Google Yourself Page 1

Google Yourself: The Benefits of Having a Unique Name

Privacy can be hard to come by, and Google doesn’t make things any easier. Unless you’ve found a way to delete files and their backups, it’s pretty likely that anything you’ve ever uploaded to the Internet is available for the world to see. It’s just a matter of looking hard enough for it. That is why it is so important that you learn how to manage your online reputation.

The Assignment

For this week’s assignment, we had the task of Googling ourselves. I actually do this every once in a while just to see what information is out there about me. Fortunately, I have a pretty unique first and last name, so when you Google “Lynette Zilio”, the majority of the information that comes up is connected to me in some manner. When I Googled my name for this assignment, I wasn’t surprised to see that all nine results on Page 1 were of me. In fact, all of the results on pages 1-5 were of me. It wasn’t until I got to Page 6 that non-related search results started popping up.

The first three results on Page 1 referenced my Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter profiles. I use Facebook more than the other two, and while I use Twitter more than LinkedIn, I have more information about me on LinkedIn, so I’m assuming that’s why it came up second in the results. Result 4 is a pdf version of my resume that I uploaded as part of a blog I created when I was a journalism major at the University of Florida. I’m guessing it appeared so high up in the results because it has a high page rank. What I had never noticed before was the Google+ box that popped up on the right-hand side of my screen on Page 1. At first, I was worried that my personal Gmail address could easily be found by people who were Googling my name, but then I realized that, thankfully, only I could see those results.

Google Yourself Page 1

Results 5 and 6 are my Google+ and Pinterest accounts. But result 7 from the WhitePages wins the creepiest award! Not only does it include my age range, but also full names of “people I may know”, including my mom, dad and sister. Results 8 and 9 are accounts that I set up for work.

Google Yourself Page 1 (3)

Google Images

The images that popped up when I Googled my name were either pictures of me, pictures that had been featured in newspaper articles I had written or pictures of people in my Google+ circles (Jason and Steven from our class made the cut!), which further emphasizes the importance of having a presence on this platform. In the fourth row of images, Google included pictures of people with my same last name, but I didn’t know any of them (Maybe they’re distant relatives. Who knows?).

Google Yourself Images

Googling my Email Address

When I Googled my email address, eight of the 10 results were connected to me somehow. Among these results were my Google+, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts, a website I used to write for called “The Stinc,” a “Denver Post” article I was featured in and articles I’ve commented on for work. The only result that really through me off was Result 9. I have no idea who Jikai Chen is or why I appear on his page, but apparently he also went to UF.

The two results that didn’t have to do with me were of people with my same first name. What I found most interesting was that my actual email address isn’t publicly shown on any of these pages, but simply typing it in Google generated these results. In other words, Google knows that that email address is associated with me.

Google Yourself Email Address

Google Yourself Email Address 2

Final Thoughts

Google is only as powerful as we let it be. If you’re careful about what you do when you’re online, it’s easy to maintain a good online reputation.

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CVS Mobile App Home Screen

CVS Pharmacy Mobile App Review

cvs-pharmacy-logo

I wouldn’t quite call myself an addict, but I would definitely say I’m a frequent CVS shopper. The stores are so brightly lit and well organized that it’s almost impossible to resist the urge to step inside, even when you don’t actually need anything. For this week’s assignment, I decided to review the CVS pharmacy mobile app. I had heard so many good things about it from friends of mine that I figured it would be a good one for me to try out.

The Features

The home screen of the CVS mobile app has a very user-friendly layout. Each category has its own section, making it easy for you to know exactly where you need to go to do what you need to do.

TIP: Immediately after downloading the app, I’d recommend setting up an online CVS account to be able to take full advantage of its features. A few of the sections, such as creating your own shopping list, ask you to set up an account before proceeding. Setting up an account is quick and easy.

