It all began with MTV taping 7 people from all different walks of life who were thrown into living in the same house for a period of about 4 months. Now reality televison can be found on almost every network at some point in the day.

My question is are the relationships that we see on reality television real relationships or are they completely staged? Personally I don’t see why anyone would subject themselves to the reprecussions of having the entire country witness what they would normally do in just their private lives.

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I really began considering this as I watching one of my guilty pleasure shows, MTV’s  The City. This show consists of camara crews that follow around, announced of course, the shows main characters. This past week star Whitney Port’s boyfriend of a few short months JayLyon has had to move in with her due to a recent roommate crisis. But when Lyon’s ex-girlfriend is in town, camaras show him at a bar with her and them leaving together. We later find out that he was out with her all night, until 6 a.m. Now it isn’t the situation that really blows my mind, because this kind of thing happens every day. What does blow my mind is that Lyon knew he was being filmed and knew that at least after the season was over that Port would see the footage. So why on earth would you do something like this on camara, when you know that it is just convicting you? This is what causes me to think that there is no way that all of these reality tv shows that claim to show only the truth can be all that real. But I guess we’ll just have to take their word for it. You can watch the full espisode here for free.

As the social media and Internet presence continues to grow, it continues to change the way our world is working. First the Internet changed the way we searched for and collected information. It has changed the way we shop, the way we manage our money and funds, the way we receive our entertainment and the way we communicate with one another.

Initially the Internet was used more for communicating with friends and family in a social context. Users were still, for the most part, spectators in the realm of information on the Internet. With the growing use of cell phones, wi-fi, satellites and the combination of all of the above, everyone has the capability and access to be connected to everyone around the world all the time. Obviously this kind of connectivity is going to change trends, especially those relating to how we receive our information.

Mike Koehler, Multimedia Editor at OPUBCO, spoke to our social media class today about how the media is using these innovative social media tools in their coverage. The biggest discussion of the day was the use of twitter during the recent ice storm and tornadoes in the Oklahoma area. In both of the cases, people using twitter were able to give and receive information about the storms through the use of “hash tags” (#okice #OKstorms). Using these tools you can see what other people are posting about the storms, answer questions, follow different sources of media to get the information they are broadcasting, etc.. Koehler said that as they were following the storms people were able ask questions about specific areas, and they would go to that specific area to see how the weather was in that area. NewsOk has recieved national recognition because of its use of social media and interaction with the public in these instances. PRSA called it citizen journalism at its finest.

The lingering question is how will everyone make money using all these free tools? I’m sure someone will figure something out soon, so I’ll leave that one up to the “gurus”. Overall, Koehler thinks that these changing trends are positive. I think that the trends are changing so frequently there is no possible way anyone can predict what will happen in even the near future. I’m just trying to not get left behind, which I already feel because I don’t have a smart phone. (I think I may be the only person at OSU.)

You can follow Mike Koehler at www.twitter.com/mkokc

First I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank everyone for taking time out of their busy schedules to come to Stillwater. All of the students really appreciate your thought and consideration.

I think the expo was an overall success! Personally, I got to meet some great people who work for great organizations so I felt it was definitely worth my time. I really enjoyed speaking with Janet from the OSU Marketing Department, with STATE magazine. We had a really good chat about some current writing assignments that I am doing and how they can possibly correlate with the magazine.

I also really enjoyed speaking with the representatives from Schnake Turnbo Frank PR. They seemed really excited to tell us about their firm and are really excited to get some qualified interns. The firms has more than 50 clients, and they explained their interns get to work with any of the clients that need additional help.

Overall, I think the expo was a success. For future expos I would like to see more representatives from the Tulsa and Stillwater area. I think that Oklahoma City was fairly well represented. I also hope that because of today’s event and it’s success that more communications professionals will want to travel to stillwater to meet with OSU’s young and upcoming professionals.

It’s pretty easy to say that the world of social media affecting the way we interact with one another. Unless they just have something really lengthy to say, I have found people would much rather communicate via text message, facebook or e-mail as opposed to the old fashioned cell phone. Or sometimes when it is just too difficult to tell someone something, you’d rather break it to them easily with an apologetic facebook message, so heart-felt. My generation would much rather get information through a medium where they can see it and have a record of the information, rather than hearing it over the phone (or heaven forbid, word of mouth) and having to write it down.

