The Death of Facebook?

I don’t want to think about it, actually. I don’t want Facebook to die. I’ve used it for ages. It’s helped me come out of my shell that I had and has given me the ability to talk to people outside of school without profoundly asking for their phone number (which was a big deal for me in Middle/High School and still is a quantitative one in some aspect, I mean, it’s much easier to add someone on Facebook than to ask for their number and it’s much easier to chat them on Facebook than to talk to them over the phone or even text them.)

But I see less people using it. I see people getting angry over minor things such as the timeline, which I actually find cool. I like the timeline. I like having a cover photo and I like fitting more posts onto the screen than I could have been to before. I like knowing whether or not someone saw my message so I can create a more educated hypothesis as to whether or not someone is deliberately trying to ignore me. There are a lot of these little things that everyone is just so aggravated about! CISPA was a decent reason to get mad at Facebook, but all of the other things really aren’t, in my opinion. You don’t like the fact that people can now see whether or not you saw their message? You’re probably one of those assholes who deliberately ignores people. Even if you’re not deliberately ignoring them, just because you don’t think into these kinds of things doesn’t mean that nobody else does.

My two best friends are still in high school. They don’t go on Facebook as much as they used to and I don’t really talk to them as much as I used to, I don’t think. At least when I’m in college. Now to be fair, I could just not be talking to them as much because I’m in college and I have different schedules than they do. My one friend has been sending me messages every so often at around 8:00pm, which usually isn’t the greatest time. I’m either doing work, doing some kind of activity, or taking a break from doing work and hanging out with college friends. The only reason he even goes on Facebook is to talk to his friends. And in a certain sense, I only do too. I just go on more often than they do because I suppose I feel the need to talk to people more than they do.

But I never got into Tumblr. I can’t really talk to my friends through Tumblr, all I can do is share pictures and maybe comment on things. Once Facebook came out I switched to that from MySpace because I liked the chat feature. I know that there was some kind of chat feature on Myspace, but it was very difficult to obtain for some reason. Facebook in itself is boring, essentially. All it is are humorous pictures shared by pages that I “like” and posts made by friends, along with some other things. Words With Friends, etc. But it’s not really a “game”. When I hang out with my friends, if Facebook is involved, it’s usually to prank/troll other people or view things that other people had put up, not to browse through the news feed and analyze it. That’s just a biproduct of distraction/waiting for a friend come onto chat or respond to something you said on a post.

Now my two best friends? I initially asked them to hang out for the first time over Facebook. Our friendships were further enhanced by talking to each other outside of school via that. They may not go on Facebook that much anymore, but I do usually see them when I come back from college and I do still talk to them over the phone. But I feel as if Facebook were to go away, I wouldn’t be able to make any new friends like that. College has been a different experience because I am able to see my friends any odd hour of the day without having to talk to them on Facebook, but this is because they live in my dorm. What if I wanted to be friends with someone outside of my dorm, or what if I had a prospective girlfriend who didn’t live in the dorm? I would feel nervous as shit asking her for her phone number before I got to know her a little bit better first and so I probably wouldn’t do so. I’d feel more comfortable in just finding out what her name was and finding her on Facebook. What happens after college?? Facebook is a crucial website of interaction for people like myself. Some people, such as my brother, can do without. But I would feel disconnected and distant from the world like I did before Facebook. It had better stay or if it does get replaced, if had better get replaced with something else that serves the same fundamental purposes.

Ultra Day 1!

I posted before that I’d write about each Ultra day individually, so here it is.

Friday, March 15th. The event was going to be from 5 PM-12 AM. We had a lot of time to kill before the event, so we went tanning! It’s a must since we were down in Miami.

Miami

Miami

Ultra was the last place Swedish House Mafia was going to perform before they disband. They were opening for Ultra on weekend one and closing on weekend two. Everyone was extremely excited for their set to start.

Ultra 2013

Ultra 2013

Ultra 2013

Ultra 2013

We began lining up around 4:30 and got in awhile after 5. Once we got in, we went straight to the Main Stage and watched Cazzette, Nicky Romero and Fedde Le Grand perform.

Cazzette @ Ultra 2013

Cazzette @ Ultra 2013

Cazette – Beam Me Up

Nicky Romero @ Ultra 2013

Nicky Romero @ Ultra 2013

Nicky Romero‘s Full Set at UMF

My friends and I (red, pink, green caps) were on tv during his set! This was probably one of the best sets I’ve ever heard. The lineup for the first day was amazing, and best thing was… all of the DJs I liked were all on the main stage, so staying at the same stage made everything easier.

Nicky Romero

On TV!

Fedde Le Grand @ Ultra 2013

Fedde Le Grand @ Ultra 2013

Fedde Le Grand‘s Full Set at UMF

We left the crowd for awhile to get water and went back in, in time for Afrojack! It took us around 15 minutes to leave the crowd. When we first went in, we were lucky enough to be in the middle front part and I guess the crowd just grew bigger and bigger as the day went on. Surprisingly, we were able to squeeeeeze back into the same place we were at first!