CVS Mobile App Home Screen

Pharmacy

Rather than having to call them in or order them online, you can use the pharmacy section of the CVS app to manage, view and refill your prescriptions. You can use Rapid Refill and order from your CVS account or scan the barcode of your prescription to refill your medication. You can even transfer prescriptions from one pharmacy to another without ever having to pick up the phone. One of the newest features in the pharmacy section is the Drug Interaction Checker, which lets you scan over-the-counter product bar codes to check for medication interactions.

CVS mobile app pharmacy

Photo

But CVS is much more than just a pharmacy. The app also features a section for your photos. In this section, you can upload photos from your online CVS account, your smartphone’s camera roll and even from Facebook for free same-day pick up. Being able to upload pictures directly from Facebook saves you from having to copy/save your Facebook photos to a folder on your computer and upload them to your CVS account.

CVS Mobile App Photo Ordering

Shop

This section allows you to shop as you would in the store or on the CVS website. You can create a virtual shopping list by searching through different item categories and selecting the picture of the item(s) that you want, or you can add items to your online shopping cart and then purchase them directly from there. In this section, you can choose whether you’d like to give the CVS mobile app permission to access your location so that it can find the closest store to you.

CVS mobile app shopping list             CVS mobile app shopping list detailed view             CVS mobile app Hialeah Stores

ExtraCare and Other Deals/Coupons

When you use your ExtraCare card to purchase something in the store, the cashier will typically hand you a ridiculously long receipt showing you all of your available coupons. The CVS mobile app features a section where you can upload your ExtraCare card to make it easier for you to track your savings and rewards. In other words, you’ll no longer have to walk around with all these long receipts in your purse because it keeps track of your available coupons digitally.

There’s also a brand new deals section called myWeekly Ad. It allows you to receive personalized deals on the items you buy most while still allowing you to see weekly store specials. Personally, I think this is a great concept. Some of the coupons I receive from CVS aren’t really useful, but with targeted advertising, I’d be more likely to use them. If you’d prefer not to have your frequent purchases tracked, you can choose to opt out of myWeekly Ad and just get information about the weekly deals.

CVS mobile app ExtraCare card                         CVS mobile app personalized ads

My One Criticism

To my knowledge, there’s no way for you to upload your gift card money like you can when using the Starbucks app. My grandma likes giving me CVS cards, and while I typically carry them in my wallet, it would be easier if I could upload their values directly to the app so that I wouldn’t have to worry about whether I have them on me. Do you think any other features are missing from the app?

Overall Take

The CVS app seems to be one of the most useful and user-friendly apps out there. I think we could all benefit from having it.

second_life_logo

Second Life: It’s even more complicated than the first

second_life_logo

For this week’s lecture on digital ethnography, we were asked to create a free account in Second Life (SL), a virtual community with almost 37 million residents. “Second Life offers a totally new experience for humans,” said SL’s creator, Philip Rosedale, in PBS’ Digital Nation documentary. And that’s exactly what SL was like for me — a totally new experience.

My Initial Reaction

I’m as far from a video gamer as they come. The closest I’ve come to regularly playing a video game was when I used to play the puzzle video game Chip’s Challenge on my first PC back in elementary school. But let me assure you that that did little to prepare me for SL.

Signing up for SL was pretty straightforward. I went to secondlife.com and signed up for a free account. I was asked to create a unique username for my avatar, so I chose “linnyz” because I didn’t feel comfortable using my actual name. It seems most people pick something other than their real name, so I wasn’t alone.

My Avatar

Once I was signed in to SL, I began creating my avatar. I had trouble deciding on an avatar because I wanted to present an integrated self, but none of the girls looked like me. Ultimately, I decided based off of which one’s outfit I liked best (such a girl thing to do, I know). I initially chose the avatar pictured left, but when I started the game and discovered that she was the “goth” one, I changed my avatar to the one pictured right because I felt it reflected my overall look/personality a bit more.

