Tag Archives: Facebook

The Key to Room Décor: Simplicity, Creativity

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-Rache’ll Brown

It was the fall of 2011 when I discovered the hobby—or more appropriately, the fetish—that is home décor. Color palettes, duvet covers, throw pillows, and more; I had never realized how meticulous interior design was until I left my family home. At my parents’ house, my room was just a chaotic collection of things: a pink comforter I had since the sixth grade, band posters I had collected at Warped Tour over the years pasted on the walls unevenly, and random knickknacks filled every surface. It was a mess. It was shameful. However, I looked at leaving my parents house as an opportunity to experiment with design.

This new-found hobby started in the dorms. My roommate and I immediately started coordinating when we got our dorm packet. The color palette was easy: black and white for a classic look with accents of purple (our favorite color). When we moved in and got everything settled, I was pleased. I thought I was the craftiest freshman in Walton complex. And then Pinterest came along, and my outlook on interior design and crafting completely changed.

When it came time for me to move into my first apartment, I had everything planned out. I’ve concluded that there is an easy formula to a cozy yet coordinated room, and I’ve decided to share my theory.

Pictures EVERYWHERE

Scour Facebook, Instagram, and your hard drive for pictures that have captured your favorite moments in life. There are so many things to do with photos, but my favorite ways to use them is to fill wall space. One of the easiest things I did was take clear fishing line and miniature clothes pins to create banners with my favorite pictures. I just hung a few points throughout the line with mini clear Command strips and everything was set.

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Simplicity is Key

Use simple a color palette, simple decorations, and a simple floor plan for a clean and put together look. Choose two (or three: two neutrals and a pop color) coordinating colors to purchase all comforters, pillows, rugs, etc. in. Ditch the cluttered look and keep only functional pieces around your room—overcrowding makes the room seem smaller and unorganized. If you find an ornate piece you think is a must, get it! But make sure you limit the over-the-top pieces to a minimum.

Get Crafty

Whether you rely on Pinterest or think of things on your own, put your creative hat on to figure out the most functional, thrifty, and aesthetically pleasing ways to utilize your space. For example, I have a lot of necklaces and a lot of wall space. I considered making my own jewelry board but had already spent my crafting budget elsewhere. So, I decided to take my extra mini Command strips and hang my necklaces on the wall (pictured at top). Voila! It’s thrifty, cute, and functional.

If you were lost on how to decorate your bedroom or apartment before—don’t fret now! There are simple ways to spice up your décor without too much effort, money, or time. So take some of my advice, get crafty, and your place will be the envy of all your friends in no time!

Segregated Proms and Social Media

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-Casey Klekas

This year marks the 150th anniversary since President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. It has been sixty years since Brown v. Board of Education declared racial segregation unconstitutional. And it has been fifty years since Dr. Martin Luther King gave his imperishable “I Have a Dream” speech, addressed not just to those at the feet of the Lincoln Memorial, but to every person in the United States, from the “snow-capped Rockies of Colorado” to the “Stone Mountain of Georgia.” It has been fifty years, and yet the word “segregated” still rings in some parts of the United States.

My generation hasn’t had much more than a Hollywood encounter with segregated schools or the unavoidable pains of integration. My first experience with the history of racial segregation probably came through Forrest Gump (“Ma’am, you dropped your book.”). This period, while undoubtedly unforgettable, is still just a distant chapter in our history books.

Well, at least that’s what I thought until I stumbled across headlines that read, “Georgia students organize their own, integrated prom,” and “Segregated prom tradition yields to unity.”

For those of you who are well aware of this “phenomenon” (I don’t know what else to call it), please forgive me. For those of you who, like me, were convinced that segregation died in the ‘60s and ‘70s, you might be as shocked as I was when I found out that in some parts of the American south, school dances are still organized according to skin color.

