Everything You Need to Know about Social Media: Without Having to Call A Kid by Greta Van SusterenEverything You Need to Know about Social Media: Without Having to Call A Kid by Greta Van Susteren

Everything You Need to Know about Social Media: Without Having to Call A Kid

byGreta Van Susteren

Paperback | November 14, 2017

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Greta Van Susteren has been named one of Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women in the World six times. She was formerly an anchor on MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News and lives in Washington, DC.

The most practical, thorough, and reader-friendly guide around to living well on social media. From answering basic questions like “What’s the best site for you?” to “How to Tweet” and “What does it mean to ‘Tag’ someone?” to addressing important moral and behavioral issues like how to protect your privacy, how to avoid being roasted online, and whether it’s okay to get your news from Facebook, this is the essential handbook for anyone who wants to stay up to date with today’s changing technology.
Title:Everything You Need to Know about Social Media: Without Having to Call A KidFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:320 pages, 9.25 X 7.38 X 0.9 inShipping dimensions:320 pages, 9.25 X 7.38 X 0.9 inPublished:November 14, 2017Publisher:Simon & SchusterLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:150113244X

ISBN - 13:9781501132445

Appropriate for ages: All ages

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Everything You Need to Know about Social Media INTRODUCTION We are living through a revolution. This revolution is bigger than the Industrial Revolution, bigger than the automotive revolution, bigger than the great space race. This revolution isn’t just changing how we do things, or where we can go, or how we work. It is fundamentally changing how we communicate with and relate to one another. Don’t believe me? Consider this: in about the time it takes you to read halfway down this page, more than 700,000 people will have logged on to Facebook, close to 20 million messages will have been exchanged on WhatsApp, almost one million people will have swiped left or right on Tinder, 347,222 will have tweeted on Twitter, and Snapchat users will have shared 527,760 photos. And those figures don’t include the Instagram posts and YouTube video views (another million total), or the 150 million emails that raced through cyberspace in the last minute. Before the day is out, some 40 percent of the entire US adult population will have gotten most of their news from Facebook. And in the span of twenty-four hours, a majority of American teens will have checked their social media feeds more than one hundred times. Even the highbrow Boston Lyric Opera now offers “tweet seats,” a special section where the audience can use their smartphones to send tweets throughout the performance. This is social media, and it’s changing everything. By now, you’ve heard about how ISIS uses social media sites, particularly Facebook and Twitter, to recruit terrorists. But social media can also force congressional hearings and a federal investigation—which is exactly what happened after a group of mothers started a Facebook campaign to express their furor over the $600 price tag for one lifesaving EpiPen. President Donald Trump uses social media, particularly Twitter, to take on the traditional media and communicate directly with people and sometimes pick a fight. At the same time Twitter accounts have been launched by groups of disgruntled federal employees who are challenging the Trump administration, sharing climate change statistics, and leaking internal memos on immigration. But what can social media do for you? If you are Chris Williams of Hope Mills, North Carolina, social media can save your life. When Hurricane Matthew hit North Carolina in October 2016, it unleashed devastating flooding. As rivers overflowed in a matter of hours and even minutes, Afghanistan War vet Chris Williams was trapped at home with his elderly dog in a second-floor converted attic. He had already tried to escape and failed. Instead, he was hit by a falling refrigerator, pulled loose from his kitchen by floodwaters racing through his home. Wet and disoriented, Chris tried to call 911 but couldn’t get through. There was no chance of a water rescue. Chris’s only link to the outside world was the messages he was exchanging with his brother, Craig, who lives in Austin, Texas, on Facebook’s Messenger app. His cell service was gone, but Facebook’s mobile device app uses data and doesn’t need a cell connection. As the hours passed, another military vet, Quavas Hart, who had also served in Afghanistan, launched his personal drone to film the flooding and devastation from the air. He posted his video images on Twitter, with the identifying phrase: #HopeMills. At that very moment, as he was communicating with his brother, Craig Williams was also searching Twitter for information on #HopeMills. He saw Hart’s picture of houses underwater, and sent it to his brother on Facebook Messenger, saying, “At least it isn’t this bad.” Chris fired back that the house on the right, with the blue shutters and the light pole, was his. Sitting in Austin, Craig immediately messaged Quavas Hart. To make sure this wasn’t a prank, Quavas flew his drone past Chris’s house again and asked Craig to get his brother to wave. The drone saw Chris’s arm waving. Hart was about to launch his own boat to go get Chris when in his drone footage, he spotted a Federal Emergency Management motorboat nearby. Hart flew his drone to the boat, spoke to the crew through the drone, and then had the drone lead them to Chris’s submerged house. Social media—and savvy social media users—saved Chris Williams and his dog, Lana, in what can only be called a high-tech, twenty-first-century miracle. “Insane” was the word Craig Williams used in summing it up to the Washington Post. After that, who wouldn’t want to be on social media? When the US Secret Service wanted to repair its tainted image following high-profile security breaches around the White House and amid plunging employee morale, it launched a massive