Not “Goodbye”, But Rather “See You Soon”

Digital Literacy: What it is

As Glynda Hull points out in her definition of “digital literacy,” now, more than ever, there is a critical need for linguistic, technological, and communicative skills. She states, “In these new times, I want to suggest, a familiarity with the full range of communicative tools, modes, and media… “ Even further, I think it is important to maintain a sense of resilience within the technological setting considering the birth, evolution, and death of the various platforms. For example, mediums such as Facebook, which are becoming less prevalent for millennials, are still booming for older generations. Not only would a digitally literate individual begin honing their voice on predominant and rising platforms, but also maintain an appropriate relationship with Facebook to avoid limiting their demographic and audience.

DIGITAL LITERACY: How ITs accomplished

Successful digital literacy also appears up-lifting. Meaning, that one who has such skills (regardless of proficiency), puts in the effort to aid those around them in the virtual community. This was accomplished on my blog, for example, through contextual and substantive links, and the embedment of all my multimedia projects. I also maintained an encouraging tone throughout the blog centered on women empowerment. I wanted it to feel like advice from a friend: helpful but not pushy; informative but not all-knowing or belittling. This was evident in my multimedia projects, as well:

  • My group podcast and video were both informative on the past, present, and future of the Furman football team with the arrival of a new coaching staff—creating a one-stop-shop to gain all the facts regardless of your sports-knowledge.
  • My video, images, and slideshow were all strategically placed to help guide my reader through the various subjects in discussion.

These were all embedded with the intent of helping to boost the digital literacy of my audience, regardless of their proficiency when they first visited my site.

DIGITAL LITERACY: How it will continue

If there is only one thing I have learned from this course, it is that digital literacy is a skill you cannot practice for a semester, slap on your resume, and throw up on a dusty shelf like a trophy. Because of the rapid growth and metamorphosis of the technological sphere, it’s critical that one consistently practices these skills (and checking Instagram between classes doesn’t count). During my time in this course, I’ve been given the tools and skills necessary to maintain proficiency in digital communications; now, its up to me to keep them sharp. With an interest in public relations and marketing, I am fortunate that the maintenance of my digital abilities will ultimately benefit my career path. I intend, therefore, to continue updating my portfolio; pursuing opportunities that put my podcast and video creating abilities to the test; and practice digital literacy through blogging.

These skills are too powerful to let them go to waste.

The Influence of Cell Phones on Adolscents

Internationally, teenagers are the most active users of cell phones, especially those with data capabilities, according to Abu Sadat Nurullah’s Article “The Cell Phone as an Agent of Social Change.” This popularity amongst the demographic can be attributed to their “need for an individual identity, maintenance of friendship networks, and emancipation from familial ties” and acts as teens’ only real “anchor” in society.

Cell phones have also influences the patterns of interactions between adolescents and their parental figures. On the positive side, it has introduced a newfound convenience in communication, which promotes a “long leash” and perceived independence and responsibility. However, with cell phones have also emerged tendencies of emancipation.

During the teenage years, individuals start forming concrete perceptions of who they are, who they want to be, and what they want to do with the rest of their lives. Consequently the emancipation from family ties is a causal factor in the formation of identity. Adolescents will sometimes, even use their phones provocatively to rebel from the social construction and world of adults. This, in turn, results in the devices becoming highly personalized uses of technology, which further emphasizes individualization.

The evolution of cell phones has revolutionized efficient communication within adolescents’ social groups. It has helped to maintain and strengthen group ties while encouraging peer group networking. Despite the link to peer pressure and bullying, this technology is also being used positively to cultivate friendships.

The take away from Nurullah’s article, is that there are pros and cons to cell phones, as there are to the majority of technology today. However, if it is used responsibly, not only be teenagers, but by the global community as a whole it can be use to streamline communication, cultivate friendship and promote idea generation.

The Social System

Struggling with social media management? Well look no further because co-founders of Made to Order, Gretchen Fox and Kyra Reed, have developed a 5-step process for social media marketing success, called “The Social System.” Heres an overview:

  1.  Social Identity.

    This is a step that a lot of people want to skip because it feels like a less active step, but its actually one of the most important, as it is “the root from which your social strategy will develop. Your goal is to define yourself and your brand from the vantage of your audience and from your own point of view. This will distinguish the parameters – “what to say, what not to say, and the tone to maintain”- for your team who may be contributing/managing the social accounts.

    2. Community activation

    Social media is unique in that your audience comes to you, which is unlink any other advertising medium. Know this is key, in successful media management. Content should be catered to the fact that it will be accessed by investors, employees, and journalist as well. Therefore it can’t only be promotional posts. Your company needs a solid understanding of who they are in the eyes of their audience.

