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Media Monday: 5 Things We Should Stop Doing on Social Media (IMMEDIATELY)

For today’s Media Monday post, I’d like to discuss a few things that I see from time to time on social media that are gag worthy in a number of ways. Often my generation is called the “Social Media Generation”, because we live our lives not only offline, but online as well, which sometimes also leads to pretty rough consequences. As a 21 year old with quite the brain full of experience with digital media, I’d like to outline to my readers and non-readers alike the things I have seen online through social media networks that need to end…like….yesterday.

1. Following others on social media to gain their following, and then unfollowing them to reduce the number of people you’re following while maintaining their….followership? I know that was confusing, but bear with me. Here’s an example. The other day, a brand that I really like (not gonna throw them under the bus here, so I’ll leave it at that!) decided that I was worth a follow on Instagram. Me being as excited as I was about their mutual appreciation (and my realization that they had an Instagram, which I hadn’t known prior or I would’ve followed them already!), I clicked the follow button. Big mistake. As soon as I did, they unfollowed. *Sigh* AND THEN MY LIFE WAS OVER. No, but I was annoyed. Why follow me to get me to follow you, only to unfollow me? This also happens in blog support groups (this phrase makes us sound like we’re all addicts. Which we are. Writing addicts.), which I’ve come to realize. Another blogger and I will decide to follow each other to support each other’s blog and writing endeavors LIKE ADULTS and then, like magic, my followers app says, “Hey, this blogger’s a sucker. You lost another one” and I continue to roll my eyes for all eternity. Let’s just not do this anymore. Don’t be shady online, kids. Oh and have a good unfollower app because some people don’t like to play nice with others.

2. Copying blog posts like a bad blogger-sport. Look here, mister (clearly I’m bringing out the big guns). I work hard for my posts. They don’t always come easy to me. They can be a jumbled mess sometimes. I’m not always inspired. I’ve got school work everywhere I turn and, that thought in itself, can destroy my motivation. But you know what? I persevere. I get it done. I plan, I outline, I motivate, I drink lots of coffee, and I put the work in writing. It doesn’t matter if you wrote my blog post letter by letter, word by word, or just copied my cleverly created title that I thought of in the midst of a sugar-induced burst of creativity. From the moment you do this, you’re dead to me. We all have our battles. The fuse to make that bomb-a** post on YOUR OWN BLOG in YOUR OWN VOICE is in your hands, not mine.

I punned so hard on that one. My apologies.

3. Spamming for support. When it’s a known fact that it’s annoying and ineffective. For all of us. And the worst part is I can’t even bring a pitchfork and riot in front of your house because ALL I KNOW IS THE STUPID WEBSITE YOU WON’T LEAVE ME ALONE ABOUT. And no, I refuse to check out what your spam is raving about. I’ll pitchfork riot from across the street. I’m not giving you the satisfaction of this annoyance.

Spammer: “Great post! Let me tell you about this new seo–”

Me: “No.”

Spammer: “seo tool tha–”

Me: “I SAID NO. Can you stop? Thanks.”

Spammer: “……seo tool that–”

Me: “THIS IS MY HOME. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. If my blog had blinds right now, and a front door, I’d be closing both RIGHT NOW. In your face. Hard.”

Don’t be THAT GUY, the blogger that only cares about their own content. Read blogs to engage in discussion, not to spread your butter all over everyone else’s bread. That sounds creepy, but you know what I mean. I hope.

4. Airing out our dirty laundry on social media. I think we’re all just a little bit guilty of this one, but it’s just horrible. We go on social media and point fingers at others (usually anonymously to most, the subject known to few) to an audience of hundreds, let them all know that we’re fuming on our side of the screen, maybe muster up some support and maybe even some fingers being pointed in our direction, but for what? Does it make us feel any better, to tell everyone at the same time that we are mad? Or hurt? Definitely not. If anything, it fuels the frustration. Why tell a bunch of strangers your list of grievances? There’s nothing they can tell you that can make your complaints go away, other than the typical “you alright?” response and the even less engaging, “feel better” reply. Get a diary, make a friend that doesn’t mind you scream-venting in their face, or take up paintball. Take all that weird, fiery energy and use it in a way that doesn’t make the whole internet groan.

