Have you ever found yourself scrolling through Instagram and coming across your favourite celebrity with a product in hand, describing their love for said product and noticing #ad within their comments? What exactly does this mean and why do they need to do this?

Source: Selesti

As social media grew, platforms expanded their capabilities and celebrities began acquiring a large following, so did the trend of utilizing social media and their influencers in marketing tactics. There has been a growing trend where companies are using “influencer marketing” in order to promote their product. Wikipedia defines “influencer marketing” as:

Influencer marketing (a.k.a.influence marketing) is a form of social media marketing involving endorsements and product placements from influencers, people and organizations who possess a purported expert level of knowledge[dubious – discuss] and/or social influence in their respective fields.

Source: Wikipedia

As influencer marketing grew, the rule and regulations to their marketing strategies were being identified and investigated. According to BBC.com in April of 2017:

Celebrities and “influencers” in the US have been warned to clearly identify when they are promoting products on Instagram in return for payment.

Source: BBC.com

The BBC went on to explain that over ninety individuals and marketing first were handed letters by the consumer regulators regarding the issue of marketing and non-transparency. The article continues to explain that regulator also put in place guidelines for these influencers to use in order to be transparent about their post.

The regulator did not give specific wording which should be used to make a disclosure but said that phrases such as “paid for” “Sponsored” and “Promotion” may help get that message across, as well as “#ad”.”

Source: BBC.com

It is not that uncommon now to see #ad more prominently within posts following the investigation listed above. What is interesting is the increased number of YouTube videos that provide step by step instructions on how to effectively use influencer marketing for your business.

Source: YouTube

With social media being used by those young and old, it was inevitable that marketing firms followed along with this trend. I believe that it is important that influencers use their high volume of followers properly and be as transparent as possible when it comes to marketing.

#ad? Do you feel that this is truly necessary in the social media world?

Social Media Isn’t All That Bad

As we are all aware social media often gets a lot of negative attention for its affect on society’s mental health, self esteem and as far as it’s negativity on our sleep patterns. But is social all that bad? An article on the Smart Social website list examples of how social media can have a positive impact on society.

Source: Pixabay

Smart Social list ten examples of the positive impact of social media on youth. The following three examples gave me “oh yeah!” moments:

Social media provides parents an opportunity for open communication. As a mom to two small children I know that at some point I will seem ‘ancient’ to my kids with my knowledge of social media and future platforms. However I do hope that, I am able to have an open discussion about safety and social media and in return have engagement with them over different platforms.

Students can use technology to form study groups. When I first attended university (several years back!), I wish there was an opportunity or forum that was easily accessible to students in the same program in order to meet fellow students and form study groups.

Students can utilize social media to spread social awareness and kindness. I felt as though this was the most important example on the list. There is so much discussion of cyberbullying and hurtful conversations on social media it is nice to hear that students are using social media as an opposite and spreading kindness and happiness.

Source: Pixabay

After reading the article from Smart Social, I did some more research and found other studies and articles reflecting this same thought that social media often does get a bad wrap these days but ultimately can be used in so many positive ways as well!

Source: YouTube

Does social media get a bad reputation? How can we change this going forward? https://wp.me/p3QRy0-lwc

Instagram’s fight against cyberbullying

Cyberbullying involves the use of communication technologies such as the Internet, social networking sites, websites, email, text messaging and instant messaging to repeatedly intimidate or harass others.


With the rise in popularity of social media, we can all agree that there are significant pros and some disappointing cons with these platforms. A great pro with social media is the ability for the general public to voice their opinion, praise and engage in (at times) healthy debates regarding a wide array of topics. Unfortunately, with this positive aspect leads to an awful negative of cyberbullying. This act of “picking on” someone online.

The statistics regarding cyberbullying and young people are shocking:

“Fifty-nine percent of US teens have been bullied or harassed online, according to a 2018 study from Pew. Another study conducted by a non-profit anti-bullying group found that 42% of cyberbullying victims between the ages of 12 and 20 said they were bullied on Instagram.” 


I was thoroughly impressed with Instagram chief Adam Mosseri, for taking this issue seriously and adapting the Instagram platform accordingly to help eliminate/reduce this cowardly act to fellow followers. According to a recent article Instagram will be testing a feature to “restrict” comments from other users.

“You can restrict someone by swiping left on a comment, through the Privacy tab in Settings, or directly on the profile of the account you intend to restrict. Once Restrict is enabled, comments on your posts from a person you have restricted will only be visible to that person. You can choose to view their comment by tapping “See Comment;” approve the comment so everyone can see it; delete it; or ignore it. You won’t receive any notifications for comments from a restricted account.”


Unfortunately, in the world of social media there will always be bullying online and it is unfortunate that some (especially young people) will continue to get harassed through different platforms. But my hope is that with this new feature on Instagram, other social media platforms will follow suit and establish their own anti-bullying policies. Social media should be a safe place for anyone to voice their opinions and gain knowledge without the worry of negative comments.

Do you think other social media platforms will follow Instagram’s lead with cyber-bullying?

Is social media hurting our self image?

As a teen (which was quite awhile ago …) growing up in an age of no social media, very little activity on the internet and teen related magazines, I had my own fair share of body image issues. This got me thinking to how young girls and boys are now are affected by what they see on social media and their own self image. It is so easy now for young adults to constantly view these unrealistic images of celebrities and peers that have been edited prior to posting. How is it truly affecting them?

I came across an article entitled “This Is How Much Teenage Girls Edit Their Photos to Make Them ‘Social Media Ready’” which discusses how the use of photo editing apps are becoming so popular among teens and the negativity it has on their self image. The concept of the article was interesting as it asked young women to edit a photo in order for it to be posted on social media. The before and afters were remarkable, but at the same time unrealistic. Facial features were enhanced and blemishes, or ‘imperfections’ completely erased. Below is an example of one of these images:

The article left me shocked and truly sad for these young women who felt as though they needed to change their beautiful fresh faces in order to post the “perfect” selfie.

As I continued my search related to this topic it made me anxious and saddened to all the young women (and men) who aspire to look a certain way or have the impact of social media affect how they view themselves. Then … I came across a TedTalk that I wish all young people would consider watching. Michelle Lou Lan discussed having a healthy perspective on yourself in the social media age. She offers so much insight to not just young people but anyone who is potentially affected by the images they view daily on social media.

From YouTube

As a mom to a baby girl, I fear how social media will evolve and its affects on her self image. What about you? Do you feel that the discussion of self or body image will change positively in the near future? What tools do you think are necessary going forward to educate young people to avoid these selfie behaviours?

Sources: https://www.health.com/mind-body/selfie-harm-photo-series-by-rankin, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9U2sVP97TyQ