Mayberry After Instagram

How many pictures do you post regularly on Instagram? People don’t seem to complain about having too many tweets — unless it’s game day. They have Fancred for those couched sports commentators. One reoccurring trend I am seeing is people posting too many pictures on Instagram. It’s actually causing me and others to fabricate our personal feeds and not post what’s on our hearts. We want everyone to see us at our best. We spend $5 on the App Store offering lens enhancements and countless hours trying to get the supreme camera angle. Heaven forbid we didn’t use the autofocus on our iPhones.

Are we really passionate about what we are releasing to our friends/followers, OR are we posting what is going to get the most Likes? Don’t hear me say that you shouldn’t be artsy. Filters are there. Why not use them? But I too can’t stand to be in the “Instagram Purgatory”, and only see 10 names like my photo. Crank it to 11, right?

You may have had a similar conversation.


Opie: Pa, check out my last Insta post!

Andy: What’s the picture of?

Opie: I captured this moment as Aunt Bee was sitting one of her famous pies on the window. I skipped a meal to get the picture, but it was worth it. You can even see the steam! I even gave it a fun title, “Hot and Fresh Out the Kitchen”! You know, like that song?

Andy: Why did you go to all that trouble of waiting on Aunt Bee and everything?

Opie: People have been posting pics of food a lot, and I bet I could get 39 likes. It could be my best picture yet!

Andy: Son, that shouldn’t be your motivation. Do you post everything?

Opie: No sir. Just the best.

Andy: Well, does that really tell your story?

Opie: You know… I guess it doesn’t.

Andy: Why don’t you post everything? If you’re going to go through the trouble to take the picture, I would say post everything that comes to mind. That picture is special because it was seen through your eyes.

Opie: Yeah, but I don’t want my followers to get mad that I post too much. I don’t want to be “that guy”.

Andy: Well Opie, then they can unfollow you. Social Media is a platform developed for us to express our thoughts freely, the moment that we start to tailor information based on their demand, you can loose creativity.

Opie: But Pa, we learned in school to post substantive information for businesses and potential connectors. That would mean that if we didn’t post our best then we could lose our reach.

Andy: Like I said son, do what you want. If someone doesn’t want to follow you because you posted two additional pictures, it doesn’t matter. Not having a follower or friend on a social network does not remove them from your actual friend list.

Andy: What’s the last photo you took on your phone? Is it uploaded to Instagram?

Opie: No sir. I didn’t think anyone would “like” it.

Andy: Son, if it’s special to you, then share that image with the world.

Opie: Gee Pa, I never thought of it like that before.

Riley Blogging Off


Be Cool


Four years of communication classes shaped my understanding of verbal and nonverbal cues. I acquired many skills, but not the same skills as Liam Neeson. My Public Communication classes were the ones that tapped in to someone’s cognitive and analyzed how a person ticked. After a few classes, you begin to feel unstoppable. It can be dangerous if you let it get to your head. You should never make it obvious that you are examining an audience, manipulating them or acting like you don’t know what you’re talking about. Maintaining control of your audience is key. Once you lose their attention, you might as well pick the first volunteer in the crowd to take your spot. You have to be able to pick up on the nonverbals. Yawning. Dazed expressions. Lack of participation. Hands on faces. The list is endless. Every audience is different, so you have to play through a list of those endless possibilities and find which ones apply to your audience. After you have diagnosed your “nose pickers”, you have to get their hands out of their noses. How do you make that happen, you ask? Every public speaker tends to have their own method of maintaining an audience. I had one professor throw chocolate pieces (literally throw) at us. It worked. Whether it was the sugar or the force behind the throw… doesn’t matter. We perked up.

A wise man once said, “Great communicators run the world.” I’m not going to teach you how to manipulate an audience or provide you with strategery (thanks, Bush). I’m simply giving you advice. I’ve seen so many people lose their cool in the middle of  leading. You can find your own solution to keep your audience’s attention, but one thing you can’t do is show emotion. If your group is upset at you and disorderly, you cannot give in. The moment your audience sees you break, you lose. You’re going to have that ONE GUY who is going to constantly trying to bring you down, and you are going to get irritated. You can’t let THAT GUY take control. You will more than likely deal with people with strong personalities, and you have to find the balance in maintaining order verses going off on the eager beaver in the corner.

I’m not providing you with the step-by-step process on how to win over your audience, but I am suggesting to just be cool like Fonzie.

Riley Blogging Off


Pumping out another blog while traveling to San Francisco. Here’s a question I’ve been wrestling with: “Does being aware make you intelligent?” My professors drill me for not checking the news every day. They tell me that it is essential to be up-to-date with world-events. In the communications field, if you are not aware of current events, you are less knowledgable than you were in your birthday suit.

Let’s dive in the dictionary, shall we? Intelligence: “1 a (1) : the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations : reason; also : the skilled use of reason”

I think it is extremely important to understand how different cultures operate; if we weren’t aware of those issues, then we could not function as a society. The question remains, Does being aware make you intelligent?

If media frames the message and filter what they want us to hear, I have a hard time believing that you are intelligent just because you were awake at 7am and caught the TODAY program. With that in mind, how do you achieve intelligence? I’ll reference the definition again, ‘skilled use of reason.’

I conclude that being aware could stem intelligence, but it depends on your discernment once you’re equipped with the news or knowledge. Watching the news while laying dormant on the couch does not help society. Media informs us in hopes that this knowledge will cause us to react, which makes the individual intelligent. This is the basic concept of the intellectual property.

Riley Blogging Off