Goodbye, Facebook

Goodbye, Facebook

I’ve had a longstanding tradition of ditching all social networks when the last two weeks of classes come by. In fact, I’ve gone so far as to install browser extensions that let me block websites completely; so I’m not tempted to try and visit while I’m working. While this may initially seem like something crazy … Read more

bye bye facebook

I’ve had a longstanding tradition of ditching all social networks when the last two weeks of classes come by. In fact, I’ve gone so far as to install browser extensions that let me block websites completely; so I’m not tempted to try and visit while I’m working. While this may initially seem like something crazy to attempt, it actually has helped me to increase focus, study time and energy – at a time that I need it most. If you’re interested in doing something like this, here’s what I do.

Block the sites

Let’s face it, we’re creatures of habit. Writer Grace Boyle puts it succinctly:

We are creatures of habit. We find comfort in regularity. When something out of the ordinary comes along, forces us to dig deep and make a U-Turn instead of keep going straight, it’s jarring.

We don’t like change. Nonetheless, change is what’s required for us to achieve our goals of better focus and better grades. We’re not alone, however, and we have some tools that can help us achieves our goals, in the form of browser extensions. These extensions add functionality or, in our case, remove it. This particular extension, Mindful Browsing lets you block websites with a single click and makes you wait a specified amount of time before allowing you to enter again. I’ve found that the wait, even at just a couple minutes, really helps persuade me back to work.

mindful browsing

Now, Mindful Browsing is just available for Safari on the Mac, but I also highly recommend Temporary Site Blocker for Chrome and Site Blocker for Firefox.

Commit

It should go without saying, but I’m going to say it: you need to really commit to cutting out your social activity if you want to succeed. As someone who has done it several times already, I can promise the results will be good and you don’t really miss as much as you think.

Mobile

But what about when you’re away from your computer? We need to take the battle to your phone as well. During the last two weeks of classes, I delete Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and YouTube apps from my phone. I don’t actually lose any data, all my information is in the cloud, and I’m given a freedom you have to experience to understand. My phone changes from a device that occupies each spare moment I have to one that’s a useful communication and scheduling tool.

Do the work

Now that you’ve cut out the big items competing for your time, you can actually get to work. Even though checking Twitter may have only taken up 10 minutes of your time, you essentially start over your mental process when it’s back to whatever you were doing. By giving yourself the opportunity of uninterrupted time blocks to work, you’ll find you’re much more efficient and get much more done.

You can email me with questions at dregerkq@mountunion.edu

The New Myspace

The New Myspace

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There seems to be yet another player in the ever evolving world of social networking. This time it’s not Pinterest or Google+ competing with social King Facebook, but rather a service that has been around for quite some time…yes thats right, Myspace. In the past, Myspace has been confronted with some criticism on a range of issues, including online privacy, child safety and censorship, but then made a comeback with a focus on music and targeting artists. The service is owned by Specific Media LLC and pop star Justin Timberlake, and in 2012 alone they still had a total of 25 million unique U.S. visitors.

In fact, from 2005 until early 2008, Myspace was the most visited social networking site in the world, and in June 2006 surpassed Google as the most visited website in the United States. In April 2008 is when it was overtaken by Facebook in the number of unique worldwide visitors, and was surpassed in the number of unique U.S. visitors in May 2009, though Myspace generated $800 million during the 2008 fiscal year. So what is with this redesign of yet another new MySpace? Users seem to be able to log in with Facebook or Twitter and are able to import numerous things. There is still a large music component as well which allows users to browse albums, find popular songs and more.

The new interface does indeed look quite clean, just watch the video for yourself or visit https://new.myspace.com/ to learn more. I am curious to see if this new platform is what will get the Myspace name back on the top of the social network market, or if people will still pass it up. Personally, I am on so many social networks as it is, I may just brush this one to the side, despite the sleek design and interest of how it works. It feels as almost a Pinterest or Path for yourself. Leave in the comments what you think this move means for Myspace and other social giants!

5 Steps to Building a Personal Brand Online

5 Steps to Building a Personal Brand Online

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In a recent interview with Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, Zuckerberg said that Facebook’s goal is not to build a platform; it’s to be across all of them. This quote really got me thinking about the world wide web as a whole and how it seems like every time you blink your eye there is a new technology starting up. Of course Facebook has dominated recently as far as social networking goes, where 48% of 18 to 34 year olds check Facebook right when they wake up. Also there are 206.2 million internet users in the United States, meaning 71.2% of the web audience is on Facebook. This also shouldn’t let people pass up great services like Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, all of which I like to use. As a matter of fact many people have become frustrated with Facebook because of so many changes they have already made and plan to do. It’s true though, people will click through their pains and still be addicted to the social network.

