Writing

Social Media Pros And Cons! Part 2

What is social media? Here are 34 definitions... – Econsultancy

In addition to my previous post, sharing the experiences and my thoughts on the negatives of social media, I thought I would also share the positives. I think during dark and weird times like this in the world, social media has brought a lot of comfort and happiness to people. I am going to talk about the positive impact of social media from the early 2000’s, to the present day.

Retro Technology

Back in the day, when I was at school, I had friends from dancing and youth theatre, which I attended outside of school; taking part in community arts projects and dance shows meant obviously some of those friends I couldn’t speak to at school, so having MSN chatroom and having my Nokia phone certainly helped me to keep communication with those out of school friends. I also loved changing the phone case each week and having different ring tones for my phone as a teenager, especially in school five days a week, wearing the same blue school uniform, so the phone case and phone as an accessory would brighten up my aesthetic so to speak and set my identity. I would have a bright pink playboy phone case and a Britney Spears Pepsi phone case, or one to match my school bag; definitely one way to be creative with your fashion choice, accessorizing your phone.

10 Cell Phones We All Desperately Wanted To Own In The Early 2000s

Then of course we had Myspace when I was in my first year of college; I liked how you can blog on your profile, writing up dates every week about what you wanted, so for me it was a way of writing and a source to share it from. However more to mention at a young age it was a way of keeping up with latest house parties going on; Myspace not only gave me something to do in the evenings, but it was a great way to chat and share positive things like news updates with your friends and share the latest music. Beebo was apparently a similar site, but I never really had that in all fairness.

When I started secondary school my dad was a massive technophobe no word of lie, I didn’t get my first phone until I was 15 years of age, I remember my primary school best friend Lucy having a mobile phone and I was super jealous. As secondary school advanced in my years, more of my year group were getting mobile phones, after of course nagging the life out of my parents of course, year 10, was my year, going to underage discos; going to sleepovers and getting more of a social life instead just of paper round and school. As soon as I got my first Nokia phone with a light blue denim case, (I know I was more excited about the phone case than the phone), that was when I was able to meet my friends a bit more outside of school. I remember thinking I was the bees knees walking around school with a mobile phone in a denim case that matched my denim pencil case at the time. In addition, kids today seem to have the latest phones at even 8 years old, my niece for example has more advanced technology knowledge than I did at 8 years old, (I know I’m showing my age here.)

Zoom/Facebook/ Instagram

For the duration of this lockdown, social media has had a good advantage, as I have been able to tune in live to dance classes, dance being a long term hobby I have returned to after so long; practising these live classes with an instructor from home, has made it comfortable to rewind and refer back to steps and redoing exercises that in my own time. Like a live dance class I feel I am either obliged to attend at that time or if you have to attend a dance class at a local community centre, you don’t have to worry about being there on time as with online you have the flexibility of practising it at your pace in your own time. So if you’re someone that is self conscious or suffers from anxiety, then why not take part in an online dance class? Another gainful experience from social media.

Secondly I think Zoom is another virtual platform; it’s very simple and straight forward and let’s face it, I am not a tech savvie person, I know I am actually shocking, I used to get laughed and joke with my staff at my previous workplace at how rubbish I was at technology; I had to get the HR lady or one of my supervisors to help sort it out. It was hilarious! So reading this should give people the confidence to feel like they can tune into zoom for meeting, Q & As, classes, live shows and workshops, it’s a great platform, especially for privatised classes, meetings or groups.

A funny story my mom is the least tech savvy person ever, I kid you not, she can barely text, but during lockdown she got herself a Facebook account which my fiancé set up for her; now log on from her tablet, which is amazing, because I can now send her pictures and see her face to face on chat, but also kept each other in the loop; especially when I had no phone for like 10 days, so facebook was actually a lifeline of getting in touch with people.

My favourite social media app has to be Instagram, I love Instagram, from the point of view that it is an account is where I am a bit more open and personal and have only people I want to have on there; plus there’s not as much nastiness and trouble caused as much as Facebook. Instagram is a great way to customise my pictures too, and it’s nice to see uplifting pictures instead of ranty statuses. During lockdown Skype has also been a great tool, especially for people during lockdown having been in other countries away from loved ones, so it’s been a great way to keep in touch and have face to face contact, it don’t half make a difference, and it helps, especially if any of you are like me, it’s great if you prefer face to face chat.

Businesses using social media as a platform.

