Miss Musings

A modern miss provides commentary on sociological and psychological issues concerning politics, the media, literature, and everyday observances.

Don’t live your life like this

We all despise poor drivers, and the most common culprit to poor driving is texting while doing so. Whether you heard your phone beep with a new Twitter notification or want to see if people like your new profile picture on Facebook, your use of the phone in your car may prevent you from driving at the correct speed limit, going when the light turns green, or even staying on the road altogether.

Plus, you endanger your life when you do not pay attention to your surroundings. Are texts and tweets and instant acronym-littered communication that important?

This all probably sounds like a PSA about not texting and driving… and it is. But, this post is meant to be more of a life lesson, with the message being this: in the words of my mom, who told me this a few days ago, “don’t live your life in thirty second bursts.”

What?

“Three tweets, two texts… thirty seconds? I’m not living my life in thirty seconds. Nope.”

Think about it – the total time you spend checking your phone in thirty second intervals may add up to the time it would take to have several wonderful face-to-face conversations, ride rollercoasters, go canoeing like you have been meaning to, and read the book you haven’t picked up in a few weeks. You may do all of these things, amid the instant communication, mind you, but what if you used more of that insta-communication time towards learning new skills, exercising, resting, and relaxing? Life is busy. It’s back-to-back train rides, soccer practice trips, phone calls, headaches, and worries. Put down your phone. The world will slow down and your nails will suddenly get painted and you will have an evening to talk to your grandparents about all of the beautiful moments you have encountered since you opened your eyes.

I purposely did not invest in a smart phone for the very reason that I love to be in the moment. I will get one eventually for professional reasons, but for now, I limit myself to phone calls and a few texts here and there. Some days I go out and do not even take my phone with me, or I simply turn it off. I find that when I do this I smile more, talk to the people surrounding me, and appreciate the ambiance of the world. I don’t live my life in thirty second bursts when I could live my life in twenty-four hour marathons, with periods of rest and constant appreciation.

Don’t live your life glued to your phone. It will pass by too quickly.

Photo credits:

  • images.express.co.uk
  • buzzfeed.com
  • media.giphy.com

 

This is a world where everyone is famous

Social Media Marketing

By Paola peralta (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Tweets. Hashtags. Duckfaces. Selfies. LIKES.

We like those.

With the abundance of social media in our lives, we can create a world that, quite literally, only revolves around ourselves. When I am feeling down I can snap a selfie and put it on Facebook or Instagram only to receive compliments and likes that are tailored just for me.

When we tweet and use Facebook, we make our lives accessible to the world. Our social network sites are our marks in the digital world and belong solely to us, as they serve to define who we are. Since these social network sites nurture “likes” and complimentary comments, we grow to expect our “friends” to make us feel important. Social networks allow us to form celebrity complexes for ourselves. 

Think about the last time you added a friend on Facebook; were they really that great? Do you honestly love all 1000 people who are obligated to like at least one of your photos or statuses? Most likely not, but a like is still a like. Maybe we expect reassurance from other people and treat them like our fans instead of “friends.”

The celebrity complex is dangerous because it can lead to paranoia, low self-esteem, and a great loss of time. While I am only one person who can testify to the existence of the celebrity complex, anyone can reason out its prominence in our world. Why else would we be taking selfies and updating others on our new haircuts? Perhaps we do so out of boredom, or perhaps we are prompted by an expectation of a return on our social network investment.

Social networks, particularly personal profiles, are designed just for us, by us. We only “follow” artists we like, people we are interested in, and political reporting we agree with. We let Facebook and Twitter vet out the content that is well-suited for us and we do not engage with a multiplicity of other perspectives on current events, pop culture, and the like.

Our social networks are our managers – they manage media and blind us to the “unnecessary.”

Our friends lift us up when we snap our fingers – or our cameras.

We are the celebrities in a world where everyone is famous.

Irony time: Follow Miss Musings on Twitter and like her on Facebook for more blog updates! Let’s have a conversation. 

Your brand isn’t going to build itself

Ever heard of something called your “brand?” What does that even mean anyway?

Having a brand, or a digital aura future employers can associate you with, is critical. Jobs are getting harder to access as young professionals, but having a trustworthy brand in which all of your media links together may help you create your own work or be noticed by employers.

 

disney

Source: https://www.etsy.com/listing/154386179/disney-monorail-bumper-sticker-my-other

 

Think of the Disney brand. When you see the Mickey mouse ear labels, the “A P” (annual passholder) bumper stickers, or the “Walt Disney” signature, you know what company you are dealing with. Immediately you think of the “happiest place on earth” and trust the products that you are purchasing because they are associated with a trustworthy company. The same way you recognize Disney products, people need to recognize your work. Building a memorable brand can be done in the following ways:

  • Have a (professional) presence on social networks. If you are constantly glued to your laptop or phone, you are in luck. In today’s world everyone has a Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, so you need these tools too. Pick an image that resembles you and use it as your logo on all public social networks. Also, it is important to keep your username consistent, so be sure to check your chosen username’s availability on all platforms you are interested in using.
  • Create an online portfolio or website. Thankfully, there are plenty of web hosts that allow you to make websites for free. These sites usually put up advertisements and have funky URLs, but what is important is that the part of the URL you can control reflects your name on social networks. My favorite web host is Wix, because it does not require you to know HTML and you can make a professional-looking site in a matter of hours. Others that my colleagues have used include WordPress and Webs.com.
  • Hint: When you sync up your site to social networks, turn the URL into a tinyurl link using tinyurl.com. This way people won’t be thrown off by your lack of a purchased domain name, and the link will use up fewer characters in your bio.
  • When you’re ready, invest. Domain names, a.k.a. customized URLs, can be pricey. By the same token, you may think your homemade blog logo is the epitome of creativity and excellence. Yet sometimes investing in your own brand is necessary for you to be taken seriously as a professional. Caution: Do not purchase domain names or hiring Photoshop geniuses right away. Instead, play around with your online image and see if your brand is a. effective, and b. a digital reflection of you. Once it is, start doling out the dollar bills.
  • Shamelessly. self. promote. If you see an opportunity to network with someone, jump on it. Call people. Email people. Make yourself known and tweet companies who are doing what you want to do. In the words of branding king Steve Johnson (a.k.a. @journo2go): think about what you want to do, not where you want to work. So tweet small companies: they will lap it up. This advice can be applied to journalism or any other field: just make yourself known and make a positive impression. Social networking can always hurt you, but when used appropriately, it will inevitably help you.

 

Do you have a brand yet? If not, remember to PLAN one first, then start signing up for social networks and promoting your work. It’s a tough world out there, but we know the art of branding. Now get going – your brand isn’t going to build itself.

Want more professional advice? Are you enjoying #yourfuture week? Leave me a comment below (I always answer) and follow me on Twitter for more. You can also like Miss Musings on Facebook and be the first to know when new articles are out. 

Monday’s #yourfuture post: Want a job? Make your own