Afrojack @ Ultra 2013

Afrojack @ Ultra 2013

Afrojack

Aaaand finally! Swedish House Mafia! I saw them back on March 4th at their own concert held at the Barclays Center. But seeing them again at Ultra was a totally different thing! Jumping and dancing around with thousands and thousands of other people made this night even more special since it was the last night since it was the last time all of us would ever see them perform.

Swedish House Mafia @ Ultra 2013

Swedish House Mafia @ Ultra 2013

Swedish House Mafia 

This was by far, the BEST set I’ve ever seen. It is my favorite and most memorable. I’m really happy I got to see them for the last time before they disbanded, both at their own concert and at Ultra.

Swedish House Mafia @ Ultra 2013

Swedish House Mafia @ Ultra 2013

Stay tune for Ultra day 2!

‘College Town USA’ : An Observation on the Student-Tourist

Art Lib

 what is the authentic college experience?

Last year I took a class called “Visual Anthropology.” For those of you who are unfamiliar “Visual anthropology is a subfield of social anthropology that is concerned, in part, with the study and production of ethnographic photography, film and, since the mid-1990s, new media. While the term is sometimes used interchangeably with ethnographic film, visual anthropology also encompasses the anthropological study of visual representation, including areas such as performance, museums, art, and the production and reception of mass media” (Wikipedia).

◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊◊

The class brought to mind discussions of “authenticity” I’ve had in other anthropology classes and made me look at Rutgers differently. Walking around I realized that I was a tourist, inside of a space that has been fashioned to (at least visually) provide the AUTHENTIC COLLEGE EXPERIENCE.

There is a lot that can be learned from different cultural understandings of aesthetics and authenticity. In order to study systems of commerce that rely on their aesthetic value and their guarantee of authenticity a close look at the cultural knowledge that constructs these two components is the best place in which to ground ethnography. By asking how aesthetics and authenticity are understood, cultural anthropologists can develop studies that point to current models of modernity that control complex systems.

The most relevant of these systems for college student is perhaps the University and it’s ‘college town.’ Together, the University campus and its surrounding college town promote a space that can be seen as a suitable host for the ‘authentic’ college experience.

George Street

Libraries and Dorms with carefully manicured lawns, offices and academic powerhouses working out of historic buildings, coffee houses, restaurant/bars and much more, speak volumes to how the University thinks certain looks can work in its favor when visually endorsing its capability of providing you with the college experience.

College Ave

With this in mind, I have proposed a new way of studying the student as if they were a tourist. As the modern American college student navigates through an environment that is comprised partially of a staged authenticity that corresponds to ‘the college experience,’ she becomes a tourist, forced to analyze aesthetics in meaning-making processes through various forms of cultural production.

I have always been interested in photography’s role in the cultural construction of knowledge. How we view the images that bombard us each day, on billboards, flyers, brochures, etc has a great deal to do with how we assign their cultural significance in our everyday lives. In other words, the way “one learns to see in cultural ways” (Grasseni 2009: 23) affects the way one responds to visual stimuli. My question for this study on the STUDENT TOURIST then, is how this formation of skilled visions affects the ways one produces their own images through the formation of visual knowledge.  Grasseni in her 2009 study examines this cause and effect though her explanation of skilled visions and their effect on culturally conditioned ways of seeing specific information’s ‘shareability.’

View at Rockoff

Over all I want to examine through photographs students take, how they visually separate things that they identify as “RUTGERS” from the things that are not, the things that are inauthentic, and the things that are striving to be college-y if you will.

ts 2
Cat 2

(Photo Credits: [Me] Veronica Cohen + Eli-Holvey-Slifer)

http://elislifer.blogspot.com/

Thumbs & Ammo

thumb-fiction-660x371

Memes are common place on the internet, but sometimes a joke becomes something more than originally thought. I found that out when I had stumbled upon this article over spring break. It had started out as more of a joke and mocking of action movies but then it evolved to take on a more deeper meaning.

Godfather-Thumbs-and-Ammo-ross-b-660x360

We are living in an America that has just undergone many gun related tragedies in the past few months and, unbeknownst to the makers of these images, they are making a statement about how guns are common place in media. It has become relatively easy to ignore when watching action films because all those movies are driven by action and violence, which more times than none involves the use of guns. I find these images powerful because they are taking iconic movies and altering them, making them something out of context. Instead of a gun, what about a thumb? A thumb isn’t threatening. If anything it is a sign of assurance or acceptance and replacing a firearm with a thumb changes the meaning but also shows that guns are an important issue. They have to be maintained and monitored to prevent tragedies like Sandy Hook from occurring again.

