Tag Archives: Facebook

University of LOL: A Study of the UO’s meme Page

-Sam Bouchat

Unless you’ve been living under a rock not influenced 24/7 by the arbitrary goings-on of internet life, you’ve most likely noticed the University of Oregon’s  meme Facebook page. This page, created February 8, has already garnered 5,153 likes, meaning one in five of your classmates are reading and creating their own meme pictures and posting them on the internet.

What’s a meme, you ask? It’s an internet information generator, an inside joke that everyone knows. It’s a simple and popular way to express a belief or opinion through a cultural, internet-based language. And, if done correctly, it can be hilarious.

Many college meme pages have, in fact, been doing the opposite, and ruining good meme’s like Good Guy Greg and College Freshman by using the meme-language incorrectly.

The University of Oregon page seems to be one of dedicated interneters—almost all memes are used correctly and are significant only to University of Oregon students.

A meme page (especially one aimed at a specific group) can help to facilitate good ideas, release stress and frustrations, and inspire unorthodox creativity in a humorous way. Nothing is off-limits, and everything from Blackboard, to Hiron’s, to one campus eateries are commented upon in the meme-verse.

Saw a freshman do something hilarious? That’s College Freshman for you! Taking a class in Deady? Grab some Lame Pun Racoon. Got a paper due tomorrow? Need some Clueless Patrick.

Memes can be a fantastic way to get into the internet life, whether your preference is Reddit, 9Gag, Tumblr, or another social network, memes are an essential part of online life. Having those memes specified to your particular school? That can enhance the meme experience.

So run wild! Line at the Duck Store too long? Make a meme! Professor with a thick accent? Memefy it! Big Mouth Burrito run out of chips? Looks like the perfect situation for a meme.

And, if you’re lucky, some other UO students might get a laugh out of it too.

Follow Sam at @sambouchat

The Fashion String: Yoga Pants

-Tamara Feingold

At first, you may think they’re a harmless solution for what to wear to the gym or the perfect outfit for lounging around in the comfort of your own home. I wish this was the case, but unfortunately, yoga pants are taking over the world.

There are two types of yoga pant wearers; the first is the sluggish college student. She doesn’t actually do yoga (except for one drop-in class at the REC with her roommate) but she likes to look like she does.

Every night she promises to pick out an actual outfit for school the next morning, but her 8 a.m. class causes an almost daily combination of a North Face rain jacket, UGG boots, a University of Oregon sweatshirt and of course the faithful yoga pants. She doesn’t feel guilty because every other girl in her classes is wearing the same thing.

The second type of yoga pant enthusiast is the yogi herself. She feels entitled to wear yoga pants everyday because she also carries a rubber yoga mat rolled up in her bag. She paid $98 for her yoga pants at Lululemon, but it’s worth it because she reaps the psychological benefits of sweating out her stress.

Not only is everyone in the world wearing yoga pants, everyone in the world is talking about yoga pants online. 99,187 people ‘like’ the Yoga Pants Facebook page, and the Girls In Yoga Pants Twitter account has 62, 175 followers.  Today, this appeared in my Twitter feed: “Retweet if you love yoga pants.” What’s worse is that it wasn’t the original tweet; someone I follow actually retweeted it.

Don’t get me wrong, I give in to some legging days myself. Who wants to wear jeans everyday? There’s nothing wrong with a little spandex-y indulgence to avoid the dreaded three-hour uncomfortable lecture hall class. My only question is, what is this new obsession with yoga pants and why are we now using them as if they aren’t just a last resort?

The only explanation for this unfortunate trend is that while a few students started wearing their beloved sweats, a few more thought yoga pants were acceptable for the classroom. Soon, the lines at Victoria’s Secret Pink were out the door.

This new idea that yoga pants are accessories of a healthy lifestyle instead of supplements to leisurely days is depressing. You wouldn’t wear plaid pajama pants to a business meeting, so don’t wear sweats while surrounded by your future colleagues. The streets of campus are starting to look like the halls of a dorm, where washing machines are scarce and closets are small.

On the bright side, some yogis out there have a good sense of humor. Lululemon made Sh*t Yogis Say, and like the others it’s funny because it’s true. My advice is to invest in some real clothes, set your alarm clock five minutes earlier, and make an effort to appear excited instead of exhausted.

