It’s been quite…

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It’s been quite surprising how “anti social” the majority of people are and they probably don’t even realize it. Is it simply because we all lead busy lives, have no time to look around and smile anymore, simply not interested in what is going on around us, or that if it doesn’t happen in our immediate space, it doesn’t exist? I think it’s probably a mixture of all four.

It’s a snow day here in Indiana today. Most people are deciding to stay inside. I decided to do the opposite and venture out for some daily vitamin D. (I mentioned that joke to my boyfriend before I left and he wasn’t very amused.) I live downtown and it’s pretty friendly here. Most people my age who retire downtown from the college life across the river are Purdue teacher assistants and the like. The demographic is a lot of twenty somethings trying to figure out life still, like myself.

On my walk to my favorite coffee shop, Star City Coffee and Ale House I passed two men. The first one was passive and mostly looked to his feet. I always try to make eye contact with people on the street because it gets me out of my comfort zone, even for a second or two. I smiled at the first man as he glanced up from the icy sidewalk. He saw my smile and quickly glanced down. “I tried at least”, I thought to myself.

As I was coming up to the coffee shop I passed another man with a coffee in his mitten who had obviously just come from my destination. Unlike the first man this one smiled big in my direction as we passed by each other. As soon as he smiled at me I did something astonishing, I managed a small grin and then hastily looked down to the icy sidewalk. As he passed I couldn’t believe I had just done what the first man had done to me when I was so confident to look someone in the eye and smile just minutes before.

What makes us do this? Why do strangers walking on the sidewalk feel the need to never interact in a meaningful way with one another? Why was I completely confident with someone who wasn’t and then turn around and be the opposite when someone else was confident?

I personally believe it’s something we learn. Growing up if we don’t see our parents or guardians acknowledge someone on the street just for the sake of doing so, then why would we once we’re grown enough to walk down the sidewalks of our town? It’s something that can be changed. But no change can ever occur without conscious effort. So, lets all smile at each other!

 

Quote taken from Linda Coles on LinkedIn

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Thank you for your interest…

This is usually how the dreaded email from a potential employer who is politely letting you know that they do not want to work with you begins.
The same email I just received about 30 minutes ago.

I am fresh out of college. I didn’t graduate at the top of my class, I didn’t join 15 clubs, I wasn’t in a sorority, and I procrastinated getting work done most of the time. It’s safe to assume that I could have applied myself more. It is also safe to assume that now that it’s all over, I wish I would have applied myself more. Apparently graduating ‘mediocre’ from a top public university doesn’t guarantee the ‘American Dream’ anymore. I currently can’t gain employment through an entry-level job. Am I that mediocre that I can’t be trusted to travel around the country to sandwich shops to basically be a hands-on manager for a week?

I put my Facebook and Twitter links on my resume. Why, you ask? Because it is bullshit for me to feel as if I have to hide who I really am from an employer for them to want to hire me. My entire life almost is recorded online in some way. Not because I’m lazy, or because I have nothing better to do with my time. It’s because I genuinely enjoy it. I’m the person at family get-togethers who gets made fun of for being on Facebook all of the time at all hours of the day. But who do you think is reading my posts not even 20 minutes later?

I’m interesting, I have an opinion, I don’t look like every other woman my age, I don’t act like every other woman my age; I’m unique in every definition of the word. I also don’t care to hide that I think those things of myself. Therefore if a company is expecting me to have my Facebook deactivated or to have my name misspelled to lead them away from my online trail, then I probably don’t want to work for them anyway.
I believe our society is too caught up on censoring everything anyway, why in the world would I want to censor myself to follow suit?

The American education system failed me. That’s a another blog post saved for a strong opinion. At the beginning of college I was eager to learn, eager to blossom into the perfect student. In the beginning I succeeded at that. Then I eventually became unmotivated and that non-motivation became a habit. I loved to learn, still do to this day. But I wasn’t actually learning anything. I wasn’t being asked to apply myself. I was told to cram as much information into my brain as I could and then regurgitate onto a paper or electronic exam. I honestly couldn’t tell you a single communication theory I learned and communication is supposed to be my forte. I’m completely ashamed of that fact. But I don’t believe it was my fault. That isn’t just Attribution Theory in progress either. And yes I did have to look up the name of that theory.

I’ve heard many times that persistence is what gets you somewhere in life. Danny Devito once went through 1,000 interviews and got denied in every single one. So he went to 1,000 more. In the very last interview the person gave him a chance. And that’s all it took, just one chance from one person. (That is at least how the story was told to me by a great colleague of mine.) But shoot I’ll be honest, not being accepted for an entry-level position that I personally feel I would be over qualified for is a bit disheartening.

