civic media: week one

what is civic media?

 

What is civic media?

 

That is exactly what I was asking myself before walking into my 11:15am class titled, “Communications Civic Media.” Curious to learn more, I was eager to absorb as much information as possible within the 50-minute class period.

 

Out of all of my classes that I have taken at St. Joe’s, my communications classes always capture my attention. I constantly feel myself walking out of each and every Comm class, filled with even more ideas and new concepts than ever before.

 

This week, throughout my Civic Media classes, I learned what Civic Media truly is and was able to apply it to a wide range of events. Now, I had a name to describe something that was happening all around me and within society.

 

By breaking apart the term, civic media, I was able to further understand the deeper meaning of this concept.

 

Civics = the rights and responsibilities of citizens in relation to each other and their government

Media = the platforms and tools that we use to spread and share our ideas, thoughts, and beliefs

 

Thus, civic media or civic engagement, is the use of social media platforms and other outlets in order to create some sort of change. Through this expression and circulation of ideas, individuals have the ability to bring a community together, even creating an impact across the globe, to achieve some type of change or movement.

 

After learning this, I realized that countless events have occurred just throughout my lifetime that were further accelerated by the use of social media. I immediately thought about several different movements, such as civil rights, women’s rights, and LGBT rights. These movements have been discussed and shared countless times across various social media platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

 

Whether you are one of the people at the scene live tweeting an event (thick civic engagement) or if you are at home observing and replying to tweets (thin civic engagement), you are creating an impact. Through your words, you are allowing the conversation to spread and are opening the door to expose deeper & underlying issues.

 

I encourage you to stay alert – observe what is happening around you, both within your community and across the globe & see the impact that civic engagement is playing on various movements.

 

(PS – an easy and fun way to watch and interact with these movements as they unfold is by visiting the trending hashtags page on any social media platform, such as Twitter)

 

-madauer

Continue Reading

my social media cleanse

s o c i a l  m e d i a …

 

What do you think of when you hear those words?

 

When I think about social media, all of the good things always come to mind first. I love being able to meet other bloggers through Instagram and I have always enjoyed seeing what other people are doing through their stories and posts. Since I love photography, I love editing my photos in VSCO & being able to post them on Facebook, Instagram, or any other apps that are popular at the time.

 

girl sitting on beach

 

Plus, being a communications major, social media is kinda my thing. (lol) As strange as it may sound I feel a slight pressure from my major alone to be up to date with the latest features of these apps, and know everything from when it’s the best time to post or how to upload stories to Instagram.

 

But social media is so complex. Sometimes I think about the bad / negative aspects of social media: comparing my life, looks, clothing, material possessions, or what I am spending my time doing with what other people are doing. Like, for instance, you are scrolling through snapchat and see that someone is working out. IDK if I am the only one, but for a split second don’t you think, “hm, maybe I should work out?” Of course, the immediate answer is always, “nahhh”

 

 

Comparison sucks, but for some of us it is so hard to help but compare what we have or where we are in life when we are constantly taking in what other people are doing through social media.

 

Sometimes it is hard to remember that no one wants to share a low point in their life via Snapchat or Instagram.

 

Sometimes it is hard to remember that no one wants to share a low point in their life via Snapchat or Instagram. We aren’t gonna post about the bad grade or the things we are self-conscious about. We always want to post positive content, good vibes only – the posts that show us at our best. I am guilty of it, and I think that this realization is the first step in conquering social media, because it is something that I believe we all do.

 

girl laughing on beach

 

like…this is the reality of taking photos on the beach with the wind…

 

wind blown hair

 

Recently I read an article on Facebook. I guess it was fate that I even found this article in the first place. Also it’s super ironic that I found an article on social media that led me to enter a social media cleanse. It just shows how complex social media truly is.

 

Basically, this article made me think about how much time I was spending on social media. I will admit, I enjoy some platforms more than others. While I love Instagram, I was beginning to hate Snapchat, but I always felt obliged to check through every story and maintain each streak with my friends. When I was going places or hanging out with friends, I would actually begin to experience a feeling of obligation to Snapchat my location and show everyone where I was. (And let’s not forget about that one person you have to check and see if they watched your story once it is uploaded.)

 

The whole thing was just getting out of hand, so about 4 weeks ago I decided to enter a social media cleanse. When I say “social media cleanse,” I stopped checking a select group of apps, one of them being Snapchat. I chose the ones that were causing me to feel anxiety, stress, unhappiness, or compare my life to others.

 

An added plus, I feel even more in the moment when I go places, since I no longer feel like I have to snapchat everywhere I go.

 

Instead of deleting these apps, I decided to place them in a folder called “cleanse.” I guess I have a decent amount of self-control because I haven’t checked them since I put them in my folder. Surprisingly, Snapchat has been the easiest to completely cut ties with. I haven’t felt the least amount of curiosity about what other people have been doing this summer. An added plus, I feel even more in the moment when I go places, since I no longer feel like I have to snapchat everywhere I go.

 

very happy girl

 

I don’t want anyone to think that I am against social media as a whole, because I am not. I still use Instagram and probably check it way too much, but I am just trying to declutter my life and eliminate some of the sources that weren’t bringing me happiness anymore. I can truly say that I love Instagram because it not only connects me with my family and friends, but allows me to talk with other bloggers and form my own lifestyle blogging community.

 

Who knows, I will probably end up opening the apps in my cleanse folder again, but for now I am feeling content with my decision to leave them unopened.

 

If you related to anything I said in this article, or feel called to declutter your notifications inbox a bit, I challenge you to enter a social media cleanse. I think you will be amazed at how much more time you will have to focus on the more important things in life. Even if you cleanse yourself of only a couple of apps like I did, I believe you will notice a difference.

 

I kept a mental note of the things that I was able to accomplish with this time. These are just some of the things that I had more time to do…(note: I was able to do these things without checking and refreshing the apps in my folder ~ Snapchat, Facebook, VSCO, etc.)

 

  • watch my favorite movie EVER (Devil Wears Prada) ~ this may sound dumb, but haven’t you ever sat down to watch a movie & realized halfway through that you were refreshing instagram or snapchat for a majority of the movie???
  • more time in meaningful conversation with friends / family
  • saved on DATA!! (say whaaatt? – we run out of data just about every month, so my mom was super happy about this)
  • reading other blogs / organizing my own blog
  • making bracelets & starting madauer beads
  • hosting a bracelet giveaway
  • relaxing on the beach
  • eating healthy / successfully making a smoothie every morning for breakfast
  • exercising more
  • taking a bike ride with my dad every morning at the beach

 

One of my favorite vloggers / bloggers, Indy Blue, also wrote an awesome blog on the subject of social media / vulnerability – you can read it here. It’s amazing to read about vulnerability from the perspective of an extremely talented social media influencer like her.

 

If you decide to enter a social media cleanse / already have, let me know! I would love to hear about your experience or what you found most challenging about your cleanse.

 

thnx for reading ♡

xoxo,

madauer

// PS: there is still time to order a bracelet before heading back to school! DM / message me if you are interested in ordering. I accept venmo & ship! madauer beads all over the worldddd 🙂

up close detailed shot of bracelets

Continue Reading