The ruling in Brown v. Board of Education said that segregated schools were unconstitutional, and that, “in the field of public education, the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place.” Chief Justice Earl Warren fought to make it a unanimous decision (nine-zero) so as to quell any further legal opposition. In order to get a nine-zero decision, Warren made the concession of leaving an open timetable to the implementation of school integration. Schools gradually became integrated or they closed down. But some traditions such as school dances were difficult to integrate with force. Some proms were no longer sanctioned by the school but were instead privately organized by students and parents so dances could remain racially segregated.

This tradition has been difficult to buck. “White proms” were normally invitation-only, while “black proms” remained largely open to all.

There have been several famous acts of resistance to this tradition, like in 1997, when actor Morgan Freeman offered to sponsor an integrated high school prom in his hometown of Charlestown, Mississippi. His offer was denied. Ten years later, he made the offer again. This time, it was accepted. This event inspired a documentary Prom Night in Mississippi.

Only a few counties in the southern states still hold separate proms based on variations in pigment. Until Saturday, April 28, 2013, Wilcox, Georgia, was one such county. Four girls came up with the idea of breaking with tradition and making their high school prom integrated. To raise money and awareness, they created a Facebook page, which brought in more than enough money to rent a ballroom and offer party gifts to every couple.

The pictures of happy couples at the dance look like any other prom pictures of nervous high schoolers with awkward smiles and silly hats.

The first two statuses on the group’s page are about local fundraisers, including the “Barbecue Chicken Plate Sale,” as well as donation opportunities for those across the country. The next few read something like, “We would like to thank everyone all over the world who have given to this Prom and cause from the depths of your heart.” Then the countdown begins. “4 MORE DAYS!!!! *SCREAMING* :-)”. The Saturday of the dance read, “TODAY IS THE DAY!!!!!! SO BEYOND EXCITED 🙂 *BUTTERFLIES IN OUR STOMACHS AND SCREAMING WITH EXCITEMENT*.”

Each picture and status update has hundreds, if not thousands of “likes” and heartening comments. Don’t be surprised if you get teary-eyed.

The courage of the students who organized, attended, and got down on the dance floor at Wilcox High School’s first integrated prom makes me proud to think that the spirit of brotherhood that sustained the Civil Rights Movement is alive and well in the Facebook generation.

Image by Shalimar Flower Shop.

America Shows Its Thanks For Instagram

 

-Marissa Tomko

According to National Geographic the world’s first photograph was taken in 1826 by a French scientist named Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. The exposure time of the bitumen-coated plate took hours, and the photo had to be properly lit in order to be viewed. This process marked the beginning of the history of photography

Fast forward almost two hundred years, and you’ll find another milestone moment in the world of photography. Only this time, instead of one image per day, it’s 226 images per second. And instead of a bitumen-coated plate, it’s Instagram, an app that enables Apple and Android users to share their lives through photographs in retro-looking filters. It combines old looks with new technology—and it’s absolutely brilliant. This Thanksgiving, Instagramming Americans set a new record by posting ten million photos onto the app, doubling the amounts that are uploaded other days of the year.

I have found the general consensus among my peers to be that Instagram is the place to be. Some have gone so far as to say it has made sites such as Facebook irrelevant, which is ironic considering that the company purchased Instagram for one billion dollars earlier this year.

In any case, it is clear that Americans were thankful for the app this year, posting pictures of meals, family, and decor during the holiday. While people have been photographing these things for so many years, there’s something about Instagram that makes us care more about the turkey other people are eating. Maybe it’s the old time-y filters that make something ordinary extraordinary. Or maybe it’s the simplicity—you scroll through pictures and double tap them if you “like” them. No matter what its draw, it seems that Instagram will be documenting our holiday season at insane rates, and Thanksgiving was just the beginning. Happy holidays and happy gramming!

 

The Social Media Election

-Jamie Hershman

Guess what yesterday was? Election Day. Shocker. But guess what yesterday also was? The day that I couldn’t bring myself to go on Facebook or any other social media website I have an account on.

Every time I scrolled through my news feed, I would see a new Facebook status expressing a political view that I frankly did not care about. Having sent in my ballot over a week ago (which I’m sure many of the people making statuses to vote did as well), I couldn’t really care less who people chose to vote for and what propositions they were supporting. I’m not being inconsiderate, because everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I just feel some opinions should be kept to yourself—or at least off of your timeline.

