Thursday, May 7, 2020

The Highlights of My Life

Being connected is a top reason to be on social media.  Connect to your friends, family, childhood friends, and favorite brands. Homophily is when we feel connected to these people by a similar interest and can lead to a sense of belonging.  Last week we discussed exactly that - a feeling of belonging.  To catch that post, click HERE.  This week we are going to look at risks of social media and how you can prevent those risks.  

Many negative things come with social media.  I can't seem to work on homework if I have a social media platform open.  It is distracting to me, so I have to close off that area of my life to concentrate.  This is only a small portion of the cognitive issues that accompany the negatives in social media.  Cognitive-behavioral theory suggests that behaviors are driven by emotions and thoughts (Beck Institute, 2019). Cognitive biases lead to only listening to what you believe to be true (Cherry, 2020).  Our emotions can lead us to bullying, sharing terrible opinions, and so much more. 

When you like and share the same type of information, the algorithm will remember that info and start to show you things similar. If you like videos of puppies, you will likely start to see more puppy videos and other animals showing up in your newsfeed. Watching those videos leads to enjoying the video, which leads to more videos being shown to you. It's a vicious cycle! Good thing we are talking about puppies here. Now imagine if this were politics. The more political posts you engage with, the more you are likely to see.
It is crazy to think that over half of Facebook's users use the platform via a mobile device (Zheng & Lee, 2016).  This makes it very easy to share a post, connect with people, and be distracted from what is happening in front of you.  People also get comfortable with sharing posts, even without checking the facts.  Oftentimes, I have seen a news article that was posted years ago but the person who shared found the info new, so they shared it before actually reading the article.  This happened on my newsfeed today actually.  There was a post about a local YMCA branch closing.  The article was from 6 years ago and since then a new YMCA has been built.  The confusion the post caused had some people in the community worried about where they were going to work out after the virus clears up.  Finally, someone commented that it was an old article and eventually the post was removed.  

Being vigilant with what we are posting on social media can help make sure we are not part of the negative side of things.  However, this mindset leads to only posting what is good.  Bailey Parnell (2017) said, "our lives on social media are a highlight reel."  Just think about it.  She is exactly right. 

Cherry, K. (2020, May 05). What is Cognitive Bias? Cognitive Psychology, Retrieved from
Cognitive Model: Beck Institute (2019). Retrieved From:

Parnell, B. (2017, June 22). Is social media hurting your mental health? [Video file]. | Transcript. Retrieved from

Zheng, X., & Lee, M. K. O. (2016). Excessive use of mobile social networking sites: Negative consequences on individualsComputers in Human Behavior, 65, 65–76.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Feeling Like You Belong: Are You Included?

Having the feeling of being left out can do a lot of negative things to a mind.  Feeling included would have the opposite effect.  Of course, it is better to feel like part of the group.  Being the cool kid or the adult who is needed is something many humans strive for. Sharing these parts of yourself on social media brings a whole other level to belonging.    

Sharing a relationship status on Facebook can make you feel important.  I'm sure you've heard "Facebook Official" before.  For those of you in the back, to be "Facebook Official", it means that once your relationship is on Facebook, its finally "real."  This is one of many ways a person can feel a sense of belonging on social media.  Another is by your profile picture.  Individuals on Facebook who display a profile picture with their partner have been known to feel more secure in their relationship (Steers, Overup, Brunson & Acitelli, 2016).  Showing a unified front as a couple can help a person feel protected as part of a couple instead of being alone.  

Being part of a group can also lead to that confidence that comes from being part of the group.  I can think back to when I was around 21 years old, belonging to an elite group of friends who liked to gather in a college town.  We communicated through a website that one of the people in the group made.  Back in 2005, it was a cool thing!  Being part of that group was everything!  Chatting online and then seeing the people out later that night or over the weekend was something many of us looked forward to.  It was that sense of belonging and being together that we hanged onto.  
The more you interact and engage with someone on social media, the more you will see them in your news feed.  We've learned that an algorithm control who you see and how often you see them.  For example, if you comment on a friend's pictures of shared articles, they are going to show up with close to every post they make.  If you have a friend who posts but you keep scrolling on by, eventually the algorithm will believe you do not want to see that person in your news feed and hide them from you.  Wohn, Carr, & Hayes (2016) shared that the more a person interacts with a post, the more the poster starts to feel included or popular.  Leaving a "like" or comment on a photo can do a lot to help the self-esteem of the person who posted it.  

Feeling as though you belong and connected is a great feeling.  We've established that social media can make you feel like you're part of the in-crowd or so alone.  My advice to you is if you are feeling like you might not be included.... learn to include yourself!  

Steers, M.-L. N., Øverup, C. S., Brunson, J. A., & Acitelli, L. K. (2016). Love online: How relationship awareness on Facebook relates to relationship quality among college students. Psychology of Popular Media Culture, 5(3), 203–216.

Wohn, D. Y., Carr, C. T., & Hayes, R. A. (2016). How affective is a "like"?: The effect of paralinguistic digital affordances on perceived social support. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 19(9), 562–566.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Social Media and Emotions... Do You Feel It?

Social media is a huge part of our everyday life.  We login to see the news, check in with friends, and even look at past posts we made from years ago.  May it be for the information or connections, social media platforms are waiting for us. 

The posts waiting for us are sure to be a mixture of boring, thrilling, emotional, and not.  With over 3 billion users worldwide, posts are seen over and over again (Brady, Gantman, & Bavel, 2020).  Studies have been done to find out why posts that are emotional grab attention more than neutral text. Brady, Gantman, & Bavel (2020) found that moral and emotional text rank on the same level as eye-catching.   Adding a picture or video will make it even more appealing to readers.   Between a picture and an emotional story, you’ll have the readers hooked!  Since everyone has emotions, a person feels more connected to an emotional post or story.  

