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Your Friends’ Moods Online Can Impact Yours in Reality

By this time, I think we’ve all heard the story of the Facebook experiment that caused some people to see mostly positive posts and others to see mostly negative posts. When it was revealed the study took place without the knowledge of any of Facebook’s users, people were outrage and dismissed the study as unethical.

facebook mobile

While I personally agree that the way information was gathered for the study was pretty sketchy, but it did yield some interesting results. The study showed that the more positive posts you see, the more positive things you’re likely to post yourself. The same went for negative posts.

According to the Pew Research Internet Project, 90 percent of people in the 18-29 age bracket use social networking sites. If we take Facebook’s study to be true, that means 90 percent of college-age people’s emotions are somewhat influenced by their virtual social network.

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Do You Have a ‘Fear of Missing Out?’

“Do you believe you’re missing out, that everything good is happening somewhere else?” – Brand New, “Jesus Christ”

In terms of eras, the age of social media is in its adolescence. Therefore, psychological conditions associated with social media are undeveloped, but they do exist. One such condition is the fear of missing out, or “FOMO.” FOMO is a disorder in which people are worried their friends might be having more fun and rewarding experiences than them.

For example, you’re stuck taking math 101 in summer school while your friends road trip to Lollapalooza. FOMO is characterized by an unrelenting desire to monitor or be connected with what your peers are doing. Researchers have developed a quiz to diagnose how bad you’ve got FOMO, take it here: The FOMO Quiz.

fomo

Feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and depression can stem from the fear of missing out. Brooke Randolph, LMHC, resident mental health expert at DietsInReview.com, said this condition is relatively uncharted territory, and she’s “never treated someone with an unhealthy reliance on social media.” However, she says that if social media is managed correctly, FOMO won’t occur.

When I asked if social media strengthened bonds of friendship or created low self-esteem, she said, “Both can occur. It is dependent on how it is used and the perception of the user.”

There is no concrete evidence that social media use contributes to the development of psychological illnesses. Brooke even suggested that people with pre-existing social anxiety could benefit from social media. “For most people with social anxiety, social media allows them to control socialization to the amount of contact that works best for them,” said Brooke. One good component of social media platforms is the ability for the user to turn the on or off switch, but having the ability doesn’t mean they have the will power.

Everyone has been guilty of FOMO at one time or another. People text while driving or crossing a street, hop on Facebook at work, check Twitter during social gatherings and sporting events—all in the quest to find a more fulfilling social experience than the one they’re in. We don’t post pictures of our bills, dirty bath tubs, and prescriptions for a reason—we would hate to tarnish our reputation or give the idea our lives are normal and humdrum. We present ourselves in the most flattering light possible on social media sites to give the impression our lives are quite exceptional. There’s no shame in only sharing the more exquisite moments of your everyday life, but the sugar coated sheen we polish on our posts becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of FOMO.

When we see someone else having a more privileged experience than us, we get bummed and try to one-up or match the idealized lush life. And so turns the FOMO wheel.

If you feel you display some of the symptoms of FOMO, I humbly invite you to put down the phone or close the laptop; having a concentrated, focused conversation with your pals is pretty refreshing, IMO. I know living IRL is tough, and while social media can make you feel super connected and important, your likes, shares, and retweets ain’t gonna be eulogized. Tweet if you liked the article!

Also Read:

University Offering Master’s Degree in Social Media 

Colleges Reaching Students Through Every Social Media Angle 

Teens are Texting All Night Long



Don’t Hashtag Your Professor Hate: 5 Tips for a Successful College Year

The end of summer is nearing for many. The only indicator is the start date of classes bearing down upon us; Lord knows it’s not the weather. If your first day of class is coming up, take a minute to think through what you’d like your semester, year, or entire college experience to look like and maybe heed the advice of those of us who made enough mistakes to offer you a few useful tips.

1. Don’t write off the first day of class as “pass out the syllabus day.” Many of us assumed it was a pointless day that guaranteed early release and that’s all we focused on. Instead, listen closely, ask questions, and if needed, go directly to the registrar’s after class and drop it while it’s still refundable.

If it’s early in your college career, you can replace that class with another credit – one that’s worth your time, one that you’ll care more about. Those classes are expensive and time consuming; if you don’t jive well with the professor or care enough about the content, find a class that better suits you. Read the rest of this entry »



“Facebook Parenting: For the Troubled Teen” Creates Quite a Stir on YouTube

facebook parenting screen shot from viral videoA new video is gaining a lot of attention on YouTube. The video, called “Facebook Parenting: For the troubled teen,” features a dad who is quite upset with something his daughter posted to Facebook.

In the video, the father, Tommy, reads a letter that his daughter, Hannah, posted to Facebook a few days ago. In the letter, Hannah rants about all of the chores her parents ask her to do…and by rant, I do mean rant. The video drags along for the first six minutes as Tommy reads the letter and expresses how upset he is about what Hannah wrote.

To be fair to Tommy, Hannah was very disrespectful towards her parents and used language that is not acceptable. Many kids today do feel too entitled and it does not make sense that a child should be paid because she is asked to help her family. I agree with almost everything Tommy says up until about the seventh-minute of the film. However, this is when things get a little too crazy for me.

At this time, Tommy gets out of his chair, shows us Hannah’s laptop, and proceeds to put nine bullets in the laptop from his shotgun. This seems like a bit of an over-reaction to me. If Tommy wanted to take her computer away from her and sell it, I’d be perfectly okay with that. However, he is acting immaturely and his actions are not any better than what Hannah wrote on Facebook. Instead, I think Tommy should have reacted in a more mature way by setting Hannah down, telling her what she did was hurtful and disrespectful, and then punishing her by taking away her computer and grounding her. By destroying her computer, he is reacting in a childish way that is just going to perpetuate the battle that is going on between them.

