Week 2: Topic 1

   This weeks topic is about our experiences with social media and setting up a Twitter account.  I already have a Twitter account that I set up years ago when I went to my first technology conference in Portland for my work.  That was back in the day that I finally had to ask someone what the heck a "tweet" was. :)  

  • List 3 people/organizations you follow and WHY. (While I'm flattered that you might follow your instructor, list some other folks ... rp)
I follow 166 people or organizations on Twitter.  I have everything from people I know in real life, people I have met at tech conferences I have attended over the years, educational technology groups, to FoxNews and TripCheck. I follow the technology people and groups because I am the media assistant at my school and try to keep up on what is going on in technology so that I can help keep my staff up to date on the latest and greatest.  I follow FoxNews because it is my main source of news and I figure having their app on my phone may not be enough. I follow TripCheck because when my son was younger we would drive from Sweet Home to Pendleton twice a month so he could visit his dad and I wanted to be kept up to the minute on road issues. I don’t normally have a constant eye on my Twitter account unless I am up at a technology conference, then I usually have one tab opened to my TweetDeck so I can watch the chatter going on about the conference.
  • What's the best "tweet” or status update you've seen lately? In other words, what were you tempted to "retweet” or "like”? WHY did that stand out to you?
Just today I “shared” a commercial from Budweiser. It was said to be their 4th of July ad. I don’t know if it was or not but it was about a young lady who was trying to get her degree in nursing and her father was a veteran. He had been injured and she was working full time and putting herself through school but wasn’t sure she would be able to afford her last year so she had applied for a scholarship and the video showed her getting the news that she was getting the scholarship and because of her dad and her family's devotion to our nation Budweiser was going to pay any additional costs she had for the year.
I often find myself drawn to posts that have something good to say about our military and our veterans. I do not have any immediate family that has been involved in our military but I am always so awed by what these men and women give up to protect our country and our rights.  To be willing to lay down their lives for my freedom deserves, in the very least, my respect and support.
  • Some experts talk about social media empowering people and strengthening democracy. Others aren't so sure, given a tendency to create our own "echo chambers." With your connections on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, Pinterest, Yahoo Fantasy Sports, Google+ or just through texting ... Do you feel social media has enhanced your ability to take action or participate in democracy, government or other activities? Discuss and give an EXAMPLE. Or spell out why you don't feel you need these social media, or even intentionally avoid them!
I feel that social media does give us a “voice” when it comes to democracy, government, politics in general. I think that we are more apt to voice our opinion on these stages than we might in a face to face conversation. I don’t however think that it necessarily accomplishes anything other than us getting our feelings out there. I think I was more “involved” in the last election for example than I have been in the past.  I have never been a very big person on politics, however in this last presidential election you couldn’t be online and not get multiple views of the whole process.  
I find that social media is a huge part of my life, good or bad... I'm not sure what I would do without the constant connection to the outside world.


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