Goth Avatar Second Life                         Girly Avatar Second Life

When the game started, I was dropped off on an island surrounded by pirate ships. There were about four to five other people on there with me, but I couldn’t figure out what to do or how to interact with them. Before I was able to really orient myself with this new environment, I received my first chat from the residents on the island. In it, they were introducing themselves. One spoke Spanish and the other Portuguese, so I jumped in and said “Hello,” but the conversation ended there. Maybe it was because they didn’t speak English? I then tried flying over the ocean, and I have to admit, it was pretty cool because it gave me a sense of freedom. But after seeing minimal activity on the island, I chose another destination.

Chat Conversation 1 Second Life

My next destination was called “Hesperia Templemore”. It was dark, and there was weird rock music blaring in the background, so I tested out my avatar’s running skills and tried to find out where the music was coming from. I came across a deserted motel and a nearby bar. The bar was closed, but I was still able to enter through the side.

Motel and Second Life

I descended down the bar’s staircase, and at the bottom of it, I came across instruments and a notice that asked me to give a donation to “support live music in SL.” I opted not to donate and moved on to another destination.

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 7.34.08 PM                                  Support Live Music Second Life

My third destination was “Prehistorica: The Dawn Kingdom”. I was so confused by all the rules here, but fortunately, received help from a fellow resident named Eric who’s been playing the game for four years. He gave me a landmark called “Help Island Public”. I wasn’t quite sure what a landmark was, but it seemed like it was a tutorial, so I accepted it.

Helpful Resident 1 Second Life

Eager to find a destination with more people, I ended up selecting from among the editor’s picks because I figured they’d be more entertaining. I decided to check out “Rez Nightclub and Mall”. There was a live DJ playing original dance songs for a packed house, but, unfortunately, no one seemed friendly and I didn’t receive any welcoming chat messages.

Free Dance Club Second Life

Later, I ended up at Luskwood Lusk, another dance-type party. Here, the DJ was playing songs like “Material Girl” by Madonna and “Lovesong” by the Cure. Someone in the chat was looking for a fitted ladies top for her avatar, so one of the other residents sent her a suggestion. I’m still baffled by the fact that you can buy virtual clothes for your avatar.

Clothes and Second Life

I then chose to go to New Citizens Incorporated. Here, I tried to change my avatar’s appearance because I wanted it to look more like me. One of the female residents saw how much I was struggling and actually sent me a notecard containing instructions on how to change my avatar’s outfit.

Helpful Resident 2 Second Life Changing Appearance and Clothes and Second Life

 I tried following what she said, but ended up bald and without pants (eek!). So I undid my changes and tried changing her outfit again. Somehow, I managed to put her in a sexy school girl outfit. At this point, the avatar didn’t resemble me in the least. Well, at least, I tried.

Sexy Avatar and Second Life

For my final destination, I wanted to try Miami Beach since I’m from Miami, but, sadly, it was too full. Who knew virtual destinations could be at maximum capacity?! I have to admit, it felt kind of like not being on the VIP list for an exclusive party. Bummer!

Full Region and Second Life

My Take on SL

I found SL to be extremely confusing and wanted nothing more than to get out of this world. On the plus side, its residents were very friendly. Even still, I’ll take the real world and my real friends any day over SL.

The survey results are in: Facebook is still alive…for most!

At the end of last year, a study came out saying that Facebook was ‘dead and buried’ for teens in the U.K. Curious to find out whether Facebook was ‘dead and buried’ in the U.S., I created an electronic survey on SurveyMonkey to find out more about Facebook use among Americans of various ages. I used a snowball sample to arrive at my results and spread the word about it via social media. In total, 115 people responded to my survey; however, because I was using the free version of SurveyMonkey, I was only allowed to document 100 responses.

My Results

Gender and Age

Of those who responded to my survey, 73% were female and 27% were male. The majority of the people, 32%, fell into the 18-24 range. Those in the 25-34 were a close second, coming in at 28%, and the third highest group was the 45-54 range, coming in at 26%. Unfortunately, I did not receive responses from anyone under 17, which is likely because this group has deemed Facebook to be uncool, but also because I don’t interact with many teens. I also didn’t receive any responses from the 75 and up crowd, so it seems most grandparents don’t use Facebook.

