Timehop: a world of reminiscing

Invented in the year 2011 by a man named Jonathan Wegener, Timehop is a simple app that has created a new buzz among social media sites within the past 5 years. Despite its original purpose as a business transaction application,  this company now sifts through all of your social media. These sites include Twitter, Instagram, Dropbox, etc. They do this in hopes to, as their site states, “reinvent reminiscing for the digital era,” as well as continue their creation of the “digital nostalgia category.”

When you read this company’s description they word it in a way that makes it seem much less intrusive than they are being. Do not get me wrong I do believe this is an awesome and smart idea for the company, but does that excuse the fact that the company is prying into our social media accounts? Or maybe we are now just more accepting of sites looking at our information?…

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Just as the title suggests, I do see people becoming more and more accepting with sharing information about themselves than ever before. I think that we have been told over and over that if something is posted on the internet, it is there forever and can be found again. Creator Jonathan Wegener has made taking parts of everyone’s digital footprints fun and not seem so invasive. Wegener was able to put his own twist this new age trend of sharing everything about our lives while also creating his own trend of looking back at all you have done on the internet in the past.

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Other social media sites, specifically Facebook, has hopped on this trend with their “On This Day” feature. At first I was annoyed by these notifications, but soon seeing my old 8th grade posts or who I became friends with 7 years ago that day turned into something to laugh at and have fun reminiscing on. I have also noticed my own mom as well as other older people on my page that are on social media LOVE this feature. It is kind of like their own way of showing off a digital version of traditional photo books.

I found the article below that breaks down a bit of the beginning of Facebook’s “On this day” feature and explains how Timehop’s CEO (Wegener) felt about Facebook adding this in. It was refreshing to hear that Wegener was not mad about the large company using a similar application as Timehop and he that he felt more confident in their app due to such a well-known social media site wanting to use their ideas. You can check out the article here:   https://techcrunch.com/2015/03/24/facehop/

Even though I have not seen the title Timehop floating around much more on social media than a few years ago the company has most certainly created a new social media trend of their own.

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The perfect timing.

8 am while you’re sitting at work? No. Midnight right before bed? Nah. What about 2 or 3 in the afternoon? Will people be online? These are all questions we have asked ourselves when we’re about to post on any of our social media pages. Whether on Facebook, Instagram, or even the timing of our snapchats could alter the amount of people who see our messages. Just like the title of this page there seems to be this sense of “perfect timing” with posting.

I have personally gone through this process dozens of times. I have asked myself those same questions on several occasions. I found myself thinking more and more about this process and just how embedded it is now in my mind. It has somehow become a subconscious process for me. (Midday seems to be prime for me)

Kind of odd to think about, right? We take time out of day to plan out the best time of when to post something. Posting at midnight versus 3 in the afternoon could mean a large difference in the amount of likes on the photo, how many people see the post or the amount of shares we get. But it is not only everyday people watching out for that prime time to post, but businesses as well.

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I recently stumbled upon this article that gets nitty gritty about prime posting times for businesses and how to keep track of your business’ social media accounts. My personal favorite topic brought up in this article is “No one is checking LinkedIn on a Friday.” People are wrapping their work for the week and they aren’t interested in business when the weekend is right around the corner. When I read this I chuckled thinking some of these suggestions were plain common sense, but then I soon took that back. I remembered that we live in a time that is always on the internet. I pictured myself just scrolling past a company’s ad while I am tired versus happening to click on some suggested posts midday because I am more awake and paying more attention. Timing truly is VERY important with today’s social media.

Check out this article by Fast Company. Also, let me know your thoughts on your process of posting things on your personal pages.

https://www.fastcompany.com/3036184/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/the-best-and-worst-times-to-post-on-social-media-infograph

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Confessions of two roommates and the Snapchat app.

It is an app that I thought would never become popular. An app that has people taking selfies or random photos of their food or dogs or anything at all. An app that gives everyone a little 10 second glimpse into your life. Of course I am talking about the new and extremely popular app Snapchat.

