Kent State junior becomes TikTok famous

Words by Kaitlyn Finchler

A Kent State junior has over 36,000 followers on TikTok. Jake, also known as @sir.mclovin, has been making TikToks since Oct. 2019. 

Jake has videos ranging from Fortnite dances to his most recent series of videos revolving around Kaitlin Bennett, the “Kent State gun girl.” 

“I saw [that Kaitlin Bennett] was trending recently, and we go to the school that she went to,” Jake said. “I thought I might as well be the guy on the inside to give the people what they want. That’s kind of where that idea came from and future videos will be coming.”

Jake went to the gun rally held by Bennett last year, because he wanted to see what the hype was about. Bennett held a walk supporting open carry rights in 2018, but the event turned into a disagreement between her and protestors. According to Jake, the rally turned into an opportunity for community members to yell at police, rather than anything regarding Bennett or guns. 

Jake has had the comedy film mindset for a while. In high school, he and his friends dressed up as the Avengers to compete in the state track meet. Jake dressed up as Thor, stepping into the ring with the hammer, wig and big helmet on. 

Jake spends a lot of time competing for the Kent State track team and he spends his free time on TikTok. His roommate, junior sports administration major Ryan Demaline, sometimes helps Jake out with his videos.

“It’s funny, because usually something will happen one day and I’ll come home [and] say it to him and then he’ll go off that idea and make it into a little video,” Demaline said. 

Jake likes to have Tik Tok as something stress-free and fun.

“It’s fun, it keeps me busy [and] it’s entertaining,” Jake said. “There really hasn’t been anything negative that I’ve had to deal with.”

Demaline said there is nothing but positivity in Jake’s content.

“All the videos [that] Jake does… some are funny [and] some are a little controversial but they’re all in good fun, they’re just fun to watch,” Demaline says.

You can reach Kaitlyn on Instagram & Twitter: @kaitlynfinchler

This post will be deleted, you won’t be able to find it anymore

Words by Kathryn Monsewicz

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

~ Mother Teresa

Think of Mother Teresa as you press your fingertip to the little white and blue icon on your phone screen. It illuminates as a sea of white, preparing you, wiping your mind clean of all individual thought and action so that it can download some “Trump-this” and “cute-cats-that” and “People You May Know,” which everyone knows you don’t really know.

Facebook is like the field days you had in elementary school. Everybody from your class is romping around, playing on the bouncy houses, screaming as they slip down the slides and sucking down cotton candy faster than the sugary floss can be spun; but someone always has to ruin the fun and get themselves hurt. Tommy loses his balance in the bouncy house and falls, disrupting Jessica’s new backflip so she falls and sprains her ankle. She’s crying. He’s crying. She spits at him for knocking her over. He spits at her because she spat at him.

Facebook is a big bouncy house with a bunch of spit flying around.

But do you remember those old field days; the grandest of all grand recesses? For my generation, our memories were captured on cheap, disposable cameras (the ones where on the package is a young father pushing totally-not-his-daughter on the swing) or digital point-and-shoots that, unless you want it to fly away, you better have a wristlet attached. Today’s children have their smartphones to snap a quick photo and upload the content straight to Instagram or Facebook. On Facebook, these photos are added to a timeline. Facebook is very diligent in keeping track of all of these lovely memories from 2000 and God knows when. Facebook even remembers that Bratz-themed birthday party you had when you were eight and you had chocolate syrup smeared all over your pudgy, baby-fat face.

Privacy settings may vary, but overall, every one of your friends (including the 150+ you really don’t know) gets to bask in that past glory with you.

Feeling nostalgic? There’s an app for that! Looking to laugh and reminisce with friends? Same app. Want to feel a little nauseous, too? It’s all rolled together in that one app! “On This Day,” the Facebook application created to show you what you looked like or what you were doing so many years ago on this exact same day, is just that application.

When you see those infamous grams of the past, what do you do? Do you smile and choose to “share” them, or do you cringe and try to erase them from all of existence, sometimes only to find out they were a “tagged” photo and the best you can do is “untag” yourself?

Isn’t there something to be said about trying to erase your past when that is what brought you to where you are today?

I’m guilty. I’m guilty of trying to erase my past. But guess what? It’s not that easy. You can’t just erase the person you used to be because a part of you will always be that person.

