Wednesday, May 7, 2014

A Reflection: The Two Faces of Disney Facebook Pages

Disney Facebook pages have two faces.  One can give you a lot of help and the other can cause you a lot of trouble. It depends on what you make of it. Let's talk about using the Facebook pages to the best of your advantage in the most appropriate way possible. Find out which Facebook Reflection will show who you are inside!

First, to find a Facebook page/group, just search for Disney College Program. There are groups for different arrival dates, different roles, and other miscellaneous categories (such as runners, age groups, party groups, etc.) For example, the groups I joined are "Disney College Program Fall/Fall Advantage," "Disney College Program Fall/Fall Advantage Attractions Role," and "Disney College Program Fall/Fall Advantage August 11th Arrival."

Relevant and Positive Uses of DCP Facebook

1) SHARING A TENT WITH OTHER SOLDIERS: The groups are wonderful for connecting with people, particularly for finding roommates. Many CPs post roommate surveys they filled out in the hopes of someone contacting them. I posted my survey, but also looked around at other peoples' surveys to see what kind of people were out there. I highly encourage searching for other people instead of only waiting for someone to find you. Do both  - you'll likely see more results. Don't be too hasty in a decision either - make sure you review the surveys of ALL the people who you could be living with. For example, one girl contacted me asking to live with her and two other people, so I made sure to ask for ALL of their surveys in order to make sure I would mesh well with everyone. After finding those roommates, we've been talking in Facebook messenger to get to know each other and discuss other plans.

2) THEY'LL MAKE A DISNEY MAN OUT OF YOU: If you have any questions or need more information about the program, the facebook groups are perfect for that. You can post a question and someone will answer within minutes. You can also just look at questions other people post and follow them until answers come up. Although I never posted a question and didn't think of any on my own, someone would post a question that I found useful to myself as well, even though I didn't think of it myself. Even if you don't think you have any questions, the DCP groups are still a good resource. Many alumni are on the pages as well and will answer questions which is wonderful since they've already had experience on the program! I found out a lot of information about classes and different roles through the pages as well as the ups and downs of being a cast member (side note: the ups still seem to outweigh the downs). They even talk about things that you can get termed for before the program even starts - you'd be amazed at the possibilities.

3) BRINGING HONOR TO US ALL: CPs LOVE to post Disney things on the page. If you're looking for a pick-me-up, everyone posts tons of Disney links - Tumblr links, blog links, pictures, meems, hidden perks of being a cast member, disney metaphors and analogies, movie and theme park references, you name it. Imagine the Facebook page of a Disney fan then multiply by 85932849302829348 to the power of infinity. It still won't come close to the overdose of Disney on DCP pages and groups. Among my friends at home and work, I am known as THE disney fan. My nick name in high school was Disney Lady. On the Facebook pages, I'm now part of the "norm." It's an interesting feeling to have, and you get used to it.

4) THEY POPPED OUT OF THE SNOW - LIKE DAISIES: CPs post fun questions like "What was your favorite Disney Channel Original Movie?" and "What's your favorite attraction/restaurant?" These can be a lot of fun to take part in and they're harmless - you're not revealing personal information to strangers, just some "personality information." These questions are sure to pop on to you newsfeed out of nowhere - have some fun with them!

Irrelevant and Somewhat Inappropriate Uses of Facebook Groups

1) BE TRUE TO YOUR HEART: Some people go onto the Facebook pages and try to make best friends with everyone. Chances are, you won' be best friends with everyone. It's great to put yourself out there, but sometimes it's overdone. Think about orientation in college - how many people did you meet that you thought you would be best friends with and then never spoke to again? You can compare the DCP Facebook pages to orientation - maybe you'll run into these cast members again, maybe you won't, maybe you'll be best friends, maybe you'll never see each other. Personally, I like to try my luck in person with finding "best friends" rather than trying to find them through the Facebook pages. Definitely put yourself out there and talk to people, but make sure your expectations are realistic.

2) NOW ALL OF CHINA DISNEY KNOWS YOU ARE HERE: Many people post about partying and underage drinking. I tend to avoid those pages. CPs talk ask for advice about how to avoid getting caught with alcohol. Be really careful about this, as you should be with ANYTHING you post on your Facebook. Don't write anything illegal, don't write anything you wouldn't want your parents to see, don't write anything you wouldn't want future employers to see. After all, Disney is your future employer and you never know what Disney monitors - they don't have a great reputation without working for it and they certainly won't let it be ruined by cast members!

3) DEFINITELY NOT A GIRL WORTH FIGHTING FOR: Many people in the groups get into debates about religion, race, and politics. These are not worth getting involved in. Most of them will end up with no result and no conclusion and will just leave people angry and annoyed, particularly the people who want to avoid that drama but it pops up on their newsfeed anyway. Ignore these controversial posts to the best of your ability. Public online arguments are unprofessional and can be viewed as tacky and immature. You may read something that gets under your skin, but just walk away. You're better off.

4) THE FLOWER THAT BLOOMS MORE ADVERSITY IS NOT RARE AND BEAUTIFUL AT ALL: One of the worst parts about the DCP Facebook pages is that it ensues drama before CPs even arrive in Disney World. It is amazing how much trouble people cause online before even really meeting anyone. Just do your best to stay out of it. Don't give into the "DCP Gossip Girl" twitter and anything else that is just asking for you to be termed.

Well, there you have it. The advantages of DCP Facebook pages, and the things you should be careful of!