Is Social Media really social?

By RUSSELL GARVEY, JR.

There are more than 1.49 billion active users of Facebook in the world as of June 30, 2015, according to researchers at CNN.com. This figure works out to be 1 in every 13 people are on the social media giant, Facebook. Started in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook has figuratively taken over the world.

But is Social media really social? “With the rise of such websites as Facebook, social networking may be on the verge of replacing traditional personal relationships for the next generation,” stated Sara Zay of USA Today. But is it going to help that next generation socially in the future?

According to Barbara Greenberg, a clinical psychologist for CNN, “I believe social media use is fine. It becomes problematic, however, when teens are looking for balance in their lives and are texting, tweeting etc. to the exclusion of other activities like exercise, seeing their friends in person and getting out of the house.” There are many non-verbal cues and social norms people do not learn and exercise through social media.

Social media has caused problems socially since a message sent positively can be seen as neutral compared to their actual intentions and neutral messages can be taken negatively. This can cause much social confusion. Also, people can be more sexual and aggressive due to the anonymity of communicating and socializing electronically. This is seen with all the dating social sites and the epidemic of cyber-bullying.

Through a survey conducted at CCC, many students use their mobile device for a few hours a day and 90 percent of that time, it’s using social media like Facebook and Twitter. Many of the polled students have over 200 friends on Facebook and 200 followers on Twitter or Instagram and all of the students stated they did not know most of these supposed friends and followers personally.

When questioned about how much time they spent with their real friends physically, it was very little compared to their time on social media. As the survey ended, all of the students became worried about their actual Facebook usage.

A study by Facebook, Inc. found that users spend over 700 billion minutes a month on Facebook. That is roughly 1.33 million years. All this time is being spent but is it truly helping everyone to be more social?

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Facebook’s Reality

By BRITTANY KILPATRICK
Staff Writer

Over the past few years, Facebook has become an ever-present facet in our daily lives. For some, going on Facebook is just part of a daily routine. It can be all consuming and at times very distracting. As Facebook continues to become a bigger feature in our lives, it begins to be questioned. Mostly, Facebook and other social networking sites have been questioned for how they affect our communication with other people, but what is it doing to us psychologically? How is it affecting our perceptions of others and ourselves? Can Facebook be compared to reality television? How are the two similar in what they portray?

We’ve all seen it on Facebook “Can’t wait for the party tonight,” “Just got back from Jamaica,” “Breakfast with my hubby ,” and similar statuses.  With statuses like these, you may begin to think ‘I bet that person has the perfect life.’ As if words aren’t enough to jab at you, you look at pictures of the kinds of parties, events, or vacations you aren’t fortunate enough to be able to enjoy yourself. Some people are not affected by perceptions of others’ lives, but these perceptions can become a belittling cycle that brings down their self-confidence. Something as little as a relationship status can feel like a reason to criticize themselves.

The issue becomes more extreme, because of the lack of face-to-face communication in our society today. We often don’t get to know the full picture of someone’s life. We tend to only know random facts, interests, and thoughts that they post on Facebook. We are then deceived into thinking that their lives are so much more exciting, fulfilling, as well as happier than our own. You see, when you interact face-to-face, there is a chance that the person may tell you otherwise. In fact, our Facebook profiles are only an edited portrayal of our lives. 

Much like reality shows, what you see isn’t always what you get, and you tend to only see a one-sided, limited view, into someone’s life. The side shown on Facebook and reality television tends to be sunnier than real life is. You don’t see that the party was a disaster, the vacation was ruined by storms, or that the “happy” couple’s relationship is on the rocks. With this in mind, why do we torture ourselves like this?

Why does the perception of others, based on what we view on Facebook, affect some of us on such a deep level? What can we do to not bombard ourselves with the perfection or faux-perfection that is the lives of others we know? Why do we care so much? Why do we belittle ourselves based on sometimes faux-reality?

My theory is that we are both too focused on others, and/or we are determined to focus on why our lives aren’t “perfect.” We are so convinced that our lives aren’t worthy of appreciation, because they aren’t filled with constant fun, exciting, and happy events. Instead of realizing, that the bad days help us to be appreciative of the good ones, we are focused almost completely on the bad. We feel the need to have others justify to us that our lives are “perfect.” The reality is that we need to stop taking everything at “Facebook” value. Empathize the good and realize that the bad is merely a temporary wall. Sooner or later things get better and this happens by looking at the brightside with a sense of humor. We also need to know when to back away from Facebook, and truly live our lives, because being on Facebook isn’t exactly living your life. Most of all, we need to realize and remind ourselves that no one’s life is “perfect.” Perfect, is in fact, overrated and boring therefore, perfect isn’t even perfect. 

