Apps on Apps on Apps.

1 Oct


In July of 2009 there was a mere 65,000 applications available for download on your iPhone.  Guess how many there are now?  700,000 iPhone apps.  Where did they all come from?!  The variety of apps available boggles my mind.  You can view the current weather for any city in the world, deposit a check by simply taking a picture, follow the activity of your favorite celebs on Twitter, listen to a live feed of your favorite sports team, “Bump” photos or contact information from iPhone to iPhone, or even place an order at your favorite restaurant and designate a pickup time for after class!  You can literally do just about anything you want straight through that little device that can fit in the palm of your hand.

I have many favorite apps that I currently have on my phone.  OpenTable, Orbitz, 5/3 Banking, ScoreCenter, Pandora Radio, and Instagram to name a few.

Applications are changing the face of cellphones, good ways and bad.  The convenience of applications can really cut time off the little tasks on your daily to-do list.  Instead of driving to the bank to transfer funds or deposit your check, you can do it all through a single app.

Let’s weigh the pros and cons:


  • Convenience
  • Efficiency
  • Accessibility
  • Entertainment
  • Time/money saver (gas?)
  • Easy way to stay in touch
  • Stay current
  • What else can you think of?


  • Loss of face-to-face communication
  • Battery drainer
  • Storage use
  • Distraction
  • Some cost money
  • Addiction?

Applications are around for a reason: they make our lives easier.  What about the negative aspects of applications?  Cellphones in general take away from the personal relationships of communication, as they provide a way to get around phone calls, or even face-to-face communication.  For me, it’s rare that my friends and I actually dial each others’ numbers to have a conversation.  Now we send iMessages filled with emoticons.  We depend on this technology so much that we sometimes forget how to operate without them.  Sometimes I can’t even tell my roommate a story without her nose in her iPhone.  Although she’s not the only one to blame.  A New York Times blogger wrote a very interesting blog about his dependency on this technology, and if you take the time to read it I’m sure you will find that you relate to many of his points. 

I’m not sure if there’s a way to reverse this epidemic, because it seems as if the pros outweigh the cons.  One app that is hugely helpful is FaceTime.  FaceTime is an amazing way to have a virtual face-to-face conversation and it seems like you’re almost right there with your loved one.  The way the cameras are advancing on smartphones almost makes basic digital cameras obsolete.  The new iPhone 5 has an 8.0 megapixel camera.  My digital camera that I loved so much 4 Christmases ago is 10.0 megapixels, so it seems to me that the iPhone 5 would suffice.  

There will be a time where many of our current communication trends become extinct, but who will be first, and when?


Communicating Across the Country.

1 Oct

Today’s technology affects us all in different ways, but for me it is a very important way to stay in touch with my crazy family.  My dad’s family consists of 6 siblings, spanning across the country from Texas, Georgia, California and Ohio.  My grandma always tried really hard to keep her family close after her children all went their separate ways, so planning family reunions every couple years and finding ways for us to stay in touch was something important to her.  It means a great deal to me to be able to honor her memory and continue to stay close with my family.

We came up with a fun spin on a family football pool.  Each person submits their football picks and then attaches their weekly “News from the Home Front” through email.  We’ve been doing this football pool for the past 10 years.  It’s a great way for all of us to keep each other updated on our lives.

This weekend was very special for me, because all of our huge, extended family was able to come together for my cousin’s wedding in Georgia.  My cousin’s older brother actually got married in June so this was the second trip we made for the special occasion, and it meant a lot for everyone to make an effort to do it all over again only 3 months later.

Through Facebook, Twitter, picture messaging and email, we have been exchanging pictures from the occasion.  This weekend was one of my favorite family get togethers we’ve had, even though each one is amazing, so I will definitely be looking through the pictures from time to time to relive our fun times had together.

I can’t wait to see how technology evolves and see how I will use it in the future to stay connected when I have a family.  It’d be nice if someone finally invents a way to teleport!

Wedding on Lake Oconee

Texas cousins


This article has so many great ideas on how to stay connected with family near and far.  Take a look!

Tweet Tweet.

