weekend five

The Weekend Five: People We Follow On Instagram

This is totally me. No shame.

This is totally me. No shame.

You know what they say… you are what you Instagram. Okay, so perhaps this isn’t the exact wording of the old adage, but our social media outlets certainly give friends and followers some insight into who we are and where our interests lie. My news feed on Facebook remains similar now to what it looked like two years ago when I wrote this post, but as I’ve migrated over to Instagram, I’ve found some common patterns there as well.

I’d imagine that for many of us, if we were to compare news feeds on Instagram, we would find that many of our friends post variations of the same things. This week, let’s take a look at some of the common themes that make their way onto our Instagram feeds.

The Weekend Five: People We Follow On Instagram

foodie-joke1. The Foodie.
The foodie comes in all shapes, sizes and culinary preferences. Whether your friend is a Cake Boss or a Super Strict #Paleo Health Nut, this person is constantly posting pictures of his or her meals. Whenever I open this app on my phone, I am immediately hungry from all of the beautifully staged food photos I see. (Seriously – how do you guys get your food to look so immaculate?) I am definitely guilty of posting more food pictures than any reasonable person should — to the point where many of my friends probably now hate me — but I don’t know if I’ll ever have the patience or skills required to make my food look Martha Stewart-ready.

*

what-if-cats-have-their-own-internet-and-its-full-of-pictures-of-us2. The Technologically Savvy Animal.
Thanks to these people, cats have been ruling the Internet for the past several years. The Animal Lover posts tons of adorable pictures of his or her pet (usually a cat or dog), gathering so many other Animal Lover followers that their pets now have their own hashtags and companies invite them to do product giveaways on their social media. Personally, I follow more German Shepherds, Chihuahuas and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels on Instagram than is socially acceptable. My dog, Charlie, has his own Instagram page run by my sister — and he has more followers than I do! When you’re feeling sad or upset, these Instagram pages are a great place to turn. A few cute pet pics will brighten almost any day!

*

bear_fitness-php13. The #TurntUp One.
I still barely understand what it means to turn up or turn down, but I’ll be damned if I don’t see at least one person on my Instagram each week with that very hashtag. While many of these posts used to be party- and bar-related, the #turntup factor has since been amplified by the EDM/house music scene. We all have at least one of these friends. I don’t know if I’ll ever be cool enough to post any of these pictures without some degree of irony, but the good news is that I’ll still be functional enough to “turn up” to work the next day. :)

*

20120828-1128084. The Whimsical One.
This person uses very few hashtags, writes quirky-cute captions, and manages to get at least 50 likes per photo. Whether she’s strategically photographed dancing in some meadow, taking a selfie with a cat in a bow-tie, or doing something creative with a Mason jar, her pictures always come out flawlessly and are insanely popular on social media. As you plot your own social media domination, you can’t help but envy her for her seemingly effortless photos and style.

*

sophisticated_owl_by_adlovett-d6nu84t5. The Cosmopolitan.
Like The Whimsical One, The Cosmopolitan usually receives a lot of likes/follows without having to spam everyone with hashtags. The Cosmopolitan is a little better than you in every way, posting meals that you can’t pronounce from trendy restaurants you can’t afford (usually involving some sort of “balsamic reduction” or something truffle-related), visits to museums/the theatre, cool photos taken on European travels and an occasional, well-polished outfit of the day. The Cosmopolitan is not always as worldly as The Whimsical One, but typically more reliable.

*

Who do you follow on Instagram? Anybody who didn’t make the cut? Share your favorites in the comments section below!

The Weekend Five: Phrases We Need to Stop Saying

tyleroakley-cantevenThe more I read through my news feeds on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the more I need to consult Urban Dictionary to find out what people are actually trying to say. I’m only 23 years old, and yet I’m constantly struggling to figure out what “the kids these days” are talking about!

