Unhealthy Habit: The Listicle

I’ve been thinking a lot about unhealthy habits. I first began thinking about these when I found out about my gluten allergy. It really got me thinking about the things we do to our own minds and bodies that can actually make us unhappy or unhealthy. The one that has been weighing on my mind lately is this:

The habit of living your life by the listicle.

Listicles are a very popular type of blog post right now, and I think they are a great way to deliver content that is easy to read and digest. However, the content of many listicles are what bother me. “How to Know He’s Cheating on You,” or “10 Signs You are an Obsessive Girlfriend,” or even “18 Signs You’re in a Relationship With Your Horse.” No, I’m not making that last one up (see below). So many articles that are targeted to my age group (college women ages 18-22) focus on telling you what is wrong with you, your friends, your significant other, your lifestyle, and more.

this is a caption of real search results.
This is a caption of real search results.

I won’t lie, throughout my life, I have been someone who thrived off of articles like this. I read them feverishly in order to feel like I was normal or to get reassurance that I was doing the right thing. When you are worried about something in life, it is comforting to have someone who doesn’t know you and can’t judge you tell you you’re okay. If you are concerned about what decision to make, it is nice to find an article that tells you you’ve made the right decision – or that you’ve messed up and need to run the other way.

However, I realized that I had gotten into a nasty cycle. I destroyed a relationship that meant a lot to me because I was listening to advice from people who did not know me or my situation. Maybe I felt lost and didn’t have a loud enough inner voice to drown out the words on the web. Each time I listened to this strangerly advice, I became less and less happy. I became more confused, and I couldn’t come up with an answer when I asked myself what I wanted or felt.

Some things you have to feel out on your own. Your instincts, feelings, and thoughts are your best guide. Be confident in your own ability to problem solve. Trust your life’s worth of mistakes and experiences. They have prepared you for everything you’ll face in life, and you really can do it on your own.

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Summer Work Style Basics

summer work style basics
This summer, I have two internships – one on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, and one on Wednesdays and Thursdays. What this means is I need lots of business casual. It is difficult – and extremely stressful – to throw outfits together in the morning before work, so I decided to find a basic set of items that, if I added them to my closet, would help me come up with more outfit combinations with the clothes I already had… and give me less stress.
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Because Pinterest solves all problems, I started there. I found a handy dandy article with outfit suggestions, which is where I discovered the white dress, windowpane plaid blouselight-knit sweater, white pants, layered gold necklace and pointed cheetah flats. I then sought out a bright colored blazerneutral clutchblack pointed heel, and round sunglasses. Ever since I got my first pair in Paris last summer, I’ve been addicted to round sunglasses. They are the only shape that seems to work with my baby cheeks!
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What are your work basics? Let me know what your staple items are!

On Planning and Reality

When I updated my WordPress app on my iPad, I found a post that I wrote in Fall 2014. It discussed my decision to change majors, and, now having completed the school year I had only just embarked on at the time of writing this post, I felt it was too meaningful to delete. This was something I wrote in a burst of inspiration and passion about my studies, so I hope it means something to those who have felt the same way at some point in their lives!

Towards the end of last school year, I decided to change my major to Journalism with a concentration in Advertising. I also, after consulting with my counselor, realized that I would be able to complete a Global Studies double major since I had already fulfilled some of the requirements in my first two years at UNC. This semester, I am taking three classes in the school of Journalism and two classes that count towards my Global Studies major. I wanted to talk a bit about each of these majors because I’m feeling particularly excited about my decision, now that I have had a week of all of my new classes!

I always thought that I was someone who knew exactly what she was doing. I knew when I started my freshman year at UNC that I wanted to work in Marketing. I knew this because I had (limited) experience in the field and after trying it first hand, I found it was something I enjoyed. I thought that the way I would make it to this field would be through the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business program. Although Kenan-Flagler is a great school, I soon discovered that that was not the path for me. I struggled through my economics prerequisites, didn’t enjoy accounting, and aced my marketing class. It became apparent to me that marketing was the way to go, but that perhaps the business school was not the place to study it.

