Follow a Hashtag: The Huntsman Movie

So for the follow a hashtag assignment I decided to follow the The Huntsman: Winters War movie through out the weekend of it’s release, just to see what people were saying about and how it compared to the critics. For those who don’t know the movie explains the before and after of Snow White and the Huntsman. It starts off with the story of the Queens, tells how the Huntsman came to be, jumps 7 years into the future where Snow White and the Huntsman takes place, and then continues to what happens after the fact.

The reason? Because Snow White and the Huntsman was nothing to be remembered and frankly boring if I remember correctly. In fact, I realized I didn’t remember a thing when I went to the theater and my friend said the same thing. Yet, this movie had an amazing cast and seemed to have a lot of hype.

I remember a week before the movie came out, opening the tumblr app and having a banner of the movie with a link to it’s hashtag. Usually there is no banner where this one appeared, so what was so special about this movie? I also opened up snap chat the day of the premiere and there was a new filter promoting the movie. While this is typical of snap chat, not every movie gets this type of promotion so the expectations were high. During my twitter research before the movie came out, someone had even posted how NYC was bombarded with movie posters. Apparently Dance Moms had a dance inspired by the movie as well?

During my research before the movie, I noticed twitter was asking the same questions, why did this movie need a prequel/sequel? And how did it get such a fantastic cast? Critics were just straight up trashing it.

My initial response to all of the hype was how is this movie about the Huntsman? All I see is the two queens in all of the posters and trailers, in fact the snap chat filter made you both of the Queens. They, however, don’t get much screen time. The movie focuses on how the Huntsman came to be, and their journey. No one talked about this though, except for the few people who pointed out that one of the Queens isn’t in the movie until the very end.

It wasn’t a bad movie. I actually enjoyed it. It wasn’t in your face fantastic as the hype made it seem, but it wasn’t awful either. The effects were amazing, my only issue with the acting was the accents (I really was tempted to tweet “those accents though” but my phone had to stay away), it had a few laughs, and stuck to the story book fairy tale feel, which was beautifully crafted in my opinion (can you tell I’ve been binge watching Once Upon a Time on Netflix lately?).  It was just another movie that you’ll see and forget about like the first. (Which by the way if you want to see this one rewatch the first or you will be just as confused as my friend and me were).

There were a lot of mixed reviews on social media. Some people loved it. (Although most of these comments included how well the actors portrayed their characters) and others well hated it. Then there were the few that were meh about it. I fall among these people as it wasn’t a bad movie but i’ll probably forget it exists after tonight. Other than that nothing really spoke out about it. People just weren’t talking about it, even though before it premiered there was insane hype all over social media platforms.

There wasn’t much to post on twitter from my side, except my opinion so I did just that.

 

 

 

It’s on Us

If you haven’t noticed this week, FAU has been pushing this campaign titled “It’s on Us”.

I wasn’t all that sure what it was though. Of course before this week I had already see it all over Facebook. I saw the shirts, I saw the announcements for the kick off and events all through the week, and I saw the hashtag #fauiou16 even if it didn’t quite make sense to me. (Side note: I think its curious how all FAU events I have examined have a similar hashtag format, being they include the initials of the school, the initials of the event, and the last two digits of the year. Is this a common hashtag formula for events? Because Owlthon definitely didn’t get the memo. I’m going to do some research and get back to you on that.)

But going to back to the campaign, I was educated mostly through social media. I mean I saw it in the breezeway and was able to identify it because of how it was branded but I wasn’t quite sure what it was. I happened to be walking down the breezeway with a friend and some time to kill, when they lured us in with cupcakes, because who doesn’t love cupcakes?

It was a really neat couple of minutes. They had people speaking on sexual assault statistics and had students painting shirts with encouraging messages for victims in which they were hung up for all to see. I was also handed a flyer with the upcoming events and told little more of what was to be expected during the week which I would love to attend.

Realistically speaking I work 2 jobs, taking 18 credits, and involved with 3 student  organizations. If I do have free time, its spent sleeping (or being yelled at by my cat. He hates it when I’m asleep). Needless to say, attending any of these events was almost impossible. I was still curious so I decided to check the hashtag and see what was happening. FAU did a really well job of posting videos to keep everyone as informed as possible about what the campaign was and how well it was doing. There was one post stating how the walk in her shoes, which FAU students walked a mile in red heels, actually was so successful they ran out of shoes.

