I deleted all my Instagram photos last year. I can’t seem to remember why. My Instagram page is blank for now and I know I should probably post something on there soon.
With social media, engaging with your audience is essential especially when you are a business or organization who is aiming to promote a brand.
To Write Love on Her Arms , is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to helping those who struggle with mental illnesses. Their Instagram is a clear example of how social media is an effective outlet to promoting brands. Their content is a variety of inspirational quotes, advertisements for their products, and fun videos. It’s colorful, there is consistency, and it is engaging. I could scroll for minutes and not get tired because each row of photos is something different. I also appreciated how some of their photos were of their customers using their products. That right there is engagement.
WorldHelp is another nonprofit organization whose mission to help those in poverty. Their Instagram page is filled with portraits of children with captions of their life story. It was emotionally appealing and effective. I saw pictures of children who needed help, read their stories and the thought to myself, this is powerful. Their target audiences would be potential donors and volunteers who could help support their organization and by focusing their stories on the communities they were dedicated to helping, was a great way to promote their brand.
I am taking a social media class this semester and I am currently working on a social media analysis project for a non-profit organization in Omaha called Completely Kids. I’m glad that I’ve learned a few ways to further develop the project I am working on. Through TWLOHA, I’ve discovered that it doesn’t always need to be informational. A little bit of entertainment and fun shouldn’t hurt. WorldHelp’s posts gave me great ideas of how to project a powerful message that would resonate with our target audience and promote a brand.
Now that I think about it, I feel like this is something that should not only apply to social media accounts for businesses or organizations. Imagine if other people used social media this way. Maybe social media would be more social and there would be less “noise.”
I always thought I knew what I wanted and who I wanted to be in the future. After struggling to answer Daniel Pink’s question, “What is your sentence?”, I realized how untrue that was. Finding the right answer was a challenge.
My journey to the Midwest and my time spent at Creighton University has been life-changing. I became a part of a place that knew very little about my home. Initially, I felt isolated and too different but I later came to appreciate this unique quality. I learned to teach people about my island, adapt to the new culture and environment, and appreciate the fact that I brought diversity to my community.
I came to college as a Political Science major with ambitions to go to law school. Today, I am a Journalism major with dreams to write stories about great things and be a voice for others. I was told to focus only on earning good grades because law school wouldn’t be easy. Today, I’ve chosen to work two jobs and take part in a few student organizations. I’ve taken a lot of risks since I’ve been here at Creighton. Risks that have taught me a lot and that have pulled me out of the confinements of my comfort zone. I’ve realized that for a long time I was setting goals based on expectations that kept me from exploring my potential. I’ve decided to change all that.
I see every day as an opportunity to learn more and improve myself. I’ve been inspired and motivated by amazing people who have become a part of my life. Technology and social media are also a part of the many things that keep me going. Social media has kept me connected with family and friends, but I’ve realized that it has done more than just keep me in the loop. I complain a lot about technology and social media as a distraction and often forget that they have been the portal to a different world, a sweet escape. As I venture through my newsfeed or Snapchat stories, I become lost in the different things that entertain me. I’ve come to appreciate social media more and see it as more than just a distraction. I’ve learned that not all things we enjoy are bad and to think with an open mind.
I always tell myself that I shouldn’t expect anything to be easy. I know that I am a determined person and that I accept the challenges I encounter. I’m not a confident person, but I’m hoping to become one. Overall, I am still in the process of discovering who I am and learning the things I am capable of. I hope to accomplish a lot, learn every day and achieve my goals. I don’t expect it to be easy, but I am determined to overcome challenges.
So then, what is my sentence?
She believed that every challenge brought great opportunities to discover more about herself.
My Facebook newsfeed is one of color, words, and updates. As I scroll through it, I become informed and I learn. To the top right corner are birthday reminders–some of strangers and others of people I know very well. I am thankful for this section of my feed. Sometimes I wonder whether the typical “I didn’t know” or “You didn’t text or call me” excuse is still effective nowadays. If you have social media, you’re kind of expected to know. My aunt posts her kids’ birthday invitations on social media and easily assumes that all her friends would show up. Sometimes it works, and most of the time a whole bunch of her friends never get the invitation.
