Depression – My experiences with it

I previously wrote a post about this topic somewhat of a while ago, however I ended up deleting it due to me not really liking what I had written and it being appropriate. I want to give my story of how I had it and what I feel about it, it’s quite a tough topic to talk about, because if I’m being honest, anyone who has ever had depression, wishes to forget about it instantly, a reminder about it can actually bring it back.

For depression, I like to say there’s different stages of severity with it, like a lot of problems. If I’m being honest, my depression only really lasted for a month, so I don’t class it as being severe at all, thousands of others round the world have gone through much worse than me. However I only really knew I had it for a month, I could of had it for even longer and not known about it, one of the biggest things about depression, is that it is extremely hard to know you have it, the feeling of depression is very complex and weird, when I had it, it was a feeling I had never had before, I had felt sad, lonely, negative a lot before, but never this type of it.

Throughout my secondary school life I had been picked on, I didn’t play many sports, was not outgoing unless with friends, mainly these things were picked upon and used against me, everyone who looked down upon me knew I wouldn’t retaliate, I’m not that type of person. These experiences made me think negatively about life a lot of the time, it may also be a reason why I like sarcasm so much, and have that type of humor demeanor. Fortunately, I seem to be very emotionally strong for some reason, I hardly ever cried during this time, or was broken emotionally, I was often very close to being broken emotionally but it never happened, I held and believe I’m now a stronger person than I ever was because of it. Unfortunately I did have thoughts in my head about thinking if the world would miss me or not, would I just be another “John Doe” that had given up on his life after years of torment. I could never end my life, I would never ever have the courage to take a life or my own, either I’m too scared to do it, or know the negative consequences far exceed the non-existent positives of this.

Even though I had such a hard time during this period of my life, I never really saw me as having depression, I could of well had it, but I cannot remember all the emotions I had during this time. Luckily sixth form came round, and all the people I had despised due to how they had treated me left the school, however, it had left it’s toll on me. Most of my friends had left to go to other schools or colleges, leaving me with just 2 close friends left. I had lost what little confidence I had, I was nervous to speak to anyone, even though I knew who everyone in my year was, I never spoke to them. I felt as though I was a ghost, only people I really knew would talk to me or acknowledge me. This wasn’t other people’s faults however, it was my own, I never made the effort to interact, but this was because… I didn’t even know how to. Throughout my life I have been a very laid-back and quiet person, so naturally I am very socially awkward, even to this day at university, it’s no-where near as bad as what it was two years ago, but I’m still learning about how to interact with people. So I am really sorry if I ever seem like I don’t what I’m talking about, send too many messages or word things weirdly, I just have little knowledge of these kinds of things, mainly due to people who don’t care about how they treat others.

So I think my depression may of started there, it led to me not knowing whether I wanted to go to university or not, I felt like I would probably have to go to college after sixth form to even have a chance of being in the media industry, not to university where I really wanted to go. It wasn’t until the first month of the next school year, that I realised I had depression. One of my favorite people to watch on YouTube posted a video about it, he explained how he had been feeling for the last few months and it was more or less the same as me, he then went onto say how he became diagnosed with it from a doctor. This video helped me to finally realise what was going on with my life, I now knew what had been plaguing me for so long. Luckily it only really took a month after for me to get over the worst episode of it, that month however was a very bad month for me emotionally.

Luckily I didn’t need any treatment for my depression, like I said, it wasn’t as serious as most people’s but it certainly lingered for a long time. I hope this post sheds some light on depression and on me as a person, it’s been a positive experience for me to write this. Please if you do think you have any symptoms of depression, seek advice from a doctor, or ask for counselling, both can be a very good way of getting your head clear of it, leaving it only makes it so much worse, trust me.

Thank you for reading, and remember, always keep a positive light about life, don’t let things bring you down, remain strong, again thank you 🙂

How to LinkedIn

Hello, today I’m going to be talking about how to set up your own LinkedIn profile, hence the title, it was supposed to be clever but that’s up for you to decide.

First of all I should probably explain what LinkedIn is and what it allows you to do. I always like to think of it as a “professional Facebook” , which is one way to look at it, as it’s basically a social media website but for professionals, however don’t let that make you think LinkedIn is full of selfies and annoying videos appearing on your timeline, it’s in fact really nothing like Facebook, it’s completely separate and unique. Many of its features aren’t available on Facebook, due to its target audience and purpose. LinkedIn describes itself as “the world’s largest professional network”, and with good reason, it has over 330 million members worldwide, which is a huge amount, and 39 million of those are students and graduates, like you and me, who are their fastest-growing demographic (Press.linkedin.com, 2014). LinkedIn allows members to create a profile page, which shows off who they are, what their skills and qualifications are, hobbies and interests e.t.c, much like a CV, except this CV doesn’t have to be submitted to anyone, people are going to be looking for you, if you have the right things that they’re looking for and the right profile, you’ll have connections coming in no time, which are basically LinkedIn’s version of friends.