Last week, I read this fabulous post on Thought Catalog about the five phrases and words that we need to stop saying, but I felt like adding a few of my own conversational pet peeves to the mix. (For similar rants that make me sound way older and crankier than I am in real life, visit my grammar tips here and here.)

The Weekend Five: Phrases We Need to Stop Saying

1. “I can’t even.
You can’t even? You can’t even what? First of all, what a piss poor attitude to have. You should be saying “I can, and I will!” Variations of this phrase include, but are not limited to, “I can’t,” “I literally can’t” and “I just can’t,” and are rarely followed by a verb that actually describes what the person can or cannot do. Second of all, “I can’t even” rarely contributes anything to the discussion; instead, it is a conversational filler. What are you actually trying to say? Usually, the person follows up with the claim that he or she “can’t even” by claiming, “I’m dying” or “I’m literally dying.” Young people of America, “even” is not, nor will ever be, a verb (at least not in the way you mean it to be) — and when you tell others that “I’m literally dying” because of Beyonce’s recent performance, you are clearly a hypochondriac and need to calm down.

*

au5244a3052. Replacing words like “feelings” with “feels” or “all the feels.”
This is grammatically incorrect and makes you sound like an infant. Does it really take that much more effort to say “feelings” instead of quoting some version of an Internet meme?

*

3. Using “TL;DR” in real life.
“TL;DR” (“too long; didn’t read”) is bad enough in writing because it only encourages our short attention spans to remain short, but in the actual spoken language, it is even worse. If you really want to sum up your story, a simple “in conclusion” or beloved cliché “to make a long story short” will do. This is real life, not Reddit. We don’t need to talk like we are on a message board.

*

433070794. “Turn down for what?”
Whether you’ve elected to “turn up,” “turn down for what” or “#turnup,” you should be ashamed of yourself. This phrase is a classic example of something I had to look up on Urban Dictionary. Being “turnt up” is not an attractive quality to brag about regardless, but for some reason, the words “turnt up” only make the situation trashier. Do what you want in your spare time, but please don’t scream “turn down for what” all over your social media pages.

*

5. “That WOULD happen to you.”
This is often used to describe an awkward or humiliating situation that you’ve found yourself in… and it’s actually sort of insulting. After you tell friend about that time you stuck your foot in your mouth at work, she laughs and replies, “That WOULD happen to you,” even if such things don’t typically happen. People constantly say this about unflattering stories you tell about yourself, even if you have never told another unflattering story about yourself before, and it implies that you are prone to such situations. Whenever someone says this to me, I always want to ask, “Why? Why would this isolated situation describe my life as a whole?”

*

What are some of the phrases you would like to see disappear from our daily conversations?

The Weekend Five: Lessons in Grammar, Part II

grammarTwo years ago, I wrote one of my most popular posts, discussing some of the common grammar mistakes we tend to make. As a marketing professional with some experience in the editing world, I have definitely seen my share of grammatical errors, and have even been guilty of a few myself!

This week, I wanted to share a few more of my grammar pet peeves and some of the lessons I have learned throughout the years. Feel free to include some of your own in the comments below!

The Weekend Five: Lessons in Grammar, Part II

1. Know the difference between “less” and “fewer.”
While both “less” and “fewer” seem to mean the same thing, they are used in different ways. “Less” is used in relation to quality, while “fewer” is used in relation to quantity. I am less satiated than you are, because I have eaten fewer candy bars than you have. I do not have less candy bars.

*

grammar22. You are not “suppose to” do anything. (Tweet this!)
I notice that a lot of people will drop the “d” in “supposed to,” and not just as a typo. Use “suppose” as a verb to mean to presume or to expect, but if you “have to” do something, then you are “supposed to” do that thing.

*

3. “Conversate” is not a word.
This fake word comes up in a lot of songs, but the verb version of conversation is “converse,” not “conversate.” When in doubt, use “discuss” instead.