5. Shaming others for their bodies in the safety of our homes and under the shield of online anonymity. If you’ve ever taken a moment to browse a sensation on any of these social media sites (celebrities, musicians, etc.), you’ll realize that at least a handful of the comments are directed towards their bodies. “You’re fat”, “you fat cow”, “eat a cheeseburger”, the list goes on. You’re not any cooler for putting someone else down, you know that right? We all know that the people who comment these things would never have that lack of a heart to say the hurtful things they say online to the subject in person. And if they do, well, that’s sick and disgusting and they need to be parented all over again, or maybe they need a parent that’s going to teach them the right way to treat people. Let’s make the internet more positive. If you don’t have something overwhelmingly heartfelt or positive or encouraging to say, zip your lips. Save your positive comment for someone else who you think deserves it. Having a bad attitude is never in style, not even in the digital world. The world would be a better place if people bothered to be….dare I say NICE to each other.

I hope you’re all having a wonderful Monday, and if you liked this post, share, comment, subscribe, and like! Remember, the humor is all in good fun, but I do mean what I say about the internet doing some spring cleaning. Some changes should definitely be made in the digital social-sphere.

What are some other things you believe people should stop doing on social media?

Leave a comment below!

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Collegiette Clue-Ins: The Freshmen Fears, Facts, and Fallacies!

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I remember the moment I stepped onto campus, doe-eyed and actually legitimately afraid. Yup, I was terrified. In a couple of hours, I would be completely on my own. Nobody would be there to lecture me on the importance of organization in my place nor would anyone be there to have dinner with me every night. Nobody would be there consistently to make me feel better when I had a rough day. It would be….weird. But as a student entering her junior year (I’ve been in the saddle long enough to no longer feel like that “little fish”), I’ve compiled these lessons and stored them into my brain to clear up some of the worries (even the irrational ones!) that you guys may end up having prior to or at the moment of realizing that you are living somewhere completely new and every little thing is on you, buddy. No one will be holding that hand of yours through this whole thing unless you’re coming on campus the boo.

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Fear: I am going to have no clue how to get to my classes on the first day and everyone is going to point and laugh at me, the idiot freshman, because I am holding a “kick me” sign and wearing a neon-colored dunce hat due to the fact that I don’t yet have any sense of direction on campus.

Fact: Not true. Not true at all. On the inside, you’ll be doing all those things. But on the outside? You’re gonna be looking like everyone else. Face buried in your phone, probably dressed up picture perfect so you don’t make a bad impression on all those new friends you’re going to meet (because that’s usually how it works on the first day, which then deteriorates exponentially for every day that follows until you hit Final’s Week when the whole “style” thing goes downhill), and ridiculously early to your class. Seriously, you didn’t need to leave two hours early. There aren’t going to be teachers standing outside their classrooms like high school, but the students know their way around like the back of their hand, and they’re usually pretty chill about it. But realistically, that iPhone battery is definitely not gonna sustain during that period between the time of arrival and your actual class. Use the time to do some good ol’ traditional socialization. Look for someone that will have mercy upon you but avoid all eye contact with everyone else. THEY ALL WANT TO EAT YOU ALIVE. You’ll kill the game (no pun intended, of course!) before it even starts, Freshmeat. Seeeee? Socially Awkward Penguin gets it (disregard his name. He’s misunderstood).

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Fear: If I don’t bring a car, then I can’t get food. And if I can’t get food, I’ll die. If I don’t bring a car, I’m going to die. I’m useless without my wheels!

Fact: Partially true, but you’re not going to die. Cars are like pure gold on a college campus, so if you have one, it’s great (and horrible) for you. But fear not if an automobile is not within your grasp! If you have a bicycle and can strategically maneuver through traffic with the weight of a week’s (or several weeks) worth of food on your handlebars, you can still get groceries off campus! But realistically, it’s best to just figure out who you’d rather spend your gas money on, whether it be a friend or a roomie. The bike is a flimsy last resort and has more potential of making you road kill, so keep that in mind.