How do we create a professional profile?

Example of a LinkedIn profile

This question seems like a pretty difficult one, but really it’s not that difficult at all! LinkedIn actually gives you all the tools to do it, like the layout and the sections to fill out,  all you have to do is  just fill in the blanks!

So we should have a LinkedIn account already, which when you create one, you can in fact upload your CV so you don’t have to fill in so many blanks, which can be very useful. It will not however fill in all of them, so that’s what I’m going to show how to do.

So when you look at your profile it should look a little like the example shown, with your name and a few other things, which may look alien to you now, but don’t worry we’ll get through them soon enough. First things first we need to get the main chunk of information filled in, which is everything in the white rectangle where my face is. First of all is your name, which should be fairly easy.

Next is the headline, Headlines are used to entice connections to visit your page, it states what you are and is one of the things users will see when they search for your name in the search bar, they’ll see your name, profile picture and headline. An example of a headline could be: “Visionary Entrepreneur and Investor”, this says what my job title is, showing who I am, and if you worked for a company you would also add that in as well.

For your location, you should just put the city and country you live in/operate in, users don’t need to know your full address, they can find that out when you are in contact with them and comfortable with giving out that information.

Industry is to make sure you get the right opportunities, the people who are from your area of expertise, and not people from a different industry asking you about something you don’t have the necessary knowledge for.

Finally there’s your previous job and education, but that part will be filled in later by the appropriate sections later on (the education and experience sections).

 The next section is the summary section, this is the make or break point for if you want connections, users are either going to stay or go after reading this part of your profile, so it has to be interesting. This section wants to be light to read, so about a paragraph long and written in the first person, basically summarising yourself, what you do, how you help others, how others help you, what your dream career is, things that tell the user who you are.

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An example of the experience and education sections

The employment and education sections show off your main experience and qualifications. You should fill in all of these two sections apart from your GCSEs and A-levels, you will have far too many to list and users will only really be interested in your university degree you are currently working towards. With employment you should list all positions you have had as well as your current one, show how long you worked for in that position, as well as your responsibilities for that position, try to mention any skills you also practiced while working as this will help in a later section. Your education section should show your university as well as the degree you are working towards. Including a description and any activities/societies you participate in can also really catch connections eyes, there maybe something that the both of you do. Adding any papers or presentations you work on as well doesn’t hurt, as this can provide valuable evidence of your previous work and provide a strong reason for someone to connect with you, especially if they are an employer.

The next important section we’re going to be looking at will be skills and endorsements. Skills are fairly straightforward, they are basically something you excel at or are trained in, for example Microsoft Word as well as teamwork can be two different strengths. You should probably list about ten or so skills to begin with, as you make more connections, you’ll receive more endorsements for skills. Three skills that would be good to add, providing you have them of course, would be “verbal communication”, “Teamwork” and “Commercial awareness”, these three skills were found to be deemed the most important by employers of Kent University’s graduates (University of Kent, 2014).

Endorsements are provided by connections, they solidify that you are skilled in that particular skill.  This is one of the reasons why having connections is super important, they help out in a number of ways.  In fact LinkedIn are running a competition right now where the prize is Liam Neeson as his popular character Bryan Mills from the movie series Taken will endorse your “particular set of skills” (who doesn’t want to be talked about by Liam Neeson!). The competition if you’re interested can be found here: https://www.linkedin.com/company/taken-3

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Example of the additional info section

Finally at the bottom of your page I would recommend putting the additional info section here, it’s not really needed to be at the top of your profile as it’s the least important section, it’s just telling any users a little bit more about you, such as your personal details, interests and advice for contacting you. Even though it’s the least important, it is still relevant, especially the interests and advice for contacting. Your interests can really show what you’re passionate about and tell users more about yourself. Explaining how to contact you, makes it so much easier for connections as well as for you, as you’re telling them what’s the best way to contact you, which will most likely be easier for you as they get in contact with you on your preferred method of communicating.

There are also other sections that you can add, that you should only be added if you deem them to be appropriate, for example, if you have never done any volunteering before in your life, you shouldn’t add in that section, as it would just remain blank and possibly ruin your entire profile, as users who see a blank piece of information would immediately think that you were unprofessional and would probably bounce from your profile soon after. This is something you do not want, so only add in sections appropriate to yourself.

Once you have completed your profile, you’ll want to getting to get as many connections as possible, this is where optimising your LinkedIn profile is really important to do, this blog post written by Inbound Marketing Blog provides some great information to how you can maximise your SEO for better search results within LinkedIn’s internal search engine which users use to find possible connections. Following the steps in their blog post will help you with this, also checking out this blog post about measuring success, I wrote which can help you see how popular your LinkedIn profile is.

