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The Pros, Cons, Ins, and Outs of Social Networks – the Perspective of a Digital Media-Savvy College Student

Social networks are essential at this point to keep in touch with others (it’s one of the first things people ask for when they meet, besides phone numbers!) efficiently as we are all part of a network or several networks due to technological advancement and our ever-changing society (especially in this technologically-born-and-bred generation), but what makes them such a useful tool in our abilities to communicate? Even more importantly than that, what about these networks is counterproductive to our social growth? In this post, I’d like to take a second to analyze the networks I participate in from my perspective to bring to light the positives and negatives of these online communities.

Excuse my sarcasm. If you don’t like it, look away.

A view of Facebook's logo May 10, 2012 i

Facebook

Real-Life Uses: Telling and showing everyone your inner “wild child”, mentally documenting all the places your friends have gone without you this week, and sharing “”Like” this if you love -insert subject here that is legitimately unaffected by your “like” on Facebook-” pictures. Oh, and occasionally dropping in to say “hello” to people that you speak so little to that you’re practically strangers or initiating unwarranted booty calls.

Sparknotes: “How many times are you going to go clubbing out on a weekday? Or are all of those photos from just last night? Why didn’t you invite me? You said you weren’t going to the club until this weekend….”

Pros – Facebook was the immediate, significantly better competitor of MySpace, it’s failed predecessor. It provided a simple, friendly (overly friendly) interface for users that got sick and tired of the dying Myspace community (“GOD I HATE MY MYSPACE FRIENDS. THEY SUCK. THEY’D BE SO MUCH COOLER IF THEY WERE STILL MY FRIENDS, BUT SOMEWHERE ELSE!”) that were still looking for ways to keep in touch with each other (and who all followed each other into this new world of stalking–I mean…..Facebook). Facebook has its perks. You can create groups easily, which is convenient for people to bond over their unhealthy obsessions with Chipotle and rave culture, but it is also a great tool for users that want to associate with people that work in the same field (potentially to bond over the struggles that only they would know, and possibly to practice empathy?). Or another great feature would be the ease of information transfer, so you can read up on your crush’s latest (and definitely greatest) post to your mutual friend’s profile discussing the crazy party he attended last weekend that he claims he doesn’t remember because he was “sooooo wasted”. Or something.

Cons – I don’t know if you caught the vibe that I let on before, but I’ll certainly reiterate. Facebook is great. It is, I promise. But it’s getting creepy. The latest feature that they released (or what I believe to be the latest notable feature) is the ability to track how close in proximity people are to your location and to share your location as well. It’s so gross how invasive this can be, and you know that this tool could be used for so many more ways that aren’t as innocent as the way it was meant to be used (unless stalking was the full intention. In that case, bravo. You’ve won.).

Another fault of Facebook (and of course, this isn’t little old Facebook’s fault) is the duck-face-peace-sign combination in pictures (usually profile pictures) that transferred from the death of Myspace. It’s quite a shame, really. But I don’t penalize those who use the combination ironically, as long as the irony is known. Let that be known.

Instagram

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Real-Life Uses: Selfie storage and meal documentation.

Sparknotes: “We all suddenly know your dietary habits. Really well. A little too well, since we haven’t talked since the third grade. Your toilet schedule would be nice to know, too, if you could post that as well.”

Pros – I love being able to just post photos if I want to. If I want to be mysterious and awesome (not that I’m not already, as you already know–HEY, DON’T LAUGH!), I can “live life dangerously” and post a photo with no context in the caption and it will be all good and dandy. Hah. But really, I think it’s a neat network. I enjoy the fact that you can “try on” a bunch of effects on your photographs before you settle with one, and that as of late, Instagram has provided a sick new set of customizations for photographs, from contrast to sharpening. It looks like they’re headed in the right direction, so I don’t see an account cancelation induced by disappointment in my near future.

Cons – You can’t edit comments, so that nasty comment you left in a fury of bitter hatred is licked and sealed. The damage has been done, and there will be no take-backs to be had. Ouch. I hope it was worth it. Maybe that’s the penalty for getting “white girl wasted” and angry in combination. I do think, on a more serious note, that reporting should be taken a lot more seriously on Insta, as I have seen several accounts become compromised with radio silence from the support staff for days to even weeks before the problem was fixed. Not only that, but people report the most ridiculous material, too, on there which bugs me. The report button is not meant to be a play thing. No bueno.