Nonetheless, if persistence is what it takes, persistence is what I will have. I may not have been motivated in school but my mediocre grades will not define who I am as a potential employee. The desire to learn and grow still burns inside me.
I’m also beginning to have serving nightmares due to working too much at a great local place in Lafayette where I live. If that isn’t motivation enough to be the best potential employee I can be, nothing will be.

Facebook Graph Search

Facebook GraphBlank Graph search Search officially launched in January of 2013 and introduced by Facebook in March.  So what is Facebook Graph Search exactly?  It is a search engine geared towards Facebook specifically.  It uses natural language, or semantics, of it’s users to help them find content that they may be interested in or content that may be useful for users.  By introducing a semantic search engine Facebook has made it easier for users to find what they are looking for by using sentences or even parts of sentences.

Currently, Facebook Graph Search, or FGS as I will call it in the article, is currently only available in English.  The search results are tailored within a user’s network of friends, groups and pages.  Essentially, FGS knows what a specific user’s likes and interests are based upon pages they have liked and interests they have specified on their personal profile page.  It is also paired with the Microsoft search engine, Bing which provides users with even further results if they don’t find what they are looking for within the Facebook platform.

When Facebook GraphTimeline Interests  Search first launched it did very well at searching for things through the semantics the user used in the search box.  But it could not tailor search results to users’ interests very well because Facebook did not have a section on the profile pages for a user’s interests.  Therefore, as you may have noticed recently, Facebook has once again changed the layout of users’ timelines to include sections such as, Movies You’ve Watched, Books You’ve Read, and so on.

There are many positive aspects to look at with Facebook Graph Search. Firstly, it makes it easy for a user to find restaurants, attractions to visit, what to buy, and so on and so forth.  All of these results of course are tailored to a user’s location and to the specific People who like Ford Mustangthings that are “liked” within a user’s network of friends.
Secondly, FGS makes it easier for a user to find a person with similar interests, hobbies and locations.  The image to the right (photos and names have been protected) is an example of “People who like Ford Mustang”.  The first results for people who like Ford Mustang start with a user’s friends on Facebook. Then it moves to people who are not friends, but who are friends of a user’s friends.

Facebook has purposely restricted a user’s network in way when it comes to people in this search result and search results of the like. It wasn’t until I got through 71 pages of results for people who like Ford Mustang before I found a user I did not have at least 1 mutual friend with. This is how strong Facebook Graph Search’s sense of a user’s network is. After the 71st page, I then found users whom I was not friends with, but they were all in the same area as me, mostly Indiana.

There have been some negative aspects to Facebook Graph Search as well.  Employers - RacismIt can cause a very negative light for some companies who employ people that like socially negative things. The image to the left
(actualfacebookgraphsearches.tumblr.com)  is a prime example of this. This specific search is the example of how interconnected Facebook really is. So, for companies, FGS can be a powerful tool when marketing to the public. But these companies also need to be aware of what their employees are posting on Facebook, ‘liking’ and of what they are interested in.  Thankfully, Facebook has always made this easy.

One more negative aspect of the new Facebook Graph Search I would like to point out is the issue of privacy. Facebook seems to constantly be updating its privacy settings and adding features to users’ settings and accounts.  Overall, Facebook privacy is very well thought out and doesn’t leave room for loopholes. The only problem is that many users don’t understand the privacy settings as well as they have trouble figuring out where to go to change these settings.  When it comes to powerful and concentrated search engines like FGS, this can lead to users being included in search results that they do not want to be included in.

Islamic men interested in men

The photo above for example,  (http://actualfacebookgraphsearches.tumblr.com) is an example of how a users’ personal life can effect their job or career, just with a simple search.

All in all, Facebook Graph Search is a very personable and useful platform for all kinds of Facebook users.  The only suggestion I can make is that Facebook let its users know more explicitly how the new search engine can and will effect them. Also, they need to clean up how users can change and edit their privacy settings in order to preserve the privacy that Facebook Graph search has the ability to take away.  Currently you can adjust privacy settings from the Timeline, an Activity Log link located on the cover image, a privacy tab at the top of a user’s page, and the through the settings tab at the top of a user’s page.  Having numerous ways to edit privacy is good but they should be linked with one tab or button on users’ pages instead.

Britney M. Elbert