Thursday, May 28, 2015

Psychology of Social Media Week 5

This week in class we have been talking about digital altruism and activism. Otherwise known as slacktivism. Here's a bit of my opinion on slacktivism:
Slacktivism is a means and not an end to a cause. I see it as a way of bringing more broad awareness to issues, which then allows individuals who may have specifics skills or influences to help in a crucial way. It’s like networking for a good cause. I may not have a specific way to contribute towards a cause or issue but one of my friends might. So my sharing something regarding the issue can be helpful if that friend is made aware of their capacity to help. I also see it as a way of shifting public opinion and attitudes. As small as my circle of influence is, I at least do influence a few people, and if I post things that are against homophobia, for example, and that influences my friends to rethink something and change then I see that post as very effective.
I think social media is the perfect way for people to connect in ways that are meaningful. It gives people who otherwise couldn’t a giant megaphone. It also gives general people the ability to choose who they give that megaphone to, rather than governments or corporations. It is ultimately up to the individual what they click on and what they share with their networks, and so the right issues come to the surface and the traditional media is playing catch up to social media instead of the other way around. It’s putting media in the hands of the general public, and I really think that is a good thing.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Psychology of Social Media Week 4

This week in class we had a guest speaker come in and he talked to us about a lot of things but stated off by giving us an introduction to the "dark web". Before today I had no idea the dark web existed and I had never heard of it. I didn't really understand all the techno speak about it but basically it's an internet place where you link to many other routers along the way to get to what you are looking for. Rather than a direct link from my ISP to the blogger server for example I would connect with countless other routers on the way to get to what I was viewing. It creates a lot more anonymity. The reason it's called the "dark web" is because most of the stuff that goes on in this sphere is illegal and wrong. For example there is a lot of illegal porn there, corporate espionage, ISIS uses it, national security leaks, etc.  What I found interesting is that there is this big internet pot of evil out there. I know everyone always says that Satan uses the internet to get to us, and I do believe that to be true, but today I thought about it in a entirely different light. Apparently he really is out there using the internet to accomplish very evil designs. SCARY! Satan is not to be underestimated people. He is WILY. He has a lot of tricks and he knows us verrrry well. I'm just glad that I know him pretty well also. I know that he is strong but through my Saviour I am stronger, and that I've defeated him before. We have all defeated him before. I also know we will defeat him again. The game is already decided, the score is set, and he's already lost. We just need to make sure we are still on the winning team when the game is all over. I have no fear, because I know who to follow.  It's a great feeling! I don't care if Satan does have a giant network of evil internet shenanigans, that doesn't even scare me!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Psychology of Social Media Week 3

This week in Social Media class we've been looking at YouTube videos.
It makes a three hour class much more enjoyable when you spend the majority of the class watching funny viral videos.
Also I was wondering what I could write here about what I've taken away from class this week...beside some really funny videos to share. Basically anything by Jimmy Fallon, although I recommend Emma Stone's Lip Sync Battle. SO FUNNY.
I did however take away something more meaningful.
There is a woman from Montana who is the same age as me, who now has a job working for a museum making YouTube Video's about science.
That's basically my dream job! Without all the icky dead animals.
It reminds me of the YouTuber: Physics Girl. Also my dream job! BUT REALLY
We were discussing the fact that Social Media has almost revived the "American Dream". If you are good enough at what you do, willing to work hard at it, have an element of uniqueness, and the timing is right, your dreams most definitely can become reality. This girl from the museum didn't plan on being a YouTuber, it just worked out for her that way because she had the right combination of those factors.
Not that I think I'm going to become a YouTube celebrity, but I've noticed the internet and social media have opened up a lot of doors for me professionally. Recently I've been signing up on a lot of online tutoring sites, also looking at online high schools and other possibilities of becoming an online teacher once I finish my getting my teaching license. I'm also currently working as a TA for the head of the chemistry department. While at work I'm recording video slide lectures for the Chemistry 100 students to watch online before they come to class as a part of their preparation. I record them on adobe presenter and include voice-over videos of myself solving problems on a device similar to a giant iPad. It's an interesting job, which I think is giving me great experience to use technology in a future teaching setting. Technology, especially social media is changing the game for finding jobs, and definitely changing the education profession, so I know I need to adapt to it if I'm going to be truly successful.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Psychology of social media week 2

