#TheBestArticleYouWillEverRead

 

Clickbait; a concept where an attention-grabbing headline or cover image is used to deceivingly hook a reader/viewer into clicking a post, only for them to find that it has nothing even remotely to do with what they expected.

 

Where Did It Come From?

 

This concept has grown widely from the usual hyperbolic headlines of tabloids and permeated the online sphere (as most trends do). It grew in popularity on YouTube, where creators would title videos things such as “My Uber Driver Kidnapped Me!”, where in actual fact, their Uber driver simply took a wrong turn and had to re-route. This phenomenon has also wiggled its way onto Instagram. Here, videos are displayed with a still shot taken from the video as its cover. Several people take advantage of this by using including a random one second scene in their video that they use as a cover.

 

Enough Is Enough!

 

We’re tired of it. It has been one too many videos that have been excitedly clicked on only to realise that it was just another boring video of a something we’ve seen one hundred times over. We’re tired of fake injections, we’re tired of knife contour and we’re tired of the wagging finger that appears after every random item is brought out in the video (whose sole purpose was to act as clickbait, not a new and innovative way to slice apples or apply contour).

What once was an admittedly smart and effective way to boost your views has now cheapened the quality of videos on social media and can even directly damage your brand if used too heavily. Who wants to come across as overly dramatic, insincere and possibly even a liar?

At the end of the day, if it’s too good to be true, don’t give it a view.

 

 

P.S. Sorry for the clickbait title.

 

 

What about you, are you tired of clickbait?

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#NoFilter

I’ve Been Living Under a Rock – What Are Filters?

Let’s take a second to discuss the trend that has swept through the nation: filters. Brought to us by Snapchat, these are digitally altering effects that can be used to make you look like anything, from a dalmatian, to even a rainbow-puking baby.

 

Why Are We So Obsessed with Them?

Yes, we all call them a ‘bit of fun’, but essentially, filters have split into two very distinct categories: some are ‘Joke Filters’. These are the ones that nearly distort your whole face, making it obvious that the selfie isn’t intended to look attractive, simply funny. For example, the ones that perhaps make your face look like a giant raspberry, or a dancing panda etc.

However, the second category is more sinister – ‘No-Filter Filters’. These ones retain an element of cartoonish fun, for example dog ears, whilst digitally enhancing your face in subtle ways. For instance, the famed ‘Flower Crown’ filter narrows your jawline and nose, smooths out your forehead, widens your eyes, plumps your lips and even throws in a free set of grey contact lenses to boot. Whilst all of these may seem like obvious alterations, when put together with the guise of a flower crown being the centre of attention, these subtle changes are easily overlooked.

 

Beauty Inflation

Go through your Snapchat stories. Count the number of times you see a selfie posted without a filter – not many, huh?. So many people are now coming forward saying they feel uncomfortable to post a selfie without a filter. Why? Because these filters have re-defined what ‘beauty’ is. They have created a world where everyone is ‘beautiful’ and therefore to post a selfie without a filter automatically puts you below your filter-sporting counterpart.

But how can we conform to these beauty standards? As a generation, we should be celebrating all types of beauty; small eyes, wide nose, prominent jaw and all! But now, such features are being hidden by the contortion of pixels, designed to re-arrange your face into something completely, unnoticeably new. And the scariest part is, these filers are making us all look the same.

 

It’s All About Inner Beauty

Your use of a filter creates a domino effect, whereby the next person may feel more inclined to use one in order to keep up with this ever-inflating sense of beauty that Snapchat has created. It’s time to act. Stop using these filters and slowly we can normalise what beauty means again. We can learn to accept the wrinkles on our foreheads and the natural colour of our eyes. So, instead of spending time hiding behind a mask on social media, let’s focus on getting our inner beauty ‘on fleek’.

 

 

 

What do you think – would you be able to abandon your favourite filter?

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#HowToBeInstaFamous

  1. Have a talent. Like a real talent such as being able to smize really well or pose perfectly no matter the stares from onlookers asking you to kindly not take that photo in the middle of the restaurant – or road for that matter.
  1. Invest in a photography degree with a specialism in Photoshop. No one becomes #InstaFamous with wrinkly elbows or food stuck in their teeth.
  1. A degree in English is also a must. Spelling errors are a minefield for trolls and a good caption can act as a serious driver for those quality likes.
  1. Be rich. If you’re not driving a car worth approximately $70,000, then how is anyone expected to appreciate your manicure in its full beauty when held up against your steering wheel?
  1. If the above isn’t possible (as of yet), at least be friends with rich people. Better yet, be friends with any one of the Kardashians and the fame will follow.
  1. Have pretty friends. Gone are the times when we became friends with people based on our compatibility. Now, we are in an era where the attractiveness of your friends is linked to our own attractiveness. If you can’t post endless, stunning candids with your BFFs, are they really your friends?
  1. Be a professional Make-up Artist. If you can’t contour with a knife, what do you think you’re doing on social media?
  1. Have the body of a Greek god without actually putting in work because you’re too busy taking selfies whilst in the free weights section. On the flip side, all you eat is kale, chicken and have a lifetime supply of detox-tea.
  1. Above all, you need to actually care.