What do you primarily use Facebook for?

As I suspected, the majority of people, 84%, use Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family. Five percent said they use it to keep up with current events and 4% for professional or networking reasons. No one selected the “to share articles” option. While I think many people use Facebook to share interesting articles they find, it’s not their primary reason for using the site.

Facebook Use Survey Question 3

About how often do you view or access Facebook?

Despite a drop in teen use, it seems that most Americans above 18 are still addicted to Facebook in some manner.  The majority, 81.82%, of my respondents admitted to logging on to Facebook multiple times a day. About 10% said that they log on once a day and about 4% a few times a week. Only three of the respondents said that they log on to Facebook less than a few times a week.

Facebook Use Survey Question 4

Have you ever deleted your Facebook account?

Seventy-eight percent said that they had never deleted their Facebook account, and 22% claimed to have deleted it at one point but later chose to reactivate it. No one ended up selecting the “yes, and I do not plan to reactivate it” or “I’ve never had a Facebook” responses, so it seems that the majority of Americans are still attached to their Facebook account.

Facebook Use Survey Question 5

Why did you delete your Facebook account?

I wanted to include this question to find out more about those people who have, at some point, deactivated their Facebook account. The majority of respondents who fell into this category said that Facebook took up too much of their time. This was followed by those who felt Facebook was boring/that they didn’t use it as much. Only one person claimed to have left Facebook because their parents/relatives joined, which has been cited as a top reason for the decline in teen use.

Facebook Use Survey Question 6

What do you like most/least about Facebook?

This was my only free-response question. While it was the hardest to quantify, I felt it was necessary to include it.

What people tend to like most

  • It’s not just pictures; it’s articles, videos, peoples’ opinions all in one.
  • Being able to see what friends and family are up to without having to pick up the phone and call every week.
  • It keeps them up to date on current events.
  • It’s innovative and changes with the times.
  • Posting pictures

What people tend to like least

  • Lack of privacy
  • Facebook ads cluttering their newsfeed
  • Constant updates to the platform
  • When people post obnoxious things or complain

Please rank the following social media networks in order of preference: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+

The results in order of most to least popular are: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+. My prediction is that, in the coming years, Google+ will make top three.

Facebook Use Survey Question 8

Since last year, how has your Facebook activity changed?

Fifty-one percent said that they access Facebook about the same as they did last year, 25% more than they did last year and 23% less than they did last year. The fact that most people are accessing it about the same as they did last year means that the social media network may have already reached its peak. The fact that 1/4 of the respondents access it more than they did last year may be a result of the fact that many of those who took my survey are social media masters students and likely access Facebook for work.

Facebook Use Survey Question 8

How strongly do you agree or disagree with the statement ‘Facebook is dead and buried’?

Most still consider Facebook to be going strong, as 49% strongly disagree with this statement. Twenty-nine percent somewhat disagree, 15% are neutral about this statement, 6% somewhat agree and only 1% strongly disagree.

Facebook Use Survey Question 9

What I could’ve done differently

  • While my survey was able to show Facebook use among Americans overall, the free version of SurveyMonkey made it difficult for me to look specifically at which age groups were more active than others. Perhaps I could’ve found a way around this by selecting a purposive sample instead of opening up my survey to the general population.
  • If time had permitted, I would’ve found a way to seek out teens to take my survey.
  • By posting my survey on Facebook, I was automatically attracting regular Facebook users. Those who have a Facebook but rarely log on likely didn’t see my survey, and therefore did not take it.
  •  I would’ve added the following four answer choices to the question that asked why people deleted their Facebook: “I deleted it while applying for jobs/school”, “Too much drama,” “I had privacy concerns,” “I kept comparing my life to my Facebook friends’ lives.” I think having these answer choices would’ve provided me with more accurate results.
  • While I enjoyed having a free-response question, it was difficult to quantify the results for this. Instead of answering what they like most and least about Facebook, many people only answered part of the question. Next time, I’d ask it as two separate questions.