While I feel it raised awareness to the issue and explained why it’s an issue, as well as offered support to those affected negatively about it, I feel the campaign missed one vital step, how this all ties into the goal of prevention and the measures FAU is going to do to make it nonexistent. The education is there, I just failed to see the plan of action. I’m sorry but walking in heels for a mile, isn’t just going to make sexual assault go away.

 

Owlthon Final Results

So remember how annoying I’ve been about Owlthon this past semester? Well on April 2nd, about 500 FAU students stood for 13.1 hours and bombarded social media to get any last minute donations. The 13 person overall team was in tears when we finally announced at 2 am after running around for 21 hours on no sleep, making sure the event was set up and ran as smoothly as possibly, that Owlthon raised over $188,000 in only its 3rd years. This made it one of the fastest growing Dance Marathon’s in the nation with only raising about $6,000 the first year and $66,000 in it’s second year.

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Zander is a miracle child who was treated at Shands, the CMN Hospital Owlthon supports. His family came to the event and told their story, to show the money raised truly does help make miracles happen.

The huge campaign and one of the major hashtags for the year was #doublethemiracles. The reason being our goal was to double last years $66,000 and raise at least $132,000. The fact we almost tripled it showed just how much our planning and sleepless nights payed off.

We didn’t do it alone though, social media was the major reason the event was as successful as it was, and we knew how to use it to our advantage all year and especially the day of the event.

It first started with check-in. As students came in, we had about 10 computers set up with a word doc with a pre-written Facebook post and Facebook. To sign-in you had to post this on Facebook and show us so we could mark off you were there. This was especially important for all members in Greek Life, because sign in was how points for Greek Week were calculated.

At the opening ceremony we announced our hashtags, #doublethemiracles, #FTK, and #owlthon2k16. Looking through the hashtags now on various social media, they were mostly used for pictures on instagram. People were posting on Facebook throughout the event because my newsfeed was everything Owlthon, but I rarely saw the hashtag used on these posts, unless they were connected to instagram.

2b528854-2866-40b9-8b35-d25f36bb2652Another huge push we did during the event was the jail. Basically you had to pay $100 to put someone in and they had to raise another $200 to get out.When your stuck in a corner behind bars with nothing but your phone, how else would this be possible, unless social media is involved? In my opinion this was my favorite fundraising tactic, that wouldn’t exist without social media. At one point we got all of the teams to put their delegate in the jail, and then their teams had to try and help them get out while locked in the rec center. All were eventually successful, some sooner than others. Personally I was able to watch as Phi Mu attempted to get their delegate out through our Facebook post. Sisters were posting to inform other sisters who weren’t there that a sister was in need of help, while the treasurer made a post saying “if you want to support just comment with how much. I’ll take it out of Phi Mu funds and bill you for it later”. It was amazing how many girls commented, nothing below $5.

As for my role on the team, I was the technology director. Some of my tasks include creating the website and video taping the event to create videos. We had one recap video shown at the end of the event before the number was announced, that is now making it’s way across the internet because of how many people asked to see it again and wanted to share with friends and family, to showcase what their experience was like.

Lastly, the day after the event the overall team had posted on social media so much we all felt like we had to apologize. Our hard work was so successful for such a great cause, we just couldn’t hold back.0399cf9e-19a2-460d-91be-33605ab4072a

Overall the event was a complete success. Looking at the numbers afterwards, the event raised 0ver $30,000 day of alone. Sure we had merchandise and raffles, but neither of those were doing as well as we had hoped and pretty much had to be given away for anything we could get in the end. People are astonished with our success after only 3 years, but looking back we have had a major advantage because of social media.

Most of the programs we are being compared to have been established for multiple years. In their first years social media wasn’t what it is today. Now they are able to utilize it but because they’re established, people already know about them. Most of our success is due to the fact people don’t know who Owlthon is or the work we do. It’s our job to slowly educate and build connections along the way. Each year we improve drastically due to this aspect. Applications to be on the overall team have already doubled last years, and they only went live on Sunday. I can’t wait to see the continueing success of Owlthon in the years to come.

 

 

Greek Life and the social media challenge

Earlier this week I got a text from my brother who is currently located in MA “Why is FAU trending on insta”?

My response? I have no idea. I don’t have a instagram. Why don’t you click it and tell me?