*

teacher-english-grammar-appreciation-ecards-someecards_large4. If you’re “apart of” something, you’re not really a part of it.
“Apart” implies that two things are not together, so when people say “apart of” when they are describing group membership (ie: “I am apart of the school band.”), they are actually removing themselves from that group. You are “a part of” a group. If you’re removing yourself from that group, you may be “apart from” it.

*

5. “Who?” or “Whom?” That is the question.
The easiest way to know if you should be using “who” or “whom” is to replace those words in a sentence with “he” or “him,” respectively. For example, if you want to say “Daniel was a boy (who/whom) loved sports,” you can determine that the correct word is who, because “he loved sports,” not “him loved sports.” Meanwhile, in the case of “I don’t know (who/whom) to ask,” would you ask he or him? Because “him” is the word that fits best, you would want to say “whom.”

*

What are some of your grammar pet peeves?

The Weekend Five: Practical Skills Every College Student Should Learn

Young+Adult+posterWith my own graduation just five weeks away, I often look at what I’ve learned outside of the classroom over the course of the past four years (see here, here and here). College is a transitional time when we move out of our parents’ homes for nine months out of the year and try to figure out what will make us happy for the rest of our lives, all while adjusting to new responsibilities and independence. Some of the skills we gain during this time will help us in our future careers; others, however, will help us in our daily “adult” lives.

This week, we’ll discuss just five of those skills that college students should learn before receiving their diplomas.

The Weekend Five: Practical Skills Every College Student Should Learn

1. How to use basic kitchen appliances.
While plenty of college students have been adept in the kitchen since before they began college, others have difficulty boiling water without setting off the smoke detector. Before I started college, I had no need to use anything other than a microwave or a toaster oven, so trying my hand at other appliances was no easy feat. While I still don’t claim to be a Master Chef, I am now able to cook and bake within reason, and have no trouble fulfilling my basic sustenance needs. (Learn to use the stove/oven and follow directions. You will be so much happier.)

*

there-i-go-still-writing-b.c.-on-my-checks2. How to write a check.
I was able to get away without learning this one until my junior year, when I moved into an off-campus apartment complex that charged extra for credit card transactions during rent payments. The first time I wrote a check, I had to sneak a peek at a fake drawing of a check that had been correctly filled out (courtesy of my mom). I was so embarrassed about this until one of the community assistants told me that he saw this problem with other students all the time. Learn to write a check while you’re still – sort of – young enough to get away with asking for help!

*

3. How to take a flattering picture of other people.
Sounds silly enough, but you would be amazed at how many people will try to take your picture from very obviously unflattering angles. Any party you attend, any study abroad excursion you embark on, your friends will ask you to take their picture – and will not appreciate it when the photo adds 30 pounds because you took it from underneath their chin. Take the picture from higher up and angle the camera down just slightly in order to give your subject a more svelte appearance. (If you are in a sorority, you will find this especially helpful.)

*

4. How to use basic word processing and spreadsheet software.d91aaa8475bc
If you are active in the blogosphere, then chances are you have some experience with these types of programs already. However, I’m always shocked to see how much difficulty some students have with programs like Microsoft Word. As a part-time career advisor, I often cringe as I watch students editing their resumes in Microsoft Word, as many are unaware of the “tab” function or how to delete a large block of text at once (instead of just pressing the delete button 89 times). I’m not suggesting you learn complicated financial equations in Excel (unless, of course, you’re a business major) but I do recommend that you gain more familiarity with these programs. Many jobs require proficiency, so now is the time to practice!

*

5. How to manage your social media.
Don’t badmouth your boss and coworkers on the Internet. Don’t post sloppy drunk pictures of yourself and your friends on Facebook. If you wouldn’t want it to resurface when you run for public office, don’t post it. Even if you are 21 or older, posting photos of yourself with lots of alcohol isn’t necessarily the smartest choice. (You may want to avoid some of these.) Be careful about what you post on the Internet; employers do search for you and what they find could affect their overall hiring decisions.

