Facebook

Late Night Link Love: But First, Let Me NOT Take a Selfie

89c7ab46a1158ee92944f06ad3cb0fdcHappy Wednesday and end of July! The month was a bittersweet one for me, as two close friends from college packed up to move out of state, but I’m looking forward to the adventures that August brings. Beginning Friday, I will embark on my third Whole 30, and am excited for other opportunities in the coming month. I will also take advantage of the warm weather and continue to work on my pathetically miniscule tan!

What are you looking forward to in August? Share your own adventures in the comments section, and in the meantime, enjoy another fabulous round of Link Love.

What are some of your favorite articles and links this week? Sound off in the comments below!

Link Love THURSDAY: Terrible Real Estate, Frozen and Social Media Pre-Nups

6097da4d58773b2814cef7fea44965eeGood evening, readers, and happy June! How have you decided to start your month? I kicked off June with my third Whole 30 (because I am clearly insane!) and by participating in the 100 Happy Days challenge. For the next 100 days, I will photograph something that makes me happy – and I encourage you to do the same! If you’d like to see my progress (I’m on Day 4 so far), feel free to follow my Instagram!

Plenty of interesting/strange news has also come with the new month, so allow me to share this week’s batch of link love with you!

What links have you come across this week?

The Weekend Five: Profile Pictures That Every Guy Has Posted

funny-pictures-selfie-dog-no-filter-makeupA few months back, in honor of my social media addiction, I wrote a little piece about the five profile pictures that every girl has posted, at one point or another, on Facebook. Because I believe in equal opportunity for the genders, I felt that it was high time to poke fun at the males this week! Guys, we know you are all special and unique, but much like the ladies, you too are guilty of falling into predictable social media patterns. :)

This week, we’ll explore five of the most popular types of Facebook profile pictures that most of the guys on your friend list have uploaded.

The Weekend Five: Profile Pictures That Every Guy Has Posted

1. Group Photo With All Friends Still Intact.
Unlike the ladies, who tend to crop all of their friends out of group photos, guys are likely to post these pictures to their page as they were taken, no edits. This can prove especially confusing on mobile and online dating profiles, as visitors to those pages may wonder which guy in the picture is actually the man in question, but for Facebook, it makes sense:  guys can assume that their social media contacts will be able to distinguish which person is them!

*

2. The Goofy Picture.
Again, unlike many of the young women who use social media, guys aren’t afraid to post a less-than-perfect picture of themselves that shows their sense of humor. This picture is posted without regard for angles or any other artistic properties, and is meant to make you laugh.

*

meet-someone-profile-pictures-century-flirting-ecards-someecards3. The Slightly Dressier, More Grown Up Picture.
There’s always one picture of the guy in a suit, at a fancy dinner, in graduation garb or (in true throwback style) on his prom night.

*

4. The Significant Other.
From my observations, guys post fewer of these pictures than girls do, but these pictures do pop up from time to time so that the subjects can prove that they are not #foreveralone.

*

5. The Picture That Isn’t Him.
Usually, these are memes that fit his sense of humor, but they can also include images related to his favorite sports team or stills from a sci-fi movie or video game that he loves. For many girls, this is a waste of prime real estate, but for the majority of guys, it isn’t that big of a deal. Personally, I have to take a selfie to make up for this every time I see one of these, but that’s just me. :) (Kidding, by the way!)

*

Depending on the guy, you may find other types of profile pictures: action shots playing sports, flexing photos at the gym, artsy pictures with crazy Instagram filters… the list goes on. What are your favorite categories?

The Post-Weekend Five: Honest Relationship Statuses for Facebook

67469ce10f5ca882f88785d3642bb181Let’s face it – social media has a huge effect on how we talk about relationships. In today’s world, when a friend tells us about her latest love interest, we are quick to ask if and when they made things “Facebook official.” (Because obviously a relationship is not truly official until it has been declared so on Facebook!) However, when it comes to our real-life relationship statuses, there are shades of gray that cannot fit into the neat little single/in-a-relationship/married/divorced/domestic-partnership box that Facebook provides for us. Sometimes, life is a little messy, and while we may have a special someone on our minds, we may not be ready to classify it as a traditional relationship. (What is traditional, anyway?) This week, I present to you a list of honest relationship statuses that Facebook should enable to make the selection process a little easier when “it’s complicated” doesn’t even begin to cover it!