Furthermore, I must say that we are going into a world that is becoming more reliant on technology and social media, during lockdown I completed and worked on my LinkedIn profile, which even though I have a job, I’m not planning on leaving anytime soon, it’s a good way of networking with like minded people and people in your professional industry; those of you that haven’t any familiarity with LinkedIn, it’s a social media site, but all professional and work related, which business use as a form of promoting staff intake and creating brand awareness, but also can get you headhunted, as friends of mine have found, it’s also a good way to connect and exchange ideas and opinions of people who share similar career goals or in a certain industry. What I found a big help when I was made redundant a few years ago was LinkedIn as it was good for me to apply for jobs, and I ended up at the time scoring 4 interviews in a week, due to connections and responding to job ads on LinkedIn. LinkedIn I would see a good way for a business to have as a social media platform to emulate their brand values.

How and why you should be using LinkedIn - Youth Employment UK

I think that influencers that have started their careers as self employed on YouTube, have been in an advantageous position to launch and further their career paths; for example YouTube influencer Hannah Witton, who has been a specialist on sex and relationships, has through her career on YouTube, been noticed by brands and building trust with these companies, to post their content, which strengthens and promotes both the business and the influencers profile, building awareness and power. I think YouTube tutorials and influencers are amazing, especially if you have anxiety and do not want to leave the house but you want to learn a new skill from home, YouTube is an amazing for that, there’s tutorials and talks on everything pretty much using youtube.With youtube videos, could lead onto videos and posts being shown and shared on other social media sites, for example adverts or movie trailers can then be shared on their Facebook feed. For example Zoom and YouTube are perfect, as a few of my actor friends have used and uploaded their showreel to launch their profiles for potential producers and directors which their friends have shared to their newsfeeds, have also been shared on both Zoom and YouTube.

Joe Sugg YouTube influencer, but also brother of fellow famous Youtuber Zoey Sugg i.e. Zoella, he started his career through YouTube, which then lead to him being cast in the West End production of the musical ‘Waitress’ without any professional drama school training; he just made a name for himself making YouTube videos. His sister Zoey or Zoella, whichever you prefer to call her, was recognised on social media with having her blog on wordpress and then launching her YouTube channel, and now she’s used that social media status to launch her writing career and also her own beauty products range.

YouTuber and Strictly come dancing winner Joe Sugg joins the cast ...
From YouTube To West End!
YouTube channels that lost most subscribers: Zoella, Priyanka ...
Zoella Used Social Media as a creative platform to then branch out into other creative works.

Tools and connecting with customers/ fan bases.

I have been working in catering management for 8 years now, so I have been shown customer interaction via emails, trip advisor and also twitter, facebook and Instagram. My previous job as a general manager of a bohemian style café in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, advertised for staff using their Instagram and facebook pages, this has been a tool mentors of mine have shown me, that you can actually look someone up on their facebook profile, you can then at what kind of person you are expecting.

In addition, I find that this was very monatomous and not always the most greatest use of my time, but in my previous job I as manager, had to reply to every single tripadvisor comment, be it good or bad, so for me very time consuming, but I could see why they expected this, as at least people can see we as British subjects are using these tools to be polite and show acknowledgement.

Where I work now, my bosses use social media to keep in contact with their customers, my boss who previously worked as a professional writer, launches a lot of her material on social media, for both her pubs she releases a subscription to her blog and newsletter, to keep her customers informed of the latest promotions, events, news and adds a personal touch to it. She has like me come from a theatrical background, which she uses to her advantage regarding her social media connections, during lockdowns she has hosted virtual quiz nights, to keep her customers entertained during isolation. Not only does this keep our regulars in the loop, but also shows value to the customer contact, and also with her quick wit and theatrical welcoming on facebook live, people can see her as a person and can feel that warmth and connection, which will lead to new customers. This boss of mine, has become an idol for me (I know I may sound sad haha) , as she has a real passion for the writing and social media, and always responds with attention to detail on her reviews to her customers, building that trust; which is her personally connecting with her customer base, this is her using the beneficial side of social media.

In conclusion, from this post and my previous post, social media has it’s good sides and bad sides; being creative using social media, for me sharing this blogpost on my platforms has been very privileging. I have also never been so grateful for social media during this lockdown as I have been able to host friendship circle virtual pub quizzes, family chats and video calls. If anyone has any ideas that I haven’t put down that social media could be beneficiary or would like to just share your experiences or thoughts on this post. You’re more than welcome to leave a comment.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Peace Out folks!