But lets be real, Facebook alone has changed how we interact in our relationships. Let me give a quick rundown. You meet someone that catches your attention in class, at a restaurant, through a mutual friend or wherever. You have a conversation that goes well and you seem to hit it off. What is the first thing you do when you get home? Every single girl knows, you Facebook ’em. (This probably happens even if you didn’t hit it off so well. You have to at least check, right?) Here’s where it gets tricky. Do you add this person as a friend or wait and see if they request your friendship first? I mean you don’t want to seem to eager, but also want to seem interested and everyone can use another Facebook friend right? etc, etc… Now lets just say that after all of the Facebook flirting (quirky wall posts, late night Facebook chats, messages asking if you want to get ice cream) you really hit it off. It’s time to define the relationship. I don’t know about everyone else, but when one of my friends goes facebook official, we expect a ring to follow within the year. Yep. It’s taken that seriously. Why wouldn’t it be? You’re proclaiming your relationship to world! Or, at least to the 1000 friends you share between the two of you. Heaven forbid you break up!! Now all of your friends receive a notice “Jessica Young is no longer in a relationship.” This literally happened to me once. Within the hour I received phone calls from across the state from concerned friends, which was exactly what I needed just then. Then you have to discuss, what is the appropriate grace period for leaving the status “in a relationship”? Days, weeks, months? And who “cancels” the relationship? The dumper or dumpee? So much etiquette to consider.

Here is a video that I think depicts how Facebook has changed the meaning of our relationships all to well.

Just imagine what will happen when we add Twitter into the mix. Here is what I envision. You find someone who has interesting Tweets and is following some of the same people you are. You begin following one another and tweeting on a regular basis. @replies and directmessages are funny and interesting, what’s not to like? The next thing you know you are scheduling a private Tweetup at the local Smoothie King! I’m just sayin, the possibilities are endless.

An organization that I am heavily involved in is having a function this weekend. One of the most anticipated functions of the semester, for some. For others, the most dreaded. It’s the semi-formal. (I heard the gasps. Take a deep breath, we’ll get through this together.)

Now normally, I feel like it is no big deal to fly solo to one of these “functions”, if you will. However, the term “semi-formal” adds such a weighted stigma. Everyone feels like it is necessary that if you are going to get dressed to the nines, you need to have a handsome young man on your arm. Since everyone feels this way, it is really intimidating to go without a date!

Here’s the best part. All of your friends who have dates feel compelled, even obligated to try and set you up with one of their dates friends. Perfect. Now I’m supposed to take some complete stranger, and hope that the evening is only slightly awkward. No thanks, I’ve had enough self-inflicted awkwardness in my lifetime.

I don’t know why we have to put so much pressure on one another to find a date. If I have a special someone, or even a someone, that I think I would have a good time with, awesome. I’ll take him. If I don’t, I think I can manage one more single-ladies evening. I’m not that dependent.

So if you’re there, I’ll be the one in the silver dress who isn’t babysitting some stranger. Have fun girls.

I’m not sure what the correct verb usage for Ning is but I’m suggesting Ningin, so take not social media world. For those of you who are unsure, Ning.com allows you to create your own social networking site. You get your own brand, members, widgets, real-time activity steam, groups, network, chat and all this convenience is for free.

The sites look really good and, as far as I can tell, are pretty easy to use. I am a member of the Oklahoma Social Media Club, which created its Web site using Ning. http://www.oklasocialmediaclub.org/ You can see that it is pretty user friendly.

So of course our social media class is creating our site with Ning.  Anyone surprised? I wasn’t really either. We will be creating a site that is geared toward students in JB school, and more broadly, any OSU students who are or want to be engaged in social media. I know, you’re excited.

I absolutely love the Ning homepage. It shows some of the popular Networking sites of the day. Today’s sites include “The Bonnie Hunt Show”, “The Twilight Saga” (I’ll probably be joining that one shortly), ” The Green Light Community”, “Offbeat Bride Tribe”, “Lost Zombies” and “Burnt Marshmallows”. Isn’t it amazing how specifically a person can get into their own niche? That is just one of the many benefits of creating your own social networking site. http://www.ning.com/ Check it out, you might even get a giggle out of it or something.

I’m pretty excited to learn how to create with and use this network. My mom and dad are excited because now I can do it for his company. (Thanks for that Bill.)

800px-valentines_day_chocolates_from_2005Of course Valentine’s Day is trending Twitter topic. Why wouldn’t it be? (Just Valentine’s Day. No #. ) In case you haven’t noticed the candy, over-sized teddy bears and increased traffic at the floral shops, here is your official reminder. Valentine’s Day is Saturday. I’m sure I just sent some you who have significant others into a frenzy. Not quite my intention, but your welcome for the reminder just the same. Apparently, you aren’t the only people who are worried about it though.

Since I began writing this post, there have been 46 new “tweets” about Valentine’s Day. Yes, in the time it took me to type that first paragraph. Lots of people who are venting about the fact that the holiday even exists, some overly excited girls, lots of e-card talk, some frantic men who don’t know what to give their very deserving ladies all of which I’m finding interesting.

I think its great if you love the holiday, and I understand if you don’t. Personally, I don’t really want another reason to gorge on chocolate. Flowers are really pretty, but they are usually left to die. Restaurants are over-crowded. There is in fact a soft-spot in my heart for some really well-thought, sweet and simple gestures. So everyone quit freakin out, it’s just another day to tell that special someone, I really do love you. Or kinda like you anyway…

If you are looking for me on V-Day, you van probably find me spending some time with the only Valentine that really matters to me. My Daddy. 😉

 

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