Is Social Media Making Us Less Social? [Part 3]

iPhone 4 Addiction

This is Part 3 in a three-part series on social media usage. Click here to read Part 1 on three main solutions to the overall problem. Click here to read Part 2 on the personal effects of social media.

We are the most connected generation that has ever lived. Think about all the new technologies that have been introduced in the past two decades that have allowed us to stay in touch like never before. Someone can literally get in touch with me almost any time of the day regardless of where I am in the world.

While these advances have created a plethora of benefits, the negative side effects associated with overusing them are beginning to surface. We all know that person who is constantly staring into the screen of their smartphone even when surrounded by friends and family. Or the friend who insists on taking a picture of everything they do and everywhere they go with you instead of simply enjoying the moment for what it is. The video below, while perhaps a bit over dramatic, puts our technology use into perspective.

Here are three major ways that social media is altering our ability to build and maintain interpersonal relationships:  Read more of this post

Is Social Media Making Us Less Social? [Part 2]

Cellphone

This is Part 2 in a three-part series on social media usage. Click here to read Part 1 on three main solutions to the overall problem. Click here to read Part 3 on the impact of social media on interpersonal relationships.

Back in February 2012, I wrote a post exploring if social media (and technology in general) is making us less social and offered three ways that we can disconnect from social media in order to reconnect with real people. At that time 46% of adults owned a smartphone. As of January 2014, the number of people owning a smartphone had increased to 58% (with 29% of cell owners saying that they “can’t imagine living without” their phone). A recent study found that the average person spends 23 hours per week emailing, texting, and using social media (with Facebook accounting for 7 of the 23 hours). In other words, people are spending 14% of their week online!

Despite all the benefits, has this increased dependence on technology and social media had any negative effects on us? I’ll break my thoughts up into two posts (since one of the downsides as been a decreased attention span 🙂 ). In this post, I’ll outline some of the personal effects of social media/technology addiction and in the next post, I’ll take a look at some changes to interpersonal relationships.

So here are three primary ways that our personal lives have been negatively affected by increased social media and technology usage:   Read more of this post

How to Harness the Power of Social Media to Land Your Next Job [Guest Post]

 

Social Media apps

[Guest post courtesy of Erin Horton of Resume.com. Scroll to the bottom to learn more about Erin and Resume.com.]

Looking for a new job can be difficult. Not only can it be a lot of work; it can also be stressful. Using social media can make the job search easier. Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media have transformed the way that people find a new job. LinkedIn can be particularly useful because of its focus on professional networking. Using LinkedIn can help make professional connections that can help improve your career. Before you start using social media to help you find a job, there are a few things you need to know. Here are a few tips to help you make the most of social media to land your next job:  Read more of this post

Social Media and the News

Taking a Picture in Zurich

A New Era in Journalism

A wave has been building in the ocean of journalism over the past few years and last week it crashed upon the shores of the American media in full force. This wave has altered the way that news is broken, covered, reported, and consumed by the general public. It has also given ordinary citizens the ability to report stories as they unfold and beat the mainstream media to the punch.

This wave is social media and it has gradually been changing the field of journalism. While it has been looked to for breaking news in the past few years, the events at the Boston Marathon and especially the Watertown manhunt brought social media to the forefront. In this new era of news reporting Twitter and YouTube have become the instant news service, Reddit has become the new investigative service, and anyone with a smartphone can be a reporter. Read more of this post

How to Turn Your Internship into a Job

Eldredge Tie Knot

NOTE: This post originally appeared on The Next Great Generation (www.thenextgreatgeneration.com)

“What are you doing after you graduate?”

I can’t tell you how many times I heard that during my senior year at John Brown University. In the fall of my senior year, I was in an internship practicum in which each student told the class about the internships they had held during the summer. One of the questions asked by the professor was, “Is there an opportunity for employment at the company after graduation?”

This is an important question for each college student to consider during the course of his or her internship. If the company turns out to be a company that you would like to work for, how can the transition from intern to full-time employee be made? Here’s how:  Read more of this post

Arby’s: Changing the Mood of Fast Food

When I think of fast food, the last thing that I usually connect with it is a personal experience. Usually I feel like a herded animal: after waiting in line for what seems like years, I am “greeted” by a grouchy employee who takes my order as fast as he can, gives me my number and shoos me off in order to “help” the next person in line. This seems to be pretty consistent no matter what fast food chain I visit (with the exception of Chick-fil-A of course).

You can imagine my surprise one day a few months ago when I got to the front of the line at Arby’s and was greeted by an employee who was more polite than usual. After placing my order, I was asked the following question that caught my attention:  Read more of this post

How to Save the US Postal Service

USPS Trucks lined up at sunset

The United States Postal Service is in trouble. At a critical point in its history, what will it do to stamp out its debt and continue to deliver mail? I have a few suggestions, but first let’s take a look at how the US Postal Service got to this point.  Read more of this post

Four Ways Twitter Can Improve

Twitter

I like Twitter. A lot. It has become my favorite social network to interact with people, share my thoughts, stay up-to-date on news, and stay entertained.

However, Twitter has some catching up to do. With Facebook announcing its new Timeline feature (as well as emphasizing Lists again) and Google+ going public, it is time for Twitter to consider some minor changes that will greatly improve the experience of its users. The social media site, which has faced periodical criticism for seeming lack of long-term vision, has over 200 million users and is handling approximately 200 million tweets per day. The company underwent one major site design overhaul referred to as “New Twitter” that began rolling out to users in October 2010.

Here are just a few changes that I think Twitter should make in order to enhance the user experience and stay competitive (feel free to add your own in the “Comments” below):  Read more of this post

Social Media and the Classroom

With the start of the school year right around the corner (at least for those who still have to go to school), I thought it would be appropriate to write a post about how social media can be used by teachers in the classroom to enhance learning. A recent study by Ofcom showed that 47% of teenagers in the UK  now own a smartphone, compared to just 27% of adults (I imagine that the percentage is almost the same, maybe higher, here in the US). Before I go into detail, let me announce some breaking news from Siloam Springs, where I currently reside.

Siloam Springs High School students can now use their phones at school! Siloam recently finished construction of a brand new high school. Along with the new building, the school district is making some modifications to their technology policy. For the first time in Siloam history, students are allowed to use their cell phones in-between classes (as long as they don’t make calls). That means tweets, texts, status updates, etc. Additionally several of the floors in the building have an extra outlet plugs in them to prepare for the day when most students have all their books on electronic devices.

Now that Siloam Springs High (and I presume other schools) are allowing students to use their cell phones (and laptops for some, especially colleges) at school without any reprecussions, how can schools integrate social media into the classroom environment to enhance the learning experience? Here are just a few suggestions:

Read more of this post

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