You log onto Facebook (who are we kidding, you’ve never even logged off). Check your notifications, scroll through your Newsfeed. Your friend listened to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs on Spotify, you ‘like’ that. A friend shares a link about the latest celebrity scandal, you ‘like’ that. Another friend shares a photo from the NYU Memes page, you laugh, and, naturally, you ‘like’ that too. Little do you know, your ‘likes’ project a very powerful image of you.
According to a study from the University of Cambridge, Facebook ‘likes’ can be used to gather information about your sexual orientation, politics, religion, intelligence and emotional stability. We tend to use this ‘like’ button indiscriminately, unaware of what the effects may be. Summarily, if you ‘like’ certain things, they become indicators of the type of person you are. For example, according to the study, indicators of male homosexuality were pages such as the “No H8 Campaign” and “Wicked: The Musical”, whereas male heterosexuality was indicated by user likes of “Wu Tang Clan” or “Shaq”. Supposedly we can also predict whether a user is introverted or extroverted, their intelligence level and their political alignments according to their liked pages.
A website that has tried to utilize this is www.youarewhatyoulike.com. All you do is login with your Facebook, and the site generates an output based off of your likes.
While I do agree that the Likes they’ve listed are most indicative of my profile, I don’t agree with how they’ve categorized me. Sure I’m liberal, and sometimes consider myself creative and artistic, and for the most part I am very organized and like to have my shit all together. Verdicts still out on whether I actually am friendly. The last two I’m having trouble over. While I’d like to think I’m calm and relaxed, in reality I’m a bit high strung and anxious. Also, I’m very competitive. So there’s goes that “agreeableness”. I’m calling a farse on you http://www.youarewhatyoulike.com.
But for the most part this can prove to be accurate. Lately I’ve been inspired to run a Ragnar Relay (if you don’t know what it is, check it out), and clicked the ‘like’ button on the Ragnar Relay Facebook page to get updates. Now, in my Newsfeed, nested in between status updates and photos of friends, are sponsored ads for the “Warrior Dash”, “Iron Man”, “Diva Run”, and even one promoting Joint Relief care (thanks for looking out, Facebook) – all things that are, in fact, appealing to me. However, Facebook often has the tendency to take these ‘likes’ completely out of context. For example, I’m a huge fan of NBC’s Law & Order: SVU. When I first made my Facebook profile I listed Law & Order: SVU, Law & Order, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent, as my “Favorite TV Shows” (right next to Sex and the City, and 30 Rock, mind you). The repercussions of this have been a range of ads for schools: ITT Tech School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers School of Criminal Justice; ads for the search term “Law & Order” clearly taken out of context: Indian Law & Order Commission, Christian Commission on Faith & Order. I do love the show Law and Order, but I cannot say I have ever, nor will I ever in the future, be interested in the field of law or criminal justice. While I do appreciate the suggestions, Facebook, I’ll decline. In fact, taking ‘likes’ out of context and making assumptions based on them is annoying, weird, and intrusive.
The fact that, as individuals, we are now scrutinized and judged upon what pages we click on, is disheartening. Our personal identities have thus been commandeered by the simplistic digital decisions we make and the click of a like button. The study by the University of Cambridge lays out a table of predictive ‘likes’ and what they indicate. Apparently, the pages “I Love Being A Mom” and “Lady Antebellum” are indicators of a low IQ, whereas “Morgan Freeman’s Voice”, “The Godfather”, and “Curly Fries” are indicators of a high IQ. First of all, there are countless highly intelligent, career driven, and smart women who love being moms. Take Marissa Mayer for instance: she loves being a mom, and as a CEO I would assume she has a high IQ. This assumption is both sexist, and probably just as irrelevant as the relationship of liking “Curly Fries” to your IQ is. Additionally, our ‘likes’ can also reveal if we are an introvert with few friends, or an extrovert with many friends. Liking “Jennifer Lopez”, “Michael Jordan” and “Biology” means you are extroverted with many friends. On the other hand, pages like “In n Out Burger”, “The Dark Knight” and “Videogames” indicate introvert with few friends. To me, these all seem entirely irrelevant. What if you enjoy going to In N Out and watching The Dark Knight with a big group of your friends? These pages certainly cannot be predictors of the type of people we are or how we see ourselves.
What Facebook and corresponding commercial companies that use this data are doing is stereotyping the users. Apply this to offline life. How would you like it if you just met someone and told them you once read the book, Fifty Shades of Grey, and naturally they assume you are into S&M, and probably into the Twilight series? Is that a fair assumption that should be made? It’s ludicrous right? People shouldn’t do that, so why should Facebook and other data mining companies? Your Facebook profile, and other online personal profiles for that matter, should be the information that you post and want others to see. It should reflect you solely because, well, you put that information out there. Your profiles should not be a wealth of information for companies to use and make out of context assumptions about you. The user should be able to control their online presence and not have it be constructed by some impersonal algorithm that assumes that IF a user ‘likes’ X, THEN they must be Y and act accordingly.
