All posts by katiedowning

How to stay happy on social media

My audience is the MDST 485 class and the goal of this blog is to inform my fellow classmates how to use social media in a way that won’t negatively impact their well-being.

Social media is considered a fun way to stay in touch with your friends and family, but it can also cause unnecessary stress and anxiety. Keep your mental health in check and consider these ways to make social media a happier place.

1. Keep your phone out of your bedroom.

Use an alarm clock instead of depending on your phone’s alarm to wake you up in the morning. Having your phone on the nightstand is a distraction, and only brings unnecessary technology and the drama that comes with it into your bedroom. Keep your bedroom phone-free so that you can get a good night’s sleep!

2. Adjust what you can see on your feed.

Facebook has options to limit posts from certain friends, or to remove certain content altogether. Utilize this tool to make your feed more enjoyable. Whatever that means for you, do it!

3. Set aside daily periods of non-screen time.

We’ve all experienced that awkward 10 minute break where every single person in the room stares at their phone, sitting in silence and ignoring the people around them. Stop doing that! Make a conscious effort to do something other than check your phone during these breaks and especially first thing when you wake up in the morning. Make an effort!

4. Tell people you’re detoxing.

Your friends will continue to bug you and be personally offended if you don’t reply to all the funny memes they’ve sent you. Make sure to let people know you’re taking a break from social media so that they understand why your online presence is suddenly dark.

5. Fill the void.

If you use that void of free time with nothing better to do as an excuse to check your phone, do something else! Try striking up a conversation with the person next to you instead. And if you really struggle with endlessly scrolling through social media at the end of the day, try doing something else during that time to fill your media hunger. Watch a movie, call your mom, leave your house, whatever! There are lots of entertainment options that are more fulfilling than staring at your phone.

There you have it! Simple ways to keep you happy while still keeping up with the online world. Social media is a great tool for communication, as long as we’re in control of our communication methods and how they make us feel.

Hidden messages in social media?

My audience is the MDST 485 class and the goal of this blog is to inform my fellow classmates about how our modern use of social media can have a negative impact on our lives and our well-being.

pexels-photo-68357.jpeg

You can see it in your Facebook timeline or Instagram gallery – a digital footprint of your mental health.

It’s not always hidden in the obvious hashtags or inspirational quotes, but rather interpreted through the subtle use of words that might be hinting … you’re feeling kind of blue.

And, literally, your photo feed will focus on the cool blues and grey tones in your pictures when you’re feeling blue. Your words reflect your negative energy, and your pictures will look as blue as your words sound. Along with your lessened posting comes the lessening of likes. Nobody will want to “like” your blue enhanced rainy day picture with sad song lyrics.

That’s exactly the problem. When we take to social media to express our emotions and show the rest of the world a little bit of our “real” life, nobody wants to see the real. We’re expected to show the highlights, the happy things that will make other people happy, too. Even when we are posting seemingly happy pictures, there are hidden clues that prove we aren’t as happy as is posted.

The words we use are more telling about our mental health than we realize. This tool analyzes text and examines the words we’re using in order to tell us more about our emotional state.

Analyze your own Tweets using this free tool at http://analyzewords.com/

The Castells reading talked about how we can change the behaviors of others through the use of social marketing. Even if this type of direct marketing isn’t 100% effective, it’s still a positive way to connect with an audience and spread a message. Sharing positive messages, whether that be for the sake of advertising or through our own personal updates, is infectious to the attitudes of others. Once we address our own behaviors and make positive changes, we can influence others positively through social media.

Social Media, You’re Stressing Me Out

My audience is the MDST 485 class and the goal of this blog is to inform my fellow classmates about how our modern use of social media can have a negative impact on our lives and our well-being.

Three billion people are using social media – and we’re spending an average of 2 hours every day browsing among social platforms. With so much time being spent emotionally buried by the online world, how is this affecting our personal lives? Our well-being?

It seems as though when the day is over and our work is complete, there’s still something to stress about. We nervously post a picture on Facebook hoping that it gets enough “likes” to make us feel good, but at what cost? The virtual world of Facebook likes will follow us throughout the day and night, haunting both our dreams and our daydreams. The problem with social media is that it never ends. It almost feels like it’s impossible to turn it off. While scrolling through our feeds looking at cute puppies and cookie recipes, we’re also reading the negativity posted by others who are looking to vent. Even if we don’t comment or get involved with that negativity, it affects our mindset and adds more stress to our thoughts. Venting online can feel good for a brief amount of time. But social media is turning into a trap for all our emotions. And those emotions follow us around wherever we go, creating unnecessary stress in our lives.

The reading by Castells discussed how the Internet absorbs information and retains that information for a long time. When that information all over our Facebook feed is emotional and personally related to us, it can get hard to digest over time. BBC is exploring how social media affects our well-being in their series #LikeMinded, and they hope to provide solutions that could help us all live a happier, healthier digital life.

http://www.bbc.com/future/columns/likeminded

 

Vegans are Biased

I Love Vegan

Would you expect a blog called “I Love Vegan” to talk about vegan related topics? Likely. Would you expect that blog to bash those who aren’t vegan? Also likely. It seems that when we take a stance on our lifestyle choices, we get defensive toward those who aren’t living the same way and toward those who disagree with out choices.

The author of a vegan blog is going to want to write about veganism, which is great for someone looking for information about veganism. There is definitely an audience for this blog, however, those who believe that veganism is “hippie-nonsense” might stumble upon the blog and want to argue. The blogger along with the blog followers are going to be quick to fight back against a non-vegan critic. There is a community within this blog that doesn’t want to be attacked by anyone outside of their safe little community. The logic behind this type of blog is sound, although there is bias from the blogger who is praising the vegan lifestyle. If the blogger is choosing to not talk about the health benefits of eating meat, then that’s just the way it is. But that’s also the beauty of blogging. Blogs create communities for people to share whatever information they want to share all while supporting each other through the process.

I think blogs are more persuasive if they are somewhat biased. If you aren’t passionate about your opinions and trying to convince me to change my opinions, then what are you writing for? Blogs are some of the best places to be biased. A Facebook status doesn’t have the same supportive community. A vegan writing their “All Meat Eaters Will Rot In Hell” speech will probably find better acceptance through their personal blog, anyway.

Staying Healthy in School

It’s that time of year where everybody is hacking and sneezing all over the place. If you aren’t sick, the person sitting next to you in your Media Studies class probably is. The best way to deal with the sickness is to avoid it altogether. Here are a few tips for keeping yourself healthy while on your grind.

-Antibacterial wipes

Our cellphones are great for keeping us connected at all times, but they’re also breeding ground for the germs that will make us sick. Check out this article from CBS regarding how much…stuff…is on your phone.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-best-way-to-clean-your-grimy-bacteria-laden-cellphone/

The best way to prevent flu-causing bacteria from being transferred to other surfaces, including yourself, is to clean your phone. Bye, bye, germs!

-Drink lots of water

Yes, even if you hate the taste of it. Water is necessary for the body to function properly. It keeps everything moist and doing what it’s supposed to do. Here’s an article about how water can prevent you from getting the flu. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-203142/Why-water-ward-flu.html

There are lots of simple ways to stay healthy this time of year, and these are just a few examples. Take the time to keep yourself healthy!