These studies also found that once a post is popular and getting attention, more people will be interested because others thought it to be interesting (Brady, Gantman, & Bavel. 2020).  The more likes or retweets not only tells the algorithm to show the post to more people, it shows the readers that other readers find that information valuable.  This is further proof that we care about what everyone else is doing and thinking.  

Playing on emotions helped a Girl Scout Troop sell over 1,200 boxes of cookies in 3 days this past March.  With Coronavirus closing everything down, the girls were not able to work their regularly scheduled cookie booths on their last weekend in sales.   The leaders got permission to post via social media.  A story about how the girls would not make their goal of sold boxes for their trip to Disney World tugged at the hearts of many neighbors.  Miraculously the troop sold out of their stock of cookies and continued to sell for other troops in the area.   I am comfortable saying the emotional side of the social media post is what made the readers purchase cookies. Other troops who took to social media with basic info about having cookies and the price but did not sell many boxes.  Maybe they should have put a little more heart into it! 

Securing constant social engagement on social media helps to ensure that posts are seen (Hall-Phillips, Park, Chung, Anaza, & Rathod, 2016).  As mentioned before, the more people who interact with the post, the more people will see it.  Building a brand and staying with that brand will help keep social engagement up.  Being consistent with posting and being real in those posts help readers connect.  Readers want to feel like they know the person behind the brand.  Emotionally, the connection is important. 

As you see, social media platforms and posts are waiting for the next time you can log in.  The information changes with each moment.  The posts you see can be straight forward or full of emotion, either way, you are drawn in.  Next time, might you consider leaving a heart to engage?

Brady, W. J., Gantman, A. P., & Van Bavel, J. J. (2019). Attentional capture helps explain why moral and emotional content go viral. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 1–11.

Hall-Phillips, A., Park, J., Chung, T., Anaza, N., & Rathod, S. (2016). I (heart) social ventures: Identification and social media engagement. Journal of Business Research: Volume 69(2) p. 484-491.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Paw Patrol: Pups Save Puplantis


Cooper has been loving this collection of episodes!  His favorite has been Pups Save a Wiggly Whale but he certainly loves all of them.  Go out and grab your copy of this Paw Patrol Collection.  Your kids will love it too!  
Available on DVD January 15, 2019
NEW YORK - November 5, 2018 - The PAW Patrol are diving back onto DVD with six more deep-sea adventures on PAW Patrol: Pups Save Puplantis. Available January 15, 2019, fans can join the pups as they journey to the mystical world of Puplantis, discover an underwater volcano, save the Sea Patroller from Sid the Pirate, and so much more. Produced by Nickelodeon Home Entertainment and distributed by Paramount Home Media Distribution, PAW Patrol: Pups Save Puplantis will be available on DVD January 15, 2019 for the suggested retail price of $10.99.

PAW Patrol: Pups Save Puplantis contains the following episodes: 
  • Pups Save Puplantis - The PAW Patrol transform into Mer-pups and make a splash to save the enchanted city of Puplantis from crumbling! 
  • Pups Save a Sunken Sloop - Sid the Pirate and his first pup mate Arrby try to steal a sunken sailboat, but the PAW Patrol-and a giant sea slug-won't make it easy!
  • Pups Save a Wiggly Whale - After a wiggly whale tail knocks a diving bell into the sand, the pups strap into their Sub Patroller to save the trapped Cap'n Turbot and Francois. 
  • Pups Save the Flying Diving Bell - The pups must dive down to save a scuba diving Mayor Goodway and Farmer Yumi before a nearby underwater volcano blows! 
  • Pups Save a Soggy Farm - The pups need to dry Farmer Al's flooded fields before his animals float away!
  • Pups Save their Pirated Sea Patroller - When the pups gear up to save a stolen ferris wheel from Sid the Pirate, he comes up with an even sneakier plan: to snatch the pups' Sea Patroller!
PAW Patrol: Pups Save Puplantis fast facts:
Street Date: January 15, 2019
Catalog: 59200824000 (US)
Running Time: 95 Minutes
Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish Stereo
S.R.P.: $10.99

Sweet Cheeks Adventures received a copy of this title for review.  All opinions are honest and fair.  

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Disney The Nutcracker and The Four Realms DVD Giveaway

We are helping with promotion of this giveaway.  Good Luck!  This movie is amazing! 

THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS Arrives on Digital and Blu-ray January 29

In “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” Clara travels along a golden thread, presented at Drosselmeyer’s (Morgan Freeman) annual party, eagerly searching for a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a music box that holds a priceless gift. When she enters a mysterious parallel world, Clara encounters a Nutcracker soldier named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), a gang of mice and three Realm regents, including the Sugar Plum Fairy (Keira Knightley). Ultimately, she must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), to retrieve the key and return harmony to the unstable world.

The stunning feature film will be packaged and released in several different formats, giving families the flexibility to watch it on a variety of different devices. Viewers can instantly watch the film in Digital UHD, HD, and SD, and bring home a physical copy of the film as the Ultimate Collector’s Edition (4K UHD, Blu-ray and Digital Code), Multi-Screen Edition (Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Code) or a single DVD.

Enter TODAY for your chance to win your very own copy!

Sweet Cheeks Adventures is helping with promotion of this giveaway.  All prizes will be awarded by original blogger and promo company.