Facebook Faux Pas

If you can’t stop thinking about someone’s update, that’s called ‘status cling’. (Jessica Park)

I would like to start by apologizing for going months without updating this blog at all! The class for which I was writing this blog ended so it moved down my list of priorities. That was quite unclassy of me. I will endeavor to do better.

Okay, moving on. From now on, I’m going to work on posting more. How? Well, I’ll be doing much shorter posts. Hopefully, these will be good quality and will happen more often. I ask that you are patient with me while I get into the swing of things.

Enough discussion! Let’s talk about a few Facebook Faux pas. I’ve compiled a list of the 5 least-classy/rude things I have seen my “friends” do on the popular social media site.

5. Not acknowledging compliments on pictures.
Here’s the thing, we’re all busy. We go on the computer to check email, do work, update social media, etc.. These tasks are in addition to the rest of our lives. So when someone takes the time to compliment someone’s picture, be it profile or otherwise, it means that that person took time from his or her busy life to say a nice thing. Is it really so hard to say “thanks”? I don’t think so. Even if that thank you applies to more than one compliment on a picture, it still acknowledges that the kind comments were read and appreciated.

4. Cryptic status updates.
These mysterious messages are both self-indulgent and attention-seeking. Statuses like “I am so done with this” are just annoying. Either the writer has an issue and doesn’t want to share it (in which case he or she shouldn’t make it a status) or has a minor issue and wants to be asked about it and fawned over. When writing these silly statuses, the intention is to force readers to be curious and ask about it. It’s like me wanting to pretend I want privacy, but giving you hundreds of ways to know about me and my life.

3. Knowingly posting offensive/controversial statuses or comments.
We get it. You have controversial opinions. You’re so urban and politically interesting. You enjoy heated political debates and morality discussions that use buzzwords that no layperson could hope to be able to grapple with. I, too, enjoy healthy debates that open up my mind and the minds of others to new perspectives and ideas. I have to ask, though, is Facebook the place for these discussions? I don’t think so. Facebook is supposed to be a way to network and connect with friends, new and old. I don’t know that it is the best forum for debates and discussions that are best suited to round tables or respectfully-moderated areas of discourse. When overly-controversial posts appear on Facebook, it just looks like the poster is trying to insite arguments and anger.

2. Posting pictures or videos that should be accompanied with a warning.
We all have friends who do this. They post pictures of gruesomely-abused animals, huge spiders, post-op knee surgery pics, etc.. Now I’m not saying that these things don’t belong on Facebook. I’m not saying that at all. I’m just saying that I would appreciate posters having the courtesy to include a warning about the content or just posting a link to the content (with a warning). If I’m eating and see swollen and bloody stitched skin after my friend’s knee surgery, I might throw up on my keyboard. If I just lost my dog of fifteen years and am scrolling through my newsfeed, I might be extremely upset to see a viral video of a dog being thrown off a building (true story). This just comes down to respecting your Facebook friends and being aware of what is being shared and posted.

1. Posting passive-aggressive statuses.
These are so obvious. “I never thought that my friend could finish my Toblerone bar without even asking. Friendship terminated. You know who you are.” These are the most annoying posts on Facebook. Instead of dealing with their issues in the non-digital world, there are those Facebook users who chose to write statuses about their anger which they clearly want their offender to read. Come on! This isn’t Gossip Girl! Let’s deal with our problems directly instead of these immature posts. Don’t make your Facebook friends watch as you and your now-enemy post thinly-veiled statuses/insults about one another all over the newsfeed!

In general, these 5 faux pas come down to common courtesy and respecting your social media contacts and their time.

Thanks for reading and, as usual, feel free to comment below with your Facebook faux pas or pet peeves!

Stay classy,
Kassieboo

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A Random Act of Kindness

A Random Act of Kindness

Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. (Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert comic strip)

While riding on the WCEx (a commuter train which delivers people from suburbs of Vancouver to the downtown area) this morning, I witnessed a random act of kindness. A middle-aged woman had dropped her phone on the platform while she was waiting for the train and the the screen was completely smashed; she literally cut her finger on it when she tried to unlock it. After she got onto the train and found a seat beside one of her work colleagues, she explained the story to her co-worker. This woman was pretty upset about her phone and was speaking a little louder than what is usual on an early(ish)-morning train.

