We Need Innovation in this World, We Need Net Neutrality!

I hope my college-age bloggers are tuned in from all over, right now. I am about to tackle this concept of Net Neutrality and provide to you my personal stance, in less than 400 words. Please don’t underestimate the power of conversation and I hope that my post, at the very least, intrigues you to learn more about Net Neutrality and how it impacts you and the world’s access to knowledge.

Net Neutrality breakdown, 5 things you need to know:

  1. Currently, decision is being made as to rather or not the FCC will have regulation over the Internet.
  2. If the FCC gets regulation, everyone will have free and equal access – As it is now. Currently we do have Net-Neutrality and if FCC regulates the Internet, we will continue to have an open Internet.
  3. Currently the FCC does not have access to regulate broadband. However, if the Net-Neutrality stance wins the debate, they will have access! (Broadband is a fancy way of saying – you’ll get to keep that nice high-speed connection to all sites you visit.)
  4. If Net Neutrality loses the debate, you’ll have to pay extra for the sites you commonly go to or those in which you want to access faster.
  5. The Issue –If Net Neutrality loses the debate there will no longer be a thing as “exploring the internet” now that it’s limited – you shall only explore those sites that you paid for. Say goodbye to last-minute research projects!

With roughly 150 words left (I stick to my promises), I’ll breakdown my personal perspective on the issue of not having “Net Neutrality:” The long-term effect.

Recently, in a blog I wrote some time last week, I stated how cognitive dissonance impacts the news we seek on-line. In summary, when we look for news contents on-line most of us, intentionally or unintentionally, look for news sources that share our perspective or stance on a particular issue. We get this great sense of being able to applaud ourselves for picking the “right, logical perspective.” In reality, we’re limiting our perspective and creating this false black and white view of the world.

If FCC does not interfere to ensure “Net Neutrality” we have a bigger issue than that! The Mark Zuckerbergs of the world will not have the ability to be innovative, because they will not be able to afford it. People will begin to only pay for the sites that agree with their beliefs and perspective. The sights that have something different to offer will not even be in one’s sight. We’ll fall into this false sense of reality that the world only has one right answer, and all the sources we look at will be supportive of our own. Do you not see the harm in this?? I am Pro Net Neutrality because I care about being well-informed and I think knowledge and perspective is a resource everyone should be able to access.

I’m not saying you have to listen to a twenty-one year old from a small city. I’m saying that I hope you take advantage of the Internet to access useful perspectives and information on issues that affect you, like this one. You may not always have the privilege of doing so.


News Alert: They finally have us tuned in.

As traditional forms of media decline as primary sources of news, the web as a platform for news steadily increases. To specify the on-line platform for news, data entails that more and more people are deriving their news from social networks. Not to mention, 62% of smart phone owners, admit to getting their news from their device. Snapchat’s new launch of their Discover feature might have sparked a flame that can change the way in which people consume the news, forever. It’s just what we needed and everything the digital era was looking for.

If you have Snapchat, and even if you don’t, I advise you to check out the Discover feature. I’m not the biggest snap chat fan but they have my attention now. Discover, allows you to get your news in the easiest way possible. You get the ease of watching a short clip regarding the news you care about and the convenience to skip the parts you don’t. Flexible at form, Discover allows users to swipe up on the content they want to be more informed about.

And my parents were concerned of my generation’s lack of “real news.” If you can’t beat the social network sites, join them, like ESPN, CNN, and National Geographic has!

CAUTION: News sources are losing our trust

Does the title of this blog post catch you by surprise? It shouldn’t. The number of people who watch the news and/or read the newspaper has been declining year after year. Consider this: when you hear about an event and want to know more, what is the first step of action you take? If I were rich, I would bet a million dollars getting to that story begins with a search engine. People are becoming more and more adamant about their beliefs and perspectives in the world. I’ll tell you why. Cognitive Dissonance is the theory that produces a feeling of discomfort leading to an alteration in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to reduce discomfort and restore balance. Media trends tell us that people are experiencing cognitive dissonance, day after day. When CNN or Fox doesn’t bring them the straight-ticket democratic or republican perspective they are looking for – they turn to a source that will. I too, am guilty of cognitive dissonance. I can think of countless occasions in which I wanted to write about a particular viewpoint on a situation, which was evident in the phrase I typed within my Google search bar. Search engines allow us to only swallow the information we can bear. All other perspectives and data are thrown out of the window when we choose to specify our search results. As humans, we naturally look for ideals that allow us to pat ourselves on the back and re-affirm our correctness. Be aware, not only of your surroundings, but of your own twisted bias. Inspiration for Today’s post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/06/25/americans-dont-trust-the-media-thats-a-very-bad-thing/ 

We Are the Change Makers, Believe It or Not.

Did you know that 43% of the world’s population is age 25 or younger? I, for one, had no idea; yet, pleasantly surprised to find out that this means my generation will be the change-makers; we hold the power. Change is coming and on our accord. Today, 70% of young people believe social media is a platform for change.