The Post-Weekend Five: Honest Relationship Statuses for Facebook

1. Talking.
I’m still not completely sure what it means to be “talking” to someone, other than having a spoken conversation, but among many teens and twenty-somethings, “talking” is all the rage. “He’s cute,” a friend might say in relation to a guy whose picture you showed her on your phone. “Are you guys together?” You smile and shrug. “We’ve been talking,” you reply, as if that answers everything. Readers, I can’t even begin to tell you how many times a friend told me that he or she was “talking” to someone. Obviously, talking isn’t serious enough to deem a full-fledged relationship, but at the same time, it implies at least some semblance of exclusivity and seriousness about the other person. Therefore, it should require its own status on Facebook!

*

4dWzLh12. In a Platonic Relationship.
You and X are not actually dating, per se, but to everyone else, it certainly seems that way. You’re his date to every social event, you talk about yourselves in first-person plural (“thank you so much for inviting us,” “we were so happy you could make it,” “we LOVE the tortellini alfredo here”), you share desserts and you finish each other’s sentences. No one will bother to date either of you because: a) everyone is threatened by the friendship and afraid that it would affect a potential relationship, and b) the two of you are shaping up to be the greatest “will-they-won’t-they” story of all time. Even if you aren’t interested in one another, which is likely the case (these things tend to be one-sided, anyway), you might as well acknowledge the platonic relationship online.

*

3. Hung Up On My Ex.
If you fit this description, you’re probably listed as “single” on Facebook (or you’ve elected not to include a relationship status at all), but “single” doesn’t really describe how you feel. You picture single people enjoying nights out at bars, dancing on tables and leaving their phone numbers scribbled on napkins. You hear single people claiming that they hate to be tied down, that they’re just down for a good time. But that doesn’t accurately describe you. You feel alone, and every movie, news article and billboard you see reminds you of your recent breakup. You aren’t ready to wear your singlehood proudly just yet. You may be technically single, but you are Hung Up On Your Ex, and that is a different breed of single altogether.

*

tumblr_m9q9kmQVeh1qkpo94o1_5004. Emotionally Damaged.
You aren’t hung up on your ex, but the relationship was so dysfunctional that you have no plans to enter another relationship for a long time. Anyone who mentions “Valentine’s Day” to you clearly has a death wish.

*

5. I Love My Pets.
You want to find a meaningful relationship someday, but right now, you’re perfectly happy snuggling with your cat or dog instead.

*

What are some honest relationship statuses you would want to see?

From Breaking Up in the Age of Social Media

Happy Friday, friends! :)

I am excited to share that my guest blog, From Breaking Up in the Age of Social Media, was published today on The Things I Learned From. Check out my post on how social media affects not only the beginning, but also the end of our relationships. Drop a comment to let me know what you think!

♥ Valerie

Link Love THURSDAY: Happy New Year!

happy-new-yearYup, you read the title correctly – today has turned into a special Link Love Thursday! (It is very possible that I fell asleep very early on Wednesday after taking antihistamines for my horrible allergies…) I hope everyone had a fabulous new year and is enjoying everything 2014 has to offer. This week, I bring you a few new year-related articles, along with some sweet links that will make you smile.

Enjoy! :)

Have you read any great articles lately?

The Weekend Five: Profile Pictures That Every Girl Has Posted

funny-cat-selfie-sleeping-instagram-picsAs I comb through my various social media profiles, I begin to notice some patterns. From misattributed Marilyn Monroe quotes to silly BuzzFeed lists, my Facebook newsfeed is a constant cycle of “same content, different day.” Of course, the photos of ourselves that we post online are no different! It doesn’t matter how varied your interests are or how much you scoff at society’s need for retweets and likes – if you are between the ages of 16 and 30, you probably have the same basic profile picture as everybody else.

Ladies, we all know we’re guilty of choosing at least some (if not all) of these as our default photos. Let’s take a look back at some of the pictures we have all inevitably posted at some point in our lives! (Tweet this!)