social media campaign on the top sites of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. It created special social media content including behind-the-scenes video and photos; the agency’s Facebook page now includes profiles of its Belgian Malinois canines and announcements of indictments that resulted from Secret Service investigations. In six months, the number of people following the agency on Facebook leaped from 452 to 43,000. Its Twitter account added 50,000 followers, and on average 6 million people view official Secret Service tweets. If, like I do, you follow politics, you have now witnessed our first social media presidential election. On April 3, 2016, I asked Donald Trump if he will ever stop using Twitter. Here’s what he told me: “It’s like owning my own newspaper.” At that moment, before he became the Republican nominee, Donald Trump had nearly 8 million followers on Twitter. He had another 7 million on Facebook and 2 million on Instagram. “So,” he told me, “I have like sixteen, seventeen million people. That’s like owning the New York Times without the losses. Why should I give it up?” (Just for comparison, as president, Barack Obama might have owned the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today plus a bunch of TV networks. In 2016, his Twitter account had more than 77 million followers, although like Mr. Trump and Hillary Clinton, a significant number were fake followers or “bots.”) In fact, Donald Trump’s social media followers outnumbered his primary voters: his vote total in the Republican primaries was 14 million. After his election victory, Donald Trump has kept right on tweeting. After combining the followers of the official Twitter account belonging to the president of the United States with his own private 32 million-plus followers, when this book went to press, he had more than 50 million followers and growing on Twitter. Twitter and social media more generally are where people who follow politics are going: 75 percent of Americans ages 18 to 29 got their presidential debate information not from television networks or newspapers but from three social media sites: Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat. And 51 percent of voters of all ages tuned in to social media channels to learn about the debate. The numbers from Twitter alone were stunning: from the day of the first presidential debate until the Election Day eve, more than 1 billion election-related posts were sent on Twitter. On Election Day itself, by 10:00 p.m., 40 million tweets had been sent out in less than twenty-four hours. Beyond politics, social media is changing our very definition of news. Social media sites are becoming the newspaper front page and the nightly newscast. An October 2016 Rasmussen poll found that almost half of all adults age 40 and under get their news primarily or exclusively from the internet and social media—and more than two-thirds of those age 40 and under have their views heavily influenced by what their family and friends post about politics on social media sites. And at the same time, social media posts are a major source for information and original reporting. The Washington Post routinely runs articles that are composed almost entirely of tweets. Don’t have a reporter on the scene? Upload tweets from witnesses or use someone’s smartphone camera video. Snapchat has started capturing “snaps” from its users and bundling them to create news segments about big events, such as the devastating Louisiana flooding or the terror assault on the campus of Ohio State University in November 2016. In social media, everyone is a potential news source or even a reporter, unchecked and unedited. This upheaval goes beyond the print and digital press. Livestreaming events on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are pushing aside cable and broadcast television. So great is the reach and importance of social media that some local television personalities are required to post on sites like Facebook and Twitter and are evaluated by their companies on how much social media interest they can generate, completely outside of their on-air reporting or news delivery. It’s not just our politics and news that social media is changing. Social media has dramatically enlarged and altered our celebrity culture. International pop star Justin Bieber launched his career in 2007 with a homemade online video. Social media made Kim Kardashian a household name, and it’s made her rich. Her posts showing off or endorsing clothes, accessories, and destinations have earned her hundreds of thousands of dollars. She has become a human, online product placement ad. Is her endorsement really worth all that money? Maybe. Consumers now say they are more likely to buy something endorsed by a YouTube blogging star than by a traditional celebrity. YouTube’s recent top earner is a Swedish guy, Felix Kjellberg, who calls himself PewDiePie and was making $15 million a year from his extremely popular YouTube channel, “playing video games with your bros.” PewDiePie has more than 53 million subscribers; he can generate more than a million comments for a single video. Even after he was dumped by a corporate partner, Disney, and booted from YouTube’s premium service, for making anti-Semitic jokes in some of his videos, he didn’t lose his regular YouTube subscriber base and will likely continue to make large sums of money. By the way, YouTube’s recent second highest earner is professional prankster Roman Atwood, who has more than 10 million subscribers and earns around $8 million for filming himself pretending to spray people with skunks or making his girlfriend believe that their 3-year-old son had been killed in a fiery ATV accident. Awful. But this change has a cost for all of us: social media has a dark side. It can ignite rumors and be the source of threats, even violence. At times, it can even feed a collective hysteria reminiscent of the Salem witch trials. In the immediate aftermath of the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, amateur sleuths on social media thought they had identified one of the bombers based on a grainy surveillance photo released by the FBI. Passing unverified information around