Follow Tamara at @tamfeingold

Flux Playlist: Procrastination

-Flux Blog Staff

Procrastination. We’re all guilty of it. We’ve all had those late nights when we spend hours on Youtube instead of studying for our midterms and finals. Those endless evenings when we camp out in the Knight Library only to put on our Sherlock Holmes hats to become Facebook detectives. We’ve all been there, and we all know how much it sucks. So we here at the Flux blog decided to give a shout out to the weekend warriors who were partying when they should’ve been hitting the books. We probably would have had this playlist up sooner, but we kind of put it together at the last minute.


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

 

Mike

  • Time is Running Out -Muse
  • Who Cares? -Gnarls Barkley
  • White Blank Page -Mumford and Sons

Tamara

  • Under Pressure -Queen ft. David Bowie
  • Trying to Find a Balance -Atmosphere
  • Sitting, Waiting, Wishing -Jack Johnson

Callie

  • Paradise -Coldplay
  • Lucky -Jason Mraz ft. Colbie Caillat

Tiana

  • I Hate College -Samuel Adams
  • Young, Wild and Free -Wiz Khalifa ft. Snoop Dogg
  •  Billionaire -Travie McCoy ft. Bruno Mars

Sam

  • The Lazy Song -Bruno Mars
  • Handlebars -Flobots
  • Threw it on the Ground -The Lonely Island

Jessica

  • Waste -Foster the People
  • Teenage Dirtbag -Wheatus
  • We’re Going to be Friends -The White Stripes

The Fashion String: Social Photography

-Tamara Feingold

You went to a party last night. No one posted pictures online. Did it count?

Gone are the days of enjoying your company in real life. Now, it’s all about online documentation. What’s a party without Foursquare check-ins, Twitter hashtags, vintage Instagram photos, and, most importantly, a new Facebook album?

This isn’t anything new; Tom Wolfe referenced the social network narcissist years ago in the film Bill Cunningham New York. He mentions an old magazine article titled “You went out last night. Nobody wrote about it. Do you exist?” In the interview, Wolfe talks about the importance of newspaper columns to New York socialites and mentions that a lot of people were caught up in this frame of mind.

It’s still true. We’re so worried about updating every online outlet possible to convince the world we’re having fun that we don’t actually let ourselves have fun.

Let’s talk about fashion and parties. At first you may think it’s okay to wear the same outfit to two different parties, two weekends in a row. None of your mutual friends will be there so no one will know, right? WRONG. Some aspiring photographer will use her new Canon EOS Rebel T3i to take pictures of you sitting on a couch at the first party. Your other friend will probably whip out his disposable camera at the second one. You’ve made a huge mistake: Facebook friends flipping through your tagged photos will assume you only own one outfit.

The people who know this make sure to wear their weekend best at each and every party. Girls layer dripping necklaces over their short dresses, while guys add a hat here, change a sweatshirt there. This creates some kind of Facebook image of each person, hundreds of tagged photos that weave together in a digital scrapbook.

Parties aren’t just parties anymore; they’re photo ops. Your outfits don’t just create your style; they create a character by which people judge you online.

This creates the question: are we dressing for some kind of social media paparazzi when we go out? You have two options here. You can either dress for Facebook in outfits your friends will think are stylish or you can wear what like, when you like.

Follow Tamara at @tamfeingold

The Bright Colors of Kitsch

-Tamara Feingold

Pastel tutus, oversized embroidered sweaters, animal hats, and long feather earrings. The racks of Kitsch vintage store are stuffed with things you need but never knew where to find.  The store, located in downtown Eugene, sells both consigned clothes and locally made goods for men and women. The small shop is basically a rainbow of young party clothes with a unique touch, and you can rest assured you won’t find these items anywhere else in town.

“A lot of people come here looking for outfits for the Oregon Country Fair or Burning Man and I love getting to help pick them out,” said Allison Ditson, the store’s manager. “My favorite time of year is Halloween; We get a ton of costumes in.”