I am a big fan of social media, or maybe I just use it way too often. I don’t necessarily like it, but it has grown to become an outlet to most of my connections. I can’t imagine a life without social media–without being conveniently connected. I have Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and now a Twitter account. I use them a lot, mostly to stay connected with family and friends.
Facebook, being my first social media account ever is what I use the most. Like many others, I’ve deactivated this account a few times in the hopes that this would help me gain better time management skills. Unfortunately, this never lasted and I would always retrieve to staring into screens for 20 to 30 minutes. I felt that the convenient updates and the many connections that I’ve already established were of greater importance to me. I still continue to use Facebook mainly to message friends and family. I’ve stopped using Instagram simply because I’m not quite photogenic but I visit it every once in a while. I’ve just started using Snapchat and I have very little experience with Twitter.
Overall, I love the great potential of making new connections, staying updated, and maintaining friendships that social media has to offer. I love the opportunity to be a part of conversations and to share your opinions about issues you are passionate about.
Although I enjoy the positive qualities social media has to offer, it does have a few downfalls that I am not quite fond of. The potential to share and create information with social media is always available which can be detrimental to others users. Somedays my Facebook newsfeed can be the most informational or amusing site to visit. Other times, it turns into a personal diary filled with rants about their bad day or an inappropriate status or photo. I do have the option of blocking these people to avoid seeing these posts, but then would that ensure that I won’t see them again?
I hope that over time I learn how to expand my use of social media. I hope that it becomes more than just a tool for communication, but rather something I can later use to help me find a career or build networks.
I also hope that at some point I learn to lower the amount of time spent on my phone and on social media. Keeping in touch with family and friends are great, but it takes up valuable time as well. Recently, I became fond of adult coloring books. I’m praying that this will help me keep off the screens at some point.
“Hi, I’m a Political Science major on the Pre-Law Track.” Upon coming to Creighton, I introduced myself and included this one line to everyone I met. I reminded myself that I was a Poli Sci major. After taking a Political Science course I was intrigued at the material we covered, but I decided it wasn’t something I wanted to invest my whole college career into. I signed up for my first Journalism class this semester and I surely enjoyed the course, what we learned, and my professor.
Through my JRM 215 class at Creighton, I learned the different types of Journalism careers. From Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel’s book Blur, I learned how to determine the credibility of information that is conveniently offered in this modern world. Amongst everything I’ve learned, my biggest takeaway would be learning about the risks and requirements that accompany
the job of Journalism. I found the reading about Diana Sugg most compelling. It was through this reading that I was able to have a broader vision about a Journalism career. This job that required having to endure a lot of difficulties by being placed on the front lines of the issues you want to write about. Most importantly, it required a lot of passion. To simply write stories, which was the way I initially perceived it, wasn’t the full picture of Journalism and I realized that after reading Diana Sugg’s story. This was my biggest takeaway from this class and the reading that I enjoyed the most.
The class involved a lot of class discussion and videos that related a lot to the material we were learning. I appreciate how our Professor took the effort to present videos during class, which kept me attentive and most of all, the visual aid definitely helped me better understand what we were learning. This class is short and is only 50 minutes long, but our professor was always willing to listen to every student who had their hand up and wanted to contribute to the discussion. I appreciated that a lot too. However, I wish there was a lot more group discussion among our members and that way students would have been able to better interact with each other. I would definitely recommend that for future classes. Moreover, if any student is looking to learn more about the work of a Journalism then I highly suggest that they read Diana Sugg’s piece.
Creighton’s Information Concepts 215 is a great way to jump start your path towards a Journalism career. You’d not only enjoy what goes on in this class, you learn a lot. After taking this class, I finally declared a major in Journalism. Thank you, JRM 215 for an amazing Spring semester. Thank you, Professor Zuegner for making this course an enjoyable one! I am more than excited to continue my college career with this major.
“Hi, I’m a Journalism major on the Pre-Law track.”
Have you ever thought of a camera as a time machine or this printer of truth? Have you ever thought of pictures as this world of frozen time or this document of the printed truth? If a camera has the power to produce such powerful photographs, how much more will a passionate photojournalist be able to boost that capacity when put in charge of these devices? With photojournalism, we can see, read, and learn the story. As much as it gives the public a lot, it requires tremendous work as well.
