The Horrors Of Social Media

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By: Madison Ellis McQueen

In the past few years, social media activity has been steadily, even sometimes drastically, climbing higher and higher. According to Smartinsights.com, the number of people using social media across the world is above 7 billion and the growth rate is estimated to be at 10% to 17% since January of 2015. So it only makes sense that Hollywood would want to cash in on people’s growing interest in social media and the Internet in general, right?

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I’m here to say no; at least not with their tendencies for the magical that they have shown with the last social media horror Unfriended and an upcoming one, Friend Request. If Hollywood were to carefully create more realistic horror films about the consequences of naively using social media, not only would they be terrifying in their own way, it could help educate people about what and what not to put online for everyone to see. There have been a few realistic social media horrors in the past, but they were largely unsuccessful because of either horribly poor camera work or a repetitive, uninteresting plot.

I am not overtly objecting to the supernatural role in existing movies; sometimes it is needed. Some supernatural is good every once in a while to shake things up, breathe life into a stagnant concept.

But social media in general is only about two decades old and it’s just started to pick up a massive amount of steam with its 7 billion users, meaning these gripping thrillers should not, as of late, be relying almost entirely on the premise of the magical unknown just yet.

 

Citations

“Film4 FrightFest 2013 Review – Antisocial (2013).” Flickering Myth. N.p., 28 Aug. 2013. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

“Global Social Media Statistics Summary 2016.” Smart Insights. N.p., 16 Feb. 2016. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

“The History of Social Media.” History Cooperative – A Short History of Nearly Everything! N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

“Hootsuite’s Great Halloween Ads Try to Calm Your Fears About Social Media.” AdWeek. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

MovieclipsTRAILERS. “Friend Request Official International Trailer #1 (2016) – Alycia Debnam-Carey Thriller HD.” YouTube. YouTube, 11 Mar. 2016. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

MTV. “Unfriended | Official Trailer | MTV.” YouTube. YouTube, 12 Jan. 2015. Web. 24 Apr. 2016.

 

Should The CIA Use Social Media?

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By: Madison Ellis McQueen

For about the last decade America’s Central Intelligence Agency has taken to social media to determine potential terrorist action. This in and of itself is not a bad thing. God knows that some people in this world could be potentially dumb enough to announce their terrorist plots to their followers on social media, but there are also people who occasionally post an unwise comment every now and again for a laugh. It’s when obvious jokes are taken too seriously that this surveillance of social media goes too far.

Recently, the CIA has begun to invest in various companies that would help the organization to collect information from social media across all platforms. Now, at a glance, this funded data collection seems like a horrible idea. Everyone has heard stories of tourists coming to America and being mistaken for terrorists.

One of the most notable cases occurred back in January of 2012 when a couple of English friends flying in for a holiday of partying were promptly escorted into a holding room when they landed at the Los Angeles International Airport. A short time prior to entering the U.S., Leigh Van Bryan had made two posts on Twitter saying: “Free this week for a quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America?” and, “3 weeks today, we’re totally in LA pissing people off on Hollywood Blvd and diggin’ Marilyn Monroe up!”

While these tweets are surely unwise to post shortly before entering a country that has detained foreigners before for similar posts, the CIA did not do their research before detaining this man and his friend for roughly 72 hours. In England “destroy” is slang for partying and the digging up Marilyn Monroe comment was purely sarcastic as they would have seen if they had read any of his other posts at the time. Even if authorities still believed these two were terrorists after conducting thorough background searches, a few hours of interrogation would have shown they were simply tourists. Holding them for 72 hours is a little much for a few stupid tweets.

I don’t think the CIA should use social media to spot terrorists and do not see this investment paying off. The CIA would need to sift through the information more carefully to avoid any more instances of wrongful detainment if they keep at this idea of using social media against its users. If the CIA stepped up its game and set more guidelines for what could be considered suspicious behavior and employed more people to work alongside the tech gathering the information, maybe this could be a good thing.

 

Citations

“British Tourists’ Tweets Get Them Detained Upon Landing in Los Angeles.” NewsFeed British Tourists Tweets Get Them Denied Entry to the US Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2016.

“CIA Tech Firm Seeks More Social Media Spying.” US News. U.S.News & World Report, n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2016.

“Photo Credit.” N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2016.

“The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist.” The Intercept. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2016.

Parenting Social Media

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By: Madison Ellis McQueen

Social media has always been a gray area for parents when it comes to protecting their children. Some parents choose to let their child live their life, hoping social media will allow them a glimpse of what the real world is like; rife with negativity. Yet more and more parents are choosing to take an overly extreme stand against social media as a whole in order to protect them.

This last Saturday (4/9/16) a southern mother confiscated all three of her teenagers’ phones and set them upright in a perfect line on a stump. She proceeded to discharge her double-barrel shotgun twice at the ever-offending phones. In a Youtube video, the mother yells her reasons for the onslaught at her children who watch the episode with feigned indifference. She claimed she was “[taking] back [her] role as a parent.” I suppose publicly shaming your children constitutes as cementing your role as a good, understanding parent.