I see pictures of middle school trips to Washington, D.C., when I thought I could pull off straight-across bangs; pictures from a school project where I’m collecting mud from a pond and you can clearly see that, yes, my underwear was purple that day; selfies from when I thought neon eyeshadow up to my eyebrows, hot pink hair extensions and fishnet gloves looked “scene;” pictures of high school football games where nobody actually watched the game, but jumped from friend group to friend group just to chat; pictures of my prom when I was too scared to eat the vegetarian lasagna because I didn’t know how many calories were in it and then they brought out the cookies and ice cream and I just couldn’t enjoy any because they would make me fat; pictures from the first weeks of college when I cried every night because of how lonely I was; pictures from vacations with family where I’d go to any art museum available and happily identified every single piece, artist and period of history, taking careful notes of each so I could show my art history teacher when I returned to school in the fall.

Pictures. Pictures of my life that I’ve deleted. I hated them. I thought I looked hideous, fat and awkward. I had bad memories from some, remembering relationships that turned bad or people who I’ve lost. I felt almost bullied by my past through Facebook, when really I’m the one bullying my past. Not to mention, I erased pictures of other people. I erased friendships that I thought I didn’t care to remember, I thought I could erase from my head or from my heart, but they are all part of my timeline. Once you delete these photos, old photos that you no longer have on your brand new Android or slick and stylish MacBook, you cannot find them again. All you have are the images in your mind, and you have done your very best to forget about those before Facebook’s app had a say in it.

The past has a boomerang effect. You toss it out the window like leftovers, and it comes swinging right in through the backdoor to knock you on your head when you’re not looking.

So you wiped your profile clean of all the misfit photos from long ago. Guess what? Five years from now, given Facebook hasn’t gone all Myspace on us (Myspace? What’s that old dinosaur?), you’ll delete the photo of you and your sorority sister clinking cheap beer bottles and wearing messy buns on your heads. You’ll need to because by then you’ve graduated, you’re job hunting and praying your potential employer doesn’t find you on the Interwebs.

Maybe it’s the right decision to delete certain photos if the benefits outweigh the costs.

All I’m trying to show you is that our timelines, the ones we live on and through, remain somewhere with someone. In the head and in the heart, we have memories that have built us up and torn us down. We have today to post those new photos, to begin the next point on the timeline. Have your memories today. You never know when you’re going to erase them.

Amusingly Personal: Facebook 1, Bri 0

Words by Bryonna Manes

Facebook used to be the turf of the Millennials and Generation Z. From 2004 to 2008 I spent a majority of my time begging my mom to let me have a Facebook. Sure, I had a Myspacewhich seems way more dangerous now, when I look back— but I wanted a Facebook. Everyone had one and my 10 through 14-year-old self was convinced that if I had a Facebook, all my problems would be solved. I’d be popular, boys would like me and all my friends would see how awesome I was. My how things have changed. Now, Facebook is like this land of potential employers spying on me and my parents and family peering in at my life. Oh, and let’s not forget to mention friends tagging me in really embarrassing photos and BuzzFeed articles that reveal the not-so flattering attributes of my life. Facebook is no longer this fun land of popularity and taking pretty profile pictures that your mom makes you take down when boys comment on them. Facebook is something to be navigated, patrolled and mastered. and let me tell you, I have not mastered it.

My relationship with Facebook previous to this past month had been rather easy. I managed to avoid being tagged in embarrassing photos (mostly). I minimized my use of curse words and strong language to avoid scaring away any employers or scaring my grandparents and receiving a lecture. The only Facebook downfall I seemed to be guilty of was expressing my emotions through song lyrics. That’s right, I was one of those people. The emotionally charged and tear-inspiring lyrics of Sara Bareilles’ can be found in my Timehop feed at least once a month. Until this past month, that was the only Facebook “mistake” I was aware I had made. It wasn’t until I was on the phone with my father the weekend before this past Easter that I became aware of how naive to Facebook’s use and presence I had been.

The conversation with my father was taking place due to the fact that I had decided to attend Easter dinner at my mother’s side of the family’s instead of with my father’s side of the family. I should clarify, every year we alternate. This year, my parents went to my father’s side, and I went to my mother’s side (and my brother went to work). Before anyone goes jumping to assumptions, I did not skip Easter with my dad’s family because of some grudge or favoritism; I actually miss that side of my family quite often. I had decided to attend Easter dinner with my mother’s side of the family because her father, my Pappap, wasn’t doing so well and I wanted to spend some time with him and the rest of the family. We had recently lost her mother, my grandmother. So it felt nice to stay close to them and see them a bit more than usual. There was no underlying reason I decided not to go to my dad’s side.

But I did fail to communicate that with everyone involved (strike one).

