Tag Archives: Instagram

No, I won’t stop ranting on Facebook

As the upcoming election gets more heated, and as more states caucus results come back, the debate on social media has only gotten hotter. It’s impossible to scroll through Facebook without seeing someone’s political opinions being broadcast for the world to see. On Twitter, comedians make light of what seems like a hopeless election by tweeting jokes, most of which are about Donald Trump.

As our timelines are flooded with political posts, some are joining in and sharing their thoughts, while others see the posts as a nuisance. I can recall several posts I’ve seen by complainers who would much rather see cute animals pictures and Buzzfeed articles on their timeline.

The Facebook comment section serves as an easy platform for debates. Graphic from Market Pilgrim
The Facebook comment section serves as an easy platform for debates. Graphic from Marketing Pilgrim

Politics are extremely important. Yes, discussing politics can cause some divides in our communities, but these are things we need to discuss. When it’s March Madness, there are plenty of folks complaining on social media about the team they hate, but no one really complains about that. Not that sports aren’t important, but politics are our future.

I’m the kind of person who loves to use social media as a platform to talk about politics. I’m always sharing political articles, which I’m sure has caused some people to remove me as their friend or “unfollow” me. I don’t really mind, however, because if people are so small-minded that discussing a subject as heavy as politics makes them uncomfortable, I don’t really want to be their friend.

Social media wasn’t necessarily made for politics, but it has definitely had a huge impact in some major political revolutions. In 2011, Egypt, Bahrain and Libya went through quite a bit of political unrest, a time often called the “Arab Spring.” During this time, social media was essentially used to overthrow an oppressive government. Social media was a vital tool in transcending borders and allowing protesters to organize and discuss.

Social media can be annoying at times, of course. However, we shouldn’t brush off its importance. While social media is typically seen as a distraction and unnecessary, in political scenarios and elections, we need to embrace it as a platform to allow our voices to be heard. One of the great things about Twitter is that you have a direct line to politicians, celebrities and other high-profile people. Even if you don’t get a reply, there is a possibility the person you’re trying to contact may see what you have to say. Even if they don’t see it, others may join in discussing the topic, whatever it may be.

We have more technology and the easiest platform to voice our opinions on that has ever existed. We have been granted a great opportunity to use these tools to make a difference. Your opinions matter, and social media is the fastest way to share your thoughts with the most people.

This election, social media has been used by millennials to promote their favorite candidates. Bernie Sanders Dank Meme Stash, a Facebook group in which members share political memes in support of the presidential candidate, has been an amazing tool in unifying Sanders supporters. At the recent Trump rally on our campus, remnants of the group were scattered throughout the crowd of protesters. There was a very heavy internet and social media influence on many of the signs and overall attitude of protesters.

If politics isn’t your thing (although it should be), simply stay off social media until the election is over. Better yet, join in the political revolution and share your thoughts loudly and proudly.

Instagram took one more step in becoming Facebook

On March 15, Instagram released a statement telling its subscribers that they will be updating their newsfeed, making it non-chronological, similar to the way Facebook is set up. The way they organize the posts will depend on a variety of factors including the number of post engagements, and other social signals.

Instagram will also take into consideration the posts that you have previously liked in an attempt to find the correct images that are relevant and will interest the subscriber the most.

Instagram is evolving into Facebook. Graphic from Instagram Takipci Satin Al
Instagram is evolving into Facebook. Graphic from Instagram Takipci Satin Al

Since Instagram’s initial launch in 2010, their success has skyrocketed. They started out as, simply, an app used for teens to share the photos and socialize with each other. At the time, Facebook bought Instagram for 1 billion dollars, which in hindsight, was an incredible deal because Instagram is estimated to make 1.86 billion dollars in revenue just this year, thanks to its users constant social networking usage.

Although Instagram is attempting to update its aesthetic for the benefit of the user, there have been thousands of complaints. The users even created a petition on Change.org begging Instagram to leave the newsfeed alone. Most people complained because they didn’t want Instagram to look like Facebook, as well as the fact that Facebook is well-known for discriminating business pages’ content and their inability for users to reach posts. Instagram, on the other hand, is notorious for their chronological order and an unlimited reach of posts.

