Can you Take a Picture of me Staring into the distance so I can Post it on Instagram!?

From the kardashians, to fitness gurus, beauty bloggers and foodies, Instagram now plays a huge role in business, clientele and reputation. It is also a platform that acts as a storytelling medium for many ordinary people and simply, a place where individuals share photos and small video clips with friends/followers.
I admit, I check Instagram literally whenever I get a chance. My phone is basically always in my hand so im constantly on social media, especially flicking through Instagram. I post photos regularly and love to make my page look pretty and following a theme, however I wouldn’t necessarily say that I care what others think of my images, or think that by posting images forms a sense of self establishment in a ‘show-off’ manner. Does this till mean I am quantifying myself? Am I collating ‘facts’ and figures and experiences and knowledge about myself on one, public platform?

Gary Wolf explains what the quantified self really means in his TED talks segment. He talks about the number of new technologies that essentially collate every single fact and figure about yourself, from sleeping patterns to the number of steps you did that day. He explains that these facts and figures are for self knowledge primarily and should be used to get to know yourself better. Is Instagram the complete opposite of this? Is it a place where we fake ourselves to make us look better? Or is it another fact about yourself? Does the number of followers or likes you have contribute to you self knowledge, or self perception? Leaders and followers: Status in the tech scheme states that ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ on various social media platforms ‘are all metrics that provides comparable measures of importance.’

My 14-Year-Old sister can be used as a perfect example of how Instagram use, may be linked with status. Olivia, times her photo-posting so as to attract the most views/likes/comments. With her growing up literally with social media, it is a much more crucial part of her everyday life. It’s not necessarily for validation that Olivia likes to do this, but more so to reach a larger audience at a given time and share with them something she is doing/loving/did/wearing etc… It is a part of her everyday life.
Status does however play a huge factor in Instagramer’s posting regime. For many, it’s all about photographs, filters, making your page flow and hash-tagging the right things for more likes, so you attract particular followers, views and even brands to your page. Sometimes Instagram is used as a platform to ‘show-off’ or even pretend that your doing something amazing, when its not really like that all the time. Most users will post the best parts of their life and completely exclude any negative connotations from their feed all together… and do we really blame them? I don’t. Does this basically mean people are faking their lives to make themselves look better? For self validation, or peer acceptance? For fame? In the article called Leaders and followers: Status in the tech scene, it explains that status refers to what your peers think about you. “yet what’s considered high status differs from context to context.”

It can be all about visibility, self validation and what people think of you and how you are perceived in the minds of others. And I admit, sometimes this is true for myself. You basically want people to know that your instagram theme is visually asthetic and flows and if you constantly post then people will always keep up to date with your feed, wait for more posts and like your images. It is a platform where people (including myself admittedly) post a picture whenever they are doing something cool or are visiting somewhere nice or when your view is nice or you are having fun with your friends or if your drinking a fancy champagne or wearing a new outfit, and as mentioned before, it is not REAL life.
This can lead though, and has, to many people being jealous of a particular person, feeling even more down about themselves and comparing their life to others.
On the other hand, you do sort of want people to think your ‘living the life,’ and most of the time it is not a true representation of your life. You could post a picture the next morning of ‘yay cocktails for my birthday at a rooftop bar’ looking all pretty and fancy, but in reality you went home and had a huge fight with your partner, or you got kicked out home for being too drunk etc…

Many individuals however, can and do make a living from promoting themselves and products on Instagram. Take Kim Kardashian for example, her Instagram feed is basically an advertising platform of HER and her life, which keeps people up-to-date and interested in following her – and thus watching ‘Keeping up With the Kardashians’, leading to more money for them.Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 6.05.22 pm.png

Kim K believes this selfie was posted because she is ‘liberated’, proud of her body and as a symbol of self empowerment. Other believe it was for attention, for advertisement, for the shock value… Whatever the true underlying meaning for the posting of this ‘selfie’ was, the fact that Instagram was the platform of choice and to see just how widespread the image became, proves that Instagram is a part of everyday life, apart of our lives and an important social media platform… whether we like it or not.

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Texting in Relationships – Does it lead to better communication or miscommunication?

Today, I am sharing my proposal for my #BCM240 digital media project.

I am aiming to evaluate the effectiveness of texting in relationships, and whether or not it truly assists in the communication process. My research will be inducted via interview – This in relationships ranging from new and young partners, to those who are married, engaged, divorced and adults with new partners. My results will be presented in video form, and will include a ‘voxpop’ style of my tenets responses. I will also include an infograph of the results and share this right here on my blog.

