me think, "Is this what we as a nation really care about when it comes to news?" We could so easily be entertained by dozens of other media sources. Do we really have to be entertained and kept up to date on the latest gossip by our most accredited news sources too? It seems obvious that we should care about various issues that affect our nation and our communities in a deeper sense than news about celebrity marriage, but often times we just would rather find out how long Beyonce and Jay-Z's marriage will last instead. After all, I didn't read the story about Obama's ratings, I read about the celebrity marriage formula and I don't even have any interest in celebrity news. In my spare time I would much rather watch soft news like The Daily Show or The Colbert Report than watch hard news like CNN. Maybe this is a downfall of our generation and maybe those of us who prefer soft news are the ones causing major news organizations to change their style and misleadingly vamp up the news. What do you think? Is soft news bad and should we fight temptation and just pay attention to hard news? Or isn't it a problem at all?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Falling In Love VS. The "Idea" of Falling In Love

"Ben, I'm falling in love with you". -- The words that spill out on national television from more than one girl.

Many of you may be familiar with the hit television reality series "The Bachelor".  If not, lets break this down.  There is one eligible Bachelor, who happens to be Ben Flajnik this season, that is looking to fall in love.  There then are  25  women who have romantic interests and are looking for "the one".  These women all live in the same house for the duration of the show, all while Ben picks and chooses the women he wants to take on individual and group dates.  The women's goal is to win his heart over and receive a "rose" at the end of the night.  A rose means you stay, no rose means your sent home immediately.  By showing their "passion" and "interest" in Ben, these girls are doing everything they can to win over his young heart.  BUT, are these girls actually interested in falling in love with Ben, or are they in "love" with the idea of being on national television?  As all of the drama unfolds, we as viewers, learn more and more about who these girls are really week.  Each girl tries to squeeze out the juicy details of another girl that could ruin their chance to take it all.
The expectation this show is trying to portray is that every girl can fall in love with some handsome, young, man out there in a matter of weeks...but in reality, we all know these feelings are questionable.  The past seasons of "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" have proven this fact.  Many sources have updates on all of our past couples, and unfortunately, the outcome of the "love" in this show hasn't proven to be too promising.
The season finale of "The Bachelor" airs this Monday.  Ben will have to make a decision between the beloved Courtney, a model whom none of the girls this season got along with, and Lynzi, a cute, down home country girl ready to move on in her life.

A sneak preview at what's to come this Monday...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Real Housewives vs. NOT such Real Housewives

This week I’m writing about the NOT so real housewives series.  The show glorifies the lives of these women and creates a façade.  Real housewives do not act the way these women do.  The women on this show flash every item they have and scream at each other like teenagers.  They live in these ultra luxurious houses and have the most expensive cars, but many of them cannot even afford to live this way.  For example, Teresa from Real Housewives of New Jersey actually went bankrupt.  See article about Teresa here.  She and her husband could not afford everything they own and show off.  I find it sad that this is the way society is portraying “real mothers.”  Real mothers do not act this way towards each other and their families.  Most of these women are immature and as funny as the show is, the drama gets old.  The show glorifies these women for what they try to be, not necessarily what they really are.  This causes other people to think they have to strive to have everything these women have, when really, these women do not even have much either!  The final point I would like to make about them not being “real” women, is their faces.  If anyone takes one look at any of those women’s faces and/or bodies, it is completely evident that they have had thousand of dollars of plastic surgery.  This does not make them real, this makes them fake.  The name of the show is completely deceiving and glorifies everything a housewife is not. 

Teresa being the "real housewife" she is...flipping tables.  Make sure to take note of what the children they interview think of her.  What a good role model right?!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Teen Mom vs. Teen Parenting in Reality

16 & Pregnant, and it's spin off, Teen Mom, have become very controversial over the last few years. While some argue that the show completely glamorizes teen pregnancy, others believe these shows allow people to see all the hardships of being a teen parent. After watching the shows for a few seasons, I believe opinions from both sides. I think these types of televisions shows do depict how hard it is to raise a child while you're still a child yourself. Teen Mom and 16 & Pregnant deal with issues like separation, not being able to finish school, and not having enough money to fully support the child. Conversely, no matter how bad their lives can be displayed on camera, off camera is a different story. Some of these girls on Teen Mom have been featured all over the news, and even on the covers of magazines. In reality, we are able to see the benefits they reap from publicizing their lives.They get paid a huge amount of money, as every other television star is, and this is expected. However, some people say that this part of the publicity off camera is encouraging teens to think that teen pregnancy can make them famous. On the other hand, the video clip from the link below features three of the Teen Moms answering this very question. They absolutely do not agree with the opinions of them publicizing teen pregnancy. They tell Anderson Cooper, the host, that they did not choose to become pregnant, and think the show does a great job of showing the hard times that they go through with being a parent at such a young age. So what do you think? Are these reality TV shows giving teen pregnancy a good image, or making teens realize how difficult it actually is to raise a child before they are grown up?

Jersey Shore vs. New Jersey

          Oh Jersey Shore. You have enthralled MTV's young target market and made the names Snooki and The Situation common knowledge in our culture. You portray a group of young people simply living their lives in a house in New Jersey, but how real is this reality? People flock every Thursday to watch Jersey Shore, which is labeled as reality TV, but is this how life really is in Jersey? The shore gang spends most of their time, as documented on camera, either at the clubs, getting into shenanigans at their house, or, as they say, "GTL" (gym, tan, laundry). They rarely work, and when they do they often show up late, sleep on the job, or even leave altogether. If this was actually reality, they would obviously be fired. They also live a lifestyle disproportionate to the amount of income they would make based on their T-Shirt sales job. They are paid to be on the show, which obviously prevents them from being completely the same as if they were not being paid, nor on camera. I'm not trying to just bash Jersey Shore, I've watched it just as much as they next person. The only problem with reality shows like this, is when they are taken as true reality. It's important for us to distinguish between our views of New Jersey and the portrayals on Jersey Shore. Everyone is not always, drinking, fist pumping, and yelling, "Yeeeaah buddy," but if we take Jersey Shore as real, we might assume that of New Jersey. When we watch reality TV, our expectation is what it should be, reality. But in actuality, reality on TV is far from true, although it appears to be. As long as we take Jersey Shore for what it is, as simple entertainment instead of an informational documentary, we can avoid a skewed sense of reality.

Below is a short clip of my personal favorite Jersey Shore character, Pauly D.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Reality TV vs. Reality: The Kardashians

       Reality television is a funny thing. How did it become so popular and why do we enjoy it so much? Some may say it’s a guilty pleasure. Some may say it’s just for entertainment. Whatever the reason may be, there is one family that does reality TV better than most- the Kardashians. Bruce and Kris Jenner run a madhouse of children- Kim, Kourtney, Khloé, Kendell, Kylie, and Rob. The E! show features this family on “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and on spin-offs including “Khloé and Lamar” and “Kourtney and Kim Take New York”.

With reality TV, it is sometimes hard to pick out the true purpose of the show. The question is always "Is it all scripted?" Is reality TV really reality? It's a tough call, however, as an avid Kardashian fan, I find the show hilarious and so close to real life. Whether you enjoy reality TV or not, it is interesting to know that such people like the Kardashians are making insane amounts of money by just being “them” in front of a camera.

Here’s a clip of the craziness that goes on and a summary of the show:
The Kardashian Life