This week’s Social Media Matters column (originally published April 22, 2011)

Social Media Matters

Social Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, April 22, 2011
Metro section

Autocorrect can lead to disaster

If you use a smartphone – especially an iPhone – the autocorrect feature tries to guess what words you’re trying to type as you write an e-mail, text message, etc. The autocorrect feature can be turned off if you’d rather not use it.

Most people do use it, however, probably because either they don’t know they can turn it off or because they try to be extra careful and check their messages before sending them along. If you type fast and don’t notice the word that the autocorrect feature has “guessed” you were trying to type, it can make for some pretty awkward – and hilarious – text messages and e-mails.

If you haven’t checked out the “Damn you, autocorrect!” website at www.damnyouautocorrect.com, do yourself a favour and head over for some good belly laughs. Some of the most inappropriate and gut-bustingly funny text conversations are between parents and their teenage or young adult children. Usually, this involves stuff parents would never say to their kids and vice versa.

Just a warning, much of the content is definitely meant for an adult audience. There’s lots of strong language. If you’re not easily offended, though, enjoy some good laughs. Other affiliated websites include “Wrong # Texts” (text messages sent to wrong numbers – I’ve received a few of those myself) and “Parents Shouldn’t Text” (parents trying to be cool – unsuccessfully), among others.

The best of the “Damn you, autocorrect!” website is also available as a book! Just released last month, the book is written by website founder Jillian Madison. Part of the book description on the Chapters Indigo website reads, “Filled with submissions from readers of her popular website, this laugh-out-loud funny book features cringe-worthy exchanges with parents, friends, significant others, and co-workers that contain some of the most unintentionally hilarious-and mortifying-mistakes ever caused by autocorrect.”

For instance, a father tells his daughter that he and her mother are going to divorce. Unfortunately, he actually wrote “Disney” before it was autocorrected. Obviously, the complete freak out by his daughter was not what he was expecting – until he noticed that she actually read “divorce” and not “Disney,” as he had intended.

Bottom line, the website (and, I imagine, the book) is a great read if you need a good social media-induced chuckle.

Useful Facebook pages to follow

If you’re interested in getting the latest on Facebook hoaxes, click “like” on the Hoax-Slayer Facebook page. Just type “Hoax-Slayer” in the search bar and it should pop up at the top of the results.

Wonder if anyone else is having a certain technical problem while on Facebook? Go go the Known Issues on Facebook page (www.facebook.com/knownissues) and check out the latest on a variety of technical problems that you may or may not be experiencing.

Do you manage a Facebook page for your company, charity or any other organization? You’ll definitely want to follow the aptly named Facebook Pages page (www.facebook.com/facebookpages) for all the latest news, tips and upcoming changes.

Fight posted to YouTube leads to arrests

A fight between five teenagers in Nanaimo, B.C., during March break has resulted in two girls aged 13 and 14 being charged with assault. Another girl was punched in the face by the two girls during a fight in a mall parking lot in mid-March. A group of 20 young people watched and failed to intervene to stop the attack. The victim suffered a black eye and cut lip.

School officials took notice after someone forwarded the video of the fight that had been posted to YouTube to someone at the school. The video has since been removed from YouTube but reportedly had several hundred views before it was taken down.

Nelson Mandela Foundation on Twitter

Former South African president and human rights activist Nelson Mandela’s foundation is now on Twitter: @NelsonMandela The Foundation had to get the name from someone unrelated to Mandela who had previously reserved it. Luckily, they were dealing with someone reasonable who co-operated almost immediately. No matter who you are, reserve your name on every social media service before someone else does!

Happy Easter

If you haven’t already seen it, a video of my cousin Kelley Mooney performing her spiritual lyrical adaptation of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah continues to go viral on YouTube. The performance took place on June 1, 2010, at the Monument Lefebvre in Memramcook. Kelley was accompanied by the Chorale Voce dell’ Anima led by well known local singer and music professor Monette Gould, as well as by local musicians Brigitte Lavoie, Monica Lang, Marie-Andrée Gaudet and Joey Roy.

The spiritual lyrics written by Kelley are perfect for the Easter season. Leonard Cohen’s publisher has approved the adaptation and it will be included on a much-anticipated CD she’s releasing in June in Charlottetown.

So far, the video has received a mind-boggling quarter of a million views and the numbers continue to climb every day! Kelley and Monette are receiving wonderful feedback from all over the world. It just goes to show that even videos posted to YouTube from our neck of the woods can go viral, too! If you haven’t already seen it, check out the video here.

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