But Kitsch doesn’t only sell costume-wear; Many of the clothes are the same things you would find at the mall for a fraction of the cost. “Buying clothes here is a more conscious way to spend your money because it’s a local business,” Ditson said. “The owners find a way to give back to the community by organizing local fashion shows with money from their own pockets. They have good priorities.”

The store is packed with original graphic T-shirts, plaid button-ups, and extravagant dresses for just about any occasion. A lot of the clothes are inspired by the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, but casual sweaters, pants, and everyday wear are also available.

Ditson sells her own clothing line called ALLIHALLA at Kitsch as well. A self-proclaimed “seamstress extraordinaire,” Ditson makes the clothes herself and the line is featured in local fashion shows. “You can do anything to pay the bills, but it’s nice to work somewhere I actually support while expanding my own brand.”

Five times each week, Kitsch has a Scavenger Sale featured on the store’s Facebook page. A small picture will show one piece of clothing from the store, and when a customer comes in to find the garment a 50-percent-off coupon will be tagged inside. To pick up some one-of-a-kind pieces at a low price, become a fan of Kitch’s on Facebook.

It’s nice to know that some stores are still looking to make an honest dollar, and it seems Kitsch’s management has the best interest of the customer in mind while acting locally responsible. “It’s not promoted much in the media that you should think about what you’re spending your money on,” said Ditson. “You should be conscious about where it’s going.”

Follow Tamara at @tamfeingold

Internet Censorship and You

-Keegan Clements-Housser

If you’re any sort of professional that regularly uses the Internet for business, you’ve probably already heard something about the Senate’s PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) and the House of Representative’s Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

For those of you who just need a brief refresher, PIPA and SOPA are both bills aimed at combating Internet piracy in its myriad forms, from illegal file sharing to counterfeit product sales. If passed, they would place the impetus of preventing online piracy on service providers rather than individual users.

Failure to prevent illegal content from appearing on websites, including from unaffiliated users, would net extremely severe consequences, up to and including the removal of offending sites from search engine results, the seizure of offending domestic Domain names by the U.S. Department of Justice, and the blocking of domestic access to offending foreign sites.

And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

The bills also tweak a variety of other elements of existing judicial process surrounding copyright infringement, most of which were introduced by the much more tame Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998. Among these changes are increased levels of criminality for sharing copyrighted material of any sort without permission, up to and including felonies.

So what does that mean for the average person?

It means that uploading a video to YouTube could be a felony, even if you aren’t aware of the copyrighted nature of the content (the song “Happy Birthday to You” as an example).

It means that websites can summarily be taken down, without notice, if an Internet Service Provider (ISP) like Comcast deems them “dedicated to the theft of U.S. property,” as the text of SOPA reads – which only requires the demonstration of “specific facts,” the nature and extent of which are never defined. ISPs would only have five days after fielding a complaint from a copyright holder to take down a website, so they’ll certainly be more interested in shutting the site down than asking questions.

It means, at its most extreme, that websites that are integral to freedom of expression (not just here, but globally) could be targeted. Sites like YouTube, or Facebook, or Twitter – all can be used by end users to broadcast copyrighted material. That alone makes them potential targets as sites “dedicated to the theft of U.S. property.”

Though large companies like these might not falter, their innovation would certainly be hampered by a potentially endless barrage of lawsuits and injunctions, and smaller start-up social media companies may not ever get off the ground at all for fear of being shut down due to the actions of their users.

Simply put, we’re looking at a set of bills that could be a devastating blow to both our freedom of speech and our economy. And those are only two of the main downsides.

SOPA is due for markup on December 15. For more information on these bills, check out this story on ars technica.

Photo taken from arstechnica.com

Facebook Will Open Up Politics

-Jacob O’Gara

The hardest moment of my high school graduation ceremony to sit through was the dull and plodding speech by a local dignitary, lecturing us on the perils of social-networking sites. Were we aware that a single status update could come back to haunt us? Did we know that one “incriminating” photo could destroy our professional lives? Had we been able to get beyond the speaker’s glaring use of the already-archaic Myspace as the example to use in his warning, we’d probably respond, yes, in fact, we did. Call us naïve, but I think it speaks well of our generation, and poorly of the previous, that our minds didn’t jump to using Facebook as a method of exclusion and oppression in the working world.