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Fear: I won’t have any time to eat in between classes, so maybe I should bring a three-course meal, some snacks, a Foreman portable grill, a spatula, some cooking spray, maybe some apple juice, or I could bring a juicer and bring some apples and whip some right up and….and I won’t starve. I’ll be ready for the famine.

Fact: I was guilty of this. My first year, I packed all kinds of food so I wouldn’t starve and it was really just… so needless. I had plenty of time to at least come back to my place and grab a snack and sometimes even change out of my sweaty clothes (Florida probs). It’s really all about how you coordinate your schedule. If you’re gonna put your classes back to back from 8:30 AM to 5 PM, you can’t expect there to be a break period. That mess is all your own doing. Give yourself a solid 30 minutes to an hour between the majority of your classes so you can keep both your physical and mental state in check. Your body and brain will thank you for not being a sucker. Plus, you’ll probably be skinnier, too, because the nervous-overeating will not be your problem, as you’ll have nothing but school supplies to consume in these moments. You’ll pick up something to munch here and there, maybe a couple notebooks and some ballpoint pens with full ink, and you won’t have to disturb your classmates with that clown car of a backpack. I mean, how much sh** can you really pull out of one backpack? And what really beats the taste of poison?

Got any tips for the incoming college Freshmen? Wanna let them know how to not die on the first day?
Comment below!

 

Collegiette Clue-Ins: 5 Ways to Be An A+ Roommate Without Being Asked to Step Up Your Game!

Being in college provides many more challenges beyond the educational spectrum that require plenty more than booksmarts. I’ve compiled the lessons I’ve learned living in a college dorm and an on-campus apartment to provide you with some insight on how to be a great roommate to your new roommate and tactics to avoid awkward and uncomfortable situations in your new home! images

1. Take initiative to clean, even if you know that all the crumbs on the counter are from your midnight-munchin’ roommate. And DON’T be a jerk about it. It’s gross, it’s a hassle. I get it. But it can be a difficult thing when there are four people living in such a small apartment (thankfully this fall, it will be reduced to just one roommate!). Even if you all have your own bedrooms, there’s going to be some overlapping in the common areas (inevitably), and with that comes headbutting over where items should be placed. You’re not all going to come into the apartment with the same kind of living style in mind (that would be too easy!)! You’re not always going to have time to clean up after yourself if you’re in a rush to get to that exam you forgot to put on your calendar, but taking the time to clean up, even if it isn’t always your mess, shows your roommate that you’re happy and willing to put in the work to keep the space up to par. They’ll be thankful that you’re avoiding a roach infestation as much as they are (usually). Nobody’s saying you should follow your roommates around with a mop and scrub behind them, but if you see leftover crumbs and dirty spots, wash it down. It’s two extra seconds of your time, and even more importantly, a month without cockroaches! 

Tactics:

  • If the mess is a recurring problem, try to sit down and discuss it with her rationally. Without yelling, throwing things, accusing, instigating, holding a grudge, or talking smack. Keep it chill. Don’t use accusatory language, and if you’re upset about the issue, wait until you’ve cooled off before you confront her. Open communication starts with listening, and if you’re angry, you’re not going to hear her out and be able to reach a conclusion.
  • Keep cleaning supplies in or near the kitchen for quick cleanup.
  • Set an example. If you’d like her to keep her dishes and other items in the common area clean, make sure that your stuff portrays that. Often just setting an example helps avoid the situation altogether.

things-are-getting-steamy 2. Consult (or warn, if need be) your roommate if you have the full intention of stumbling into the apartment with a dude. I’m going to be honest. The walls in college apartments are like tissue paper. I can practically hear you blink. The sounds that you make, no matter how loud, can probably (very likely) be heard from the apartment next to yours. It’s important to voice when you’re going to invite someone in the apartment so your roommate doesn’t end up having the awkward encounter of confronting the dude in a towel or quite possibly running into him, butt naked, in your shared hallway. Who knows, the heads-up might give you the apartment all to yourselves for the night or at least for a few hours. She’ll appreciate the courtesy call you gave her beforehand tomorrow.