And what about the father in North Carolina who took to Facebook to post a video of him shooting his daughter’s laptop with his .45 after an unsavory post about him on her Facebook wall back in February of 2012? He said that he had spent the day before making the video beefing up her laptop with new software and security that had cost him roughly $130. He could have just taken the laptop and locked it away until his daughter had served her time in the doghouse and paid him back for the software and the time he took to fix it.

It seems that parents nowadays feel that, unless they publicly shame their children and destroy all mediums to the online world, they cannot fully control their children’s actions. Using more non-violent means can get the overall intended job done just as well as blowing holes in pricey electronics without the public shame that invariably comes with it. While forcefully removing children from social media and humiliating them does enable parents to control bad behavior more easily, it may cause youths to draw farther away from parental authority than to bend to it.

 

 

Citations

Dailymail.com, Anneta Konstantinides For. “‘I Hereby Denounce the Effects Social Media Have on My Children’: Hilarious Moment Southern Mom SHOOTS Her ‘disobedient’ Children’s IPhones to Smithereens…then Pounds Them with a Sledgehammer to Finish the Job .” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 09 Apr. 2016. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7jTFnkKXQQO9X1RAW8XoIA. “Southern Mother Shoots Then Sledgehammers Children’s Phone.” YouTube. YouTube, 09 Apr. 2016. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.

“Man Shoots Daughter’s Laptop.” Youtube. N.p., n.d. Web.

“Mom Shoots up Kids’ IPhone and Sledgehammers It, Blames Social Media.” CNET. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.

“Police Visit Facebook Dad Who Shot Daughter’s Laptop.” CNET. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.

 

Some Social Media is Paper Thin

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By Madison McQueen

 

The Chinese have always invented creative ideas to showcase their women’s figures. Last November they adapted the belly button challenge into the breast grabbing challenge in which women would wrap their arms behind their backs in an attempt to reach for the side of their breast. Only a few participants could accomplish the ultimate goal, which is to hold the tip of the breast. This is believed to prove how athletic and shapely the participants are.Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 12.46.22 PM

The newest Chinese social media trend to sweep the country’s youths and enrage onlookers in the #A4WaistChallenge. For this challenge women are pressured to hold a size A4 piece of paper (average letter size) vertically to their waists. The goal is for the women’s waists to be smaller or the same size as the paper they hold against them. If they succeed they are happy to call themselves “paper thin.”Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 12.42.23 PM

The troubling aspect of this social trend is that many of the participants believe women’s waists should be this small and some even call it healthy.

Many foreigners condemn the challenge as unrealistic and unhealthy fitness goals for women. They have taken to Twitter to parody and shame the challenge with pictures of A4 sized paper held to their waists horizontally or, in one case, sarcastically hold an open newspaper in front of them.Screen Shot 2016-03-27 at 12.29.06 PM

Unfortunately, as with the breast grabbing challenge, the harsh criticisms of health and sarcastic portrayals of body image will do nothing to stem the tide of idealizing unrealistic body images on social media. New trends and challenges are certain to pop up almost as certain as the sun will rise tomorrow. We can only hope that sooner or later those women empower themselves as people and not merely as sexual objects to be gawked at.

 

Citations

“#A4WaistChallenge.” Twitter. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2016.

“In China, Women Are Putting Themselves Through The A4 Waist Challenge & Everything Is Wrong With It.” VagaBomb. N.p., 16 Mar. 2016. Web. 27 Mar. 2016.

“The Terrifying Horribleness of the Belly Button Challenge.” Washington Post. The Washington Post, n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2016.

“Watch: A4 Waist Challenge Is Going Viral on Social Media.” http://www.deccanchronicle.com/. N.p., 16 Mar. 2016. Web. 27 Mar. 2016.

“Why Chinese Women Are Grabbing Their Boobs in the Name of Fitness.” NextShark. N.p., 30 Nov. 2015. Web. 27 Mar. 2016.

 

 

Twitch Watches Pokémon!

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By: Madison Ellis McQueen

 

Just what is it about the Pokémon games, movies, and TV shows that brings people from all walks of life together to enjoy and somewhat partake in a world that onlookers would say only a ten-year-old should? Furthermore, how can a 24-hour stream of Pokémon on Twitch attract about 63,000 people at any given time of the day?

The title Pokémon is the shortened word for “Pocket Monsters” and before that, in its early development, it was CapuMon or “Capsule Monsters.” In its most basic sense the games are about capturing and trading good base or exotic Pokémon and raising them to eventually win against the “Elite Four,” a group of sometimes unbearably tough trainers that are hailed as the best in the land.

I haven’t watched the Pokémon movies or TV shows in many years so I can’t say for sure if all of the television series revolve around the same premise in terms of the “Elite Four.”

However, if Twitch holds true to its word then this might be my chance to find out.