Well, allow me to propose that, for the very same reasons it’s such a social danger now, Facebook will open up American politics in the long run.

Take a walk with me into the inevitable future: Members of this generation (Generation Y, if you insist) have “grown up” and are either voters or running for public office. Unless the Gen Y politician in question had designs to run for office from the very beginning and thus avoided Facebook like the plague, it’s probable that he or she had a profile in his or her youth, when the off-color comment or status or less than flattering photo was posted.

It’s certain that this scenario will happen; a good many who used Facebook as teenagers will eventually find themselves on one campaign trail or another. What’s a little less certain is what will go down at first; the most likely thing that will happen is that, for a few election cycles, political parties will nominate old folk, those who didn’t have a Facebook profile during their callow days, people who don’t have pictorial evidence of past inebriated or otherwise altered states.

But eventually, the pickings for elderly politicians will shrink, and the pool of older, Facebook-less voters will dry up. In cruder terms, they’ll die off. When that happens, everyone will have had a Facebook, and politics will at last be liberated.

The key feature of American politics is opposition research, and using what you learned to attack your opponent. People criticize politicians for mud-slinging, but politics by its very nature is about mud-slinging. Slick and sleazy investigators are hired by the barrel every campaign season just to find worm-knotted dirt to tarnish a given opponent.

What if, though, politicians (more realistically, their campaign staff) didn’t have to hire those people. After all, Candidate X has a Facebook photo floating around on the Internet that anybody could see, showing him as a college student holding a 40 oz. bottle of Colt 45 in one hand, and presenting his middle finger with the other. His career is over! Write his political obituary! Not so fast. There’s a just-as-accessible picture of Candidate Y (with a thicker head of hair) on the Internet: he’s enjoying himself at a party, and, well what do you know, he’s holding a joint. Candidates X and Y could bring up these details, but what would be the point? In the post-Facebook political culture, we’ll have candidates with nothing to hide because they couldn’t hide anything. Smear campaigns and personal attacks will become obsolete, thus we’ll be able to get down to the real issues.

When this time finally arrives, every candidate will be an open Facebook.

Facebook Official

– Jacob O’Gara

Most generations throughout history have authenticated themselves (usually this is a self-authenticating, since the generation previous will always have something to complain about the next) through combat and calamity. The Baby Boomers proved themselves with Vietnam, the tumult of the 1960s, and the malaise of the 1970s; the generation that spawned the Boomers got the stamp of authenticity through the bloodshed of World War Two and the terrible conditions delivered by the Great Depression.

The generation before that one was forged in the fires of the First World War. And so on, and so on.

This generation has no great war or other strife (though the current Great Recession might count) to assuage its anxiety of validity. 9/11 and the subsequent war against clerical barbarism came too early for most of us, and we were born and raised in the economic bubble of the 1990s, a decade in which the biggest issue was whether or not the President of the United States had sexual relations with that woman. Our greatest problem is with prosperity, and the utter lack of resources it gives us to feel authentic, to feel like a part of the flow of history, to feel real.

Enter Facebook.

Specifically, enter Facebook and the “like” feature. Of course, there were social networking sites that came before Facebook, but none of them possessed that single, remarkable attribute: the ability to pass judgment, to provide a fast ticket to validation and approval.

It’s one thing to go up to your friend after reading a particularly witty status update and saying, “That was funny, bro.” It’s another thing entirely to “like” that status, perhaps joined with an affirming “lol” comment. A single click of a button makes up for missing years of devastating warfare and other crises.

The other strand of this whole “Facebook-as-generation-authenticator” thing is the phrase, one that has snuck into our parlance so easily, “Facebook official.” Entire relationships have been obliterated because one person doesn’t “get the point” of changing his or her relationship status.

Events aren’t really going on unless an event page is set up on Facebook and people are invited. You can tell me in person that I’m invited to your themed shindig this weekend, but where the hell is the Facebook invitation?

But don’t let this mean I’ve come to bury Facebook. Nothing can be farther from the truth; I adore Facebook, even “like” it.

Would I rather gain generational validation by declaring my approval of a bunch of status updates than suffer the slings and arrows of crisis? Absolutely.

But try as hard as we might, I don’t think we can “like” our way into the history books.