Linkage Love: Kiddos & Tech

My nephew getting in some rare iPad time
My nephew getting in some rare iPad time

by Jess Faulk
While I don’t have any little ones myself, as a tech lover, I often wonder how I will handle introducing technology to my children. My 3 and 7-year-old nephews are tech natives in a way that my generation never could be, despite my brother and sister-in-law’s hesitation to bombard them with technology. It’s such a new area of study, but there are many articles popping up about parenting and technology.  My linkage love today is highlighting some interesting ones I found online.

Parenting Magazine: Screen Play Blog, Navigating tech for kids and families

This blog talks about everything from Amazon increasing it’s kids movie line up to iPad potty training, to the latest research on kids and technology (did you know that Nielsen found that 70 percent of kids aged 12 and under with tablets in their households used them regularly?)

Mashable: Use This Technology to Tame Your Child’s Inner Brat & Top 5 Apps for Kids This Week

Both of these articles focus on applications for your kids.  The first is about apps that motivate your child to do chores, do homework, and other positive behavior.  The second article is just a good old fashion review of some new apps for kids.

Empowering Parents: Child Behavior Help. 

Hands-on advice for parents who want guidance on how to manage their kids’ use of technology.  Articles cover topics such as cyberbullying, video games, and limits on screen time.

Linkage Love: Kiddos & Tech

Digital Communication: Pet Peeves

By Brenda Bethman

A couple of days ago, Nick Bilton published a piece on the New York Times’ Bits Blog. Titled “Disruptions: Digital Era Redefining Etiquette,” it generated close to 500 comments, most of them disagreeing with Bilton’s basic presumption:

Some people are so rude. Really, who sends an e-mail or text message that just says “Thank you”? Who leaves a voice mail message when you don’t answer, rather than texting you? Who asks for a fact easily found on Google?

Don’t these people realize that they’re wasting your time?

Of course, some people might think me the rude one for not appreciating life’s little courtesies. But many social norms just don’t make sense to people drowning in digital communication.

They also tended to agree with the last line quoted above, that Bilton is indeed the rude one (and the anecdote about ignoring voicemails from his father certainly went a long way towards confirming that perception). While I must admit that I tend to agree with the folks who think Bilton is rude (I mean, really, I hate the phone also, but I call my mother and father back because that’s their preferred method of communication). It occurs to me, though, that what we’re really talking about here are pet peeves and how to deal with what feels like an overwhelming amount of communication being sent our way (the commenter, “Mouse,” for example, keeps popping up in the comment stream to lament his over 100 work emails received per day). As someone who also gets a lot of email, phone calls, text messages, Facebook/Twitter updates/notifications, etc., etc., I understand.

What I don’t always understand, though, is the level of rage folks feel about this. We get super cranky emails at the Women’s Center from people asking us to remove them from an email list because they get (or we send) too many emails. I’ve had folks no longer on our Advisory Board complain that other members used the list to send them emails about their other groups’ events, and I’ve definitely heard people before Bilton complain about hating the thank you email. I don’t get any of that — if you get something you don’t want, just delete it. It’s not hard and doesn’t take long. I will admit that I think this rather smugly, and then — out of nowhere, I find myself on a “reply to all” insanity and I, too, am raging. Which is why I think this “etiquette redefinition” Bilton writes about is really just about his pet peeves. We all have them. For me, as I just mentioned, it’s the “reply to all” madness, calling me instead of replying to an email, the smugness of the #inboxzero fetishists and the spammers always trying to guest post here on SAWTT who won’t go away no matter how many times to you tell them to.

But here’s the thing — except for the last, that list is all about me, things I dislike, and not about the other people. So instead of raging and complaining on Facebook (or the Timesif only they’d have me), it would make more sense for me to just let it go. If someone wants to call, it’s probably because they prefer it. The polite thing for me to do is answer the phone or call them back. If someone replies to all, just delete it (been doing that all morning, in fact). And the other thing to remember is that Nick Bilton’s advice will not make you friends. Check out this piece instead.

What are your pet peeves? Let us know in the comments!

Digital Communication: Pet Peeves

On Personal Branding

by Kristen Abell

There’s a bit of a conflict on the interwebs over this idea of personal branding – is it really necessary? Should we be doing it? Isn’t social media about being authentic? To all of these, I answer a qualified “yes.” And of course, I’ll explain my qualifications…

Here’s the thing with being authentic on the interwebs – it’s really and truly one of the coolest things about it…to a point. That’s right, I said it – to a point. Even for me. I share a lot about myself online – A LOT. But guess what, folks? You don’t know as much about me as you think you do. I choose very carefully what I will and what I won’t share online. You see exactly what I want you to see – and nothing more. That doesn’t mean I’m not being authentic, it’s just that I’m presenting authentically only about the parts I want you to see.

