If it seemed as though everyone online was talking about Baltimore this year, that’s probably because… everyone online was talking about Baltimore this year. Read More →
In a move to use all that targeting data they collect for good, Facebook announced their own Amber Alert system on Tuesday. In an announcement, the social media giant cited a 2014 case in which an 11-year-old Dundalk girl was found because a South Carolina motel owner recognized her from Facebook. Read More →
Alongside cat pics and rants from crazy relatives, Facebook is also home to raw evidence of a pair of Baltimore crimes this week. A video of two men trying throw a man from a moving subway and a photo that could be a murder victim’s dead body have detectives cruising social media instead of the beat this week. In both cases, the source of the videos remains a mystery. Read More →
A life without Facebook might seem incomprehensible to some, but high school seniors applying to college would be wise to consider it, if only temporarily. As cited in the Huffington Post, more than 80 percent of college admissions officers use Facebook and other social media sites to get a second look at an applicant. Unless the applicant’s a recruited athlete, whose Facebook or Twitter profile might get a coach’s cursory glance at any point of high school, now is the time when a student’s Facebook profile may come under scrutiny.
Of course, deleting a social media account may seem like overkill. Why not just delete any potentially negative content? Or even change the account name so that the profile is harder to find? These steps may be sufficient, but I wouldn’t take the chance. After all, if admissions officers find the hopeful college applicant on Facebook, they won’t necessarily encounter the best representation of the student, nor the one so thoughtfully put together in the application; they may see a much more limited side, one that tends to encourage flash judgments, rather than careful review. Read More →
The Facebook post read as follows: “Zari Press goes out of her way to be nice to everyone and I think she’s just the coolest.”
By all accounts, Zari Press, Friends School senior and class co-president, does seem like a nice girl. Nonetheless, the flattering words appear somewhat out of character for a Facebook post written by a teenager.
Facebook, after all, has earned the infamous reputation as the social media outlet of choice for teens intent on slinging insults at their peers. When taken to extremes, this form of cyber bullying results in some damaging consequences to defenseless targets—ranging from deep humiliation to emotional damage; even suicide.
As cowards usually do, ‘cyber bullies’ act anonymously. But now, in a positive turn of events, come reports of high school and college students posting Facebook messages anonymously about their peers. Only this time, they’re all good.
These messages are called, aptly, ‘compliments’ pages. The first one appeared last year, when four undergraduates at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada set up a profile page on their university’s Facebook page, to which students anonymously submit compliments about classmates.
Just a few weeks ago, Friends Upper School students began receiving anonymous compliments via the Frendz Skool Compliments Facebook page, causing a buzz on the Baltimore campus as classmates try to figure out who’s behind the kind gesture.
“When it first started I messaged the people who run it offering my help and RAK’s support, but they said they would like to remain anonymous,” said Press, who is in the RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) club at Friends.
“It has to be more than one person,” she guessed, since to date over 550 compliments have been posted to the compliments page. “We think it’s a group of students, probably underclassmen, who have more time on their hands [than seniors] to take this task on,” she said.
Feeling sorry for yourself now that summer’s almost over? University of Baltimore Professor Marion Winik’s retelling of her less-than-perfect break will have you feeling like maybe your holiday wasn’t so bad after all.
Often the best thing I can say about my attempts to live a decent, productive and meaningful life is thank God no one is watching. But then I think about how, insofar as I have any mission here on earth, it is to lift the spirits of others. And unless you are Bradley Manning or living in Syria, it might give you a little boost to hear how lame my summer was and be glad that whatever other burdens you are laboring under at least you are not Marion Winik.
1. The Breakup(s)
Despite my published proclamations of happy singlehood, the tree of life, via its avatar Facebook, shook me down a boyfriend back in the spring. From a small town in Pennsylvania, with thick-lashed brown eyes and arm muscles of granite, he was a 27-year veteran of unloading rail cars at a paper mill. He painted pictures and wrote song lyrics on the side.
He told me he was bipolar the first day of nonstop texting, so it wasn’t a total shock when he also told me that he was in love with me a couple days later. In fact, I went right along. I like intense. Before long, he was wearing my leather ID bracelet and I his varsity jacket from high school. I became quite attached to his favorite breakfast spot, his giant motorcycle, and his affectionate parrot, to whom he now probably regrets teaching my name. Read More →
Baltimore author/playwright and UB instructor Kimberley Lynne is disturbed by the fact that the dead and gone never seem to depart Facebook — here’s what she proposes be done about this insensitive oversight.
Five of my Facebook friends have expired, yet occasionally a helpful sidebar will cheerily suggest: You haven’t talked to Greg in a long time, why don’t you send him a Starbucks gift card?
I’d love to, I think, but I hope he’s beyond those mortal concerns now. Read More →
Baltimore Fishbowl columnist and University of Baltimore professor Marion Winik reviewed for Newsday the controversial new book by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Read an excerpt, below:
Rarely has the publication of a book been met with such a volley of snark and countersnark as “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,” a business advice book by Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. Noticeably arm’s-length coverage by Jodi Kantorin The New York Times kicked off weeks of hoopla and vitriol in the blogosphere. Critics, many of whom had not read the book, which was published Tuesday, accused Sandberg of overreaching; of being elitist, anti-motherhood and anti-feminist; of not adequately representing poor, minority and non-heterosexual women; and, finally, of wearing Louboutin and Prada. Others rushed quickly to decry what seemed like knee-jerk feminist posturing or plain old hating the rich. Read More →
Our dating expert Sara Lynn Michener shows us the up side of dating in the Digital Age.
It’s not what form of media you use, it’s how you use it.
I’m really profoundly tired of all the trend pieces that have been coming out proclaiming that Twitter, Facebook, texting, and otherwise “modern life” is destroying romance. Clearly, they are written by and about people who aren’t enjoying what dating is today instead of those who are. Writers are interviewing people who are trapped in a state of perpetual confusion; navigating these digital love waters in paper ships, and then forming sweeping conclusions about those waters instead of the seaworthiness of its vessels. Arguably, any other new strain of culture would be documented from the perspective of those who are successfully shaping its future. This other approach is like telling the story of a new social media application solely from the perspective of its least savvy users. Read More →
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"Beautifully written. A poem.
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