on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms, social media users declared Sunil Tripathi to be bomber number two—who was still on the run. How did they find Tripathi? He was a Brown University student on leave from school and living in Rhode Island. But he had vanished on March 15, a month before the attack. After his disappearance, Tripathi’s family had posted a video on social media asking for help in finding Sunil and asking him to come home. So-called cyber-vigilantes thought they saw a resemblance between the social media posts looking for Sunil and Boston bomber number two. Mainstream journalists at NBC, Politico, and Newsweek began spreading the story after seeing it on social media sites. At one point, “Tripathi” was among the top trending words on Twitter. But Tripathi was innocent. His body was found a week after the Boston bombing in the waters around Providence, Rhode Island. He had been suffering from depression and had committed suicide. His family was subjected to double grief. Across social media platforms, there are repeated incidents of threats and hate speech. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) examined tweets sent between August 2015 and July 2016. In that 12-month period, it found 2.6 million tweets that included anti-Semitic language. Jewish journalists were frequent targets. When the ADL researchers looked at the Twitter accounts of fifty thousand journalists, they found almost twenty thousand anti-Semitic tweets addressed to them, most coming from just sixteen hundred separate Twitter accounts. Not only do the tweets repeatedly say that these journalists and their families should be shot, gassed, or turned into lampshades, as the Nazis did during World War II, but a significant number of the tweets also include pictures of the individual journalists, which had been Photoshopped to place them inside gas chambers or lying among the dead bodies of Holocaust victims. And there are the gruesome events that have been brought to viewers live on Facebook and Twitter, such as the Facebook Live broadcast by a French terrorist after he murdered a French police captain and his partner. The broadcast was made from the victims’ home, and in it the terrorist discussed what he should do with their young child, who he was holding hostage. Facebook shut down his account, but ISIS captured the video and posted it. When local Roanoke, Virginia, journalist Alison Parker and her cameraman were killed by a former colleague, the murderer posted a boastful video that he had made of their deaths on his Facebook and Twitter accounts. And when four 18-year-olds brutally attacked an 18-year-old young man with special needs in Chicago, one of them streamed the assault, which included kicking and punching him as he was tied up and cutting into his scalp with a knife, as a real-time video on Facebook Live. Social media is also making celebrities targets. One study found a rise in violent attackers who were focused on movie, sports, and media celebrities. Although their methodology has been criticized, the study’s authors, J. Reid Meloy, of University of California at San Diego, and Molly Amman, of the FBI, maintain that social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are creating the illusion that ordinary people know and have a close relationship with social media stars. Delusional people believe that a screen relationship is actually a personal connection. When a troubled person turns on a social media star, the resulting violence is frequently “angry and personal”; they are seeking retribution for what they believe is a personal wrong. What Is So Special About Social Media? By now, you may be longing for the days of the flip phone and dial-up internet. But whatever you may think of social media, one thing is certain: it is not going away. To navigate the twenty-first-century world, we all have to understand social media. It’s where many of our most important political, social, economic, and cultural conversations are taking place. It gives all kinds of people an outlet and sometimes an outsized influence. We need to understand its power and reach, its limitations and manipulations, how to use it, and how to be a savvy consumer of it. Social media is in many ways the ultimate democratic space. Everyone can have a voice and an audience, simply by uploading a photo or video or typing a few lines and hitting Post. It seems like an electronic meritocracy: put up good content and people, followers, will find you. A US president, member of Congress, Hollywood celebrity, or NFL quarterback gets the same number of characters for his or her tweet as you do. But look behind the curtain: some public figures have professional writers and staff authoring and designing their social media posts. I’ve been on social media since before it had a name. I started with a blog in 2003, before the advent of Facebook and smartphones, and went from there. I’ve tried every platform, and I’ve seen their power firsthand. I have put up a raw video on Facebook and gotten more viewers than that day’s top-rated program in all of cable TV news. In 2016, my Twitter followers passed the one-million mark. In 2017, my Facebook followers reached 1.2 million. If all this language is new to you, don’t worry, after a couple of chapters, you’ll be speaking like a pro, which is good, because this new world is a “need to know.” I also believe that no adult needs to be at a disadvantage in the social media world: if you can log on to your computer or text with your phone, you can “do” social media. If you are a complete novice, I’ll help you figure out how and where you want to join—and how to do it safely. If you are already “a little bit social,” I’ll help you learn how to harness the opportunities and benefits of social media and avoid the pitfalls. If you want to move up a level or two, the Level Up sections will give you new ideas and practical advice. You’ll create a better LinkedIn profile for your job search. You’ll understand what’s going on with Snapchat and who’s on it and why. You’ll learn why Instagram is becoming “the place” to be. You’ll learn how to protect your privacy and what’s really happening to your posts—and those of your family, friends, and