Taking the perfect profile picture

One of the biggest things to remember about LinkedIn is that your main objective is to get noticed by others so you can gain connections, which will spread your influence and grow your LinkedIn profile, allowing more users to find you. Therefore a good profile picture is one of the most important aspects of your profile, perhaps even the most important, as it will be the first thing that potential employers and other users will see when looking through LinkedIn. In order to make sure your profile isn’t ignored, you should make sure you are first and foremost smiling, that pearl white gleam of yours projects a positive response as you are showing happiness by doing so. It’s even been scientifically proven that smiling makes you appear more trustworthy and sincere  (KrĂ€mer et al., 2013), which are two traits that are great for first impressions, which is what the profile picture is all about!

It should also be an up-to-date image of yourself, it’s no good putting up a picture of yourself from a Christmas party a few years ago, it needs to be from at the very most, six months ago, it shouldn’t be any later, your appearance could have changed since then, a potential employer is going to be pretty shocked if you come in for an interview, not looking anything like what you do in your LinkedIn profile picture.

The background of your profile image should also be blank, I would highly recommend a plain painted wall, you want the attention and focus to be on you, not your one direction poster or your towels that are hanging in your bathroom. The wall should also be something of a neutral colour, like a white or cream, as those colours are probably not going to clash with what you’re wearing, these colours  look quite boring and bland and therefore keep the attention on you. Wearing something smart-looking also doesn’t hurt,  a shirt, suit or dress can make all the difference, it shows employers that you dress professionally, again that key word “Professional”, it’s the biggest thing that employers are looking for. It will also be what you are most likely to wear to a future professional job.

Adding rich media-content to your profile

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Example of a Slideshare presentation

Adding a piece of media content to your profile can help make it that little bit more professional, as well as engaging to users who visit your profile. An example of a piece of rich-media content would be Slideshare, a company actually owned by LinkedIn. Slideshare largest community for sharing presentations online, being among one the top 120 websites visited in the world (Slideshare.net, 2014). Slideshare allows users to create presentations, using their engaging interface which is easy to use, and pretty self-explanatory. You could use a slideshare presentation for your LinkedIn profile in a number of different ways, like showing off your skills or telling users about who you are. All these are good examples of what you can do with it in order to add and make it relevant to your LinkedIn profile. If presentations are not your thing, then you could add an infographic, which you could have as an example of your work, which would look great to possible connections as well as employers.

Do you have any tips of your own or experience with LinkedIn?, Then please share with me in the comments section!

References

KrĂ€mer, N., Kopp, S., Becker-Asano, C. and Sommer, N. (2013). Smile and the world will smile with you—The effects of a virtual agent‘s smile on users’ evaluation and behavior. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 71(3), pp.335-349. [Accessed 13 Dec. 2014]

Press.linkedin.com, (2014). LinkedIn – About. [online] Available at: http://press.linkedin.com/about [Accessed 13 Dec. 2014].

Slideshare.net, (2014). About Us. [online] Available at: http://www.slideshare.net/about [Accessed 15 Dec. 2014].

University of Kent, (2014). Top ten employability skills. [online] Available at: http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/sk/top-ten-skills.htm [Accessed 15 Dec. 2014].

Measuring social media success with Klout

Klout is an online tool, that allows users to examine the truth success of their social media influence. It awards something which it calls “Klout points”, the more points you have, the more successful you are. It’s used by many different users as well as businesses to determine what they are doing well in their social media campaigns, seeing what days activity spikes up from charts that klout provides. Success on Klout is generally considered to be the amount of mentions you are getting, likes or retweets, views and followers/subscribers, in other words just all of the activity that goes on to do with your social media account. Klout also allows you to connect multiple social media accounts at once, like facebook, twitter, Instagram and even LinkedIn.

To measure your success,  all you simply have to do is go to Klout.com , create a Klout account, and finally connect the accounts you wish to measure, for example your facebook account.

Klout is a great and interesting tool to use to help determine how successful your social media accounts are, and I would fully recommend it!

Klouts official blog: http://blog.klout.com/

Online Communities

There are many different forms of Online communities, but they usually tend to be group pages or forums, a place where people can post and discuss about a certain topic, or just simply talk to one another and make friends. The example I am going to be focusing on in this post is The Student Room, which is a website dedicated to people who are in education. The audience of the student room seem to be aged around 13-21, typically the ages people tend to be in education.

The Student Room’s forums have a massive amount of different sub-forums, for a wide variety of different discussions and forum threads. These range from relationships (which it itself has about three different sub-forums depending on which type of relationship, allowing users to find people with the same problems or who have advice), to studying help. The Student Room focuses on social and life aspects of a young person’s life as much as education, which is important as when a young person goes through their education, as they experience a lot of changes as well as they grow up to become adults.

