I look at and explain what I feel is appropriate for people to share on social media sites and describe whether it makes me feel awkward or them feel awkward.
Youtube may have begun as a small website made to connect friends with videos. However, today it has become much more than that. It is one of the most visited websites on the inter-web and has made many average-joes into huge superstars. One obvious You tube-turned-famous person is Justin Beiber. He started as a small-town kid from Canada and turned into a multi-million singer/brand. No matter where you go on the planet, everyone has heard Justin Beiber’s name. He has a net worth of $110,000,000.00 as of 2012. One video in particular, “Baby” currently has 846,837,979 views. Only a website like You Tube could make something like this possible. The main reason that You Tube has this type of effect on wanna-be celebrities all over the world is because of the exposure it gives a person due the ease of spread ability. It is very easy for people to upload videos to You Tube and send them to everyone around the world. Another You Tube success story has to be Jenna Marbles. She started by posting a video on You Tube a few years ago and has sense become a household name. She is a college-educated woman who puts videos up every week about a topic selected by her followers. Currently, she makes $709,000.00 a year for making a single video a week. She videotapes and uploads everything in one day, meaning she has the entire week to do anything she wants to but makes this much money. This is another example of the power that You Tube has. Overall, in terms of power the internet has, You Tube is at the top of the totem pole in making people famous.
Product integration is a very significant part of our daily lives and often we don’t even notice it. For example, my text book for my marketing class is basically half full of particular companies and their information about how they market products. It seems like they are there to show us how marketing works in the real world. However, in reality, I think it is just a scam and a way for these companies to get an audience for their products. Three major companies that seem to be in the book a lot are BIC, POST IT, and Breathe Right. These companies literally are buying pages in our text books in order to advertise to us. I’m not sure that this is right. I understand that companies need to make sure they have a broad reach in society, but I think being in kid’s text books is a little too much. It is getting out of hand how much product integration there really is. It’s on our food, in our books, in our video games, on our social media sites, and even in bathrooms. This is insane and I think there needs to be some government control over the amount of advertising that is allowed to be thrown at the public.
Apple’s IPhone has been the big man on the block for a long time. However, recently, Samsung has been killing Apple’s sales. I think there are many reasons for this. I think the thing that kept the IPhone on top is the fact that it works so flawlessly and the way that it is amazing at managing your music, pictures, social media, apps, and the internet at the same time. The major problem with the IPhone is that there are virtually no customization options on the home screen, they run on a limited amount of networks, and they lack the features that Android options have. Samsung with their recent Galaxy devices combine everything that IPhone users are used to like the fast and efficient processing with the customization, network variety, and the latest new technology of Androids. Apple is going to have to do some crazy and ingenious things to their IPhone if they want to stay competitive with Android. I personally have a Samsung Galaxy Note II and it is an amazing device. It really changed what I thought was ever going to be possible for a mobile device. My entire family uses IPhones and I have had them all use my Samsung and they all love it and are thinking about making the switch the Android. Samsung really is the cutting edge of mobile device technology and their recent sales really show this.
Something that is really interesting that is happening with social media is with the Papal election that is upon us. Social media and media in general has become so intrusive on the decision making process that there had to be a complete media blackout because of how much it was affecting the election. People and news media started posting and saying things that were not true that was really getting in the way of a good and effective election, hence the blackout. It is a very serious event and situation to many people and media seems to have almost taken a mockery of this important religious election. I think that it is really interesting, but mostly sad that social media has gotten in the way of such important, historic, and prevalent events such as this. It just shows how out of hand things can get when you add internet to any equation. The more outlets you give people to go crazy with their opinions, ideas, and feelings, the worse situations become and this is a perfect example of this.