There is an argument, however, that the chronological newsfeeds are only effective when businesses post on Instagram every half hour and when their followers have very limited number of people that they follow. According to Optical Cortex data “based on 20,000+ Instagram users, average number of people they follow is 822.” This suggests that chronological order doesn’t matter anyway because the brands said users follow probably weren’t the first things they saw.

The change in newsfeed might be beneficial. If you post amazing pictures, your followers will see it even if it was posted hours ago.

“Instagram user survey indicated that 60% of Instagrammers learn about products and services on the network and 75% take action after being inspired by an Instagram post.” So all you have to do is be clever, be active, and post away!

Snoop vs. Iggy & the message being sent

Social media fights between celebrities are always amusing. I’ve been guilty of scrolling through celebrities Twitter feeds, looking for tweets that allegedly started a fight. This week, Snoop Dogg posted a photo on Instagram of a man with long blonde hair with the caption, “Iggy Azalea no makeup.” Iggy responded, accusing the rapper of sending his body guards to “ask for pictures” when they’re at the same shows.

I personally love wearing makeup. It makes me feel better and gives me a little motivation to go out and do something. However, I don’t think makeup is necessary for survival. Plenty of women don’t wear makeup on a regular basis, and that’s okay! I respect Snoop as an artist, but calling out a woman simply for not wearing makeup was incredibly out of line. The fact that both Iggy and Snoop are rappers doesn’t help the situation, either. Rappers tend to be pretty cocky and when they call each other out, there’s usually no going back.

Iggy Azalea verses Snoop Dogg! Graphic from BET
Iggy Azalea verses Snoop Dogg! Graphic from BET

Not only do I think that Snoop made a mistake by calling out a fellow rapper and possibly breaking any ties from her, he also did something that makes my angry feminist blood boil. By calling out Iggy simply for not wearing makeup, he’s setting an example to his fans that it’s okay to tell a woman what she should look like. Snoop has many young fans because he’s such a big name, so these young fans who idolize him are going to laugh at this and see the positive attention he’s getting for it and follow his example.

Snoop is by no means a role model for young kids to begin with. He’s very open about his drug use and with explicit lyrics, I wonder about the young minds who think he’s a lyrical genius even though they probably don’t know what half of the words mean. Even though he doesn’t seem to even try a little bit to be a role model, objectifying and criticizing a woman for her looks is incredibly dangerous, no matter who’s doing it. When someone criticizes a woman for her looks, a message is being sent to the audience that physical appearances are what makes a woman’s worth.

Women have been told for centuries that their looks are important and little praise has been given to women who are intelligent. I don’t know Iggy personally, so obviously I can’t speak for her intelligence, but she’s a successful woman. In the short time that she’s been on scene, she’s collected a huge fan base, won awards and has been at the top of the charts with quite a few of her songs. I believe some men are threatened by a successful woman and that’s why women get criticized for such trivial things as appearances.

This is just a small but very public example of an issue that needs to be resolved. Women are just as intelligent and can lead lives of fulfillment just as much as a man could, but we’ve been fed this lie over and over that we are somehow inferior. Little things such as Snoop’s comment about Iggy going makeup-less eventually build walls that lead up to that glass ceiling women have been trying so hard to break through. It’s time both women and men realize what we are capable of. We women could contribute a lot more to society if we have men who are willing to stand up and say that sexism and objectification of women is wrong, as our allies.

Heartbleed affects Radford

Earlier this month, a significant Open SSL security vulnerability called Heartbleed was uncovered. In response, 52 percent of RU students plan on changing their passwords. Open SSL is a free service that exchanges keys in order to encrypt website traffic. The majority of web servers implement this service. Continue reading Heartbleed affects Radford

Instagram and Picnik: The photo wars

One of the biggest pieces of news in the past few weeks was the purchase of Instagram, the photo sharing app, by Facebook who acquired the company and app for an impressive billion dollars. Something that happened beneath the radar is the closing of Google-funded Picnik, a popular web based photo-editing website. Continue reading Instagram and Picnik: The photo wars