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Colleges Use Facebook More Effectively Than Students Do

Facebook logoMost students have a Facebook account. If not a Facebook account, they probably have some other form of social media that they use to stay connected with their friends, follow trends, and network themselves.

However, would you be surprised if 100 percent of U.S. schools that were polled say they are also using social media to do the same things? Well, according to a recent study conducted at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, you shouldn’t be surprised at all because this is completely true.

“Prospective students, parents, current students, alumni – one common area in which they are all present in one or another is on Facebook,” said Kevin Morrow, the executive director of public affairs at Syracuse University. This explains why 98 percent of the universities surveyed said they have a presence on this social media website.

So, most schools are using social media to reach a large audience. But the ways they are using it vary by school and by purpose.

“The book hasn’t been written [on how to use social media],” said Michael Kaltenmark, director of web marketing and communications at Butler University. “We’re still figuring it out on a daily basis.”

So how are schools using social media? Hint, they are not just posting pictures from last weekend’s football game. Here are the top seven ways they are connecting with their “fans” on a daily basis:

  1. Read the rest of this entry »


Boston Teens Learn How to Break-up Nicely in the World of Social Media

Falling in love is great! There are so many great moments: your first kiss, the first time you introduce him/her to your friends, the first time you meet his/her parents, and the moment when you get a Facebook notification that he/she wants you to confirm your relationship.

Sadly though, most relationships do come to an end at some time. And then come the difficult questions: Should you untag yourself from every picture of the two of you? Should you unfriend him/her? Is it okay to break up with him/her by changing your relationship status to single without telling him/her first? Welcome to the drama that is Facebook relationships.

Luckily, 200 Boston teens recently got together to discuss this sticky subject during a “healthy breakups” one-day conference that was sponsored by the Boston Public Health Commission.

“No one talks to young people about this aspect of relationships,” said one of the conference organizers, Nicole Daley. “We’re here to change that.”

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Foursquare Launches Universities 2.0 on Hundreds of College Campuses

Last year, the popular social media app foursquare announced plans to officially partner with more than 20 universities across the nation to help students explore their college campuses and learn about their school’s traditions. The program was a huge success and now than 10 million users joined in on the fun. Now foursquare is making the program even bigger and better with a new and improved version called Universities 2.0.

Universities 2.0 will have all of the fun features that the original foursquare for universities had, such as the ability to check in at various locations on campus, learn about traditions and folklore, and see what your friends thought about various things related to your campus. However, Universities 2.0 will have something that the original program did not have: badges. These badges will represent the schools on foursquare and also could be used on college campuses to advertise that the campus is a foursquare-friendly zone.

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Does Texting Affect High School Students’ Grammar?

High school students use the least amount of words to send text messages. BTW (by the way,) IDK ( I don’t know,) or TTYL (talk to you later) are just a few abbreviated phrases text speakers use to get their text message across.

Finding out ways to communicate by using as little words as possible is an efficient way to communicate with buds. However, teachers are finding out that this chat-room lingo is making its way into the classroom.

“I think that students don’t even realize that they’re doing it,” said Allie Sakowicz, a senior at Maine South High School in Park Ridge, Ill. “When we’re using all this social media we’re not thinking about spelling words right, so naturally that’s going to translate into the classroom.”

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81 Percent of Generation Y Checks Facebook Every Day

Days after the announcement that Time Magazine named Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg their prestigious, notable and coveted “Person of the Year,” reports have arisen that Generation Y, the generation of Mark Zuckerberg, uses his program twice as much as they watch television and/or read local or national newspapers.

Generation Y is the demographic that is typically described as Americans born between 1975 and 2000 with a heavier statistical focus on the birth rates of 1982 through 1995. Also commonly known as the Echo Boomers, Millennial Generation, Millennials, Generation Net and Generation Next, a large majority of Generation Y are children born of the previous generation known as the baby boomers.

The report also showed that 81% of Generation Y users log into their Facebook accounts daily to check up on their friends, news, brands they “like”, upload pictures and videos, RSVP to events and for general communication purposes.

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Colleges Reaching Students Through Every Social Media Angle

The Team at YourCampus360 are New York City-based experts in higher education marketing technology. The company leads the industry in creating virtual experiences that connect schools with prospective students across all of the most popular platforms: EDU websites, mobile devices, Facebook, YouTube, and more.

Higher education institutions have always been trailblazers of interactivity in marketing. In fact – yes, it’s true – colleges and universities adopted social media (Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter) into their existing marketing plans at an even faster rate than most traditional Fortune 500 and Inc. 500 companies. Marketing to teens, theirs is a perpetually changing landscape. So what’s new on the scene?

It should come as no surprise that these places of learning are filled with great learners, researching, testing and adapting as each new generation’s needs and expectations change. With so many college-bound high school students researching colleges online, from their laptop, their iPad, their smartphone, schools are learning to meet prospective students where they tend to spend most of their time, and integrate this message across platforms. Interactive maps, virtual campus tours, high quality video, and mobile and Facebook applications have become the new hot higher education marketing tools.
But it’s also easy to get too bogged down in the details: whether Android is beating Apple this week; whether teens care about Twitter; which gadgets are giving students online access in a newer, sleeker skin. It’s not that the details are disposable…it’s just that they’re more malleable than you might think.

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