#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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#DearSanta

There aren’t many things I’d like for Christmas this year, but here are my top requests:

  1. 500 new followers on Instagram (all of whom come with a 10-minute guaranteed like per uploaded photo).
  2. A celebrity shout-out on Twitter (must have a verified account and over 100k followers).
  3. A custom Snapchat filter, designed to make me look perfect from all angles – even that awkward under-chin angle that appears when you open Snapchat.
  4. A 200-character limit on Twitter (so I can #humblebrag about all my presents without subtweeting myself like last year).
  5. Oh, maybe world peace and all that kind of stuff too if you have time (if not, don’t worry – I don’t want to seem spoilt!).

 

 

Please and thank you,

 

A. Basicbitch

Xoxo

P.S. If this could all arrive on the 24th, ready for me to use on Christmas day (peak opportunity for festive social media posting), that would be ideal!

 

 

 

 

Anything else to add? Post your top Christmas requests in the comments and don’t forget to like, subscribe and share!

#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!

#TheDMs

You Know the Drill.

Direct message, inbox, PM – whatever you call it, that creepy guy found it. You know the guy: the one with no profile picture, a username like @usher23940_1 and collection of retweets in a foreign language filling his timeline – with the odd blurry selfie thrown in for good measure. You don’t want him in your DMs. You don’t know how he found you and what you posted that gave him the signal that you may indeed want him to enter your DMs, but he did it.

Knight in Shining Pixels

In some way, you have to admire the confidence of these guys; they craft a personalised message just for you and bravely press send – their heart on the line – with no assurance that you will even read his greeting/compliment/poem (yes, poem). Surely the sheer bravery of this act should be rewarded? The gallant, unabashed initiation of courting you? No? Didn’t think so.

If They Weren’t There You’d Notice

The majority of direct messages go unanswered, so surely this should correlate with the number of broken hearts per day, right? No! The very nature of social media makes it even easier to talk to several people at once, meaning that the beautifully written poem that you received this morning was possibly sent to 11 other people (sorry). As a generation, we are becoming immune to both compliments as well as rejection. One girl doesn’t answer you? Don’t worry, because the next one is only a scroll away. Equally, how would you feel if you posted a photo and no random guys slid into your DMs with a handful of compliments and heart-eyed emojis? Relieved? Probably. But surely a little, niggling part of your brain would be thinking something along the lines of “Maybe the Amaro filter wasn’t working. I’ll try Crema next time and see what happens”. We can’t help it. We have become accustomed to being complimented day-in and day-out; so whilst we may complain about the creeps in our DMs, if they weren’t there, you’d notice.

 

 

 

So what do you think – does #ItGoDownInTheDMs? Like, comment and subscribe to keep up to date with the blog!

 

 

#AttentionSpan

Less Than a Goldfish.

Let’s keep this article short. Maybe not 140 characters short, but you can do this.

Studies have shown that our attention span as a generation is falling to 8 seconds – which is less than that of a goldfish (9 seconds). We opt for screen-based activities, rather than conventional reading. You only need to look as far as your phone for proof of this. Viral videos began on YouTube – averaging at 4 minutes and 12 seconds. Then Vine was born, reducing it down to 6 second clips and nowadays with the rise of GIFs, we’re just about managing 1-2 seconds of attention per media.

Still Reading?

Take a minute (if you can manage that) to look at your own behaviour. Did you drift off whilst reading this article? Pick up your phone to check your notifications? If so, try and practice concentrating on one task at once. In a world where multi-tasking is expected of us, it’s hard to simply focus on the task at hand, so start small. BUT, if you made it through this post in one sitting, then congratulations, you can successfully read 936 characters (that’s nearly seven tweets)!

 

 

Let me know if you made it through the post and what you thought!

 

If you want to test your attention span, try this: http://psychologytoday.tests.psychtests.com/take_test.php?idRegTest=3361

#SocialNarcissism

You start getting ready for a night out, leaving an extra twenty minutes to spare, set aside for the most important part of your night out: taking selfies. It all begins with primer (you don’t know what it does but everyone on YouTube uses it) and reconstruct your face from the bottom-up. Foundation (flawless skin = less editing required), eyebrows (“Maybe if they’re bushy enough, people will ask if I’m related to Cara Delevingne!”), liquid eyeliner (so you can use the hashtag, #WingOnFleek), lipstick (“No this is my natural lip colour”) with a heavy dosage of lip liner (not conforming to the rule, ‘Don’t Colour Outside The Lines’) and 700 pairs of false eyelashes (from h&m, but you tag @HudaBeauty).

Next step? Hair. Centre parting, straight and tucked away neatly behind your ears so you can begin your chest contour. After enlisting the help of both your sisters (and your neighbour), you manage to get your bodycon dress on, only smudging one of your boobs (#success).

Finally, the time has come. The golden twenty minutes you’ve been preparing yourself for over the last five hours. You scour the whole house for the best lighting, running like a one-legged donkey down the stairs in your strappy, open-toe, death contraptions. At last! You’ve found the perfect place. That cute little nook just under your kitchen sink, where you can point the lamp you brought down from your bedroom directly at your face to get the full-on effect of all your gloriousness. Brushing a sponge out of the background of your shot, you begin your process. You know your angles and you know your poses.

14 minutes later you emerge, your phone nearly dead and with no extra storage space. But it was worth it. You present your accomplishments to your sister, ready to start whittling down your top ten to send to your friends to determine the best, most Instagrammable photo. But instead, your sister takes a step away from you, wrinkling her nose, “You smell like bleach, go and have a shower”

 

 

So what is it that has made this trend spiral so quickly out of control? Selfies used to be the source of ridicule for its proprietors, but now even the most anti-selfie person will have at least one hidden away in the depths of their Facebook photo albums (most likely, a grainy webcam quality type, with an Apple salesman passing by in the background). When did it become cool to openly admit to the participating in the epitomic act of narcissism? The notion that one applies makeup in such a way to alter their facial structure and will happily journey around their house in search of the best lighting is alien to older generations, but to millennials; simply a way of life.

So what do you think? Should we embrace this form of social narcissism, or try and change our ways before it becomes too late?

 

Share your opinions below!

#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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