Well, this is pretty serious…

Standard

While reading the article How Companies Learn Your Secrets by Charles Duhigg I started to question the majority of my shopping experiences, and what was more frightening was that I started to question to methods that my part time job uses on shoppers and on me directly. Apparently companies such as Target and Shoprite have ways of tracking our purchases and basically ways of studying our lives to make us more “comfortable” in purchasing all different types of products from this. 

I work at Shoprite and until reading this article I didn’t realize how true this all is. At Shoprite we have coupon machines that track your price plus card and print out coupons that we “recommend” for you. I’ve also noticed that customers that shop there regularly are more apt to buy toys from us or health and beauty aids even though it is more expensive. 

I am fascinated by the fact that company’s actually put that much thought into their marketing and I’m not sure whether I should be impressed by this money making strategy or creeped out. Honestly I think I’m a mixer of the two, but mainly creeped out. Image

Advertisements

Companies track our purchases? No way…

Standard

target picAfter reading How Companies Learn Your Secrets by Charles Duhigg, I was a little creeped out, I’m not going to lie. I had a conversation similar to this article, last semester, when one of my education professors told us a story about how he started buying a new brand of Yogurt, Oikos, because he received coupons after buying Dannon. Shop Rite was scanning his card and keeping track of his purchases. They hooked him with a really nice coupon the first time, about $2.00 off his purchase of yogurt. The next coupon to come was .75 cents off. The third coupon was .15 cents off. No more coupons came after that. They didn’t need to send them anymore because the company did their job; they got a new customer. He stopped buying Dannon and now only bought Oikos Greek Yogurt.
Andrew Pole, the statistician in this article for Target, figured out how to determine when their female shoppers were pregnant. Every guest is assigned an ID number and when they go thru the line, their purchases are tracked. If a certain number of products on a list were scanned thru, Pole knew there was a good percentage that the woman was pregnant. As time went on, the store would start sending coupons to the woman’s house for baby cloths, equipment for the nursery and prenatal vitamins and cocoa butter.
It amazes that we have the technology to track the purchases of over 300 million people in this country. This article talked predominantly about Target, but I shop at CVS as well and I noticed them doing the same thing to me. I scan my CVS care card when I pay at the register and I receive an abundance of coupons for the cosmetics brands I buy frequently and other products I buy only at CVS. I used to think “oh I love this store; they always give me coupons for products I want!” Then I realized they were getting me to spend even more money there because of all of the coupons they were sending me and the other items I was picking up because I was already there.
We have little freedom in this country anymore. They track each and every move we make, from the purchases we make at the grocery store, to the links we click on when we search Google. If we have the technology to track everyone’s purchases in this country, I can’t imagine what else they can track in our every day lives.

First Amendment & Social Media don’t mix

Standard
 
ICloud (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 
Image via CrunchBase

ICloudReading Tweets of rage: does free speech on the internet actually exist? By Nilay Patel opened my eyes to the way the internet really works these days. The First Amendment claims that we have freedom of speech, but when it comes to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, I’m sorry to tell you, you don’t. Even apps that you think are personal to your own computer, like iCloud, are controlled by Apple. “Apple can pre-screen and delete data from your iCloud account if it finds anything ‘objectionable.'” So what does that mean? If they don’t agree with a picture or video that I upload to that file, they will delete it because “they said so”? It’s not up to them to decide what I have on my phone and computer.

Trevor Timm states, “The top decision maker at YouTube has more censorship power than any Supreme Court justice,” he says. “We have to develop policies that better protect free speech from not only government interference but also corporate censorship.” We should not stand for this. The government says we have “Freedom of Speech” but we really can’t just post anything we want. Do I think it’s right to post hate crime and pornography on the internet? No. I think people should make some real use of their time and find another online activity. But if they need a place to vent or blog out their issues, they most certainly should be “allowed” to. Who are we to say that they can’t think or say their opinion on a certain subject matter?

So there you have it. You can’t post anything you want on Twitter or Facebook. Youtube will take down anything questionable and your iCloud pictures will be deleted if they are “objectionable”.

 

Educators on Twitter: @DaisyDyerDuerr

Standard

twitter blog pic

As I was looking through educators on Twitter, I came across a woman by the name of Daisy Dyer Duer, her Twitter handle is @DaisyDyerDuerr. Her profile read that she was a Principal of a school district (K-12) in Arkansas. She even had a hash tag, #ArkEdChat, which I thought was neat since we have our own hash tag to communicate with each other in our Writing Arts classroom (#tfws13). At the end of her profile she has a website listed, http://daisydyerduerr.com.

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Right away I could tell that Dasiy was deeply involved in her profession and I wanted to learn more.