Twitter

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Real-Life Uses: An everyday Battle of the Sexes and lots of sexually-oriented, anonymous retaliation submissions to Collegefession. And of course, the cheesy love quotes and the “LOVE CAN GO BURN IN AN ETERNAL PIT OF FIRE” quotes, both equally enjoyable.

Sparknotes: “I’m a strong, independent -insert racial label that has nothing to do with independence- woman who don’t need no man. Unless he’ll buy me flowers, call me first (beat me to it, please!), and text me cute things every living, breathing minute of every day. Then I say, “Hell Yes! Come here, my Prince Charming!” But only then. These terms are non-negotiable.”

Pros –  Many of the organizations I already “follow” have a Twitter, so following them on there allows me to herd them all into one place. Is that it? Yeah, I think that’s about it. I don’t use Twitter that much (and this is your queue to gasp dramatically and inquire as to why I haven’t embraced this beautiful thing wholeheartedly within my own life), because I have yet to purge my profile of all the users that spam my dashboard with cliche quote vomit. It’s not Twitter’s fault, so don’t get it twisted. If you like Twitter, continue tweeting on to your heart’s content.

Cons – My dashboard is filled with a bunch of garbage (I want to be nice, but I just…can’t). I probably look at 1% of the material on there, if I even go on Twitter. All people ever retweet are 20-page slideshows (when realistically speaking, I only clicked the link in the hopes of reading ONE STORY on said topic), nudes (or semi-nudes), and anonymous confessions on Collegefession that glorify cheating on significant others and carelessness by people who are legally considered “adults” that act worse than their younger (probably more responsible) counterparts. I feel like I’m mid-life crisis-ing all over this (and I’m only in my twenties!), but going on Twitter makes me feel straight-up dirty for that reason. At this point, I only go on to actually view the Twitter profiles of organizations I admire, rather than scope them out on my dashboard between a slideshow about Miley Cyrus’ red carpet faux pas and a quote supposedly by Marilyn Monroe that was never actually said by Marilyn Monroe. And no, seeing that same quote retweeted over and over never gets less awkward.

Which is your personal take on the social networks you’re currently a part of?

My Personal “Do”s and “Don’t”s for Warped Tour 2014! (WHO’S READY?!)

WarpedTour2014

 

It’s that time of year again when all of us concert-goers gather at one of the largest music tours across the United States: Warped Tour. This tour has been a personal favorite for me, as I have been going for many years, starting back when I was in middle school (which feels like an eternity ago). Last year, there were a decent number of instances where I found myself shaking my head at all the stuff that people end up bringing with them to the concert that really does not need to be there. So in light of that, I decided to make a list of personal “do”s and “don’t”s of Warped Tour for Warped Tour 2014!

Feel free to leave comments on your personal “do”s and “don’t”s!

DO

1. Do bring YOUR OWN water. Sometimes they take the caps off the water bottles you bring inside(so they aren’t chucked at the musicians, which I understand better now that I’ve gone there for a few years already), so if that’s the case, at least you still have the bottle to refill at the water station (a station they provide to concert go-ers to keep them hydrated). You’ll be happy you did. In Florida, at least, it is blistering hot and you’re going to be there for at least a couple of hours (I usually stay from opening time to closing), so it’s important to keep this in mind. Let’s be honest, too. You don’t want to pay $4 for a water bottle…That’s enough to buy a pack of ’em.

2. Do wear comfortable clothing (and maybe a bathing suit underneath). It feels pretty lucky when it drizzles at Warped Tour, but rain or shine, having a bathing suit gives the concert go-er the utmost comfort. One year, and I remember this clearly, the rain had poured so hard, and I remember having my clothes soaked through with rain and feeling uncomfortable for hours after. It was a total mess. In hindsight, I really should’ve checked the forecast and dressed accordingly.