My lack of communication is what inspired the conversation with my father. He called me to talk about some concerns his side of the family had. They were worried that I did not want to come to dinner there because they offended me in some way. I was flabbergasted. Offended me? What could they have done to offend me? They were loving, sweet and always interested in my life. Sure, we didn’t see each other often, and I wasn’t very good at calling them to talk and catch up or visit them on my own without my parents with me. As I thought about it, I realized if anyone had anything to be offended about, it was them. I was awful! Looking past the epiphany of self-scolding I was having, I asked my dad, “Well what did she say?” referring to my aunt. The next words I heard from my cell phone were compiled into a sentence I wouldn’t have been able to predict if my life depended on it. He said, “Well, she wanted to make sure you didn’t feel upset, and wanted to know if it was about the whole girlfriend thing because that isn’t something to worry about.” Girlfriend. He did say girlfriend, right? Yes, yes, my parents know that I am a girl who likes girls. I also like boys. I just so happen to be dating a girl right now. The thing is, I didn’t think my dad’s side of the family knew anything about it! The next stream of words came out of my mouth so fast. They were somewhere along the lines of, “She knows? How does she know?” And then, my father, who didn’t have a smart phone until about a year and a half ago, my father, who doesn’t even have a Facebook himself said, “Well they saw it on Facebook, sweetie.”

And that, ladies and gents, was how I came out on Facebook (strike two).

The next 15 minutes on the phone with my father were spent trying not to cry (because I had come out to my family and didn’t even know it) and figuring out what I should do next. It turns out, not only my aunt and cousin, but even my 85-year-old grandma (who does not have a Facebook) knew about it. They had all previously met my girlfriend, sat there and listened to me call her my “friend” and “roommate” like a jackass, and never even broke a grin or a chuckle. We were masters at not talking about things. I was mortified. Not that I had a girlfriend, or even that my family knew about it. I was fine with that. I wasn’t even really trying to keep it a secret. I just didn’t know how to talk about it. They don’t give you a handbook or anything when you attend your first gay pride meeting or something. But they really should, don’t you think?

This was my major moment of Facebook faux pas. I came out to my family on Facebook, without even knowing it. Not only was I embarrassed for acting so childish and not simply talking to my family, but I was impressed with how relatively casual my whole family was about the situation. Not to mention how skilled they were at going along with my “friend” scenario. They didn’t even bat an eye. In the end, I realized that family will always love you. Do I expect them to forgive me right away for not telling them myself? Of course not. But my family is always going to love me and have my back. That’s more than I can say for that tricky little friend called Facebook.

Keep it Clean

Words by Drew Parker
Illustration by Eric Platt

You are being followed. Potential employers are tracking your digital footprint, and they want to know everything about you (well, almost everything). 

Ryan McNaughton, a career counselor with Kent State Career Services, said that approximately 90 percent of employers now consider each applicant’s social media presence.

“You can run but you can’t hide,” McNaughton said. “If you feel the need to be sneaky with your online presence, that says something in itself. If you can’t present yourself as you are, that’s a wake-up call to change.”

Fortunately, we’ve provided you with a guide to social media purity. Get cleaning.

Simple Wash

Three Kent State students have made social media clean-ups easier. Using their backgrounds in computer science and electronic media, Camden Fullmer, Daniel Gur and David Steinberg developed SimpleWash, an application that searches users’ Facebook profiles for a preset list of words or phrases potential employers may find unacceptable. 

The program highlights obscenities on users’ Facebook walls, status updates, tagged photos, liked pages, links, photos and comments, suggesting the user remove the content. 

The students started developing the app in January during the University of Pennsylvania’s PennApps Hackathon competition, which hosted 120 teams. Hackathons are events where teams work to produce an application that is both creative and beneficial to users. 

Gur said partying is part of college life and suggested students should still be able to land jobs regardless of their social lives. 

“Employers may find it weird that you don’t have a presence online because you’re hiding your Facebook or other social media,” Gur said. “I was applying for internships last summer, and it took me hours to clean up my wall. We developed this so students don’t have to be punished for having fun.”

The three SimpleWash developers are now working to incorporate Instagram and Twitter into the application. Gur says they want to include a photo recognition service that will find employer “no-no’s,” like red Solo cups and beer bottles.

How to use SimpleWash

1. Go to http://simplewa.sh/login and select “get started.” 

2. Log into Facebook, allowing the app to access Facebook content. 

3. Select “start.” SimpleWash will highlight all questionable text. Select highlighted text to edit or delete.

Users can also identify specific words or phrases by using the custom search bar at the top of the page

Social Media Tips 

Facebook

  • Regularly review friends and likes for inappropriate content.
  • Never use privacy settings to hide content that shouldn’t be there in the first place.
  • Delete photos containing any alcohol, nudity or drug use. 
  • Be mindful of tagged photos, as well as wall posts from others.