I clicked on her website and found out from there that she writes her own blogs on her page and that she travels around the country as a speaker. She obviously makes teaching more than just a job, it’s her passion and she’s made it into something that she enjoys. Her quote on her page says “Prepare ALL Students for Success in Today’s Digital World”. That is literally what we talk  about in my education and writing classes at Rowan University each day. It’s nice to read it somewhere else and know that it’s our future and it really exists.

Next, I clicked back over to her Twitter and checked out her follower list. Everyone that followed her was an educator or belonged in the field somehow. The same went for people who she followed. They were all involved in education; whether they were administrators, teachers, aides, or curriculum specialists. I am so glad I stumbled upon her account, and followed more people from her Twitter that inspire me to be a part of the amazing world of educators!

 

Coolcatteacher: The Ultimate Professional

Standard

Looking over different educator’s twitters, I stumbled upon Vicki Davis, better known as, @coolcatteacher. She seemed approachable, and fun, so I began following her and instantly became engaged.

Unknown

Her posts are truly inspirational . Her career is her passion , as it should be. She shares not only how to become a better teacher, but ways to do it, and keeps young educators like myself on our toes about new and emerging technology and curriculums across the nation. I have learned so much in a week of following her, that I just want to keep learning more. There is an entire world of education, I have no idea about. 

Scrolling through the list of who she was following, I was a little stunned. Everyone is an educator. Or involved in education in some way. It really showed to me just how absolutely involved and informed she is about all different types of education, and how helpful this is in the grand scheme of things.  I myself tend to stick to talking to Early Education majors. Its what I specialize in. But she on the other hand, had Early Ed teachers, Linguistics professionals, high school history teachers and even us college students. Her broad range of knowledge is commendable, and such a good example for people like me. She broadened my own horizons, and made me realize that just because I teach a certain age, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t know about what is happening in my school, district, state, and country as a whole. As educators, we should unite through our passion and careers, and work together to keep moving forward. Needless to say, after scrolling through I followed about twenty more people. I’ve read more articles on education in my free time because of coolcatteacher, then I have in my entire life, and I’m pretty excited about it.  #accomplished #futureofeducation

Facebook Feigning.

Standard

No Facebook for a week. Sounded like a fairly simple task.

 

facebook_logo

 

I could do tons of other things. I could actually do all of my homework in a timely manner, I could read a book, I could make cookies…. or I could give in and go on anyway.

 

 

I really completely surprised myself with this assignment. I truly didn’t realizejust how often I was using Facebook, and how much I had become addicted over the last few years. I lasted the first night. It was fresh on my mind, and I was determined. I watched T.V. instead, and I did bake cookies. Small victories.

And then I woke up the next morning .

I don’t think I even realized that Facebook is apart of my daily routine. I woke up, rolled over, grabbed my phone, and instantly clicked on my Facebook app. Why, you ask?

I DON’T KNOW. It was literally natural for me. It was a daily routine to scroll down my news feed, catch up with the world, and then go back to trying to get myself out of bed. ( Which always takes much longer then needed). It dawned on me after a few minutes , what I had just done. Just one day after the assignment, I lost. I was so reliant on this social networking site, that after less then 24 hours I was back on. The worst part is, I wasn’t even that interested. It’s not that I absolutely HAD to go on and see what was happening, I just did, because it is what I always do .

After that first day, and becoming extremely frustrated with myself, I decided to try again. This time instead, I became hooked on twitter. It’s fast, and informative, and fluid. New tweet’s pop up constantly, and at the time of the Boston Bombings, this was a perfect way to stay up to date. I lasted longer during this stretch. But I still could not stay away from social networking. It is a perfect distraction when I need it.  It’s how I communicate. It’s how I read during the day. It’s what gets me through long and boring classes, its how I express myself.

It’s taken over my life, apparently.

Maybe I should take up painting. This is getting a little ridiculous…

Facebook-less

Standard

facebook iphoneLast Thursday night, my professor challenged my class to go exactly one week without using their Facebook account. At first I thought nothing of this. This was easy. Who really needs Facebook anyway? Well I have the app on my iPhone and I never knew how much I actually clicked on it through out my day. I use other social media apps like Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, but they just didn’t seem as fun without little old Facebook to go on as well. For instance, whenever I post edited pictures on Instagram, I automatically click “share” on Faceboook and Twitter when I’m about to post the picture. I posted a picture of my eight month old nephew this week on Facebook, even though I wasn’t supposed to be using it…it’s just a hard habit to break.

So this week I had to force myself to click around on different apps on my phone instead of using Facebook. What did I do before I made a Facebook account? Well I made a Myspace account when I was in ninth grade. I thought I was soooo cool. Now when I look back on that, I can’t believe how boring that website really was. I used to get so frustrated with making stupid backrounds and fonts. Facebook is straight forward and user friendly. I suppose another social network will come out in the next five or so years that’s better and more popular and we’ll all leave our Facebook accounts in the dust.

