Learning how to blog 101

The closest I’ve come to blogging was in middle school when there were these websites called FotoLog and MetroFlog where you could post one picture a day and write a paragraph about it. Then, people could leave comments for each picture. Everyone was pretty hyped about it for a few months but it died out pretty quickly. I feel like in middle school (and elementary school?) there were many trends that caught on quickly and didn’t last long.

I remember I was one of the first people to have a phone and an iPod in my grade. However, when it came to Nintendo games, I was the last one to find out about the latest games. There was a time when everyone was obsessed with Animal Crossing and Nintendogs and when we went over to play at each other’s houses, that would be all we did. Nintendogs was a great game but it became an alternative reality for us because we had to check on our dogs every day. These games were very addictive and they started to prevent us from doing other outdoorsy things.

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I didn’t get a smartphone until I was about 15 but now I see 10-year olds with the latest iPhone. I miss the days when I would set up call dates with my friends and talk on the phone for hours because there was no texting. Now, I rarely call people and when I do get a phone call, I usually miss it because my phone is always on silent.

When I joined this class, I have to admit I was a bit worried about all the online interaction. I used to have a twitter when I was in boarding school but I shut it down when I started college since its value decreased for me. I’ve always considered myself passively active on social media. I am not one of those people who will write very long Facebook posts when something really frustrates them. I mainly use Facebook to upload pictures and stay in touch with international friends.

One of my favorite social media apps to date; however, is Snapchat. I am originally from Spain and in Europe, Snapchat died out pretty quickly. Instagram took over and most people prefer it.

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Although I also use Instagram, Snapchat is my main way to stay in touch with a lot of people. I think the idea of sending one picture a day to my closest friends helps us stay up to date with our lives. The one problem that I see with Snapchat is the concept of the ‘streak’. A lot more people used Snapchat before on a regular basis. The ‘streak’ appears when you and another person have snapped 3 or more days. I’ve been in situations where I’ve accidentally ‘killed’ a streak with friends and it was a big deal. But it shouldn’t be. If I have nothing interesting to snap I tend not to send anything; however, I do end up sending a picture that says ‘streak’ just to save the streak (which I hate myself for).

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I’m a fan of Snapchat because it is very different from Twitter, Facebook and blogs since it is way more private. You can choose who receives your content. With Facebook, Twitter and other social media, the goal is usually for hundreds of people to see it.

I am hoping that this class helps me enhance my social media skills so that I can talk about things more openly. I’ve met people who are very passionate about certain things and usually use social media to make everyone know how passionate they are. I am not one of those people. Of course I am passionate about things, but most people find out about my these passions through inter-personal interactions and through social media posts.

Lately I’ve realized that everything we do has a social media aspect:

  • Venmo has made paying people back a social thing because now your friends can see who you are paying or who is paying you.
  • Spotify allows us to see what our friends are listening to and follow their playlists.
  • LinkedIn is a platform that has made the job search easier by connecting people on a professional level

Most of us have some type of online presence and now, with Instagram and Snapchat, we contribute to our online presence on a daily basis. I have met some people who don’t have social media accounts and the only way to reach them is through their phone number. I respect the decision that these people have made but I think it’s hard to lead that kind of lifestyle in today’s world. I am not one of those people who is posting Instagram stories 24/7 but I do like to post things now and then. I try to limit the amount of time I spend on posting on Snapchat and Instagram because overusing these apps means that I more focused on capturing the moment for others to see than on living it and enjoying it for myself.

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I am excited to explore myself during this course and see what new perspectives I can bring to the course materials through Twitter and blog posts.

3 comments

  1. The last line is the best attitude to approach this class with…. to explore yourself. Great objective!

  2. I appreciate that your descriptions capture how some of us can feel conflicted and pressured on these platforms. I know I personally feel conflicted because I like them and use them but then also can’t help but disagree on how others use them. However, I also know I have no right to judge. I personally break snap streaks all the time and then my friends think I’m the worse for but personally if I didn’t have something to snap you that day, I probably just won’t. It’s nothing personal. With the million things we have on our plates every day, I don’t need another thing to add to it when I’m stressed. In fact, I agree that we need to enjoy the moment more and shake off the pressure to Snapchat it.

  3. I completely agree with your statement about Snapchat streaks. I think it was a very good add-on for Snapchat’s business. It has become addicting for users to sign on everyday to Snapchat and keep their streaks up. I think that Snapchat added this feature because it forces many of the users to have to use their app everyday, even if they have nothing interesting to post or send to their friends. It’s almost like a daily chore that you have to do before the days end. I too have been caught in this trap of having nothing to share with my friends but forcing myself to send a snapchat that says “streak” just to have that number to the right of the username go up. I have had to deal with the wrath of ruining a very long streak, and your friends do get pretty upset when it happens.

    I think that it is also very apparent now that a lot of people have been pressured into creating these social media accounts. For example, my mom recently created an instagram and snapchat. She doesn’t know how to turn her camera to selfie view and she has 0 posts on her instagram. I asked her why she signed up for these apps, and her response was “I don’t want to feel left out”. It’s amazing how these platforms have created a sense of ‘fomo’. People do not like to feel left out so they are pressured into creating these accounts that they have really no interest in. They just want to be included, which is just the world we live in now.

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