Can Snapchat and anonymous social media ruin your life?

Two of the biggest social media sensations on campus are the snapchat account YikYakRowan and the Facebook page “Rowan University Secrets/Confessions.” Both of these are forms of anonymous social media, so people seem to have no problem submitting revealing pictures of themselves, attaching the names of themselves or others to posts, or posting comments with degrading or argumentative topics. The question I’m dying to know the answer to is, “How screwed are we when it comes to finding jobs?” It’s becoming increasingly common for companies to look at potential employees’ social media history with background-check intensity, meaning that the snapchat screenshot of your newly-pierced nipples that your friend drunkenly posted on Facebook and tagged you in might actually affect your opportunities in the future.

Or worse, that snapchat of you in a lederhosen your sister posted on her blog for a class ends up in the hands of your future boss. (Sorry, Cole.)

Or worse, that snapchat of you in a lederhosen your sister posted on her blog for a class ends up in the hands of your future boss.
(Sorry, Cole.)

YikYakRowan is a snapchat account (based on and named after the popular Yik Yak app, which missed the cut on this list because it’s so heavily moderated and mostly harmless posts about being a “thirsty b***h” anyway) that reposts pictures from other Rowan students to their story, for all of their followers to see. While this is great for some harmless entertainment or even helping people locate lost items (I’ve seen more than one lost credit card on there) some students are taking it too far. Among the pictures of pets, goofy faces, and disturbingly accurate drawings done with a phone stylus are nude pictures (how consensual these pictures are sometimes is up for debate) pictures of students holding alcoholic beverages, and images taken of people without their knowledge.

For example, this charming photo of whatever evidently goes on in freshman dorms lately.

For example, this charming photo of whatever evidently goes on in freshman dorms lately. Note that I had to tap through multiple images of bare breasts, captioned “#TittyTuesday,” to find this.

Similarly, Rowan University Secrets/Confessions is a Facebook page that allows students to anonymously submit “confessions” that are then posted on the page. Past posts range from crushes and compliments to multiple confessions about vindictively putting bodily fluids in roommates’ personal items. Again, while the posts are anonymous, people tend to get in arguments in the comments section or post degrading things about friends regarding the post. Though this is usually done in good fun, it can bounce back later when it ends up on your profile.

Why is it always poop with these people?

Why is it always poop with these people?

My point is this: while everything is usually meant as all in good fun, be careful what you put out there. Even posts on the most anonymous of platforms can come back to bite you.

A conversation with a Parent

This weekend instead of going out to Halloween parties I decided to drive home from school (only 30 minutes) to babysit and make some extra money. I’ve been babysitting this family since I was a freshman in high school so i’m extremely close and familiar with the kids (four boys) and the parents. The mom Stacy and I got to talking and somehow it came up that her son Brandon who’s in 7th grades’ entire school has switched from textbooks to iPads. She said that all he comes home with in his bag is a planner and an iPad.

I thought she might be pleased with the change. I know my back wouldn’t be half as messed up as it is now if I didn’t have to carry all my books in middle and high school. I was surprised when she told me she absolutely hated the change and wanted them to switch back to books. She told me that he brandon and his friends constantly get in trouble for playing games and facetiming each other in class. While she doesn’t stand up for his actions, she knows Brandon is not the only one who is participating in these activities and wonders why they wouldn’t disable downloading games and facetiming and make sure it was only used for educational purposes?

I definitely agree with Stacy on this matter and was also confused as to why they wouldn’t disable these functions when giving iPads to middle schoolers. Another disturbing thing she mentioned was that the homeroom teachers allow them to play games, or at least turn the other cheek. I became best friends with people in my homeroom class in middle school and then on to high school so this concerns me. If I had a shiny device in front of my face I definitely wouldn’t make an effort to make conversation with people I barely knew.

I thought this was important to discuss because this is really where our classrooms are heading: full on technological. And according to this mom, the iPad idea definitely has a few kinks to work out.

Class about trolling the internet

According to this article tweeted by my classmate, there is a class being offered at the University of Pennsylvania (an IVY LEAGUE might I add), that is called “wasting time on the internet”. The professor who teaches this class, Kenneth Goldsmith, is a poet and creative writing professor and teaches it from that angle. In the course description he writes “Could we reconstruct our autobiography using only Facebook? Could we write a great novella by plundering our Twitter feed? Could we reframe the internet as the greatest poem ever written?”

While these are all interesting questions on a course description, I feel like it’s completely ridiculous for this to be offered as a class at an ivy league school. As a student of creative writing I and II, when i’m trying to come up with something to write about all I do is troll the internet and look at random sites. I’m unsure if this class would be teaching you HOW to troll the internet (a skill that is easy to master) or you’d just be watching funny videos the whole time. Either way I’m jealous of the obvious easy a these ivy league students get to take

Managing Online Reputation

In today’s day and age, getting hired for a job requires much more than passing a background check and nailing an interview. People who are looking to hire will search your name on google and see what comes up. There are companies such as Reputation Changer and Big Blue Robot that charge the big bucks to hide your google-able dirty laundry. However, in the article I read, 6 Steps To Managing Your Online Reputation, the author compiles a list of 6 things that the heads of many of these reputation-saver websites agreed are important to reputation success.