A young man across the aisle evidently was listening. When the woman had finished explaining to her co-worker what had happened, he leaned toward her and gave her the name of a really good iPhone repair place. The business, he explained, was in the train station where we were heading and would be able to have her phone fixed in couple hours. He also explained that all of the IT guys with whom he worked absolutely raved about how the work at this repair shop was such high-quality and somewhat inexpensive. But the young man was not done with just suggesting the place to go. He had also written down the number, hours, and cost of fixing the woman’s phone and then passed the piece of paper with the information to the woman.

The woman, who I assume was incredibly surprised by the man’s thoughtfulness, didn’t really reply. She took the paper and put it in her purse. The young man still had a smile on his face when he hopped off the train.

 

Some people are just nice. When they see a problem which they are able to fix, they jump into action. That is what the young man did today. It didn’t appear to matter to him that the woman showed little gratitude for his kindness; he was just please to have been able to help. I think that this is pretty beautiful.

Random acts of kindness are always great to witness and they’re even better to take part in. There is something really cool about being able to help someone or brighten his or her day. It gives you a feeling of accomplishment that is different from what you get when you finish an essay or finally get around to cleaning out the back of the fridge. It is (hopefully) completely outside of yourself.

I was lucky enough to participate in a few different groups which had a few days/weeks every year when the goal was to perform random acts of kindness. In one group, we walked around our high school on Valentine’s day and gave flowers to people who were eating lunch alone. With another group, we brought a keyboard, a guitar, and a few drums to a seniors’ home and instead of just singing to them, we learned a number of classics and standards and encouraged them to sing with us.

My own experiences were more organized than the act I was privileged enough to see this morning, but there are so many ways in which we can be kind to one another. My sister-in-law works as a care aid in a facility which looks after seniors who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s and the like. She does a lot of things that she doesn’t have to, just to brighten the days of her patients. When she married my brother this past August, she took a few extra minutes before going to the ceremony to stop at her work and celebrate the wedding with the people she looks after–they were ecstatic to see her dressed in her wedding gown. She also does things day-to-day, like helping some of the women put on a little lipstick or perfume in the morning. I doubt that these things are in her job description, but she does them anyways. They are no longer random (because she has been doing them for a few years), but they are certainly kind.

Not every act has to be huge and public. Sharing a smile with a sad-looking stranger on the street is enough. Holding the door is enough. Whatever you can do is enough.

If you’re interested in learning more about random acts of kindness, there is actually a foundation. You can check it out here.

If you have any stories about your own experiences with random acts of kindness, I encourage you to share them in the comments. Remember: part of what inspires random acts is seeing others perform them first. This is a fad that I hope you will follow!

Stay classy,

Kassieboo

Journal 6

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. (Walt Disney)

Trying Some New Things

Over the last two weeks or so, I’ve been trying some new types of things with my blog and I think that they are a success. I think that by doing them continuously that there will be an increase to my blog’s traffic as well as more readers who choose to follow.

Linking to Social Media

While I’ve had my Twitter account attached to my blog for a few weeks now, it hasn’t really made a difference in blog traffic. I think this is because I don’t use my Twitter as religiously as some people and my followers are mostly friends from high school and the like–they are not necessarily the people who will be most interested in manners and etiquette.

This past week, I tried putting a link to this blog in my Facebook status and saw a small increase in followers and visits. This is great! And I think it will be even greater when I link to larger and more interesting post. Part of this experiment was working up the courage to share my personal (non-academic) writing with my friends and family. Even though I’m an English major and do A LOT of writing, it is still hard to allow people whose opinions matter to me to read my writing. I do think that it will benefit both me and my blog to do this more often, though. For personal blogs, social media seems to be a very good way to advertise.

Including a Larger Variety of Media

Over the past week, I have tried playing around with the types of posts that I include in my blog. Previously, I focused mostly on writing funny, smart posts with lots of information. After reading a few critiques of my classmates’ blogs, however, I have found that many bloggers and readers prefer a mix of media where possible so as to break up large chunks of content. Personally, I don’t mind reading a large block of text as long as the writing is high-quality, but, at this point, I also need to value the ability to drive a lot of traffic to my blog. If pictures and videos help, then I will try to include these popular media.

I included a comic from The Oatmeal as well as a video called “The Science of Happiness” to which I was referred by a friend. My hits didn’t rise much from these posts, but I think that I should still work with these ideas. I plan to focus on learning how to incorporate more media smoothly and with a point rather than for the sake of including videos and pictures.

