Social Media: For Good & For Evil

Social media is more widely known as a digital platform to interact with a community from wherever you are in the world. Some socialites are able to turn hobbies they have into careers…very profitable careers.

Instagram is a social media app which allows people to post pictures and videos of themselves. A recent trend that has been going on is in the fitness industry. Personal trainers have the ability to advertise themselves using their body pictures (usually before and afters) to show the progress they have made. As a result, many people with the same goals become inspired and start “liking” pictures, and following them (subscribing to their page).

These fitness models figured it would be profitable if numerous people follow them because of their interests in getting results and making a change for a healthier lifestyle. They usually have their Instagram page setup so that you can see the email to contact them for “online personal training and nutrition”.  So what I did was… purchase a monthly package for  $4.99 USD. What they essentially did for me is.. after I sent them a payment (usually in the form of Paypal), I give them my current stats such as height, weight, age… and then my fitness goals. The personal trainer now customizes a workout schedule for me as well as a meal plan.  It didn’t seem like anything new, but for the price it is worth it as it is worth all the research you would do on your own. All of this is done online…. Not very time consuming, no meeting up… just answering questions via email and that’s it. A very profitable way for the personal trainer to extend his reach to clients, as help other’s for a much cheaper price than a physical personal trainer.

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Personally, I can respect anyone who takes there time out to do this as it is a positive change and who better than someone with proven results. After all, with all due respect to scientists who study and research about bodybuilding, I would personally want someone to look how I would want to look. Who knows what the aesthetics of scientist who conduct the researches about the quickest way to burn fat, or gain muscle. I almost feel like it’s a dentist lecturing you about oral care when they have rotten teeth. Lol, im only joking… sincerely.

 

Typical scientist

 

 

For every ying… there’s a yang… for every up there’s a down and for every honest business person, there’s a Donald Trump… my bad, I meant fraudster.. Social media for the most part is thought of as an advertising platform, a way to communicate with others, but we can’t take away that it can be a platform used to do negative things as well. For the small part, social media can be used to slander people’s names by spreading rumors, or saying rude comments about one’s appearance (kind of like what I did above about the stigma about the dinky looking scientist). Hip-hop artists tend to start online feuds and then create memes for each other that trend worldwide, causing a snowball effect of generating widespread hateful memes for the artists.


 

I believe any publicity is good publicity… so whether bad or not, it is giving attention to the topic. That is  on the small scale of things where social media is used for something negative. This however, does not bother me one bit, it is entertainment.

What really concerns me about social media… is the fact that fraudsters are finding very slick ways of tricking people. What I mean by tricking is that they are literally robbing people online for… MONEY!

Kickstarter is a peer-to-peer social media website which allows people from all across the world raise funds for a “project” (crowd funding). In turn, the people who fund the projects get rewarded back something such as say… their name being featured in the credits list of a documentary. Seems positive for the most part… I am all for assisting projects that need help financially and believe this digital platform will continue to evolve as it is extremely useful.

Unfortunately, peer-to-peer crowdfunding websites can be used in disgusting ways…I remember reading on a women who basically tricked people into donating money for her supposed “cervical cancer”. Hali Etie staged that she had Stage 3 cervical cancer and went all out to market in which she ended up with $3000. When I read this article again… it sincerely bothered me to see what people will go through all to make a fraudulent claims. This is the type of behavior that I do not support. It is morally wrong to make to profit off fake cervical cancer when it such a common problem and there are real cancer patients who are in need of help.

In my opinion we need to find ways to stop these fraudulent claims or else more scammers are going to find lucrative ways to get what they want.

Social media can be used for good and for evil. For the most part… I believe it is used positively and has helped many people launch careers. On the other hand, social media can be like a golf club in the sense that it is most commonly used to hit a ball, but can also be used as a dangerous weapon to crack someone’s head open. The scammers will find their way to exploit these platforms. The idea of these social networks is the convenience of opening an account and networking, or let’s say in the case of crowdfunding..the ease of getting your project funded.

Which leaves me one question to ask everyone…

What steps can social media platforms such as Kickstarter take to avoid fraudulent behavior WITHOUT taking away the quick “setup” or convenience of starting a crowd-funded project?

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