The Dangers of a Social Media ‘Overdose’

Thoughts

Social media, created for social network and for users to share and create content – to keep people in contact with each-other. The idea was an incredible one, we can now have friends all over the world and keep in contact with them, however as with all things it has its downsides particularly when it becomes over used. So I ask you – How often do you use social media? And are you aware of how much time you may be spending on it?

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The problem:

You may be wondering why I refer to a social media ‘overdose’ in the title of this post, this is because using social media and mobile phones has been proven to be really addictive. When you get messages or likes on your recent post a hormone is released, the same hormone that is released when drinking alcohol or smoking. It’s this ‘happy’ hormone that makes all of these things so addictive. So just like you can overdose on these things you can overdose on social media.

Some apps such as Snapchat deliberately make using it addictive. In this case it’s the use of ‘streaks’, having to send a photo to your contacts every day that becomes really addictive; people using the app have to add sending ‘streaks’ into their daily routines, often making it a priority first thing in the morning. I was at a party recently in a place with no signal and no wifi and in the morning it was like a meltdown because they had a ‘timer’ meaning they were going to lose their ‘streak’ unless they sent a photo right away. I know so many people who get like this with Snapchat and I used to feel it too until I realised what I was doing and how pointless it really was to get so caught up in a number next to a name. So I deleted snapchat for a while and only re downloaded it so I could keep in contact with the friends who have been trying to contact me on there. When I deleted it so many people messaged me, so annoyed that we had lost our streak and I was so relieved to rid myself of that pressure, to not have to think first thing in the morning that I need to go on Snapchat.

Having a social media addiction is not a mental health disorder in itself but being addicted to it can cause many other mental health problems such as anxiety and depression because you’re counting the number of likes and having people unfollow and unfriend you. Many people also spend more time on their phones than spending it with people face to face, this lack of true social interaction can make people feel lonely, anxious and upset.

The health secretary is urging tech firms to enforce minimum age rules and I do think that this has got to be a really great thing to happen, I never had a phone until I was 11 and even then it was a little pay as you go phone but I loved growing up playing outside with friends, dressing up and doing role play; so many kids now just play games on their devices instead of getting dirty outside.  Many of the tech giants don’t even allow their kids to have mobile phones or social media platforms.

However this is not just an issue for kids, I often see parents picking up their kids from school and their child is trying to tell them about their day yet more often than not that parent is looking down at their phone. The misconception of social media use, I think, is that its just the young generations that use it but it affects all age groups because in the modern day they have to use it in work.

How can we reduce our social media use? 

In the new update for iPhones, Apple have added a feature where you can put a time limit on using certain apps so you can truly see just how long you are spending on instagram or snapchat or Pinterest. You can then tailor your social media use to your life.

The best way, however, to reduce our time spent on social media is simply to be wary of when we are using it. For example; when out to dinner with friends, put your phone away and turn it on silent. Sometimes we all need time without the distractions of our mobile phones; to simply be with your own thoughts, it’s in these time that we can be innovative and come up with new ideas.

To summarise, as the saying goes ‘everything in moderation’, using social media can be a positive way to spread messages and create content but using it too much and letting the likes and follow count get to you can cause a problem. Talk to people and take time for yourself to do things you love and use social media only when you’ve done these things; don’t let social media control your life.

I hope you enjoyed this post, I found it really fascinating researching the impact social media has on our lives in the modern day – if you want to find out some more here are a few links to some books and websites you might find interesting….

I have also done a post about the impact technology and social media has had on ways we get information and its contribution to creating ‘fake news’. Have a read here —– Fact Or Fiction

 

 

 

 

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Fact Or Fiction

Thoughts

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‘Fake news’. I by no means mean to quote Trump here, but certainly much of the ‘truth’ has been contorted by journalists and social media in recent years.

We have, now, got most information at our finger tips. With thanks to the internet we can find out the breaking news and the height of your favourite celebrity; any kind of information that will satisfy your curiosity and allow you to figure out how to build that Ikea coffee table. The internet has been an incredible invention that I doubt many of us can imagine life without. However, as with all things, it has its downsides. We can get brand new information quicker then ever before which means journalists are biting at the bit to get out the next news story; this often means that much of the information has not been backed up and that it could, in fact, be just a rumour. And it’s not just the information we are given, it’s the information that news broadcasters can choose not to give us. After all, as Sir Francis Bacon once said ‘ipsa scientia potestas est’ – Knowledge itself is power.