At 9 p.m. on Feb 27, Twitch started hosting their 24-hour stream of various Pokémon movies and a few seasons of the television show in celebration of Pokémon’s 20th anniversary. Eager fans show their support by spamming messages in the public chat about anything and everything Pokémon. While the social aspect of Twitch is nice most of the time, these particular messages are extremely difficult to read. They seem to literally fly up and off the chat on account of all of the 63,000 watchers sending them at the same time all the time. For example, during an episode, three rare Pokémon were trapped in an ice cocoon for all of 30 seconds while another Pokémon tries to free them. It eventually spews fire and thaws the ice around them. For the next five minutes every single message in chat was comprised of the word “SAVED.”

So if you stop in for the stream and it’s your first time experiencing the Twitch community, remember to take deep breaths.

 

Citations

“Pokemon Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary with a New 3DS Bundle and a Super Bowl Ad.” The Verge. N.p., 12 Jan. 2016. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.

“Twitch Watches Pokémon.” Twitch. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Feb. 2016.

Depp IS Trump

By Madison Ellis McQueen

Photo Credit: liveforfilms.com

Donald Trump’s The Art of The Deal: The Movie has decidedly stunned the world. Johnny Depp seamlessly transforms into the real estate mogul Donald J. Trump in order to chronicle his rise to power from his apparently humble beginnings. In the end slate FunnyOrDie repeatedly credits Trump as the star, writer, producer and director of the film.

The movie was released on Feb. 10, the day after a particularly cringe worthy Republican television debate Trump took part in. The Art of The Deal outlines a step-by-step process detailing how to obtain Trump’s “deal-making, genius superpowers”.

Ron Howard narrates the film and reveals the hidden backstory of this once-forgotten gem Trump had buried all those years ago. In 1988 Trump made the necessary preparations to broadcast his movie on television. He had not planned, however, for the Monday Night Football game that usurped the movie’s spotlight on the day it was to air. This enraged him to the point he refused to release it at all. Decades later, the film was discovered at a yard sale in Phoenix, Arizona and the rest is history.

Click here to view the theme song performed by Kenny Loggins.

Viewers have taken to Twitter in response to this amazing gift to hail the movie as “the most interesting 50 min of your week” and “Johnny Depp’s role of a lifetime”. Side-by-side pictures of Depp in costume and Trump make up a majority of the posts. Some are even calling for the producers at FunnyOrDie to be awarded an Oscar for this unprecedented masterpiece.

FunnyOrDie has gone so far as to publish what they claim is the original draft script for the television movie on their website.

With all the media The Art of The Deal has garnered, it is still difficult to say for sure whether FunnyOrDie actually came across a film and original script created by Donald J. Trump. The movie they did release is most definitely a hilarious and well-executed spoof that will hopefully earn Best Picture.

 

Citations:

“Donald Trump’s Notes On Donald Trump’s Script For The #FODTrumpMovie.” Funny Or Die. N.p., 9 Feb. 2016. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.

“Funny Or Die Presents Donald Trump’s The Art Of The Deal: The Movie.” Funny Or Die. N.p., 10 Feb. 2016. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.

“Funny Or Die Presents “The Art Of The Deal” Theme Song with Kenny Loggins.” Funny Or Die. N.p., 9 Feb. 2016. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.

“Johnny Depp Is Donald Trump in The Art of the Deal.” Live for Films RSS. N.p., 10 Feb. 2016. Web. 11 Feb. 2016.

Social Media Sells Houses

By: Madison McQueen

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At one point or another we have all had to suffer through the tedious process of showcasing houses. Whether we were five and had to meticulously replace every single toy or game we brought out to play with, or nervous young adults cleaning up after friends or roommates hoping to make a lasting impression on a prospective buyer.

At long last there is a way to market homes that maximizes exposure while cutting down the time your house is on the market and the time you have to stress about your home’s appearance. Put your home on Facebook.

Yes, Facebook. Once again social media has been innovated to solve a very specific, very widely known problem. In recent years realtors have begun to post listings in their respective areas to garner interest among their followers. If a follower likes what they see or knows someone who could be interested in the listing, they may share it, thereby generating even more media exposure for the home.

Heck, why stop at Facebook? There are plenty of options like Twitter, Instagram, or even making your home its own personal website. The key to utilizing social media to its full potential is to, above all, be creative. It’s one thing to have buyers know about your listing and say, “it’s a possibility,” but it is quite another to have them fall in love with your property because it has “personality”. Creativity is the difference between three shares or retweets from supportive friends and upwards of fifty shares or retweets courtesy of general users in your area.

Done well, listing houses on social media can be a saving grace to those who need their house sold and they need it sold now. It can also be extremely fun. And really, who doesn’t want to have a little fun online?

 

Citations:

“Creating a Personal Website to Showcase Your Home.” My Move. Vistaprint, 26 Apr. 2012. Web. 31 Jan. 2016.

“Home Inspiration (@homes_).” Instagram. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2016.

“Homes.com.” Facebook. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2016.

“Real Homes.” Twitter. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2016.

Savitt, Brandi. “House or Honeymoon.” Fabulous & Frugal. N.p., 30 June 2011. Web. 31 Jan. 2016.