The first tip the article gives is “search yourself” which I realized was something I hadn’t done in a while so I did. The first two results that came up are my LinkedIn and my Pinterest accounts. Also, my profile pictures for both of these accounts appeared in google images. The fourth tip the article gave was one that surprised me and was “join social networks.” Linkedin is a social network that is specifically designed for employers to connect with you. However, other social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter I would think would be damaging to someone trying to land a job. The article requests that you are somewhat active on social network accounts.

The last tip is, in my opinion, the most important and reads “keep things private, while assuming nothing is truly private.” There are many helpful privacy settings on all social media, specifically Facebook. However, with enough digging, employers may be able to find that embarrassing photo of you from the Christmas party. If someone tags you in a photo that you don’t want to appear on your account, untag yourself immediately. There is also a useful privacy setting on Facebook that makes it so you must approve something before you get tagged in it which I love.

Day One

This writing app was made to help personalize your journaling experience.  This app is not only very attractive looking, but its made to help you become a better journalizer.  Journaling and blogging is not just about writing your thoughts down, this type of writing “art” has become so much more.  You can now post and tag pictures within your journal posts and tag the location you are at.  You can share your journal with friends and family so they can experience your day to day life or you can keep your thoughts private.

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This app also comes with a calendar so you can see all of your prior journal entries and the comments that were on it. Day One is a great way to record your daily thoughts and feelings, and add some personality to your words through all the various features and special effects that the app offers.  Even though I have never really been the one to keep a journal, I would definitely use this app, maybe if I was traveling, to record all of my adventures to share with everyone at home, so they can follow my trip as I along.

Tumblr: A Review

The popular blogging site Tumblr has, in the past few years, jumped aboard the social mobile app train. For the past two years, I’ve been using their iPhone app, and while it lacks some of the features that the website offers, I still absolutely love it. It’s user-friendly and incredibly convenient.

Tumblr is a platform for users to write and share original content and communicate with other users, as well as share content from other blogs on your own page (called “reblogging”). Content ranges from stories, to opinions, to random thoughts, to pictures and videos. It’s main purpose is to entertain, but recently it has also become a popular platform for advertising and dialogues about social justice issues. It is also commonly used to make and maintain friendships with users around the globe.

Upon opening and logging into the app, you are shown your dashboard, which is a collection of posts from all the blogs (called tumblogs) you follow.

A post from the Tumblog PanemPropoganda on my dashboard.

A post from the tumblog PanemPropoganda on my dashboard.

Located at the bottom of the screen is a menu bar with options for your dashboard, a search bar, new posts, your profile and your list of followers and followed tumblogs, and your notifications. Everything you need to operate the app easily is located in that menu bar.

When you select a user’s URL on your dashboard, you’re taken to their mobile homepage. The page is customizable for each user so that the mobile page theme can parallel the actual website theme. Posts are shown in order from most to least recent in a continuous-scroll format, which is the same way they are displayed on the dashboard.

The mobile homepage for the Tumblog TheGryffindork.

The mobile homepage for the Tumblog TheGryffindork.

The mobile homepage for the Tumblog Sixpenceee.

The mobile homepage for the Tumblog Sixpenceee.

A couple of original posts on Sixpenceee's homepage.

A couple of original posts on Sixpenceee’s homepage.

On the app, you can set up notifications so that your phone will display whenever somebody reblogs a post you made or tags you in a post, which, while convenient at first, can get a little distracting. However, notifications can be turned off at any time.

I only have a few real complaints about this app. For one, you’re never notified when somebody responds to a message you sent, whether it’s answered publicly on their blog or privately in your inbox. You instead have to constantly check your inbox to make sure you’re not missing any new messages. Additionally, sometimes images and videos are slow to load, which can take away from the experience.

Overall, the app does its job well. It makes it incredibly easy to create and share content from anywhere you may find yourself, and allows you to communicate with others in a whole new way.

Diaro

The writing application I reviewed is called Diaro. In the description, it says that the app is designed to record activities, experiences, thoughts and ideas throughout a day and sync the data across all devices, including a computer. It lets you organize your diary entries, but also specify them in different contexts such as a story entry.

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This could be extremely helpful because it makes the app more broad and useful in different situations. If you keep a diary of events that happen to you for something like a memior or blog post ideas, you can easily keep them separate from your fiction or poetry ideas. You can also tag your location when you were writing them, which could be helpful if you’re describing imagery around you.

I though of how helpful it would be to know your exact location then be able to google earth it to again be able to see all of the same imagery that you described before, later in the day. Another useful tool it has is to be able to add pictures to a post. So not only could you take pictures of something in your daily life that inspired you to write, you could find a picture online that inspired you.

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I’m personally obsessed with tumblr and always find either hilarious pictures, things i agree with, or just pretty pictures that always inspire me to write. With the help of the app, I could even separate all of these postings by category like humor or editorials or fiction. I personally feel this app is extremely helpful for writing because it’s organized, simple to use, and concise.