Happy Monday, Reigners! On Cyber Monday, when social media is buzzing with great shopping deals, who better to highlight than a social media guru? We all love our Instas, but Jaclyn Antonacci has found a way to use what most of us consider to be a hobby into a vibrant career. She shows us that social media can be used to connect on a global scale, advocate for social change, and so much more than yummy food pics! Learn more about Jaclyn by checking out her website, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram! Read on to find out how Jaclyn has said “YES!” to life and is figuring it out along the way.
Tell us a little about yourself along with a fun fact.
Hey! I’m Jaclyn, and I’m a graduate student in William Paterson University’s Digital Media and Professional Writing program. I have a graduate assistantship which allows me to work as a student social media coordinator for the university. My academic research focuses on the influence of social media use on college students’ sense of belonging. In general, I am fascinated by the ways new media can be used as a tool for storytelling, self-expression, self-identity, advocacy, community-building and empowerment. Some offline things I love include writing, traveling, pizza, Parks and Recreation, chai tea lattes and the Newport Folk Festival 🙂
Fun fact: I recently had a Vine go viral. I noticed something funny on TV and posted it online. Next thing I knew, it had more than 7 million loops!
Who is someone who inspires you? What knowledge have they imparted?
Samantha DeMuro, William Paterson’s previous Online Marketing Coordinator, has been a really inspirational person in my life. Sam is an incredibly passionate educator, and someone who helped me grow and understand myself professionally and personally. One of the most important things she instilled in me was the idea that “vulnerability is strength.” This advice has been particularly empowering in the moments where I feel weak or “too soft.” I’m lucky to have her in my life as a friend and mentor.
Describe a challenge you faced or a crossroads in your life that defined your path.
Trying to find time for everything that I want to do is a constant challenge in my life. I can get so caught up in trying to focus on all the things I love at once that I can sometimes feel overwhelmed by my passions. This is almost always remedied by a phone call home to my mom.
What are your favorite websites, apps, or other tech tools?
I love any tech tool that allows us to communicate, express ourselves and share ideas, but one social media platform that I truly love is Tumblr. As a teenager, Tumblr introduced me to social justice issues in a really accessible way. It played a huge role in helping me understand and define myself as a feminist. So many places on the Internet can be dark and intimidating, but I’ve always really loved Tumblr for being a warm, open, supportive community.
What hashtag describes you/defines your life goals?
#FakeItTilYouMakeIt. (That’s not a real hashtag, but in the spirit of the advice, I’m faking it until it is.) This is the secret to feeling like an adult. Believing in your ability to make something happen is at least half the battle.
What song makes you want to dance, gives you courage to face the day, or makes you feel strong?
“King of the World” by First Aid Kit is my secret weapon! That song makes me feel like I can do anything.
What knowledge would you impart to women in order for them to REIGN their lives?
Something that has been hugely helpful for me is advice that my mom gave me: “Say yes and figure it out later.” When I was younger, I spent a lot of time coming up with excuses for why I couldn’t or shouldn’t seize an opportunity or take on a challenge. Learning to be okay with feeling scared can be a major struggle, but the more you put yourself in spaces that make you feel uncomfortable, the more confident you’ll become. All the best things that have happened to me have happened because I pushed myself out my comfort zone.
Describe your ideal job.
I’m still figuring out exactly what my ideal job would be, but I do know that it involves some combination of digital content creation and social media education. As I’m growing professional and academically, I’m finding that the education piece of my work is often the most fulfilling. I believe really strongly in social media as a tool for empowerment, and being able to teach other people how to harness that is really important to me.