Yesterday, in the midst of honoring Dr. King’s Legacy, I was honored to have dinner with Dr. Angela Davis. Engaging in meaningful conversation – I proposed the following question: “Dr. Davis, as you know, our generation is very much so involved and present on social media networks. Often, my generation uses these networks as a platform to begin social movements and mobilize the community. What are your thoughts on this new emerging era of young people?”

While I failed to record direct quotations from her remarks, I can inform you on some, I’m sure of many, of her viewpoints. She began by acknowledging and applauding the hard work of young people today and expounded on how it is the duty of our generation to make a stamp in history, as we know it. She did however differentiate between her belief that social media is a platform to mobilize, not to organize, social justice efforts.

Post-dinner and the wonderful lecture she gave on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill, I decided to look up the definitions of mobilization and organization. Mobilization is to put into movement and/or circulation. Organization is defined as gathering an organized body of people for a common purpose, action, etc. It was after looking up these definitions, that I was re-affirmed of my belief that contrary to Dr. Davis, I believe social media not only mobilizes communities but also organizes them.

When I consider the many protest people went to in 2014, it is evident that the primary source of information regarding these gatherings stemmed from social media networks such as twitter. I, myself, went to a vigil the day of the releasing of the Mike Brown Verdict. Students from all over UNC tweeted to mobilize the conversation, which led into the organization of a vigil.

While I am more than grateful for the works of Dr. Angela Davis and her courage to stand up for my future, I must take the opposing stance in regards to the power of social media in the digital age. My generation has been on-line since we were ten years of age, we’re practically pros at mobilizing and organizing from the comfort of our dorm rooms.

For the inspiration for this post, check out: http://blogs.worldbank.org/youthink/social-media-and-social-change-how-young-people-are-tapping-technology

This is Not A Fair Fight: The Battle for Users

Facebook adds a “Trending News” section to their user’s home page and media critics estimate this instant “push and shove battle” between Facebook and Twitter. As a student, active on both media platforms, I speak for myself, and only myself, when I project this feature of Facebook not worthy of making a true difference amongst already engaged Twitter users and lovers.

I can’t tell you why the world loves Twitter, but I can tell you why it often attracts people of my demographic, which will remain anonymous throughout this article.

Twitter is not simply used for trending topics and to inform users of what is popular. While this is a well-used feature, I argue that there is much more involved in stealing the attention and time of users today. Twitter, more importantly, is a space that allows the public to organize information (via hash tags) and engage in conversation regarding topics that often don’t appeal to the vast majority of people.

Marginalized groups use twitter as a tool to inform each other and make call to actions. One in few tools, in America, that gives users the liberty to exercise their 1st amendment – the Freedom of speech. Twitter does away with censors and the prohibition of ideals that are not favored by those with political and social privilege.

Individuals on twitter can virtually stand up and speak out on matter that would have never been discussed via Facebook. And this is my analysis as to why:

Twitter establishes a face with a name and a very brief bio. On the other hand, Facebook establishes a face with a name, family history, set of friends, group of people, religious beliefs, tagged photos, and a series of events one supports. I believe that the more anonymous users feel they are – the more likely individuals are to speak up and genuinely contribute and engage in conversation. In short, on Twitter individuals represent themselves, on Facebook individuals take full custody of their socially constructed identity, made via posts, friends, tags, etc.

In conclusion, Twitter will continue to be a major platform for entertainment and social movements. Facebook will continue to be a hub for employers, nagging family members, and BuzzFeed fans.

Inspiration for Today’s post: http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2013/08/30/facebook-tests-trending-section-in-news-feed/ 

Should Your Brand Respond to Twitter Protests? Are we in the 21st Century? You Tell Me.

Today, twitter populates with news faster than any other news source. Stories spread fast and tragedies spread even quicker! Twitter is becoming a platform to motivate movement and change in our society. Everyone is a journalist and everyone can bring something relevant to the table. What does this mean for brands? It means in order to stay relevant in the eyes of consumers, a company must engage in two-way dialogue with consumers. Want to discover what consumers deem most important? Study their tweets, then include yourself in the conversation. For starters: tweet always, stick to brand values, and realize that silence in the midst of protest is not the answer.

Tweet Always. Utilize twitter when times are good, bad, and grey. Twitter is a platform to release the latest updates regarding a brand. I argue that the way to a customer’s brand loyalty, is first through their twitter news feed.

Stick to Brand Values. Twitter, like a person, has an identity. It is important that every re-tweet, mention, and quote aligns with the values of the brand. Imagine speaking face to face with an investor on issues that he or she are concerned with. Consider the company response and demeanor, then re-invent this via 140 characters or less.

Silence is not the Key. In the midst of controversial topics and heated discussion regarding your brand, please respond. A PR practitioner specialist is more relevant now more than ever. Hire someone who is quick, strategic, and tactful. A tweet today may cost a brand thousands in opportunity lost, tomorrow.

For more information, regarding the inspiration of today’s blog, please visit the article below: http://www.socialmediatoday.com/content/should-your-brand-respond-social-media-protests