Have you ever caught yourself in a situation where 10 minutes of scrolling through Instagram reels, Tiktoc, or Facebook posts turns into an hour and you’ve barely blinked an eye? It happens to the best of us. What if you replace those short ten second videos with a 5-minute presentation? Or a 30-minute lecture video? All of a sudden time is not going by as quick. From 2000 – 2013 the average person’s attention span had decreased from 12 seconds to 7 seconds. That being said keep in mind that was before the creation of Tiktoc, Instagram reels, and Snapchat spotlight. Over the course of these past few years social media has done a great job rewiring our attentions spans. Our attention span itself has decreased but, our ability to multi-task has improved accordingly. We are now able to process information at a faster speed. The perks of that rewiring are never ending but cons aren’t quite as easy to overlook. Social media give us the opportunity to access an abundance of information, networks, and ideas just with the taps of a few fingers. That being said we are humans, and our brain don’t function the same way as these automated apps. The information overload caused by spending too much time on these apps can cause difficulty focusing, forgetfulness, short attention span, and fatigue. As addicting and as important as social media is in our day to day lives, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. It’s important to take some time away and reset and rest your mind. Some great ways of doing this are;
Listening to music
Arts and crafts
Indulging in self-care
These are just a few ideas to help you reset and take a break from social networks as often as you might need. Keep in mind, disconnecting is just as important at your need to stay connected.
Do you feel like I do? When I think of an emoji, emoticon, or animoji, it takes me back to my elementary school days, when you got rewarded with stickers from the teacher for your accomplishment.
Do you think that today’s virtual on-line presence of the use of emoji, visually express different emotions and reflections of fulfillment? Do you think emoji (depictions of faces, people, animals, nature, food, drinks, activities, travel, places, objects, symbols, and flags), viewed daily, on various social media platforms, create a whole new on-line interpretation and relationship? Think of it another way – what has on-line conversations with the inclusion of emoji been able to project? Are you physically feeling an emotional response with the addition of an emoji in a text?
A face to face conversation is expressive. When you add facial expressions, emotions, and different pitches to your words, it takes on a whole other meaning. It could insinuate judgment, acquiescence, opposition, ridicule, amusement, to name a few. You know, the phrase “giving you the look”, or the “eyes give it all away”. Do you believe these emoji bring a whole other dimension and perspective to non-verbal or non-word communication rather than the written word?
First came Emoticon, then the Emoji, and now Animoji (animated emoji). Did you know that half of all Instagram posting now contain some sort of emoji, emoticon, or animoji? The iPhone 11, now allows your animoji to act and look like a robot. You chose your animoji or a memoji, record your voice message, forward it in a text, and it plays back with capabilities that mimic your body movements and facial expressions that you projected while speaking and recording your message. What can we expect next in the virtual world?
The first emoticons appeared in one of the issues of Puck magazine in 1981. 4 faces were published in the magazine, which were meant to convey astonishment, joy, indifference, and melancholy. They were called “typographical art”.
The first use of an emoticon online dates back to1982. Scott Elliott Fahlman, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University proposed “:-)” to be used as a “joke marker” in a message.
Emojis, smiley faces, hearts, winking eyes, were created in 1998 by Shigetaka Kurita, an engineer at the Japanese phone company, NTT Docomo. His job was to create a way for customers to communicating using icons. His efforts resulted in the creation of 176 icons, which he called “emojis.” the name is driven from 2 Japanese words “e” (picture) and “moji” (character)
As of March 2020, there were 3304 emoji, and another 217 scheduled for release in 2021 as per Unicode Standard. You can view all of the emoji on the Unicode Standard page.
Emoji, when uploaded to various platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google will differ in look based on the font used in each platform or app.
ENTERTAINMENT, “We’re no. 2”
How about that “Emoji Movie”, with all of its colorful emoji depictions and cuteness geared to the younger generation. Having seen the movie myself, with my grandchildren, it made me laugh. However, it also made me feel agitated and worried. It was perfectly accomplished by the emoji parents’ characters in the movie. When you type a word, an approved emoji will pop up to insert in your text, rather than a word, but it might not always be the one you would use to express what you want to say. Choosing that memorable emoji can be a challenge for an effective online presence, and that is another type of internal battle in itself. I am a mature adult, and I wonder what it’s like for the younger generation. Do they feel the same, or do they simply take it in stride? It is a whole new visual vocabulary, as a code per se.
WHERE IS THIS TAKING US?
Presumingly, this new tool, created back in the ’80s, was harmless and intended for fun. However, like some technologies that started by being unoffensive, have been diverted and sent down an unrelated path and used for a different purpose, to the detriment of mankind. Hopefully, emoji tool will remain creative, playful and entertaining only, with no secondary hidden agenda.