I began looking into the journalism program at UNC, which I had not previously done. An advertising concentration did not seem like it was exactly what I wanted to do, but I figured that with an MBA in Marketing, it would still get me to my end goal. I signed up for Newswriting, Ethics, and Into to Ad/Pr for this semester, and so far I am loving the classes. I have an interest for journalism (reporting in particular) that I never would have imagined. I am suddenly fascinated by tv shows that center around journalists covering the White House and other highly controversial areas. I read a book for my history class on the Tuskegee Syphilis experiments and I was so infatuated by the idea that this man had investigated this issue first hand and had dug through the archives himself. The idea of uncovering and exposing such an issue fascinated me, and I really admired it.

Although I am sure I will not be an investigative journalist, I have realized that because of my journalism studies, I have the potential to pursue it if I so decide. I am realizing that my pride wanted me to declare a major and stick with it as a freshman, because I wanted to be the one who didn’t change her mind 5 times before sticking with one thing, but that sometimes you really have no idea what things you are passionate about until you try them.

A Millennial’s Evolving Relationship with Twitter – and its Implications

When Twitter was founded in 2006, I was in middle school, landing me in the group called “millenials.” I eagerly signed up for an account but only had 3 “followers” and 3 “following.” I didn’t know what to tweet, why to tweet, or who to tweet, so I left it alone for about a year or so. By that time, more of my friends were signing up on Twitter. That’s when I dug out my old username and password and decided to give it another go. Over time, it became a new way for me to know who my friends were hanging out with, how they were feeling, what their favorite songs were, and other useless details that I clung to. It also became a tool for young, hormonal teenagers to publicly, yet cryptically, share their feelings about a person through the infamous, regretful subtweet. Favoriting a tweet was a way of saying “I support this,” and a retweet meant “me too.”

However, this all changed once we got to high school and the focus of our attention became preparing for college and the “real world.” Our parents, teachers, and counselors told us we had to either make our Twitter accounts private or delete them all together, or we wouldn’t be hired after college. So, most of us chose to edit our privacy settings, while others embraced an “if they don’t want me for the dirty-mouthed, hilarious entertainer I am, I don’t want them” attitude.

Now, as a rising senior in college, I have done a strange thing. Junior year of college was full of internship applications, “personal branding,” resume-perfecting, and frequent “real world” freak-outs. As a student in a school of journalism and mass communications, I knew that I needed my presence on social media to be an asset, not a downfall. So, I made a new Twitter. One that I call my “professional Twitter.”

This new Twitter account’s purpose was to showcase my knowledge on industry-specific topics, share relevant news, and promote my blog and original ideas. I wanted this Twitter account to be a way for me to interact with professionals, and maybe (hopefully) be noticed. And, I happen to think it has been quite fun!

I am not suggesting that Twitter users lose their humor or personal accounts to create a sterilized, clean version of themselves. Rather, I am suggesting that I am not the only one who has done something along these lines. Twitter has evolved into a tool for businesses and professionals, meaning that the way some users choose to leverage their accounts has changed.

I believe this speaks to a larger phenomenon that social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are playing into with their new “buy it” buttons. Corporations have slowly infiltrated social media, and now they have become such an integral part of social media that certain platforms are creating new features just for them. Another example of this would be the ability to sponsor a post on Tinder. You can actually interact with (and match with) a fake Tinder account that is basically an advertisement in a “human” form. You are essentially virtually speed-dating a business. I mean, at least these accounts always swipe right…

I know that this post was a little long-winded, but I’m hoping that readers will see the connection I’m seeing here. The bottom line is this: Social media has evolved since its inception, with the main example I use being Twitter. We know that corporations have managed to take on a human role to the extent that some people debate the question of whether corporations are citizens or not. Now, social media has become another way that corporations are functioning more like humans, and that has changed the way real humans use it.

Article image/logo belongs to Twitter.