The Weekend Five: Profile Pictures That Every Girl Has Posted

1.    The Selfie.
Yes, my friends, we are living in The Age of the Selfie, a time when it is (sort of) socially acceptable to take pictures of yourself sitting at your desk, with friends at a social outing or – more likely than not – in your car (the ever-popular Car Selfie). The word “selfie” has even made its way into the Oxford Dictionary online, which pains the aspiring social critics in us all, and yet we can’t help but snap pictures of ourselves doing the most mundane tasks. This probably says a lot about the self-centered millennial generation and our culture of entitlement (or something meaningful like that), but I’m not here to insult selfies. In hundreds of years, historians will look probably back at our selfies as a form of artistic expression. So rock those selfies, tinker with the filters and use as many hashtags as you want, because it’s 2013 and #YOLO.

BALs0dzCcAA6bz22.    The Significant Other.
We love to take pictures with our significant others and blast them all over Facebook! Maybe it’s because we want to capture the memories, maybe it’s because we want the world to know that somebody has found us attractive at least temporarily, but most girls have posted a cutesy picture with their boyfriends and made it the default photo at least once. If you go back far enough in a girl’s profile picture history, you may even find photos of exes buried between a prom pic and that one time she decided to have side-bangs. For some girls, the significant other pictures are few and far between, but for others, they make up the majority of photos posted since the relationship began.

3.    Group Photo With The Friends Cropped Out.
Guys are notoriously guilty of not cropping their friends out of their default photos, but girls are usually much more meticulous about it. Sure, we might post a few pictures with our friends, but most of the time, we cut our friends out so that viewers of our social media profiles will know exactly which person in the photo we are. While appropriate for online dating profiles, the cropped friend shots are a little silly on other sites where the bulk of our friend list includes people we know in real life. However, if you’re ever with friends and the camera comes out, you can put your hand on your hip, turn to the side and take comfort in the fact that after cropping, you will have your latest profile picture.

auto-instagram-morpheus-what-if-i-told-you-2019384.    Artsy Photo Taken Outside.
I’m not sure where we find all of these grassy knolls for our photoshoots, but we always do. It never fails to amaze me how every girl seems to have a friend with a fancy camera or the desire to take pictures of her! Whether we are outdoorsy girls at heart or in love with being inside, we all have a photo of us that was taken in a meadow, on a mountain or – at the very least – surrounded by flowers. Bonus points go out to those who then posted those pictures on Instagram with beautiful but completely unnatural filters. If your picture doesn’t make people ask themselves, “How could the sky have possibly been that blue?” or “Where is the lighting this perfect and slightly sepia-toned?” then you’re obviously doing it wrong.

5.    The Throwback.
We save most of our throwbacks for Throwback Thursday (#tbt), but occasionally a few oldies but goodies make their way into our profile pictures. From ridiculous high school photos to baby pictures we clearly asked our moms to scan and email to us, throwback photos appeal to our sense of nostalgia, which seems to be stronger than ever at this point in our lives. It’s never too early to relive the glory days!

Sound off in the comments below! Are you guilty of any of these? What photos would you add to the list?

Link Love Wednesday: From Glazed Donut Breakfasts to Tin Foil Hats

Rottenecards_10544754_ktxbvprgkfHave you missed me? :)

Link Love Wednesday took a brief hiatus over the past couple of weeks as I began adjusting to a full 40-hour work week, but fear not – this brand new feature is back! This set of links ranges from recent ad campaigns to articles on employability, and many topics in between.

  • For recent college grads and others looking for employment, check your social media to make sure it is employer-friendly. This article talks about what you need to look out for on your own Facebook page. (Just this morning I listened to a Chamber of Commerce member talk about how important this is, especially for young people!)
  • On a related note, Thought Catalog posted a list of things we have to stop sharing on Facebook. I think we’re all guilty of a few of these, but what are you most likely to overshare?
  • No wonder obesity is on the rise! Dunkin’ Donuts is about to launch a new glazed donut breakfast sandwich, and they’re claiming that it’s not even that bad for you! (I don’t know about you, but I can’t even imagine pairing a glazed donut with hash browns.)
  • Swiffer released an ad campaign featuring Rosie the Riveter, but because consumers are complaining that the ads are sexist, Swiffer is taking them down. Are consumers becoming too upset over nothing, or are these ads truly guilty of perpetuating women-in-the-kitchen stereotypes?
  • Tin foil hats may actually make it easier for the government to read your mind, according to Business Insider.
  • As someone who will be moving to a new apartment in a month, I found this quick article about apartment utilities especially helpful.
  • Mental Floss composed a list of 11 completely bizarre books that really exist. My favorite is Whose Bottom?, a children’s book that illustrates several animal butts, although I strongly believe that any child whose parent gives him or her that book may need Child Protective Services.
  • To lighten your day: this website helps you figure out what your baby with ____ will look like. Perfect way to come across as creepy on a first date!