And despite the few folks who overshare (you know who I’m talking about – we all have someone in our feeds who shares every meal they’ve had that day, what they’re doing for the next five minutes, about their last doctor’s appointment IN DETAIL, etc.), we all do this to a certain extent. We all pick and choose what we’re going to share about ourselves online. Even when we share the bad things about our lives from time to time, we probably make sure we counter-balance those with plenty of good things to make sure we don’t sound like too much of a sad sack.

Or we post lots of quotes, pose questions to our followers/friends, or maxims about our work to hide the fact that we’re not really sharing anything about ourselves – we’ve all done it. It’s a way to connect without sharing much of yourself – sneaky sneaky. But it’s effective because it does connect people who are looking for that in their social networks.

What this all gets down to is that we’ve all created a brand – or online reputation, persona, call it whatever you want – a representation of ourselves online that we manage on a daily basis. Sure, some days we do a better job managing it than others, but ultimately, we’re managing it.

What are your thoughts on personal branding? How do you manage your brand?

On Personal Branding

Best Practices/Making Life Easier: Social Media Edition

By Anitra Cottledge

Before I jump with both feet into this topic, a couple of short items to provide a bit of backstory.

Social Media Landscape
I only joined Facebook however-many-years ago because it seemed that Facebook was where students were getting their information, and thus it made sense for me to be there so that I could create a presence for our office. To this day, I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook (I am aware that I’m likely not alone in this). I love the fact that it does, in fact, make staying in touch with some people much easier. I enjoy the opportunities for conversation; I pretty much use it as a place to highlight what I’m reading and noticing in pop culture, in feminism, in social justice work, and it’s interesting to see the conversations that grow from these random status updates/links. But, meh for the privacy concerns that pop up like weeds every five seconds. I’m also not particularly fond of the way that checking FB can become almost second nature, or how easily FB (and other social media) can become a time suck. (Note that privacy concerns are a structural issue, and the time suck thing is a personal thing – one that I’m sure many other people experience, but an individualized phenomenon nonetheless, since there are many people who go weeks and months without even logging in.)

I get LinkedIn invitations all the time. All. The. Time. Sometimes from people I don’t even know. To date, I have held out on joining LinkedIn, mainly because I just don’t feel like managing yet another social media profile or service. Also, I haven’t been able to really see a use for it, even though many human resources colleagues rave about its importance and value.

With both Facebook and LinkedIn – and really, any social media outlet – my questions are the same: how much do you post? How much is too much? Too little? How much information do you share for this tool to be useful?

Fast forward to the last few weeks. I read a post by Tressie McMillan Cottom entitled, “Outgrowing Your Social Media.” I thought she really captures the challenges of “managing a public-private self on social media sites as you are growing and, yes, perhaps changing.” Like Tressie discusses in her post, my digital self is pretty consistent with my “real” self; I just happen to have very clear ideas at this point about how much of my self I want to be accessed digitally. I could get into the whole “real” self vs. digital self thing, but I’ll save that for another post. More from Tressie’s post:

As tools pop up that allow social media users to know immediately anytime you unfollow them, people are becoming digitally passive aggressive. You don’t unfollow; you “mute” someone using a special twitter client. You don’t de-friend on Facebook; you “hide” someone from appearing on your wall. You maintain the illusion of a digital relationship precisely because the divide between real life and online life is porous, if real itself. … So what do you do when the people you follow on social media are not the people you want to talk to anymore?

THIS. We’ve all “unfriended” or been on the receiving end of an unfriending, so this is not my own passive aggressive musing about “Oh, those people I wish I could delete, but I don’t want to name names.” (Again, I could write a whole ‘nother post about social media and its unspoken rules of engagement and etiquette, but not right now.)

As usual, this post is more a way to pose a question. As social media tools become more numerous and complex, is it a best practice to divide your audience(s) among various social media outlets? For instance, does it make your life easier to, as others I know have done, remove all work-related contacts from your Facebook friends list, and to only include friends and family there? Do you then funnel all of the work colleagues and contacts over to LinkedIn? How do you manage your “real-life” relationships via these digital means, i.e., what do you do or say when someone gets mad that you are no longer friends with them on Facebook?