    3. Content Strategies

    Now that you have a fresh perspective on who you are as a company and who you are to your audience, it is time to strategize a successful plan considering these factors.

    4. Social Campaign

    Because of the work put in up until this point, we now get to delve into the fun stuff: the ~*campaign*~ With the progress your team has bad you will start experience long term wins and social media growth.

    5. Social Intelligence

    I think Morrison puts it best when saying, “social intelligence is not the beginning of social strategy but where social strategy is executed through policies, procedures, metrics, tactics and tools you use to listen, measure, respond, integrate and engage in real-time online conversation.”

That’s it, its that simple. These may seem like “obvious” suggestions, but unless you actually put them to use,  you won’t generate an engaging audience. You’ve got the tools and you’ve been shown how to use them, so get to work!

#GirlBoss

You’ve heard me say it (arguably) too many times, but today we’re going to discuss what I really mean whenever I refer to being a #GirlBoss. The term was coined by Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal, and if you don’t know who she is, you should.

Sophia Amoruso, Founder of Nasty Gal

At 22, Sophia dropped out of school and moved to San Francisco. While bored at her job checking ID’s in the lobby of an art school, Sophia started an Ebay store by the name of Nasty Gal Vintage, which grew into a multi-million dollar fashion empire in a matter of eight short years.

*side note: I just finished the first season of #GIRLBOSS on Netflix and I’m obsessed! Check it out, here to see Sophia’s story for yourself. It’s pretty incredible.

What makes someone a Girlboss? According to Sophia, A Girlboss is…

“Someone who is in charge of her own life. She gets what she wants because she works for it. As a #GIRLBOSS, you take control and accept responsibility. You’re a fighter—you know when to throw punches and when to roll with them…Sometimes you break the rules, sometimes you follow them, but alway so on your own terms. You know where you’re going, but can’t do it without having some fun along the way. You value honesty over perfection. You ask questions. You take your life seriously, but you don’t take yourself too seriously. You’re going to take over the world, and change it in the process. You’re a badass.”

Dorothy Self of DFS Creative Concepts // Photographed by: Angela Zion

With a millennial culture geared towards encouraging women to reach higher and push harder, the “dream” of becoming a girlboss is now more attainable than ever. I sat down with the woman who, for me,  puts the “boss” in #GirlBoss, DFS Creative Concepts‘ Founder and Principal, Dorothy Self.

Much like Sophia, Dorothy quickly grew restless at her mundane nine to five job in a stiff marketing firm. So when the opportunity to start her own company presented itself, she took the leap of faith.

As a leader at DFSCC, Dorothy encourages a collaborative and positive environment. There is a sense of family amongst the women working there, which pairs perfectly with the cultivated team-mentality. Additionally, Dorothy works very hard to maintain personal and meaningful relationship with each of her employees and interns, further encouraging the #GirlBoss atmosphere.

DFS Creative Concepts Team // Photographed by Angela Zion

I think we can all learn something from these #GirlBosses who not only have had the strength to write there own success stories, but have taken the time to aid the women around them in their goals. To be a #GirlBoss does not require a fairy godmother or an inheritance from a rich grandparent; with dedication, hard work, and a little self-empowerment all women have the capability to reach out and grasp their dreams.

Check out my interview with Dorothy below!

“Looks Aren’t Everything. Believe me; I’m a Model”

“And if you ever are wondering, ‘If I have thinner thighs and shinier hair, will I be happier?’ you just need to meet a group of models, because they have the thinnest thighs, the shiniest hair and the coolest clothes, and they’re the most physically insecure women probably on the planet.”

cameron-russell_2015-05-21_miguel-reveriego-photoshoot-for-vogue-spain_3

Cameron Russell

I will be the first to admit, that like 91% of women, I struggle with body image because I don’t fall in the 5% who naturally possesses the figure portrayed in media. So I was shocked to find a TedTalk by the beautiful Cameron Russell, who does possess the body most women would kill for, and she says ‘it’s not as great as it’s cracked up to be.’

As I did more research, I realized that Russell wasn’t being modest or trying to make her audience feel better about themselves. Many of the industry’s top models feel this same way and it’s because being a model means that you are:

1.Consenting to objectification.

These women’s bodies are being used as props to highlight a product and even guilt the audience into feeling so poorly about their own body image that they feel pressure to buy the item. What’s worse is, according to Russell,

“These pictures are not pictures of me, they are constructions . . . by a group of professionals, by hair stylists and make up artists and photographers and stylists and all their assistants and pre-production and post-production and they build this; that’s not me.” 