ChuckNorristhumbsup-Emil-P-660x895 

Power of the E-Cig

For eight years it was always the same routine… wake up; light up… eat a meal; smoke a cig; before bed, after sex, with coffee, while driving, while drinking…. TOTALLY STRESSED OUT?  That’s fine… just smoke 3 in a row and calm yourself down…

For eight long years I stuck with one of the most horrible, disgusting, and deadly habits:

It began to wear down on me in almost all aspects of life.  I began to realize that smoking was not only stupid because of its detrimental effects to my health, but because of the ridiculous amounts of money I was spending to get my nicotine fix.

Roughly $8 for a pack… once a day = $56 per week… then turns into $224 a month… which is a whopping $2,688 per year!! Times that by 8 years I’ve been smoking… I could have basically paid for my college tuition ($21,504).

I can say without a second’s hesitation that I am addicted to nicotine.  One night without it and I’ll be feverishly shaking, laying awake after countless nightmares.  I finally made the decision about a month ago that I was going to quit.  I was tired of smelling and tasting like a cigarette, and I needed to break this dependence.  So first I tried cold turkey… for about 3 hours it worked.  Then I tried being just a “social smoker,” quitting for a couple of days then lighting up outside the bar.  That only made me want it more, and I ended up right back where I started.  Then I tried weaning off; allowing myself only a number of cigarettes per day, and decreasing as the days went by.  I would constantly find an excuse to cheat and have an extra one or two.  It seemed as if I was never going to be able to do it.  I did not want to try the patch, gum, or medications for fear of side effects or blood clots (ironic, right?) and meditation and hypnosis did nothing for me as well.  So of course, I decided that maybe I was just meant to be a smoker, a social pariah for all the days of my life.  I deduced that when I planned to someday have children, I would HAVE to quit and it would give me the strength to stick with it.

As the weeks continued, smoking pack after pack, I still longed to be the girl who did not have to succumb to the cravings and withdrawals.  Then- FINALLY- I saw someone at a bar one night who was smoking an electronic cigarette.  At that moment, it was as if the heavens opened up and the angels sang to me (slightly exaggerated).  Once again, I had renewed hope that I might have found the cure that I was looking for all  along.

I would not only recommend electronic cigarettes to those trying to quit, but for those who have no interest in quitting.  The reasons for this are numerous: save yourself from illness, save some money, and possibly save your own life.

Logic sells E-cigs that can be re-charged, so that all you have to do is buy a “carton” and refill whenever needed.  Disposable ones go for roughly $10 a piece, but are the equivalent to two packs of cigarettes.  A “carton” is still equivalent to a regular carton of cigarettes, except regular cigarettes can cost as much as $80 per carton, whereas Logic sells a carton for $20.

They come in all different flavors and strengths, and the best part is there are absolutely no carcinogens inside… just water vapor.  So not only is smoking an e-cig healthier for YOU, but also for others, considering the effects of secondhand smoke are totally illuminated.

imageSo, you can smoke it virtually anywhere, even on planes, in restaurants, and in class.  I encourage any and all who are intrigued by the concept, or even planning to FINALLY quit, to visit the Logic Website and find out more how a smokeless cigarette can benefit you!

http://www.logicecig.com/

The Next Big Thing

ImageThe future of the automobile has arrived. Introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, the black Bentley Continental GTC now features a dashboard iPad lookalike. While the price for this luxury vehicle is a staggering $191,000 it will most likely serve as the future to the automobile industry. Soon enough, all car brands will take part in this futuristic dashboard. As if we don’t already have enough distractions driving, the dashboard contains a massive 17-in touchscreen, 3-D maps, and even videoconferencing–this really worries me. While I will definitely not be purchasing a Bentley in the near future, I’m sure sometime down the road my car will be constructed with similar features. Although, I’m not sure how I feel about this. Texting while driving is the cause to so many deaths, now we’re adding video-conferencing among other things? Does this make sense? Cars began ensuring safety by adding hands-free talk through your mobile device, now they’re encouraging video conferencing while driving. Taking part in a video conference while driving means that your eyes are not on the road. More accidents and deaths will be a direct result of this feature. I’m curious to see how officials will take part in implementing new laws regarding such extreme technological measures. Obviously, new safety laws and regulations need to be put into place.

Social Media in a Time of Crisis

Social media websites such as Twitter and Instagram are not solely for socially interacting with your friends and others around the world, but they are also useful resources for news. By following twitter accounts such as CNNnews and ABCnews, you can recieve live updates of what is happening around the world on your twitter feed. Maybe not so much Instagram but we can follow celebraties and see what it is that they’re up to…as if we really care that much. 

A few years ago i read an article about a radio news-broadcaster who went live on the air during Hurricane Katrina and lead people to safely. Through his radio broadcast he was able to receive phone calls from callers whom were trapped on their roofs and looking for safety. He was able to distribute information during the time of crisis that would lead thousands to safety as well as rescuers to thousands. 

Social Media does have its ups and downs, it’s good and bad moments where it can be more useful than just entertaining.