Most, if not all, students know that November 6 is Election Day, so looking at all the obnoxious “MAKE SURE YOU VOTE TODAY” statuses just made me overwhelmed with annoyance. It almost seemed that everyone posting these statuses, tweets, and Instagram photos showing that they had voted thought doing so would make them seem cool. It’s true that voting is a great thing and that every adult should do their duty as an American citizen by voting, but advertising it via social media just seems like you are trying too hard to prove to people that you are educated in politics. I don’t know if these obnoxious people actually know what’s going on in the election or not, but it almost looks desperate.

The worst cases, though, were those statuses that tried to sway your vote for their candidate choice. Using Facebook as an outlet is surely not going to make me take you seriously, and, in my opinion, makes you look like a fool.

I know that freedom of speech is included with all the social media sites, and I’m not advocating for people to stop voicing their opinions. What I’m trying to say is, nobody cares. No one cares if you are voting for Obama or Romney. While you may think everyone is on the edge of their seat waiting for you to update your status as to what time exactly you cast your ballot, I hate to inform you that it’s untrue. Be a good citizen and vote; just please, for the sake of everyone’s newsfeed, don’t put it on Facebook.

Follow Jamie on Twitter!

Image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/ilovememphis/8161099567

The Constant Update: Keeping Up With The Fast-Paced World

-Emily Fraysse

The image of a person sitting down with their morning coffee and unfolding a newspaper is being replaced today with a person slouched over and glued to a computer, smart phone, or iPad. Today’s news has turned from complete sentences to bite-sized tweets, statuses, and headlines only to instantly grab the attention of the reader like a line of cocaine presented in front of a drug addict. This instantaneous information via sources like the Internet and television are preferred over “older forms” of getting the news through print media.  With the ability to get information on what is happening second by second, why would anyone settle for reading yesterdays news?

Social media has changed the way business, government, individuals, and society work as a whole.  In the past few years, newspapers and other major corporations rely on and utilize social media sites to connect with the rest of the population in hopes of furthering and expanding their company.  A variety of widgets and applications have dominated the smart phone scene as an alternative to using the Internet.  Global newspaper companies rely on these applications to get their work out to the public in a timely, cheap, eco-friendly in comparison with paper news.  From a smart phone, a person can check his or her bank account, update a status on Facebook, buy their Christmas presents from Ebay, check the latest tweets on Twitter, view the news on the New York Times application, and even watch live television.  With the world literally in the palm of your hands, why would you ever need to leave your own house?

In a way, this sort of instant gratification is encouraging a more connected world that is constantly in the “know.”  But, it is also promoting a world that is fully enthralled and immersed in its own egocentric sphere.  Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, BlogSpot and Tumblr all promote the same thing: a type of self-centeredness.  These countess social platforms are a way of socialization and marketing of the news, but it also a method of self-promotion.  While people spend hours absorbed with who posted what, stalking potential soul mates, pouring out feelings and ideas into blogs, and living vicariously through other people’s photographs, crimes are committed right outside our front door. The reason for all this madness is so simple: it is a way to memorialize us on the world.  People want to be “liked” on Facebook or StumbledUpon because deep down, people want a witness.  They want acknowledgement of their existence, like a name etched into the dirty wall of a high school bathroom.  Whether it is in a tweet, a status, or a blog post, technology has changed the way people think and act. Now, do you dare take a bite out of the technology apple?

Image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/wonderlane

Social Media vs. Bob Jones University

-Jamie Hershman

On April 24, Chris Peterman, a senior at Bob Jones University (BJU) was suspended nine days before his scheduled graduation because of his activity on Twitter and Facebook. He created a Facebook page titled “Do Right BJU” in an effort to create a safe space for victims of sexual abuse as a support network, as well as a place for outreach. Peterson’s personal motivation for creating the page was driven by his witnessing a church cover-up of sexual abuse.

Peterman organized a protest back in September to spread awareness but the dean of the private Protestant university told him to shut it down. Peterman did not, citing that his rights are protected under the First Amendment and the dean backed off. BJU even said they were planning on making a sexual abuse committee soon after the protest.