Of course, to my brother seeing pictures with #WhatsYourStoryFAUGW16, he had no idea what that meant. In fact nothing about that Hashtag tells you anything about well anything except that something is happening at FAU, if you can even recognize that.  However, being in Greek life I instantly knew because every 2 seconds I was being reminded to post with the hashtag because easy points. For those who don’t know it’s this years Greek Week and they themed it based around “stories”. The “WhatsYourStory” part is supposed to be a play on Owlthon’s campaign “What’s Your Why?” (side note: Owlthon is a separate FAU organization that raises money for CMNH. Owlthon has partnered with Greek Week in order to increase awareness and participation in the event. While Greek week is exclusive to the Greek Community, Owlthon is open to all of the FAU community).

So while the world is aware something is happening at FAU, do they realize it’s Greek Week? And what is the point of raising awareness of Greek Week at FAU anyways? Let’s take a step and go back to this idea that it is easy to generate points in a competition and Greek Life loves to be competitive.

In fact, competition is how many Greek Life organizations generate awareness and profit for their national philanthropies.

Many will hold some kind of a competition, where a representative from each organization will compete for a title. There will be many events to generate points, while raising money, awareness, and promoting Greek unity. So competitions aren’t bought by who can raise the most amount of money and discourage participation, they add other things to generate points such as sports and utilizing social media.

The most popular social media challenge for FAU Greek Life is the Facebook Profile Picture. Basically, the representative changes their profile picture to a picture with members from the organization hosting the event, both organizations names, the title of the event, and what the event is raising money for.  The points for this portion of the competition are generated based off the number of “likes”.

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For example, this was my profile picture for when I represented my sorority, Phi Mu in a fraternity’s philanthropic competition. The Triangle Fraternity was hosting Tri-Angel in order to raise money and awareness for their National Philanthropy, Habitat for Humanity. The winner received angel wings and a halo, $100 donated to a philanthropy of their choice, and the title of “Tri-Angel”. This photo got over 700 likes during the week by,  well, begging. I had tagged every Phi Mu chapter I could find, and personally messaged just about everyone in my Facebook friends. I wound up winning 2nd overall in the Social Media challenge, but won the title of Tri-Angel in the end and Triangle donated $100 to Phi Mu’s national philanthropy CMNH (which is also Owlthon’s but they’re two separate organizations).

In my opinion, social media challenges are a fun way of adding to a competition, if done correctly. The Facebook profile picture challenge is very straight forward. It states it’s purpose, raises awareness and done so in a way where it doesn’t blow up a person’s news feed. Plus an easy way to keep track of points.  The Instagram challenge, however, was done so in a terrible way. It raised awareness on nothing. No special cause, no organizations involved, no real purpose or meaning; it started trending to make it easier to count points for a title worth only bragging rights.

However, it was a good attempt. A failed attempt but Greek Week took a chance. They noticed social media could be utilized to add to competition and they tried to make it fit with their event. Obviously a profile picture wouldn’t work. Greek week isn’t a pageant where one member represents an organization. Many organizations come together and form a team. They needed a way to count points so they created a hashtag. It was thought out in the sense they needed to make the challenge work for their event, they just didn’t acknowledge how their challenge would pan out in the world of social media.

If you stopped worrying about the sorority stereotype, maybe it’ll change?

I think it’s safe to say my inquiry thus far has been related to focus in social media regarding women issues, such as rape. With this post I want to still examine how social media shifts focus from women’s issues but in regards to the topic of stereotypes in sororities, the campaigns that have been released, and my own personal experiences of how image is more important than actually solving issues that have risen.

So I think the best way to start this is with a picture that was posted on my social media,11880635_10154093222479838_5638983196952964478_n and many like it of my sisters are plastered on our social media account in order to say, look how sisterly we are, and how much fun we’re having at this event. The said truth behind this photo was that it was completely used as a marketing strategy AKA this event was a video shoot where you were supposed to be taking pictures and laughing with sisters. That’s it, that’s the story behind this adorable photo and many others from this same day and setting. I was required to dress up, hair and make-up done, or else sorry you’re not in the video. How superficial does this sound? Yet, oh wait we’re trying to tell you sell you on the fact we’re so much more than that with simple gestures like this photo.