 

 

These are just a few handy hints to get you on the path to #InstaFame, but if you can think of your own, add them in the comments section below!

 

#Indirects

 

What is it?

Now this is an issue that needs to be addressed head-on (directly, if you will). For those of you who don’t know, indirects are when someone talks about someone else on social media without actually mentioning their name. They usually come in the form of status updates and/or captions on social media. These can be obviously both positive and negative and sometimes ambiguous. The most common form of indirect seems to be in the form of random Drake lyrics (“Where you movin’? I said onto better things”), usually teamed with a blurry photo of someone sitting alone in a club with what looks like a bottle of champagne (but is probably a $10 bargain bucket bottle of bucks fizz from Tesco).

So, why do people do it?

There’s a great possibility that the subject of your matter may not even see the tweet/status/caption that you so devotedly crafted for them, or worse – see it and not even know it was aimed at them. On top of that, you run the risk of someone else wrongly believing it to be about them. All outcomes tend to end up with you looking rather petty and childish.

Let’s make a change.

It’s important these days to kill the tribe of keyboard warriors that seem to be swarming all over the internet. Don’t be someone who hides behind 140 characters and denies any connection to the targeted person when confronted about it. Everyone can read and everyone can contextualize.

Best Practices

Next time you find yourself having an issue in your life, try to take a step away from your phone/laptop and breathe. What good will a passive aggressive tweet do? It won’t solve the problem and has all the potential to make it even worse – especially if you get called out for it online and all of a sudden you find yourself wrapped up in the giant frenzy of a “Twitter War”. It’s not a good look and it won’t make the problem go away. Instead, remind yourself to choose your battles. If it’s something that can be addressed over social media, it probably isn’t worth your time (and phone battery) “dealing” with it.

 

 

 

 

What did you think? Have you ever been the perpetrator or victim to an indirect post? Share your comments below and make sure to subscribe to get the latest blog posts straight to your email!

#DoinItForTheGram

 

Let’s Set the Scene.

Take a look at the photos you uploaded from your last night out. No doubt they’re a blurry series of bottle girls with sparklers, selfies with random people from the table next to you, a snapshot of what seems to be your friend’s reaction to the funniest joke ever told, someone standing on the table at some point and maybe a botched video of a synchronised dance.

Now, Take Another Look

Now take another look. Those bottle girls weren’t headed towards your table, those random people had no idea you were in a selfie with them, and the photo of your friends laughing was meticulously chosen out of 45 different shots and an hour-long discussion over WhatsApp. That person standing on the table? They climbed up there themselves and yelled at you to take a photo of them until it looked “believably candid” (it didn’t). And that dance? You and your friends watched a quick YouTube tutorial before you left and mastered the basic moves.

The Cooler Something is, The Less Time You Have to Get Out Your Camera

Think about that night. Was it really that fun? Did you remember it though your own eyes, or through a Snapchat filter?

Next time you go out, be truly spontaneous. Our generation is obsessed with doin’ it for the ‘gram, so maybe try and do cool things without feeling the need to replicate it as soon as it happens in order to catch it on camera (“Wait wait wait, do that again! My Snapchat was still loading!”). It’s time to realise that the cooler something is, the less time you have to get out your camera.

 

#DigitalDetox

It’s Time.

Forget juice cleanses, this is the new detox to hit us at full speed – and we need it desperately. Whilst it’s important to look after our bodies, we need to ensure that our minds too, stay free of general nastiness.

False Advertising at it’s Finest

According to DoSomething.org, 70% of girls believe they don’t “measure up” or aren’t “good enough” in some way – this includes physical appearance, school performance and relationships. What’s the source of these standards that girls feel the need to compare themselves to? You guessed it: social media.

What Are We Going To Do About it

So, take a break; turn off your phone, deactivate your Facebook/Twitter/Tumblr (temporarily, of course – you will eventually need contact with the outside world in order to find out exactly what Kylie wore to that red carpet event) and enjoy the world in front of you. Appreciate the un-edited wrinkles in the face of your best friend, laugh at jokes that are said in over 140 characters and see the world through rose-coloured lenses, not a rose-coloured filter.