We’re much more complex individuals than that. We have to give ourselves some credit.
Your chakras are your centers of your vital energy, or prana. These exist at central parts of your body – main arteries, organs, etc. After a certain amount of time, our chakras get blocked, bogged down, and cluttered. Sometimes we find these centers of energies at an imbalance. All of these things negatively effect our being and our outlook on life. Spring cleaning is the time to clear our chakras, clear our minds, and de-clutter.
You’re all like, I couldn’t give two shits about my cha-chas or chakras
I’m like, Whatever! Here’s your guide to spring cleaning!:
Spirit: The Crown Chakra
Be happier. Cut out the shit that annoys you, pisses you off, or aggravates you. Its unnecessary. Just do it. It’s pretty simple.
Psychic: The Third Eye Chakra
Let’s be honest, no one has an answer to “What are you doing with your life?”. Only douchebags ask that question anyways. I have no idea. I have no goals. I have no images of my future. I do, however, believe in short term, attainable goals. Like what can you do now to improve your life for the next week, the next month? Find what drives you. Who or what inspires you? Motivates you? Figure. It. Out. But other than that, I’ve got nothing for you here. What counts is that I have a third eye muthaf*****s.
When people ask you what you’re doing with your life:
Communication: The Throat Chakra
Relationships are important, but it’s actually a fact that most couples breakup either before Christmas or before/during Spring break. It’s the shittiest thing too, because the weathers just getting warm again and things are looking up and BLAM! Hoop, there it is. Also, people often just want someone to cuddle up with in the cold months so they opt for the relationship. But in some cases it needs to happen. All part of that chakra cleansing. Maybe its not only the time for relationships to end but for our emotional attachments to as well. Time to re-evaluate your priorities, find what matters. Deep shit, I know. It’d be advisable to detox all of your relationships. Those friendships / relationships that are toxic to you? As they say, ixnay on the elationshipsray! They don’t actually say that. I don’t know who ‘they’ even is anyways. I just wanted to say that. But in all seriousness, though it may feel great to have millions of acquaintances and tons of friends, sometimes you need to cut the shit out if it isn’t proving to be positive for you. Maybe you don’t like cutting your ties, whatever. A good place to start is to edit your phone contacts. You’d be suprised how many randos you’ll find – and at the same time, how many funny things you’ll remember whilst going through them. While youre at it, take it a step further and clean out your Facebook friends. Count on your meaningful relationships. Its all about the quality, not the quantity. That being said, work on the relationships that DO matter to you. Don’t let them fall by the wayside.
When you decide your through with your Facebook friends’ pointless updates and stupid pictures with their boyfriends:
Heart: The Heart Chakra
I can sit here and say, eat healthy! Start off with a great juice cleanse! No carbs! Only fruits and veggies! That’d be nice huh? But forreal? No one has time for that. Let’s face it, you’re not going to diet. I mean, you’ll probably starve yourself for 24hrs before you have to get into your first bikini of the season. But as far as proactive decisions go, it aint gonna happen. What I do suggest, if youre trying to be healthier, is to record or write down everything you put into your mouth (foodwise… you know). Just do it. Maybe after a week or so you’ll sit back and look at it and be like “Goddamn I intake like a garbage can in Times Square!”, or “How am I alive if this is all I eat?”, or maybe you come from some higher power and will be like “Damn, killed it. Anyone want nutrition classes?”. In any case, its always good to be consciously aware of what youre eating. What you decide to do with that information is all on you bro. If you want to cut out certain things, add in more nutrients, yaddayaddayadda, that’s all you, totally commend you for it. While you become aware of what youre eating its also a great idea to get some healthy exercise in there too. I’m kind of a fitness addict/junkie so I’m in no place to give solid advice here, but the endorphins bro… amazing.
So first youre like:
But then youre like:
Life Force: The Solar Plexus Chakra
Whos always had your back? The fam bam. Call your family. You probably haven’t in awhile. Chat up with the relatives, even if you just listen to them vent. It’s good to remind the people you love that you’re there and you do in fact love them every so often. They are your biggest supporters anyways.
Creative: The Splenic Chakra
You have that creative drive or you don’t. You have style, swag, or an eye for things, or you don’t. There’s no changing that, who are we kidding? Sorry you’re a basic bitch.
