I Eliminated This From My Weekend (And I’m Never Going Back) 

You’re about to judge me, and that’s okay. Here’s why: Last weekend, I drove to Asbury Park to have a nice Sunday at the beach with some friends. I have a car phone charger, and — being the phone addict I am — I plugged my phone in before we even made it out of Fishtown. The problem: For whatever reason, my phone, despite being plugged in, wasn’t charging at all for the entire trip.

This messed with my head.

When we got to Asbury Park, I wasn’t thinking about running into delightfully splashy waves. No … I was thinking about how my phone battery was in the teens and, WTF am I going to do without Instagram at the beach all day? Is the beach even worth going to if you can’t post a basic AF story featuring some waves and a Turkish towel?! Honestly?! How will I know what my friends are doing during these five hours if my phone dies?! No, really, these were real thoughts running through my head.

Then, instead of heading straight for the beach, I dragged my fiancé to the Asbury Hotel (a truly lovely place, by the way), and made him and our friends who met us there sit inside with me as I charged my battery to the level I deemed sufficient. Which took kind of a long time because my phone is embarrassingly old and (see above) has trouble charging.

Cue the head shaking. But I’m willing to bet that, because it’s the 21st century, many of you out there are guilty of exhibiting similarly cringe-worthy behavior in the not-too-distant past. Am I right?

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6 Philly Fitness and Foodie Instagrammers You Should Be Following


Nowadays, Instagram is a freakin’ well of fitness and healthy foodie inspiration. Whether it’s a perfectly garnished slice of avocado toast you’ve been drooling over or a new pair of Alo leggings you’ve been eyeing, chances are, the first place you saw it was scrolling through your Instagram feed.

It’s been a while since we last pointed to the Philly fitness and foodie Instagrammers who keep up scrolling, so below, we’ve rounded up some our favorite Philly fitness and healthy foodie Instagrammers so your feed is complete with all the inspiration — from workouts to copy to healthy dessert recipes — you need to stay on top of your health and fitness game. Because we all need a little help from our [internet] friends sometimes, right?

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Under the Influence

Ian Michael Crumm. Photos | Jonathan Pushnik

Outside the Art Alliance on 18th Street, a paper airplane’s toss from Rittenhouse Square, it’s just another day at the virtual office for Ian Michael Crumm. Surely the architects of this 111-year-old Italian Renaissance palazzo-style mansion never imagined it would one day be used to this end. Crumm is handsome, but with his round baby face outlined by a delicate, carefully manicured beard, he’s not your typical chiseled male model. More important than his physique is his look: stretch denim by H&M, brown leather high tops by Andrew Marc, camo bomber jacket by Guess, wristwatch with camo strap by MVMT, camel-colored leather backpack by Pikolinos, and Crumm’s trademark John Varvatos sunglasses. He leans on a sandstone ledge with his left arm [click], then his right [click]. The bag rests on his shoulder [click]. The bag slides to his right hand [click], with his left leg up on a wall [click], then down to the ground [click]. Crumm moves to the stairs, where he sits, carefully arranges the backpack, and looks off into the distance at nothing in particular [click click click].

“Because when you sit down,” he says cheekily, “everything’s just perfectly positioned.” Crumm gives a quick Miley Cyrus flash of his tongue as his photographer/friend, Briana Sposato, laughs and snaps away.

Crumm is what’s known as a social media influencer, or, to some grandmothers in South Philadelphia, a kid who takes phone pictures for the Internets. This is his job, and no, he doesn’t live in his parents’ basement. He makes a living primarily through taking photographs of himself in different clothes and sometimes in locales of varying glamour, then posting them on his Instagram account, @ianmcrumm, and his blog, “Ian Michael Crumm — Life Connoisseur.” None of this makes Crumm unique; minutes earlier, a 20-something guy in a Yankees cap was mugging for a fancy camera a few blocks away, outside the restaurant Dandelion. I saw two young women in uncomfortably snug minidresses surrounded by a pack of photographers on the Schuylkill Trail the other day. If you’re under the age of 35 and don’t have a FOMO-inducing digital life, you might as well not exist. Read more »

Temple Study Finds Social Media Marketing Harms Business Long-Term

Image via Pixabay.

Image via Pixabay.

A new study out of Temple’s Fox School of Business has some findings that might make some businesses reconsider their social media marketing strategies.

The study led by Shuting Wang, a Ph.D. candidate in management information systems, management and information systems professor Brad Greenwood, and senior associate dean of research Paul Pavlou, sought to determine the value of social media advertising by collecting social data from WeChat and sales data from a Chinese shoe retailer, according to the Temple News.