Start Small

It can be that simple. Try it – and if a full detox scares you, start small. Go for an hour and build your way up. Think it’s not possible? Remind yourself of this: you managed up until around 7 years ago without social media, so you can probably handle 7 days (or minutes, no judgement) without it now. Go for it.

 

 

 

 

What did you think? Is a #DigitalDetox the way forward? Like, comment and subscribe to keep up to date with the blog!

#Snapchat

We Have A Problem.

The weird and wonderful world of Snapchat has completely revolutionised the way we see the world. It used to be through the lens of our eyes, but nowadays we live our greatest moments through the lens of our phone. It’s sad when you think of it like that – but if you think back to the coolest/best thing you experienced recently (getting a gift, going to a party etc.) ask yourself whether you were actually in the moment, or simply sharing the moment with your friends via Snapchat?

10 Seconds of 24 Hours

To those of you who chose the latter, you’re not alone. The My Story feature of Snapchat is an exhaustive collection of blurry club videos, elaborate desserts and dashboard views of an expensive car. But before you compare your own surroundings of a dank, rainy classroom, consider that the snap you just spent 10 seconds of your life watching, is simply 10 seconds of someone else’s life – not their whole life. Yes, there are people who wake up in a Louis Vuitton store, have a Bentley and spend every night in swanky London members-only club. However, those people are far and few between and if you’re really enjoying life, you’re not sitting there on your phone taking a photo of your new handbag; you’re actually wearing it (imagine that).

Don’t Eat and Snap

We need to stop crafting our lives around an app and start actually living it. We’re wasting the best moments of our lives opening an app, taking a photo and coming up with a caption that says “I’m blessed, but I’m humble. Don’t you want my life?” – without actually saying it. So next time you order an impressive dessert, eat it, don’t snap it.

 

 

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#Followers

Because who needs friends when you have followers, right?

We as a generation are obsessed with that little number underneath our name every time we log into the likes of Twitter and Instagram. Do we see it as a measure of our popularity? Because surely if that was the case, we’d be avidly watching our friend count on Facebook, sending out random invitations and liking the cover photos of people we don’t know. But we don’t. So what does that say about us? Essentially we have come to value the appraisal of people who only know us over the internet, more than people who actually know us the old-school, face to face type of way.

Followers ≠ Friends

It’s hard not to be a victim (or perpetrator, depending on how you look at it) of this issue. Social media has found a way to quantify how much people like “you” and have made this information public to the world. Be honest, imagine the last time you met someone and found out afterwards that they had a huge online following, did you find yourself comparing their follower count to yours? Those extra few pixels on a screen can damage self-esteem within a matter of seconds – not only that, but they can change your perception of people. Would you see someone with 1 million followers the same way you’d treat someone with 57? Probably not, because social media is giving you the message that they are inherently more liked than you, therefore superior – as proven by those damned little pixels.

Sad, right? Now let’s get back to boosting our followers.

 

 

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#IRL

Is NOT socialising the new form of popularity?

Picture the scene. You’re at lunch with your semi-friend, phones are out on the table next to your knife and fork. Wasn’t it your mother who told you no phones at the table? That rule clearly doesn’t apply these days. Your friend’s phone bleeps in the middle of your story about the bagel guy who hit on you last week. Without hesitation, she grabs her phone and giggles to herself, shifting the phone to a better texting position in her hands. You haltingly continue with your story, knowing that your words are now evaporating into the wall of Wi-Fi surrounding your friend. She nods encouragingly, muttering a sorry and you continue. She murmurs the occasional non-committal “yeah” and “really?” during the relevant pauses in your story, but you know you’ve long lost her to the likes of yik yak, or some other mind-numbing app. You stop talking and she looks up expectantly, almost offended that you don’t continue to entertain her as tirelessly as her phone does. You pick up your phone. I have friends of my own I can talk to, you know written all over your face. The next few minutes pass by in a silence only broken by the sound of four thumbs rhythmically tapping.

When the food arrives, you drop your phone and she pulls herself away from hers, still texting as she’s lowering the phone to the table, a smile and apology stretched on her lips, “So sorry about that, my phones been going crazy all morning.” The food is placed on the table and she is ready, snapchat opened, focused and ready to document (Lunch with my girllllllll #bondingtime).

You eat, you pay, you hug and she tweets, “OMG so good seeing my bae @SpellsYourNameWrong, we should do this more often!”

 

 

 

 

 

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