 

Along with Facebook’s success, across the world many popular platforms like Blogger, Tumblr and WordPress are heavily used. This comes to realize that there are so many services online that people can be a part of, which can easily add to your personal online image. A lot of people already have accounts in these services, but since the future is heavily technologically based, you might want to be involved in some more. I created a simple step guide to help you further improve this image online, which can be used to send to recruiters, share stories with friends and letting people get a better feel of who YOU are.

  • Utilize social media – Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Jumo, Flickr, Foursquare and Google+ are great ways to connect online.  I personally use these services to connect with friends and share photos. It is important to remember that when you use social networks anyone can see this information (aside from some privacy settings). There are many potential job employers who may not want to be seeing you partying it up! Don’t let this allow you from not having fun, just be smart.
  • Be social – When being present on many different platforms it is important that you are still using the full potential of the service. For example, my WordPress blog I update about once every two weeks, which is not frequent but I am not leaving is dormant. On this site as well and for blogs in general, it is important to read other posts and comment on them. The more you comment on other blogs, the more traffic you generate to your site.
  • Show professionalism – This goes along with being smart when utilizing social media, but now is your time to show off! By creating a profile on LinkedIn or a resume on Vizualize.me you can have a professional e-profile at hand. Also, try to stay connected to past employers and any employees since they can help you get a job down the road. You might be able to discuss topics or find jobs on these services that you wouldn’t be able to elsewhere.
  • Register a blog – You can create blogs for personal reasons, educational and informational reasons, business and corporate reasons or a multitude of other uses and purposes depending on what suits your fancy. There are many blog services like WordPress, Posterous, Tumblr and Blogger that all work well. Blogs are just a way for you to show your work, express ideas and share things you stumble upon. If you are passionate about photography, create a photoblog for instance. This is a good way for people to find out more about what your interests are and how you like to express yourself.
  • Create a home page – Some services like Flavors.me and About.me are a way to link all of your online profiles into one site. These sites can serve as a “homepage” linked to profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. This is a way for your brand to have some ground, and direct people to who can then later explore your profiles across the board. My homepage.

These are just a few steps that I have found some success in. For example, when contacting some recruiters about an internship they said they really enjoyed reading my blog. This hopefully will help them get a better feel of who I really am, and it will serve as a marketing tool for my personal brand. I hope these tips help, and just remember that each service rubs off on you in some way. Do any of you readers have any other services you like to use or recommend?

Deactivating Facebook

Deactivating Facebook

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The video is obviously exaggerated but still gets the point across.

Did you know there are more than 800 million Facebook users and 50% log on every day?  Who thought this would get so big?  Why didn’t Myspace get this big?  Facebook was desgined by college students for college students, and it is something I once had, but not anymore.

I’ve been Facebook-less for over two years now and I love it.  Why didn’t I just limit myself to Facebook?  Well, I couldn’t!  It is so addicting and my only solution to the problem was deactivating my account.  There are obvious reasons to why everyone loves it, but there aren’t many reasons to why people would just completely deactivate their account.  Social networking takes out the fun of meeting people and interacting with people in person. It isn’t productive toward studying at all, and I need as much studying as I can get since I am the average guy that cannot just simply digest knowledge after I see it once!

Facebook, Myspace (if that is even used anymore), Google+ are all networking sites that are not meant for me.  When I did have one, I easily spent more than three hours a day on it just creeping on people I never knew about and then I would find out about their entire life.  It is something I found actually creepy and I didn’t like it since I judged people before I even truly knew them.

Let’s be serious, people might be friends on Facebook, but they are barely even acquaintances in real life.  I had more than 500 friends on Facebook and only talked to about 200 of them (if that).  I didn’t like barely knowing people and being friends with them on Facebook.  It seemed like a fake friendship to me and I want to truly be friends with everyone. I don’t want to have to fake it.

So how’s life been since I deactivated it?  Well, my grades have gone up. I have more time for friends, exercising, talking on the phone and discovering new hobbies, whoa!  I try to make every second count, and being on Facebook was just a waste for me.  Sure it was nice seeing and talking to people I haven’t talked to in years, but that was a very small portion of it to me.  I am a social person just like anyone else, and I’d rather be social in person than over the Internet.  I like hearing the sound of someone’s voice and seeing their face when it isn’t smiling in a frozen moment.

So here’s my challenge to you readers.  How long can you go without your Facebook account?  A few days, weeks, months?  It truly is hard to remember what life was like before it, but see how long you can go.