Social Media is on the Rise

Christina Som

Everywhere someone turns, they spot a person on some type of social media site. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or whatever else the social media type, someone is on there scrolling away looking for something new and interesting.

Social media is on the rise because it keeps everyone up to date on what is going on in today’s society in the palm of their hand. They can see what is going on in the news as well as how to make a certain type of food for dinner that night.

An app called BuzzFeed allows the person to see how to make something desirable and delicious in under a certain amount of minutes. This appeals to people on social media because they are constantly looking for ways to try something interesting. What better way to do so than to watch a 60 second prep video on how to make a fast dinner. This video shows how to make an egg tart in a minute long video. It may not take a minute to make, but it shows the steps to get there.

All it takes is a click of a button and there is the information one needs to do and get what they want.

Photo credit Photo show the BuzzFeed app handy.

If social media can attack the interest level of a person, then it will continue to rise. It keeps people close ties with ones that may be far away and build lasting relationships.

social networking use by age group, over time

Photo Credit Photo shows the increase of social media use of ages 18+ from 2005-2013.

 This chart shows the social media increasing in the years of 2005-2013, so the amount that has increased until now is by 74%, according to Pew Research Center’s tech, Channing Lou.

The prediction of the increase to the next few years of 2016,2017, and 2018 is around 97% of our population. That is well over the majority of people that will be using social media, so it is indeed on the rise.


“Stock Photography, Royalty-Free Photos & The Latest News Pictures | Getty Images.” Stock Photography, Royalty-Free Photos & The Latest News Pictures | Getty Images. Web. 05 Feb. 2016.
“Social Networking Fact Sheet.” Pew Research Center Internet Science Tech RSS. 2013. Web. 05 Feb. 2016.
“These Egg Tarts Are Totally Custard Heaven.” BuzzFeed. Web. 05 Feb. 2016.
“BuzzFeed.” BuzzFeed. Web. 05 Feb. 2016.

The Rise of Emojis

By: Bernadette Orona


Photo from: EmojiWorks

There are three meanings in a message: what you meant to write, what you actually wrote, and what the reader understood. It can be difficult to include tone of voice or body language while writing a quick email resulting with an upset co-worker. The solution? Emojis.

Emoji’s have taken digital communication by storm. So much that Oxford Dictionary named ‘😂’ (also known as the ‘face with tears’ emoji) as 2015’s word of the year. Entire conversations can now be followed through with emoji’s. Who doesn’t love to send ‘face blowing kiss’ to their boyfriend or feel cool when replying to friends with ‘face with sunglasses.’

Finding new ways to use emojis is only expanding. Domino’s has taken emoji’s to the next step by allowing customers to order their favorite pizza from Domino’s by simply texting ‘pizza slice’ to the restaurant. Customers must first set up a pizza profile and mobil number, but if it gets pizza to my door-step, I say it’s a step in the right direction.

Emojis gained popularity with Apple’s release of the iPhone5 but the emoji actually begins in Japan with Docomo introducing the heart symbol for the pager. Shigetaka Kurita understood the need for visual aids in digital communication. Docomo dropped the heart symbol in attempt to add more business features while Kurita went in search for symbols that encompassed everyday life. 

While most emoji meanings are pretty self-explanatory others have been given meanings other than what their Japanese roots intended. Mashable explains some of these misconceptions and what they really mean; such as the ‘hands together’ emoji. Many use this emoji to signify prayer or a high five when it’s actually meant to express gratitude or apology which is common in Japanese culture. Even though how we use each emoji may differ, we are all using them. And it’s making digital communication that more personal.


Oxford Dictionaries. (2015, November 16). Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is… Retrieved from Oxford Dictionaries:

Geddes, James (2015, June 23). Now You Can Order Domino’s Pizza Simply By Texting As Emoji. Retrieved from Tech Times:

Blagdon, Jeff. (2013, March 4). How Emoji Conquered the World. Retrieved from The Verge:

Goldberg, Lyssa. (2014, August 15). 10 Emoji Meanings That Might Surprise You. Retrieved from Mashable:




A Snap to the Presidency

By Molly Ligon

The race to the White House is drawing nearer and the Republican and Democratic candidates are exhausting themselves in order to gain leeway in the competition. Every hurdle thrown in the way of the candidates’ sprint to the Oval Office spurs these courageous men and women towards the finish line. But there is one obstacle that looms ominously in the horizon that will ultimately make or break their campaign. Yes, the final ruling, in the struggle for the presidency, is in the hands of the millennials.

