Social media for change…changing a movie?

In 2019, the new Sonic movie trailer became available, and many people online had an opinion about Sonic’s design, but it was not positive.

Original Sonic Design Source: Paramount

Many fans of Sonic took to Twitter and presented their criticism of Sonic’s design the most notable criticism was related to Sonic’s human features, such as his teeth. Many people believed that the teeth in his design were a little too human and gave a creepy look to his design. There was a lot of noise made by fans, most notably on Twitter, and it seems the studio, Paramount, and the movie’s director, Jeff Fowler, took notice of the criticisms of Sonic’s design. Normally when criticism of any upcoming movie comes to light, not much can be done to change it even if there is a lot of criticism concerning one aspect of the movie. This time, however was different. 

Director, Jeff Fowler, listened and decided to do the unthinkable and change the movie! Most of the criticisms came from Twitter, and thus Jeff took to Twitter and wrote:

I believe many fans were shocked to hear this sudden news of their criticism of the character being taken seriously. This can be seen as a “victory” but it is believed that this change was caused due to social media having bullied the studio for this change. This can be the perspective of others, but the result of Sonic’s design change yielded better results for the studio. On the opening weekend, the Sonic Movie had the best showing ever of a movie based on a video game and grossed over $58 million. The movie received positive reviews and fans rejoiced with enjoying the movie and Sonic’s redesign. This was of great benefit for Paramount, as it seems the criticism for the redesign could have saved the movie from box office failure, such as with the close release of CatsCats received similar criticism of character design with anthropomorphic cat humans being odd and disturbing to many, resulted in this movie losing over $100 million theatrically.

Sonic redesign after online criticism. Source: Paramount

While both movies were different in their story, they both had factors against them from the start, being adaptations from their original media (musical/video game) and both had received criticism online for the designs of the main characters but Paramount took the risk to listen to the fans and completely redesign Sonic for their movie. Despite the cause of delays and increased costs to the movie production.

Did it pay off? Did the internet bully the studio to make these changes? Who is to say the movie would have done worse with the original design?

Facebook: Social media for change…changing a movie? How online criticism cause for redesign of Sonic the Hedgehog.

Twitter: Social media for change…changing a movie? Bullies for Sonic’s redesign? #sonic #sonicmovie #uglysonic

Niche, Unique and oh so Chic!

Fashion is everywhere in person and online, but we often see the same clothes and fashion as what clothes are available to us at our local store. Social media and online shopping have changed the world of fashion for people to find their niche in the fashion world.

With emerging social media, many new fashion trends and aesthetics have emerged to being known as “core” fashions being aesthetics and subgenres of fashions found online through niche communities. A few more well-known are cottagecore and normcore. But other fashions have gained a community or a resurgence recently due to the growing accessibility to the communities and the fashion online, such as Grunge, Streetwear, Y2K, Dark Academia, Decora, and lolita fashion. With many different subtler and wilder fashion communities being more accessible, this has caused diversity in fashion we are seeing in person and to have communities in person, such as local communities of people who celebrate and wear their fashion. I have found this to be my experience with my journey into being interested and invested in lolita fashion. 

Myself in a lolita dress.

Lolita fashion is a fashion movement having started in Japan in the 1980s, being an anti-society movement to represent a women’s aesthetic by taking elements from the Victorian and Rococo eras of fashion, being light and flowy with ribbon and lace embellishments. Due to social media and online shopping, lolita fashion has gained an international fan base that celebrate the fashion by having groups online share their coordinates (also know as outfit of the day) and share news of the latest trends from Japan and Japanese brands. Social media has allowed for small communities within different areas in the world to come together to celebrate the fashion, from California to Ottawa, ON there is a community of this niche fashion to be found. 

My local lolita community and I celebrating Christmas. (Dec, 2021).

Thanks to social media, I was able to find some images of lolita fashion from Japan and just had to know what this fashion was and where I can buy my own dresses. I was able to put together my own outfits and meet people online who share the same passion for the fashion as I do and be able to meet people in person, allowing me to make new friends. While I can be comfortable with this fashion in my own community, I still walk out proud in my fluffiest dresses in public to show off the amazing niche fashion of lolita fashion.

Social media has allowed for amazing new fashion trends to grow and for new unique fashions to emerge changing things up in how we all look resulting in a unique experience for everyone. Do you think some of the wilder fashions should stay online? Has social media made you want to experiment with your fashion aesthetic?

Facebook: Niche, Unique and Oh so Chic! How social media has changes fashions aesthetics for everyone.

Twitter: Niche, Unique and Oh so Chic! Niche fashion trends in your local communities, oh my!


Ruane, E. (March 11, 2021). From Cottage To Norm, We Breakdown Every Core Aesthetic. Refinery 29.

Nanra, P. (January 18, 2022). 10 Types Of Fashion Aesthetics To Showcase Your Individual Style In 2022. Grazia.

The Paris Review (2017). Lolita Fashion.

TikTok – Content made For You!

When first having heard of TikTok, as for a few of my friends, I was reluctant to join as thinking it was only an app for tweens who did lip-sync videos, but TikTok has become so much more. As many others during the pandemic, I have decided to start me own profile on TikTok to enjoy content and to make my own content, but quickly I found out how amazing the app’s algorithm is in showing me what I like. TikTok’s algorithm has exceeded my expectations in catering to show me what I like to see and hook me in to sometimes being on the app for 30 minutes to an hour timespan, despite going on the app just for a look. TikTok has created an amazing algorithm that personalizes a For You tab based on what you express interest in and making changes when you indicate things you are not interest in.

