I'm Not The Next Wendy's Or Common White Girl Account, But Having Followers Is Pretty Cool

I'm Not The Next Wendy's Or Common White Girl Account, But Having Followers Is Pretty Cool

Having an audience to engage with is pretty fun.
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I have never been an avid user of social media. Nobody wants to see a million pictures of me doing homework or studying, which is a problem considering that school consumes just about the majority of my life. So, aside from special moments in my life and the occasional retweet or commentary here and there, I have spared my followers from updates that they don't really care about. I've used platforms like Facebook and Instagram to scroll through in moments of boredom or to catch up on the news. That's about it.

Early on in the past semester, I had to make my own Twitter account for my communication class. We had to tweet every day of class to get points for attendance. It was our professor's way of encouraging us to build a professional social media presence, which is clearly beneficial, but I was reluctant because I felt that I simply did not have anything interesting to say. I did what I had to do, though, and made it through the year with a decent account. Still, it definitely wasn't anything special. My attempts to keep it professional went a bit beyond necessary, and in effect they took away one of social media's key components: personality.

Over the past couple weeks, though, I have begun to appreciate social media in a new way. With summer break came more free time. I started spending more time scrolling through Twitter and realized that there is a lot more to it than updating people on where you are, what you are doing, or who you are with. In a way, it can be used as a form of entertainment. Some people are truly skilled at composing humorous, thought-provoking, and compelling tweets. I decided to give it a shot and tweet any clever or witty thoughts I had, and while I'm not the next Wendy's or Common White Girl account, it's actually pretty cool to have an audience for the thoughts that come my way.

Although I'm no social butterfly either, it is also sometimes nice to use Twitter to keep up with old friends (not so much family- that's what Facebook is for, right?). It is a great way to stay in touch without forcing anything, and gives plenty of opportunity for casual conversation. After years of mostly scrolling, I had forgotten about the true purpose of social media: communicating!

Communicating with close friends is one thing, but something I had long been skeptical about is communicating with people that I don't know. With Twitter being such an open social media platform, though, I have gotten to know many amazing people with similar interests. It is also a perfect way to reach out to those who you might not otherwise be able to contact, like favorite artists and other idols. Simply following them is also a great way, and in most cases, the only way, of keeping up with them.

While social media is undeniably common among millenials, if you don't have it or use it, maybe it's time to give something like Twitter a chance. I could come up with a list of complaints about it, but overall, it is a lot more interesting and useful than I initially gave it credit for. It might not be love at #myfirsttweet, but it's definitely worth a try.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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Using 'Tradition' As An Excuse For Blood Feuds Is Not Okay

Respecting culture should not include the allowance of massacre.

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Bloods feuds are different from your typical family argument. They generally occur in the Northeast or Central region of Albania and can take many people's lives.

A blood feud begins when a person takes another one's life in the midst of an argument or disagreement. When this happens they are not settled by a civil court or lifetime in prison; they are settled by using murder as revenge over an over again.

If not prevented, the two families in conflict will go back in forth taking someone's life from the family that wished to spite them, just to even the score.

Eventually, families run out of men to use in these blood feuds, and to make sure that the conflict is resolved, the women begin to dress up and act as males so they too can go out and kill each other. This practice has historical significance in their culture and should always be taught and remembered, but that does not justify allowing the practice to continue.

Sure it's insignificant, that I, as a female living in a developed country, would find this practice barbaric and want to stop it. But it's important to take a closer look at the families and realize how much they struggle and desperately need this to end to allow them to live.

Just in Albania's Shkodra region alone, there are estimated to be 68 families unable to leave their house in fear of what awaits them. People are unable to continue what would normally be a successful life if they are dragged into a fight that's not their own, by tradition alone.

In class today, my professor discussed his high school years, most of which were spent in Albania. He was exposed to, and friends, with many of the people trapped in this nightmare.

One in particular, he told us, would drive down in a van with tinted windows to a different city every day to carry out his life where no one knew him. He would work with them, hang out and play soccer, and drive home every day. This continued for months, until one day he stopped showing up, and eventually, my professor discovered he had been killed by the family that his family was in combat with.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated event, and it is still happening while the rest of Albania develops around it. People want help to solve this issue and truly need it...

In this issue, awareness is key and can allow humanity around the world to step in an attempt to prevent this from continuing. If this goal is achieved, imagine the renewed life that the people trapped in this tradition would be able to discover.

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