But how can the presidential candidates reach the millennial voters they so desperately need? Obviously they are going to have to learn the language of their young constituents—or what is it the kids call it these days? Ah yes, like learn like the slang like OMG. Perhaps Bernie Sanders could promote his political platform through Twitter by tweeting #FeelTheBern, in hopes of rallying support in the younger generation. Maybe Hillary Clinton will promote her new campaign slogan of Netflix and Hill. And Donald Trump might upload a Tinder profile that entices America to swipe right. Regardless of how they do it, this proves that not only are millennial voters crucial to the success of a presidential candidate’s campaign, but it is utilization of social media that will ultimately lead the candidates to victory.

Time for a little bit of honesty: I am guilty of being glued to my phone. I need to know where my phone is at all times and when it is not around I feel unsettled like a part of me is missing. Yes, I know I sound like an overbearing lover but it is true. In fact, I imagine most individuals would panic without their mobile devices because Nomophobia has become ingrained in our society.

And you know what? It is that gnawing fear that we cannot live without our mobile devices that the presidential candidates will use to their advantage. They know that the key to win over the millennials lies quite literally in the hands of the voters.


Now, which social media program will most likely sway the millennial voters in to participating in the upcoming election? Personally, I believe the app that will decide who will be the next President of the United States is going to be Snapchat. Snapchat has a worldwide audience whose main demographic consists of young adults 18 to 24. This is the coveted age group that the presidential candidates are desperate to achieve. Millions are being funded into snap–strategy because this is the app that is sure to get the attention of the millennial voters.

Imagine the young voter opening Snapchat and seeing one unread message from Hillary Clinton. Out of curiosity, the voter clicks and holds down on the screen. Then as quick as lighting a running candidate for the President of the United States is addressing them through their mobile device. If you do not think that is the coolest thing in the world and that this revolutionizes how future Presidents will be elected in to office, then you have potatoes for eyes.

No matter which political party you stand for—Republican or Democrat—social media is the major tool that presidential candidates must use in order to win the race to the White House. And anytime you check your Twitter feed and see the handle @realDonaldTrump; or you open Snapchat and see Bernie Sanders’ snap story, know that this is the way the presidential candidates are going to win your vote.



Barnett, Emma. “Why We Can’t Live Without Our Mobile Phones.” The Telegraph. N.p., Web. 31 Jan. 2016.

Manduley, Christina, and Ashley Codianni. “Democratic Candidates Make Pitch on          Snapchat for the Millennial Vote.” CNN Politics. N.p., 27 Jan. 2016. Web. 31 Jan. 2016.


From Flintsone’s to Facebook

By Meagan Black

Well, it’s 2016 and we still don’t travel by hover board. And we haven’t quite mastered the technology to create house cleaning robots—like Rosie from The Jetsons. However, we have significantly advanced in the world of social media. This may sound like a huge step down from space craft travel and indentured robot servants, however, social media is being used for so much more than the occasional digitalized “hello’s” that it once was.

Today, social media is used for mass communication of information seconds after an event occurs. This is exceedingly relevant in any given field: sports channels now live broadcast games and tweet scores immediately after they happen; political junkies can follow every aspect of any campaign, debate, court case, and political scandal just by refreshing their twitter feed; theatrical promotions and reviews can be found on Facebook while some reporters live tweet the performance; even news channels are now posting events and breaking news stories on twitter.

Before we entered the digital age, news simply came from newspapers, magazines, possibly from gossipy neighbors. It would take days or weeks for news stories to spread. Missed sports games would have to wait for the highlights later on in the day. Before Instagram, people carried around physical copies of photos with them in their wallets. Thankfully, we’ve left Fred and Wilma behind and moved on to a more technologically advanced time.

