Speaking Social: Part 1, Power

I realise that I haven’t written in a while, sorry! Truthfully, I’m trying to find my groove with writing, whilst working full time – which is pretty knackering! But, I’ll get there.

This is going to be a two- part post. The first part will refer to my recent chat with Artist and Producer, Nico (aka Vemedy), which led us to question, ‘How much power does a user actually have within the world of Social media?‘ The second part, intends to delve into the irony of social media, and the impact it is having on younger generations. Focusing mainly on mental health and cyber bullying. Grab a cuppa and join me!

Part 1: Who’s got the power?

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My chat with Nico (aka Vemedy) made me think about the power (or lack of) that comes with Social media and our obsessive need to feel included and important in a world which has become so fast paced and volatile. It does make sense that we look to Social media to feel included, within an online community. But, how much power are we letting it have over our lives?

Power takes many forms; from world leaders, to the ad companies feeding consumerism, and the banks controlling our finances and fluctuating interest rates! In 1997, the internet granted us a special power, and a voice amongst the chaos: Social media take-over.

Social media allows us to voice our views, share news and keep connected. It has given businesses and brands a direct route to reach their audiences. For example, with Instagram, you can visually capture a brand’s personality through a handful of images. It is a platform which is personal, yet public. In times of tragedy, people have headed to sites such as Instagram and Facebook, to offer condolences, seek more information and keep up to date with an event as it’s unfolding. Social media has a power greater than any other; it makes you feel included and it makes you feel important.

I am part of the Social media frenzied generation, where boomerangs are the new thing, new filters are being released daily and people can know your mood with the click of a status. It has become an obsession, am I the only one that feels a lack of control by having it?

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It would seem appropriate to assume that ‘FoMO’ (Fear of Missing Out) derived from this concept! The fear that by turning off your phone for a few hours during the day or whilst you sleep, could lead to the anxiety of missing an “important” message. But do these include, Facebook’s Birthday reminders? Twitter’s need to tell you who has shared a link? Or Instagram’s desire to show you who’s LIVE?! The sad thing is, you might not care – but you check it anyway.

Maybe we need to start asking ourselves – is this obsession to know what others are doing taking us away from what IS important and what IS going on? It has created a bubble, where we feel safe amongst our followers and ‘friends’, but are we using it as a means to escape? Entering into a bubble of ignorance.

As an online influencer and artist, Nico has used his power to inspire and educate his followers on how to fulfil their passions in music. In his latest single ‘Somebody’ he teamed up with GRM Daily to raise money for the Grenfell Tower victims. Others too, are using it to raise awareness of causes, through sharing articles or inviting you to sponsor a charity or campaign.

Social media is a powerful tool. But are we using it to its fullest potential? Or are we only focusing on the aesthetics, and letting the obsession and anxiety take over?

Stay tuned for part 2 …

 

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