 

LinkedIn 

  • Use a professional profile photo.
  • Don’t exaggerate or misrepresent part-time jobs. If something isn’t impressive without excessive embellishment, leave it out.
  • Complete the “additional info” and “summary” sections. Use keywords potential employers may search for.
  • Refrain from requesting a connection too early. Wait until a substantial real-world connection has been made.

 

Twitter

  • Unfollow celebrities or users with a vulgar presence.
  • Think before tweeting. Always.
  • Refrain from posting negative tweets. Instead, tweet about positive experiences in your academic, work and personal lives. 
  • Use tasteful humor and displays of personality.
  • Use discretion when expressing religious and political views.

 

Insta-do’s and Insta-don’ts

Words by Rachel Campbell

Instagram has the reputation of being used by stereotypical hipsters and young people, but with a recently recorded active user number of 100 million, this demographic has been widened. Launched in October 2010, Instagram has embraced the beauty of photo sharing for more than 2 years now, allowing iPhone and Android users to post pictures from their phone with a variety of filter options.

Like any social network, Instagram comes with a number of unwritten rules and suggestions of what you should and should not do with the freedom of your account.

Do

Connect your accounts

Instagram is a thriving social media outlet in its own right, but it also allows you the option of connecting to your other social networks. If you edit a photo on Instagram that you’d like to share on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr, then try skipping the extra step of reposting and just link your accounts. Plus, sharing your photos also has a direct link to your page so friends from your other social networks can see your photos or even follow you. This linking option is available on the final page of your post or in the “share” option of your feed.

Hashtag

The hashtag technique was introduced to us with the creation of Twitter. Here, the purpose of them is to trend topics and make tweets more searchable. The hashtag is also used on Instagram to aid in the searching process. You can type in any word in the “Explore” section of the app to find photos that use that hashtag. Including them on your own photos allows other users to discover pictures that may interest them.

Add to your photo map

Like hashtags, the photo map lets you and other users see specific types of photos. You have the choice to add your picture to your photo map when editing. Turning it on saves it to your own map by default, but you also have the option to name the location. This can be done by searching for nearby places or naming your own. If you choose one that was already created then you can click the name once it’s posted to see photos from other users at that same location. Sticking to tagging public places is probably your best bet. We all had that stranger danger conversation in our youth, so avoid tagging your dorm or apartment if you can.

Enjoy your photos off of your phone

The beauty of the Internet is that you can go back and look at things whenever you want, but there are some people out there who are still suckers for hard copies. StickyGram allows you to take your photos and transform them into magnets. If you’d rather get regular prints, PostalPix is a free app offered on both the iPhone and Android that allows you to order prints straight from your phone to be delivered to your door. There’s even sweet ways to display them afterwards like the Instabook from Photojojo.

Don’t

Use your account as a mirror

We all have days where we’re feeling extra fabulous. It could be attributed to a good hair day or to that rad new outfit you’re sporting, which of course are social network worthy moments that need to be documented. We all do it, but you probably shouldn’t do it every day. Or every hour. No one wants to see the same smirking face or mirror picture clogging up their feed. Unless you’re Justin Bieber or Kim Kardashian, constant vanity is a sure way to lose online followers and annoy your real life friends.

Post more photos than there are hours in a day

You should be aware of the amount of posts you make per day especially if they’re about the same thing. Try enjoying that concert instead of snapping and posting every time Freddie Frontman does something you’ve deemed photo worthy. Are you having a fun time at that party? It would probably be more believable if you didn’t have your phone glued to your hand to share every Kodak moment to your feed. Remember there’s a fine line between sharing and spamming.

#nofilter? #noonecares

As mentioned above, the point of a hashtag is to make your photos more searchable for people who may have similar interests as you. The point of Instagram is to add snazzy filters to photos you take on your phone before sharing them with the world. So what’s the point of the #nofilter hashtag? Nothing. You should use Instagram to spice up your photos and not simply just share them. We have twitpic and Facebook accounts to upload unfiltered photos. Take advantage of “Earlybird,” “Toaster” and more before you hit that share button.

Screenshot your other social media accounts

Just connect them. It’s easier. Plus when you screenshot your tweet or Facebook status to post to Instagram, it just makes it look like you’re desperate for likes. It may be witty, but Instagram should be for photos and not text.

Snag high quality photos that weren’t taken on your phone

Instagram is for in-the-moment captures. Its purpose is to display your talents as a camera phone photographer, so where’s the fun in reposting photos from a DSLR? Keep it simple and stick to your phone’s photos. There’s always Facebook or Flickr for your high quality shots.