Ellie

Writing

Social Media Pros & Cons! Part 1

When Little Mix were crowned winners of the X-Factor, the first Facebook message member Jesy Nelson saw was from a stranger. It read: “You are the ugliest thing I have ever seen in my life. You do not deserve to be in this girl band, you deserve to die.” This is quote from a magazine interview that Lil Mix Jesy Nelson did in relation to her documentary of online trolling and how it affected her physically and emotionally. Watching the documentary, it was really inspiring and she is a true role model to young girls, but also even though she is a couple of years younger than me, I found her inspiring, as I have had similar battles in the past; not similar in the way of online abuse, but in a way I have been subject to that before but it was by people I knew, making a fake profile up of my boyfriend sending me stalkers. Of course dealt with it at the time by being really upset, but then I thought, crying isn’t going to make it go away, so I blocked and restricted these people off my social media and reported it to facebook.

Jesy Nelson makes emotional National TV Awards speech after win
Jesy Nelson from Lil Mix she really deserved that National Television award, very honest account, worth a watch it is still on BBC Iplayer and YouTube about her battle with trolls. (Worth a watch)
Image
This is what Lil Mix Jesy Opens up about in her documentary ‘Odd One Out’ this is what social media can do to a person!

Retro Social Media

Three years ago after suffering from mental health difficulties, I was living in a shared house, one of the guys that I lived with had a crush on me and I turned him down repeatedly, I had to get very blunt with him in the end, however, he posted something nasty things about me on our house WhatsApp group, which turned into a witch hunt; I was barely eating, I had just been made redundant and my partner at the time was also going through some stuff, so that on top of all that really was heartbreaking, I don’t know if it’s worse, but I was living with this one person and everyone that I lived with knew about these rumours due to being part of this WhatsApp group. I reported it to my landlord but also took it to the police, as I had been suffering mentally due to things being said about me, the police acted on it straight away which I thanked them for and they did say they’d take action if this was to happen again, he says using technology as abuse against someone is a actually a crime and if it were to persist, they’d take his phone off him for investigation. So I have like Jesy Nelson but not to the same extent as suffered from online abuse.

Rewinding back to my teenage years, we never really had anything like Instagram and I don’t think twitter and camera phones weren’t around. I didn’t have my first phone until I was 15 years of age, and it was a very old school Nokia and I remember how excited I was, that I could finally start texting my friends, but even then I remember it was trouble causing technology as me and my friends would text each other and then squabble about something one of us had said to another or one of being jealous of the other having a better phone or the most chique phone case. Back then, by own admittance I was a chav school girl, I thought I was the biggest best thing ever walking around with a pink playboy bunny phone case, we were all trying to outdo each other. My point being mobile phones weren’t as advanced back then, so I have empathy with teenagers and young people today that as a teenager, life can be complicated enough, but today there is, due to social media, more pressure on younger people and the power social media can have on them.

Una Mullally: The Nokia 3310 is coming back and I want one
Anyone remember when mobile phones were like these, no cameras, no apps?!

As a youngster we shared a PC in our house, so fighting amongst four of us to go onto the computer would be a bit of a challenge, I was always on MSN this chat room we had back in the day, where I would wait for my turn on the PC and chat to my mates, even though we lived near each other and spent all day with each other at school; I look back now, and I think, why did I waste so much time on the PC on this chat room? My friends and I would be ok at school during the day then we’d argue or team up against each other having multiple chats, (I know teenagers back then, I cringe today thinking about it.) Then when I started college, there was the launch of Myspace and facebook, they called also be self esteem knocking and trouble causing as there was a thing called ‘Top Friends’ and it was all about how amazing your profile background was. Still today there’s this thing about egos, how many likes you can get; how many friends can you get; it’s like a popularity contest. A lot of teenagers nowadays seem to record their lives on youtube and I remember this documentary I watched of young girl crying on her 16th birthday party, because she didn’t have 1000 influencers on Instagram. I sympathise really as that is the pressure teens today feel, and on their 16th is meant to be one of their best milestones. Being a teenager can be tough at the best of times, but thanks to the power of social media, it has turned things into a popularity contest. I remember being on a bus years ago coming back from college and there was one lad having a rage to his friend on the phone, because someone DELETED him off myspace; again this is one example how, even back in the early 2000’s these sites could be extremely chaos causing.