25 Sep

In my Strategic Message Design class at Ohio State, Twitter is being used in a way I never knew existed.  I never knew what a TweetChat was until we started using it in class, and I must say it’s easy, fun and beneficial.  For anyone who has never used TweetChat, it’s a site for Twitter users to login to and search a specific hashtag.  From there you can see what other Tweeters are saying about that specific hashtag and you are able to join in on the chat.  Seeing all the tweets pop up automatically as they are being entered is amusing because chances are you are sharing the same thoughts and feelings that other Tweeters are sharing.  If you are interested in what people are saying about the iPhone 5, all you have to do is enter that hashtag and you can view others’ opinions on the new technology, which in my opinion, is more convenient than reading lists and lists of long reviews.  Click here to become acquainted with TweetChat!

I like that our professor made it mandatory for everyone in class to sign up for Twitter.  For people who have never used Twitter before, this was all new and somewhat foreign, as I remember feeling the same way when I first signed up for an account.  Social media is one thing that really awes me.  This generation has helped social media sites grow exponentially and it has created a whole new dimension for the business world.  It is now somewhat rare for a big business to NOT have a Twitter, Facebook, YouTube account because these are all major routes of communication for this generation.  If a business sends me a flyer in the mail, I am much less likely to actually take the time to read it, but if the same business followed me on Twitter, then I would definitely take the two seconds to click the ‘Follow’ button.  Today is all about convenience and functionality, and social media privileges us all with just that.

Blog Comments.

12 Sep

1) Date: 9/19/12

Type: Commented on another student’s blog


Comment: I’m so glad someone else agrees that AP Style is something useful! Before being a Strat Comm major I never even thought about PR writing, or thought that I could actually get the hang of it, and eventually be good at it.  After taking Mary’s class in Comm 221, I realized how much I enjoy learning the AP Style rules.  Now when I write papers for other classes I find myself using these rules, such as not putting a comma after the word ‘and.’ 🙂

2) Date: 9/30/12

Type: Commented on another student’s blog


Comment: This is so true! Deadlines don’t typically scare me, until it comes down to the day or two before and I haven’t completed the task yet! Just kidding, kind of. I definitely like the idea of making a checklist and I use them quite frequently. Without a checklist I wouldn’t be able to remind myself what’s needed to be done and I also use them as a reminder to get them done properly and on time.

3) Date: 10/1/12

Type: Commented on another student’s blog


Comment: I like that you mentioned the importance of the old fashioned, face-to-face communication. This generation is totally consumed in their smartphones and social media networks that it really is taking face-to-face conversation out of the picture. Even the new apps that our smartphones provide take away that aspect. You can deposit checks from your smartphone by simply taking a picture, which means interaction with a bank teller isn’t needed. There are so many apps that keep our noses in our phones that we don’t even need to watch TV to access that information. I know accessing information that way is much quicker and convenient, which is obviously why we now have it, but I think we are depending on our cellphones too heavily in order to communicate. It’s rare that I use a phone call rather than texting someone to say what I need to say. However, I will say that one positive feature that smartphones have given us to communicate is FaceTime.

4) Date: 10/1/12

Type: Commented on another student’s blog


Comment: All I can say is, wow! That is truly amazing that your nephew is starting to learn sign language. It’s a beautiful idea to teach him a way to communicate with his aunt and I can definitely say I’ve never heard of a baby learning sign language. I think teaching babies a different language at a young age is a great way to start them learning different cultures from the beginning. We started teaching both of my nieces Spanish before they even turned two. Of course, Dora the Explorer is a great teacher for this, and we also taught them how to count to 10 in Spanish, among other basic words. I really wish I would’ve had Dora around when I was a baby, because then maybe I would be able to remember my Spanish a little better now!

5) Date: 11/18/12

Type: Commented on another student’s blog


Comment: Alysson, I know exactly where you’re coming from when you say the idea of a TweetChat was new and maybe a little intimidating? I was unsure how accepting the people in my TweetChat would be since they are all working professionals, but they accepted me with open arms, and like in your case, invited me back for the next week’s chat. I was able to gain followers, and even connect with a fellow Buckeye residing in a different state. I also learned a lot from them. The most exciting thing for me was when I made a counterpoint to one of the professionals, and others backed me up! Providing your own insight and being right is fun! Maybe this means I’m ready to graduate and be a big girl now? Great post!

