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Thais Frade

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The Danger of Social Media

If it’s not online it didn’t happen, right? That is the mentality of many social media users nowadays who have grown up in the digital age.

For many of us, interacting with others online has become second nature to the point where we don’t even notice how often we’re pulling out our phones to brows through Facebook and Instagram. The social media epidemic has hit us all, with over 2 Billion of the world’s population on social media and 90% of them being young millennials.

Now let’s take a moment to ask ourselves- Is living through an online profile on a glass screen worth our mental health?InstagramStudies from The Royal Society for Public Health have revealed that Instagram is the most dangerous social media platform contributing to negative effects on young mental health. As serious as this issue is, it has clearly been overlooked rather than being addressed head-on. Some of the side effects linked to damaging health and well-being include: anxiety, depression, loneliness, bullying and body image.

Although many people have positive intent on using these platforms as a force for good, nobody is immune to these negative side-effects. If you agree that social media is fueling a mental health crisis then it’s time to speak up about it and change the way we use it.

Technology Has No Gender

As we move into an age of technological advancements, one dominant trend has taken over most industries – the replacement of human capital by robots. This is a given for the majority of today’s big companies, even more so for those who have established their presence online.

Take Amazon for example, the multinational company has strong online presence at the core of its business. Amazon has adapted to the latest online technological innovations by being one of the first companies to implement chatbots in the form of automated artificial intelligence machines onto its website. This allows for the company to provide instant assistant to customers online.

ChatbotsImage Credit: Amazon.com

Implementing chatbots can provide companies with several perks, as well as potential new challenges. However, in the age of today where consumers are constantly willing to challenge the norms, one common theme has risen when it comes to the use of artificial intelligence – Does technology need to be gender labeled?

In most cases, gender allocation of online bots helps to humanize the machine, which in turn facilitates interactions. However, it also brings up controversy and questions about sexism.

It has been argued that genderless bots are the future and that companies need to try and provide more personalization when it comes to their usage. Online companies take notes – this is an interesting thought for existing, as well as new online business to take into consideration.

Nike are Breaking Stereotypes

 

Nike has launched a new ad campaign aimed to break stereotypes – What Will They Say About You- to celebrate female athletes in the Middle East. It’s bold, creative and powerful, sending out a message to the universe of how strong and capable women are.

Despite cultural barriers and social suppression still existing in some parts of the world, women need to be championed and that is exactly what Nike is doing. This is the most appropriate approach for the sports brand to take if its wants to grow its women’s sportswear and appeal to female shoppers.

Nike has stormed ahead with its new ad campaign breaking social and cultural stereotypes, consequently opening doors to outside criticism and risk. But what is a great brand if it can’t challenge the world and stand for something? Nike is just doing what it does best – being a leader for others to follow.

Imitation Within Social Platforms

For the major social platforms out there, it’s important to know how to play the game in order to stay ahead of competitors. You want to be the first one offering a new experience to existing users. This is relevant for both social media channels, as well as instant messaging platforms. However, what happens when one player copies another?

Recently, digital giants including- Facebook and WhatsApp, have taken their own twist on spreading the trend of ‘live-visual’ newsfeed. Through the introduction off their new features – ‘Stories’ and ‘Status’ respectively. Both social platforms have made the addition of this new feature which allows users to post live videos and images online, sharing them with friends. Does this concept sound familiar to you? Well yes, it most likely does.

Instagram was the first of the leading social platforms to add this service onto their app, supposedly imitating Snapchat’s format. With Facebook and WhatsApp now doing the same, we can’t help but notice a pattern. Information sharing has become more visual than ever and social platforms are playing a greater role in our day-to-day lives.

The real question is, how does Snapchat feel about others imitating their innovation? Well, after all, they do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Fashion Week Controversy

It is no secret that the fashion industry is no stranger to crossing boundaries when it comes to social, political and environmental norms. In light of London Fashion Week, it is important to understand how the fashion industry is taking a significant step forward, followed by two steps back.

Animal rights has always been such a controversial topic when it comes to fashion. Major fashion labels heavily rely on fine materials and animals skins in order to maintain their luxury quality standards. However, this certainly comes at a cost. The real question is- who has the power to control what the famous designer labels are sending down the runway?

PETA ProtestImage : PETA Protest with courtesy from thedrum.com- Rebecca Stewart

PETA has made their voice heard this London Fashion Week, sending  women outside fashion shows to protest against animal cruelty. The activists made sure their messaged was delivered in a very memorable way- but is this enough to shake up the whole fashion industry and create change?

Whether its encouraging the public to become vegan or sending activists to protest against the use of animal skins, PETA sure knows how to make a statement and stand up for change. Recently, the animal rights group bought its own shares in major fashion labels with the intention of stopping the alleged animal abuse from occurring. One thing is for sure, PETA is living by the famous saying- “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”- and we commend you for it PETA.