How I treat facebook and instagram

I would be lying if I said I didn’t let social media annoy me sometimes, I found it terribly frustrating when people who I knew personally, could be quite mean in real life was spouting and preaching, ‘#BeKind’ this to me was very hypocritical, as I had seen how spiteful these people were in real life to other people, but again it’s jumping on the band wagon with a trend but also by posting that stuff on social media; they think it makes them a good person and adds points to their egos. This was the after the announcement of the death of Caroline Flack who took her own life, but there have been celebrities that have been tortured on social media prior to Caroline Flack, however sadly her death was a consequence after suffering torture from trolls. Have these people ever stopped to think that their nasty remarks are hurtful to others? What it can do someone? Famous and non famous people are all the same, and do have feelings. What I found frustrating was a week after people were preaching ‘BeKind’ I saw Instagram posts and facebook quotes off people slating Cheryl Cole.

Get Your Ads on Instagram Influencers' Profiles
This is an example of an Instagram user, who marks herself as an influencer.

Another example which I find is that successful pop singer Britney Spears, has herself suffered from online Instagram abuse, but hit out at these bullies, which fair to play her, she found her voice to hit back. It did hurt her feelings, and have people stopped and thought Britney Spears has feelings, like us she is human and has been through an emotional rollercoaster?! So why follow her on Instagram if they don’t like her, seems very backwards to me and these people are wasting a lot of time and energy zoning in on someone they haven’t met. This is an example of what I call ‘Keyboard warriors’ they look brave behind a keyboard, but they are damaging someone else emotionally to make themselves feel good.

Britney Spears on Instagram: “I’ve read a lot of things online of people criticizing my posts …. saying I post the same 15 pictures with the same red background and…”

britneyspears's profile picture

britneyspearsVerified•Following

Photo by Britney Spears on March 17, 2020. Image may contain: text that says 'NOBODY WATCHES YOU HARDER THAN THE PEOPLE THAT CAN'T STAND YOU'
This is what Britney Spears shared openly on her Instagram page hitting back at her online bullies.

britneyspearsVerifiedI’ve read a lot of things online of people criticizing my posts …. saying I post the same 15 pictures with the same red background and wearing the same white bathing suit. For me I get really excited about my posts …. and I like to share them with you all !!!! I’ve never owned a white bathing suit before and I simply liked the red background !!!! Reading all of the mean comments really hurts my feelings …. and I wanted to share because you really shouldn’t be saying all of these mean things to someone you don’t even know .… this goes for bullying anyone really !!!!!! Hard times like we are currently living through should really teach us to be nice to one another …. !!!!!! PS I saw some people were offended by me posting about horses yesterday …. I am truly sorry if I offended anyone. I think it’s important to see things that bring happiness during hard times and making light of a situation can sometimes help people !!!! I love you all …. stay safe …. and be nice !!!!!This was what Britney Spears shared on her instagram post after the hype of ‘#BeKind.’

These people that give online abuse, you need to stop and think, think about the damage your doing to someone! Cyberbullying is also taking place in schools, the death of Lancaster native, 16-year-old Sian Waterhouse, as an example a stunningly beautiful girl, who seemed happy on the surface but due to cyber bullying took her own life.

How I handle social media recently, is I don’t take part in debates and I’ll share things like ‘Theatre’ and things I’m passionate about, recently I posted a petition up for saving the theatres and arts sectors, however I got an abusive comment saying ‘You don’t care about the NHS’ just straight to having assumptions about my character; just because I post something up about theatre doesn’t mean I do not care about anything else, 6 months ago I would’ve really had a sleepless night and overactive mind about it, but my reaction was, I don’t talk to you, I haven’t seen you in years, and I don’t want your toxic energy on my social media, so you’re comment and your opinion can be disposed of by blocking and deleting the comment and that person I never felt better, I felt cleansed with a sense of satisfaction.

I would also be lying if I said admittedly a few years ago I would be bothered and have the famous ‘Insta anxiety’ where I’d post a picture up and someone else who I followed would put a picture up of a selfie of themselves, and instantly think my selfie on has 10 likes but hers has over 1000 she must be prettier than me, I am now not bothered or phased as I have Instagram celebrities I admire and people I have time for on Instagram nowadays, furthermore one friend of mine who is very into his technology says ”you know on Instagram and Facebook, you can buy likes as it makes you look more popular” I remember those words being a sigh of relief when he said that, and I thought well that’s up to the individual and can be good if you want to attract popularity as an influencer or a business but for my own personal account, I’d rather people were genuine and I feel like in a sense it’s like paying people to be your friends and it’s not real life.

