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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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Refugees Are Human Beings, No Exceptions

Stop acting like their brown lives don't matter.

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Earlier this week photos arose informing the world that Trump had decided to tear gas migrants seeking asylum at the US-Mexican border. Seventy-plus refugee men, women and children were seen caught in a cloud of painful gas as they fled from what had seemed to be their only protection.

They were a part of a caravan of over 5,000 refugees traveling from far and wide seeking protection. They fled widespread gang violence and extreme poverty, which left them no choice but to leave for a better life or die.

Despite our country's raging racism and domestic terrorism issues, it seems like a vacation compared to the conditions the refugees have to deal with. Many believe that the motivation to come to the U.S. stems from a noble cause to make money for your family and start anew, but these refugees are running for their lives. Their home countries, wrecked by U.S. policies that forced convicted criminals back, suffer from an infestation of gang activities and civil wars.

Their youth are enticed into gangs in order to support their families and an endless cycle of gang violence and continued inequalities creates a dangerous atmosphere. Local police and judicial systems try to control the violence but gangs are so rampant there seems to be no solution.

There is danger at every corner and the only light seems to be America, a predominately Christian country founded by immigrants fleeing persecution and danger.

Rather than being met with help and kindness, a tyrant of a president has continuously failed to meet the requirements of normal humanity. Placing them in cages, separating families, tear gassing children; it seems as if these brown lives also do not matter to the president.

Refugees are humans, with families and needs just like our own. They seek help and safety, nothing more, and as human beings, we must extend them kindness. Our country claims to be a world superpower, "effectively" delegating wars from afar and balancing world peace. But what is to say about what's happening to our neighbor's next door? How could we ignore the atrocities they continue to face as if they do not share the same Earth as ours?

The treatment we continue to see forced upon these refugees is disgusting especially since the Christmas season nears. Seventy-five percent of Americans identify as Christian, with 73% of the GOP identifying as Christian, and yet they lack the human decency and Christian duty to care for refugees.

It seems they have forgotten their own Savior was a refugee, seeking shelter and kindness where none was found. It seems their kindness only extends to their close circle, eliminating a chance for these brown lives to matter. It seems like American Christians have strayed far from their faith to appeal to political ideology and a burnt orange tyrant who cares about only himself.

Refugees are human beings. They are important and they are in danger. Stop treating them like their brown lives do not matter.

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