6 Actually Useful Things To Do On Social Media This Summer

6 Actually Useful Things To Do On Social Media This Summer

Besides upload your vacation photos, of course.
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If you are anything like me, you have probably seen your phone data usage soar and battery life plummet since classes ended. Although I do read The New York Times and other online news outlets on my phone, I will guiltily admit that most of the time I spend on social media is soul-sucking, wasted time. The next time you are bored and reach for your phone or laptop to scroll, think about these more “productive” things you can do with your spare time and social media accounts.

1. Unfriend & Unfollow

Remember the old days when you could not go through a lunch period without someone bragging about the precisely 364 followers they had on Instagram? We all realize by now that it is about quality over quantity when it comes to friends, and it is time to fix the mistakes made by your eighth grade self. I do not mean to sound like your mom, but being careful about who can see your stuff (especially those pictures from last weekend’s party… yikes!) is never a bad thing. If I had a dollar for every time I thought “Who the hell is that?” when scrolling through my friends list during my freshman year of college social media purge, I would have had enough to pay for my chemistry textbook. And if you do not think that is a lot of friends or money, please ask a STEM major — oh, and bring a box of tissues.

2. Delete Embarrassment Before it Happens

Going off of #1, those of us who have had social media accounts since middle school probably have a lot of posts and pictures… many of which we do not even remember. Taking a brief glance through your “Pictures of Me” folder may save you from feeling blind-sided when a friend sends you a picture of yourself in all of your braces and acne, pink puffy dress-wearing, middle school dance glory.

This does not have to be a complete business-minded endeavor either. Looking through old photos can be a warming and nostalgic experience, just like flipping through a physical photo album.

3. Reconnect with Old Friends

After clearing out embarrassing posts and dwindling down your friends list, you may find yourself missing the company of old friends or just wondering how they are doing. Messenger functions of social media give a way to interact very casually with those who you do not feel close enough to text, but email is too formal. Commenting on their posts is also a way to remind them that you still want to keep in touch.

4. Let Teachers Know How You Are Doing

No matter what you are doing after high school, there is no way that you got there alone. High school teachers are always curious to see where their students have gone, and they can pass on your post-graduation wisdom to their current students. I would definitely let the teachers or coaches that wrote your recommendation letters know how you are doing, since they took time out of their day to help you (hopefully) get accepted to your dream school, or get the job you have. Some of my high school teachers were totally okay with "friending" their students once they graduated, but email may be the best or most appropriate way to get in touch with them.

5. Create a LinkedIn

Although LinkedIn is not the first place you think of when I say “social media,” it is a legitimate social media platform, specifically for professionals. If you do not know already, LinkedIn is pretty much an adults-only Facebook, but instead of “friends” you have a “network,” and your profile is equivalent to a resume. Potential employers scout the site, especially looking for college students for internships and job opportunities. It is never too late to start!

6. Create Your Own Blog or Photo Series

Fun fact: being “overly active” is one of the biggest reasons that people get "unfollowed" on social media. If you find yourself constantly having something to say, especially if you feel it is important, you should think about starting a blog (or maybe creating for the Odyssey!). Besides it being something to put on your resume, running a blog or your own website is definitely a cool adventure into independent writing. And although it has a bad reputation, anonymity on the internet can allow you to get whatever you want to say off of your chest without feeling judged. We have all been in a situation where we have wanted to say something but are worried our great-aunt (that we are obligated to be friends with) might be offended.

Starting a separate Instagram account or making a Pinterest can allow those of you who love photography to share your work without clogging up your personal accounts.

Cover Image Credit: Eric Basu

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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To The Generation That Might Not Care, A Green New Deal Is Crucial

Take care of our planet and our future.

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The reality of climate change and method to address the issue has been a source of contention in the United States for far too long. While Republicans trail behind Democrats a great deal in the percentage who believe long-term, irreversible climate change is a real problem, an equally if not more important gap to acknowledge is that between generations.

A universally taught science concept in elementary school is the difference between weather and climate. Weather is the day-to-day condition of the atmosphere — rainy, sunny, etc. Climate is the weather of a particular geographic location over a long period of time. The weather in an area may be snowy on a particular January day but might overall have a warm climate (Trump has yet to learn this concept).

The gap between generational support for not only believing in the reality of climate change but if the government should take steps to prevent further harm on our planet is apparent. A few reasons that older generations may not support aggressive climate change policies are that many are not going to see the lasting impact of their harmful actions, may not want to acknowledge that their way of life for a majority of their life was detrimental to the environment, or that they simply do not think it is the government's role to further regulate current practices and lifestyles in the name of the environment (an argument supported by many conservatives).

Data For Progress

The "Green New Deal," proposed earlier this month by Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Edward Markey is mainly a list of ideas and goals rather than a carefully laid-out plan, though aims to eliminate greenhouse emissions through the creation of millions of jobs in the renewable energy industry, moving toward public ownership (a major source of disagreement among Republicans and Democrats), and much more. This plan is a comprehensive overview of many sources of environmental degradation that our nation has not addressed, despite the majority of the nation believing the climate change is a real issue.

There will undoubtedly be a major shift in the operations of many companies due to aggressive climate change policies, which could have been avoided at a drastic level if our nation had chosen to make climate change prevention a priority. Unfortunately, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global temperatures will rise to an irreversible level in 12 years if the United States and other countries that greatly contribute to rising temperatures do not take action. A sense of urgency has been lacking for far too long is crucial.

Written into the recently proposed Green New Deal is a section detailing how it will attempt to remedy the inequality of those most directly impacted by climate change. Vulnerable communities, particularly communities of color, are not seeing an equitable distribution in disaster funding to prevent damage inflicted by the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters that have resulted as an increase in rising global temperatures — Which, regardless of your age, should be a glaring flaw in our current system.

I personally doubt that the entirety of the recently proposed Green New Deal will be enacted, however, I believe that anyone who values the quality of human life, clean air, clean water, food sources, for not just those in the United States, but around the world, should be supportive of a Green New Deal.

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