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According to Chris Snider, a digital media professor at Iowa, as of August 26, 2016, “Snapchat is on pace for 217 million users by end of 2017.” You can look at how this amount to compares other social media sites here: http://chrissniderdesign.com/blog/resources/social-media-statistics/

My personal experience with this app has been kind of like a roller coaster ride. I got it when it was less popular around 4 years ago and I quickly became obsessed. I would snapchat my friends more than I would text or call them. It was getting to be too much. I eventually convinced myself to delete my account and give it a rest. However, about a year later I got sucked right back into being a Snapchat addict. Again, after about six months I decided to get rid of the app on my phone so my usage would come to a stop. This time, though, I did not fully delete my account as I did before. You can only guess what happened after some time passed and a large amount of friends pushed me to get it back…Yup, I got the app back. There is just something about being able to take a quick selfie, a short video of your dog rolling around on the ground, or sending ridiculous filters to your friends that makes you feel a bit more connected to them than just a text.

I got the idea for this blog when I found myself sitting in my 2-person apartment one night with my roommate and we were going back and forth sending filtered selfies to each other and laughing very hard at each one. All I could think after was that we were in the same room. No, this isn’t as bad as texting in the same room or house, which I do occasionally, but still.. in the same room. This all ties into my thoughts of how much social media is constantly molding our interactions with other people.

On another note about this app, I have noticed that it too, like most of social media lately, has become a new and interesting source to receive news and updates. These could be updates about what is happening on our campus or news on a hurricane’s aftermath in southern Georgia. There is a vast amount of information within this app now, which I think I am beginning to enjoy. I like the creative presentation they have when relaying their news stories as well as the various topics you can chose from.

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All in all, Snapchat is growing quickly. More and more people are downloading it everyday. The company is even starting to look into alternate ideas to keep this expansion going. I recently read an article by blogger Ann Handley and she discusses the idea of Snapchat looking into creating their own magazine. Yes, a magazine! Is going from a screen to print a smart move for the business? Handley talks about this as well as other pros and cons of the option throughout her article. You can read it here: http://www.annhandley.com/2016/06/27/snapchat-launching-tech-magazine/

Let me know your thoughts about the app. How do you think it is changing our communication with people? Do you use it as a news source? And do you think going into the print business would be smart? Comment below.

A group without a group: How the Groupme app is redefining group projects.

We all have been sitting in class on the first day, a.k.a. syllabus day, and we hear the two words we seem to dread… “Group project.” I have had semesters where my group projects have been fun and helped me learn how to communicate with several different types of people. However, I have also had the semesters where my group projects made me highly dislike the class. I feel like I have had played a handful of different roles in each of the rougher group projects…

  • The leader role taken on because no one else will take charge, but it ends up backfiring on me. I have been the one to try and initiate group work and try to get the group motivated, but no one feels like chiming in to help. It is plain awkward and it is kind of like pulling teeth to get people to respond.
  • The sideliner who chimes in occasionally to make it seem to the group that I am involved but really they are all doing a lot more work than I am. This tends to work out by being the funny one or the one who plans the meet up times. (I also like to call this the strategic slacker)
  • The one thinking, “who does this kid think he/she is?”. This is where I, along with the rest of the group, have had no say in what has been going on while one person decides to take on all the responsibility on his/her shoulders. This person also won’t allow any of us to help.

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We have all played various roles in a bad group project. Most of the time the end result, the part that matters to your grade like the powerpoint or speech, ends up not being so bad. But man was it a rough ride getting there. With all this in mind, these group projects gave me a random thought the other day which was, “how did I survive these bad group projects before Groupme?”.

Don’t get me wrong, I get annoyed at the app because of the excessive amount of groups I have found myself in, but I often forget how much more annoyed I used to be by having to plan every group meeting time or having to text everything out via text (which there always seemed to be that one person who didn’t have an iPhone and they would complain about all of the separate texts they were receiving from various numbers).

Groupme has changed the group project game in college courses. Plain and simple. I have realized this during my last semester more than ever before. I was stubborn and held out on getting this app, like I usually do at first with any app, but it truly has helped me out in many ways this semester. My appreciation for the app skyrocketed when I realized I could also access it on my computer. Revolutionary.

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So how does this tie into my experience with bad group projects? Well because I have not had as many while having this app than I did in the past. Honestly. This app has actually held me accountable and up to date with what my group is working on. This app along with the ability to chime into google docs has made group work much more convenient. I have noticed that my group members are more likely to chime in and be apart of the group with this app as well because they don’t exactly have an excuse to not pitch in.

But this did get me thinking one last thought that I cannot seem to get out of my mind. Yes this app has made group projects much easier to balance in my schedule, but is it taking away from the communication skills I once learned from these assignments? I of course mean face to face communication.

I would like to know other people’s thoughts on how they think the Groupme app has changed the dynamic of group projects, negatively or positively. Comment your thoughts.