Where does it all go?

When thinking of social media platforms a common thought comes to mind for all of them, it’s that classic line you’ve probably heard from your parents or said to your kids; “if you post that online, it’ll be there forever.” It is a constant thought in our minds while using these social media apps, will our employers see this? How about our kids teacher? Maybe even our kids one day? We’ve gotten so comfortable over the years about mindlessly posting things without thinking sometimes about who is watching or where these posts could end up, I mean there is a delete button after all right?

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So when people say things stay on the internet forever, what do they mean by that? Is there someone specific who is taking our information and storing it somewhere? Are certain people more at risk then others? What does it even mean. Why is it that when we are trying to submit a paper and the computer crashes there is no trace of it, or when we are looking up someone’s profile and it has been deleted. Why does the internet only save what we don’t want? MySpace lost the entirety of its website: 52 million songs and decades of conversations, photos, and videos all gone. “We apologize for the inconvenience,” the company said. “If you would like more information, please contact our Data Protection Officer.” How does an entire website loose its contents but a photo of your drunk self manages to resurface when you least want it to.

The truth is, people have always known that taboo subjects or possible scandals are a thing to watch, is it possible that the internet is really just watching us and waiting for us to mess up so they can blackmail us? I mean anything seems possible these days. I just wonder at times if there is really that much to fear on the internet, or if it’s the complete opposite and we should be terrified, after all I am sure you have also heard the line “don’t talk to strangers” online and off. But with the internet being such an open space, what if these strangers don’t need to talk to you, they simply need to access your account, does this mean certain people are at a higher risk of getting their posts stored online? These are the risks and fears of having social media, so the question remains to post or not to post?

References:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-47610936

Twitter : http://bit.ly/3uFaaKa

Facebook : http://bit.ly/3uFaaKa

What Aren’t You Filtering?

We are all familiar with the smoothed skin and eye sparkle effects, it’s pretty much supported on all platforms. The dog filters, the ones that distort our faces and make us laugh, the ones that give us a face lift, every celebrity and influencer has shared these filters and taught us to use them. It has become normal to throw one of these filters on before jumping on your Instagram stories, or before snapping a shot with your friend. We have seen the standard of beauty throughout the years change, especially with the growth of social media, these beautiful strangers who have grown on these platforms have now become the goal. These influencers seem to have it all, the perfect body, the perfect life, you wonder what is authentic, can someone really be that perfect? Or is this a filter as well?

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An article on Everyday Power had this to say on filters, ” The message here is that we are naturally NOT beautiful enough. That we should focus on the beauty standards only a few can actually meet. We instantly feel bad about ourselves and reach out to the next best thing: adding Instagram filters.” It is now something thats has been burned into our minds, the best angle, the perfect lighting, anything to show how truly beautiful we are, on the outside. What we’re forgetting as we all strive for this ideal image of beauty, is sharing anything at all that brings us genuine joy, everything is becoming filtered and we don’t even realize it. We spend our time taking pictures to post for others, we wonder what is going to get us the most likes, or comments. We are now editing to the point where our personal pages don’t look personal at all, and that everything about us is specifically chosen to create this perfect life. Every personal page starts to blur together with the hopes of looking like these beautiful strangers, and praying someone may actually believe you are one of them.

A popular influencer by the name of Essena O’Neill made headlines a few years ago with leaving Instagram despite having 600,000+ followers. Her goodbye video on Youtube is still up and racking up views. She claimed Instagram was making her unhappy, and altering the way she looked at herself. Many influencers followed with these claims of being unhappy, while very few of them actually left social media, it seems to be an addiction, you are unhappy on it, but the damage is done. You are unhappy off social media now to. There comes a point where it seems to be auto pilot, the need to post, the need to edit, to make sure everything looks exactly how it should. Over 1 billion people use face altering filters according to Womens Health Magazine, the reality is we’re all trying to look like those beautiful strangers, who don’t even look like themselves. Is any of this reversible, what are the long lasting effects of this on our mental health? What aren’t we editing anymore?

References :

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-7693543/Former-social-media-star-Essena-ONeill-23-returns-Instagram-four-year-hiatus.html

https://www.womenshealthmag.com/beauty/a33264141/face-filters-mental-health-effect/

https://everydaypower.com/instagram-filters-ruining-your-life/#:~:text=It%20is%20a%20burning%20issue,even%20be%20aware%20of%20it.

Social media links :

Twitter: Stop filtering yourself out http://bit.ly/3u57Dsi

Facebook: Are you really posting, or are you on autopilot? http://bit.ly/3u57Dsi

2020: Was It the Year of All Things Social Media?

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We have officially made it to 2021, a year of recovering and hope, a year that seemed to have taken it’s sweet time getting here. 2020 was a devastating year to many, it was a time where the world was locked in their homes, away from friends and family, leaving them to turn to social media to connect. This was the biggest year for social media according to Hootsuite, 3.8 billion people, or 49 percent of the planet’s population, were active on social media. I would be lying if I said looking at my screen time these days didn’t alarm me, I devoted most of my 2020 year to watching TikTok video’s and planning out my Instagram feed, as I am sure many of you can relate.

For a year that was mostly distanced, I did find it one of my most social, I found myself on Facetime, Imessage, and Messenger more then ever before. I had nothing but time to reach out and check up on what some of my friends and family were doing, it confused me as I had never been closer to people, despite the physical distance. The amount of new apps that were downloaded on my phone in 2020 was at an all time high, I had downloaded TikTok the week of the first lockdown, I truly believe it was one of the only things keeping me entertained, as my attention was only needed for a 15-60 second video, until I would swipe to the next, which I did for countless hours and days. I don’t believe that the app would of had as much success as it did if it wasn’t for the pandemic, people chose to laugh and bond over an app that helped escape the reality that was 2020.

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With much of the world in a stay at home order, many people lost their jobs or had to work from home, you could say that people involved in social media work were quite lucky as it was almost like business as usual, but in their pyjamas. Influencers also had the ability to continue working almost as normal, with people turning to their phones more then ever, the attention was on them to grow and promote. Online shopping was heavily abused throughout the year, I can promise I made up a good chunk of that percentage. With people constantly scrolling through their social apps and seeing all the brands and influencers posting about the latest trends, and with nothing on the calendar to look forward to, why not order a little something to keep a lookout for in the mail. In many ways, social media had a hand in keeping 2020 afloat.

So if 2020 was the year of all things social media, what is in store for 2021? Will we top the numbers from the year before? How will this affect us once we return to our normal routines? Will we be doing TikTok dances at our desks? These are the questions I am left asking myself. I am hopeful and excited to see what is to come for 2021 on all things social media and our normal lives. What app did you spend your time on in 2020? What do you think is to come from all of this in 2021? Share your thoughts below!

Sources :

https://www.hootsuite.com/

https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20201216-how-tiktok-changed-the-world-in-2020