Social Media doesn’t offer enough cognitive activity

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Every morning, I wake up and the first thing I do is look at my phone. Partly because I want to see if it’s a reasonable time for me to get up and partly because I’m checking my e-mail and social media sites. This morning, some posts on Instagram and Facebook put me in a bad mood. Why? There was nothing positive. If I’m being honest with myself, there really isn’t anything on those sites anymore that puts me in a good mood anymore.

When searching for a topic to write about for my blog post this week, I found that I had the answer all along. “Don’t Waste Your Mornings On Email and Social Networks” from Lifehacker writer Thorin Klosowski explains that we shouldn’t instantly go on sites like Facebook or check our e-mail right away when we wake up because we are wasting the more productive time of the day.

Scrolling through post after post doesn’t wake our brains up, it keeps them groggy. We need activities that offer high cognitive capacity to achieve everything we want to achieve in the mornings.

Everyone has different morning habits. As I mentioned earlier, my morning routine revolves around my habit (or is it an addiction) to check social media sites before even getting out of bed. It’s embarrassing how much time I waste every single morning reading depressing posts. I think it’s time for a change.

While I know that checking e-mail or social media is part of most people’s jobs, there is nothing wrong with cutting back or at least waiting to log in until after breakfast.


More Time… Less Tragedy

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Cartoon from:

Cartoon from:

Making a Living as a Freelancer

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If anyone is considering doing freelance work, whether it be writing, photography, design or another sort of freelance job, Lifehacker’s Brennan Dunn offers some great advice on how to make sure you receive the money that you earned. This blog post not only goes into detail about steps to take to “ensure you get paid,” but it also shows the complexities of being a freelancer.


Over the summer, I was in a feature writing course that required us to look up different freelance jobs on the Writer’s Market website and tailor our assignments to fit a particular job. It was an interesting way to get students immersed in the world of freelance work, but I never thought about how difficult it may be to get certain clients to actually pay for your work.

“Most freelances, myself included, tend to be optimists. We expect that things will work in our favor,” Dunn said about getting new clients. Freelancers want to do the work they’re hired to do in return for what they deserve—money. If you’re thinking about doing any form of freelance work, take a looks at Dunn’s post. He shares personal experiences and the working solutions that he uses for his success.

Motivation from Imagination

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This morning, I’m trying to convince myself I can make it through all my homework and projects before the semester ends. I made myself a “to-do” list in hopes that it would give me a little motivation, but it’s not really working. In another attempt to complete something, I started reading “How to Motivate Yourself by Living Your Life Like a Movie” on Lifehacker.

At first, it seemed kind of silly, but it really clicked with me after I continued to read. I love movies, and I probably watch too many of them when I should be doing homework or some other boring grown-up activity (laundry, dishes, etc.). Normally, posts similar to this one don’t give as much detail, but Patrick Allan did a great job explaining each step.

Allan explains that being the “main character” in a movie requires confidence. It seemed kind of pretentious to do this, but this doesn’t mean that you have to become full of yourself. Allan says that you need confidence to gain motivation: “You’d be surprised how motivating it can be when you simply believe that you have a story tell.”

To learn how to get this extra kick of motivation before Thanksgiving and the end of the semester visit:



Professional Email Scripts?

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Have you ever had writers’ block when you’ve been writing a professional sounding e-mail? I have encountered this problem many times. I am usually inquiring about an application I submitted or thanking someone for allowing me to interview them for an article for the paper and I worry that I don’t sound professional enough for the circumstances or I just don’t know where to begin.


I ran across a post on Mashable that provides scripts for any problematic emails that one may encounter in the business world. From categories such as job searching, in office messages, emails as management, to networking, the post describes certain emails that are usually needed in each category and then provides the script.

I think that these scripts can be a good base for an email that you might be stuck writing, however, I wouldn’t want to use the entire script in an email I was sending for fear of it sounding too scripted.

Tips for LinkedIn

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For a long time, I wondered what the point of LinkedIn was. I understand that people can look at your professional profile, but it just didn’t seem like it would work. This was before I set up an account and looked at the connections you can make with other people. Needless to say, I believe that if you keep your account up to date with your educational background and work history, you can get noticed by other on LinkedIn.