For one of my English classes, my professor assigned us to read a book written by a well-known photojournalist, Lynsey Addario. One of the class discussions we had involved picking a picture from the book that resonated with us and then answering a few questions on a sheet that my professor passed out. I picked a picture that was taken a few feet away from a group of male protesters marching with guns. One of the questions asked, “Who took the picture?” At first, I thought this was some kind of trick question. A photojournalist authored the book, so obviously she would’ve taken it. I wrote “Lynsey Addario” at first and then crossed it out, studied the picture again, wrote “photojournalist”, studied it a third time, and then finally wrote, “local observer”. I turned out to be wrong and the photo was taken by Addario herself. It was difficult to imagine a journalist with a camera randomly snapping a picture of the war zone and chaos, and it was even harder to picture wanting to ever be in that type of environment. It is this type of courage and passion that is instilled in photojournalists like Lynsey Addario or James Foley that move them to do their jobs.
Modern technology presents us with this open end of opportunities to capturing photos and publishing a story. In a society like today where cameras are conveniently available to everyone, the field of photojournalism may tend to lose its genuine purpose. When you’ve been into photojournalism for quite awhile, like Donald Winslow, you easily recognize this change. In an interview published by the New York Times, Winslow emphasizes his concern of how photojournalism has evolved into a devalued profession and how companies are drawn to photographs that are most affordable, while employees/photojournalists want a job that can pay their bills. Winslow sees photojournalism as this prestigious occupation that involves being present in the moment, capturing the event and writing about it with passion and hard work. Today, he sees photojournalism slowly losing its significance. He may be right however, I do think photojournalism still has a chance of flourishing, despite the convenience of modern technology and how media businesses tend to search for sources. It really depends on how we choose to define photojournalism.
If there’s one thing I learned from the many social media accounts I have is that you have the freedom to share, write, and post anything. You can simply snap a picture of the golden sunset or the emotive image of the hungry children in Africa and write about it in a Facebook post or blog. Is this photojournalism? In some way it actually is. With modern technology and the goal of news businesses, photojournalism may shift from what was once a sought-after profession to a form of self-expression. However, the purpose of publishing stories and pictures and the intent of its authors are what create the difference in photojournalism. I would snap a picture with a random person at a homeless shelter and post about how I spent my weekend volunteering to helping the disadvantaged people of Omaha. I’d upload it to Facebook and share it with my friends because my goal would be for others to know how morally engaged I am with my community. For photojournalists, snapping a photo and writing a story is different. The photo doesn’t simply capture what looks pretty and the stories aren’t mere captions that exaggerate the event. Photojournalists have that instilled courage to be caught within the chaos and actually suffer with the people who experience it, along with that passion of writing their stories with the genuine purpose of connecting them with the rest of the world. This is what makes photojournalism unique.
It really depends on whether you’re taking on the job to pay your bills or save your company money, or writing as a photojournalist who wants to give the world both that visual representation and the stories of what is happening in the places that people don’t have the courage to visit. Today, news sites wrestle with issues of credibility and unreliable sources. We need photojournalism more than ever and people like James Foley or Lynsey Addario who have the dedication to personally experience the reality of events and teach the world about it. Photos project the raw truth. The stories that accompany these photos caption the vivid details and the rest of the entire 360° that the dimensions of a photo alone can’t capture or describe. Photojournalists have the capacity of weaving both devices into something more powerful. Photojournalism isn’t easy, so why should we expect it to be affordable?
“Get Kellogg’s cereal only.” My father’s stern voice still echoes in my head as I remember the things he would tell me before I get out the door and leave to the grocery store. This one time, I bought a bottle of soy sauce, but this time it wasn’t the usual brand that my family was fond of. This time, it was a Japanese made brand and not the regular Kikkoman soy sauce. I could’ve gotten the usual brand, but that would’ve meant driving all the way across town to the one store that sold this brand. I should’ve done that instead to save myself from the dreadful scolding I endured afterward. I mean, it’s still soy sauce right? The only difference is the name on the label.
