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Privacy is Dead.

“Privacy is dead, and social media holds the smoking gun.”

Social media has a power that many of us have probably realized, but none of us can truly comprehend. It’s like a child we haven’t seen for many years and went through a shockingly fast growth-spurt. It’s grown past us now without us realizing it, and there’s a chance we can’t stop it.

Social media is a looming giant, both in the developed world and in our everyday lives. If one has a smartphone, a laptop, tablet, gaming console, etc., it is much more than likely that social media plays a part in their life. I know for a fact it does in mine. I know I have every kind of account short of MySpace, only because I was born too late for that era of the internet.

We used to have one main computer in my house, a nice-looking, sleek, black one that was brand-spanking new 10 years ago. I spent nearly all my time on it. Did everything I could do as an 8-12-year-old on the internet. I made a YouTube account, posted lyric videos, made a Facebook account (my first major experience with a social media giant, but only doing so after my mom made me sign a contract), left embarrassing comments, played Farmville for hours on end, and anything else my tween heart desired. My access to the internet became a hole that I dug for myself, but can never be filled again, now that I’ve dug too deep. Since the computer, I’ve had two of my very own laptops, three smartphones, a Nintendo DSi, and an Xbox that my brother and I shared (he has his own now). The internet has become ingrained in my life (as it has in everyone else’s), so much so that I want to make a career out of it.

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Time

In our modern era, the most popular social media sites are arguably Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr, that possibly reside among a couple of others I cannot name right now. Who knew 5 years ago that Snapchat would grow to be as prevalent as it is now? Who knows if Facebook, despite its crazy popularity now, will even be a “thing” in 2 years? It’s unlikely something that big would die out that fast, but it’s happened before. Facebook, now the most widely-used social network in the world, has an estimated 2.23 billion monthly active users worldwide. That’s just about a quarter of the world’s population, something everyone thought was impossible to achieve maybe 10 years ago. Many thought social media was the enemy, and we shouldn’t let it into our lives, and some thought it simply wouldn’t do well, and we shouldn’t use it for other reasons. Now Snapchat and Instagram are the prevalent ones for those in their teens and 20s, gaining more traction in the younger generation, while Facebook remains popular with everyone, but the older generation most of all. Does this mean Snapchat and Instagram will come out on top in a couple years, just as Facebook already has? Or will it be the other way around? Will these other platforms fade away just as Facebook remains king? I guess we will have to see.

 

41617443_254221261797882_5100102844560703488_oSince social media is used in our everyday lives, clearly, it’s grown beyond that purpose. Who do you think developed all the platforms in the first place? Obviously there are people managing the apps day to day, and this work is most likely their full-time job. Since these companies are so huge, there are probably hundreds, maybe thousands of people who are paid a (relatively) fair wage to work at this company and provide for their family. Social media is not only in our lives, it is our lives. Without it, there would be many less jobs in the market today, or they would just be very, very different, definitely not as dependent on technology as they actually are now. It’s crazy just how and how much social media has been cemented in everyday society. Some people literally wouldn’t live without it.

While it is scary thinking about the possible FBI agent tracking your every move because of what social media is capable of now, chances are, nothing will actually happen to you, unless you’re browsing some seriously shady stuff. But social media has enabled long-lost friends and families to be reunited, enabled friends to be made, connect with people you never would otherwise, find a roommate, sell an old StairMaster that’s only use has been for the storage of dust, buy a StairMaster, sell a house, buy a house, and so many other things. The internet and it’s social media are a jungle. They’re beautiful in one way and scary in another, and we must always tread carefully and look behind us. We will find things we’ve never seen before and discover things that should never have been discovered.

Our privacy may be dead, but if we’re careful, our sanity and tolerance of the internet can keep the gun from going off a second time.

I Went Through Phases

I was that kid that went through several phases a year, even a week, even a month. I was into cooking for a while, even a whole set of bowls and a nice whisk and my own wooden spoon and cupcake decorator, all of which we still have to this day. Then I was into inventing things, then I was into origami, painting, magic, even balloon art at one point. The list goes on. It didn’t seem to end, but eventually it faded out. As I grew up, I got too busy to do art projects that began to seem menial as I aged. I went to middle school and then high school and filled my time with homework and free time with the internet.

