Always read the fine print

Let’s be honest, when we order something online we never read the service agreement. Well, that impatience could end up costing you thousands. 

A woman is currently being fined $3,500 for writing a negative review about a company online. How, you say? Apparently the company included a statement in their service agreement banning any negative reviews. Let’s start by saying that if a company feels the need to ban its customers from giving negative reviews, that should serve as a red flag (that is, if you actually read the agreement). 

The whole story is on Yahoo News. Be forewarned, you will be appalled and angered. 

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Become more connected with an electronic tattoo

As if technology wasn’t already invasion enough, Google is patenting an “electronic neck tattoo.” They call it a tattoo for reasons unknown to me, because it is actually an adhesive patch, roughly the size of a postage stamp.

CNN News wrote a brief article summing up its capabilities, but it seems like a little much.

Tips everyone could use

I come across these all the time as a student, as I would guess you do. Everyone claims to have the best tips for “surviving college,” and usually there are at least a few of value. This is the first one I have actually come across where I can see myself using all of these.  

A few from BuzzFeed:

  1. Incentive studying
  1. Stronger WiFi signal
  1. Folding clothes to save space

There are many more at BuzzFeed

Write off test anxiety

A new study suggests that students can “write off” their test anxiety by simply taking 10 minutes before an exam to write down their fears about it.

NBC News cited a study where the students who took the time to write down their anxieties prior to an exam enjoyed a 5 percent increase in test scores. If you have test anxiety, it may be worth trying.

Taking offense to offense being taken

In the latest of PR stunts, a California-based sleep aid company has recently attracted a lot of attention for their billboard ad. The ad (as shown) depicts a real life couple, a military man and Muslim woman, and says “#betogether.”

There are several articles out there covering it (nationally) and most all are editorial; I can see why. The company says its goal is to evoke discussion surrounding stereotypes and misconceptions. People that are concerned by it (to put it mildly) have arguments ranging from military disrespect to it has nothing to do with snoring.

Now for my editorial: I fail to see the “disrespect” towards servicemen and women. What I see is a blatant disrespect for those with cultural difference and “non-traditional” couples. The only people I feel that are being offended by the campaign are those with closed minds.

Ragan covered the story, as did Huffington Post and others. Both cite versions of the same thing; regardless of the outlet, I would encourage reading to find out what the company has to say. Personally, I think it’s legitimate and an example of effective public relations (people are talking aren’t they? And, just read some of the comments below the stories).

You’re thoughts?

My new favorite thing about Halloween …

Latest edition of parents lying to their children about eating all of their Halloween candy. You have to watch ALL of them. 🙂

LinkedIn … to what?

LinkedInComicCan anyone offer any words words of wisdom for LinkedIn? In light of learning of its popularity, I thought it worth my time to create a profile; however, I have no idea what to do with it. 😦

What do people update their statuses with? I have read several articles, but they all focus on what the features are without really explaining how people are using them. Do you connect mainly with groups, business, professionals, friends?

If you weren’t already aware, LinkedIn now drives more web traffic than any other social media site. Despite that, I’ve heard more negative remarks from professionals than positive. “I hate endorsing people;” “I hate the incessant emails;” “I hate blah, blah, blah.”

So, I guess just take it as food for thought and decide if it is worth it … I am still wondering.

Trends in social media use

Have you “liked” this article yet? How about shared it? Social media is so pervasive, we don’t so much as blink when we see a “share,” “like” or “tweet” button available for every graphic, video or article we view.

Though it sometimes seems like it, it was not always that way. Because of the ubiquitous nature of social media today we often forget that it did not even exist just over a decade ago. In the late 90s, the idea of it was still being developed. Now, its growth continues as it strives to keep up with the growing demands of users; one of which is particularly controversial.

Because social media use is so embedded in society, its audience has become diverse and includes people from different backgrounds, ethnicities and professions; people who, therefore, have different needs for it.

However, nothing as widespread as social media comes without controversy. Arguments against social media cite that it acts as a social depressant, isolating users from reality. Over the years, time spent online has increased as users spend more time tweeting and instagramming and less time interacting in reality.

Others argue that it promotes a sedentary lifestyle. Users spend hours sitting in front of computers, tablets and smart phones while neglecting their needs for exercise and physical activity. But, where there are naysayers, there are those who advocate for social media and its advantages.

The ability to reach out to millions of people at once can promote societal changes and the spread of information. About 72 percent of adults online use social media and one third of adults under 30 receive their news from social media. The infographic below offers a representation of the types of social media being favored by users.

Stats & Facts

Of course, different people have different uses for social media. Businesses are continually hopping aboard the social media train as a cheap means of promoting their products and services. Students reach out to friends and dating communities and even find help with homework. Employers utilize it as a way to further evaluate employees and potential employees as well as to conduct research.

None of these uses are without controversy. The most significant controversy regarding social media is split between generational gaps. Millennials, in general, see social media as a tool for everything, but still value their privacy when it comes to work and personal matters.

Contrarily, older generation-y professionals see the ubiquitous nature of social media (especially among millennials entering into the workforce) as a tool to further analyze personalities and traits of potential employees.

Andrea Linafelter, a senior human and family development studies major at Colorado State University, believes in a separation between professional and personal life.

“As someone working with clients directly, I think they need to keep their profile privacy settings very strict, but their employer should not be able to use it for or against them,” Linafelter said during an interview.

As a professional in charge of hiring employees, Emily Ambrose, an employee of the Office of Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement, has a different view.

“If you put it up, it should be acceptable,” Ambrose said during an interview. “If used appropriately, it could be an advantage.”

Regardless of the controversy surrounding these issues of privacy in the midst of social media, the fact remains that graduates and others entering the workforce will encounter the question of employers having access to social media profiles.

“The first thing I do when I encounter a potential employee is ‘Google’ them,” Laura Dowling of Dowling Public Relations said. “You can tell more about them in five minutes on Facebook than in 20 minutes during an interview.”

Regardless of its popularity, a survey of more than 100 people indicated that more than 50 percent of people do not find it acceptable to request social media information from potential employees. Of that survey, professionals made up about 64 percent, with the remaining 36 percent being made up of students.

Despite what users say, statistics indicate the growth of social media as a tool in seeking employees. So, regardless of popular opinion, this is a conflict that will undoubtedly be encountered by those entering the workforce in upcoming years.

So, be ready for the question when it comes during your next interview; “Please navigate to your Facebook and Twitter pages.”

Trends in social media use

Trends in social media use

I am currently working on an article about the growth of social media and I came across this infographic online. I thought I’d share; it’s pretty interesting. Enjoy 🙂

Sorry Miley, you’re not even on my radar this Halloween

When I found out that Miley Cyrus topped the list of 2013 costume favorites, I was not just disappointed; I was horrified. Thanks to the Huffington Post, all hope is not lost. 

These are without a doubt the best costumes I’ve ever seen. I regret not finding these out sooner. Oh well, there’s always next year! 🙂