I recently read an article from a couple of years ago by Katherine Viner (editor in chief at The Guardian) entitled ‘how technology disrupted the truth’ it was a fascinating read and really got me thinking about the society we live in now and our dependance on technology.

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Viner talked about how “In the digital age, it is easier than ever to publish false information, which is quickly shared and taken to be true”. Not only does this mean that some of the information is censored but that rumours can be quickly spread just like in high school movies. She is referring to the use of social media. It is easy for anyone to read a post and share it to let everyone they know about this information, or for anyone to make up information and share it without any evidence. And with our busy lives we tend not to have the time to check the facts, we just assume and trust that the information we are provided with is true.

Social media is not only a place to spread information but according to many articles the companies can censor what information we are presented with online. So unless we are actively searching for a piece of information, it won’t be shown on our social media feeds. Viner writes about how “Algorithms such as the one that powers Facebook’s news feed are designed to give us more of what they think we want – which means that the version of the world we encounter every day in our own personal stream has been invisibly curated to reinforce our pre-existing beliefs.” This can be particularly an issue in Politics. If we are given information about a campaign or about someone running for prime minister then that information may sway our decisions about what or who we vote for, if after the decisions have been made and we find out that that information was in fact false then we may look back on our vote and regret it – then we have the issue of whether there needs to be a revote. (Just like we are having now on the Brexit ‘vote leave’ allegations.)

Facebook has pledged to begin to do something about this ‘filter bubble’ (as Eli Pariser, the co-founder of Upworthy, coins it). Although some think even this is ‘Fake news’ too. (Facebook ‘fake news’ article here)

Many people now rely on social media to gain information on current affairs and to help construct opinions but how can we do that if that information may just be a rumour? We are unlikely to check these ‘facts’ and just regard them as the truth without any further investigation, after all the news should be something we can trust in.

Many writers in the past have talked about issues with misinformation, the most famous of all being George Orwell in his novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’. The phrase Orwell uses to sum this up is “Freedom is the freedom to say 2 plus 2 equals four” in other words, freedom only exists if all the information we are given is actually true. He comments on how easy it is for those in power or those we trust to say that “two plus two equals 5”. The sales of his best selling novel he wrote in 1948 shot up when Trump ran for president, with people making links between society now and the dystopian world Orwell presents for us.

Also in Margaret Atwood’s ‘A Handmaid’s Tale’ she writes that ‘there are 2 kinds of freedom, Freedom to and freedom from’.

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Im not saying that all the information we are told is false only that perhaps we need to be wary of what allegations being made by the media are true. This can only be done by checking on the sources and by reading around – To ask ourselves if the information we are being provided with is Fact or Fiction?

Who Run The World?

Thoughts

Happy International Women’s Day! A day for us to recognise incredible women from the past and inspiring women now. Life for women has changed so much in the last century, women now having the opportunity to vote, be independent and, in the words of Beyonce, run the world.

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There are so many influential women out there from Malala and other advocates to all the leaders in the UK; the Prime minister, the head of Met police, the Queen etc to talented actresses to inspiring artists. All reminding us, that as women now, we can achieve anything.  But this isn’t the case for many places around the world. I feel so lucky to live in a part of the world where we are almost at gender equality, and its awful to think that in so many places women are still being discriminated against and abused. There are many charities dealing with this issue such as the Malala fund, and I think it is so important that on this day we think about those that are worse off than us and you can donate, to help all these women who are deprived of educations and prejudiced, on their website.

Something closer to home though that we can all do, Is to empower each other! I think it is awful when there are still so many people tearing each other down when we should be raising each other up. Encourage everyone to be the best person they can be and achieve their aspirations. I bet all those women throughout history had some close friends helping them achieve what they thought would be the impossible. Just think about the suffragettes, they all worked together to get the medias attention to be allowed to vote. That wouldn’t have happened if they hadn’t empowered each other.