 

 

The Double Edged Sword: Technology!

By James O’Hagan

Hello, Hi, Hey, What’s up, what’s good, and Yo! Seems that these greetings are common between friends, but what happened to saying hi to perfect strangers?  Hi, I’m James and I grew up in the 80’s, which was a time when everything was a lot more laid back. We felt more at ease. Now, I was a kid then so it didn’t impact me as much as it did the adults. Kids always said hi to each other and were more willing to communicate face to face then… what choice did we have, we didn’t have cell phones, Internet, blogs, IM’s MySpace, FaceBook, or Twitter. To hang out with your friends you had to walk over to their houses, and knock on the front door, and ask their parents if they could come out.  I guess now I’m showing my age of course, but, that’s ok, it was great to be able to experience the jump in technology from how it was in the 80’s.

But, there is some down falls to our newfound communication conduits. Since the creation of cell phones, the ones we could afford, the world as Generation X knew it, changed dramatically.  From, letters to email, from phones calls to texts, has the world has gotten… lazy?  Maybe! I feel that the world has changed and one of the reasons that these changes maybe good is it makes people feel safe, because there is a barrier between them and the person they are interacting with.  But, it’s also a shame, that we can’t even lift our heads far enough to acknowledge when someone says hi to them face to face. With our noses stuck to our smart phones, we can easily type, “Yeah, I need 4 more friends for Mafia Wars”, but can’t pay attention to the people around us.

With the creation of texting, facebook, and twitter, the normal hello you may have heard years ago no longer resonate from the mouth, but, from the fingertips, and not to the person in front of them, but, someone in the next class, next city, or next country.  I personally did a quick test, sitting in our Fine Arts Buildings rest area, throwing just a simple “Hi” or “What’s up” to my fellow students that passed by, Out of them I greeted 20 students, 10 male, and 10 female. Out of the males, I was able to get a pleasant response to 7 out of 10. Now, with the females, I was only able to get 5 out of 10, but I think one student was wearing ear buds and possibly didn’t hear my greeting.  My hopes are that one day we can go back to saying hello, face to face, and not worry about if that person has a FaceBook or a Twitter account.

This addition of brand new and advanced social media focused smart phones, tablets, laptops, gaming consoles, and now even TV’s has been a curse and a blessing. On the up side it allows for new connections, learning, and, even new employment opportunities. On the down side, it has taken a new generation of youth and young adults and created an army of social media zombies. The basic practice of saying hi and talking with friends is some what watered down. Instead of friends hanging out and talking face to face, they have resorted to video chatting, while texting, and playing Call of Duty: Black Ops to fulfill their social needs. Then again maybe I’m just old school and if you are curious I do block game requests. If you see me just say hi, and then we can Facebook each other.

Vineland’s very own Bring the Music festival ’09

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By AARON RILEY

Staff Writer

The music is being brought on June 24th, 2009 at Vineland, New Jersey, courtesy of the 2nd Annual Bring the Music festival. Boasting moderately unknown bands, many from the tri-state area, infixed into the smaller and more intimate (at least relative to most venues) setting of the U-Sell Flea Market, the Bring the Music festival has been a successful new concert. Beginning in 2008, the Bring the Music festival has spotlighted lesser-known bands with strong local and online followings, many of which you wouldn’t see at Coachella or the Pitchfork Music festival.

These bands’ vital lifelines of fan support have been achieved primarily though the Internet. In the age of Myspace and Facebook, a striking portion of the problems facing local and regional bands has been thankfully eradicated, leading, for many of them, to record deals. There are still however, bands that continue to be independent, either by choice or by as of yet remaining undiscovered. With that information in mind, festivals like this are important for establishing fanbases for many unrecognized talents.

Bands performing at the festival this year are You, Me, and Everyone We Know, The Morning Of, Go Crash Audio, The Lives of Famous Men, Raccoon Fighter, Where the Ocean Meets the Sky, Losing Ground, A’s Rage, Liam and Me, Eyes on the Prize, Van Atta High, I Know the Struggle, The Crosstown Rivalry, Cheezy and the Crackers, and Cassonova Brown. Expect to see more bands perform that will be announced in the coming weeks. Last year’s Bring the Music festival was held on June 25th, 2008, and included headliners Houston Calls, Person L, and Socratic.

