My name is Tylie Olson and I am a senior English major (History minor) at NDSU. I was born and raised in Bismarck, ND, and I started out my college career in 2013 at Bismarck State College before transferring to NDSU in Fall 2015. I have had six majors in my time at college (Journalism, Business, Public History, Social Sciences Education, English Education, and English), so I have a variety of interests and experiences with each, and I am excited to finally graduate in Summer 2018. My interests and passions include spending time with my family and my new puppy, Tucker, reading books of all kinds, film, art, traveling, and feminism. My history with social media is similar to that of many millennials: in 2008, I created a MySpace page, filled with goofy photos of me and my friends. I constantly updated it to include my favorite songs, movies, and pictures. Around that time is also when I discovered Facebook, using it to post (what I now consider) dramatic updates and (embarrassing) photos. Today I use Facebook as less of a social media and more of a way to communicate (via messenger) with classmates or co-workers. I created a personal Twitter page in 2009 (although it remained untouched until late 2010) which I continue to use as well, but I also created a “professional” Twitter (@TylieO) which I plan to use in a more academic sense. Other social media I use include Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr. Now that I’m graduating, I hope to familiarize myself with LinkedIn. I was at one point a user of the wildly popular Vine app (RIP).
I’ve learned throughout my 10+ years on social media that it is constantly in flux and increasingly important. Initially, it was a tool to communicate with long-lost friends and relatives; now, it can change the world. People use social media to shed light on important issues, to lead moments, to inspire action. Social media presence can make or break a business, destroy a company’s reputation, save someone from bankruptcy or pay for their life-saving procedure. Social media can be a lighthearted distraction, of course, but it is more importantly a powerful way to contribute to and further a movement. Examples include #ShePersisted, #MeToo, #YesAllWomen, #BlackLivesMatter, #Ferguson, and #LoveWins.
My experience with social media has evolved along with social media itself, and I am confident the next ten years will bring about as many changes as the past ten have. I hope to use social media to continue supporting movements that are important to me, to help spread and create social change and to expose myself to important cultural issues.