We all use social media to a certain extent and some people use it more than others. We use it to connect with friends and relatives, share pictures and to find out what’s happening in our social circles. Some experts believe that the more we engage with social media the lonelier and more isolated we feel. Does the use of social media negatively affect our mental health?
According to Forbes, it is suggested that the persistent use of social media can result in sadness, feelings of isolation and depression. (Walton, 2017) It’s strange that the very thing we look for in social media, social interaction, actually leaves us feeling worse and more alone. When we use social media we often compare our lives with the lives others are projecting online. We judge ourselves based on the things that other people post. This is called the ‘Comparison Factor’ which can lead to negative feelings about oneself as well as feelings of jealousy and envy toward others. (Walton, 2017) Feelings of inadequacy and lowered self-esteem definitely have a negative affect on our mental health.
Why do we continue to use social media if it makes us feel bad about ourselves and our lives?
In the same Forbes article it suggests that we continue to use social media because we are addicted to it. (Walton, 2017) I think we all wonder sometimes if this is the case. Do you check your phone first thing in the morning? I know I do. In a study from Nottingham Trent University they discovered that some behaviours associated with social media are similar to those associated with other forms of addiction such as drugs or alcohol. Some of those behaviours are: ‘neglect of personal life, mental preoccupation, escapism, mood modifying experiences, tolerance and concealing the addictive behaviour’. (Walton, 2017) They also discovered that stopping the use of social media resulted in symptoms of withdrawal in some people both behaviourally and physiologically. (Walton, 2017)
According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, researchers have used MRI scans to monitor the activity in the reward centres of people’s brains while using social media. It has been found that we react positively to ‘likes’ on social media networks at a neurological level. The activity observed in the subjects’ brains in this experiment has also been compared to drug or alcohol addiction. (CMHA, n.d.)
The CMHA has also said that, not unlike alcohol and drug addiction, the precursors for excessive social media use are existing mental health issues and well as loneliness, low-self esteem and depression (CMHA, n.d.) As mentioned earlier, some of these are also caused by of the overuse of social media.
How do we free ourselves form this vicious cycle?
We can wean ourselves off of social media by removing the apps from our phones to help limit our use. If you are looking for encouragement the CMHA has a number of helpful suggestions. 99 Days of Freedom is one of them. It is an experiment where people try to stay off of Facebook for 99 days. Researchers check in with the participants periodically throughout the 99 days to monitor the participants progress. There are many other resources available if you feel you need help with your social media dependency: The Centre for Internet and Technology Addiction, ementalhealth.ca or Humanetech.com.
Do you feel you suffer from social media addiction?
Facebook: Are you addicted to social media? Check out my blog about Social Media and Mental Health https://bit.ly/2Ngm9ZP
There are many upsides to social media, especially these days, when we aren’t seeing our friends and relatives in person because of social distancing. Social media has become our lifeline, our way to socialize, to keep up with current trends and it’s where a lot of us now get our news. However, there are many downsides to social media, Cyberbullying is one of them. When we think of bullying we often think of teenagers. We think of the schoolyard bullies that exist in every school, in every country in the world. Social media was not around when I was in high school, something I am very thankful for. I cannot imagine what that would have been like. Social media has given the schoolyard bully both the power and the weapon. Cyberbullying is a plague upon social media. However, bullying isn’t just for teenagers, adults do it to.
According to Wikipedia, Cyberbullying is “an aggressive, intentional act or behaviour that is carried out by a group or an individual, using electronic forms of contact, repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend him or herself.” (Cyberbullying, n.d.) In our current social climate this happens online everyday regardless of age.
According to study in Psychology Today, adults are just as likely as teenagers to be involved in cyberbullying if not more so. Adults 18-25 years old experience the most elevated levels of bullying online, followed by those 26-35 years old, of which 24% claim to have been cyberbullied. This study suggests that people of all ages report having experienced forms of online harassment, including 6.5 %of those over 66 years old. (Scheff, 2019)
Cyberbullying can take on many forms. It can be as simple as name calling, emotional intimidation or spreading rumours and can escalate to harassment, torment or threatening behaviour. (Birdsong, 2017) We see it on our social platforms and in our work lives. Online harassment and bullying can have a lasting affect on one’s mental health, reputation and in extreme cases can lead to more dangerous situations like cyberstalking or suicide. There are many potential long term effects of cyberbullying. According to the End To Cyberbullying Organization: Depression, low self-esteem and dating abuse can be some long-term effects of cyberbullying. In the most extreme cases suicide is a serious risk as well. Rehtaeh Parsons of Nova Scotia is a well known example of this. She was a seventeen year old high school student who committed suicide after having photographs of her alleged gang rape posted and shared online. (Suicide of Rehtaeh Parsons, n.d.) As terrible as this case was, it did have a positive impact on the laws surrounding cyberbullying. More information can be found here: Intimate Images and Cyber-Protection Act.
