Obsessed with Body Image

Selfies, waist traners, teeth whitening, lip injections… those are some of the things that women of today can’t live without. The way we look has become something that we are very obsessed with. If we look at the way women used to look back in the day, we can see it was very different from now. Mo482804150eaf886dc3f76bb2bc2f948cst of today’s women look far from natural.

If we look at TV adverts we see beautiful, tall and skinny women with amazing hair and make up, if we scroll down through social media, we see girls who look like dolls, with perfectly arched eyebrows, contoured face, pout and the latest fashion. I personally find a huge difference between the men and women I see on the media and the ones I see in my everyday life. I think the media has put a lot of pressure on women as to how they should look and that has affected their self esteem and confidence.

We have come to a point, especially young women where we want to get the most followers and likes on social media, so we take hours to get ready for the perfect selfie, we then take another hour to get the right angle, lighting and even more to edit our pictures with the right filters.

The truth behind it is that media shows us what they are paid to show us. Behind media is multi million pounds beauty industry that wants women to believe that makeup, teeth whitening and and a waist trainer will help them to feel more confident and will magically make them look like their favourite celebrities or like models. The beauty industry wants us to spend money, they don’t care about how the image of “perfection” can make us feel, they take women’s low self esteem as an advantage to make profit. Just because your favourite bloggers says that a product is great, doesn’t mean it really is, or that she has even tried it. It means she was paid to advertise it and she will make more money when you buy it. Because your favourite celebrity has lost 20 kilos in 2 months, is not because of those fabulous drugs on TV that she advertises, is probably because she just had a liposuction done. Some of us don’t realise how we are becoming a victim of the beauty industry and how obsessed we are becoming with our bodies. We need to learn to love ourselves as we are, because if you don’t love yourself, no matter how much make up we wear we will still not be in peace with ourselves. Confidence isn’t about feeling powerful when you walk down the street with the latest fashion, silky hair and a nose job… Confidence is knowing your worth, your personal values and knowing you are amazing even when you don’t wear all that fake stuff…

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I think that Netflix is a great example of content that can’t be accessed unless the user pays for a monthly subscription, therefore is under copyright restrictions.

Netflix is an on-demand provider of hundreds of popular television shows and movies that you can stream. With TV, you have to wait for your show to air – or you may have to record it if you know you’ll miss it – but with Netflix, you’re able watch your favourite shows and movies anytime, anywhere. A basic monthly subscription to Netflix costs £5.99 per month. This allows you to watch unlimited amount of movies/shows at anytime, anywhere.

If Netflix was shared with the public under the Creative Commons Licence, we probably wouldn’t have it anymore… The reason why users need to pay for the subscription is that the money is spend towards getting new movies/shows, updating the website, making sure every movie is put into the right category and improving the navigation system of the website. Without that money, the company wouldn’t be able to do that and we wouldn’t have access to all that content. Lets say for instance that Netflix became available to everyone for free, the only way that could happen is through advertisements. Currently, there isn’t any advertising on Netflix which we all love, because none likes annoying adds going off, right when the most interesting part of the movie is happening! Im sure we all would be very disappointed if we had to have adverts on Netflix! Conclusion, Netflix should stay under copyright licence!

However, us users (specially teenagers) don’t like to pay for things and there comes a way to ‘break the rules’. Although to be able to access Netflix you need to pay, I know so many people that just use their friend’s or family’s account. If one person is paying the £6, there might be 10 more people that use that account… I guess those are the disadvantages of Copyright protections… the fact that you want it but you can’t have it encourages you to break the rules and still get it your way… reason why there are so many pirated movies all over the internet.

My Online Visibility

 

Just like most people from my generation, I am pretty active on social media. I do not use all of them equally, as I prefer Instagram and Snapchat to Twitter and Facebook. On Facebook I keep my profile on private and I do not accept people that I don’t know or have many mutual friends with. I first made my Facebook account 6 years ago and I have been using it less and less as time goes by. Currently there isn’t much information about me that could be found there as I only share my pictures. I don’t post any statuses or current locations. However, if anyone was to look at my profile that would be my family and friends, which I don’t mind. When speaking to my friends it seems like most of us agree that Facebook has become the social media site for family and friends and it is more private compared to other social media.

In terms of Twitter, I had an account for many years, but I never actually liked using it to share personal information. The only time I use it is when I want to be updated on recent topics and the media response to them or to see what my favourite celebrities and friends are tweeting about. There isn’t anything personal about me that could be found on Twitter other than a profile picture and a few general tweets now and then.

When it comes to Snapchat and Instagram I am way more active and I share much more information. My Snapchat account is on private but I tend to accept almost everyone that sends me a request. Thinking about it, I share almost everything that happens to me during the day. From what I had for breakfast, to getting on the cab and going to whatever location I am heading to. I post my thoughts, my pictures, my family members, my home, my date of birth and almost everything I do! It is risky to share that much information, but I feel like with Snapchat you have more control over who has access to your information. The app allows you to see who is watching your posts, who has screenshot them and how many views you have in total. That makes it more relaxing that you still have some control over it as well as the fact that everything you share today will be gone by tomorrow.

On Instagram I am very active as I have been using it for years now. I remember starting with 10 followers and now I have 10K people watching my posts and following what I do. I don’t have my profile on private and all my posts are easy to access by everyone. Having many followers on the app helps you towards branding yourself, networking and even getting money! Due to the amount of followers I have, companies have contacted me to promote for them and have sent me free products and paid me to share a picture of their brand! The disadvantages however, are that I have seen people making fake profiles and using my name and pictures, for God knows what purposes which is very frustrating! I have also seen pages sharing my pictures and getting all the likes an comments without tagging me and giving me the credit I deserve.