2. Being confined by a stereotype.

Despite all the strong, independent, and thoughtful women in the industry who have and continue to work hard for their career, the instant they say “I’m a model” people will assume that they’re a middle-school-dropout diva who eats nothing but dressing-less salad.

“Unfortunately after you’ve gone to school and you have a resume and you’ve done a few [modeling] jobs, . . . if you say you want to be the President of the United States [but] your resume reads ‘underwear model for 10 years,’ people give you a funny look.”

3.Contributing to a System that Kills.

Making a career out of something that is directly responsible for the astronomical rise in eating disorders can make it hard to sleep at night. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental health disease in the US.

Infographic by: Julia Piotrowski. Statistics according to: Trish Blackwell

A new mantra to live by.

The best advice Russell gave is instead of being a model, “Be my boss!” If you have an interest in the fashion industry, there are so many amazing and empowering opportunities out there besides modeling; just look at the #GIRLBOSS herself, Sophia Amorouso (and while you’re at it, check out my post about her, here).

From Cameron Russell I learned that I am more that just my appearance and to be an empowered women is to challenge myself based on what I can accomplish, not by what I see in the mirror. There will always be someone who is skinnier or prettier, but that doesn’t make her more valued than me or the sum of my capabilities.

Before “Action” is Called

If there is one main take away from Todd Chappell’s “Video Production Primer,” it is that film shooting is not as effortless as it may appear. Actors, cameramen, and the director do not just show up on the day of the shoot with a vague idea of what they are going after and hoping that in impromptu performance will capture their audience’s attention. It takes lots of planning during the pre-filming stage, called pre-production.

During the pre-production stage, the film is constructed on paper meaning that the blue-print of the film is laid out in such great detail that not a single element is left to chance. Shots are planning, potential interviews are scheduled, budgets are confirmed, scripts are constructed.

scripting

If you were to google the script of your favorite film or TV show, you would likely come across  the screenplay script, which looks like this:

Vampire Diaries Pilot Screenplay. Click here for the full script

Vampire Diaries Pilot Screenplay. Click here for the full script

Unless your favorite film happens to be a documentary, you probably haven’t an encountered a two-column AV script. A two-column script allows for the screenwriter to plan out the exact layout of, for example, the shots playing over an interview. This would look like:

Awareness Two-Column AV Script.

Two-Column Script

This script also proves beneficial to the editor as well because they can easily mimic the vision of the director thanks to this clear road map of his imagination.

This is only a small portion of the pre-production process but is arguably the most important as it sets the groundwork the rest of the production. As tedious and uneventful the first steps of creating a film may feel, it is so important to put forth your best effort into this process. The more time and details you put into the script the more likely you’ll comet of the production with a piece you are proud to put you name on.

A “Brand” New You

Recently I was reading an article on The EveryGirl called “7 Career Moves You should Make in Your Twenties.” Although I only turned 20 six months ago, still have college to finish, and a career path to actually decide on, I noticed one tip in particular that I can start implementing in my life now:

#4 Building Your Brand.

The more I investigated the topic, the more I realized that this is a step that can’t be started too soon in becoming the ultimate #GirlBoss. Like I said, I don’t fully know what kind of career I want to pursue (there are just SO many great ones out there), but I do know the image I wish to convey in a professional setting.

Think about brands like Kate Spade, Starbucks, and Coca Cola. An instant image comes to mind, coupled with an idea of what the company as a whole represents; their values, personality and identity. When creating your own brand, you want to accomplish the same goal. Your brand should positively reflect your strengths and assets in a professional setting while highlighting what makes you unique.

With a little self reflection and maybe jotting down a few notes about how you want to represent yourself, you should be able to create a central theme. Holly of Holly Meyer Design suggests observing your wardrobe, life story and even social media.  Your result should be something that can be used universal across all platforms (resume, social media, portfolio, LinkedIn, etc.). Create a voice that is constant; maybe work your favorite color(s) into the bunch. Most importantly, depict yourself in your personal brand. Just be sure to keep your audience in mind. Holly says you want your brand to be effortless from piece to piece, not shoved down the throats of your audience.

A fantastic example of personal branding (who I just so happen to be obsessed with) is Annabelle Fleur of the VivaLuxury

vivaluxury

From her blog to her social media and everything in between, Annabelle maintains a “cool girl” meets “Parisian Dream” vibe. She emphasizes modern layouts and fonts on her blog  while wearing outfits that are predominately black, white, and red. Just by scrolling through her site, you feel as though you already know her. This is Personal Branding!

However you choose to brand yourself, remember that consistency is key. It shows future employers, clients, etc. that you are self-aware and confident in who you are. Branding is ultimately going to leave a lasting impression and make you more memorable as a professional and individual.

So embrace your individuality and express it through your own personal brand!