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There are many movies about some incredible women, here are my favourites if you fancy watching something with some seriously strong female leads on this international women day …

  1. The suffragette
  2. Wonder woman
  3. Hidden figures
  4. The iron lady
  5. Sex and the city
  6. Brave
  7. Sense and sensibility
  8. Alice in wonderland
  9. The Devil wears Prada

Or if reading is more you’re thing here are some equally inspiring books…

  1. Jane eyre
  2. Hidden figures
  3. I am Malala
  4. The diary of Anne Frank
  5. The colour Purple
  6. Yes please

I’d love to know your favourite books, movies or even songs that are about strong women in the comments! Go out and empower each other this Women’s day, you’ve got this.

Thank you so much for reading and thank you to all my girl friends and family who constantly inspire and encourage me, you know who you are! ❤

Who are the women in your life who inspire you? xxx

5 things all successful bloggers do

Thoughts

Blogging. It is so much more difficult than many think, or at least to make it successful anyway. And I by no means am talking to you as a ‘successful’ blogger. I know that I need to do more of these things, that I’ve picked up that a lot of  the bloggers we all love do that I’m about to share with you, a lot more often!

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So what makes a blog ‘successful’? I think that that all depends on what you want to achieve with your blog but personally I would like to increase my following and get other people interested in my blog posts. So these 5 things are what a lot of bloggers do to increase they’re following and get a lot of traffic to their blogs.

  1. Engagement – Liking and commenting on other peoples blog posts. Now this is something that you might get emails from WordPress of; Engaging with fellow bloggers and getting involved in the blogging community. I have to be honest, if ever I’m reading a blog, I always forget to like or comment on it but I am going to improve – i’m sorry WordPress!
  2. Photography – Creating visually inspirational posts. I am always attracted to posts with incredible photography. It keeps me interested and intrigued as to what the post is about whether its about fashion, a product or anything else its the photography that leads me in to want to find out more. The photography on a blog is a bit like the first page of a book – if you’re not hooked by then, then you’re unlikely to carry on reading. I always find the photography one of the most difficult parts though, because you’ve got to find the right location to take the photos, and if it’s a fashion post then you have to find someone who will take a good picture and you’ve got to find the right lighting… I could go on.
  3. Consistency – Publishing posts frequently and consistently. Keeping those that follow you interested and the more posts you post the more topics you will cover that will interest more people, driving more traffic to your blog.
  4. Social media – A lot of successful bloggers have youtube channels alongside their blog. And lets face it – more people are likely to visit youtube than to read a blog post which is such a shame – lets get people reading more egh? But also having instagram, in particular, is useful to advertise your blog just like a business would, apart from rather than selling a product you are selling yourself ( not in a prostitute way haha) .
  5. Interaction – replying to comments from readers on your own blog and being actively engaged with your followers is important to keep your followers keep coming back to your blog. And its all about word of mouth, if you’re followers love your blog and are impressed with your interaction with them then they are more likely to recommend your blog to their friends.

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I really hope that this helped you in some way to help grow your blog, and I think I need to start taking my own advise! haha.

Shop my outfit:

Coat – Zara (on sale)

Jeans – Zara

Jumper – Topshop (no longer available)

Rucksack – Fjalraven Kanken

Shoes – Old skool Vans

Has Feminism Gone Too Far

Thoughts

I am a feminist. I believe that both sexes should be treated equally and that all people should feel empowered by their peers.

I don’t think that women are better than men, I think that we are all individuals with different strengths and weaknesses no matter what our gender or sex is. And that is the great thing about humans; our variation, how each person is unique, not identical to any other person. I think it would be crazy to make such a statement whether it be ‘men are better than women’ or ‘women are better than men’ or making comparisons between any group of people because we are all completely different in some way or another to other people. Not all women are the same, some are interested in science, some are sporty, some are arty. Each individual is unique. Not all men are the same. Some like sport, some don’t, some are academic, some aren’t. It would be crazy to make such a statement because we would then be labelling a particular group of people based on one aspect of who they are. Each person is unique.

