Socially Stressed Out

According to a recent study done by the Pew Research Center, social media is not to blame for the stress in people’s lives. Surely active users of social media are more informed about stressful situations around the world or within their own community, however this does not create a direct correlation. The study proves that “there are circumstances under which the social use of digital technology increases awareness of stressful events in the lives of others,” and therefore induces the “cost of caring,” making stress contagious.

When I think about the results of this study and its implications in my own life, I disagree with the conclusion. Social media causes more stress than it’s worth. Users including myself are constantly comparing themselves to others. The fact of the matter is, people only post the highlights of their day. This creates a false representation and allows for others to think of themselves coming up short.

Watch this video by Mr. Stress Management for a more in depth analysis.

Another important aspect to look at in deeming social media as stressful or unstressful are specific case studies. When Facebook launched their “Year in Review” feature last year, stress for Eric Meyer became unparalleled. The feature allowed users to create a video of the most popular posts from the year and share it with friends. While this seems like a good idea, Facebook’s algorithm left out the humanizing aspect. For Meyer, memories of his 6-year-old daughter dying of brain cancer surfaced.

Don’t get me wrong, I love social media! However, the day I created my first social media account in 2008 was the day I entered a stressful zone of unending FOMO (fear of missing out), addictions to checking my push notifications, and an unhealthy desire to measure up to my peers.

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The 2015 GRAMmy Awards

McDonalds vs. Taco Bell. If you ask me, both are a solid choice for a 2 am munch run. But who instagrammed it better? Which company can claim final bragging rights when they are basically equal in everything they do? Let’s take a closer look:

picstitchIf we’re talking numbers, Taco Bell has roughly a hair more followers than it’s competitor. However, McDonalds at least has the decency to follow people back. Only 50 people but still. Taco Bell boasts over 650 posts compared to a mere 174 by McDonalds. Generally, Taco Bell will post everyday while McDonalds only posts roughly once a week. Taco Bell holds strong with 18-27k likes per post while McDonalds falls short again with only 11-16k. In a purely statistical/numbers battle, Taco Bell wins the GRAMmy award.

But likes and followers aren’t everything. I just broke the hearts of millions of teens around the country with that line. After reading TrackMaven’s report on Fortune 500 companies using Instagram, I can tell you that much more goes into these posts than promotional material for customers. Companies must connect with customers and create content that is interesting to every follower. Both companies capture images that are appealing to they eye and interesting to look at. Posts can involve promoting a product, however both companies do so artfully and tastefully. Not many hashtags are used on the two accounts. Although, a lot of Instagram users do use hashtags in regards to the two companies so they are still getting the mass exposure that they need.

Instagram is a great marketing tool to appeal to the younger crowd. Maybe this is why so many students swear by Taco Bell as the patron saint of college life. Not only for winning the Instagram contest by the numbers, but for also providing my dinner, snacks, and late night munchies for last 3 days.. congratulations Taco Bell. You have won the 2015 GRAMmy Award for best Instagram Account!

The Queen of Procrastination

It’s 12:3o pm on a Sunday afternoon. I was going to wake up early and be productive today but since I was up all night surfing the internet, following links that interested me, taking Buzzfeed quizzes, and “wasting time online” I was not able to drag my sleepy body out of my bed this morning. Fast forward 4 hours. I still haven’t done anything today. Why do I always do this to myself? All I’ve done today is waste more time online. I can’t start my homework now because the Superbowl is about to start, and what’s my plan during the Superbowl? Spend more time online watching the live Twitter feed. It’s currently 10:00 pm on a Sunday evening and I am just now getting around to this blog assignment. I always have the best intentions to get my homework done early but for some reason I seem to get distracted for hours on end every time!

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 10.08.11 PMYou’d think that all of this procrastination is a bad thing and that I need to start limiting my time online. I see it differently. Yeah, I spend a lot of time in front of a screen but it’s not all useless time. While I am distracted from my actual work I’m learning so much and gaining so many new insights, perspectives, and tidbits of information to relevant topics in today’s world. If it weren’t for my procrastination all weekend I wouldn’t have watched 3 Ted Talks. I wouldn’t have researched Superbowl statistics that oddly seem to hold true. Most importantly, I wouldn’t have had a break from the seriousness of school to allow my mind to relax so that I can put my best foot forward in my assignments.

I think Alexis Grant hit the nail right on the head when she refers to the fact that some of our best ideas stem from wasting time online. So instead of beating myself up next time for not following through with my too high of goals to actually do homework all day, I will proudly accept the fact that sometimes procrastination is key in gaining inspiration to finish those said goals. There is no reason we should be limiting our time online when online is the future.