This week in class we focused a lot on the history and evolution of social media over time. It's crazy how much things have changed in just my lifetime! I was born in the 1991. I can remember a time where no one in my family had a cell phone. I can remember when my dad had a clunky computer with a tiny screen that only worked with floppy disks. Then I remember when I was 11 and my parents saved up their money to purchase a computer for the family. It was Santa's gift to all of us that year. Then I remember a few years after that when we got AOL on the computer. At the time I remember not really understanding the point of Internet or the web. A few years after that my family moved and AOL Instant Messenger became my favorite after school pastime. I was always chatting away to my friends and thinking of clever "away messages". That was my beginning to social media. I told told my first big crush I liked him over AIM. After middle school ended I created a MySpace account to stay connected with my friends. That lasted about a year or two. In between that time I got my own first cell phone. It was a tiny little blue flip phone. I remember texting my friends while I was standing next to them, just because I could text them. Towards the end of High School I signed up for Facebook and that was a great way to keep track of friends after I graduated and moved to Hawaii. Around that same time I bought myself my first iPhone. I was the first person in my family to get a smartphone. Needless to say shortly after that we ended up with 4 other smartphones in the family. With my smart phone in Hawaii I learned I could take some pretty great pictures of my beautiful new home. Instagram was the obvious best way to share those pictures with my famil and friends. I also found Skype the best cure for missing home and I still video call home to my family almost every Sunday afternoon. Eventually I got a snapchat, I even got asked to a Fall Ball via snap chat once. 
Then I went on a mission. 
Emails once a week, with very limited time. 2 video calls. 1 phone call. That's it. 
I thought I would miss it more than I did. I really didn't miss it at all. 
My mom posted my emails on this blog but I never touched it. 
When I got home I was reluctant to jump back into social media. I knew it had pros but felt that the cons may out way the pros. However I leaned that the best way to communicate with friends in Australia and all over the world was through Facebook and Facebook messenger, so I jumped back on that. My mission president reminded us that if President Monson and the other general authorities can manage social media and spread positivity and the gospel so can we. I still love taking pretty pictures. So Instagram came back in as well. I'm still not convinced social media is really healthy for my spirit. I'm trying to work that out and think of ways I can use it for good; not just in my life but also for my friends and followers. 
Here is my personal social media history. It's interesting to reflect back on all the experiences in my life that social media facilitated. The good and the bad. I know social media won't stop playing a part in my life and it's proved already that it will continue to adapt and change over time. I'll adapt and change along with it and I know everything will be ok as long as my overall goals don't change: to uplift and inspire myself and others. 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Post Mission Life, Psychology of Social Media

So this blog is my mission blog, and I was just going to keep it that way and never touch it again. Then I signed up with a psychology of social media class at school and a requirement is that I blog about my reflections on social media. So here goes:
This week in class we watched a TED Talk entitled "connected, but alone?" here's a link: 
Anyways this woman is talking about how with the rise of social media we are keeping each other at a safe distance. We don't lose track of each other, but we don't really interact either. Something this TED talk brought to mind for me was the difference I've had trying to make friends when I first arrived at BYUH compared to returning to BYUH after my mission.
See when I came here in 2010 as a freshman, social media was certainly a thing, but not in the way it is now. A lot has changed in 5 years. When I got here, the friends I made, I made in person. The girls lived in my hallway and dorm, or were friends of friends that I met. Guys I met in my classes or in the school cafeteria, library, hallways, classes or really anywhere where students congregate. I had close friends fast! It was some of the most fun days of my life.
Upon my return from my mission I've found making friends does not come as easily as it did. This TED talk along with our class discussion helped me realize one possible reason why. Normal times when students congregate, are not about congregating anymore. When a student is in a place where they aren't among anyone they know, or actively engaged doing something, they are on their phones. People make themselves unapproachable to anyone let alone to people they don't know. I find myself doing the same thing, getting onto my phone and looking at whatever social media is available to fill the void of interacting with people, when really I should just get up and interact with some people that are right around me. I'm going to try that out more this semester. I'm going to put my phone down and force some strangers to put theirs down to so that I can have a conversation and make some new friends.