January 23, 2012 |
The death of Joe Paterno was two events in one. The first was the close of a life of heroic peaks and a tragic denouement. The second was the gigantic Internet shadow of the event: the tweets, blogs, posts, and retweets, reposts, and comments, from thousands, perhaps millions, of people across the Web. All major news events now cast this immense shadow. And it can affect the very news itself, as it did in this case. Sadness and snark. The Internet lets thousands of individuals post their reactions instantly - to anything, an index of immediate emotion.
April 15, 2012 |
Last year the world watched as Arab Spring protesters used the Internet and social media to organize demonstrations and to share them in real time across the globe, toppling Middle East dictators and reordering human history. This year, technology and social media sites, most visibly Facebook and Twitter, continue to have a dramatic impact on the political world. In January, millions of people signed online petitions and contacted members of Congress protesting efforts to pass poorly crafted legislation on online piracy.
February 29, 2012 |
Last week, the principals of Lower Merion's two public high schools explained in a letter to parents that they had learned of a YouTube video showing students engaged in "binge drinking, marijuana use, substance-induced violence and several dangerous situations involving drugs and alcohol in vehicles. " The letter warned of significant consequences for students (e.g., suspension from athletic teams) caught on camera engaging in such activities. The administrators added that this would be the case "even if they haven't had a sip of beer, but are found to have been 'in the room' at a party where alcohol is served.
January 14, 2010 |
The Haiti earthquake has launched a tsunami of sympathy, information and aid through social media such as Facebook, Flickr, Skype, YouTube and Twitter. The lightning worldwide response will likely reinforce what aid workers have known for years: Online media effectively get vital word out, often faster than mainstream media. "We have big presences on Twitter, Facebook, and of course on our blog," said Tom Foley, chief executive officer of the Southeastern Pennsylvania chapter of the American Red Cross, "and I know that today we've dramatically increased the number of people who check in with us through those sites.
December 27, 2013 |
This is the year the social medium stopped being new and took its well-established place as an information source and cultural force - and farce. Not new anymore. Facebook, which turns 10, sort of, in February (when undergrad Mark Zuckerberg and pals launched Thefacebook.com at Harvard), is now a billion users strong. Its gewgaw, Instagram, the beautiful images-and-video site, passed 150 million in September. Meantime, Twitter is now big biz. At an estimated 462 million users in January, Twitter zapped past 500 million by June and now entertains an estimated 557 million registered users.
July 23, 2012 |
Score a big one for social media. When plans to merge secular Abington Memorial Hospital with Catholic Holy Redeemer Health System collapsed Wednesday, many credited a social-media blitz. Citizen activists, who objected to the merger for various reasons, chief among them the possibility that it might curtail doctors' ability to provide abortions. organized meetings via e-mail, battered news outlets with information, hailed e-messages on doctors and administrators, fired salvos of Twitter tweets, and ran an incredibly potent Facebook page and Change.org petition.
September 5, 2013 |
First there was the selfie. Those were the self-shot, self-portraits posted on social media that - inadvertently? - invited the world to dish out the compliments. It was the image of your best self being candid and cute, and it fit nicely with the bazillions of other carefully curated pictures you posted online of you with your good-looking boyfriend, your marathon trainer, your enviable house, your adorable dog, your BFFs. Yet in a what's-your-status world filled with overwhelming pressure to look camera-ready at all times, it can be liberating to drop the facade and laugh at society's obsession with the exterior.
April 25, 2013 |
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - If you can stand straight with your knees together and see a space between your upper thighs, you have what thousands of teenage girls are willing to starve themselves for. The thigh gap, as it is known, is a small space with a huge following on social media. You can follow supermodel Cara Delevingne's thigh gap on Twitter or peruse thousands of thigh gaps on Tumblr with images of ultrathin women in bikinis, hiked-up skirts, and lingerie, all baring thighs so thin they don't touch.
April 6, 2013 |
Do you remember the pulsating beat and powerful lyrics of Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, or LL Cool J? Those artists were some of the key figures of old school hip-hop. They had a message, a unique style, a following, and no doubt a contract with a major record label. Today, the pioneer rappers have been replaced by Lil Wayne, Kanye West, and Big Sean. The message, the style, and fans may differ from the past, but the biggest change from old school to new school is the use of social media.
April 6, 2013 |
It's junior year and Ellie Likos is ready to start the college process. The first step: changing her name on Facebook. Since the explosion of social media just a few years ago, colleges across the country have increasingly used them to scrutinize applicants. To avoid being found on Facebook by admissions officers, it is typical for high school seniors to change the last names on their accounts. "I don't have anything that I would want to hide, but I am still going to change my name [on Facebook]