Ok, so the truth is the reason I joined Greek life and the reason I stayed are far different. I fell for the fake ploys social media as given me, this image of sisterhoods, and always laughing and having fun. The fact it’ll help me socially and academically and blahblahblah When what I actually love about it, sorority girls fail to put on social media because they’re so focused on this clean, crisp image of sisterhood and fun. Which I mean don’t get me wrong I found in this friend pictured in that image, but get this, she’s still one of my best friends even though she left the sorority. Why? Because we spent to much time worrying about our image.  We spent so much time saying joining a sorority is all about women empowerment, yet behind the scenes we’re being told if our hair and make-up isn’t done properly it looks bad.  We spent to much time in make-up and heels, we forgot about our own health. Hate to break it to ya, but standing in heels for hours while we talk about breaking stereotypes, is a little contradictory.  We spent so much time getting yelled at because our grades weren’t up to par because of imagery standards, we forgot sisters need encouragement, not punishment. Sisters shouldn’t feel called out or berated, they should feel like sisters shouldn’t they? At least that’s what the social media campaigns you put out told me right?

Ok, so I bet you by this point I made being in a sorority sound awful right? You’re probably asking why do you put up with that and why are you wasting your time on an image. Well because while everyone’s so focused on image and breaking stereotypes, I can take a step back and say OK that’s dumb, well that helps justify that stereotype, clearly you’re hurting people, you’re a bad leader by doing this and LEARN from it. HA! ok that’s not the only reason but it is a major factor but now I’m getting off topic.

The biggest thing is what social media doesn’t draw your attention to. Yeah, obviously you see the pretty posed pictures and the lack of stereotypical party pictures because those will just get you in trouble. What you don’t see is the girls hanging out together in their pajamas and stuffing their faces because OMG how dare you be actual human beings on social media. What you don’t see is how much effort girls put into other organizations’ philanthropies or even their own unless they won the title in the competition and have bragging rights. You don’t see the chapter meetings as professional business meetings preparing us for the business world. You don’t hear the conversations of women empowerment because we’re to busy trying to show the world specific image and convey a message through a strategic plan to break stereotypes, instead of just allowing the girls to show it in their own ways.

So yeah, I talk shit about my sorority and love it at the same time. I don’t deny that. There’s a good side and a bad side to everything and the “We are not our stereotypes” campaign is the dumbest thing to even attempt to try and say otherwise. Why because it’s shifting the image and pointing out the dumbness of it all. It’s just another stupid, perfectly crafted strategic plan that makes you forget to address the actual issue at hand, not to mention some of the just make Greek life as a collective sound dumb, which is a stereotype the’re trying to break through this campaign. See the paradox? My favorite is the one that says “sorority girls spend Sundays hungover…I spend my Sundays in church”. Let’s be real though this is college, some girls in college whether they’re in a sorority our not will wake up hungover on Sundays. Others will go to church. Others who aren’t religious will go to ballroom practice (like me). So what are you really trying to say?

So I think the problem is the focus has been shifted from let’s fix this problems to how can we show the world these problems don’t exist. Greek life cares more about hiding the bad stuff than actually fixing the bad stuff. It is so focused on not talking about the bad stuff, it forgets bringing it up might actually fix some of the issues. In the end trying to pretend and convince the world that the issues don’t exist, is actually causing more.

So to end this I’m going to tell a story. When Greek Week partners were announced this year, one of my friends took to social media to express her feelings. She was upset at the pairings because of “Greek Unity” being the critic I am, I commented and asked for specifics. After a back and forth conversation the truth came out, She didn’t like the pairings because some organizations don’t participate therefore some teams have a better chance of winning just because of higher participation levels. What does that have to do with Greek Unity? Nothing. She was mad about a bragging right title and used the fact that event is supposed to unify Greek Life as a good image media tactic to complain.

Are we too connected?

So I created a Twitter account as per required for a class assignment. I even posted my first tweet. Yay! Then something freaked me out. I wasn’t even on twitter for five minutes and my post was maybe up for 30 seconds, when my dad was already following and replying to me. Do I care he’s following me? Not at all, but how on earth did he find me so darn fast?

So like any other freaked out daughter, I asked. Turns out he got an alert, as did anyone else who has my phone number saved into their phone who has a Twitter account. How creepy is that? I even proceeded to tell my dad that’s creepy and he replied with talk to Twitter or don’t give your phone number to people you don’t want to see you on social media.

When I told my mom about the situation she told me to get with the program, all social media is doing it. Facebook and Snap Chat email her all the time saying, hey! you know this person in your phone contacts? Yeah, them. They have this social media too. Be sure to connect with them.