Social Media vintage social networking

Photo credit:

In the age of instant gratification, social media holds its own. Seconds after any major event occurs, thousands of people know about it. While we still do use social media for intermittent “hello’s,” we primarily use it for the sharing and spreading of information. Thanks to twitter, Facebooksnapchat, Instagram, and other social media outlets, information is spread from screen to screen within nanoseconds.

Social Media& Social Movements

By: Faith Hunt

Photo By:


For years social media has become one of the largest platforms for social movements. It seems as more recent events has brought this known fact to our attention more than ever. There are many questions to be asked when it comes to the effectiveness of Social media movements. Does it really make a difference? Is it because celebrities are a part of the movements? Or does the amount of times its posted make all the difference? All factors play roles in the effectiveness.

Some of the top media movements currently are #blacklivesmatter, #freethenipple, #YesAllWomen, and the #icebucketchallenge. If an individual is a regular social media user and has access to twitter, Instagram, snapchat, and Facebook they are more than likely aware of all these movements. Celebrities, politicians, CEO’s and many people of high power are talking about the #blacklivesmatter movement. That movement is arguably the most impactful movement at this time. Individuals involved in this movement are using social media to post videos and pictures of police brutality. They using social media to force people to look at and realize the reality of police brutality. To some that is only one side of the story, and have caused a counter movement called #AllLivesMatter. #Freethenipple is an up and coming movement that has caught the attention of many famous women who believe in public breastfeeding. They are using social media to post pictures of them breast feeding in support of the movement. Instagram has not been supportive of the movement and have been taking pictures down. This has only caused an increase of photos of women breastfeeding.

Social Media is the quickest way for people to start a movement, as well as reach the most amounts of people. It is strategic and smart when used effectively.

The Slippery Slope of Selectivity

By: Colleen Landis

Technology of the modern age has been increasingly useful, especially when dealing with learning more about the world around oneself. Want to know what happened in Japan today? Google it. Wish to know the most popular news stories at the moment? Look at what is trending on social media. The world has shrunk; people around the globe can find out what events have taken place in other parts instantly.

However, modern technology can also enable people to cocoon themselves in their own ignorance.


(via Quick Meme)

A growing concern in the present age of technology is how people take in news. Although the growth in number of news sources should be cause for celebration (yay for people wanting to inform the public), a large number of these sources (without naming anyone) are very opinionated and produce ample bias. Social media, especially, allows people to follow any and all kinds of news source they deem worthy.

Sure, this chance to read the same story from different news outlets gives people the chance to create an informed opinion, but only should they decide to collect their information from multiple perspectives. However, people tend to only obtain news from sources that already retain, and will reinforce, their values. According to Oxford, this is called selective exposure. Many people will only watch something that does not challenge or contradict their opinions.  This can be very harmful for the public at large. Why? An uniformed public is a dangerous one, as people aren’t often aware of their ignorance.

For example, if anyone was recently persuaded by B.o.B on Twitter into believing the world is flat, you can inform yourself on the issue by looking up any science article explaining that misconception. Or, for those too busy to read up on the issue, just watch Neil deGrasse Tyson on The Nightly Show explaining the errors in B.o.B’s logic.

I get it: having to actively reevaluate one’s opinions or beliefs on a news story and anyone involved is exhausting. But, I am promoting the act of being informed, not convenience. And it is definitely easy to fall victim to convenience when gathering information on social media. Don’t just avoid conflict because it is less disheartening and strenuous; allow yourself to challenge any information given to you by reading other views on the subject. And if, by the end of this process, your opinion has not changed, at least you’ll know it’s an informed one.

Works Cited:

Brosius, Hans-Bernd, and Christina Peter. “Selective Exposure.” Oxford Bibliographies.      Oxford University Press, 23 Feb. 2011. Web. 29 Jan. 2016.

Stroud, Natalie Jomini. “Selective Exposure in Theory and in Practice.” Niche News: The    Politics of News Choice. N.p.: Oxford Scholarship Online, n.d. N. pag. Oxford Scholarship    Online. Oxford University Press Online, 2011. Web. 30 Jan. 2016.