The Power of Cell Phones

As a college student I do not know anyone in my generation that does not have a cell phone. Everyone that I know has a cell phone and I am 100% sure that all those people use it on a daily basis. Whether that is to call or text message some one, play games, or update their social media, the cell phone is a device that we all need in todays world.

Almost everyone in our generation uses the cell phone. Photo Credit: Clipartfest

In the article “The Cell Phone As An Agent Of Social Change” by Abu Sadat Nurullah it talks about the impact cell phones have had on our society and how it has become a sub culture of its own. He states that adolescents are the main users of cell phones. Especially our generation, where the smart phone (iPhone and Androids) was introduced and we had access of doing much more than a regular cell phone that the older generation had, it has made it where we can almost be inseparable of  our cell phones. It has made our lives much more easier and has become more entertainable to use cell phones. That is one of the main reasons why I believe the cell phone has become a big aspect of our lives.

The increase in cell phones had a major impact in cell phone usage. Photo Credit: US News & World Report

He also states how the cell phones has changed the social norms of how we communicate. With everyone having a cell phone, this means that anyone can be reached 24/7. They are available at all times. He called this the “technosocial situation”. Although having the ability to contact anyone anywhere at any time can be useful, it has some negative aspects such as affecting the way we communicate face to face. Texting can also affect the standards of writing and language. Texting has shaped the way young peoples use of language has changed over time.

Texting has made it possible for anyone to contact anyone at any time. Photo Credit: Brigham Young University

Cell phones cannot be separated from our lives and with the increase of social media, it  will continue to be apart of our lives. Although it plays a helpful role in our society we cannot say that it does not have any negative aspects to our society.

Thinking about the user

Why it is important to think about the user experience. Photo Credit: LinkedIn

We live in a world with so many useful products. We have things that we didn’t think we would have 20 years ago that will make our lives much easier. Could you have imagined we would be able to talk to someone across the world face to face on a cell phone 20 years ago? I don’t think so. With all of the products available at our finger tips, it wouldn’t make sense if it wasn’t helpful for the users. This is what we call user experience. According to Jesse James Garrett in “The Elements of User Experience” he states that the user experience is the experience the products create for the people who use it in the real world.

Businesses and companies are constantly thinking about how they can make their products useful and friendly for the users. This is not only for products. User experience can be taken into account for websites as well. If your website is not easy to look at or is clustered with a lot of information, nobody is going to stay on your site. You have to think about the users that come to you web site and think about how their experience would be like if you want to build a successful website.

Some ways to improve user experience on a web site. Photo Credit: kleurvision

An easy way to see if your website is doing well in terms of user experience is to look at the conversion rate. For example if your websites ells products and you sold to one customer when there were 20 people visiting your website, your conversion rate would be 5%. If the percentage is higher you can see that your web site is doing well in terms of user experience.

How to get the conversion rate. Photo Credit: Xtreme UX

If you want to build anything successful that offers something to people you have to keep in mind the experience of the user. If you do, there is no doubt that your product (or website) will succeed!

Getting strategic on social media

Nowadays mostly anyone who has access to the internet has some sort of social media account. Especially young people, like me! Whether that is Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, people around the age as me have these accounts. And when we use these accounts we see business’s or brands using these platforms as well to market their products. In the article “The Social Strategy: A Five-Step Process For Social Media Marketing Success”   by Kimberlee Morrison she gives us 5 tips on how to successfully brand ourselves on these social media platforms. So, what kinds of tips are these?

Many of the social media platforms that are used today. Photo Credit: Marketingland

  1. Social Identity: She first states that having the right social identity is “the root from which your social strategy will develop.” You have to know who you are. You have to know the right things to say and what not to say. If you don’t have a legit social identity, nobody will even care to look at your stuff!

    Knowing who you are on social media is important. Photo Credit: 123rf

  2. Community activation: On social media most of the time, people are coming to you! You have to know who your audience is and understand that the content you are producing is matching the audiences expectation.

    Know your audience and who is expecting things from you! Photo Credit: Qwaya Blog

  3. Content Strategy: Content strategy is an important step for building your brand. However in order to create a good content strategy you need to know who YOU are and who your AUDIENCE are. This shows how important steps 1 and 2 are. Morrison states that people tend to build on their social media without really thinking about the first 2 steps which can be problematic.

    Understanding content strategy can help you develop your social media. Photo Credit: Zest Media

  4. Social Campaigns: This is also similar with step 3, if you don’t have the former steps down there is no strong effect on doing any social campaigns in the long run.

    Many brands use social campaigns, but you need to understand how to use it properly. Photo Credit: Marketing Land

  5. Social Intelligence: This simply means being smart in how you use your platforms. She states that it is more tactical than strategic. Know how you can use the platforms to your advantage!

    You have to be intelligent on your social media! Photo Credit: Inc.com

Although all of these steps seem to be common sense for anyone trying to brand themselves on social media, it is important to understand these steps and reassuring yourself that you can successfully use these social media platforms to your advantage!

The power of images

When we look at pictures do we all see the story or meaning it wants us to see? I don’t think so. The way images are seen are different from one person to another. Why? Well, its because none of us have the same exact experience or life as anyone else.

Different ads in Times Square

Different ads in Times Square

According to Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright in the book, “Practices of looking”, it states that the way we interpret or view an image is different according to our experiences or the setting in which we see that image. This is similar to what we view as beautiful and what we do not. These aesthetics are different according to culture and can also change our taste. So, what it is saying is that nobody can understand the initial meaning the producer connected to the image because everyone who sees it has lived a different life than others.

Stop smoking gum ad part 1

Stop smoking gum ad part 1

Stop smoking gum part 2

Stop smoking gum part 2

 

 

 

 

 

For example these 2 different ads from the same company, Nicomild chewing gum, shows a picture of gum trying to stick together the two things we need when we smoke a cigarette, our fingers and a lighter. Although I do not smoke, I can see that these images are referring to smoking. However when someone who has not seen anyone smoking or does not know what these two pictures are related to, they cannot make the same interpretation that I made. These differences occur because of our different life experiences. Even though I interpreted the picture as the gum holding together the finger and the lighter so people can quit smoking use their gum, the creator of the image may have put a different meaning in it. We never know.

There is never a right or wrong answer when we see an image. The way one individual sees an image will be different from someone else. Like the saying, a picture paints a thousand words, the power a picture has to tell a story is incredible.