When college students sit down to write papers or work on other homework assignments, it is very common for social networking sites to be minimized on their computers or even constantly streaming to them via smartphone. These networking sites can be huge distractions and make it difficult to complete assignments. Continue reading Caught in the Web
“Wut r u up 2?” “Chillin. U?” “Me 2.” Srsly?
Our generation is by far one of the smartest and most privileged to date. Yet we’re completely inept when it comes to communicating with one another. It’s so simple to prove; just walk around campus. There are thousands of students milling around with their noses in their phones, paying no attention to their surroundings.
The staff at Whim thinks it’s become a bit of a problem. Most college students are supposed to be super social creatures (haven’t you seen “Animal House”?) and we are. Kind of. College students average 12 hours a day with some sort of media outlet, be it Facebook, Twitter or cellphones.
What that’s saying is we’ll tweet you but we won’t talk to you in person. One of the funniest things to do is to watch the social interactions in Starbucks. Most of these people know each other since it’s a pretty small campus, but they rarely talk to each other for long. There’s an awkward greeting and then the phone comes out. Our ability to create small talk is gone.
We’ve all committed these communication crimes. We all have Facebook friends we’ve met a few times, but when you see each other in public you don’t even acknowledge them. Honestly, it’s a bit embarrassing. We almost create these alternate lives.
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Adam LaFon, Executive Director
Deanna Perry, Vent Manager
Matt Reed, Tech Manager
Elliot Blumberg, Head Copy Editor
Jennifer Leffler, Ritz Manager
Peter Mason, Life Manager
Microsoft recently released its preview option for Xbox 360, giving gamers a sneak peak of its latest system update. This update contained several new features which Microsoft announced earlier this year. This update to the Xbox dashboard had been one of the most anticipated in recent years. The update contained, additional Facebook, and Twitter apps along with a few other perks.
The Facebook and Twitter addition to Xbox is Microsoft’s answer to Playstation3’s web browsing capabilities. They were added to answer cries coming from those who wanted a way to update their Facebook while on Xbox. The Facebook application is very visually pleasing and fairly easy to understand. The interface is simple, and the auto login option is welcomed. It is hard to describe just how annoying it would be to key in the username and password over and over on Xbox. For those who have the messenger pad addition for the Xbox controller, it won’t be as bad the mini-keyboards making typing simpler. The Facebook app does not incorporate Facebook chat nor does it allow you to see who is online. In fact the only thing the app is good for is making status updates and viewing photos. It was hoped that the update would have some sort of auto updating on Facebook every time an achievement was earned. This was not the case. In fact, Facebook is unable to run in the background, making you log out every time you want to go play a game. Twitter suffers from the same problems that make Facebook so useless, only allowing updates when directly accessed and an inability to run in the background. Though it does allow for one to view the popular trends. The simple interface of both Twitter and Facebook make it easy to use but both were less than expected.
One of the other features added to Xbox is Last.FM it is a commercial free digital radio station. It allows you to pick what music you want to listen to by telling it what artist or genre you like. Based on that Last.FM will sort through all of the artists it has, playing those similar to the ones you like. As it plays the artist, you can cycle through information on both the artist and song. If you allow for it to auto-play, it will run through album art and various other photos of the artist. This service is very similar to that which can be found on Pandora. Like the other apps involved in this update, it is unable to run in the background. This means you can’t do much of anything but listen to music on your Xbox.
The other major addition to Xbox is the Zune marketplace. This is to eventually replace the Xbox live video marketplace. This portion of the update is fairly simple and straight forwards. The Zune marketplace will accept Microsoft points for movies, videos and music.
Overall the update was a rather interesting mix of programs, as Microsoft tries to suit the desires of its consumers. Though the update did not live up to expectations, it is only a matter of time before more changes are made to answer the wants of those consumers who are unwilling to accept things as they are. That leaves to question, just what will be in the future for the Xbox dashboard?
E3 facebook/twitter demo
Xbox Dashboard update commercial
All videos from outside source.
In recent years there has been a surge in social Web sites. These Web sites are not limited to social networking, they expand to cover a variety of Web sites, each dedicated to sharing parts of peoples’ lives. These things can span from humor to art. The Internet has just become another device to express oneself. This usage of the Internet as a form of expression is the natural progression as social Web sites become more common. Whether humorous or not these sites are a good way to waste time or brighten a bad day.
This is an example of one of the more humorous social Web sites. On this site people post everyday stories where things have gone wrong. The stories can range from being humorous and funny to being down right disgusting. The only real issue with this site is that as it has grown more and more popular as the stories have become rather outlandish and at times, clearly made up. This Web site is now actively documenting the best of its stories and puttingm them in a book that will be published later this year.
Texts from Last Night (TFLN)
TFLN is a Web site that documents those texts that probably would have been better off not sent; these generally involve drunk texts, stupid texts. The vast majority of the texts found on the Web site are either extremely funny or just nasty at times. The Web site has a somewhat unique way to rate submissions. You can either rate the post as being a good night or a bad night. The vast majority of posts on TFLN come off as being genuine, even the odder ones. This is definitely a great site to waste time between classes.
My Life is Average (MLIA)
This is the third in several very similar websites that give a brief glimpse into peoples’ lives. My Life is Average is a Web site very similar to FML. The main difference between MLIA and FML is that FML focuses on how things have gone horribly wrong, whereas MLIA focuses on everyday things. The things which the story cover can be negative, positive or just down-right strange at times.
The sites above are purely social. While not encouraging networking they do allow people to reveal glimpses of their everyday lives. In this way, they are social Web sites creating a line of communication that would not normally be there. There are sites designed purely for socializing, though the majority of those Web sites are well known. Examples of such sites are Facebook, Myspace and Twitter. Twitter may not be not as widely used as the other two, because the concept of a micro blog is still rather new, but it is quickly gaining ground on the others. Myspace and Facebook, both of which are extremely well known social networking sites, also fall into this category of social Web sites.
On the note about Twitter you can follow me @whimtech on Twitter.