Tag Archives: facebook

‘Bieber fever’ unnecessary hype

I doubt I am the only Bieber hater, but the 12 year-old, sorry, 16-year-old ‘pop-star’ has caused absolute mayhem with herds of tweens following the release of his movie Never Say Never. The film is needlessly shot in 3D, which attempts to pursue the same successions as other movies that have thrived on the 3D trend. It features him in all his glory, showing footage of his 2010 tour. Reviewers (of course I refuse to ever see the film myself) who are not crazy about the singer have taken more of a disliking to him. This all leads to the same question…what is with the hype?

Infamous Bieber pose at the London film premiere

This week Bieber has graced the UK with his presence to promote the new release and had thousands of girls screaming and crying to meet him. In the short space of 18 months, I have to hand it to the kid, he has shot to success. Boasting a staggering 21 million friends on Facebook, 7.3 million followers on Twitter, the most watched videos on YouTube and his name being one of the most searched for on Google he has not done bad at all. Fans of the star even call themselves ‘Bieblers’ and they seem to love the fact that he is all over social media.

The power of social media has helped Bieber’s extended 15 minutes of fame, but it won’t be long until he is surpassed by a younger and much more talented kid on the scene. Jaden and Willow Smith, although with a little help from their legendary father, have already covered acting, singing, songwriting, rapping and dancing collectively at the ages of 12 and 10. Other young talents, such as 10-year-old Heather Russell have been spotted on YouTube and taken on by the Cowell management. Russell begun performing at the age of eight, listing renown names Prince and Queen as her influences. The YouTube clip of her song ‘Every Step of the Way’ attracted more than 100,000 views and received recognition from celebrity couple Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore who have constantly tweeted about her.

Now this is talent worth the hype. Will Heather Russell be the new deserving contender for Bieber?

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‘Facebook destroyed my relationship’

The Facebook logo

Two hundred million members around the world, are you one of them? That’s right, Facebook. The popular social networking site has become a global phenomenon and continues to strive in its success, gaining hundreds of member’s everyday. Although it is true that Facebook is a useful website to interact with people and keep in touch with friends through wall discussions and other things, it can also prove to be very unpleasant at times in the way it is used.

“It can be very dangerous at times” says Nicola Cohen, a 22 year-old student from Essex. As we sit at her local coffee shop in Chelmsford, she began to tell the tale of how Facebook ruined her relationship, lost her friends and nearly led to a failed degree. Nicola is resentful of the day she became a member of Facebook. It is known to be addictive. A previous study has found that 70% of users become addicted and sign in around 15 times a day! This is how it started for Nicola; she decided to get it because almost all her classmates had it too. Once signed up, she was amazed at some of the people she found, old primary school friends and people who she hadn’t spoken to for years. It was also a good way to see what her friends were up to, through checking people’s statuses and looking through the pictures of their eventful weekend. But it was only a matter of time before the interest in the lives of other people on Facebook became obsessive. Admitting to checking her Facebook 10-15 times a day, Nicola confesses: “It would be the only thing I would be doing if I was at home, the first thing when I woke up and even if I would be out, I would sometimes get the urge to go to the nearest internet café to sign in”. And although she had replied to comments, accepted or declined friend requests and changed her status, she would still be on the site for at least another 3 hours.

These hours would be to pry on other people, this is commonly known to Facebook users as ‘Facebook stalking’. “Nobody likes to admit it, but everyone does it. You’ll be sitting there for hours looking at pictures of the hot guy down the road and it is daft to think that it would make more sense to go and have a face-to-face conversation with the person. The insight that is gained from someone’s profile may make their personality more apparent to you and you may even feel like you know them, when really you have never had more than a two minute conversation with them.

Are you part of the statistic?

Addiction, that’s one thing, but Nicola’s problems worsened when her now previous boyfriend also decided to sign up to Facebook. Mike went through the same process of the compulsion, checking up on Nicola whenever he had the chance. “This is where it all started, the arguments. It was awful, he’d check who was writing on my wall and commenting on my pictures and every male that did would be told to stay away. I was constantly being accused of cheating, even though I knew this was nowhere near true. I had to try and prevent my male friends from leaving comments.” Of course they listened, but from hearing it, contact lessened and it seemed like they lost respect for Nicola.

