Marissa Spruiell: Get a pulse on what's happening with pop culture

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I'm welcoming my first guest, fellow Pepperdine Alumna Marissa Spruiell. We connected via Linkedin and had great conversations before she joined me on the podcast.

We talked about pop culture and keeping a pulse on what's happening gives you a sense of what's happening. We reminisced about the world before the Internet and being an older millennial. We also talked about social media and how we both were on Twitter since the early days and how we use it to connect with others.

Special thanks for Marissa for helping launch this podcast as the first guest and helping shape where we go next.

Guest: Marissa Spruiell (

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Daniel Hoang: [00:00:00] Hey, welcome to the 1980 podcast. I am very excited to have my very first guest and this is probably the best guests and it's all downhill from today.

All right. Hey, we are back today. I have my guests, Marissa Sperl. I met you. How do we meet each other?

Marissa Spuriell: [00:00:23] It was, I believe it was LinkedIn connection. Yep. And I found your, uh, your blog as well as your blog. Follow that content and we kind of connected from there.

Daniel Hoang: [00:00:38] So I'm just going to say you stopped me. And alternatively what's even creepier.

It was on my back end. I didn't know this, but I had some software that was on my website and it was tracking that someone's real time going to my website, poking through this. I reached out to you immediately. It was like, Hey, what's going on? Add a slightly creeping on that end. So today I think a couple of topics we're going to be talking about.

You're brilliant culture, social media, and my social media geek. So I'd love to talk a little bit more about that. Uh, why don't we start with social media, because that's how you found me, found me through LinkedIn and let's start there.

Marissa Spuriell: [00:01:10] Sure, sure. So, you know, with social media, you know, I'm a pop culture fanatic, um, almost all my life.

I've one of the things I love about pop culture is that it's almost never ending. It's always being created social media and how much it's grown and how varied it's grown has really added to kind of the proliferation. Of pop culture, you know, uh, communications. So, um, I mean I've studied communications, um, in college studies, popular culture in college.

It definitely, he called to me. Um, and what's so interesting with Bueller culture is it's how a culture. Shares and creates meaning, um, shared meaning what is important, who is important, how this situation happens. It kind of gives you a barometer, you know, of what's going on. And that's one thing. Sit out for me when studying history, when studying.

You know, different different movements is kind of what was going on culturally in the society and with social media, especially I think one thing that really, he always amuses me is me. You know, meme is piece of culture, a piece of media, typically that someone uses its origin, meaning and kind of creates a new meaning or subverts that meaning on top of it.

And kind of without saying anything, you can just send picture of a mean, and there's no words on it or anything. It's just a picture like SpongeBob, there's a ton of SpongeBob names as a kid, you know, you grew up, I grew up wow. Watching SpongeBob, um, the cartoon. So seeing it as an adult being created into these names and having a second life is, is just really hilarious and, and, and kind of brings me.

Joy in a way where we have this shared meaning of we're going to use fund about me.

Daniel Hoang: [00:03:06] I think you're actually a you're you're considered a millennial, no part of this, a part of this channel 1980 was really about, I'm a millennial, right? All not bridge between gen X and millennials. I lean a little bit closer towards your world.

I like means I like social media and much more connected, but I also kind of grew up a little, somewhat antiquated. I missed out on some of this. And so. Communicating via meme or me in the workforce. I'm like, Oh my gosh, it was a completely new and very foreign, but I see millennials and more realistically gen Z are the ones that are just using memes as an entire form of communications.

Emojis means. And it's really changing how we communicate. Are you seeing this in the workforce? Are people starting to use memes and workforces even emojis, or

Marissa Spuriell: [00:03:48] I think so. I, I totally agree. Um, and I, and I do see that, especially, you know, at my current position we have, uh, a group chat, so to speak kind of like a Slack channel, instant messaging, where from time to time, you know, at the top of the day, or, you know, it's happy Friday.

So I'm going to share kind of a cute meme that that'll get, you know, a chuckle. I think that's just adding richness to communication and, you know, with the emojis, I always appreciate those.

Daniel Hoang: [00:04:15] It's really different because I mean, we used to communicate just with texts, right? I mean, that was completely written form, a hundred percent written form communication.

And especially now that we're an appendix bank, we're sitting at home like that, the ability to communicate emotions is basically gone. If you're using just text and what's beautiful with means, and what's beautiful with emojis. As you can add a little bit of color, you can add a little bit of motion.

Into kind of what we're sending back and forth.