The study found that while social media posts increased business sales in the short term, in the long term, the same social media post led to a decrease in purchases because subscribers would eventually “get annoyed” and end up “unfollowing” the company on the platform. Read more »

This Man Is on a Mission to Make 10,000 Friends. I Was His 644th.

Rob Lawless with the author. Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

Rob Lawless with the author. Photograph by Jauhien Sasnou

When I walk into Shot Tower Coffee just after 9 a.m. on a recent Friday, it doesn’t take me long to spot Rob. His hair is slicked to the right, just like in his photos. As I near the table where he’s sitting, he greets me with the ear-to-ear smile I’ve seen on Instagram so many times.

No, this isn’t an early weekend Tinder date, and Rob Lawless isn’t quite famous. A few nights back, we arranged this sit-down via email. When I reached out to ask if he’d be the subject of this story, he asked if I’d be the subject of a story, too. Lawless, 26, wanted me to take part in the very project I want to document: He was 14 months into a 10-year quest to make 10,000 new friends in a very 21st-century way. On this unseasonably warm January morning, I’m the 644th stranger to meet him. Read more »

Mom From SEPTA Kids Video Speaks Out: “He Came at Us, We Didn’t Come at Him”

Left: Screenshot from video of incident on SEPTA. Middle: Jessica Carrera with son. Right: The children from the video enjoying a snack at Old City's Wexler Gallery, shortly before the video was shot.

Left: Screenshot from video of incident on SEPTA. Center: Jessica Carrera with son. Right: The children from the video enjoying a snack at Old City’s Wexler Gallery, shortly before the video was shot.

UPDATE, 3/31/16: Read the latest on the SEPTA kids video.

By now, you’ve probably seen it: A disturbing viral video that shows a group of out-of-control young children on SEPTA’s Market-Frankford El. It has been all over TV news in the last 24 hours.

The group of African-American and Latino kids are seen spitting, cursing, and punching, seemingly targeting the person behind the camera, a white man named Patrick Coyle. Meanwhile, the woman accompanying the children stands quietly nearby.

Well, Philadelphia magazine has seen a different video, captured in the moments before the viral video began, and this new video shows a different perspective. The woman can be seen trying to get the kids in line, and Coyle — who continued to record the children after the woman says she and the kids repeatedly asked him to stop — can clearly be heard calling one of the children a “monkey kid.” Twice.

Here, the woman in the video, Jessica Carreras, 38, tells her side of the story. Carreras is the mother of the Latino children and the aunt of the two African-American kids. The children range in age from 7 to 11. We repeatedly reached out to Coyle, who did not respond to our requests for an interview. Read more »

Signs of the Apocalypse: The Peeple App Launches

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I’m approaching that age where it’s time to decide if I want to bring children into this world.

Most days, the answer is yes. I love kids, and for whatever reason — blind optimism, naïveté, Ambien — I believe that the human race is a good one and that we’ll eventually wake up from this fever dream we call election season.

But on other days, the Peeple app launches. Read more »

Social Media Threat Closed Tacony Academy Charter School in Wissinoming Today

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UPDATE: Tacony Academy Charter School in Wissinoming is open today, according to a message from the school’s CEO and principal. “We are putting additional security measures in place and opening tomorrow for education. As some investigations take time, we will allow law enforcement to do their due diligence” Ashley Redfearn wrote on the school’s website. “With police presence and security on campus, we will have a productive educational day.”

UPDATE: In a new message on its web site, Tacony Academy Charter School’s CEO and principal Ashley Redfearn said the school is continuing to work with police regarding the social media threat that canceled school today. “We have not made a decision yet about school tomorrow. Please check by 7 p.m. for an update,” the statement advises.

ORIGINAL: The Tacony Academy Charter School, a high school in Philadelphia’s Wissinoming neighborhood, made the decision to close this morning after officials there were notified of a picture of guns on social media.

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5 Reasons Your Business Should Be On Snapchat

Snapchat

The year of Snapchat is upon us. The social media platform is growing at an unbelievably rapid rate and doesn’t show signs of slowing down. In fact, the latest reports put Snapchat’s user base at a whopping 100 million. Compare that to Twitter’s 300 million and you’ll realize that Snapchat is not a social media platform your business can ignore any longer.

If your goal is to reach new customers and engage more with your current fans, then Snapchat needs to be a priority for your business. Here are five ways to take advantage: Read more »

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