“Things just got worse and worse, but it wasn’t just him that was doing the stalking. I admit I would tend to go on his profile a lot just to see if he was being completely honest with me. I found out a lot of stuff, mostly trivial, like lying about where he said he’d be and, although petty, it was the fact that they were lies.” Nicola began to feel like there was no trust what so ever in the relationship, not only did he not believe her when she said she wasn’t seeing anybody else, she realised that actually she didn’t trust him at all either. “If he can lie about minor details and be dishonest when it isn’t necessary, then who knows what he could be keeping from me. This was my general thought process.” It was time to end it, after their heavy three year relationship, they both decided it was time to go their separate ways.

Whilst all of the drama had been occurring over the last year or so, Nicola’s university work suffered a great deal. “I had been getting bad grades for the assignments I would stay up all night doing and it showed the times when things were really tough for me personally, I would be failing the coursework. And to other people it seemed ridiculous that I was letting my love life distract me, but it’s different when you’re actually in the situation yourself. When you think you’re in love, the thought of losing that person is all that matters.” It got to the point where Nicola’s tutors had noticed a dramatic change in her work, attendance and enthusiasm, not to mention the times they caught her on Facebook in the middle of her lectures. So, they got into contact with her, this is when she realised that she had let it all get on top of her.

 “I deactivated my Facebook account. I thought that would solve my problems, but I lasted two days and I just had to get back onto it to check up on Mike.” Facebook allows users to deactivate their accounts, but this can be temporary. Nicola wasn’t impressed by what she saw, people who she thought were her friends had been making bitchy comments about her, and Mike had seemed like he had moved on. Losing her boyfriend, having friends turn against her and failing her degree, Nicola was unhappy and at her lowest point.

 Psychotherapy helped Nicola get over her dependence of Facebook and with this came an understanding of what was really important in her life – herself. “I got over the boyfriend, found out who my real friends were and focused on the most important thing; my education, because it will take me where I want to be and unlock so many more opportunities for me.”

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Jail blog

Weezythanxyou is not just an ordinary fan site…It’s actually the site where New Orleans born rapper, Lil’ Wayne blogs updates from his prison sentence to his fans.

Say cheese Weezy

Whilst we are still getting used to various celebrities having Facebook and Twitter, posting updates and using social media to generally boost publicity it seems hard to believe that now we are getting intimate posts from celebrities in prison. However, this is not one of those situations where we all complain about the useless american police system where celebrities get priority over the average deviant. Lil’ Wayne is writing letters to his label and the company’s online marketer Karen Civil rewrites the letters into a post. In his first letter ‘Gone ’til November’ on the 2nd April, Wayne expresses love for his fans and assures them “my spirit and my love can never be confined to prison walls”.

Carter, as referred to by his birth name, was jailed last month for the possession of a gun. He is to serve a year long sentence for his crime, but this will not stop the rapper. Although locked up he has made sure he won’t be forgotton in a hurry, as he is still all over our music channels- he lined-up a good few releases. And it’s not just that he’s taken care of, there are ‘Free Weezy’ t-shirts available for purchase at $29.99. Talk about taking care of the finances..

Inspirational words are sent in the post: “The more time you spend contemplating what you should have done…you lose valuable time planning what you can and will do”. It really gives a personal insight into the situation Carter has found himself in and is quite touching. Personally, I think it is amazing that Lil’ Wayne is staying true to his fans and showing his appreciation by answering to them.

I admire his loyalty. So although I won’t be buying a ‘Free Weezy’ t-shirt anytime soon, I still support this move. Head-up Weezy, you won’t be replaced the game ain’ the same without you!

I’ll leave you with a track off his brand new album:

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Timeline: social networking sites

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Social barrier or freedom?

 Social Networking sites are websites which allow people to build social networks with others who share the same interests/activities or even to maintain relationships with existing friends.