The Earth: Root Chakra
We all hate cleaning. But you really shouldn’t live in a pig sty. Start by doing your laundry, that’s a simple start. Then you can move on to taking out whatever moldy, smelly ass thing that has been penetrating your nose in your refrigerator. Get that stank out. Throw away old shit, not just food, but also unnecessary crap lying around. Just think about that those episodes of Hoarders where the hoarders go crazy psycho. Maybe even throw away/donate old clothes. I know, its hard to part with them. When my mom used to go through my closets and pick out clothes to donate, I would go into hysterics. Speaking of Hoarders, I’d get as bad as they do on the show – where they have their mental break down and need to sit down and start getting grouchy and yell at everyone throwing shit into the dumpsters. “WHAT IS THAT YOURE THROWING AWAY?! OF COURSE I WANT TO KEEP MY WALKMAN FROM 1991! IT STILL WORKS, DOESN’T IT?!” Grow some balls and do it.
You try to be a better person and spring clean your life, but instead youre like:If youre not a strong proponent of spring cleaning and personal improvement, I don’t blame you one bit. Naturally we probably are all lazy anyways. As idealistic as it sounds, and as much as you’re like “I’m starting fresh! Here’s to new beginnings! Clean slate” blah blah blah, most of us lack the willpower. If you do, then you deserve a gold fucking star! Either way, at the end of the day, you can always opt for a colonoscopy. I’m sure that’ll do wonders for those chakras.
A lot happened in February. But I guess a lot happens every month. In case you missed it, I’ve gathered, what I think are, the notable happenings of this past month.
Facebook Graph Search:
Sure, this was announced in January, but I’m just starting to wrap my head around this. It can be A) really cool, or B) really creepy. Let’s start with the really cool part. You can use this to network, or research your friends. As a writer, I could definitely see myself using this to research friends/friends of friends with certain qualifications, in a specific location, working at a specific company, with interests a, b, and c. Say I wanted to write an article about startups in San Francisco and wanted to interview an employee of a startup who is a straight, heterosexual, male who likes surfing, mexican food and likes to listen to Allen Stone. Voila – Facebook Graph search has that covered (well that and there’s most of San Francisco’s population anyways). Now lets discuss the creepiness. This is the stalkers tool. You can streamline your search to be as specific as possible. More importantly, this is some serious data mining and getting into your bizness. More and more we’re starting to realize how much of our personal information is out there from our social media accounts. Remember those pictures from your freshman year of high school, or that really bad night you had in Vegas (yeah, THAT night)? Sadly, what we put onto Facebook and on the interwebz is most likely going to stick forever (I mean, at least until youre dead probably). Luckily, there are a crap load of great companies like McAfee who have apps, just for Facebook that prevents people from seeing, downloading, sharing, and printing unwanted photos of yours (WHAT NOW CATFISHERS?! TRY TO PRETEND TO BE ME ON MYSPACE I DARE YOU!). Check it out, totally useful and totally free! But in all seriousness, that one page you Liked a year ago, will probably come back and bite you in the ass. So there’s that. I guess you could also use Facebook Graph Search for your own personal dating service as well – which borders on the line of either really cool and/or really creepy. Search: male, 24-30, NYC, employed, TV Shows: Law and Order, Law and Order SVU.. can I specify ‘attractive’? Questions. Anyways Facebook, I’m waiting for my access here.
House of Cards:
David Fincher directed The Social Network, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Justin Timberlake’s “Suit and Tie” music video (did you watch it? You should), and this gem Netflix produced called House of Cards. You might not have heard of it, but it is, in my humble opinion, an amazing show, worthy of HBO/Showtime. Why its noteworthy: what Netflix did with this show is freaking out the big media companies. They released the whole season (13 episodes) all at once. If other companies follow suit, this may change TV viewer practices as we know it. Media corporations got their panties in a bunch for a bit, but realized, at the end of the day, viewers will always tune in for programmed television. I don’t know. I think we should keep an eye out for this format Netflix has going on… Also, the cast of this show is kickass – Corey Stoll (the dude who played Ernest Hemmingway in Midnight in Paris), Kate Mara, and Kevin fucking Spacey. For politics junkies, like me, this is a dream. For people with addictive personalities and have nothing else better to do than watch 13 straight episodes in one sitting – this is your jam. Watch it. You won’t be sorry either way.Vine:
As my Digital Literacy professor said, “if people want a social network where they can film their dick for hours on end, then have at it”. Vine is a great concept. Essentially, its Instagram for videoclips. I like the idea of it, the app is very user friendly and intuitive. But pretty sure the creators of Vine didn’t see their app being used as a porn channel. I seriously question our species sometimes. But its actually a good app. For those of you who are done with Instagram and already onto the next, then youre already taking short video clips and looping them like a GIF on Vine and waiting for Likes to come your way. During NYFW Vine was particularly useful in that I could watch short loops of the runway – over and over again – incase I missed something. If you really want to be quirky, you can post your Vine made resume and see where that goes. Watch it here. Ugh. I loathe the fact that I didn’t think of this first.Beyonce:
February was a big month for the Royal Family. And by Royal Family I don’t mean the monarchy of the United Kingdom… I mean the Royal Family as in Beyonce, Jay-Z, and Blue Ivy. Beyonce straight up killed it at the Superbowl – it even eased the pain when the Niners lost. Her HBO documentary aired, and she’s on top of the fucking world, thanks to the Illuminati. As for Jay-Z, a Grammy award, a legitimate collaboration with Justin Timberlake, and his Nets are doing okay. 2013 is the Royal Family’s year. Calling it now.