But things changed when Peterman returned for his final semester in January. He had to attend weekly counseling meetings and was intensely questioned about his Facebook page. The dean also went as far as to question Peterman’s friends about his social media use. Peterman’s online activity was being watched by the university.

At the beginning of April, he tweeted just before a church service that “this thing is 2hrs long?! What could they possibly talk about for so long!”. The school immediately came after him for tweeting during the service, punishing him with demerits that could ultimately affect his ability to graduate.

Just three weeks before his graduation, Peterman was once again called into the dean’s office after having watched an episode of Glee at an off-campus location. While watching TV is prohibited on-campus, that was not the reason for the dean’s questioning. The dean’s rationalization was that Peterman was watching a TV show that has homosexual relationships as well as debauchery behavior. Because of this, Peterman was given even more demerits and was almost prohibited from graduating.

The final straw came when Peterman posted lyrics to a Christian country song as his Facebook status. He received demerits for this and was officially over the allotted number of demerits that a student could have in order to graduate.

Peterman contacted local media and appealed that he should not be suspended for his watching of Glee off-campus; and, while the appeals board accepted his appeal (therefore allowing him to graduate), the dean was angered and forced Peterman off-campus. Peterman was practically dragged off campus by BJU police forces and was told that he would be arrested if he tried to return.

Ultimately, Peterman cannot graduate in his final semester at BJU. But, it wasn’t so much about all the social media activities that Peterman was suspended for; it was about his speaking out about sexual abuse on a Christian campus.

This incident does not generalize all schools with a religious focus as being strict with freedom of speech, but it does show the lengths that one school will go to throw a student under the bus and save their reputation, which, in the end, did not save their reputation at all.

Social media is about the user and is a free-forum for expression. After being censored by his university, Peterman had a right to get the media involved and appropriately did so. There is no excuse for what BJU did to Peterman, and they should be exposed for banning one student who showed an interest in peaceful activism.

More information at check out the story at CNN.com

The Facebook Fast

-Jessica Ridgway

Mark Zuckerberg is an evil man. He has created a diabolical website that I cannot help but love and hate. Facebook allows me to keep in touch with my family and far-away friends, it’s a great networking tool, and it keeps me informed about so many people at once. It’s helped me find old and new classmates, organize study groups, and locate telephone numbers during dire academic emergencies. Facebook has become so ingrained in my daily life I couldn’t tell you what life was like before it. I am an addict.

And then I woke up one Wednesday, I couldn’t tell you what snapped inside of me, but Facebook made me mad. Pissed. Annoyed. I wanted to get away from it immediately, so I made the impulsive decision to deactivate my account.

I hadn’t set a date for my return until the Flux blog meeting later that day. My fellow bloggers inspired me. I’d go without Facebook for one week—short enough to disappear unnoticed. The rest of Wednesday and Thursday were a piece of cake. I had no desire to log onto Facebook, but this was motivated by my, “I-don’t-care” attitude. I did, however, find myself unknowingly typing in “fa” each time I opened Google Chrome. At one point I found myself on the Facebook homepage without any recollection of typing it in. It was creepy.

On Friday things got tough. I use Spotify to listen to music, but Spotify is connected to my Facebook account. That sucked, but it wasn’t frustrating. Finding out that my Scramble With Friends, Words With Friends, and Draw Something apps are all connected to Facebook—that was frustrating.

But, it was also a blessing in disguise, because that weekend was the most beautiful weekend Eugene has had all spring. And because I wasn’t logged onto Facebook I missed invitations to parties and future campus events—but I spent my time outside with friends. I played ladder ball. I read a book for fun. I cleaned my room and living room. I wrote a letter to my friend. I wrote a letter to myself. I wrote. And perhaps I would have still done all these different activities with an active Facebook account, but it was simply blissful to feel so disconnected.

