Probe this week: Media Autoethnography

Here are copies of the assignment I handed out in class and the media log sheets.

If you missed class, please do note that this assignment asks you to log your media use on a weekday and a weekend day this week.

For Sunday (11/6),  post a blog entry about something interesting, surprising, or important that you’ve learned about your own media usage just from logging it and accumulating your raw data. Be specific in your comments. Give examples, tell stories, or refer to things you logged on these days.

Optional Post: Social Media & Politics

When I saw that the two presidential candidates should be avoided, I was immediately hit with a roadblock. I’m not incredibly enticed by politics. Honestly, this country is seemingly run by idiots with a few smart people woven in between. Sure, I know a few politicians, but honestly, I try to focus solely on myself and not about the increasing decline of the US.

I thought of two completely random politicians and googled them. The first was Senator Corey Booker, from New Jersey and the second was the mayor from my home, Mayor Kasim Reed.

I had no idea that Senator Booker had a Twitter, but then again, why wouldn’t he? Additionally, he has a snapchat. Not sure what a Senator would snap, or if he would snap on a daily basis, but he certainly advertises his snapchat with a wonderfully heroic picture of him in the snapcode. All of his pictures on his Twitter show him being out and involved with either a genuine smile or a serious concerned listening face. Overall, he seems warm but also concerned about the issues (including the presidential election).

Mayor Kasim Reed, on the other hand, didn’t seem as welcoming and friendly. His avi (the profile picture) is a dramatic and intentionally lit picture that makes him seem unobtainable and cold. Not many of his pictures show him smiling. Even when he seems to be encouraging the public, he seems more like a stern father than a kind, encouraging leader. Even in a picture at Atlanta’s Pride Parade this year, he seemed stiff and uncomfortable. Overall, he seems stern and unapproachable.

I had no idea that just from the delicately picked pictures on their social media that a political candidate can be made out to be any way the public can perceive them. It’s interesting to see the different politicians and just how their media presence has affected the public’s perception of them.

Optional Blog Post

Although the post guidelines preferred our political candidates not be discussed, I interpreted that as just staying away from Donald or Hillary. I am going to talk about a presidential candidate that most people have not even heard of and surely do not know what he looks like. This man is Evan McMullin. The article in the directions was all about image as a form of self-branding for a candidate. One stout difference today is the effect of social media on a campaign. While the major news broadcasts highlight the main two candidates, McMullin is flying under the radar as a conservative independent candidate.  He has spent many years as an undercover CIA field officer in the middle east fighting terrorism. This man has been trained at the highest level to not be seen, to not allow others to know his image, yet he is running for an office in which public appearance is almost everything. While this stark difference in self branding would seem to be detrimental to a political campaign, McMullin is seeking to join an exclusive group of third party candidates who have won a state in a presidential election. He is currently a top of the polls in Utah, his home state, in early voting. This sudden unheard of surge in backing possibly comes from the very difference in public appearance that McMullin possesses. When voters here a general story about an honorable and respected CIA officer they are more likely to think highly of the candidate simply because there is not very much public information available about him. In a time and age when voters get more and more info about their candidates, perhaps a candidate who is rather unknown can be surprisingly appealing. Obviously Evan McMullin has a very near to impossible shot at becoming our next president(although there are some scenarios that make this possible if no candidate reaches 270 electoral college votes), he is potentially clearing space for other less well-known independent candidates to cause a ruckus in the two-party electoral system of the United States.

*OPTIONAL* Post this week

I was originally going to ask you to compare the online media presences of two political campaigns (preferably not our presidential candidates’). But since the election is seeming like a less and less enticing topic, and we have a holiday weekend, I’d like to make this post completely optional.

If you’ve missed several blog posts, you can use this one as a make-up, but otherwise you’re free to take a well-earned break.

If anyone *does* choose to do this, however, please take a look at Roland Barthes’s classic (and short!) 1957 analysis of photographs of French election candidates as one possible model for considering the standard ways in which campaigns present themselves.

Social Media Audit

I have googled myself before, but the last time I remember doing it was probably in middle school. During that time in my life, pre social media, the only articles or pictures that came up were my school website, or the picture of myself receiving the penmanship award that appeared in the paper. Now when I google myself, the first thing that comes up is my facebook page. I personally do not post pictures on facebook. I did not post in middle school and I do not post now, so I am not worried about any embarrassing posts from my past. However, my friends post on facebook and tag me in pictures all of the time. These articles made me more aware of the photos that I am tagged in online. I then went through and deleted some of the pictures I am tagged in that might come of as inappropriate, or embarrassing. My instagram page also came up, but my account setting are private, so the only pictures that I came across when I googled my instagram were pictures from my friends whose accounts are public. This made me realize how important the privacy settings are on different social media accounts. A lot of the accounts that I don’t use that often are also private, so they were difficult to find in the google search as well.