The Funniest Memes From The Instagram Purge | Vibe

Social media stories

Social Media can also be dangerous especially during times like these, in a pandemic. About a month ago I read a couple of statuses saying ‘The Virus Has Gone.’ The media has a lot of power over social media and individuals, which can cause other dangers, these ‘facebook experts’ as my older sister Emma calls them, don’t realise the dangers they can cause with people’s anxiety and mental health, but also fear mongering and giving them false hope. On the news when COVID 19 was first mentioned,it was reported that children were posting things up about drinking bleach, to which a child followed and imitated, this example, magnifies what influence and negatives, not to mention dangers can be caused by social media.

Trip Advisor - Planeta.com
Online abuse can also be with person or business reviews.

Written Online Reviews

Social media and online abuse doesn’t just stop there, it also can have a negative keyboard warriors on business facebook pages, google reviews and trip advisor. In the service industry and being a manager I have had to grow a thick skin regarding this over the years.
My previous job as a manager of a bohemian style coffee shop, I had to reply to emails and reviews regarding complaints, ‘kill them with kindness’ as my boss at the pub says. I remember a gentleman put on trip advisor, that he experienced bad service at my coffee shop, and that someone rolled their eyes when he asked about different types of coffee; my operations manager didn’t ask questions and sent me a snotty email telling me my training of staff isn’t satisfactory and my staff and I need retraining.

I was of course not happy by this, but didn’t apologise! I knew the team I had were patient, friendly and had excellent customer service skills, not being biased but this was the case and my poor staff had to then receive customer service training, which was a waste of time and money for the company; but my point being this is how someone that posted this review a couple of days ago at that time, affects people’s morale and confidence and put me in a bad light as being a poor manager. This review however was posted but a year too late to the experience he was referring to, and back to when the previous manager before me was working there. Maybe he wrote this review in a bid for a freebie, or maybe someone he took a dislike to he thought instead of saying this problem at the time, he’d take to the internet to fight his battles. With working in that environment, myself as an individual if I receive good service, I’ll thank them there and tip, but if I have a complaint, I’ll raise the issue in person at the time and give that worker or manager a chance to explain or rectify the situation there and then, as I would leave on a more positive note and have closure.

One of the places I worked years ago, one girl I managed was very lazy and not the most customer enthused person going, which often showed, got a reward due to having been mentioned by name on trip advisor, I remember thinking the best in her, that she’d turned a corner, but three members of staff said she got that review, off her aunt and uncle and told them to put it up, so the dangers of trip adviser and business social media review platforms, can detriment people’s livelihoods, falsify information but can also detriment a business, not to mention undeserved praise. Service apps like open table and trip advisor can be great for incentives in a business, the nice reviews, and pointers, but then it can be opened to abuse with fake reviews and another way to play keyboard warriors against individual(s), which is a form of cyber bullying.

Other Dangers

Other dangers of social media is with younger people. A subject that was covered in the early 2000’s on Coronation Street, when a teenage Sarah Platt played by Tina O’Brien, met who she thought was a 19 year old boy online, and she went to where she thought was her internet date’s house, finding he was a 40-year-old paedophile, this is a danger that has happened through these chatrooms and dating apps, one show my partner likes to watch is MTV’s Catfish, which shows people thinking they are talking to someone with the same name, but totally different age or appearance; or same person acting under an alias. This can be harmful in so many ways. Anyone who wants more information on this I highly recommend the NSPCC Website they are a really good service and have information about protections and access to help with these situations; there is also useful helplines and websites for adults.

For anyone suffering from online or cyber bullying remember, you’re not alone, and there are people that can help; police, authority figures like teachers, parents, friends, managers, however old you are. I wanted to signify and write my honest thoughts and shared experiences as the internet can ruin people’s confidence and self esteem, and I wanted to write two separate blogs about the negatives and positives of social media and the impact it can have. For anyone who has had any bad or good experiences regarding social media, please share your thoughts. I know I have written about just the negatives but there are positives to social media, which I will cover in a follow up blog entry talking about the pros.

Thanks for reading,

Ellie.