Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bones and the Social Media Connection

Bones is a crime drama/comedy television show on Fox TV. According to the web ( they have taken the plunge into social media in a huge way.

Their Twitter handle is @BonesonFOX. If you follow them on Twitter, you can get access to special information about the characters, and actors. They give followers information on where to download songs used in the show via iTunes, and even take the time to answer followers who use the hashtag, #bones. Another great idea was to have live twitter feeds, where followers can actually ask questions via twitter to actors and the design team. They have also created an app called, Bones Companion App. This is a place for fans to get more information as they watch episodes, and it allows them to interact with one another as well. This sounds like a lot of extra work for the promotors, is it worth it?

I believe it is worth it. Studies indicate that as much as 60% of TV viewers admit to utilizing social media while watching their favorite show, and 25% will even talk about the show on their social media sites ( Based on these studies, and just watching my own teens using social media while doing everything, I believe utilizing social media like the show Bones is doing is going to be imperative for the future success of Television. What do you think? Would you interact with your favorite show/actors in this way?

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Radio and the Power of Persuasion

One of the major musical influencers of all time had to be Elvis Presley. He was scandalous for his time. One thing he did to influence our culture was to incorporate African American music with jazz. This was taboo because we hadn't yet blurred the racial lines in our country. Using the radio, his music was aired to all who were willing to listen. By listening to his songs over and over, we soon became accustomed to his lyrics and rhythms. One other cultural influence he had was with regard to sexuality and music. He moved in provocative ways and women were known to rip their shirts off at his concerts. The question is, did the music make them do it?

Another big shift in music was the introduction of Rap/Hip Hop music into our culture. Pictured above is the popular and violent Rap artist, 50 Cent.  He has been in the news for fighting and even being involved in shootings with other Rap artists. Most Rap music can be summed up by violent lyrics and movements. Rap music seems to epitomizes the African American's fight with political, social and economic oppression. Many will argue this is the reason behind the violent lyrics and dancing. But the question remains, did the music make them do it, or was it something else?

There are two ways to view the influence of this type of music on our culture over the years. Either the music is so powerful and influential that it creates a completely new type of society, or society was on the cusp of needing a change and the music properly portrayed what a specific group of people were feeling at the time of conception of said music. 

Which do you think is more accurate? 

I'll go with answer number two. While I neither favored Elvis music or Rap, it does seem more likely to me that these unique genre's of music are stemming out of emotions and feelings already present within different cultures. Instead of blaming the music for the outcomes of a few, we should be looking into the meaning and see if we need to make some kind of cultural change to solve a deeper issue being portrayed.

Until next time,
Thanks for reading,
Sonya Thompson

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Does Social Media Impact Our Daily Lives?

Are you linked in, do you tweet, blog, or FaceTime? These are the questions we ask each other today.

I remember having a conversation with a close friend in 2007 about her new blog and how I should consider starting one myself. Until that moment, I hadn't even heard the word weblog before. This new online world intrigued me and I took on that first blog with a passion, finding it a welcome distraction to the mundane occurrences in my daily life.

With my new found passion for blogging, I decided to take a stab at freelance writing. The more I blogged, the better my writing became. After a few short months into 2008, my friend and I decided to attend our very first writing conference. To our delight, the primary focus that year was blogging. We soaked in every word and filled our heads with the do's and don't's of blogging and freelancing. Shortly after attending this first conference, my first article was published. Talk about a rush! But by the end of 2008, I was feeling burned-out in many areas of my life. But I wondered why.

Bringing in 2009 meant evaluating my activities and trying to figure out how to balance my new world of blogging with family and friends. The problem seemed to be my incessant need for positive feedback in the comments on my blog, and on other's blogs. So I did what every naive woman would do, I started a FaceBook page and a Twitter. My daily life began to revolve more and more around my computer as I had to attend to my commenter's on all three of my new play places online. Having grown my blog I now had a community of like-minded people. They followed me, and I followed them. We were a faithful group for sure, or so I thought.

The Next spring I decided to take a week long break from my online community and reengage in my family life on a much needed beach vacation. I gave every one of my followers ample warning about my online fast and when they could expect me to return. While everything should have gone smoothly, it didn't. First of all, I realized how much I was missing by keeping my head (and hands) focused online. I also discovered that the online followers don't really stay loyal when you need a break. No, they are feedback junkies and just needed a fix, so they wandered off and found other sites to frequent. My blogging became less frequent, until it was almost non-existent.

It's 2014 now, and I've matured a lot since that first blog in 2008. I now understand the need for balancing online and in-person activities and relationships. I am no longer a feedback junkie (a hard habit to kick!) and I use social media sparingly and with appropriate boundaries around my personal life and family time.

I am excited about taking this first class in Mass Communication. I'm looking forward to hearing various statistics about the different trends and their effects on people as a whole and individually. My children are now mostly teens, which means I will need to be armed with as much data as possible as I try to keep up with the newest apps they are using. I still love to write, and my goal of obtaining a degree in Communication will be put to good use, as I plan to secure a job working to help non-profit organizations with their ability to reach their target audience with their message.

Thank you for taking the time to read a little about how social media has impacted my life over the years. I'm looking forward to reading about your experience as well.

I already love this class!