And then Monday came. And I found myself feeling sheepish because I missed out or wasn’t invited to a certain party because I didn’t have a Facebook. People had started to notice my absence, and when I told them I deactivated my account they reacted as if I had just offended them (until I explained the fast). And then Tuesday arrived, and I was peering over my friend’s shoulders to peek at their pages. I found out that my roommate posted new pictures; I had to fight the temptation from logging in.

Finally, it was Wednesday—but as much as I wanted to log in and absorb the online world I had distanced myself from, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. While I missed the feeling of constantly being informed, I enjoyed my freedom from the things I despise about Facebook. The people that post unnecessary statuses. The people that post too many photos of food. The people that I just don’t like. I did not miss them one bit, even with my growing curiosity.

So, I stretched my week-long Facebook fast a couple more days. When I finally returned and perused all of the pages I wanted to I realized just how much this simple website can take out of my day. While it is a useful addition to my life, it’s also my biggest form of procrastination.

This is how I cured my addiction.

Junior Seau’s Death Forces Us to Look in the Mirror

-Erik Gundersen

No matter what time of the year in the sports world, it is evident in our country NFL football is king. Although exciting playoffs in both the NHL and NBA are underway, any football news takes precedent. A bombshell hit early Wednesday morning with the suspension of linebacker Jonathan Vilma for the entire 2012-2013 season.

Then, breaking news came from Oceanside, California: Junior Seau, one of the greatest defensive players to ever play football, died at the age of 43 in a suspected suicide.

Allegedly, for the second time in a little more than 14 months, an NFL player has taken his own life. Dave Duerson, who had a 10-year NFL career, took his own life last year. He shot himself in the chest after sending a text message to his family saying that he wanted his brain to be studied at the Boston University of School of Medicine. Seau, a far more recognizable figure for our generation, took his life in the same fashion: a gun shot to the chest.

This brought myself and others to start talking about these problems, mainly on Twitter. When will this, and other cases of players suffering long-term damage finally weigh on the conscious of the American people? Is the enjoyment many of us feel on Sunday’s in the fall really worth all of this?

Myles Brown of SLAM Magazine (@mdotbrown) had these remarks: “Lie to yourself, not me. Depression and suicide have been linked to several players with a history of concussions, including NCAA players,” Brown continued, “if you need to deny that to enjoy your Sundays, go for it. But I bet you’ll think twice about putting your kids in harm’s way.”

I doubt football’s popularity will decline, but there has to be a point where viewers start thinking about the players on the field as people.

Last year, former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon, who has suffered memory loss long after his playing days, along with six other former players filed a lawsuit against the NFL last August for “negligence and intentional misconduct in its response to the headaches, dizziness and dementia that former players have reported.”  The cases have been piling up, and although NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell has unleashed his recent crusade on the New Orleans Saints, the problem is still not solved.

I love football and as a student these last four years, it has given me some of my lasting college memories. The NFL is the most competitive league in professional sports, but now I find myself reevaluating my love for it.

At what point do we reevaluate the fact that our favorite sport is one that leaves so many that play it, as shells of their former selves?

The feel good story of the day was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signing paralyzed player Eric LeGrand. Bucs coach Greg Schiano was LeGrand’s coach at Rutgers. I saw many of my Facebook friends repost the articles about the signing and comment about how great of a gesture it was.

It was truly a heartwarming gesture on the part of the organization, but I’m sure if you’d ask LeGrand, he’d give it all up just to walk again and live a normal life.

Maybe he will be able to walk again. But would you take a full athletic scholarship and a great public gesture in exchange for the certainty you’d walk again?

But that discussion has its place outside these six hundred or so words.

Please Browse Responsibly

-Sam Bouchat

Social Media—it connects us. It lets us hang on to old friends, and introduces us to new ones. It lets us organize, socialize, and express ourselves. And, every so often, it brings out our inner idiot.

As social media becomes more popular, the line between appropriate and ridiculous becomes blurred. Where things were once private, now they are presented to the world on a platter made from a need to be noticed in the online world. Here, when everyone is yelling, only those who offer something of magnificent stupidity can truly be heard.

