Category Archives: Facebook

How to Ruin Somebody Else’s Life

A couple of days ago, I was brunching with friends at the P.O.P.E. when one of them brought a flyer to my attention. Depicted on it, was a guy that looked like a cast member of the Jersey Shore: slicked back hair, arrogant facial expression, and a wardrobe choice straight out of The Situation’s own closet. The picture was perched above a caption which read “Michael Calamari has violently assaulted multiple women.”

Being a kinda-sorta regular at the Barbary, where the flyer alledged that the latest assault took place, my interest perked. After I got home, I made some phone calls, ran a Google search, and then sat back, aghast at the results.

The flyer that I was introduced to three days ago has made its way seemingly onto every tree and community board all over the city. It has also been posted on numerous message boards and websites.

Though accounts vary, supposedly, Calamari was dancing with friends at the Barbary on 6/19 when he came into contact with two women.

Local blog Philebrity  posted:

“When it was all over, punches had been thrown and minor injuries were sustained; it was all over, according to everyone we spoke with, in a matter of seconds. And that was where the confusion really began. Though stories vary, all contend that Calamari, one way or the other, was at the center of this mess.”

Rumors began to swirl, fueled by the Internet mob mentality that Facebook ever so often cultivates. The only truth to this whole things is plain and clear – nobody really knows what happened.

In a day and age when we have a vast well of knowledge right at our fingertips thanks to the Internet, it’s upsetting to think that one man’s life has ultimately been broken because of this same sacred resource.

In no way am I taking sides here, but whatever happened to the whole “innocent until proven guilty” frame of mind that is so integral to our society?

It also brings up the infinite cases of Internet bullying that have been appearing in the news in droves. Stories of teen girls forming a wolf pack against one lone individual and dragging her good name through the mud via the world-wide-web.

Is this Gen Y’s form of witch-hunting? Starting one little Facebook thread or Internet rumor and potentially ruining somebody’s entire life?



How Gen Y is Changing Marketing Strategies

As we enter into a new year and businesses are still trucking through the economic woes of a slushy economy, an interesting piece of news has come to surface about the social and new media consumption of Gen Y. L2, a think tank that focuses on digital modernization, released a study that analyzed the media utilization of twenty and thirty-somethings. The studies revealed that 81% of the prosperous Gen Y audience logs onto some sort of social networking site multiple times a day. Another interesting aspect of the study was Gen Y’s affinity to “like” certain types of brands and companies on Facebook.

Over ¾ of the people polled in the study “like” a brand on Facebook.

Following a close second to Gen Y’s love of social networking sites is their attraction to blogs.

“If baby boomers are the TV generation, then Gen Y is the blog generation,” the study reported.

The great thing about blogs is that they give their audience the chance to interact with the creator of the blog. It is not just a one way street where readers simply scan over the opinions of one person. They have the authority now to share their own opinions and critiques and create a discussion on various topics.

What is the lesson businesses can learn from this? Instead of investing millions of dollars in television and print ads, start turning your attention to more interactive platforms for your brand. Develop a Facebook page where potential customers can opt to “like” your brand. If you do want to include a video advertisement, post something on Youtube. This still allows people to interact with your message and has the old school allure of a regular television ad.

Gen Y is changing the way products are being marketed in today’s high tech world. What do you think marketing agencies should do differently to draw more potential customers?

How Facebook saved the planet

I’m going to be honest with you guys. I didn’t vote on November 2nd. I didn’t know who was running and frankly, I didn’t care. I don’t even know what mid-term elections for Congress even are.

I wasn’t alone however in my choice to not vote. Only 9% of eligible Gen Y voters decided to vote. Why was there such a low turn out compared to the 2008 Obama presidential election? I think it’s because politics have gotten ugly.

There is no bigger turn-off for Gen Yers than conflict.   My generation might as well be called “Generation Labrador.” We are the idealistic, bleeding heart-ed, tail waggers of America’s history. We want nothing more than to text all of our 754 Facebook friends throughout the day. We love our parents, ride our bikes to our non profit jobs, eat organically, and buy handmade items off of Etsy and Ebay. We’re not exactly hippies, but we’re pretty close to it.

The angry political debates of 2010 don’t really matter to me. Why the ambivalence? Well, for one thing, I hate yelling. I also hate the combative nature those both parties have brought to the table.

Two years ago, the Obama administration promised us hope. It promised something new and shiny and bright and it used social media and snappy art to deliver that promise to my generation. As much as I still support Obama, he’s just not pulling his weight any more and that hope has lost its luster.

 I don’t think we need politicians to change the world. I don’t want to vote because I don’t like the people I’m voting for. I would rather just do it myself. Gen Y is changing the world through its own individual actions. We’re promoting sustainability through non profits, buying from small mom and pop stores, wearing vintage clothing, biking to work, and supporting our local city co-ops. The Internet has opened a ton of doors for us that have led to philanthropy and one-man virtual businesses.

We don’t need to vote in order to change the world anymore. Facebook can just do it for us.

Social Media and TMI

This evening, while eating dinner and cyber-stalking my “friends” on Facebook, I came across the following status updates:

“My cat just pissed in my shoes.”

“My boyfriend just dumped me 😦 ”

“I have gas.”

Now, sharing interesting tidbits via social media is all well and good, but lately, both Facebook and Twitter have become minefields of ridiculous oversharers. It’s as if the world cannot deal with anything going on in their lives until they’ve reached for their phones and texted or tweeted about it.

It can be wonderful to have hundreds of virtual and real life friends flock to your aid in a matter of minutes. But what if this immediate rescue response prevents us from being able to save ourselves from emotional conflict? What if we stop being able to talk ourselves off of the bridge?

Awhile ago, I dropped my phone in the toilet. Unable to constantly check Facebook or tweet about my where-abouts or text my friends, I went a little crazy and locked myself in the apartment with my computer. Sitting in my bedroom infront of the monitor, I was able to stay connected to the world, but since I didn’t have the on-the-go luxury of my phone, I could not participate in it. Without the instant updates on friends, news, etc, I felt lost, even if it was just for the four days I waited to receive a new phone.

Have we forgotten what it’s like to just be quiet? There’s this constant stream of communication going on all of the time and most of it I feel is just white noise. I mean, does anybody seriously care  that my dog is constipated? No.

And when does the line between your social media life and your real life begin to blur? There is this talk about “self branding,” creating a distinct, marketable image of yourself on the Internet for employers to find. But how much of your Internet self is real? Or is it just false campaigning and advertisement?

We have to be careful about losing ourselves in this world of new technology and social media. We have to remember that face-to-face interaction is way better than texting and the real world, the world outside of your home, is much more interesting than reading about somebody else’s life through their blog. We also have to be concerned about our privacy. When does sharing become too much sharing? At what point do we stop and hold information back? What part of ourselves truly only belongs to us anymore?

Thou Shall Not Twitter at Work

A new study shows that 60% of employers think it is acceptable to check up on their employees Facebook activity. This is because they do not want their employees to accidentally tarnish the company’s reputation by posting something irresponsible on their page.  53% of employees, say however, that their online media sites are none of their bosses concern. This attitude is even more prevalent in young workers, ages 18-34. 63% of them say that their personal sites should not be of company interest.