Monday, November 18, 2013


[This is a targeted blog to Business School Members of California State University, Northridge Business and Economics school as a follow up to a presentation on polishing their online identity so it is professional and appropriate by the time they graduate.]



Thank you for attending my presentation “Going Viral: Developing your Professional Online Profile (POP)" at your California State University Northridge event last Friday, November 15, 2013.

As promised, here are some career and reputation/profile links you may find useful when building your own  Professional Online Profile (POP). I also wanted to remind you that now is a good time to clean up your Digital Footprint before you graduate.  Below are just a few tips for managing or reducing some of the crumbs on your digital path before you enter the full-time job market.

Good luck and thanks again for attending!  


PS--In you are interested in apply for an internship with, please contact 

Tips for managing or reducing your digital footprint (via Ryan O. Hicks / @rohixx):

  • Manage your online interactions with others.
  • Take control of your privacy; set online accounts to private.
  • Do not post what you would not want someone else knowing about you.
  • Use caution in how you interact with others on social websites.
  • Clean up your footprint - Remove photos, close online accounts, and delete old comments on websites and forums.
  • Stop using the internet as a mindless hub for entertainment, and limit your activity.
  • Google yourself and see what comes up.
There are also numerous tools to help you identify what information you may have on the internet. Some of the websites are paid and some are free. I am not affiliated with any of the services listed below.



COOL WAYS TO MAKE A RESUME: Create an Online Timeline or Infographic
Resume and more!


Sunday, August 25, 2013


by Cynthia Lieberman

Social change is the transformation of social institutions and political and economic systems over a period of time. There are many reasons for social transformations to occur, and while some of these changes are swift, many of them are a slow, evolutionary process. There are many variable consequences to social change, and it is often divisive. Some changes in social patterns are intentional, but many are unplanned and usually the rate of social change will vary.

David Reisman developed the term social character to mean personality patterns common to members of a particular society. He views pre-industrial societies as promoting tradition-directedness, or rigid conformity to time-honored ways of living. This coincides with Max Weber’s theory that the “truth” is always the same to “what always has been” to traditional people, and social change occurs when the unquestioned truths of an earlier time are challenged. Tying in with this notion, W. Ogbum’s (1964) “culture lag theory,” claims that material (technological or aka “modern”) societies adjust more swiftly than non-material cultures that value ideas, norms and ideologies. In other words, there is a “lag time” after a new idea or invention is introduced during which the non-material culture is still adapting to new material conditions.

A good example of this notion is the invention of the automobile, which has made a significant impact on society and the world. When this modern device was introduced, non-material culture felt that it caused people to “move too fast” and that it transitioned society away from the cultivation of smaller, safer, private communities. This was initially perceived as a detriment to the moral fabric of society, but eventually, convenience and speed prevailed. As the influence of this invention grew (along with other devices of modernity), industrialization and urbanization increased and the non-material culture of rural areas began to erode. Over the past five decades, the automobile has continued to have positive influences on society such as providing mobility for the physically impaired, emergency healthcare assistance and protection of communities during disaster with emergency vehicles. It has also created negative impacts on society, including political and economic greed (oil crisis, war, recessions), the environment (global warming, smog), and our health and welfare (cancer, car accidents, etc.).

There are other countless ways that modernization has significantly impacted social change, and as a result, a great number of people in modern societies today have the privacy and freedom to express their individuality. New technologies such as the internet and social networking, for example, create new opportunities and increase options available to society. Interactions between people become more global, and the exchange of ideas change the structures of human groups and behavioral problems. However, the introduction of these technologies also introduce new social behaviors that are rapidly creating a monumental shift in society and the way we communicate, invent, emote, discover and even conduct business. It also creates new conflicts, problems with identity, social deviance and other hidden factors.

My particular interest in social change and what it means to me relates to the effects of post-modernity in society, or rather the social characteristics of a postindustrial society. While urbanization and industrialization has allowed for progressive thinking, the idea of “progress” has not necessarily always been effective. Higher crime, poverty, and suicide rates have resulted from the modernization of society as well as the formation of a entirely new set of class systems. Wherever modernization has occurred, there are always tradeoffs, such as cures for some diseases yet an increase in others that formed as a direct result of new technologies (heart attacks, cancer). Media influence has contributed to a rise in importance of other-directedness (the practice of imitating others) and places an importance on the mimicking of current trends and fashions. This often causes people to conform to their peers and diffuses original thinking. This “other-directedness” in society can have a positive impact (going “green” for example) but it can also be detrimental (rehab brat behaviors by celebrities). Naturally, in a pop-driven culture society like the United States, teenagers who are still forming their own identities are particularly influenced by this.

In many ways, I agree with Ferdinand Tonnies that much of modernity has caused an erosion of the human community, and that the Industrial Revolution weakened the social fabric of family by introducing a business-like efficiency. However, the unique “privatization” that new media provides also creates a unique social bond that has never existed before. I am concerned that the diminished use of physical human contact is biologically unhealthy for the body and spirit, yet there is a unique communal socialization that can also have many positive effects through the use of technology. For example, people now have a group--and a personal--voice in society and their opinions are often shaped through blogging, social networks, chat rooms and websites. If society does not agree with a social behavior, they now can unite and be heard almost instantaneously. I am perplexed and in awe of this powerful social influence and am fascinated by the postmodern impact of this change. After all, this new sense of community can be used to help poor countries grow economically. However, there is a price for everything, and although theoretically their health and well-being would improve ,who is to say that helping a poor country economically is good for them from a cultural standpoint? Money does not necessarily buy happiness, as the familiar cliché goes. Many a “poor” village has more peace and longevity than a city of thousands, and there is something to be said for that.