Marissa Spuriell: [00:04:38] Yeah. I couldn't agree more, um, interesting being a millennial where, you know, I remember when. Like internet in every household. Wasn't a thing. Remember having AOL online and you couldn't be on the phone if someone was on the internet because it's either or so I, I remember kind of going through that and seeing the internet become more and more a part of everyday life.

And that, that that's what. I think it's particularly interesting about the millennial generation. Also millennials had, you know, the Nokia brick phones where you texted, you know, one, one, one, two, two, two, seven, seven, seven to type out the words. Um, and now we're at a point where we can send Jeff's and memes and emojis, uh, to our heart's content.

So. That's been really cool to see the evolution move so quickly with how we communicate.

Daniel Hoang: [00:05:36] So to, to my audience, I think especially if anyone that is more of a gen X or even older, I think what we fail to realize is that millennial I'm a millennial issue. Uh, we did grow up in a world before the internet.

I think what we're failing to realize that we say millennial is a common term of just really young kids. They're not young. Right. We are at work in work. We're not young anymore. We are in our prime. We are working hard. We have families, you know, we're just grinding away. So we're not the young kids. It's really gen Z where I'm looking at him like, Oh my gosh, these are pure digital natives.

They grew up in a world. They don't know of a world before the iPhone. They don't know of a world before the internet. I mean, they. They only know digital, like they're complete natives. And so it's fascinating to talk to a millennial and realize that you're you actually grew up with AOL days and probably the dial up and pre-internet days.

Marissa Spuriell: [00:06:24] I remember when to look up movie times, he would either have to call movie theater or look in the newspaper today's information age. It's so funny to think that that was not that long ago. You know, we're not young anymore, but. Look at how far we've come.

Daniel Hoang: [00:06:42] Um, so let's talk about Twitter. Like what do you like about Twitter for most people?

I think for, I think I'm fully adopted. I've been with Twitter since the day they launched. Um, but for a lot of people, they're just like, I don't know what to do with this. It's too fast. Like how do you use Twitter?

Marissa Spuriell: [00:06:55] Totally echo with what you're hearing that, you know, my friends and colleagues that don't, aren't engaged with Twitter, say the same thing, you know, I don't know how to use it.

Don't know how to engage with it. I created my Twitter account in 2009. So I've been then on the platform since, you know, 10 plus years. What I like about Twitter is nowadays it's kind of where I go for my news, because you can see so many different viewpoints and easily access it while also being able to kind of curate your timeline too.

You know, that the kind of content that you're wanting to see, but it does move very fast. It moves very fast, especially if you follow a lot of different timelines, you can kind of. Filter, you know, especially when you're in things like trending topics, I can see, Oh, what's trending in Seattle, you know, or what's trending in the United States.

And then of course there's international Twitter there where, you know, it's, it's a worldwide. Application that anyone can access and they have their own means and, and jokes and threads, uh, that they do. But Twitter fast. And, you know, I find that if I miss a day or so of kind of exploring the timeline, seeing what's good on getting a temperature, you can really kind of lose out and miss things that happened.

I'm kind of a naturally and investigative person personality. So sometimes you come across. Twitter thread in it, it looks like it's a little bit of drama. It's kind of fun. Figuring out, okay, well, what are they talking about? They're not mentioning who they're talking about. Okay. Let let's now let's dig in and see, you know, what, what kind of drama was happening over?

Daniel Hoang: [00:08:34] What kind of topics? What kind of people are you following on Twitter?

Marissa Spuriell: [00:08:36] Goodness, lots of academia. Um, especially in light of, COVID been really fascinating to hear kind of what, especially faculty, because I've worked in higher education for years, but not in kind of a faculty position. So I'm not only interested in the kind of research that they're doing, the kind of content they're creating, but I'm also interested in hearing how are they experiencing this pandemic?

How are they experiencing campus closures and moves to reopen things like that. But, um, favorite writers, both on television book writers, as well as television writers, television producers, kind of pop culture critics. I follow a lot of those, cause I like to keep my finger on the temperature, you know, of, of what's going on, on, in pop culture.

I, you know, I love consuming pop culture, you know, itself, but also reading different people's takes. On what's happening with popular culture, what they think of this show or this movie, or you know, that this kind of piece of culture that's happening.

Daniel Hoang: [00:09:41] I think for those that are just figuring out, you know, should I get on Twitter and everything?

And it's so overwhelming. I think, like you said, it. Depends on who you follow, what topics you're tracking and following. Right? So you can curate an entire group of people that are just like you and they think like you, and then it all sounds like it's the same stuff over and over. But what I found really fascinating at Twitter was when I find a topic that's outside of my realm and I really start following an handful of people and you're like, Oh my gosh.

