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By Meg Elwood

Monday, Feb 29, 2016

Facebook has recently released a new way to express emotions towards posts. As of last Wednesday, users can now not just “Like” posts, but love, laugh, cry and express shock and anger with a tap of an icon.


According to USA Today, the buttons were created from acknowledging that "like" isn't the right sentiment for every occasion.


Which is true, every once in awhile a Facebook status about something like a loved one passing will pop up on a newsfeed, and liking the post just doesn't seem right. I want to let the person know I acknowledged the post without commenting, (Facebook communication is strange like that) so these new emoticons work perfectly to let someone know you’re thinking of them.


The new “Reaction” buttons, their official name, also stemmed from users want for a “dislike” button. According to The Telegraph, Mark Zuckerberg announced last September that they were working on creating new options for the like button, but that “dislike” specifically would not be used.


This is because they didn't want to turn Facebook into a negative forum where people would throw shade left and right. Zuckerberg commented that this wasn't the kind of community he wanted to create.

Tons of research went into creating these five reactions. In the article from USA Today, Facebook conducted research for more than a year, using focus groups and surveys to determine the emotions people most commonly want to express.


Turns out “Love” is actually the number one used reaction button so far, hooray for humanity! The months of research created well designed little animated smileys that are very user-friendly. I didn't have to think once about what any of the faces ment. The angry icon is a good way to express frustration rather than hatred, which supports Zuckerberg’s wish to not make Facebook into a shady hate-site.


To use the reaction buttons, just press and hold the “Like” button and spread some love, laughs, gasps, tears or frustration to your Facebook friends.


To use the new "Reactions" online, simply roll over "Like". The buttons are very applicable to DiCaprio's recent success, spread the love. Screenshot credit to Meg Elwood.


It's about time Mattel.

By Meg Elwood

Thursday, Jan 28, 2016

Barbie has seen some rough times. Being one of the biggest names of dolls, she’s been popular since her debut 57 years ago. For that age, she looks pretty great, but she just got a real makeover. Real meaning real-life.


Over the years, the Barbie franchise has taken a major hit. According to a post from The Washington Post, the sales and popularity of the dolls decreased in 2014. Barbie has seen some competition like Bratz, Monster High and other dolls that can also be used with smartphone apps. In 2014, Mattel told The Washington Post that they were “working to get the dolls back on track”. One year later, it seems like they’ve finally done it.


Every news source was buzzing Thursday about the new Barbie collection, Fashionistas. Earlier that day, Mattel released the new bodies of Barbie dolls; tall, petite and curvy. Along with the body sizes, they also released new hairstyles, hair colors, skin tones, facial details, outfits and more. An article from The New York Times describes the movement as “more than just making Barbie look different”. The article quoted Richard Dickson, Mattel’s president and executive in charge of Barbie’s new look with “I think today, frankly more so than any other time, Barbie is truly representing what girls see.”


Thank you Richard Dickson and Mattel. You have finally made a doll that kids can choose as a look-alike, dream-self or just because they look beautiful. 


Four of the 23 new Fashonista Barbie Dolls.

Avalible online today. Photo credit to New York Times.

The amount of diversity in these dolls explain why it took so long. There’s a personality in each and every one of them. The thick, the thin, the small and the tall. It's how dolls always should have been. Another great thing about these dolls is the clothing.The outfits are tasteful, simple, colorful and above all, realistic. They even have flat feet, which means shoes aren't only heels (mind blown)!


Over the years, my younger sister and I have watched as our ballerina and dog-walking Barbies had turned into cheap, unrealistic and overall pretty skimpy dolls. It was weird that super short skirts and only heels were the image of barbie. Why was tall, thin and blonde with blue eyes the standard? It was rare to even find a black Barbie. Why was that?


Even at 20-years-old, seeing these new Barbies makes me excited. I can think of many of my friends who I honestly just want to give a doll to because it reminds me of them. Hell, I want one myself!


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