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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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Why The Idea Of 'No Politics At The Dinner Table' Takes Place And Why We Should Avoid It

When did having a dialogue become so rare?

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Why has the art of civilized debate and conversation become unheard of in daily life? Why is it considered impolite to talk politics with coworkers and friends? Expressing ideas and discussing different opinions should not be looked down upon.

I have a few ideas as to why this is our current societal norm.

1. Politics is personal.

Your politics can reveal a lot about who you are. Expressing these (sometimes controversial) opinions may put you in a vulnerable position. It is possible for people to draw unfair conclusions from one viewpoint you hold. This fosters a fear of judgment when it comes to our political beliefs.

Regardless of where you lie on the spectrum of political belief, there is a world of assumption that goes along with any opinion. People have a growing concern that others won't hear them out based on one belief.

As if a single opinion could tell you all that you should know about someone. Do your political opinions reflect who you are as a person? Does it reflect your hobbies? Your past?

The question becomes "are your politics indicative enough of who you are as a person to warrant a complete judgment?"

Personally, I do not think you would even scratch the surface of who I am just from knowing my political identification.

2. People are impolite.

The politics themselves are not impolite. But many people who wield passionate, political opinion act impolite and rude when it comes to those who disagree.

The avoidance of this topic among friends, family, acquaintances and just in general, is out of a desire to 'keep the peace'. Many people have friends who disagree with them and even family who disagree with them. We justify our silence out of a desire to avoid unpleasant situations.

I will offer this: It might even be better to argue with the ones you love and care about, because they already know who you are aside from your politics, and they love you unconditionally (or at least I would hope).

We should be having these unpleasant conversations. And you know what? They don't even need to be unpleasant! Shouldn't we be capable of debating in a civilized manner? Can't we find common ground?

I attribute the loss of political conversation in daily life to these factors. 'Keeping the peace' isn't an excuse. We should be discussing our opinions constantly and we should be discussing them with those who think differently.

Instead of discouraging political conversation, we should be encouraging kindness and understanding. That's how we will avoid the unpleasantness that these conversations sometimes bring.

By avoiding them altogether, we are doing our youth a disservice because they are not being exposed to government, law, and politics, and they are not learning to deal with people and ideas that they don't agree with.

Next Thanksgiving, talk politics at the table.

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