Which is why I titled this post ‘has feminism gone too far’ – are some trying to turn it less into equality for all and more into women are more powerful? Yes I think that we should try and empower other women because women have been seen to be the weaker sex throughout history. I walked into Waterstones the other day and saw that they had done a table of children’s books that are all about incredible female protagonists and showing children that women can be strong and can do anything. And I thought that this is how the stereotype of women will be eradicated, the stereotype is all down to society and that is difficult to change when we have all had these stereotypes drilled into us in our childhood with phrases like ‘run like a girl’ ‘cry like a girl’ ‘ladylike’ etc.  But now I wonder if this ideal had gone far, forgetting about equality altogether.

People will always try and find something to comment on about someone else, as humans we seem to always be comparing, always judging. Pointing out something different about a particular group of people; weather that be sex, skin colour, body size, religion or even hair colour.

Have other issues gone too far? For example racism, Now white people are almost discriminated against with phrases like ‘such a white girl’ or ‘thats so white’. Whilst campaigning for equality for races the other side has been discriminated against. But its different all over the world, for many parts of America there is still significant segregation whilst in others it’s going the other way.

Overall, in an ideal world we would all empower each other and stop judging and comparing others so much. We are all unique and individual so cannot label people in the way we are beginning too. In an ideal world we would all respect the fact that we are all individual and unique. In an ideal world our biology wouldn’t change how others treat us.

Can we create this ideal world?

Happy 2018!

Thoughts

Its a new year, a time to reflect and think about what you want to achieve in the year. I  like to think about these things leading up to a new year: Things I want to do, Habits I want to break, Habits I want to start, Films I want to see, Places I want to go, Achievements I want to make, New things I want to try.

Instead of thinking of them as resolutions its more of a list of things I want to aim for and do throughout the year.

A couple of these for me are:

To Blog more frequently

Start youtube

exercise more often

learn how to take better photos

write a book

To read: Origins, hidden figures (I saw the film earlier in the year and thought it was really good)

In terms of films to watch, there are a lot of good films out next year. I am most looking forward to the new mamma Mia, Star Wars; Han Solo, Robin Hood and the new X men. I also have a film ‘bucket list’ which I have been building up over 2017 (mostly from the top 100 best rated films) so I will continue to watch those.

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I think its important to think about ways to improve yourself because it allows you to have a year plan to reach you much larger goals and to set yourself smaller, achievable goals. The new year is a good time to do this because many think of it as a fresh start and as a much more definitive beginning to start those ‘resolutions’ but you can start setting goals for yourself at any time.

What are your goals for 2018? Hope you have an amazing new year and thanks so much for reading 🙂

shop my outfit:

top: primark

jacket: vintage

jeans: topshop

Boots: office

lipstick: Dior

Dare To Be Different

Thoughts

Hello, I hope everyone is looking forward to Christmas, eek, only 10  days to go! I cant believe I’ve not written any Christmassy posts and unfortunately this isn’t festive either… but I will do one soon!

This is about daring to be different. Daring to be you. Embracing who you are and loving who you are and not being afraid of not looking like everyone else. I feel this is really important because nowadays in society we are all pressured to look a certain way and we can feel judged by others around us. But we are all unique, all individual.

I wish that people could feel like they could wear what they want to and show their  individualism but it’s such a shame that most don’t feel like they can.

I know it’s a small thing; clothing. But it really does show the society that we live in; to feel as though we can’t express ourselves in our own different way.

Recently we had a SPUD day which is a sponsored non school uniform day to raise money for a charity. People in the lower school can wear their own clothes and those in sixth form have a theme. Personally I love experimenting with what I wear, with bright colours and clothing that I love the look of (the more out there/ the more different the better in my opinion) but a couple of friends and my sister were all saying about how they wish they were confident enough to wear something else and how an item of clothing is out of their comfort zone. And I realized that most people around me were wearing very similar clothes, most people have the same black bag, the same sort of colour outfit etc. We live in a world where people feel like they are being judged for expressing themselves so everyone wears the same thing, shouldn’t this be encouraged?

That’s why I love painting denim jackets because each one is individual and unique, no one will have the exact same jacket so people are expressing who they are.

But I wish more people could feel like they can be themselves and dare to be different, we should empower each other to wear what they want to and to be who they are not to be like everyone else.

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