TikTok App Logo. Screenshotted and edited by Zoe Seguin (Me)

With a few weeks of having used the app, I was able to create a For You tab very specific to my interests, with pet videos (mostly dogs), art, LGBTQ2+, cosplay and Disney content being featured. Despite the wide range in my interests, the algorithm has managed to encompass all my passions and keep my interests for longer than I wish to admit. The algorithm itself it ingenious with using a variety of factors to create a For You tab just for you. The factors that influence the algorithm can be divided into 3 main sections: User Interactions, Video Information and Device Account Settings. This includes taking into account your video likes, to the hashtags in the videos you liked and the country settings on your phone, all used in the algorithm to know you and to make it truly For You. It can be argued that this seems like a lot of information to share to create a page to share content to the user, but I have mentioned earlier they have managed to keep me coming back for hours on end with showing me videos of either fluffy dogs to ASMR painting.

TikTok For you? Screenshotted and edited by Zoe Seguin (Me)

With having created this niche space for myself on TikTok with the For You tab, I have also found to have created a false reality for myself. My For You tab showing me all inclusive and like-minded people has, in a way, made me forget that not everyone is as open-minded or as inclusive as all the lovely folks I see when I open TikTok, and that not everyone would enjoy the same content I enjoy. While I think TikTok has done an incredible job of creating an algorithm that shows content I will enjoy for hours, it does make me reflect on how reality isn’t catered to be as everyone would like it to be as they see it on their For You tab.

Has Tiktok’s algorithm worked too well in being For You? Has it created a false reality disjointed from society?

Facebook: TikTok – Showing the best content For You and it works too well!?

Twitter: For You on TikTok, it’s too good to be true, or is it? #TikTok #Foryou


Tiktok (2020) How TikTok recommends videos #ForYou.

Geyser, W. (January 27, 2022). How Does the TikTok Algorithm Work? Influencer Marketing Hub.

COM0011 – Blog 1 – My experience with Reels on Instagram – How I gained 4000 followers in less than two weeks?!

My usual content on my Instagram. Photo by me, model is me

I love social media, and during the pandemic, I have decided to do some experimenting with how my content would do with creating a variety from long text posts tutorials to a silly video of me and my friends in a parking lot (more on that later). I mostly enjoyed experimenting this way as the algorithm for each app is different in content sharing. From this, I have learned that, if you want your content to be seen you have to adapt and follow the trends of the app or stay stagnant and watch your reach die. I have found this to be true when using Tiktok, such as many other users who have joined in 2020 with the app having gained an additional user base growth of 75% (Koetsier, 2020, para. 2). Tiktok’s simple video editing and variety of sounds to lip-sync or dance to have made it easy for trends on the app to come and go as fast as they started. This is what makes Tiktok interesting in trying to stay relevant, with always needing to be engaged and following to see the newest trends come, to then post content relevant to the trend before it ends, which can be within the same week it started. It is no secret that the competitor, Instagram, has taken notice of Tiktok’s growth and popularity with having created their version of short videos with Reels.

Instagram originally is a photo sharing app for sharing your best side and the best of your life. This has changed with the introduction of Reels as the desire of the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri presents a desire to pivot the focus from photo to video (Manavis, 2021, para. 2). This change in focus has caused for how everyone uses Instagram, including myself. When having created my Instagram profile and until the start of 2022, I was using Instagram to share final photos of my costumes or fashion looks, but with the shift in favoring Reels, I decided to change my approach to see what would happen.

My Reels on Instagram and the number of views

What I experienced would change how I would be using Instagram, as the shift from photos to Reels is strikingly different. I have had an Instagram account for around 7 years, in that time I was slow in posting photos of my creative sewing project from costumes to fashion pieces. I was able to gain 850 followers in that time. At the start of 2022, after having been on Tiktok for 2 years and growing a small following and consistently posting videos, I have decided to try recycling those videos as Reels. Despite Instagram not promoting Reels with the Tiktok watermark (Carman, 2021, para. 2), I have found a free tool to work around this to be able to recycle my content. Recycling my Tiktok videos to Instagram’s Reels is my best approach to using Reels, as the editing software for Reels is lacking and frustrating to use.  From January to March 2022, I have been recycling my Tiktok videos to Instagram with a good slow rise from 850 to 950 followers and an average of 200 likes for each Reel. It wasn’t until the end of April 2022 when one Reel seems to have gone viral, with my friends and I, in cosplay in a parking lot. In less than 2 weeks after having posted that Reel, I grew from 950 followers to 4 900 followers! This exponential growth has really shown me the power of the algorithm favoring Reels as I have never have seen this much growth on my Instagram account with sharing photos. To add, to this day I am still receiving likes on this video. What does this mean going forward with using Instagram? For me, I won’t change much of what I plan to post, either it being a photo of a finished costume or a video being silly with my friends, I will stay on what I consider my brand, but this algorithm change does have an impact for others.

With Reels being the new norm in Instagram for all content creators or businesses big and small this means that their photos are becoming obsolete in reaching an audience and videos are the way to go. But now with two apps focused on sharing short video content, which should be favored and which would be not? Will there be recycle content between the two apps? Does this mark the end of the original photo sharing app? Will you still use Instagram to share your photos? Or will it all be video?

Facebook Post: My experience with Reels on Instagram – How I gained 4000 followers in less than two weeks?!

Tweet: My experience with Reels on Instagram – How I gained 4000 followers in less than two weeks?!


Carman, A. (2021, February 9). Instagram says its algorithm won’t promote Reels that have a TikTok watermark. The Verge

Koetsier, J. (2020. September 14) Massive TikTok Growth: Up 75% This Year, Now 33X More Users Than Nearest Direct Competitor. Forbes.

Manavis, S. (2021, July 9) Instagram’s pivot to video marks the end of social media as we know it. The Newstateman.