The End of Vine

Well kids, it is official, Twitter is shutting down Vine. If you don’t know, Vine is a short-form video app, where users can upload 6 second videos of them-self. Much laughter has been had because of those often ridiculous videos.

In searching for an explanation for this decision I found this really helpful article: https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/10/twitter-is-killing-vine-here-are-the-5-reasons-why.html. Some of the reasons for the shut down include the fact that Vine can not compete with more popular apps such as Instagram. As soon as Instagram allowed users to upload 15 second videos, Vine paled in comparison with its 6 second limit. Secondly, advertisers didn’t use the app as much as the owner of Vine, Twitter, needed them to. Because of this Vine didn’t make Twitter much money, and what do you need to keep a business running? Yes, that’s right, money. Another reasons is that Vine’s popularity had dwindled significantly. I remember a few years ago where Vine was everywhere. Vine compilations dominated the internet. These days that is a a lot more rare, and soon to be nonexistent.

To be honest, this shutdown was only a matter of time. For anyone who had cared to look at the numbers, Vine was never going to a sustainable thing in the long run. The competition was just too fierce and Vine could not keep up. If you look at this chart, it perfectly demonstrates how Vine’s popularity has severely waned in recent times.

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-12-35-50-pm

Luckily for many of the so-called “Vine Stars,” most of them had already moved their base platform, because, as the before mentioned article explains, once a creator had a significant following, the need for Vine disappeared. The artists moved most of their content to things like Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, and some even went all the way to YouTube. these people are lucky. But what about those who didn’t do the smart thing and move their network? Well, these people are a bind.

I hope for the sake of those who made Vine their job and nothing else have a backup plan.

References

Newton, C. (2016, October 28th) Why Vine Died. Retrieved from http://www.theverge.com/2016/10/28/13456208/why-vine-died-twitter-shutdown

Thottam, I. (2016, October 28th) The 5 Sad Reasons Why Vine is Being Shut Down. Retrieved from https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/10/twitter-is-killing-vine-here-are-the-5-reasons-why.html

 

 

 

Google Is Watching You

We all know about cookies, yes? No, not the delicious kind that you eat, but the data that your web browser collects from your search history to track what you watch. Essentially what cookies do is they tell your web browser what ads to show you based on the things that you typically search. For example, I typically search things to do with musical groups that I am interested in, or online clothing stores. So, things like Facebook and YouTube are always displaying ads to me that shows things that it magically knows that I would like. It’s creepy, right?

As I was perusing the old internet this morning I came across something that takes the aforementioned creepy level to a new level. When you used to sign up for Google their default settings were to protect your privacy, to limit your exposure to browser monitoring. You used to have to opt in a lot of the ad monitoring features to get specialized ads. It was all good and fine, until I came across this article: https://consumerist.com/2016/10/25/new-google-accounts-now-opted-in-to-ad-tracking-features-by-default/. Per this article, Google’s old default privacy settings are out the window and now they are doing what is called “Opt-In.” This means that I order for you limit ad monitoring on your accounts, you must opt-out of them.

While this may not seem like the biggest deal in the world, isn’t it a little bit concerning that your privacy is not longer Google’s default behaviour?

I decided to take a quick peek into what Google sees about my history and boy was it great to see. I went to myactivity.google.com/myactivity and it shows me all the things that Google monitors just from my searches.  I found that they know exactly what I watch on YouTube, what I search for, what things I purchase from Amazon….I’m sure you get the picture.

I can’t be the only one who thinks that this is unacceptable.

References

Cox, K. (2016,October 25th) New Google Accounts Now Opted-In To Ad Tracking Features By Default. Retrieved from https://consumerist.com/2016/10/25/new-google-accounts-now-opted-in-to-ad-tracking-features-by-default/

 

Is Social Media Affecting Your Health?

Most of us use social media on a daily basis. In fact, a 2013 study shows that 70% of Facebook users log in every day. You log on, you upload a picture or two, you post a status, you see what everyone else is up to. Some would say that regularly using social media does not have an adverse effect on a person’s mental health and well-being. But what if it does?

When we log on, do we all find ourselves comparing our achievements and accomplishments to those of our peers? Well according to an article entitled “Facebook and Twitter feed anxiety, study finds” (Donnelly, 2012), we do. This article draws its statistics from a poll done by the Salford Business School at the University of Salford, for the charity Anxiety UK, where 298 people were polled.

Of the 298 people surveyed 51% claimed that social media had an impact of them and that the impact had been negative. Some other statistics are that 60% of people found social media to be addictive, leading to feelings of being “worried or uncomfortable” without access to their social media accounts. I myself have experienced these feelings. There have been a few times where my power has cut out and my battery has died and I have not been able to use social media and boy did it feel strange. It was almost as if I had been cut off from the world entirely. I had become that dependent.

Another concern regarding social media is cyber bullying. Cyber bullying includes repeated tormenting online, with texts, phone calls and or emails affecting the other person to fear for their well-being. 51% of all teens have had a negative experience with social media and 16% said that someone has posted and embarrassing photo of them (Stopabully.ca, 2014). Now that nearly every home has a computer with internet, it is no wonder that cyber bullying has become all the rage. Kids now have so much access to technology. While technology is a useful tool to help children learn, it can also now be used a vessel to inflict harm on others in the form of bullying. Kids who are cyber bullied are more likely to experience depression and anxiety, health issues and a drop in academic achievement.

With the use of technology on the rise, it seems that social media will continue to have an adverse effect on mental health.

References

Canada Bullying Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from Stop a Bully:     http://www.stopabully.ca/bullying-statistics.html

Donnelly, L. (2012, July 8th) Facebook and Twitter feed anxiety, study finds. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/9383609/Facebook-and-Twitter-feed-anxiety-study-finds.html

Maybe You Shouldn’t Upload Those Pictures From that Crazy Weekend

So you had a great weekend celebrating your best friend’s last few days of being an unmarried woman. Great memories, great drinks, and some even greater photos. You think that it will be a good idea to put those on Facebook and Instagram so that everyone can see what a fabulous time you had. But how could those pictures potentially harm you?

Let’s say that you are on a job hunt. You have put out tons of resumes and applications, you have amazing references, and so much experience. You think you have it in the bag. But wait. Is it possible that a potential employer has seen those pictures of you three sheets to the wind? How will that affect that persons opinion of you as a potential employee?

According to an article called “How Social Media Can Help (Or Hurt) You In Your Job Search” (Smith, 2013) it can have a greater affect than we would all like to think. According to this article, 37% of employers utilize social media screening in the hiring process. That means that they may very well be looking at all those pictures of you passed out drunk on your friends shoulder.

When a potential employer looks at your social media accounts, they are looking to see how you present yourself to the outside world. Are you professional? What are your qualifications? Do you fit that company? If you apply to work at a law firm and are posting things that heavily disagree with topics that they support, do you believe that they will hire you? Probably not.

While of course you should have the right to post anything that you want on your various social media platforms, it is always a good idea to be mindful of the kind of image you present to the world when you post that status or upload that picture. It just might help you out in the long run.

References

Smith, J. (2013, April 16th) How Social Media Can Help (Or Hurt) You In Your Job Search. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/04/16/how-social-media-can-help-or-hurt-your-job-search/#7d721d7924fd