Identity of the Cell Phone



How do you identify yourself? An athlete? An artist? As adolescents, we all have something we hope that people identify us as. However, Abu Sadat Nurullah seems to believe that the thing we can be characterized by is our cell phones.  In his article, “The Cell Phone as an Agent for Social Change,” Nurullah talks about how for young people, our world is within our phones. That we take value in ourselves based on our phones and what we are using them for.

When I started reading Nurullah’s article, I thought that it was explaining the extreme cases. The kids who can’t function without their cell phones, who constantly need to be texting, tweeting and blogging. I didn’t think that this could actually apply to me. I continued reading then I became aware of something. In the 30 minutes it took me to read the article, I checked my phone 8 times. That means I am checking my phone about 16 times an hour and about 384 times a day. Who knows how much time I have wasted checking my phone. Maybe Nurullah was right. I started to think about my life with my phone. How that there was a set year that everyone got a cell phone and that was a sign that we were “mature” How there was an entire world on social media and our phones that our parents and grandparents know nothing about.

Our lives today are dictated around our phones and our constant need and want to be connected. Nurullah is completely correct when he talks about how phones are changing the way our society is shaped. We have access to things we couldn’t even dream of years ago.

So as a send off I want you to count how many times you stopped reading this post to check your phone?



Social Media Strategy



As college students, we all have accounts on multiple different social media platforms. I would be more than shocked to meet someone who doesn’t have an account on at least one site. I have always believed social media as something fun we all did to share our lives with our friends and family. However, as social networks have evolved, so has the way that we market ourselves. In her article “The Social Strategy: A Five-Step Process for Social Media Marketing Success,” Kimberlee Morrison talks us through the different ways we can put our best foot forward on on profiles.

Morrison talks us through a five step process that she believes is full-proof when it comes to different social networks. While her article is geared mostly towards companies, it could  be applicable towards young people looking to improve their social media presence.

Step 1: Social Identity

She starts off her list with what I would consider the most important step; Social Identity. In order to create a strong media presence, you need to know who you want to be online. Once you figure that out, you can create a voice that is uniquely yours. You need to keep in mind who you are in relationship to others because ultimately they are the ones viewing your posts.

Step 2: Community Activation

Next step is to figure out who your audience is and how they are going to receive you. For most cases on social media, the audience is coming to you, not the other way around and you want to be sure the content you are producing is matching the expectations your audience has for you.

Step 3: Content Strategy

This step relies completely on your completion of the first two. In order to create quality content, you need to figure out your audience and your identity online. The content you produce needs to match and go along with these two things.

Step 4: Social Campaigns

In order to start creating social campaigns, you need to have a solid foundation of your voice and what you want your audience to get our of your posts.

Step 5: Social Intelligence

The final step Morrison talks about is how in order to produce good content you need to be knowledgeable about the social media platform you are using. You need to know that features your network offers and the best way to market yourself using the tools you’re given.

So there you have it! After using these 5 steps you should be able to create content that is informative and clear. I look forward to reading what you come up with!

Blogging with the Big Dogs: How to Write Well (without really trying)




Your best friend is sweet and pretty but there is something about her you can’t stand; she’s awful at telling stories. She rambles on and on about insignificant details until you have completely lost track of what she was talking about in the first place. We all know somebody like this. Writing a good blog is like telling a good story. You need to keep everything short and to the point, only include the necessary details-or your audience will zone out just like you do whenever Becky tells you a story about something funny her dog did yesterday.

Brian Carroll offers some advice to those looking to write for digital media. A blog is only as good as its editor. He lays out a 7 step program to teach hopeful young bloggers how to best edit their posts. These steps range from reading your post backwards to literally cutting it up and arranging it until it makes the most sense. He acknowledges multiple times that usually our space to make a point is limited in a digital setting, so us bloggers have to maximize what we are given. Gone are the days of writing complex papers full of fluff just to meet a page requirement. We are entering a new realm of writing that requires us to simplify our thoughts as much as possible.

According to Lynda Felder,writing for media is about how you grab the audiences attention-and then, how you keep it. You need to start your post with a hook, something that will interest the audience and get them to read on. She mentions a strategy called the inverted pyramid. You start off with the most important information and slowly work your way down. She says “The inverted pyramid turns the traditional paragraph upside down. It begins with a topic sentence, which states what the paragraph is about, and then the most critical and interesting content follows.” The internet is distracting, there are constant pop-ups and links trying to steal the attention of your audience and you need to choose your words wisely enough to keep them interested in what you are saying.

The format of how people are expressing themselves is changing so much as the use of social media becomes more and more popular. There is now a way for everyone to express themselves and their opinions in ways our parents never had the chance to. Don’t let the ideas of “traditional writing” scare you away from putting yourself out there because writing online is so much different and much more fun then writing for english class. So go ahead! Start off with a comment on someone else’s blog, or writing something short on Facebook or Twitter. People are ready to read what you have to say so grab your keyboard and get to typing!