Regardless, in “the end,” I still believe in the pursuit of a healthy and harmonious society, and I believe that by gaining a better understanding of different cultures and how they adapt to new ideas and how they process their beliefs and these ideas, we can help transform social, political and economic systems in a constructive way to create positive social change.

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Infograph Source: Interactive, H., & University, W. (n.d.). 2012 Social Change Impact Report | Social Change | Walden University.Accredited Online University Degree Programs | Online College | Online School | Walden University. Retrieved August 25, 2013, from

[This was one of my first posts in the UCLA/Fielding University Media Psychology and Social Change (MPSC) graduate classes in February 2008; to access more of my MPSC papers, please go to:]

Monday, February 18, 2013


We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun

–Lyrics by pop-rock trio “Fun,” Winner of the 2013 Song of the Year Grammy
While watching the 2013 Grammys  with my husband and my two Millennial-aged children, an amusing moment occurred.  When the pop-rock trio “Fun” performed a song entitled “We Are Young,” my husband exclaimed, “Folk music is back!”  My 25-year-old daughter retorted, “No, no it’s not, that’s Indie,” and a debate ensued.  There were only 22 award categories in 1987 when she was born, including “Folk.”  This year, there were 30 — excluding “Folk” but including Music Video,  Music for Visual MediaAlternative, and more.  Fun went on to win the Grammy for Song of the Year for “Carry on.” Ironically, in today’s day and age, it seems when it comes to social action, Folk is to Indie what Hippies are to Millennials. Sort of.
As the first generation to grow up in a newly-connected, digital world enters full-fledged adulthood, this tribe of so-called “Millennials” (young people between the ages of 18-32) have become an indicator species of sorts. After all, where better to look in order to assess the effects of a hyper mediated world?
Currently numbered at 79 million, Millennials are expected to outnumber the Baby Boomer population 78 million to 56 million by 2030 (Paul, 2012).  Their hyper-connectivity and new digital technologies make their influence and mass genuinely formidable.  They know how to collaborate and use the strength of their numbers in ways unlike any previous generation.
Unlike the noisy demonstrations of their Hippie parents, Millennial protests generally lack hail, sleet and heat.  Instead, these twenty-something’s quietly participate in positive social causes without leaving the comfort of their own dorm, home, or parent’s couch, and they reach out to others who share similar concerns via Google hangouts and chat rooms.
In addition, a recent survey by Boston Consulting Group (Paul 2012) reveals that Millennials are active “consumer engagement influencers”; they are more likely to purchase products that support a cause rather than make direct donations (which 34% of them do anyway) — especially from mobile devices.
Because “their lives feel richer when they are connected to people online” (Paul, 2012), 60% of the Millennial population use crowdsourcing to explore brands and share peer-related products and services, videos, images, and blogs to influence or be influenced.
This is a far cry from the 1960′s “sit-ins” and peace marches, and ultimately more powerful.  The ability to collect, connect, and collaborate via social networks allows people to “touch” favorite social causes and contextualize how their efforts are making a difference. One third of those polled also tended to favor brands and programs with Facebook pages and mobile websites that let them share their experiences and thoughts with one another.
Any new technology can be used for good or bad, especially communication technologies.  Sure there’s porn, but there’s also the Discovery Channel.  Sure there are “hacktivist” movements such as the internet collective “Anonymous” hacking into the CIA, the Church of Scientology, and large corporations. But at the same time, according to social entrepreneur Ahrif Sarumi, “Millennials are pioneering ways to give back to their communities, sharing actionable solutions to social issues, and galvanizing others who believe real impact is sometimes only a send button away.”
Unlike the short-lived rebellious youth of their parents (after all didn’t all those so-called Hippies later become Yuppies??), the power and influence exerted by Millennials is turning out to be more long-lasting and durable. As William Deresiewicz writes in “The Entrepreneurial Generation” (2011):
 “…Unlike those of previous youth cultures, the hipster (aka, Millennial) ethos contains no element of rebellion, rejection or dissent — remarkably so, given that countercultural opposition would seem to be essential to the very idea of youth culture. That may in turn be why the hipster has proved to be so durable. The heyday of the hippies lasted for all of about two years. The punks and slackers held the stage for little more than half a decade each. That’s the nature of rebellion: it needs to keep on happening. … But hipsters, who’ve been around for 15 years or so, appear to have become a durable part of our cultural configuration.”
So what if we don’t see them standing on a picket line?  Instead, the Millennial generation understands how to leverage digital resources to support causes in ways we never could have dreamed of.  Why not put your Millennial assumptions aside and read the recent  2012 Millennial Impact Report that explores their relationships with nonprofits.  They may be more proactive and empathetic and charitable than you think!
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REFERENCES:  Want to point your own Millennial in the right direction?  Check out opportunities such Ignite Good’s Millennial Impact Challenge and’s article  Millennials Using Social Media for Social Good for inspiration.
Cadwalladr, C. (2013, February 10). Anonymous: behind the masks of the cyber insurgents | Technology | The Observer . Latest US news, world news, sport and comment from the Guardian | | The Guardian . Retrieved February 13, 2013, from
IGNITEgood. (2013, February 11). IGNITEgood. Retrieved February 13, 2013, from
Kingkade, T. (n.d.). Millennials Are More Stressed Out Than Older Generations: Stress In America Survey . The Huffington Post. Retrieved February 10, 2013,
The Millennial Impact Report. (n.d.). The MillennialI Impact Report. Retrieved February 11, 2013, from
Sarumi, A. (2012, November 2).  Millennials Using Social Media for Social Good.  Retrieved February 8, 2013, from