After reading Jeff Jarvis’s “Public Parts,” I began to think a lot about my own social media image in comparison to my fellow UMass students. Am I an avid user? Moderate? I suspect that we as journalism students could potentially be ranked higher than other students on campus, as we are “in the know” about the latest communication technologies. I am curious, if we were to create some sort of scale, how each of us in Journalism 494 would rank our social media habits. So, I’m putting you all up to the challenge. I have devised a 100-point based system that will allow you to evaluate your own social media ranking. Based on a quick Google search of the most popular social media sites used by Americans, I came up with a list of social media sites and secondary apps. It will take a few minutes and a little arithmetic (math? For journo students?) – please bear with me.
A.) If you currently have an active account for any of the following social media platforms, give yourself 3 points per platform:
These social media platforms are how we share our daily lives – but really, we are consumers of the Internet on many more levels than that. What about all of those apps you use that share what you’re doing on Facebook, or store cookies in your laptop to advertise to you later? I’ll refer to these as “secondary apps.” These are the things you probably use in conjunction with the ones above.
B.) If you currently have an active account for any of the following specific apps or apps in these “genres” that can connect you to another social media platform, give yourself 2 points per app:
- Spotify/Pandora/Music radio
- Smart phone game (Words with Friends, Scramble, Candy Crush, etc.)
- Smart phone fitness app (MyFitnessPal, Map My Run, etc.)
- Blog (we all have WordPresses! Blogger, etc.)
- Paypal/Amazon/Ebay/Etsy/Chegg/Groupon or any specific online shop/account
- Catch all – any category you use that I have failed to mention above
The last part: determine for how long you use these networks/apps you chose on a daily basis. Do this by multiplying the number of apps and networks in which you have accounts by the number of points you receive for time used (i.e. – 13 apps x 3 pts for using 5+ hours a day = 39). Add this to your previous scores to get your final score.
C.) Points per daily time use:
Less than ½ an hour a day: zero pts.
½ an hour-2 hours: 1 pt.
2-5 hours: 2 pts.
5+ hours: 3 pts.
If this was all confusing to you, here is my own personal breakdown:
A.) Social Medias
9 social medias x 3 pts. = 27 pts.
B.) Secondary Apps
✔ Spotify/Pandora/Music radio
✔ Smart phone game (Words with Friends, Scramble, Candy Crush, etc.)
✔ Smart phone fitness app (MyFitnessPal, Map My Run, etc.)
✔ Blog (we all have WordPress accounts!, Blogger, etc.)
✔ PayPal/Amazon/Ebay/Etsy/online shop or account
Catch all – any category you use that I have failed to mention above
7 apps x 2 pts = 14 pts.
Total so far: 27 pts. + 14 pts. = 41 pts.
In total, I have 16 active accounts.
C.) Daily Time Use
Regularly, I probably use all of my networks and apps for anywhere between 2-5 hours per day.
16 apps x 3 pts. each= 48 pts.
Grand total: 41 pts. + 48 pts. = 89 pts.
My social media score = 89/100
The breakdown? 0-25 = I’d be okay without the Internet. 25-50 = Social media is fun. 50-75 = Social media is sort of necessary… 75-100= Social media is a lifestyle. Jarvis talks about responsibility on the Internet. Speaking personally, I clearly need to be web-conscious when I am using my dozens of social media outlets and smart phone apps. While you cannot erase what you have put online in the past (“deactivating” an account isn’t as end-all as you may think), Jarvis suggests putting more out there, with the goal of your more professional stuff – a blog or LinkedIn page, perhaps – eventually getting more traffic and reaching the top of a Google search. Remember to be responsible out there, fellow future journalists. As Jarvis says, “the internet is life, only bigger and faster. The lessons you learned as a child and those you teach your children about how to treat others all still apply. The net is still just a place filled with people.”