Debora Wenger’s blogpost on Advancing the Story highlights some key points from Yumi Wilson, a manager for corporate communications at LinkedIn, that will help get your profile noticed:

  1. Be sure to use the name you plan to use in your profession.
  2. The headline under your name should string key words together to show the job you want, too, not necessarily the job you have.
  3. Join groups.
  4. Be sure to include your photo and make it professional.
  5. Write your summary in first person says Wilson, and make sure it is at least 40 words.
  6. Give people multiple ways to contact you.

Most of these seemed pretty obvious to me (especially using your professional name), however, if you’re new to LinkedIn, these can be helpful, basic tips.

Do you trust your boss?

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In a recent studies, it has been shown that only 40% of employees actually trust their bosses. One quarter of the surveyed people said their trust in their bosses is lower than last year. Putting it simply, employees are not as comfortable sharing ideas and opinions with their bosses. They put more trust in their coworkers because they are able to express themselves without feeling judged.

Companies with trusting employee-boss relationships are 2.5 times more likely to be leaders in revenue growth. Looking back at the past year that I have been working at my current job, I can see truth in this study. When I was first hired, the company was recovering from poor management. Many things needed to change before we could see an increase in revenue.

The reasoning behind the poor management had a lot to do with the manager no longer trusting that the boss/owner cared about the business. The boss worked a separate full time job. To make matters worse, it was third shift. He was never really available for the manager to speak with. Even when he was, the boss was crabby and unapproachable.

Since then, I have replaced the old manager. We have a better crew, and we have seen a rise in profit. The difference here though, is that I still trust my coworkers a lot more than I trust my boss. So maybe at this business, the employees don’t have to trust the highest level boss, but the one that they work with the most.

A tips that are listed in the blog to help make you more trustworthy as a boss include:

  • Ask for input into decisions that affect employees.
  • Give employees background information so they can understand why decisions are being made.
  • Set workers up for success by providing them with learning opportunities and the resources they need.
  • Admit mistakes.
  • Don’t punish employees for raising issues or concerns they have.

Lost in Technology

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Photo Credit: Babycakes Romero

Photo Credit: Babycakes Romero

A London-based photographer, Babycakes Romero, has been documenting the death of real-life conversation. Most of his photographs show scenes of people with smartphones preventing in-person communication.


When I think about it, everywhere I go I see people not interacting with one another. They’re on their cell phones. Or their tablets. Or their computers. Consequentially, my boyfriend and I argue about this topic often. He is constantly on his phone when we’re together, and, in turn, I go on my phone a lot. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Timehop, Flipboard, and NFL mobile constantly take away from talking to each other.

If we realize this, why don’t we try to fix it? His argument is that he sees topics on his phone that we can talk about. But that brings up another question, do we even know how to talk to each other without technology involved?

If we don’t know how to communicate face-to-face with people, how are we supposed to effectively write comprehensibly?

communicationI realize that there are many positive sides of technology, such as being able to share breaking news stories at a moment’s notice, but do the negatives outweigh the positives? Will future generations even know how to communicate with someone without sending a text, tweet, or Facebook message?

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Full-Time Reporter Can’t Make Ends Meet

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Those of us that are going into journalism have a right to be concerned about what’s happening in the business. We’re surrounded by reports of newspapers closing their paper editions and moving to online platforms more and more. This also usually means that they have to cut their staff. I always assumed that this meant that there isn’t really room for new journalists in the field. However, something that I hadn’t thought about what’s happening to the older reporters? Are they continuing to work? Is there a preference for them over college graduates? Are they being paid adequately?

Mcdonalds-90s-logo.svgIn health care reporter Dean Olsen’s instance, he continues to work as a reporter, but he has been forced to add another source of income to his work load—working the drive-thru and the front counter at McDonald’s. Olsen is a hard-worker and an experienced reporter, so how is he not making enough money in his full-time job to support his family? The Union Olsen is a member of isn’t giving pay raises to veteran reporters because they want to attract young journalists by offering them a higher pay. The Union is under the impression that most young journalists don’t want a low-paying job and they want to attract new talent.

So how much does Olsen make per year? He brings in over $60,000, however, one of his children is a special-needs child and his wife cannot work because she needs to devote all of her time to their son.

With the cost of living continuously rising in this country, it frightens me to think that this is how we’re treating experienced journalists. What do you think? Should the media not give raises to veteran journalists to attract younger talent? Is this fair? What would you do if you were in Olsen’s shoes?

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