*

What do you think college students should learn before they graduate?

The Weekend Five: Types of Political Advertisements

With the presidential election just two days away, many of us have long since decided which candidates we plan to vote for (or perhaps have already voted!) and are now just waiting to see what happens on Tuesday when the polls close. Nevertheless, the candidates still seek to sway the undecided voters and apathetic citizens by interrupting our favorite shows on Hulu with political advertisements coming from all different perspectives.

Having cast my absentee ballot several weeks ago, I look forward to the day that we can stop posting politically charged Facebook statuses and watching these ads. Whether I flip on my television or even turn the radio to the Spanish language station, I’m still flooded with “I’m ____ and I approve this message.” In honor of democracy, our upcoming election and my Bachelor’s degree in Advertising, I would like to present this weekend’s list of different types of political advertisements.

The Weekend Five: Types of Political Advertisements

1. “My opponent is awful.”
Instead of addressing what he or she plans to do for the country, the candidate instead takes jabs at his or her opponent, focusing on everything that this person either has done wrong or will do wrong if elected. These ads are completely negative in nature and tend to include a lot of graphs or out-of-context soundbites of the opponent saying something absolutely ridiculous and unforgivable.

*

2. The Rebuttal.
Candidate B has seen Candidate A’s advertisement attacking what Candidate B said in that one speech, and now he’s mad. Candidate B counter-attacks with an equally bad soundbite of Candidate A that was likely also taken out of context. We haven’t learned much about what the candidates actually believe, but we do know that they really like pulling up old clips of their opponents.

*

3. “My mom is my reference.”
When you’re applying for a job, and your prospective employer asks you for references, who do you turn to? If you’re at all serious about the job, you’ll want to carefully select past employers or people you’ve worked with who are familiar with what you have accomplished. In most cases, you would not choose your mother or your spouse to vouch for you. However, politicians don’t follow that logic, and instead will prominently feature their family members in some ads, who will then speak to the candidate’s personality or how great of a father he is. I don’t know about you, but when I’m looking to vote for a political candidate, I want to know about where he stands on the issues important to me — not how wonderful of a job his parents think he will do.

*

4. The Trying-To-Be-Hip Ad.
Politicians are constantly trying to target the youth vote, either through commercials featuring young people worrying about the country’s future, or through commercials that take things a step further by using almost-hip lingo and insulting our intelligence in the process. As a 22-year-old, I was actually a little offended by a Mitt Romney commercial that compared him and President Obama on how “cool” they were. The commercial concluded with the idea that even though Romney wasn’t as “cool” as Obama, he was still the right man for the job. Although there is nothing wrong with the message of the ad, I was annoyed that advertisers actually thought that young voters would select a candidate so superficially. I have voted in two presidential elections thus far, and in neither did I select a candidate because of his apparent coolness (nor have any of my friends or acquaintances, for that matter). Rather, I voted for the candidate whose vision of America reflected my own, the candidate that I believed would be best for our country. These ads condescend to their audience of 18-25 -year-olds because they assume we’re still thirteen and care about voting for what’s” cool.”

*

5. The Fight for the Marginalized Groups.
Both parties will pose advertisements that are directed to marginalized groups (whatever the focus may be for the particular election), assuring them that their lives will be better under a particular candidate’s reign. This year, women are the target audience of many ads, which admittedly has proven interesting as each side fights for their support, discussing what they plan to do to preserve women’s rights. The middle class is another important demographic, as each party argues reasons why the middle class will disappear if the other candidate is elected. (I would love to hear what the Republican candidates have to say to their gay constituents, but that’s another story!)

*

What types of political advertisements are you sick of seeing?

Let’s not get too partisan in the comments section — this blog was written for fun and not to create too much of an argument! :) I’m always fascinated by the types of ads that politicians put together, and would love to know more about some of the memorable ones you’ve seen this year.