Last week, 20-year-old Kentuckian Michael Baker landed himself in jail. How? He siphoned gasoline from a cop car. The best part: his girlfriend snapped a quick photo of Baker in the act as he gave the camera a hearty middle finger. Perfect Facebook profile pic, no? And take one wild guess as to how the cops found out about his little crime.

Moving on.

Washington woman Ellenora Fulk was looking through her “People You May Know” suggestions on Facebook. You know the drill: Facebook uses its detective skills on your profile and those of your friends to see who else you might be friends with that you haven’t requested yet. One of her suggestions? A woman named Teri Wyatt-O’Neill, whose profile revealed a picture of Wyatt-O’Neill and Fulk’s husband drinking champagne next to a wedding cake. Fulk’s husband, Alan, has left in 2009 but has not divorced his wife. Mr. Fulk was then charged with bigamy. Aw yea.

But hey, it’s not just Americans doing this stuff! A Swiss woman was fired from her job at Nationale Suisse after she called in sick from work. The reason? She had a migraine, and couldn’t bear to work in front of a bright computer. As a person who gets migraines, I say, power to her. However, when her boss discovered that she was “online” on Facebook, one less person worked at Nationale Suisse. Come on, the “invisible” button is right there!

A British man, Craig Lynch, escaped from a minimum security prison in Suffolk in 2009. While on the run, this intellectual posted status updates about what he was up to: holiday plans, lunch details, the weather. He gave only enough information to taunt police, who were no doubt one of his 40,000 fans and were subscribed to his less-than-interesting news feed. He was caught in January 2010, though whether or not it had anything to do with his online fame, no one knows.

Here’s a great thing to tweet: “I still gotta warrant in pearland .. those pigs will NEVER catch me … NEVER!!!” Wait a second, no it’s not. That’s flippin’ stupid. Well, someone should have told that to 20-year-old Texan Mahogany Mason-Kelly, who had not one, but three warrants out for her arrest for traffic violations and failing to appear in court. Funny, how these things work.

In conclusion, students, be careful what you post online. Believe it or not, not everyone will laugh at your silly crime. Some people may actually do something about it.

The Pillow with a Heartbeat

-Laura Lundberg

College is a time where individuals begin to grow, find what they want to do in life, and become a different person than they were in high school. Sometimes high school sweethearts fade away, and sometimes they stay. However, one of the hardest things for high school couples entering college (or are still together while in college) is a long distance relationship.

Long distance relationships are difficult, and they require just as much maintenance as a non-long distance relationship requires. There have been many ways to help long distance couples feel closer together via technology, such as Facebook, Skype, and Google Hangouts.

However, there haven’t been very many inventions of late that have attempted to collapse the barrier that computers cannot overcome. One invention, however, has succeeded in making it easier for long distance couples to feel closer together. What is this grand invention, you ask?

It’s a pillow. But this pillow isn’t just any pillow; this pillow has a heartbeat. And not its own heartbeat, but the heartbeat of your loved one, playing in real time.

Scottish designer Joanna Montgomery created this device, known as the Pillow Talk. It works by using a ring that measures your heartbeat, and a flat panel inside the pillow that glows and beats in sync with your partner’s heartbeat.

While some see the Pillow Talk as somewhat of an oddity, this is one of the first inventions that is aimed at bringing long distance couples closer together and feeling like they’re truly together, even though they could be hundreds of miles apart.

According to Joanna’s website, she says that Pillow Talk “is an intimate interaction between two lovers, regardless of the distance between them.” She’s won several awards and funding for her innovative and disruptive design of this product.

Her product has also been featured o several TV shows as well as an article on Gizmodo. Also, her YouTube video went viral, gaining over 400,000+ views. Joanna says that she has already had an overwhelming amount of requests for her product and that she hopes to receive enough funding through donations to begin manufacturing the product, which is why it isn’t currently available on the market.

While Pillow Talk isn’t the perfect model of a product that will help make long distance couples feel closer together, it’s the first of its kind, and is a good first step in the direction of making long distance relationships easier. This can only lead to more odd, eccentric ideas of closing the miles for those couples.

Follow Laura at @LmLundberg