College Grad Ramblings: Social Life

College Grad Ramblings: Social Life

I have officially been a college graduate for one year (and three weeks), so I thought I would start a little series where I share some of the big lessons I learned this year.

For the first post, I want to talk about my social life since graduating. Hopefully some of you can relate to this, and those of you who are still in college can get an idea of what to expect.

College is so great because you have all of your friends in one place; you can walk to each other’s dorms, meet up in the cafeteria, or say hi to each other on the way to class. After freshman year you will probably even live with your friends. Hanging out is an effortless task.

424267_10151017844568740_1675597200_n
My sophomore roommates and me, the day we moved in
Post-college life is much different. Not only are you most likely not living in the same city as your college friends anymore, but you’re working a full time job. Finding time to see your friends, much less meeting new friends, can seem almost impossible. I was lucky in that I moved back to my hometown and already had a lot of friends here. But I still had to learn to push myself to invite them to hang out, and also had to get outside my comfort zone to meet new friends. I found that with the stress of starting a new job, I often felt too tired or too busy to hang out with friends, even though I knew I should.

If you read my New Years Resolutions blog, you know that one of my resolutions was to make more time for friends. Though I haven’t always lived up to my goal of seeing friends three times a week, I have definitely been pushing myself to jump on any opportunity to be social, no matter how much I feel like just staying home and watching Netflix. A secret I learned is to just say “yes” to any opportunity to go out with friends, before you have time to second guess it or convince yourself you don’t want to go.

I have also been making an effort to meet new friends, which I think is extremely important for anyone who is newly graduated. My improv class has been my main way of making new friends, and I would highly recommend finding a hobby or activity outside of work where you can meet new people. Growing up I always enjoyed having multiple different groups of friends, so this has been a great way for me to find a new group to spend time with.

IMG_5520
My awesome improve class
All in all I think I’ve done a pretty good job of adjusting to my new social life after college, but it is always a work in progress. I still have those days where I don’t feel like being social, and I still feel anxious about meeting new people every now and then. Reminding myself that I will never regret spending time with friends is my main motivation.

Let me know in the comments if you experienced any of these things when you graduated! Also, I’d love to hear ideas for other ramblings I should do about post-grad life.

Social Media Fails

Social Media Fails

Hey everyone! I have a silly and fun post for today. As a Community Manager at a social media agency, people tend to assume I am an expert on all things social media. I will neither confirm nor deny that, but what I will confirm is that I was not always adept at navigating social networks.

In honor of Throwback Thursday, I thought I would share some of my more hilarious/painful/awkward posts from my high school days. You’re welcome.

Facebook:

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 8.13.39 PM

Such depth. I was always destined to be a great writer.

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 8.18.00 PM

Putting a voice behind the important issues in our society. Shelly for president!

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 8.11.12 PM

I had a life I promise….

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 8.12.17 PM

Spoiler alert: Taylor Lautner does not read my Facebook posts. Also, what is he up to these days? There’s no way Twilight was really his peak right?

Twitter:

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 9.52.16 PM

This was my first ever tweet. I apparently thought capitalization wasn’t important on Twitter.

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 9.52.56 PM

If only Twitter had the capabilities to attach links when referencing articles so people knew what you were talking about!

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 9.52.39 PM

My Twilight obsession was apparent on both Twitter and Facebook. Great…

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 8.33.17 PM

My inner musical theater nerd just couldn’t help but post obscure lyrics from Rent without any indication that I was quoting something. I bet I tweeted this around midnight and thought I was super clever too. 

 

Well there you go! Clearly I was not always skilled at social media, but I’d like to think I’ve improved my style over the years. Check out my profiles to decide for yourself!

 

 

Book Review: The Circle

Book Review: The Circle

1380733793922.cached

We are not meant to know everything, Mae. Did you ever think that perhaps our minds are delicately calibrated between the known and the unknown? That our souls need the mysteries of night and the clarity of day?

I’m back with my second book review (check out my first if you haven’t already).  This time the book is a novel, and is much more serious and thrilling than Amy Poehler’s book, though there were some humorous aspects as well. The book is called The Circle, and is written by Dave Eggers. Quotes including “chilling”, “prophetic” and “powerful” adorn the cover, and I couldn’t agree more with those descriptors.

The story does not include any specific dates, but I imagine it to be set 5 to 10 years in the future. Mae is a woman in her mid-twenties, who has finally landed her dream job at the biggest and fastest growing technology company in the world: The Circle. The company has invented a completely new social networking site called Zing, which has replaced all other social sites and is basically a combination of all of them. You also only have one online persona; one username and one password for everything from banking to email. This eliminates the possibility of cyber bullying because there is no more anonymity. No more fake profiles. Sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it?

My sister Caroline (who actually read the book this summer for college and recommended I read it) put it very nicely. She said: “All of the ideas and concepts in the book make sense and are brilliant ideas, until you look more closely at them and learn more information.” This is exactly right. The plot is a bit slow at first, and you are given a lot of details that seem pointless, but towards the middle everything starts to build and suddenly you realize that this company is not at all what you thought it was. Small details jump out as red flags from the beginning, and then by the end you want to scream at Mae to wake up and realize what is happening!

So what is happening, you may be wondering? Well, in an effort to not give any major spoilers and ruin the entire book (because you really should read it) I will talk about one of the main themes in the book and how it plays out through the story, leaving out specific plot points and just talking generally. That theme is privacy. From fairly early on, it is apparent that privacy concerns as we know them today have vanished, at least at this company. The Circle seems to be a bit obsessed with being open and transparent online. Two of their slogans are: Privacy is theft! and Secrets are lies! 

We all have that friend on social media who shares way too much information, whether that is the status updates about her breakup, Instagram photos of every single meal she eats, or frequent angry tweets about her political views. By all means, share as much or as little as you’d like, but we all know that person who seems to go over the line, am I right? Anyway, imagine that instead of this being one person, it is now the majority. That’s right, everyone has drunk the cool aide and transformed into classic over-sharers. And what’s more, people seem to think it is normal. 

oversharing

The idea of over-sharing and lack of privacy translates onto the video medium as well, and although there is no YouTube anymore, it reminded me a lot of vloggers on YouTube who share intimate details of their life for millions of viewers to see. Without giving too much away, imagine that the idea of vlogging caught on to such an extent that everyone, from an average person to a Congressman, was sharing their life through video, except that they were live streams and not edited the way vlogs are today. The two slogans I mentioned become increasingly important, to the extent where people are expected to share their life with everyone else at all times, with no secrets and no privacy. Ever.

This book really made me think about how addicted we all are to social media and technology, and how realistic it actually seems for the events depicted in this novel to come true. Why is it that we feel the need to share so much with the world? And why do we love to learn so much about others? I am just as guilty as the next person. I love watching vlogs, and I can feel a sick obsession growing inside me to learn more about the people behind the camera. And I obviously like sharing stories from my own life online, because I have a blog.

However, could it be that we are robbing ourselves of fully living in the moment, if all of our days are spent thinking about the best status update or the catchiest caption for a photo? I went to ACL Music Festival this past weekend, and the whole time I could feel my hand itching to grab my phone and take a picture or send a snapchat; something to prove to the world that I had been there. But then I thought “why not just enjoy it and save the memory in my mind rather than online?” And believe it or not, I didn’t end up taking a single picture or video. I am oddly proud of my restraint.

 

Let me know what you thought of this book if you read it, or any of your thoughts on the themes of privacy, social media addiction and over-sharing! I’d love to hear your opinions. And as always, follow me if you enjoyed this blog, and connect with me on social media if you’d like! Yes, I do see the irony in this statement. 😛