Something that has really turned terrible is Instagram. It started out as an awesome way to share cool pictures with friends, but has turned into a monster app that gives people the impression that others care about what their dinner looks like and how cute/ugly their selfies are. Instagram for those who don’t know is like Twitter with strictly pictures. Its a fun idea and it was a fun app until dumb people found out about it and made it awful. I do have an Instagram, but I never post to it because people do not care about my life through pictures at all. Although, apparently middle aged Russian men do because about 25 men from Russia follow me on Instagram now. I have no idea who these people are and it really creeps me out, especially because 95% of their pictures are them doing weird things without shirts on. Anyways, Instagram is or was an app that I thought would continue to be a fun way for friends to share interesting pictures with each other. However, now it has tuned into a creepy, stalking, and annoying waste of time.
Memes are not necessarily awkward. However, I need to talk about them because they are hilarious. I think memes got started by Facebook Bumper Stickers. I loved those things, they were hilarious. I think it’s safe to say that memes have taken over the internet. Sites like Reddit, Tumblr, and FunnyJunk are chuck full of them. Obviously, some are funnier than others, but every once in awhile, they really make me laugh pretty hard. My personal favorite types are demotivational and caption images. One cool thing that is gaining popularity is sending personalized memes. For example, there are hundreds if not thousands of apps that are strictly for making customized memes. Personally, I use these all the time to make fun of my friends and then we send them to each other and it is hilarious. Memes really have taken off and you can not really go to too many social media sites without seeing some memes.
Something that is very common to anyone who uses Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr without privacy settings knows that creepers thrive on these types of sites. Creepers do a wide variety of things: whether it’s sending creepy pictures, saying creepy things, or profusely liking things that you post. I have personally received inappropriate messages from people I don’t know and have also gotten a few random pictures. These types of situations are not unique to me, but rather a common consequence of being too connected with social media. Obviously, you can block people who are bothering you and you can report them as well. However, the best thing to do is ignore it. Overall, it is very awkward to receive these types of messages, but it comes with the territory. I’m always careful about what I say and do on social media sites and I think that no matter how you act and how safe you are, you are going to see things you would rather not see, but sometimes that’s what it takes to be on social media.
Something that really bothers me is when people upload status’ that are clearly passive aggressive. When people get into fights or friends have a falling out, something that makes them feel better is posting about the person they are fighting with without directly saying their names. I know from experience that being passive aggressive on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram is very fun and makes you feel better in the moment. However, what always ends up happening is that you ultimately feel stupid and wish you had never posted passive aggressively in the first place. Another problem with posting passive aggressive status’ is that it makes everyone else on your social media sites feel awkward. Making everyone on you know feel awkward is never the right thing to do, especially when it’s for getting revenge against a stupid person that is not even part of your life anymore.
An unfortunate trend that has seemed to taken over social media sites is “that awkward moment” status’. People use this to talk about awkward things that happen to them. The problem with them is that people have taken this way too far. People think that their friends care about stupid things that happen to them. When “That awkward moment” started appearing on Facebook about a year ago, they were hilarious. But like all things trends that occur on the internet, it has gotten old very fast. It went from people saying funny awkward things to saying things like “that awkward moment when you spill your drink”. THAT IS NOT AN AWKWARD MOMENT. I can’t stand it when people think this is worth sharing with people. A real awkward moment would be if you hit a guy on a segway with your car or if you fell down the stairs at your graduation. I think “That awkward moment” was very promising and like everything good on the internet it has been ruined.
These days, there are many websites that are dedicated to awkward situations. One in particular that is very popular is Awkward Family Photos (http://awkwardfamilyphotos.com). I have attached some of the pictures from the website below. These pictures are obviously hilarious. However, I do not know if it is morally and ethically appropriate to judge and make fun of pictures of people’s families without them knowing. Obviously, many of these families are joking around with their pictures. However, you cannot be completely sure that they aren’t being serious. If these families are being serious about their pictures than it is rude and unethical for us to laugh at them, regardless of how “different” they might be from our families. Overall, I think that we have changed our morals due to social media sites. Before the internet started being clogged with these types of sites, we would not have made fun of these families because we would have never known they existed. However, due to the easy and instant access to stuff like this, our morals have changed.