Social media makes us susceptible to the Bystander Effect. By definition the bystander effect is “is a social psychology theory that states that individuals are less likely to offer help to a victim when there are other people present” (Bystander Effect, n.d.) Because social media is public, we assume others will do something to help so we don’t have to.
So, What can we do if we think someone is being cyberbullied? How can we help?
There are a couple of steps that can be taken. Firstly, do not engage with the aggressor, do not ‘like’ or forward what they are posting. Report the incident to the social media platform they are using. You can also private message the victim and offer support. (Scheff, 2019) If you want to offer professional support to someone who is being cyberbullied, for adults contact The Cyber Smile Foundation’s Global Support Service and children can always contact the Kids Help Phone.
The next time you see someone being bullied online will you reach out and help?
A friend of mine is co-owner of holistic health business in Lindsay, Ancient Wisdom Holistics. She paired her retail experience with her deep belief in alternative healing to launch a small shop which also offers some professional services and learning events.
As with most start-ups, there’s little money for marketing, so she and her partner are employing social media as best they can. They’ve chosen to have a presence on both Facebook and Instagram, which seems to be the appropriate choice for their target market and type of business.
On Facebook, @Ancient.Wisdom.444 has more than 500 followers. The owners post a few times a week and generally earn a few comments and 10 to 20 likes. The posts tend to be product photos or announcements of events. They are not optimally worded to encourage engagement from other users; this is an area which needs improvement. Spelling and grammar could also be improved. The owners also share inspirational and wellness-themed posts, very relevant to their market.
The Facebook posts have a very gentle, respectful tone. They invoke a sense of peace and wellbeing, and are very true to the personality of the owners. Consider this example, from this winter:
Good snowy morning everyone. Ancient Wisdom Holistics will be closed for the day do to the weather. Let’s stay off the roads and let the plow drivers get there job done easier 🎉😇 P.j’s hot tea and movies day! After we shovel out😜 Have a safe and great day. See you Friday
The owners have taken advantage of some other Facebook features that are beneficial for business marketing. The “About” section contains appropriate keywords for this market: “A large selection of Crystals, Minerals & Sage as well as Meditation classes. Psychic / Mediums. Reiki classes and privet Reiki session. Oracle & Tarot decks, Psychic lessons. Incense and a whole lot more!”
Also, the Messenger chat window opens when you visit the page and offers a list of standard queries as well as the opportunity to post your own question. This encourages visitor interaction.
Ancient Wisdom is also using Facebook events to promote classes, services and special events.
For their Facebook page, I would suggest a little more personalization and storytelling, with an emphasis on the owners. They should also network more with other similar businesses to boost each other’s marketing efforts.
The business’ Instagram presence (@ancientwisdom.444) is less developed than the Facebook page. Posts are generally a repeat of the visual/photo posts Facebook, with little text. It would benefit greatly from more verbiage and the use of hashtags such as those found in the Facebook “About” section: #crystals, #healing, #meditation, #psychic, #reiki.
It is evident that the two owners have made a start toward social media marketing. They are using the appropriate tools but need some training or guidance on how to better use these tools.
About me: After more than 25 years as an editor of trade publications, I’m now learning social media techniques. I’ll be writing about news, communication, social media and travel as I go through this career transition. Please join me on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or my blog, and we’ll chat.
I have worked in the same restaurant for 13 years. For most of that time we have used some form of social media, primarily Facebook and then later Twitter and Instagram. We are told that there are rules for engagement for all social media platforms. We must aim for the “Baby Bear” approach for content and posting, not too much, not too little, it has to be just right! In this new reality, when other forms of customer engagement aren’t possible, are businesses changing the way they interact with customers online? Has the pandemic changed how and when businesses use social media?
Businesses all over the world have been forced to shut their doors to the general public. Online shopping has become the new normal for many businesses and consumers. Some retail are now allowed to open again in Ontario, however a number of them are only at half capacity or by appointment and restaurants remain open for take-out only for the foreseeable future. Either way, social media has become the main form of communication for businesses. Do the old rules still apply? Have businesses changed their approach to social media?