As a consumer, the common trend of choosing products according to specific brands is one that resonates with me a lot. I was taught to choose quality over price or quantity. I’m a very thrifty person and would rather do the opposite, but from that, I’ve learned that nothing good comes cheap, except when it’s on sale. HZDG’s very own CCO, Karen Zuckerman, explains that “When we look at a product with great packaging–the type, the imagery–it tells us whether what we’re buying is luxurious, healthy, good for the planet…” It’s hard to believe that sometimes a simple label or sticker of a familiar brand can convince us to purchase a product. If we don’t trust the brand, we won’t invest in it, thus marketers would only invest more time into creating quality in their products which could mean creating annoying ads that fill your screen.
Gideon Amichay, explains that the more marketers tend to advertise their products, “…the more consumers will use more blocking power in return.” This is very relevant to our world today. I personally don’t want random pop-ups invading my screen while I’m surfing the web. It’s such a nuisance. Fortunately, we can close these ads and marketers would have to re-direct their advertisements elsewhere or create better ones.
The interaction between effective communication, marketing and consumers are all categorized under public relations. It focuses more on promoting reputations and attracting consumers. In a 2014 Academic Summit, Richard Edelman explains that the skills to succeeding in the field of public relations are simple. It involves being open to new ideas, knowing the related principles of public relations and encouraging a diverse range of talents to take part in this field. In the arena of public relations, “communications marketing” is strongly emphasized. It is about building trust with consumers and not being solely focused on making a profit. It is about creating lasting messages that will further build a good reputation for marketers. Edelman stresses how marketers and annoying advertisements can be improved and trusted.
As I plan to declare a major in Journalism, I am still stuck on what particular track to focus on. I considered selecting Public Relations, but after reading Edelman’s speech and doing a bit research on this field, I’ve come to realize how entirely different it is from what I initially thought. I thought public relations dealt with worldly issues such as writing about drastic issues taking place in the Middle East. I thought it meant reporting on relevant public issues. These were the things I expected from the public relations field. I guess I was wrong. Public relations is no doubt an interesting field to study, but it’s not quite what I want to focus on. So, I might just consider the News Track of Journalism.
How far do you go to get enough information for your story? It was as if I could almost feel what The Baltimore Sun reporter, Diana Sugg felt as she poured out her story about the sweet young boy R.J. Voigt. As I read through her article, “Angels and Ghosts: Anatomy of a Story”, I asked myself, how did she do it? As she sat there, watched and wrote about this dying boy, how did she manage to fight off the feeling of being a predator prying into R.J’s life? It was because she could see something in R.J’s life that other people couldn’t.
Do you know how people would typically ask, “Do you want to hear the good news or the bad news first?” When asked that, I usually opt for the good news first, and then brace myself for the worst. For some unknown reason, I didn’t do that for this assignment. It’s a bit crazy to relate that analogy to reading this article. I clicked on the link that led to the Baltimore series of R.J.’s story. I skimmed through the pictures that were taken by the photographer, Monica Lopossay and it was emotionally overwhelming to look at R.J’s swollen face or the pictures of his worried mom sitting beneath the statue of Jesus. I decided that I wasn’t going to read that version and closed the tab.
The image of R.J.’s picture flashed in my head as I read what I hoped would’ve been the easier version, Sugg’s anatomy of the story. “When R.J. cried out for someone to hold his hand during a medical procedure, and I was the only person who could help, I thought for just a second before dropping my notebook and pen.” I could only feel even more overwhelmed as I imagined the whole scene. My thoughts echoed, “How could she? He needed help!” But then I realized how honest Sugg was being throughout her article. She was being a journalist.
As I read, I often wondered whether Diana Sugg ever cared more for R.J or for the story she was writing. I couldn’t picture myself writing the same story about R.J without reaching this level of sadness and pity that would drive me to give up on everything. Mixed emotions are what I felt as I read. At one point, I can picture myself in the same room, watching R.J. lie there in pain. My face warms up when my eyes swell with tears because that scene reminds me of my mom. I feel the goosebumps trek down my skin when she mentions R.J. seeing angels. Everything that Sugg mentions about R.J. is so emotionally overwhelming, but yet she was able to get it out on paper and I admire her for that. At least most of it, since some of it were “more powerful than my flimsy words could ever capture,” Sugg says.