I think it is very important to audit your social media every once in a while. Sometimes we forget that our online brand isn’t all about updating  our followers on partying or how much fun we are having in college, it’s about making a name for yourself in the online community and the work force.

Social Media Audit

These articles were actually very informative and eye opening. I always knew in the back of my mind how important it was to keep at least a semi-professional presence on media, but this allowed me to see how unprofessional my media truly is.

If someone was looking to hire me, after one simple google search I am sure I would be cut. When you google my name alone, it pulls up a lot of the embarrassing pictures from my youth and a lot of my older accounts that I no longer use – Vine, SoundCloud,  YOUTUBE. My YouTube account alone was so awful. When I was younger I loved to make videos and editing them. This opened my eyes to how I need to take a step in getting my image cleaned up to a better standard.

My other media accounts (Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook) do all represent me in a fairly decent manner. I would say these media platforms represent me fairly well. They do need a little cleaning up, but nothing too major.

As of right now, I don’t think that I have a ‘personal brand’, but I do believe that that is something that I will need to begin to develop over the next few years in order to put myself in a position where an employer would hire me. This is a critical part of a job application that a lot of people fail to consider. People don’t realize that they will look into you to make sure you are who you say you are.

Blog Post #9 10/23: Audit Your Social Media Brand

In looking at the websites about auditing  a social media brand, it was very interesting to think about the different methods that each source presented. I was surprised to discover that they all mentioned that you should google yourself initially to see what pops up in considering how you are presented to the world through social media.

However, for me, this initial step is ineffective because my name is very common. When I googled myself, to see if anything would come up, nothing did because there are so many people with the name Emily Olson out there and I don’t have a social media presence that is strong enough where it would override the others that exist out there.

A classmate would get probably think that my social media presence is normal. I’m a “normal and happy” student, friend, family member etc. I find this interesting because this is the image I tend to present, even if it’s not always how I’m currently feeling in the moment. To an employer or a graduate admissions committee, I would probably make a  relatively good impression on them in regards to my social media, but it honestly depends of the specific company or university.

I think really defining how I want to use each form of social media that I currently have an account for (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Pinterest) will definitely help me refocus on what I’m actually getting out of social media. Making these changes will not only allow me to figure out how I want to alter the ways in which I use social media, but will allow me to redefine my presence/usage through improvement overall.

I do think that I as a person have a personal brand, especially when it comes to refining and adjusting an image for a future career. I do present an image that I want to maintain to be “clean” of anything that may prevent someone from hiring me in the future. I think I’ll need to have a “personal brand,” especially in the next couple of years, in order to look into setting up  informational interviews, seeking out internships, and finding out more about other career possibilities.

10/23/16 – The Social Media Audit

The articles that we read got me thinking about my social media usage even though I’m not super active on social media. I think the idea of a social media brand is a concept about someone’s perception about a user on different platforms of social media. My social media presence isn’t very active although I do like pictures constantly and sometimes comment on a couple of friend’s posts. I went through the different steps that each of the websites asked you to go through. I ended up changing a couple of things about my social media usage. For example, I googled myself and found pictures of me from 5th grade which was interesting. None of the things that popped up, one of them being a link to my posts on this sit, bothered me enough to want to delete them. I found a couple of things that showed random movie industries like the Hunger Games whose pages I had liked popped up which I went back and unliked because all of it was from middle school and my freshman year of high school. I also untagged myself from some embarrassing Instagram and facebook pictures because they were just weird and from a while ago.

It was interesting looking through all my old posts and I also made it a point to delete all my posts from my first few years of high school because that was when I used to post weird status updates and cliché quotes. I got rid of any posts that I had shared about anything controversial or political to remain as unbiased as possible on the internet. I read a while ago that many employers and colleges monitor their potential candidates’ social media presence and I didn’t want any posts I had made to affect a potential employer’s perception of me.

I don’t think that I have a “personal brand” but I do think that if someone does come to having it, it should be maintained because it really does showcase a person’s perception to the entire world which can affect a lot of things in that person’s life.

Overall, going through all my social media helped me to refresh through my content and clean it up to make it more presentable. It was also an eye-opener to how my presence on social media has changed since freshman year of high school, four years. I’m glad I had the option to do it because I don’t think I would’ve done it for a long time had I not gone through the articles and even this assignment.