I learned a lot about myself from this past week without Facebook. I learned that I go on my Facebook way too much. I mostly use it to kill time between classes, when commercials come on the TV (because God forbid I’m bored for three minutes), or when I should be writing papers for class because I’ll be happy to log back on tonight after class but do I need to go on Facebook and read peoples’ whiney posts? Nope.

Byebye Facebook! It’s been real.

Standard

Social media websites such as facebook, twitter, instagram, and tumblr have become a part of our daily lives whether we would like to admit it or not. For me these sites have become my morning routine. I wake up and browse through my Iphone to see whats been going on while I’ve been sleeping. Personally, I feel that Facebook’s days are becoming numbered, people are now turning to these other forms of social media to help them connect to others. rather then posting status updates. So when I was told that I would be unable to use Facebook for a week I wasn’t to worried. 

The first thing that I did to unsure that I wouldn’t be using it was moving it to another page of apps on my phone so it wasn’t as easy for my to get to. The only time that I struggled with this was when something funny happened that I thought one of my friends would appreciate, normally I would go and post it onto there walls, but now I text or call them. Another thing that I noticed was that since we can not post onto each others walls we started tweeting to each other more often. Therefore we still feel the need to publicly chat with each other in another form rather then privately between the two of us. 

I’m not really sure how I feel about all this, because it’s not just me and my friends who have this struggle, it’s just about everyone. We all feel this constant need to post about ourselves and what we are doing, whether we are aware of it or not. 

Blondes have more fun!

Standard

I’m Sarah 🙂 5’10, blonde hair and green eyes. I’m a PR major who loves modeling and going to the beach…

 

Okay, let’s be real. We have all created little summaries about ourselves on social media websites like Facebook, twitter, and even myspace (back in the day). That little summary allows us to be and say whatever we want about ourselves. Now anyone who knows me knows that I am the opposite of what that summary says. I’m no where near 5’10, but hair is super dark brown, and I hide from cameras like it’s my job. It’s truly amazing how many people lie over the internet or “stretch the truth” about themselves. There have been multiple shows made such as, catfish on mtv, that focus on this topic. 

The article “Who Am We” by Sherry Turkle discusses this topic in further detail but also makes a point to remind her readers that computers were not always used as a way to communicate socially, they were used strictly as a tool and mainly for math and calculating probability. The fact that computers have turned into our right hand is both a good and a bad thing. I feel that computers have provided us with more ways to become efficient and focus our energy in writing rather then finding facts. On the social side of this I also feel that being able to communicate with our family members and close friends easily by sharing posts, photos, music, and videos has brought us to a whole new level of closeness. My only fear about all of this is that people will/ have been becoming lazy and lost their sense of reality. We all go on facebook or twitter and end up spending way more time on it then we wanted to. Also there are many fears such as the one that I discussed earlier. We can pretend to be who ever we want to be, which is a scary yet creative thing. 

 

Image

Facebook Withdrawl? Not so much.

Standard

I feel like lately, Facebook is a social media site that is slowly becoming less and less popular. More of those who are wrapped in the social media networks are beginning to favor other new trending networks leaving Facebook in the dust. Things such as Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Vine, and some blogging sites, are easily the more popular of the bunch. However, Facebook is still hanging in there with many still communicating and interacting on the site. I know that the only reason that I still have my Facebook activated is for some family members who like the updates or the easy way of communication through messaging or wall posts via the site. Since I still have my account I have to admit that I am guilty of going on several times a week when I am bored and have nothing better to do, checking out what is going on in other people’s lives on my news feed. It passes the time when Twitter and Instagram just don’t cut it. Even though I am not as obsessed with Facebook as I used to be just as everyone else, I was still pretty nervous when Dr. Wolff told us that we were not going to be able to use it for a whole week.

Saying goodbye to Facebook in class on Thursday, I was nervous that I was going to start to miss it and feel as though I needed to go on just because of the fact that I wasn’t able to. The feeling of wanting something that you can’t have can be pretty powerful at times . I also thought that there was a good possibility that I was going to crack on accident as well. Open up the app on my phone out of instinct or click on it by accident trying to click something else. But I can proudly say that none of that has happened so far. It has been 5 days since I have last been on Facebook and I actually don’t even miss it…at all. This project, or experiment that Dr. Wolff had us complete has really given me a whole new lite on Facebook and its role in my life. I am actually considering maybe deleting it and setting up new forms of communication with the few members of my family that would really want to stay connect. We’ll see what happens when I get it back, but I definitely do not feel as dependent or reliant on Facebook as I did before and it is quite refreshing to feel that way.

facebook_logo Facebook-hoax