Now I'm really getting a, just because people are now sharing information about certain things for me. Like I'm not really big into pop culture, but I'm going to start following some of this stuff that you're following. And eventually get immersed in that conversation. Just recently, I started following this whole community called no-code and they, they developed software using no code platforms and I knew nothing about it.

Right. And all of a sudden, now I follow someone. They recommend someone I'm just following, following, following. And all of a sudden my entire feed is just now really geeky, very tactical, really changes. And that with George Floyd, I made a conscious effort to follow more. Prominent black people on Twitter.

I think the other thing is it's really changed my mindset and I'm following a black designer in Florida right now. And another one that's working remotely in Romania. Wow. And really just starting to form really cool friendships over on Twitter. And I think just the more you start reaching out outside of your bubble, it really it's.

I think it's changing my mindset on a lot of things.

Marissa Spuriell: [00:10:58] Well, those barriers, you know, they're not all the way down. You know, not everyone has access to the internet. Everyone has access to a smartphone, but you know, when you think of. When we were kids, the idea of connecting with someone who is working in Romania, who is, you know, not in your same state, not in your same town is kind of like, it wasn't a thing, but nowadays the barriers are, it's just really powerful to think things are happening.

Daniel Hoang: [00:11:30] And it's an incredible cause I grew up in a small town in Southwest Washington, Longview, Washington, and it's, you know, there's no diversity. Um, and. And your mind network when I was growing up was just whoever was in my school, whoever's within my reach that I can bike to an, or make a local phone call.

Right? Like you said, that you had to pay money to call outside of your city. It was like concept and idea. And then now the day of just imagine it's like, I know someone in Romania, right. And I know someone that's as a designer in Romania that has a travel work, anywhere lifestyle. Right. It's such a niche narrow thing.

I simply just followed her on Twitter and now we're exchanging back and forth. Uh, something that you couldn't do before. And all of a sudden, now you're able to just find someone in a very niche, small little space and then make a connection. So let's, uh, let's switch a little bit. You used to be a career advisor, uh, at Pepperdine, academic rare academic advisor.

Okay. So tell me a little more about that.

Marissa Spuriell: [00:12:24] Yeah. So, you know, my position was to really be the point of contact for students. I work with graduate students at Pepperdine. Um, my position was to be, you know, they needed to contact someone at the school and they weren't sure where to start or they had an issue that came up or that's what I was there for.

But also the core was really, you know, I'm the person that we're going to consult from the start of your program all the way to the end. My door is open to you. Let's talk about goals, completing your program. Let's talk about any concerns you have. Let's discuss your, your workload and. You know how to best achieve your goal of graduating with your master's degree and maybe a little bit of what comes next, but you really are kind of the nerve center when you're acting as an academic advisor, because, um, a lot of our function in addition to kind of the core of assisting with planning forces and making sure registration and everything is smooth and.

You know, they're aware of what's going on is also connecting to resources, connecting to, you know, we have a counseling center that, you know, if you're in need of support, you know, we have this resource for you. We, we have a writing center where you can work with them with your dissertation or your thesis.

Being able to understand all the tools that, that, that students and, you know, resources that they had available to them. And matching them kind of with that, and then connecting them with the right staff members with the right, you know, departments, you know, you're there basically from before they even start class, when they, they, they come in and meet with you, go over there, Graham answering questions, call mini nerves.

Um, and then just let them know that, you know, we're here for you. If you call pick up the phone, if you email, you're going to hear back from me. You're not kind of going through this by yourself. You have that you kind of become a part of the student's

Daniel Hoang: [00:14:24] support system. Yeah, totally took advantage of every program that was available and people like yourself.

Like I think I reached out to the same equivalent over in the school of public policy and. I mean, just, it was incredible to have such a support system, especially when you're part of school. A lot of my listeners and a lot of people I've been working in connecting with I'm usually in their early stage in their careers or just recent grads.

And they're coming to me for advice and counseling. And I think one of the hardest things moving out from school is when you're new now in the workforce, all those resources aren't necessarily there. You kind of have to create your own, right. You're kind of out in the open world. And you don't have like a person like yourself that can give that coaching again, my mentoring that the guidance or the resourcing that's available said, I think earlier we talked about Twitter and we talked about the internet.

The power is now there is anything at your hands, you know, on your phone or on your computer. Which is incredible, but it's also overwhelming because how do you find the right reasoning? How do you connect with the right stuff? Like there's this, I can't pick and choose. One of the things I've been advising people is just, you know, find your, your group, find your topic area.