The Bring the Music festival is being held on June 24th, 12:00 PM Noon, at the U-Sell Flea Market, 2896 S. Delsea Dr., Vineland, N.J. 08360. The tickets cost $15 presale and $20 at the door.

What’s the tweet about Twitter

By MELISSA PILEIRO

Editor-in-Chief

A few years ago, the Internet buzzword was “Myspace.” Not long after, it seemed like every college kid in America was getting a Facebook page. Today, the website of the moment is Twitter, and it’s spreading faster than many of its competitors. The secret might be that while social networking sites like Myspace and Facebook tend to attract only young students, Twitter is intriguing just about everyone. Huge media corporations like the BBC and CNN have it, as do many popular celebrities and even politicians.

The sudden incredible popularity of Twitter has left many people on the outside asking one question: what is it, anyway? Put simply, Twitter’s purpose is to answer the simple question “what are you doing?” in 140 characters or less, about the same amount of space allowed for text messages.

Yup, that’s all there is to it.

So what’s the appeal? For most, it’s a way to keep in touch with family, friends, or colleagues without the clutter and busyness of other social networking sites. The length of individual messages, called “tweets,” is short enough for readers to get all the information they need without having to dig through photos, quizzes, and other friends.

For the media, Twitter adds an interesting new dimension to the way news is exchanged. When the Internet first started to gain momentum in the 90s, journalism was revolutionized as the day’s news no longer needed to wait for evening. Twitter is a step up from this almost-immediate gratification that news websites provide. Twitter can be used to post breaking news headlines long before a story is written.

Naysayers believe that Twitter does little more than support personal narcissism. Using the site might leave your friends wondering why you felt the need to tweet “having my morning cup of coffee” or “going to class.” However, those that use it typically have very specific reasons for tweeting, and are thankful that they can keep others informed in a quick, concise way.

You can follow The Voice on Twitter, too! Check us out at http://www.twitter.com/cccvoice. 

Facebook: friend or foe?

By   Melissa Pileiro

Editor-in-Chief

a Facebook profile is a window into your personal life

 

 

At CCC and other college campuses around the country, it’s extremely rare to enter the library or computer labs and not find someone browsing Facebook.com.

Founded in 2004 at Harvard University, the social networking site was originally open to Harvard students only, and then to the greater Ivy League. Soon it was available to all colleges, and all high schools shortly after that. Today, anyone over the age of 13 can create a Facebook, and the inclusive strategy seems to be working: the website now reports that over 175 million people are active worldwide.

What exactly is it that has people so engrossed in Facebook? For many, the website is a tool for keeping in touch with old friends, especially those from high school. The fastest growing demographic on the site is not college students as would be expected, but actually those in their 30s and up. While those from Generation Y typically use the website to update old friends on their lives, it is also extremely popular for work-related business and networking.

The role that social websites play in the current job market is a crucial one. Employers can easily run a Google search on a prospective employee, and because most users are listed under their full name, their Facebook page is usually one of the first listings to appear. With the right tools, the employer can then view details about the applicant’s educational history, past careers, and even photos.The ability to post photos and videos is a favorite feature for many Facebook users, particularly those who express an interest in photography or modeling. CCC sophomore Kristina Kanakis had been using the site for several years when she decided to promote her own photography through an on-site group. One year later, the group has over 100 members, and Kanakis is looking forward to shooting her first wedding this summer. “I’ve been taking pictures since I was old enough to hold a camera,” she said, adding that she’s thrilled to be gaining opportunities—and potential models—through the website.

Ashley Sorantino, a  CCC sophomore, uses her Facebook to network with photographers and other models like herself. Modeling off and on for the past three years has given her ample wisdom about working under different conditions, not all of them ideal. Today, Sorantino doesn’t pull punches: her profile lays out clearly what she will and will not do during a photo shoot. This usually helps to ensure that only the people that respect her wishes will contact her for work. 

Unfortunately, not everyone employs the same wisdom that Ashley does in promoting a positive self-image. It is becoming increasingly more common to hear stories on the news or radio of a college student fired from his or her workplace because of their Facebook’s content. Wild images of partying or drinking, as well as presenting the employer in a bad light, are often to blame for these terminations. Many people don’t realize that everything they do online leaves a virtual footprint of sorts, even if the profile is set to “private.” The best solution to avoid trouble is a simple one: never post anything to your Facebook page, be it images or text, that you wouldn’t want your grandmother to read. Considering the rapid growth of the website expected in the coming years, she may be doing just that.