She had her Miss Dior campaign in which she looked ah-mazing in. She starred alongside Bradley Cooper. Hugh Jackman swooped down to help her when she fell at the Oscars. She had cute, casual balter with Jack Nicholson. She won an Oscar. She beat Meryl. All of that, and at the end of the day all she wants to do is ”sit on my couch and drink and not change my pants for days at a time”. How is J Law NOT winning?
Top Search Engine Terms For YOUCANKISSMYSASS.COM:
- “valentines day? who cares” Right? I’m right there with you.
- “postfeminist television”
- “brian wilson beard”
- “great analogies for classy people versus unclassy” Serious question: Did this person find any great analogies? I want to know.
- “les miserables”
- “the real angelica from rugrats” Is she based off of a real person? If so she’d be like 27 years old right now.
- “fainting after drinking ballerina tea” Wow. Ummm… no that is not an after-effect.
- “sexy frida kahlo” IS THIS A THING?! SOMEONE TELL ME!
- “my birkenstock” No. MYY Birkenstock! Sidenote: I miss wearing my Birkenstocks with socks all the time.
- “quvenzhane wallis too sassy for her age mouthy” For real. Girl’s got a mouth on her. I like it.
Other notable things that happened in February:-
-Harlem Shook. And no one cared. I mean, we pretended it was cool and relevant for 5 minutes. And then we didn’t. I don’t want to see your dog do the Harlem Shake.
-Huffington Post said that kitten heels are in. NO! Don’t listen to them, you women who get your fashion advice from HuffPo.
What we can look forward to in March:
GAME OF THRONES. Anyone want to have a GOT marathon until March 31st?
Back when MySpace generation 1 was all the rage and your popularity depended on how many people’s Top 8 you appeared on, making an online profile was much more easier. Now it seems so complex, presumptuous, too thought out. Or maybe it’s just because I was like 10 years younger back then… okay maybe like 6 years younger.
Now: Well, I grew up Catholic, I’ve been thinking about Kabalah, and Buddhism, so I’d call myself an Atheist, naturally.
Now: Capricorn. But I identify more with Saggitarius when Jupiter reaches its fifth moon usually.
Now: student / intern / unemployed / help?!
Then: I’m kewl. I like chillin with friends, hanging out, living my lif3! (Insert inspirational quote probably from Marilyn Monroe or someone, here)
Now: I like to find old vintage things. Listen to vinyls. I’m a very complex person. I will try to show this by a very ambiguously small amount of information here.
Then: Dancing, singing, living like there’s no 2morrow! ♥ *~*~*~*~*
Now: Reading, writing poetry, painting landscapes.
Then: OMG WHERE DO I START! B*Witched, Spice Girls, ATeens, Backstreet Boys, NSync, Britney Spears, Avril Lavine.
Now: a band you never heard of, a band that sounds like a viral disease, a hipster ironic band, indie band, indie band, another band you’ve never heard of, The Beatles, a band that sounds like another band. Obviously the more obscure this section is, the more interesting you presumably will be.
Then: A Walk To Remember. Best movie of all time!!!!
Now: Any movie by Baz Luhrmann. Have you seen the previews for Great Gatsby? I probably won’t watch it though…movies ALWAYS ruin the books.
5 Things You Couldn’t Live Without:
Then: my family & friendz, mp3, food, dog, clothes
Now: my iPod, my iPhone, my iPad, my MacBook, my family.
How to Contact Me:
Also, back then you could pimp your profile with MySpACE LaYoutZ and sparkly thangs, and even add a song that exemplifies your great personality!
Oh dear lord. Thank goodness for evolution. But admit it, youre a bit #nostalgic too.
Go ahead. I dare you to stalk your old self via Myspace. Although, you’ll probably have to login. Forgot your password? Just try to remember your crush 5+ years ago, and theyre favorite number/color. Any combo will most likely work.
Oh please, oh please?
CLICK HERE to LIKE me on Facebook…
Because Internet validation is ALL the rage and it’s all that matters in life.