Why I Don’t Care About Being Called a Basic Bitch

Courtesy of GlamBistro.com
Courtesy of GlamBistro.com

Most people could categorize me as a Basic Bitch, and I really don’t care.

I love ballet flats and sweater vests (I’m wearing both as I type). I think that headbands are killer when styled correctly. Nothing gets me going like a well-structured matching set or a crisp oxford button-up paired with mid-rise skinny jeans. I curl my hair in loose waves because the simple style flatters my face shape (not all of us are blessed with pixie-worthy cheekbones).  I love fall foliage and sweater weather, though I’m not a huge fan of the whole pumpkin-spice thing (that makes me different right?! I’m original, right?! I’m not basic, am I?!).

This desperate quest for originality must be rather exhausting. People who are “different” don’t spend the majority of their time avoiding being called “basic,” they’re far too busy following the path that most intrigues them while carving out a lifestyle that inspires others—whether or not said lifestyle includes daily trips to Starbucks is none of your damn business.

I understand that the term “basic bitch” is meant to represent more than fashion and beauty tendencies, but the whole concept is just such…bullshit. The entire obsession is just another form of marginalization, as explained in this article by The Cut:

“…the woman who calls another woman basic ends up implicitly endorsing two things she probably wouldn’t sign up for if they were spelled out for her: a male hierarchy of culture, and the belief that the self is an essentially surface-level formation.”

When you call someone basic, you are BASICally implying that a she who enjoys a glass of Pinot Grigio and a fashion magazine while winding down from work in a pair of leggings and UGG boots is incapable of having a complex set of dreams, desires, and life goals.

Hopefully some “Non-Basic-Bitch” comes up with another self-serving catchphrase soon. I personally prefer the term “Classic See-You-Next-Tuesday,” but I’ll leave it up to the professionals.

Are You a Savvy Tweeter?

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A character count connoisseur? An algorithm aficionado? As it turns out, the big bad internet has got you beat. (Okay, at least it had me beat).

Yesterday afternoon The Upshot, the data-driven section of New York Times, put tweeters to the test. A new algorithm developed by three Cornell University computer scientists’ claims to outperform the average person in telling which of two similar tweets will be retweeted more. As I made my way through the quiz, I was pretty impressed with myself (though I tended to predict Diddy’s tweets better than President Obama’s so I’m not exactly sure what that says about my journalistic credibility), only to find that the algorithm beat me by 4 points.

This corresponding article by Sendhil Mullainathan, Professor of Economics at Harvard University, goes on to explain why social media-ites and the rest of the digi-sphere must remain calm. While this algorithm is tremendously impressive, it doesn’t mean that we should all go pulling out our resumes just yet, and here’s why.

Correlation does not equal causation

You  thought I was done making Psych 101 course references in my blog, didn’t you? #Nope.

“We care about predicting retweets mainly because we want to write better tweets. And we assume these two tasks are related. If Netflix can predict which movies I like, surely they can use the same analytics to create better TV shows. But it doesn’t work that way,” write Mullainathan.

Basically, you could change your tweets to mimic those being retweeted more, but it won’t promise any change in your followers’ behavior. If I’m a bartender and 5 dudes order Michelob Ultras consecutively, it still wouldn’t make sense for me to keep one on deck for the next dude (because hopefully, he would NEVER order a Michelob Ultra and then we would date).

Quality vs. Quantity

The algorithm found that longer tweets were more likely to be retweeted…but that’s only because the lengthier tweets contained more content. Your best bet is to stick with the “less is more principle” when it comes to character count, but to pack as much content into your tweet as possible

Novelty

Another fault (IN OUR STARS! LOL!) of the algorithm is its inability to predicting what’s interesting…which is good, because otherwise I (along with other content creators and trend forecasters) would be out of a job.

Take viral videos for example. How much did you laugh at that baby that falls down when somebody sneezes? How hard did you laugh the 5th time you saw it? The same goes for celebrity/entertainment news. It’s novel to see how Justin Bieber is effing his life up when one source breaks the story, but when your entire feed consists of different sources relaying the same information you read before lunch, you’re more likely to skip over it. Therefore, while the tweet predictor can pick up on something that is drawing attention, it’s more likely to exploit it than anything else.

So go forth, my fellow tweeters! Tell me about your annoying co-workers or how you’re going DTS this weekend and I will proceed to retweet you if and when I feel like it.

Namaste.

Move Over Psychology, Facebook Is Making Some Serious Personality Assessment Moves

Attention incoming college freshman: I suggest you pre-order your Psychology 101 books instead of trading upperclassmen for a hand-me-down edition with a case of Bud Light. Why? There’s a new personality theorist in town: Facebook.