When I read about R.J., all I could see was a story that made me pity this young boy so much. Diana Sugg saw something different. She saw a boy suffering who had a story to be told. Like all other dying children with cancer, Diana Sugg understood that these people aren’t ordinary kids. They deserved more than just pity. I admire Sugg for her courage and strength to cross limits in order to write a story that will touch the hearts of others. When I see a crowd of annoying reporters chasing down celebrities, I get easily irritated. “To get a story and tell the world about these people. Invade their personal lives.” I’d often find myself saying these types of things. Diana Sugg’s work is a symbol of a journalist’s genuine purpose. I’m very grateful for her work.
My last thought hit me as I finished reading Sugg’s article. I love writing, but I don’t think I have the drive or the capacity to cross the same limits that reporters are usually called to do. I want to write stories too, stories about my people and my home. As an undeclared major, I’m still exploring my potential. “The best policy is to follow your heart.” That is what Sugg would say.
From writing on cave walls to paper, and from paper to an epic digital screen, our means of obtaining information has definitely changed over time. Our generation has been blessed with such convenience of learning. The spread and access of news is remarkably convenient that we tend to overlook the credibility of what we hear and see. Where is all this news coming from? If it’s broadcasted by CNN or published in The Wall Street Journal then we should believe it. Or at least, that is what some would think. With so many news networks broadcasting all types of news, the real question should be, “What is true?”
In my opinion, the most dynamic transformation of news media is how television and cable mutated into digital technology and the internet. This was definitely a major change in news media that altered a lot in our world. It was a jump from news confinement to news freedom.
With television, people were confined to whatever was being broadcasted. If you wanted to learn what was going on in China, you had to wait for reporters to broadcast it. If you did not like a reporter’s stance, you were forced to listen to them as they taught you what was going on in the political realm. Television gave you only a few options: turn off the TV, watch and endure the biases of a reporter, or change the channel to something you don’t want to watch. However, TV has also modernized into broadcasting the news from several news networks. Although some things have changed, television continues to hold some power over their audience by limiting them to what they learned. You either watch it and learn, or don’t.
While TV had limited options, the internet held unlimited options. The Pew Research Center found that at least 67 percent of Americans use social media as their news source. If I were to choose between sitting in front of the TV, reading a newspaper, or surfing the Internet, I would definitely choose the Internet. Not only is it convenient, but mostly because I have several options and sources to browse through. If it weren’t for the invention of the Internet, people would be living in a world that depended almost entirely on the work of journalists and reporters for news updates. With the internet, we are free to do our own research. We are free to choose whatever we want to believe in and how to get information.
I enjoy the freedom of being able to choose my news and I’m sure the vast majority of news consumers feel the same way. But then again, that destroys the genuine purpose of journalism. Journalism involves extensive background checks of information. If we choose what we want to know, that would mean abandoning truth and accuracy for convenience and what satisfies and aligns with our personal opinions. At the same time, we can stumble upon credible sources that actually defend what we believe in.
Today, television and the internet are big rivals. When I watch a reporter giving the latest updates of the weather forecast, I often ask myself, “What is the point?” I could simply type in “weather forecast” into my search engine and the exact same information would come up. We are coming to a point where the job of a reporter is being lost to the ultimate Web. Will that be a good thing? Perhaps not.
I met my grandmother through Facebook. I met my mom’s sister through Facebook. It was through Facebook that I also met my half sister who I did not know about. After my mom passed away, I decided to go on a digital journey around the world in search of her relatives. She never spoke of her family and lost contact with them long after she moved to Micronesia.
When I began this undemanding journey, all I needed was a laptop, Internet connection, a Facebook account and a name to search. Luckily, I had all of them. I was 14 years old at the time and I pretty much assumed that everyone had an FB account. With the pressing of buttons and scrolling through names, I found my long lost relatives. A few days later we were video chatting and getting to know the family–all through the lens of a computer screen. I was grateful to have found them, but little did I know that our relationship was nonetheless, superficial. We kept in contact every other week and eventually that all faded to once a month to almost twice each year.