Questions I will be asking my interviewees:

How often do you text your partner?

Do you show affection through texting?

Have you ever had a fight through texting?

Has texting ever led to miscommunication?

Do you believe your partner is different through texting, compared to when you are together in real life?

Have you ever gotten mad or annoyed that you partner hasn’t text you, and the day is almost over?

This research is based on research already conducted by Joshua R. Novak , Jonathan G. Sandberg , Aaron J. Jeffrey , Stephanie Young-Davis in their article The Impact of Texting on Perceptions of Face-to-Face Communication in Couples in Different Relationship Stages; as well as research conducted by Christine E. Murray , Emily C. Campbell in The Pleasures and Perils of Technology in Intimate Relationships.

Media: Mobile phones (texting)

Audience: People in relationships.

Place: real life communication vs communication through cyber space.

Abbies Place

Abbie refers to ‘the gym’ as her place. Her safe place. Her happy place. Her peaceful place. Her Challenging place. Whenever she has the chance she escapes to her local gym in order to escape reality and unwind with a bit of exercise. She Cant go more than a couple of days without going to the gym – so when it came to picking a subject for this assignment I knew I had to portray abbie and her connection with the gym.

“Something about putting in my earphones, blocking everything out, and just running – trying to meet a new goal each time.”

It doesn’t matter whether she is by herself or with friends, an hour at the gym allows her time to think, reflect on the day, clear her mind as well as getting seem physical activity.
A healthy lifestyle is extremely important for Abbie, not only eating healthy drinking water and working out, but setting and meeting goals and challenging herself is something she believes contributes.

It was challenging trying to record a sound through the chatter of people, background music, huffing a puffing and the noise of the machines – however I soon realised all these components truly grasped the essence of the gym in it’s purest form.

“It’s true – a healthy body is a healthy mind.”

This is Goodbye!

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In reflecting upon this blogging experience in the subject BCM110 I have gained a thorough insight into such diverse impacts and opinions of the media. Through investigating media ownership; blaming the media; the mediated public sphere and controversy toward the media; and having the opportunity to read, comment and reflect upon other peers’ thoughts; I have gained such an understanding and different opinion of my own about the media.

Having the opportunity to explore not only my own studies, but to read the opinions and findings of fellow peers, has allowed me to expand my knowledge and insights. I have uncovered such things about the media I had only little clue it or “they” were even capable of?

If you were to ask me what I found as the most difficult concept to explore… my answer would be the ‘mediated Public Sphere’ topic. I found it hard to grasp the ideologies initially – however after many sessions of editing (and still not being entirely happy with my post), I got there in the end!

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If you were to ask me what my favourite topic was I would definitely have to say the post about the media “sexualizing children.” I found this topic the most interesting and most astounding when it comes to what the media really are capable, and the various opinions shared. Through investigating my chosen case study: the ‘Dekota Fanning’ conspiracy, it has taught me not only how the media can blow events (in this case photos) way out of proportion, creating a public scandal, as well as the effects it has on the child involved. Fanning being only 17, believed as well as Marc Jacobs, that the shoot was in utter most innocence. And to a point, I agree.

“If you want to read something into a perfume bottle, then I guess you can. But it’s also like, ‘Why are you making it about that, you creep?’ (Fanning 2013)

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In a way I feel sorry for not only fanning but her parents being the centre front of headlines, with media accusing the ad as ‘child sexualisation’, as well as fanning herself a bad role model to children. Along with Miley Cyrus, Lindsey Lohan and Vannessa Hudgens – previous child Disney stars – being in the fore-front of the media, being sexualized, talked about and made frowned upon by many individuals of the community is unfair. The media can manipulate our way of thinking, socially and politically depending on the agenda and circumstance of whoever is in power.

I have gained so much knowledge and understanding of the media and all that surrounds it through this blogging experience. I hope I will have the opportunity to blog again

REFERENCES:

Telegraph.co.uk- Belinda White. 2013. Dekota Fanning laughs off her banned Marc Jacobs ad. [ONLINE] Available at: http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/news-features/TMG9839155/Dakota-Fanning-laughs-off-her-banned-Marc-Jacobs-ad.html. [Accessed 14 April 14]. Youtube- The young Turks. 2011. Dekota Fanning perfume ad controversy (oh Lola!). [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSltPSxD-Bc. [Accessed 08 April 14]. Huff Post Style.. 2013. Dekota Fanning on her banned Marc Jacobs ad: ‘We just laughed about it’ (photo poll). [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/30/dakota-fanning-banned-marc-jacobs-ad-perfume_n_2581749.html. [Accessed 03 April 14].