Tactics:

  • No last minute warnings. Be courteous and don’t spring it on her.
  • Have a conversation beforehand, like way beforehand, discussing bringing people home. She may be uncomfortable with it, so it’s important to discuss and compromise before the situation arises. You don’t want her to feel like an outsider in her own home.
  • I feel like this is common sense, but let the guy know that if he’s going to use anything or eat anything out of the fridge, it’s going to be something of yours. That would be a major line that shouldn’t ever be crossed unless stated otherwise.

friends_cooking 3. Offer to cook some of their food for them as a treat! College brings on more challenges than you’d think (aside from the endless homework, excruciating exams, and involvement in clubs), and after a merciless day, nothing tastes better than a home-cooked meal (aside from Chipotle, which is always a nice alternative if you’re a “toast burner”). When your roommate sends you a down-in-the-dumps text, take that as a queue to be her superhero and do something nice for her. And if you can’t cook, don’t worry. I bet the ramen noodles you’ll make in the microwave for her for when she gets home will still be highly appreciated. At the end of the day, it’s the thought that counts. Make the thought worth it!

Tactics:

  • Fillet mignon doesn’t have to be on the menu (unless that’s your best dish. Then you’re obligated. Kidding!) She’ll appreciate whatever you make her (as long as it’s not something you made consciously knowing she’s allergic to it).
  • Brownie points for preparing dessert, too! Maybe have a sundae night in with her? How cute would that be?!
  • If you can’t cook for your life, give her a listening ear. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to hear you out. I know that on a really bad day, there’s nothing that comforts me more than getting to say what I’ve been thinking about without getting automatically judged. Good friends are hard to come by, so do what you can to be that genuine person she can confide in if you feel like you guys could be on that level.

happy group of young people at a university college 4. Introduce her to your friends, family, boyfriend, whoever. It may seem silly (and a little awkward) at the time (you haven’t even taken her on a date and she’s already meeting your family?!), but it’s important for her to know her roommate (yes, you’re HER roommate, too!) well enough to be comfortable at home with you. It’s a significantly strange feeling to arrive on move-in day, piles of boxes in hand, and introduce yourself to the person that you will be cohabiting an apartment with for the next year, or maybe even two if it works well between the two of you. That’s a lot of pressure for a good first impression. But if you start off friendly right off the bat, that’s what she’s going to perceive of you. You’re friendly, sociable, and open. Giving her the opportunity to meet the people that are closest to you (and that are probably going to be helping you move in) will make her feel like your new apartment is more like a home. It will feel more inclusive, and she’ll probably be more inclined to be open to you as well, and willing to accept you enough to introduce you to the people she holds close. And, if she’s awkward and doesn’t want to be a part of that whole socialization process, then at least you know that you put your best foot forward.

Tactics:

  • Hugs almost always work better than handshakes. She doesn’t want to feel like she’s going into a business deal when you arrive. The first thing I always say is, “I’m a hugger, not a shaker” and I go in for a hug before it gets weird. It usually breaks the tension pretty nicely.
  • Keep it casual. Don’t push yourself on her. Remember, friendly and sociable, not pushy and obsessive. You know?
  • Make her feel like a friend, not a stranger. She’ll be a stranger at the time, but don’t make her feel like she’s outside of the bubble while you have everyone in your little group going in and out of the apartment unpacking your things. Include her in conversation if she’s up for it!

food-sandwich 5. Don’t eat her food or use any of her stuff without asking her. I can’t stress this enough! Nothing is worse than a roommate that just digs through your stuff and picks out what they want. More often than not, when I’ve been asked for either in the past, I’ve often said “yes”. It’s all about communication. It’s your home that you share. I doubt that, at your “home home”, you have to hide your stuff, so treat this new place in the same way. Anything she keeps in common areas has the same rules as the items you leave in the common areas, unless stated otherwise!

Tactics:

  • If you buy some of the same foods, either label them or have both of you pitch in to get the food to share. If food goes unlabeled, how is she supposed to know whether it’s hers or not if it’s something she buys, too?
  • Bring a mini fridge if you don’t want to share fridge space or would like to keep some stuff in your own room. There’s no problem if you have your own space for some stuff, but I wouldn’t suggest taking up the shared fridge’s space, too. Just be courteous.
  • If you borrow anything (after given permission), return it in the same condition.

 

Do you have any tips for first-time roommates? Share them below! 🙂

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

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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!