When people ask me if I’ve ever met my Filipino relatives, I contemplate on what the right answer should be. I know them, that’s for sure. But, did a few messages and an hour conversation through Skype count as meeting them? I wasn’t sure.
I have 2,402 Facebook friends, 354 Instagram followers, and 2 Snapchat friends (still learning how to use Snapchat). Do I know all of them? Of course not. The friends I know through these social media sites are merely zeros and ones that increase the number of friends I have. I may know only some of them in reality and I have yet to get to know the rest. The opportunity to start a conversation with a friend is always present through social media. However, I feel like these conversations are more controlled compared to the actual real life kind.
It’s easy to craft a great message through Facebook messenger. I like how we have the time to actually “think before we speak.” If I were at a table with someone I’ve never met, I would probably be the most awkward person they’ve ever met. I’m not too good at face to face conversations. I like to rehearse what I would say in front of a mirror and through a chat box I don’t have to do that. On the other hand, the strangers I end up talking to always seem to misinterpret my messages. You see, the acronyms “LOL” or the phrase “hahaha” are words I’ve grown so used to typing in all my conversations. I don’t laugh like “hahaha” and I don’t laugh out loud. I’ve received countless replies of “What is so funny?”, and then the conversation usually ends there.
We are given so many opportunities to build new relationships, maintain others, and stay connected with the use of social media. But we are deprived of the reality that is meant to come with the package of these relationships. We know the person by the name of their profile. We have open conversations through a chat box. Our facial expressions are transformed into emojis. Our gestures are nothing but the typing of words.
Our world today has now chosen to take that digital journey towards forming relationships. Is that a good thing? I enjoy being conveniently connected to the people I love. It is how I’ve maintained my friendships. For the most part, social media has given me so much, so I guess I will continue on this tranquil digital journey across the world. I have to.
I bet that common ringtone of an incoming message is so familiar that it is echoing in your head right now. You’re either thinking about the sound of this ringtone or you’re expecting it to ring in the next few minutes. Sometimes or at least most of the time that sharp “Ding!” or “Bloop!” (depending on your phone settings) is all we find ourselves waiting for. If not waiting, we are creating this sound in further distances.
With high-speed internet connecting us 24/7, we are extremely up to date with everything. I remember how I would have to buy a prepaid card and then connect to a wifi network that required me to literally “chase” its signal. At the time, Pohnpei was still living in the era of modems and prepaid wifi connections. I hated it. When the fiber optic cable was introduced, to have broadband Internet was a must. The whole island craved it. But then, the FSM is still in the process of marrying the Internet—we are still getting to know it thoroughly. There was still one thing we lacked. And that was mobilized high-speed internet. Mobile phones or laptops needed to have access to a wifi network. High-speed internet is only available at home or a hotspot, not everywhere you go which to me is a good thing.
Being here at Creighton or the U.S.A, I feel like the most up to date person ever. I have people back home messaging me not to know how I’m doing but instead, they ask to be sent a list of the most recent songs played out here. I receive a text message every time a comment or post is made on any of my social media blogs. Both my phone and computer notify me the instant a new email is received. I receive reminders of tuition bills, an email from a group I don’t remember signing up for, or an email notifying me that an assignment was graded.
No one enjoys being nagged by the ultimate “Ding!”. But to me, that is entirely dependent on my mood and what I am doing when an incoming message is received. When I feel awkward in the middle of a huge crowd or standing in line at the cafeteria, I reach for my phone and read the unread emails. When I am watching my guilty pleasure show on Netflix and that “Ding!” sounds, I instantly swipe my phone and set it on silent.
Before I leave my dorm, I reach into my pocket and make sure a rectangular surface is present. Second, I check my other pocket to see if I have the keys to the door. Who knows I might run into that awkward situation and have nothing else to do but read an unread email or reply to a message. Anything to make me look like I’m a very busy person because of course, everyone else will be.
I’m thankful for my Samsung phone for being with me all the time. I’m thankful for my MacBook for keeping me updated with the news of my inbox even when I don’t ask for it. Thank you for all that you’ve done, but I think it is time I change your settings up a bit. Now, I’d like to start receiving emails, notifications, and instant messages only when asked.