How Does Online Media Consumption Affect Our Lives?

Social media is used for work and personal matters and even for fun. Have you ever wondered how it’s affected your everyday life?

Foursquare mayors: If you’ve been in a battle for a mayorship or know of anyone, it’s a BIG deal. People often change their daily routines to make an extra check-in to keep the Mayor title of… let’s say Hooters? Battles have gotten so intense that Foursquare has had to change its rules to compensate for cheaters. Businesses can also now oust these cheaters.

Shopping on Facebook: Businesses like Threadless now give customers the option to shop straight from Facebook. This is pretty cool since you can also update your Facebook status about a product and share it with all your friends.

Working during the holidays: Despite stress and other complaints, a study shows that 59% of people will check their work email over the holidays. I guess feeling interrupted on your break is better than feeling left behind and having to catch up – 42% of the people in that study feel the same way.

Reacting on Twitter: Here’s a story from last week about Bill Nye the Science Guy and his speech at USC. Bill apparently fainted several times during his speech and experienced slurred speech. Even after a fainting spell that lasted at least 10 seconds, no one came to his help. A Trojan senior had this to say, “Instead, I saw students texting and updating their Twitter statuses. It was just all a very bizarre evening.” REALLY, now? This is disgusting, that people could be more connected to their Twitter accounts than to actually helping a human being. I really hate to think it but sometimes, I’m afraid that Idiocracy has foreshadowed our future…

Late night usage: And of course, there’s those late night texts that we can’t avoid. Texting and video games not only affect teen’s sleeping cycles but can also cause more serious problems such as depression and  anxiety.

In many ways, online media enriches our everyday routines but this doesn’t come without negative consequences. How has it affected you?

Help, My Dad is on Facebook!

“Just watched my dad type in mail.yahoo.com into the username field on the Gmail homepage. Wow.”

Comedian, Aziz Ansari shows us that some of our parents aren’t as internet-savvy as we’d like them to be. So, how do you feel knowing that your parents are on Facebook?

Fastest Growing User Segment
There’s a myth that only teens and young people are on Facebook – that would be wrong of course. The 35+ age group has grown drastically and actually, 55+ females was one the fastest growing groups earlier this year! Facebook surpassed 500 million users earlier this summer and I’m sure that only more “older” people will sign up. Can’t they enjoy Mafia Wars and Nightclub City like the rest of us?

Scams to Watch Out For
No, my dad hasn’t fallen for any email proposals from Nigerian princes but he does have the bad habit of opening pretty much every email he receives. Which is only one reason that I now worry that he is on Facebook… From password phishing, fake “Unlike” buttons and worms from applications, there are plenty of Facebook scams out there. Even though all this stuff is out there, I think the benefits outweigh the potential negatives.

Please Don’t Friend Me
Some people may find it “creepy” or “weird” that their parents or older relatives are on Facebook to check up on them. Two words: privacy settings. Facebook doesn’t have to be all about businesses or games. I actually think it’s a great way for my parents to stay connected to our relatives (most who live in other states) and reconnect with old friends. What’s your opinion?

Add Pieces of Flair

Office Space ignited our love for adding tacky buttons to our uniforms in a vain attempt to convey a persona. Let’s stop to ask ourselves, are we limited OR are we only limiting ourselves? Take some time to find your own source of inspiration. After all, no one wants to end up like a Milton… (spoiler: he’s the one that burns the office building down).

So, what are some of your favorite ways to add a little panache to your work/workspace?

Personalize Your Browser
Calling all Firefox fans! Their Personas toolbar has been out for awhile and it allows you to apply different themes to your internet browser. Not feeling any of the designs? You can create your own, of course. Create a header (3000px wide x 200px high) and footer (3000px wide x 100px high). Next:

  • Install the tool bar
  • Click on the fox icon on the bottom left of your browser
  • Preferences > Show custom Persona in menu
  • Custom > Edit > Locate image locations, apply and you’re done!

Jazzing Up Your Facebook Fan Page
Do you need to create a custom box or tab for your Facebook Fan Page? Don’t waste your time with other useless applications – Static FBML is all you’ll need. Check out Mashable’s latest showcase of 5 interactive Facebook Pages. Isn’t GAP’s campaign cute? With this application, you can also add picture galleries, videos and more. I really like how business-friendly Facebook is becoming.

Travel to Another Era for Inspiration

Sometimes, there’s nothing like a blast from the past to get our creative juices flowing. If you love vintage print ads, this is a collection that you can’t miss! Don’t know what it is, but there’s just something that is so exciting. Maybe, it’s the technicolor and lack of Photoshop! I’m not just talking about ads – literature, films, and movies can always help you feel inspired if you’re in a rut.