What great articles and websites have you stumbled upon in the past couple of weeks?

The Weekend Five: Facebook Posts from a Graduating Senior

deepest-condolences-graduation-ecard-someecardsAs I’ve mentioned in my four most recent blog posts, I am officially a college graduate! Of course, this means that hundreds of my nearest and dearest acquaintances are also now college graduates, proudly announcing this accomplishment through the platform we love best – social media. Throughout the month of May, my Facebook news feed has been teeming with posts revolving around graduation, new jobs and above all, the “memories.”

For every graduating senior, there are five Facebook posts to look out for on your own news feed. (Tweet this!) If you haven’t posted at least one of these yourself, then you are probably doing something wrong! :)

The Weekend Five: Facebook Posts from a Graduating Senior

1. “I need an extra ticket to Saturday’s graduation ceremony. Help!”
These statuses are everywhere and they are by far my least favorite! Because some universities limit the number of guest tickets that students can receive for commencement, students from big families or with a lot of supporters tend to posts these statuses within the month leading up to graduation. After a while, I stopped reading notifications from certain groups I belonged to on Facebook because I knew they would consist solely of ticket requests. (Besides, if I actually had extra tickets, don’t you think I would have used them to take additional family members, friends or my boyfriend to graduation?)

*

2. “I picked up my cap and gown! It feels so surreal.”
Sure, we wore them at our high school graduations, but picking up our graduation gear in college seems so much more important. Once you have that enormous gown and the mortar board cap, you’re pretty much ready for that diploma. Naturally, of course, at least 20 of your friends will feel the need to post something about it, so get ready!

*

images3. Nostalgic status about the past four years.
Whether this person decided to repost photos from freshman year or recap the past four years through an incredibly long Facebook status, you’re bound to find plenty of nostalgia on social media in May. Facebook becomes an incredibly bittersweet place where we can gush about the best four years of our lives and the amazing friends we made and all the opportunities that brought us to this very moment. (Believe it or not, in spite of the profound effect that college had on me, I still haven’t quite posted my obligatory nostalgic status about the good old days. I’ll have to work on it!)

*

4. Congratulatory posts from friends and family of graduates.
Let’s not forget about your friends who aren’t graduating! Those friends will mainly be posting congratulatory statuses and perhaps photos with someone they know who graduated, but they are just as wrapped up in the Facebook madness as those who have graduated. Usually with great achievements come great support, so look out for those tagged posts on your news feed as well.

*

5. Photos of everyone in front of the same buildings and university landmarks.
As much as I enjoyed taking my graduation photos, I’ll admit that plenty of them had cliché written all over them, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! At every university, there are certain iconic buildings and landmarks that everyone will want to take a photo next to, so prepare yourself for multiple pictures with the same exact backgrounds. At my university, we are only allowed to set foot in the pond outside the library during Homecoming, so naturally I (and everyone else I knew) had to take pictures standing in the pond in my cap after I was finished with graduation!

*

What sort of posts have you come to expect from graduating seniors?

My Facebook Newsfeed in a Nutshell

As I waste my precious relaxation and study time on social media, I begin to notice patterns among the people with which I am connected. It doesn’t matter that I have 655 friends on Facebook; I can still narrow down their statuses (and often my own included!) into about 10 categories. We are all guilty of at least some of these from time to time. Which types of statuses do you find most often?