Still, filling my time with art was not forgotten on me. Growing up with a math and science-oriented older brother who could have easily been valedictorian of his class (we didn’t have those) felt like pressure, and it took me forever to realize that it wasn’t. He got a 4.0 (unweighted) GPA while I got off with a 3.4. Not bad, and by the end I didn’t really care, that was good enough for me, because I had learned that my strengths were not summed up by a number, and bottom line, that number got me into college, and that was all I needed.

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Pinterest

I learned very soon that my strengths, being artsy and letting my creative juices flow, were something that I wanted to apply to real life. I am an ENFP Meyers-Briggs type that needs a job like a Graphic Designer or a Web Designer or an Advertising Exec or something that doesn’t let me sit down all day. I need people, interactions, a creative outlet to let me express myself. But at the same time, not too much, because I don’t do that great under pressure or in front of an audience. I thought at one point I was going to be a writer, because writing like I am not comes very easily to me. My thoughts can run away with me sometimes and there are so many things I want to say but I have a very limited outlet to express them all at once and I want to say one thing but then I end up saying something else and I forget the other thing and UGH.

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Inner West Mums Sydney

But I digress, or rather, do whatever the opposite of digress is. I am a Gen Z who grew up in an amazingly innovative world of technology and have unlimited resources to express my creativity and connect with people who want to do the same thing I do. Meeting people who share my major in my CAP 105 class was beautifully refreshing, because I hadn’t met people before that want to do exactly what I do. My favorite class in high school was my Visual Communications class, because I learned how to use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, along with learning the basics of a DSLR camera (most of which I’ve already forgotten, but it was really cool at the time). That class was my favorite because we did have assignments, and in the beginning my teacher wanted everyone to do it a certain way, but as the year went on, the class got more fun for me because my creative outlet got bigger and bigger and I could do more. Many of our projects had a guideline to follow, but for the most part, we could do our own thing, and it was entertaining for me because you could easily tell the people that only signed up for the class to fill a credit or because the class wasn’t full. I felt like the only person who had a genuine interest in the class and it’s material.

Whilst I was in Visual Communications, I couldn’t help but feel, however, like I was inferior. My teacher, on days when he wasn’t in class, would show us documentaries that showcased different graphic designers and would show their art, and in those moments, I felt like, maybe a graphic design career wasn’t for me. It was upon doing more research that I realized you had to be good, like really, really good to truly be considered a success in the graphic design field. It was then that I broke up with the idea of ever being successful in graphic design itself, because I knew that I didn’t quite have the jaw-dropping talent that one needed. But, in that case, was there anything else I could do?

Fast forward to the beginning of my senior year, and my mom randomly brought up being in the field of advertising as a possible career path. I thought about it, looked into it a little bit, and realized that it could actually work for someone like me, who had a creative spark within them, but almost none of the talent to go with it. It sounded like such a good idea, and to this day, it still does. I am someone who needs the ability to express their ideas creatively, and so far, it seems that being in Ad & PR can give me that outlet.

Just please don’t ask me to draw anything. That phase ended long ago.

Introduction

Hello!

My name is Grace Recla, and I am a student at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. My hometown is a city called Renton, with about 100,000 people, located about 20 minutes south of Seattle, Washington.

Why did I come here?

I get this question waaaay too often, so here is the answer: both of my parents are from Michigan (mom from Commerce, dad from Livonia) and Renton just got TOO exciting for me, so I decided it was time to move away. I have TONS of family from here, and me being from Seattle means that I and my family are the oddballs, while everyone else is from Michigan. My mom moved to Seattle after college, and met my dad soon after. I love it there, but have never lived anywhere else, so long story short, I just wanted a change. My family is so abundant here that I have an aunt who lives as close as Grandville, MI,  and grandparents who live as far as Commerce, MI.

More info

Here is the site for my city’s local newspaper, and here is the Wikipedia page for it (not the most reliable source, but there’s not a whole lot more about Renton I can refer you to). The only thing we got going for us is the fact that Jimi Hendrix lived here once.