Adding More Tags to Each Post

This is really a “no-brainer”. The more tags a post has, the higher chance of it being found by people using search engines. I’ve been trying to use tags that refer to specific sections of my post as well as general ideas and themes.

I tried tagging more on posts in my new personal blog, Life is What You Doand saw higher traffic per post. I then tried this with Classy and True and saw the same thing so it is clearly a useful method of bringing in more and more traffic. The next step is to work on ways to keep those readers interested and coming back.

Linking Back and Forth to Another Blog

I also tried linking this blog to my personal one and vice versa. I did this with the idea that if a reader liked one, the he or she would hopefully like the other, too. Also, I usually do posts for both blogs in one sitting so it is very easy to include links back and forth. This is probably why my posts on each blog tend to relate to one another–I’m writing with a specific idea in mind.

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to try to work on the above things and see how well they work with my blog. I don’t want to become inconsistent in my style so I don’t think that I’ll be doing too many new things for a while.

I’ll keep updating my journal on the progress of my blog.

Thanks,

Kassieboo (Kathryn)

Legalities:

“The Science of Happiness” does not belong to me. It belongs to Soul Pancake. I claim no ownership over any part of its material.

The Oatmeal does not belong to me, either. I just think that it is awesome!

The Science of Happiness

I encourage you to take eight minutes out of your busy life and watch this video. Giving thanks for the people in your life will make you happy and happy people are usually more polite than people who are unhappy (at least in my experience).

Yesterday, on my personal blog, I made a list of twenty things for which I am thankful. I found that choosing just twenty things was actually really hard to do because I have so many things to be thankful for. I’ve decided that I’m not going to save this practice for Thanksgiving; I’m going to try doing it the next time that I have a bad day and see if it makes me feel as it good yesterday.

Take a couple minutes and be thankful for the important people and things in your life. You’ll feel better and, in turn, be more patient, understanding, and maybe a little more generous.

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!
Kassieboo

Work Cited:

This video is the property of Soul Pancake; I’m just sharing it with you because I think it’s so wonderful!

Tardiness to Lecture

Better never than late. (George Bernard Shaw)

Maybe it’s being in my fourth year of university or maybe it’s something new, but lately I’ve noticed that people who are late seem to care less and less. I don’t know about you, but I work really hard at being on time for class. I leave early, anticipate difficulties like trains or accidents, and generally try to take responsibility for my own education. I have, once or twice, gotten caught be a chatty classmate or had car trouble and been late. It happens. I understand. I really, really do.

Here’s the difference between me and other late people I have observed recently: I try to make myself invisible. I don’t want to be rude and interrupt a lecture which has already gotten into the swing of things. I quietly slip into an aisle seat or, if none are available, I stand at the back until lecture is done or there is a break. This, to me, is common courtesy.

Lately, however, this has not been what I’ve seen others doing. Just last week I witnessed a young woman clunk into the classroom in high heel shoes (much too high for walking long distances at any kind of a normal pace). She carried her large purse and huge coffee beverage across the hall, up a few steps, and then proceeded to climb over about four or five people (hitting them in the head with her purse on the way by) before she settled in in the center of the room. I was appalled! Not only was she about a half hour late, she was so obvious about it! I would have thought it were funny if it weren’t so blatantly rude and selfish. There were tons of aisle seats and spots in the back, but she still decided to sit in her presumably-usual seat.

I’m sorry to go on about this, but it’s just so frustrating to me!

To all the late people out there:

Please recognize that you are not the only person in the class and that you are distracting those of us who worked to get there on time. It’s really not that difficult. Understand that you need to make a few sacrifices when you’re late; that’s all. Maybe if you have to stand for an entire lecture and realize how hard it is to take notes without a desk, you won’t be late next time.

Okay, I’m done!

Have a great week and stay classy,

Kassieboo

Texting (1)

Texting  is a fundamentally sneaky form of communication, which we should despise, but it  is such a boon we don’t care. We are all sneaks now. (Lynne Truss)

I could write hundreds of posts on all the problems that texting has caused in society, but I’ll narrow it down (for now).