3. Bring a camera. It’s always a good thing to be able to record your memories for later viewing. There’s so much that Warped Tour has to offer that it would be a true shame to not remember it in years to come. And who knows! You might run into a band member you’d kill to take a photo with, or win a VIP pass and really want to document the lucky moment (I won 2 meet-and-greets before and was lucky to have a charged and ready camera on hand!!). This one is essential!

4. Check out the band list and plan (at least a little bit) ahead of time so you can attend accordingly. There are going to be many different bands playing at the same time. You need to know which ones you have to see, which ones you’d like to see, and which ones you wouldn’t care if you missed. What I usually do is look on the http://vanswarpedtour.com website and make a list with categories to ensure that I don’t miss a show I NEED to see.

5. Go with someone with similar music interest (if you’re not going alone). You can get so caught up being in the group dynamic that you might end up going with the flow and missing some shows that you would love to see, but that your friends don’t care for. It’s easier going with someone with similar music taste for obvious reasons.

DON’T

1. DO NOT WEAR FLIP FLOPS OR NEW SHOES. I cannot stress this enough. People step on the back of your flip flop, it snaps apart, and then you have no shoes. Not having shoes at Warped Tour is a horrible risk, with glass and other rubble on the ground. Sneakers (VANS?) are the best option, but well-secured sandals can do too if you don’t mind strange tan lines on your feet (maybe get some fake tan in a bottle to prepare for the aftermath). Oh and new shoes will be obliterated. That’s self-explanatory.

2. DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. I see people getting trashed every year, which is fine, but please make sure that the driver of the car you’re going to be in is sober. You don’t want to lose your life that night out of negligence. Plus, if you’re the driver and you have to remain sober, it’ll still be fun for you too! You don’t need to get drunk to have a good time!

3. DO NOT WEAR LAYERS. It.will.be.so.hot. Light material (light colored shirts are even better) t-shirts or tank tops, bikinis (or swim trunks), and comfortable shorts are crucial. You’re going to have soaked-through clothing regardless, but it will be less uncomfortable if your clothes are breezy.

4. BE A MINIMALIST. DON’T PACK YOUR HOUSE. You only need a backpack, THE TICKETS, your wallet, sunscreen, some water (as noted above), and a place to put merch (if you’re planning on buying some while you’re there) and anything else you need to carry (maybe those broken flip flops?). Only bring the absolute essentials, because you’re going to be carrying everything ALL DAY. Having 20 pounds of bs on your back is going to be brutal as you’re walking from stage to stage.

5. SUNSCREEN MUST BE EVERYWHERE ON YOUR BODY AND REAPPLIED FREQUENTLY. You will burn like overcooked bacon if you don’t take care of your skin. I don’t care if you’re light, dark, somewhere in the middle. You NEED it. Don’t risk getting skin cancer over laziness. It’s easily preventable! Make sure it’s at least SPF 30, and don’t forget to not only put it on the common places you apply sunscreen, but also your chest and feet (as the skin is really thin and vulnerable in those places).

Have fun guys, and make sure you’re prepared to rock because this Warped Tour is going to be a day to remember! Be ready for what’s to come!

Do you have any tips or tricks for other Warped Tour fanatics?

COMMENT BELOW!

10 Things I’ll Never Understand (Or Refuse to Accept)

1. Food always looks ridiculously better (and bigger) in the commercials!

2. Even when things are going great, humans manage to find something to complain about that isn’t even close to comparable to the significance of their happy memories and moments. 

3. The exponential success of fast food places as opposed to places that offer food….that is edible…..that you can INGEST and not implode.

4. The continuing sexualization of women in the media (point #1) to sell products that are completely unrelated to sex or sexual behavior (point #2)

5. Less is more does not mean that wearing less will get you more. Wear what you want for YOU, not for other people. 

6. How much more university tuition will increase in the coming years. I have to wonder who’s wallet will be fat enough to afford it by the year 2050.

7. The conscious decision to be dead weight to one’s society and self. Isn’t having a purpose beyond your natural human abilities an important development to a fulfilling life?

8.  Needing to drink to enjoy one’s self in group settlings.

9. Wearing sheer tights as pants. 

10. Believing that the accumulation of good karma that others acquire will rub off on you. Only YOU can pocket your own karma. Make your actions count.