Skinner, Eysenck, Maslow and Freud are going to have to make some extra room at their lunch table (we hope that Zuckerberg wears pink on Wednesdays) because according to a new app created by Five Labs, our everyday actions on Facebook showcase enough of our personalities to generate immediate assessments (how are you feeling about that ” haha BRB lightin this blunt, YOLO” status right about now?)

After reading this NY Times post last week,  I decided to give the personality tool a try, and I’m definitely not complaining about being compared to industry leaders like Bill Gates and Sheryl Sandberg along with my forever WCW Jennifer Lawrence (I can’t take all the credit on this one- I post about red wine and embarrassing moments a lot), but Facebook still doesn’t seem like the most…reliable judge of personality.

blog 1What do you think? Is your Facebook Personality on point?

 

Talk Tinder To Me

PicMonkey Collage

Greetings blog-iverse!

It’s been far too long. The transition into big-girl life has been a bit of a bumpy ride, between every slept-through alarm, spilled coffee, and missed train—on a good week— but I’d say that I’m finally getting the hang of it.

There are many perks of working in a small office aside from not having to share a refrigerator with a multitude of intimidating higher-ups and thus, living in fear of being the intern who ate their lunch (Is this my Chobani? I can’t remember…what flavor did I bring today? Did I put it next to that fat-free, sugar-free, low-carb water bottle? Screw it…I’ll just starve).

For starters- there are far fewer people there to judge you during morning rituals, which lately have consisted of a moment of silence in front of my portable fan to mourn yet another bouncy blow-out turned sweaty pony tail during the heat wave.

The small office setting also breeds fast friendships, one of which has proven to be both detrimental to my overall office productivity and dear to my heart.

James and I were destined to be friends. Between our shared sense of style, sarcasm, and love of all things Carrie Bradshaw, I’d have to say we are a match made in New York City heaven, despite our New Jersey mailing addresses (we also share an empire state of mind that our bank accounts have yet to catch up with).

While I’d categorize both of us as “romantics,” James is definitely more proactive in his pursuit of “the one” (and by proactive I mean active on over 5 different online dating platforms). He’s constantly scolding me about my lack of online-dating presence, and after a few five dollar cosmos…I caved.

“Maybe James is right. Maybe the love of my life is just one Tinder swipe away,” I thought, as I re-downloaded the app, and gave it another go.

I mean…why not?

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Here is why not. So there you have it. It’s been real, my fellow Tinderians—in a not-at-all kind of way. Consider this blog post to be my official Tinder-resignation letter.

Prince Charming, if you’re reading this, don’t be discouraged—I’m sure you’ll find me in a bar somewhere!

To Tinder or Not To Tinder…

Since I’m relatively new to the blogging game, I figured I’d allow my first post to showcase who I really am: a total weirdo/sucker for social media.  At 22 years old, I’ve always considered the foreign realm of online dating to be…well…a little bit weird.  Okay, super weird, especially if you’re under the age of forty five, which explains my involuntary brow raise when a friend of mine told me that I needed to get on this new app called Tinder (which is apparently sweeping the Rutgers campus).  Forever a skeptic, I rolled my eyes as she skipped around hugging her IPad, gloating over all of her new “matches,” but I have to admit…I was totally interested.

A self proclaimed “fun way to break the ice,” Tinder uses your location and Facebook information to create a list of potential suitors, complete with four to five display photos of their choice.  It gets better: when the image of said PS (potential suitor) pops up on your screen, you have the option to either “like” or “dislike.”  Sounds like a sure-fire way to bury someone’s self confidence six feet under, right?  Wrong!  Tinder only tells PS that you “like” them if he or she has already “liked” your account as well.  When the magic happens, Tinder informs you that “It’s A Match!” and establishes an IMessage-esque conversation box for you and PS to in engage in witty banter and fall in love.

My take on Digital Cupid?  I’m not sure I’m buying it.  As a member of the Catfish generation, I’m sure I speak for must of us when I say that relationships formed on social media networks are usually disasters waiting to happen.  However, when I (reluctantly) signed up, I realized that half of my PS list is made up of Rutgers students that I already know, or at least know of.  I’m sure that this is because I limited my matches to a ten-mile radius, but in this instance, it seems like a pretty harmless way to talk to cute boys that I’ve seen around but never actually met (tall boy from Queens last night, I’m looking at you).

If nothing else, Tinder provides us with yet another distraction from our daily tasks, and brings social media stalking to an all new high (as if I’m going to have a conversation with you without stalking your Facebook, Instagram, and any other outlet I can stalk while remaining incognito).  None the less, it gives us the ultimate opportunity to be shallow, and who doesn’t love that?