I guess everything has advantages and disadvantages and it is up to us to decide how we want to share our information with the public and be aware of how that could affect us positively or negatively.

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Instagram

Instagram is an app that allows users to share their pictures and videos, to follow friends or celebrities as well as to like and comment on other people’s posts and even message them on direct message.

However, Instagram is used not only for the purpose of following  your friends from your personal account, but to also use it as a platform where you can build  your businesses or can share hobbies and interests. There are many pages on the app which were created for the main purpose of sharing certain hobbies or lifestyle. Those are the pages that make Instagram an online community where people with the same interest can “meet” and interact with each other. Here are some examples of online communities on Instagram:

  1. The Shade Room: is a page with 3.7 million followers, where people can find the latest gossip regarding celebrities. It is literally the best page to go to if you want to find out what happened between your favourite rapper and his baby mamma drama or who are the new celebrity couple. Each post has thousands of comments made by followers where they share their views and discuss the story with each other.
  2. Kim K Lookbook: is a page dedicated to Kim Kardashian’s fashion outfits. It is perfect for all the girls who like her style and want to dress like her. Each post is a picture of Kim Kardashian or a Kardashian member that clearly shows their outfit and a description of where each outfit is purchased from.

I personally think that having such pages on Instagram is a very good way to find people who have the same interests as you. You could find a person from the other side of the world that agreed with something that you commented on Kim K’s picture and eventually follow each other and become friends. They also benefit users by doing the job for them, for example the outfit information is researched and already described for you so that if you want to dress like your favourite celebrity all you have to do is go to their lookbook page. If you want to know the latest gossips you can go to the shade room without having to spend money on gossip magazines and instantly find out everything!

Snapchat

I personally think that Snapchat is one of the best examples of audience participation as users are literally the ones that create the content of the app. Furthermore, everyone’s Snapchat story looks different to other’s. It all depends on the people you follow.

It consists in taking pictures or videos of your daily routine or anything  interesting that is happening to you that you wish to share with your friends/followers. Once you do that, you create a story on the timeline and your friends can view it and keep up with you daily, as the Snapchat story refreshes every 24 hours meaning that whatever you share will only stay there for one day and you can never view it again.

The app became very popular couple of years ago, as it was very similar to Instagram but the advantage it had was that you could share anything without feeling guilty that it will stay on your timeline forever or that it will still be surfing around the internet 20 years later. With Snapchat you can also choose to send a certain picture or video to a specific person or group of people without having to send it to everyone on your story. You can also choose how many seconds the content could be visible for and you can see when the person has seen it or even if they have replayed it or screenshoted it! That way there isn’t anything hidden, you can literally have control over everything. I think that due to those settings, Snapchat is perceived as more private and personal compared to other social media. Recently they have added a special filter feature that users find very fun, where you can take a selfie and put a filter that makes you look like a dog, or with a big nose, or make you look like a doll and many others as they change them often. Other benefits of Snapchat are that  there isn’t any annoying advertisement and that there is a special featured story where celebrities share their Snapchat and you can see videos of big events such as the Carnival of Brazil, the Super bow, the Grammy’s or the Oscars, just as if you was right there in the front roll! Amazing isn’t it?!

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The era of smart phones and stupid people

Convergence in the context of technology is defined as the integration of two or more different technologies in one device/system. When we think of technological convergence, the first thing that pops up in our minds is the mobile device, isn’t it?

Initially, mobile phones were created for the purpose of making calls. However, with the continuos advances in technology, we can now use our phones for much more. We can make normal calls or use FaceTime call if we wish to see the person, we can text on iMessage or text on whats app, take a selfie with the front camera or ask someone to take a picture of us and post it on Facebook, Instagram or SnapChat immediately.  We can share our thoughts on the Twitter timeline, listen to the latest album on our phones after we download it straight from the iTunes on our phone. We can use the phone map to find out where we are when we get lost in  Central London or simply call an Ubber cab, again from our phone device, all this facilities at the palm of our hand, literally!

Technological convergence has made life so much easier for us in the last few years but there are many people that think, having everything given to us isn’t helping. Our brains aren’t challenged, we do not exercise our minds and we end up having stupid people and smart phones…

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Online Resource: Teens, social media and privacy

The online resource that I would like to share with students from the module is an article called “Teens, social media and privacy” which is published on the website of Pew Research Centre.clic here to access it

I find the article useful because it makes reference to the Week 6 topic – Privacy and Surveillance. It is based on a research of surveys carried out on 802 teenagers and examines their privacy management  on social media sites. The result of the surveys is reported back in a form of statistics that clearly show that the use of social media and the amount of information shared by young people has increased compared to previous years.

  • 91% share photos of themselves, up from 79% in 2006.
  • 71% share their school name, up from 49%.
  • 53% share their email address, up from 29%.
  • 20% share their mobile number, up from 2%.
  • 92% share their real name.

Those are just some of the statistics that were published and I personally find it concerning that the statistics have increased so drastically and we can see that we pretty much share everything about us on social media. What we do not realise is that what seems to be normal in our everyday life, might be used with other intentions that we wouldn’t even think of! With our pictures, name, age information, relationship status, city of residence and so on, people can learn so much about us with jus a click on our profile. We need to be careful with our privacy and try to protect ourselves and younger friends/siblings by making our profiles private as well as by avoiding sharing too much personal data.