Weigh in via the comments.

Best Practices/Making Life Easier: Social Media Edition

Other Professional Development Opportunities

By Valerie Heruska

Conferences are a great time for us in student affairs. You have the opportunity to learn, meet new people, and have a really enjoyable time growing professionally. For those who are able to attend, this opportunity to develop and learn is priceless.

For those of us who aren’t able to make it to ACPA in Vegas or NASPA in Orlando, here are some links that provide alternatives to professional development.

Some of my favorite blogs:

  • This one. Okay I may be biased because it’s a great blog to read. There is information a plenty about different topics for women (and men) who are interested in tech. Go back into the archives and become inspired.
  • BostInno. I love BostInno because I think there should be a similar one in every large city. BostInno highlights the awesome tech and up and coming entrepreneurs in Boston. From faculty, deans, and students who are making an impact on our community, BostInno highlights the awesome things that they are doing.
  • Blogs by Ed Cabellon, Laura Pasquini, or Joe Sabado. These people know how to do it right. They all have a heavy focus on social media and technology in student affairs and they are seriously doing some great things to push our profession forward.

Miss the backchannel? That’s okay! Just Storify it! There is so much material coming from our national conferences, that if you’re in the office, you don’t have time to read it all. If you do have time to read it all and want to reference it back – Storify is the best way to go. Storify allows us to create “Stories” based on hashtags, users, etc. You can go back and filter out some specifics, but then you have the opportunity to share and reference the backchannel.

I hope you all find some use for these links and enjoy learning!

Other Professional Development Opportunities

28 Days of TPE Tips (or My Novice Attempt at Using iMovie)

By Lauren Creamer

T-minus eight days until The Placement Exchange kicks off in Orlando, FL and I am SO EXCITED. While I have never actually been to a placement conference, I have had the privilege of serving as the Northeastern University TPE Ambassador (leading up to last year’s conference in Phoenix). During my stint as NU TPE Ambassador, I badgered countless mid-level and new professionals for personal anecdotes, do’s and don’t’s, and general tips for success. What I ended up with was pages of notes, a story about an interviewee in yellow Crocs, and an idea for a mildly humorous YouTube series.

(Seriously though, someone really wore yellow Crocs to a placement interview).

So, how do you stay organized and calm during the 72 hour onslaught of interviews, socials, and potentially awkward elevator rides? Here’s video one of 28 sometimes-funny, sometimes-awkward YouTube clips detailing how-to be a boss (or at least be super prepared) at TPE. 

That wasn’t enough for you? Check out tip number twelve:

Or perhaps tip nineteen:

Follow me on Twitter if you’d like to see these videos revisited leading up to #TPE13 – @LECreamer 


28 Days of TPE Tips (or My Novice Attempt at Using iMovie)

Blog Prompt Monday: The Unexpected Self

By Kathryn Magura

Hello everyone! You may have noticed I’ve been gone for awhile. If not, that’s cool. Between conferences and vacations (I was in Hawaii if you have not heard), February was a busy month. I’m excited to help kick off a new month of excellent blog posts! Today’s prompt is:

What do you do that is different than what people expect of you based on preconcieved notions/stereotypes?

I love questions like this, because I think we too frequently judge each other by how we appear. I know that when I meet someone and they are not who I expected them to be, I am usually humbled by how I so easily judged them and glad to learn I was wrong about them. Not all book covers accurately depict the content inside!

So what would you be surprised to learn about me? Well, my love/snobbery of music is well known, but how many people know the depth of my musical tastes? People tend to be surprised when they look at my iTunes library and see the variety of music that I like. So what usually surprises them?

Well, I can think of two things:

  1. For some reason, I don’t appear to be a musical theater fan. I have no idea why this is, but people seem to be genuinely surprised to see so much music from musicals in my library. Clearly none of these people have heard my rendition of, “The Wizard and I” from Wicked in the car. Some other favorites include: The Book of Mormon, Rent, Hairspray, Jersey Boys, Newsies (been a fan since the Disney movie), and Spring Awakening.
  2. Led Zeppelin is one of my favorite bands. Why is this surprising? I think people see me as more innocent in regards to music. Sure, the Beatles are my favorite band, that makes sense. But Led Zeppelin is a little heavier and controversial. While we’re at it, I love Pink Floyd. I promise the don’t have to be a stoner to appreciate the layers that Pink Floyd builds into each song.

So that’s me, now it’s your turn. What surprises people about you?

Blog Prompt Monday: The Unexpected Self