Next week, Friday, I will be embarking on a new journey — my first music festival. Three days and two nights of nonstop music are awaiting as I prepare my daily playlist in preparation. This is an entirely new environment for me and, quite frankly, I don’t know what to expect. Maybe that’s what makes this soon-to-be experience so exciting.
While waiting in line at Walgreen’s, I glanced at a rack of newspapers beside me. Blaring in bold, red letters the name Trump dominated the front page headline on almost every newspaper publication. I was–to say the least–disgusted. I’m sure there are bigger and much more important things going on in the world, or at least in the presidential race, than Trump’s excessive need to prove to American voters that he can indeed pull nonsense out of the deepest crevices of his being. Yet, I found myself gravitating towards the newspapers and grabbing (and I say this shamefully) multiple publications. I flipped through the pages, and scoffed at Trump’s idiocy. Did he really say that? Is he being for real? What’s next?
For a while, I wasn’t fazed by Trump. Nobody would vote, much less support, such a bigot. Right? Right!? Well I was wrong. We all were. What started off as a means to poke some fun out of politics through Trump Gifs and articles about his outrageous statements turned into an uncontrollable force that evidently played into his favor. Trump got more media coverage than any other presidential candidate. He got free publicity! This is all thanks to journalists and media outlets succumbing to giving the American people what they wanted to read–Entertainment.
Sure, one could say that it’s the average Americans’ fault for being so passionate about criticizing T.V personalities, but we wouldn’t know of these T.V personalities if the media didn’t feed them to us. The truth of the matter is, the media tells the public what to care about. And thanks to the headlines I saw in Walgreen’s, we’ve been told to care about Trump–a lot.
What’s even worse is that the media covered much of Trump’s ramblings without effectively fact checking and shaming him for it, leaving the general public to think that Trump is a straightforward, no BS kind of man. Trump supporters are infatuated with the idea of a businessman running the country. In hopes that the economy could improve under his administration (let’s hope he doesn’t get that far), people struggling financially–particularly the middle class–are convinced that Trump is the answer. What they don’t know is that Trump has had many bankruptcies and failed investments. The media failed to inform them that.
New York Times columnist, Nikolas Kristoff, said, “We were lap dogs, not watchdogs.” And he is right. The media failed us. Let’s just hope that journalists and news outlets will learn from their mistake and go back to being watchdogs.
I’ve been thinking a lot about deleting most of my social media accounts, but I realized that each play a unique role in building my online presence. And in today’s world, your online persona is everything. Colleges and workplaces turn to google to find out who their applicants are and what they stand for—which is why I put a lot of effort in building a “brand” for myself. Yes, you read it. There’s more to me than my About page. I use every social media account to give a different perspective as to who the online Edysmar is and what she stands for (which is the version of myself that I aspire to be). This is how I do it:
I use Twitter to promote any articles I’ve gotten published, to share my blog posts, and to get news on my feed on the go. I also take part in twitter chats moderated by the Harbinger newspaper, a student-run high school publication that I continuously write for. It is during these twitter chats that I express my opinions on pressing local, national, and world issues. I may also occasionally post something silly or random to sprinkle in some of my personality.
Instagram is the account I use for photography. So in a sense, it’s a portfolio where I keep my most prized photographs. Usually I post one picture and I’ll have a gallery or story that goes along with it on my blog on WordPress. I’m currently debating on using my Instagram account as a personal one where I keep followers updated on my day-to-day activites, but I have yet to decide.
I don’t post anything on Tumblr. Instead, I Reblog and Heart things that either make me laugh, make me think, or make me dreamy. It is where I indulge in guilty pleasures: fandoms, creepypastas, short stories, gifs, short poems, and more. But most of all, I use Tumblr to inspire me. I may come across something that blows me away, makes me want to get up and replicate it while adding a piece of myself into it. Tumblr is what I turn to when I’m going through a creative block.
Facebook was the very first social media account that I had—or maybe it was Myspace (I don’t remember). At first it was hip and cool and I used it to play games, post silly pictures, and chat with my friends. I was really young when I made it. Perhaps, too young. I used it a lot until my family began using it. Suddenly it wasn’t so hip and cool anymore. I currently use Facebook to keep my family in Colombia, Aruba, and Venezuela updated on my whereabouts, usually in the form of blog posts or pictures. Other than that, I don’t have much use for it anymore.
Ah, WordPress. WordPress is the mother-load of all my social media accounts. It serves as a mega online portfolio for my writing—both journalistic and creative—and for my photography. I also use it to provide a more in-depth look into my life. I either share about my travels, my dreams, and my aspirations. It also offers a social media menu, where my followers can explore all of the social media accounts I mentioned above. It basically ties my whole online presence into one, cohesive platform.