According to Forbes, social media usage is up, not only for individuals but for businesses as well. Businesses are posting 15-20% more on social media than there were pre-Covid. Businesses are also changing how they use it. Social media has become more intimate, more personal, companies are taking the time to engage one-on one with their customers. Things have definitely been headed this way for a while. Marketers have seen the light, feedback and direct contact with customers does improve brand and customer loyalty. Listening to the customer has become the new norm, especially during these uncertain times. Is this something that will persist post pandemic or is it just a way to keep us spending in uncertain times?
Before the Pandemic there were specific times of the day that were seen as most optimal for posting. According to Sprout Social those times have also changed in the last couple of months. People’s routines are different and many are working form home. Where 11am to 1-2pm, somewhere around lunch hour, was previously a sweet spot for posting, it turns out that is has changed to 11am. Even the peak days of the week for social media traffic have shifted.
Most businesses have had to pivot in one way or another over the last few months as the world has changed. It looks like businesses have altered their social media practices in order to conform to new norms. They are posting more, interacting more with consumers and are posting at different times of the day and week in order to keep up with society’s new schedule. Will this be a permanent change in the way we see businesses interacting with customers? Will social media practices continue to pivot as our society adjusts to our new reality?
We are in strange times. Things have changed. The old order is out and the new order is in. Our lives have become considerably different in recent months and it doesn’t seem they will return to ‘normal’ anytime soon. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a large impact on all of our lives and that includes how we interact with social media. Live streaming, that was already on the rise, has gained significant traction in the last few months as we social distance and remain quarantined in our homes. We cannot go out to see our favourite band, orchestra, or dance troupe. All over the world theatres are closed and festivals of all kinds have been cancelled or postponed. As a society we crave entertainment and artists will always seek a platform to show their wares. In our current situation this platform can only be virtual. Many popular social media platforms offer live streaming: Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Periscope. https://dustinstout.com/live-streaming-social-media/
Is this move to a virtual arena the new normal?
Many artists have moved to live streaming over the past few months. Musicians are hosting virtual concerts, actors and authors are reading books, comedians are performing stand up, poets reciting poems, dancers dancing etc. We now have a large catalogue of art available for free at the click of a button. Some people include crowdsourcing tools such as GoFundMe or Patreon on their Facebook page or as a link in their bio on Instagram. That is merely a suggested donation not a cover charge or ticket price. By consequence, is live streaming devaluing art or is it just a means to an end in a time where there is no other option for public consumption? Will live streaming change the face of the arts scene forever or bridge a gap for the time being?
Live steaming is probably not going to go away anytime soon. Clearly there is room for both live art and live streaming but the question is, will the popularity of live streaming continue in a post-pandemic world and will it have a lasting impact on how we value, experience and consume art?
Can our consumer based society return to a system where we pay fairly for live entertainment or will free live streaming change the game?
I love sitting around, drinking my coffee and catching up with my Facebook friends and family. Lately, I have been wondering if I need to see all those adds and suggested content that I don’t really care about! I was wondering – can I change the content of my news feed?
Facebook has been developing their algorithm since it was born in 2004. Over the years, they invented news feeds, likes, newsfeed sorting, prioritization and last year, in 2019, they introduced the ‘Why am I seeing this post’ tool.
Let’s focus in on the News Feed. Do you ever wonder why you are getting certain content or adds on your feed? It’s important to understand that Facebook has over 1.6 Billion users visit Facebook daily and over 300 million actives users. Facebook had to develop an algorithm to manage and sift through this content to display it on your feed. It does this by analyzing your likes and reactions to posts and serves up more of what you like. It also serves up adds that have certain advertising requests that matches your profile (e.g. age or gender or location).
How do I find out more about these preferences? Go to a post in Facebook and click on the … (three dots), top right corner. A menu will pop up with the question ‘Why am I seeing this Add?’.
I can click ‘Hide all adds from this advertiser’ or I can click on ‘Make Changes to your Add preferences’.
You can look through the About Facebook Adds to get more in depth information about these settings.
Who knew? As of 2019, Facebook has now given users the ability to hide adds that they don’t want to see or to modify your Add Preferences and change your interests, your information, Ad settings etc…
In conclusion, yes I now configured my Facebook add preferences but have yet to see how it will truly affect the adds and content that pop on my feed. Stay tuned! I would love to hear if you have had any success with this approach!
FACEBOOK: How can I take control over my @Facebook News Feed content? #WhyamIseeingthisadd #Facebook Check this post: http://bit.ly/2TS3fgl
TWITTER: Controlling my @Facebook News Feed content? This is 4 u. #WhyamIseeingthisadd #Facebook http://bit.ly/2TS3fgl
I recently listened to a podcast episode called “The Age of Oversharing” by Approachable (Samantha Ravndahl & Alyssa Anderson). Sam is a pretty popular beauty influencer with over 2 million instagram followers, and Alyssa is her best friend from high school. I love their podcast for this reason, because I think it’s super interesting to hear the different sides and different views the two of them have over topics such as this one, of oversharing on the internet.