Is there anything worse than planning a nice evening or afternoon at a good restaurant only to spend the entire time sitting across the table from somebody who has his or her nose in a smartphone?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been out for dinner and looked across the restaurant or bar to see a couple completely ignoring one another as they text. It’s weird! Why spend money and put on pants when you’re just going to sit there and text or play Candy Crush? Not only is it strange to see as an observer, but it is beyond careless to your date or friend. It has gotten so bad that some restaurants have taken it upon themselves to fix this social disgrace. A few different places offer discounts on meals for patrons who choose to leave their smartphones in a secure area away from the tables. This isn’t a bad idea, but the fact that texting is so much of a problem that restaurants are stepping in is ridiculous!

text ecard 1 for classy and true blogIf I were on a date and I’d spent hours primping and making myself look nice, I would feel really crappy if my guy turned out to be one of these super rude, texting fiends! What this kind of behaviour says is me is that my date doesn’t value our time together or is uninterested in what I have to say. That’s probably not the intention of my date, but his texting suggests otherwise.

I think that texting while spending time with someone just comes down to selfishness and not thinking about others. It’s not that texters are trying to be mean or ignore their friends and dates, it’s that they aren’t paying attention. Their needs come first. They’re too plugged-in and so their sense of urgency to reply to seemingly-unimportant contact is heightened because communication is instantaneous.

I’d like to clarify: I’m not saying that you can’t text during dinner or that you can’t answer important messages. I’m just saying that it is also important to respect the people you’re with and your time together.

If you’d like to learn/think more about texting etiquette, check out this link!

Because this is likely the first of a few texting posts, I’ve kept it short.

Stay classy and true,

Kassieboo

 

Works Cited

Image from imgfave.com

Mckee, Maralee. “Seven Ways to Text with Graciousness and Savvy.” Manners Mentor Inc.: You at Your Best., 02 010 2013. Web. <http://www.mannersmentor.com/only-at-work/seven-ways-to-text-with-graciousness-and-savvy&gt;.

 

Journal 4

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another. (Charles Dickens)

Incorporating Parts of Myself

I linked my Twitter account to Classy and True today. It turned out to be a lot more difficult than I would have guessed. I couldn’t make the Twitter Timeline widget work how I wanted it to–it wasn’t displaying a live feed–so I did what any mildly-resourceful person in his or her 20’s-50’s would do in this day and age: I googled it. Luckily, there is a huge community of WordPress.com users who are only too willing to share their knowledge and skills with one another. I quickly found a forum which dealt with exactly my problem. Lots of users were having the same difficulty and lots of users were trying to assist in fixing the problem. Halfway down the page, somebody mentioned that she had fixed her own blog’s problem and, although she thought that her mistake was silly, she shared the way in which she dealt with the problem. As it turns out, we were both making the same mistake and her answer completely fixed my Twitter feed.

Emotional/Philosophical Tangent

This is one of the reasons that I don’t completely hate the internet: yes, there are perverts and weirdos and trolls who roam unsightly URLs  and Facebook discussions looking for their next unsuspecting, Angry Birds-playing victim, but there are also millions of people who are willing and happy to share their vast knowledge for no other reason than because they have that knowledge. While the internet has contributed to many people becoming socially awkward and distracted, it has also become an outlet for lots of people to help others using skills that didn’t even exist 20 years ago. I find this to be kind of beautiful in its own way. This resource with which we have a love-hate relationship has opened up innumerable possibilities for providing others with aid.

Reasoning for Incorporation

I attached my Twitter to Classy and True because it is really the only social media I have which is even remotely appropriate for the blog. I don’t mean that I spend my Facebook time cussing and putting up inappropriate pictures of myself because I don’t. However, I’ve had my Facebook account since I was in grade 9, almost 8 years ago. I don’t really think that my 14-year-old self applies to my vision for my blog. In the future I may choose to create a Facebook page which is only for Classy and True, but with me being in my fourth year of university, I just don’t have the time for that at the moment.

My Twitter account is pretty docile, for the most part. I have always had teachers and parents and family as followers so I’ve never said or tweeted anything that wasn’t appropriate for my mother or English 12 teacher. I feel that it would not be difficult for me to tailor my tweets to fit my vision for this blog. This really doesn’t involve much change as many of my tweets tend to focus on human observation and things like language and manners (okay, they’re sometimes rants).

I’ll spend a little time exploring social media options and see if there are any other parts of myself which I would like to attach to Classy and True, but I do want to keep this blog relatively simple. Maybe I’m old fashioned enough to believe that (hopefully) good writing should speak for itself and gain followers of content rather than purely presentation.

Anyways, have a good week! I’ll be back soon with more journal entries and blog posts.

Kassieboo