The rules for Student room are well laid out, and are what you would expect, with rules such as no abuse or bullying and of course spamming. The moderators do their job well enough as it is hard to find a post which has broken the rules and is still visible upon the forums. There is also not an overstrictness with posts, as in people can communicate their ideas without worry that it’ll be removed or censored, so long as it isn’t extreme or against the rules.

Instagram

Instagram taxonomies and folksonomy!

Media Medulla

‘Instagram Logo’ by JosĂ© Moutinho is licensed under CC by 2.0.

Intagram Logo

Instagram has rocketed to fame over the past couple of years. It’s used by celebrities, and well known figures, along with the general public. People have been able to socialise and build businesses through the media platform, all by posting a few filtered images. So, how has this platform become so well known and popular around the globe?

It’s use of taxonomy and folksonomy makes the platform easily accessible and creates a well organised platform, that is user friendly that therefore enables it’s users to search interesting and beneficial content, through the categories provided by Instagram. Tags are used to label groups in the online community created on Inatagram, but then help to convey a collabrative culture, and helps promote these groups. Users can identify ideas within a post through the use of these tags, typically in the


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What d’ya think of the Jurassic World Trailer?

Ok, So the new Jurassic World trailer came out yesterday and the internet is going nuts about it, which is probably a good thing as the Star Wars teaser is out this weekend, so the internet will soon be changing its focus to that movie most likely. I am actually quite a big fan of the Jurassic park series, I loved it as a kid and have seen all the movies at least three times, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched the original. The first movie was brilliant, a true cult classic with it’s brand new state of the special effects as well as some practical puppetry, yes that Mrs T-rex was a puppet in some scenes and looked scarily realistic. The following movies, despite having great special effects, were nowhere near as good as the original, they had weak scripts and really poor characters, and the acting also wasn’t nearly as good as it had been in the original. The third film especially is one I think people would rather forget..

So when I saw this film announced I thought, “Hmm, this could be either be really good, or be really bad”, I was excited though, but very curious to why they were making a new Jurassic park film, 13 years after the last one, which arguably killed the franchise. But after watching the trailer, I am a little relived, it seems that Jurassic World is going down the route of the original, returning to its origins, which is a good thing, the other two movies had completely different plots to the original which didn’t work out at all.

In the trailer we see two male brothers saying goodbye to their mum as they presumably head off for a vacation at Jurassic World, the brand new park which has been created with dinosaurs as the main attraction and stars of the park. The trailer then shows some scenes which tip their hat off to the original, which is really cool to see, especially the opening of the gates scene, the most iconic from the franchise. So the trailer for the first half is focused on different areas of the park where the brothers are, then we get the news that the scientists have created a hybrid dinosaur, because that seems like a great idea, and this is probably my biggest worry for this film, having the big bad dinosaur, a hybrid, just seems kind of dumb in some ways, and I think this is either going to make or break this movie at least critically, if it can make this dinosaur seem realistic somewhat and really cool, then this movie will be great, but I’ve seen so many movies do this kind of idea and it just fails completely.

So the chief scientist who is also a main character calls in a Dinosaur behaviorist, played by Chris Pratt who seems to be the main protagonist as the second half of the trailer focuses heavily on him and his chase for the hybrid dinosaur which is now loose in Jurassic world. Chris Pratt being cast as the main character gets a big thumbs up from me after seeing him in Guardians of the Galaxy, however he seems to be playing a really serious kind of guy in this film, which worries me a teeny-weeny bit, as in guardians his character is as comedic and non-serious as they come, nevertheless he is a good actor so I’m confident he can pull it off.

We now see things start to get really serious with a very fast scene after scene being shown with danger clearly present, which can only be the hybrid dinosaur, which by the way we never see in the trailer, there is some kind of dinosaur that chases Chris Pratt, but we don’t actually see what it is, only it’s claws and legs, which I guess we can assume is the hybrid, but I really like how we don’t actually see what the dinosaur is, it keeps that mystery feeling to the film.

Then to end the trailer we see Chris Pratt on a quadbike surrounded by raptors running alongside him, which is awesome! but also makes me wonder why they aren’t ripping him to shreds, but he is a behaviorist, so I guess he raptors are now the good guys, despite being evil little bastards in the other films.

So in summary, Looks like film will follow two young brothers at the park, two main protagonists are the chief woman scientist at the park and a Dinosaur behaviorist who are hunting down a murderous, mysterious, hybrid, evil dinosaur which is going to kill everything in site, including the thousands of visitors in the park. Trailer also looks like the original with many similar looking scenes featured within.

So should we look forward to this movie? Absolutely, but do go in with a slight feeling of caution, it could be a bad film, and it also probably isn’t going to be as hyped as the trailer makes it out to be. But generally just from watching this trailer, I am definitely going to go watch this movie when it’s released, this trailer does a really good job and I can’t wait for Jurassic world to come out!