And there is infinite resources available on internet. There's a subgroup, a subculture, a community, a paid membership, unpaid memberships, free groups, Slack channels, discord. I can go on and on, on, there's always a niche for every single topic that you're interested in. And I think just not being afraid of kind of.

Finding just a home and finding a space.

Marissa Spuriell: [00:15:46] I couldn't agree more with what you were sharing with finding your group, finding your people. You know, I thought of meetup groups, I went to a virtual conference recently where they had a keynote speaker saying, you know, I got into code. Later in my career life, but it started with going to a meetup group and, you know, we were all learning code.

I was really brand new, but it put me in that network, you know, it connected me with the right people who could share with me insights as well as their mistakes. You know, these are the mistakes I made and here's the advice and the wisdom that I'm imparting to you. So, so you can avoid, you know, my mind, this steps, um, you know, here's resources that I found helpful, and I've found that true also on places like Twitter on places like medium, uh, LinkedIn is, is, you know, kind of an obvious thing because it's made for kind of career networking, getting into dialogue.

With people who are doing something that you're interested in really kind of helps heighten your focus and refine way where your pathway is going to go. However many ways it splits off.

Daniel Hoang: [00:16:59] And so you reached out to me on LinkedIn, right? If you found me and reached out and everything, or I think I proactively reached out to you back as well.

Um, I have found in my career, like, there's, there's not a moment where I haven't reached out to someone and someone's like, no, I don't want to write, like, it's usually I might be too busy. It's not a good time for me, but for the most part, very few I've been rejected very few times. Right. And then it's always just, people are very willing.

You just have to kind of. Just go with, I always advise it's just, just go for it, right. It can't hurt. And if anything else you might be sitting down and recording a podcast with them several weeks later.

Marissa Spuriell: [00:17:32] Yeah. I would not have seen myself here several weeks ago, but you know, you never know, you never know.

Daniel Hoang: [00:17:41] And so let let's, I want to share a little bit about podcasting and we'll, we'll start wrapping up here as well. Um, on the podcasting side, you know, I have, I'm not a podcaster, like I think go back maybe a month ago. I had almost no experience in podcasting and now have all of this equipment and I'm just really curious and interested.

And I think one of the things I've been pushing myself as just start right. Spicer to podcasting, right? You don't even need the right equipment. You and I are just sitting here over zoom. We're doing a recording and it's working fine. And I think you have an interest in doing a podcast potentially with one of your friends.

And do you think you will start doing one or

Marissa Spuriell: [00:18:14] possibly? Possibly. I mean, you know of COVID has shown us anything. It's the distance. Doesn't mean, you know, that that is just completely off the table. You know, the barriers again, you know, they're, they they're being removed. So to speak to where you could be, you know, you could have a podcast with your connection and Romania, you know, who knows they might be a nutritionist.

Daniel Hoang: [00:18:41] I was like, who would be interested in listening to me and my friend, just, just Jabra and on about pop culture. I think there will be. I mean, I think especially with Kobe right now, we still have such a hunger for human connection. That would be nice to just even listen into our conversation. It's like, it's like going to a restaurant and then snooping in someone's conversation.

It seems like they're having a good time. I've done that before, but it's always just interesting to really meet really interesting people, having really cool conversations. And I think that's for me like that, that's what, that's the kind of podcast I'm looking for is not necessarily the technical ones are, the ones are inner being well, it's some technical subject, but it's just, I love just hearing people have conversations.

And for me with COVID a missing some of that conversation. Because we're all home or we're not, not connected in person anymore. I'm really enjoying this medium as a way to connect with other people and have a really cool conversation.

Marissa Spuriell: [00:19:28] I love podcasts. And my favorite podcasts are the one where it feels like every week I'm coming to the table with like two or three of my friends where it's like, what are we going to be talking about this week?

And there's times where something strikes such a chord that I will. The laughing out loud, you know, and it, it really is. It really is kind of nurturing where it feels like, you know, I have all these friends in my head and every week I get to spend a little time with them,

Daniel Hoang: [00:20:01] just, just talking over a podcast is one of the best ways to connect.

And if anything else, like if no one's listening, it's a great way to have a conversation with someone. And I appreciate having you on the show today. And. And just connecting and learning from you and

Marissa Spuriell: [00:20:14] yeah. Well, it's been such a pleasure and an honor to, to be asked and to be here your first guests. Um, this was a really great conversation.

I could talk about pop culture and social media. All day long.

Daniel Hoang: [00:20:28] So this is the new, and you're the first guest. And when this podcast finally gets to a point where it has a substantial following, expect me to reach back out, um, to be a part of a guest again, and share your insights with this community. So I appreciate you for being here today.

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