6) Date: 11/18/12

Type: Commented on another student’s blog


Comment: First of all, I applaud you and your fraternity for promoting a clothes drive for the Hurricane Sandy victims. This is definitely something I would be interested in supporting. I’m not apart of Greek life, but I really love all the different fundraisers and events that are held for the benefit of others. Also, I completely agree with how amazing it is that Facebook has the ability to reach millions of people in a short period of time. Although Facebook has some negative aspects, I believe the best part of this social medium is the ability to connect with others. Good job on using your resources and developing an event for this clothes drive. Good luck!


7) Date: 11/19/12

Type: Commented on another student’s blog


Comment: Personally, I have no problem with fast food chains changing their logo.  Many of them are updating their look, such as McDonald’s and Arby’s.  Maybe Wendy’s did it so that they wouldn’t be “behind the times,” but I agree with you in saying that a new logo will not change the way their burgers taste.  I think the new Wendy’s logo still has an old-fashioned feel to it.  Many people simply don’t like seeing something that they grew up with changing, which is understandable.  However, making a big fuss about it is pretty unnecessary if you ask me.

8) Date: 11/19/12

Type: Commented on another student’s blog


Comment: I really like your blog idea of tips on how to properly use Instagram. I’m becoming more and more addicted to Instagram everyday and I find the photos that others post to be very interesting. IG is a way to express yourself and your photos can even tell your own story, and I really like that aspect. Fun and interactive – can’t beat it.

9) Date: 11/19/12

Type: Commented on another student’s blog


Comment: Interesting and unique post! Congrats on finding the perfect blend of your interests for your major! I was the exact same way when I first decided to pursue a Finance degree. My aunt is a financial advisor, she travels a lot to meet up with her fancy clients, gets to wine and dine them and has lots of knowledge on the Stock Market. So I thought to myself, I’m good with numbers, I like to wine and dine, and I DEFINITELY like to travel. I’m going to be a financial advisor when I grow up! Well, I didn’t think about the possibility of the boring, nitty gritty details of that particular job. Changing my major to Strategic Communications was great for me and I’m very excited about all of the opportunities that this degree will open up for me.

10) Date: 11/19/12

Type: Commented on another student’s blog


Comment: Advertising is fascinating to me.  Not only are the multitude of ad types interesting, and the different ways to use each one, but the science behind figuring out how to reach your audience is intriguing.  Targeting an ad on Michigan apparel in the Columbus area makes zero sense, and would infuriate the majority of the population.  Finding out how to reach the audience, developing an ad idea that will drag them in and designing the ad are all major aspects in the advertising industry.  The funny thing is I never even realized these things until I started taking communication classes for my major.

Newborn Blogger.

11 Sep

Welcome to the blogging world, Abby.

My name is Abby Dobras and I’m a senior at Ohio State University majoring in Strategic Communications.  If you asked me what I wanted to do after I graduated you might find a puzzled look on my face, because as of now, AKA 7 months until graduation, I still haven’t targeted my exact goal.  

If I picture my dream job, I see myself working for a sports team, ideally the Cleveland Browns, in their marketing or advertising department.  I was raised a Browns fan, unfortunately, and I know I could relate to the target market.  I find marketing extremely interesting because it’s all about the challenges of finding the most beneficial message to put out to your audience.  I think the various tactics that marketers use, along with the research, targeting and planning, make marketing a fascinating industry.

I chose to go into Communications because I have always done well at expressing my ideas to other parties, whether personal or work related, and I’m good at convincing others to take a certain plan of action.  When I was in high school I figured out a way to convince my parents to put in a pool, and I feel like that’s a great piece of experience I could add to my resumé.  😉  If I can accomplish that, then I feel like I can really excel in the Communications world.

Alex Pasternak

My take on Strategic Communications at The Ohio State University

Alysson Walling

Strategically Communicating

Be Happy No Worries

Amber Victoria McGinnis: a free-spirit God fearing college gal site


Smile! You’re at the best site ever


A topnotch site


A Communications Blog for Strategic Message Design. Just go with it.

Comm 3334

Daniel Kieffer


Nothing is Better Left Unsaid


Communications and Media Blog

JamesW Thoughts

An Outlet for Great Ideas.... #BeGreat


Blogging and bebopping my way through a social media-crazed culture