coworkers. You’ll learn about personal broadcasting and can debate whether blogging is on the way out. And you’ll be prepared when the next big social media site hits. Along the way, you’ll find a great collection of my favorite social media bloopers and home runs, plus GretaGrams, which help peel back the curtain on the real social media world. But first the basics. If you are new to social media, this will get you acquainted. If you are already on some of it, consider it a good refresher. (It’s been designed to be as current as possible, but social media sites interfaces—how they look and where some of the tiny icons are—do change regularly. So if a phrase or icon looks slightly different, don’t worry: the concept and how to do what you need to do remains the same.) Who’s Who and What’s What In some ways, social media is high school all over again: it’s populated by words like friend, follow, like, and share. It measures popularity and creates cliques. You “friend” people on Facebook—or follow famous people—and “like” their posts. You also follow people on Twitter and “retweet” (share) their comments. You share snaps (a photo or video, often enhanced) on Snapchat and share pins (images and pictures that you have saved) on Pinterest. You “upload” video and “click” on links. If the language makes you roll your eyes, consider this: previous generations had similar reactions to the advent of radio and television. To use a computer, we all had to master the new meaning of mouse, as well as learn about operating systems, applications, and email. Revolutions tend to come with new terminology. Even the term social media can be challenging to define. I see it as internet communities where people can speak or interact with one another—that would be the social component—and share information. But unlike traditional forms of information sharing, newspapers or TV news programs, everything about social media is customizable and often spontaneous. You choose which sites you want to belong to by creating user accounts. Once you join, you create a profile page—a brief page about yourself—and from there, you build your community. You follow people and organizations of interest to you, you select your friends, you join groups. You select who you want to get information from, whether it is your best friend from high school, National Public Radio, or Rush Limbaugh, or all three. And you can make changes as often as you want. Below is a brief guide to the names and highlights of the leading, broad-based social media sites. Later, I’ll discuss how you can use and maximize the benefits of the major social networking sites—and how you can protect yourself. But for now, here’s the quick tour. Please be amazed by the reach of these online gathering points in less than ten years. Facebook Facebook is the grandparent of social media (a large segment of its American users are women around age 50 and above). It was started by a 19-year-old Harvard sophomore, Mark Zuckerberg, and some friends in his college dorm in 2004 to connect Harvard College’s 6,700 students. By 2006, anyone with a registered email address could join. By 2010, it was global with 500,000 users. Today, the number of active Facebook accounts has passed 2 billion and growing—and these are active users who log on monthly. More than 1.3 billion people log on daily and the average amount of time that they spend on the site is twenty minutes. (Facebook is also more than Facebook. It owns the second most popular social media site, Instagram, as well as the messaging/texting service WhatsApp and Facebook’s own messaging service, Facebook Messenger. In addition, live video can be posted to Facebook using an ability called—appropriately enough—Facebook Live. Facebook Live is also starting to compete with TV by producing original programming.)GretaGrams When I’ve taken breaks from TV, I’ve kept reporting and covering news via video posted on Facebook. Who’s using Facebook? Clearly, lots of people. Even though it’s associated with middle aged adults, 91 percent of 15- to 34-year-olds have Facebook accounts and use the site, according to estimates by the statistics compilation website DMR Stats, although for daily or more regular use, most young people prefer sites that their parents aren’t on. And while Facebook was once primarily for keeping up friendships—reconnecting with high school buddies rather like a real-time, virtual yearbook—and for family postings, it is increasingly becoming the go-to place to get news and for advertisers and marketers to sell items and find new customers. If there is one social media site to join, Facebook is probably it. Instagram Instagram is the social media equivalent of the old saw, a picture is worth a thousand words—although Instagram has added words to its posts. However, it remains a place to post and share amazing pictures—including with special filters to make them look even better. In summer 2017, 700 million people used Instagram every month; 400 million were on it every day, and 250 million posted their stories, video compilations. If Facebook users are a population bigger than China, daily Instagram users have become a population bigger than the United States. According to DMR stats, about 27 percent of all people living inside the United States use Instagram, while 80 percent of all Instagram users live outside our country. Ninety percent of all Instagram users are under age 35, and the majority are 18- to 24-year-olds. Lots of companies and celebrities have Instagram accounts that they want you to follow so they can show you what they think you should look like. Instagram used to be its own company, until Facebook bought it for $1 billion.GretaGrams What’s the favorite social media site for former First Lady Laura Bush? Instagram. She even posts cute pictures of her granddaughters there. Twitter I admit it, I am a Twitter addict. I check my feed multiple times per day. It can be awful, and yet at the same time Twitter can be wonderful. Some 313 million others agree, and they are regular Twitter users. Twitter is based around tweets. A tweet is the name that Twitter gave to 140-character bursts of thought, co

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