The Party Animal Status.
You essentially live-blog your crazy nights out, complete with poorly lit cell phone photos, check-ins at a nightclub or two, and misspelled statuses that prove you have mastered the caps lock button. The Party Animal Status has become rarer with the threat of potential employers using it against you, but you still post them on occasion to let your acquaintances know that you have a pretty exciting social life and that you are, in no way, a borderline alcoholic.

The “I Love My Significant Other” Status.
Whether you’ve been dating for two days or two years, you are clearly madly in love and therefore want to share it with the world! Every day! You want everyone and their mothers to know how happy you are that you found the perfect person (for the time being), which is why you post statuses about the adorable things your significant other says or about why you love him/her. (Bonus points if you do this more than once per week.)

The Obnoxious Political Status.
This type of status exists on both ends of the political spectrum. If you are someone who posts these types of statuses, then you are the type of person who likes to take “freedom of speech” to a whole new level (and not in the hip, investigative journalist kind of way). Instead of, say, writing a letter to the editor or creating your own blog specifically targeted to people interested in reading about your political views, you find it appropriate to post them on your personal Facebook page and argue vehemently with anyone who disagrees. Whether you’re complaining that the country is in shambles or gloating over your candidate’s latest win, you want to make sure everyone is aware of your political views in the most in-your-face way possible. Luckily for me, while you may have your freedom of speech, I have my freedom to block your posts from my news feed! :)

The Passive Aggressive Status.
You’re so vain you probably think this status is about you. Carly Simon aside, your Facebook status is clearly that of a scorned lover/betrayed friend who may not have the guts to speak to the one who wronged you in person, but would still happily share your feelings online in a way that they can’t 100% prove is about them. If I confront you about your status and ask if it was about me, you can simply say, “Why would you think that? Obviously you must think you’ve done something wrong if you think I’m posting statuses about you,” and then you’ve won. If I don’t confront you, then maybe you’ve still won – I’m not really sure. Well played.

The Thinly Veiled Song Lyrics Status.
This status is similar to The Passive Aggressive Status in the sense that it speaks to a particular person without mentioning them specifically — the only difference is that it does so with song lyrics. You don’t always attribute the artist or song title when you post this status; after all, Justin Bieber may have summed up your feelings exactly in his latest song, but letting the world know so openly that you listen to him might ruin your street cred. We all know that this song is about your recent ex/crush/date, but we’ll let you pretend it isn’t completely obvious.

The Misattributed Old Hollywood Quote Status.
Let’s be real – you are either going to select a quote attributed to Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn, because clearly those were the only two important actresses in Hollywood before you were born. (I say this with the best intentions — I am a huge Audrey fan!) The quote you have posted usually has no source other than the countless Tumblrs and homemade websites that have reposted it. Still, the quote is sassy and it reflects the current state of your life in some way, so who cares if you’ve never actually seen a movie with Marilyn Monroe in it?

The Tough Girl Status.
Unlike The Passive Aggressive Status or The Thinly Veiled Song Lyrics Status, you are not afraid to share your true feelings about someone on the Internet. Instead, you craft grumpy posts about the people who have hurt you or the many things that make you angry. You threaten to delete friends regularly from Facebook if they aren’t living up to your expectations, and at least once, you have deactivated your entire Facebook, created a new one under a slightly new identity (first and middle name instead of first and last) and re-friended virtually all of the same people. And the cycle begins again.

The Status That Should Have Stayed on Twitter/Instagram.
Hashtags (#) have no actual purpose on Facebook, but you’re not afraid to use them liberally on your statuses, even if those hashtags are simply #bored or #picturesofmylunch. Keep these on your other social media sites.

The Cry For Help Status.
You don’t want to bother any of your friends by calling them up and telling them what’s wrong, so your next option is to write about your problems in a strategically-timed Facebook status so that everyone knows how upset you are and will compliment you on a website that lives forever.

The Pretentious Status.
You might use this as an opportunity to humblebrag. You might use it to let your friends know that the upcoming American remake of an acclaimed European film is going to be terrible. You might even use it to tell your friends about your fabulous taste in records, slightly offbeat but still fairly mainstream fashion, or books by Chuck Palahniuk. (These are a few tips for figuring out if you’re pretentious.)

*

What are some of the Facebook statuses you’ve been seeing lately? Which of these are you guilty of?