To me this is just creepy. If I want to connect with you, I will. I don’t need it blasted to everyone who has my phone number. I mean really that one person I was in a group project with 2 years ago, and I barely remember their face? Yeah, they don’t need to know I’m on Twitter, and I don’t need to know when they’re on it either.

This isn’t the first time social media has creeped me out either by utilizing phone numbers saved in my contacts to connect me with other people I may possibly know either.

What I am referring to is the “People You May Know” section on Facebook. It happens all the time, someone will pop up you know or you’ve seen but how does Facebook figure it out? I always assumed it was by mutual friends until one day it showed me someone I never expected. It was some random stranger I met at a bar and exchanged phone numbers with. The kicker was we had no mutual friends. Freaked out, just as I was with my dad, I looked for answers. However, I didn’t find out anything about connecting phone numbers with our profiles. I’m just assuming that’s how it was done, as I’ve actually people from group projects pop up before too. I actually found a lot more creepier information that determines who Facebook puts in our “People You May Know” section. And it involves tracking how we connect to the website.

Every time you connect to a public wifi, Facebook tracks it. The idea behind it is if you go to let’s say Starbucks around the same time every week, and you see a possible love interest most of the time you go in, chances are if they’re also connected to the same network at the same time, over and over again, Facebook will say hey, you probably see this person a lot always being in the same place and all, I’m going to suggest them to you just in case.

Creepy right? It also tracks who’s stalking you.  Part of my “People You May Know” research included sometimes the person is suggested simply because they look at your page a few times. So chances are if there’s someone constantly popping up, and there’s no common connections, they clicked on your page a few times.

It also goes into how your news feed and search results are determined… But that’s a discussion  for another day.

The point is once we connect, whether it’s through email, phone numbers, or wifi; we have no idea who is going to come across our social media page without our knowledge and potentially stalk us.

#FreeKesha and Celebrity Support (Or lack there of?)

Remember the singer who a few years took the world by storm with glitter and catchy beats with party lyrics that spoke of living like we’re going to die young? Well this week she waking up feeling like P. Diddy was the last thing on her mind, as the court ruled she couldn’t break her contract with Sony and is being forced to work with her rapist.

Yup, you heard that right, all the girl is asking is to not work with a man who sexually assaulted her and instead she is being forced too.

There is a lot of backlash with this legal ruling and #FreeKesha has started trending.

I decided to follow this hashtag for a few days and was baffled by some of the results. There were the obvious posts you would think would follow this hashtag such as information about what happened, support for Kesha, and opinions of rape in general. But then a few posts started to strike me as weird and I slowly started seeing more and more of them through out the days.

As some celebrities started speaking out against rape and their support for Kesha; Among thes included Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Lorde, and Halsey. The ones who weren’t started to get called out.

It amazed me how many people were accusing celebrities of not being feminists, just because they haven’t come and said they were there for Kesha. It was almost as if everything these women have done in order to earn the title feminist in the fans eyes was erased. What was even more astounding was the post where it was mentioned that no male celebrities have posted support for Kesha. How did celebrity silence become the focus and not the real matter?

Well I get it, the more people who speak out the better. It’ll draw more attention to the issue and it’s good PR on the celebrity, and well clearly bad PR if their opinions aren’t stated.

But again this takes away from the problem of away by shifting the focus to other celebrities. But what about Kesha? She spoke out and what did it get her? She is forced to continue working with her assaulter AND other celebrities are taking the heat for it. Not only does she have to deal with recounting the emotional trauma and not being able to free herself from it, her coming forward has also caused backlash to other people who for whatever reason didn’t post. So why would women want to come forward? The focus isn’t on the It seems to just cause more pain and no real solution.

*** UPDATE

Shortly after posting this, focus completely shifted towards Demi Lovato and Taylor Swift’s cat fight over social media. What did it involve? Demi Lovato’s vague tweet about self proclaimed feminists being silent and then Taylor Swift donating money to Kesha which only led to more not so vague tweets, completely taking the focus off the real issue. Kesha’s situation should not be a cat fight over feminism. It should be about bringing justice to Kesha, that’s it.

Scrolling through Facebook I also found someone else had posted an article with a similar focus. If you’d like to read it the link is below.

http://www.dpaki.com/stories/kesha-should-be-the-focus-of-freekesha-not-a-taylor-swift-demi-lovato-rivalry/