In the episode one of the big things they referred to was that you’re almost in a sort of catch 22 with how much you share on the internet. Followers always want you to be open and transparent with them about things that are going on behind the scenes and to know every detail that is happening, but then sometimes when people overshare they’re seen as narcissistic or full of themselves. You really need to find the balance in pleasing your followers and giving them some information about your life, without sharing too much and still having the ability to keep certain things private.
One of the things Sam brought up really resonated with me. She’s recently been a lot more open on social media about her mental health and dealing with depression, but she acknowledged that it’s still a battle, and she doesn’t exactly want to talk about it sometimes. Yet, because she was open and talking about it, people now view her as a sort of advocate for mental health, so she’s been thrust into this mentorship role whether her mental health is in a good state or not. It’s hard when you see that the things you’re sharing are helping people, I know personally that Sam’s conversations about mental health have helped me to realize that I wasn’t alone in the way I was feeling, but then you have to wonder if sharing all of this information designed to help people was to her own detriment.
Personally, I would like to brand myself as being authentic, and not purposely being fake for the camera, and things like that, but I do think there is a fine line between being authentic and real and sharing too much with others. There is the struggle of trying to figure out where this line lies. All of social media is new to the whole world, and different generations are adapting differently. The truth is: nobody has the answers and we’re all still learning. That said, there are some things we can do to try and mitigate the risks of social media.
PsychCentral has a blog post by Paula Durlofsky, PhD, discussing the benefits of not oversharing on social media, and she’s offered some tips on how to prevent yourself from sharing something you may regret later.
Don’t post when you’re feeling emotional
Use private messaging to resolve conflicts
Prepare yourself for negative responses
Protect your privacy
Be aware of social media overload and internet addiction
I never thought that I was good at writing blogs or content. So, when I found out that we had to write blogs for this course I was frightened and excited at the same time. I plan to open my own Virtual Assistant business and of course, I will have to market myself and the business. Even before I started this course, I was thinking about how I can find the right social media platform to market my business and the ideal client. It is just natural for me that this will be my first blog post. I did some research on this topic. Let’s dive right in, shall we?
Starting the search for the ideal client
One of the first things you will read is that you will have to find your “ideal” client to find the right platform to market on. Since I’m still in the beginning stages of developing my business and right now I just know that I will offer social media managing, travel planning and probably project management. I kept my ideal client vague for now.
I found a great blog that helped me get started on my search for an ideal client and the platforms to market on, even though I have not a clear picture of my business yet.
If you look at the info graphic that I found on the blog, you can see, that if your audience is over 30 and if they operate business to business, which mine will probably be. Then it is probably best to market on LinkedIn and Facebook. If your audience is under 30 then probably Twitter and Facebook are the right platforms for you, depending on what kind of engagement you want from your users. If you target all ages, then it depends if it is image-focused. If the answer is yes, you will have to publish your content on Instagram, unless you focus only on females. Then it is best to publish your content on Pinterest. If your business isn’t image-focused however, then LinkedIn and Facebook are the right choices here.
Of course, this is all very generalized and too broad. Perfect for me right now because I’m in the very early stages of my business. This is just a starting point. The following short You Tube video explains more in-depth how you market to your ideal client and how you get there.
At some point, I will have to focus my look at the ideal client. Because what was mentioned above is just too broad. I will have to get inside the (buyers) mind of my client. I must find out who will need my services, I will have to take a close look at my competitors, do my research and of course network, network and network and I will have to decide where my passion is. Who I WANT to work for. That is all part of finding the ideal client and with it the right social media platform to market on.
But the info graphic I posted above helped me a great deal. I now know I must start to market on LinkedIn and Facebook since I will have a target audience that is 25 years and older. I will keep that in mind for now until I am in the final stages with my business and then take another look at who my ideal client is. Who knows maybe we will explore this even in another blog post, but no promises.
Do you know on which social media platforms your clients are on or have you done some research yet? And do you know who your ideal client is if you have a business and how did you get to that conclusion? Was it like it is mentioned in the articles I posted?
I would love to know. Please write to me in the comment section.
Do you know your ideal client and on which platforms you have to market on? Check out my blog where I give some tips and pointers.
Do you know your ideal client and on which platforms to market on? #marketing #idealclient #smallbusiness