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New photos: The National Aquarium in Baltimore!

6 Sep

Small turtle at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, September 1, 2018. Photo by Shayna BlumenthalSea anemone at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, September 1, 2018. Photo by Shayna BlumenthalSea anemones and fish at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, September 1, 2018. Photo by Shayna BlumenthalClown fish at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, September 1, 2018. Photo by Shayna BlumenthalSingle jellyfish at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, September 1, 2018. Photo by Shayna BlumenthalGroup of jellyfish at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, September 1, 2018. Photo by Shayna BlumenthalTwo puffins on a rock at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, September 1, 2018. Photo by Shayna BlumenthalJellyfish at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, September 1, 2018. Photo by Shayna Blumenthal

I recently went to the National Aquarium in Baltimore for the first time, and it was amazing! I couldn’t stop squealing like a little kid, amazed by all the beauty and wonder around me. I was completely mesmerized by the puffins (I mean, who wouldn’t be?), and couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw dolphins in person! Unfortunately, the dolphins moved so fast, and I was so far away, that I couldn’t get a good picture of them.

I always had this idea that animals at zoos were in cages. But at the aquarium, I saw turtles missing limbs, dolphins being rehabilitated, and so many animals being cared for. Maybe it was because it was the sea versus land, but most of what I saw was educational.

It took us about three to go through the aquarium, and we didn’t even get to one of the exhibits! Afterwards we walked around a bit, but with an hour drive back to DC, we didn’t stick around too long. However, we’re definitely going back to Baltimore, next time to Fort McHenry!

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News Feature: Soldier for Life finds social media success when reaching out to service members

19 Mar

In my most recent role, I have been fortunate enough to be in a position where we are able to help people, and see the impact of our efforts. Coming from the world of journalism and social media, I never thought I’d one day be working with the Military, but now that I am, it’s the kind of job I’ve always dreamed of: one that has a mission, a purpose, and a passion. The past year and half has been a crash course in Army lingo and culture, but the journey was well worth it!

Check out the article Soldier for Life finds social media success when reaching out to service members, which highlights some of the successes I’ve achieved during my time as the Social Media Manager at Soldier for Life.

For more information on the Soldier for Life program, you can check out our website, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook!

What’s the deal with ‘Ello?

17 Oct

Dubbed the “anti-Facebook”, ‘Ello is a new social network that is free of advertisers. According to their manifesto, “You are the product that’s bought and sold”. And honestly, that should not come as a shock to you.

Although it is sad that this fact is so blatant these days, it’s honestly no surprise that we, the consumer, have also become the commodity. And Facebook is not to blame. Ever since our online activity has become tractable, companies have used that information to target, remind, and serve us ads whenever and wherever possible.

I remember a few years ago, my mom kept asking me why she would always see the same Nordstroms ad no matter where she was looking online. My first question to her was, “Were you recently on the Nordstroms site? Did you buy anything?” She told me she didn’t, she was just looking at shoes. I explained to her that Nordstroms saw that, and they want her to come back and finish the purchase. So how is this any different from Facebook serving you ads from the sites you visit? Aren’t they, essentially, just another website?

Advertisers have tremendous technology that tracks every click you make, every online purchase, and every abandoned cart. With all this in mind, I honestly don’t see what the big deal is with ‘Ello (I should also mention that I don’t quite care for Facebook either). Facebook is a business, whose function is to make money, just like any other business. Yes, we could all talk about the “good old days” before it went public, but what’s the point in that?

Although the stand that ‘Ello is taking is admirable, at this point it’s too late. Online privacy is essentially non-existent, and will probably never exist again. The sooner this is accepted, the sooner we can move on.

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