Although social networking sites are ever changing the concept stays the same; interactivity is what all of the web-based sites provide, making contact easier through e-mail and instant messenger.

Well-known sites such as; Facebook and Myspace are more general based , however there are countless variations which sometimes seek to target niche audiences, focusing on interests such as dating, music, film etc.

1997: Launch of the first social networking site SixDegrees.com, it allows users to connect and send messages to each other. However, its success was somewhat short lived as 2000 saw the website close. 

1999: Social networking became popular and then used as a way to target niche groups and subcultures; AsianAvenue, BlackPlanet and LiveJournal to name a few.

 2000: LunarStorm is relaunched and MiGente introduced bringing an online community of Hispanics together. In 2008 the founder of AsianAvenue and BlackPlanet bought MiGente and claims over 23 million users.

2001: South Korea was the next to jump on the bandwagon with Cyworld, which followed the general guidelines of a social networking site, however it was the first to introduce the idea that profit came from the sale of virtual goods. Recently, the US version of the site has been closed down until furthur notice. Ryze.com another site lauched in this period targeted at business professionals and new entrepreneurs.

 2002: Friendster was founded by a Ryze member, with a popular Asian uptake it receives 19 billion page views per month. Fotolog is self-explanatory being an online photo blog and receiving 750 million page views a month.

 2003: Several websites were launched; Hi 5 and MySpace being the most well-known. Hi 5 claims to have over 60 million active users and in 2008 was voted the third most popular social networking site. MySpace on the other hand had its popularity streak in 2006, until overtaken by Facebook in 2008. It had 1000 employees and asserts over 200 million users.

A typical Facebook profile

2004: OrKut, Dogster, Multiply, aSmallWorld, Catster, Hyves are a few that were lauched in 2004 that were less mainstream. However, 2004 saw the introduction of Facebook but it was only available to Harvard students then it began to develop so it became accessible to other students, until it became worldwide to anyone over the age of 13.

 2005: Re-launches of sites that introduced new networking features came about, for example; Yahoo! 360 (which also closed recently), YouTube and Bebo existed before but with limited interactive content, so they were re-launched and then added to the growing list of social networking sites. Facebook developed to become available to high school networks.

 2006: Facebook gradually becomes available to corporate networks and then becomes completely universal. CyWorld expanded to China and the USA, while the world saw the introduction of Twitter. With a revenue of $400, 000 and employment figures around 150, Twitter has become incredibly popular and sometimes referred to as the ‘SMS of the internet’.

Concerns over privacy of new site

2010: Google have recently lauched their own social networking site called Google Buzz, it includes most of the interaction components of social networking sites- sharing links, photos, videos, status messages and comments. Although, Google executive Sergey Brin, announced the service as ‘bridging the gap between work and leisure’, there have been many concerns over privacy and criticisms of the conformity of the site competing with other major sites such as Facebook.

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My top 5 websites

Here is my take on the top five websites, you may agree that the shortlist is one from a student! But there is a few that haven’t made the cut believe it or not..we’re not all the same.

1. Facebook

Yes, it is number one regretably and also top on my thumbnails. But it is useful for staying in touch with those people who you don’t see (especially when at University) and for the nosey people who love to see what other people have been up to.

2. Google – and all its parteners

If ever in doubt about..ANYTHING. Google is the first search engine option that springs to mind, whether it is googling the difference between raisins and sultanas or browsing communication articles for the next dealine. Google books is actually my main reference for essays and scholarship.

3. eBay

Admitedly I’m a bit of an eBay junkie. But very useful for again..almost anything. From clothes to gadgets toSee full size image books, you can find whatever you want at a much lower price than on the high street.

4. Youtube

Browsing through my favourite tracks and the latest videos- instead of waiting for them to debut on MTV. It can also be used for ‘educational purposes’ as well as procrastination, there are teach yourself videos for instruments and it is where I learnt about the illuminati.

035 to London please

5. National Express

This website is a very simple and the most useful way to book a coach or train to their 54 most popular destinations, the transaction is easy and they provide you with options of an e-ticket or m-ticket. I like it for cheeky weekends home, once in a while to remember what home cooking tastes like.

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