But first, let me take a Selfie

“Every major social media site is overflowing with millions of them,”

– Jenna Wortham, technology reporter for The New York Times

Selfies are photographs a person takes of themselves, usually with a mobile phone.  It has become all the rage since the occurrence of smartphones, which generally have a camera facing the user – making the self-portrait capturing, an effortless act.

So, what makes the Selfie so popular?  It acknowledges and celebrates ‘regular’ people.  With the help of social media apps such as Instagram, there are many more photographs available now of ‘real people’ from their everyday lives, than there are of models.

Nonetheless, every good thing is coupled with flaws.  Social networks,  provide users an easy avenue to upload their Selfies and get quick hits of approval almost instantly. The Selfie phenonemon can quickly spiral out of control, if users begin to heavily rely on the response they get from their uploads.  In the worst possible case, when such photos are uploaded and no one ‘likes’ or comments on your photo, it can deplete your confidence and create issues of low self-esteem on the user.

As of the present time, more than 120 million photos have been hash tagged #selfie and the rate of uploads doesn’t look like it will be slowing down anytime soon.  It looks like the Selfies will be here to stay for a little while longer, so get snapping!

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Virtual connections, just as real?

Does social media destroy real human relationships?

Our social media profiles are generally filled with glamourous profile pictures, we tend to only share our best moments to the online world because naturally, it makes us all seem like really interesting people and more appealing to our online audience.  Social media gives us the opportunity to create a different persona – we can be anyone we want to be online and we therefore control how we ultimately want to be perceived by others. However, as we embrace this technologically advanced generation, how do we expect our relationships to last between each other if we share a ‘one-sided’ perspective of who we really are?

Banksy's Artwork:  'Mobile Lovers' Located in a Bristol Art Gallery

Banksy’s Artwork: ‘Mobile Lovers’ Located in a Bristol Art Gallery

I guess older generations, such as our parents have managed to stay together because they didn’t have thousands of people following them on social media outlets, at their disposal, when their relationship got ‘complicated’.   Nowadays, when our relationships get all too much to handle, we simply log on and get high off the false sense of security, appreciation and understanding that embraces our display.  We value our worth based on the number of followers, ‘likes’ and comments with words that have no real sincere meaning.  Meanwhile, the person who loves you, when there is no filter on your face, becomes an option and attractively filtered followers become the priority.

Don’t lose sight of what is real, by chasing what only appears to be.

“Give people your love, don’t give them your like”

 –  ‘Look up’ Campaign:

 

Privacy?

The above audio recording exploits the billionaire owner (now former owner) of the Los Angeles Clippers, telling his girlfriend, Vanessa Stiviano, to stop posting online pictures of herself with black men, including Magic Johnson, “and not to bring them to my games.”

Without a doubt, Donald Sterling’s racist remarks are disgraceful.  However, what is most concerning about this, is how this story came to light.  Ms Stiviano recorded what was meant to be a private conversation, a domestic squabble in which hurtful words were said in the heat of the moment.

The taping of a conversation without consent or knowledge of the other party is illegal under California statute.  ‘But for’ the recordings of him making racist comments were made public, the NBA would never have reached the conclusion to ban him from the NBA for life and be fined $2.5 million.

 

Donald Sterling pictured with Vanessa Stiviano.

Donald Sterling pictured with Vanessa Stiviano.

This story has had me pondering, have we come to the point that private conversations can be recorded and released in the public domain in order to ruin the livelihood of private citizens?  Do we now have to be careful of what we say to others, even in what feels to be the most private of conversations, due to the fear of being exploited and made a mockery of  to the wider community, simply because we may not share the same views as others?  Ms Stiviano, knew exactly what she wanted the end result to be as she released this recording to TMZ.

 

Sterling “is going to fight to the bloody end”

– Max Blecher, Donald Sterling’s lawyer to ESPN.

Of course, this is not the end of the Sterling Scandal – it has only just begun!  It will be interesting to see how this legal action unfolds…

Anti-Heroes, an inspiration for all.

Anti-hero, what does it mean?

Well, according to a quick Google search, it is “a central character… who lacks conventional heroic attributes“.

How can such a character, who is described in such a way, be so inspiring?  Was it not the ‘norm’ for viewers to love the good guy and hate the bad guy?

A prime example of this trend is: Breaking Bad.

Breaking Bad is an explicitly addictive TV series, full of cliffhangers, with a visual flair that is rare for television.  Viewers were introduced to the main character, Walter White,  and watched as he transformed from a beaten-down high school chemistry teacher facing a terminal cancer diagnosis to a meth drug kingpin, ruling over a multimillion dollar empire and ruthlessly cutting down rivals.

Walter White was named Time’s Most Influential Fictional Character 0f 2013… but influential in what way?

Do we now live in a society where we praise the wrongful actions of others and aspire to be someone like Walter White?  It’s a strange thing when you step away from the man you’ve been idolizing and look at him as who he really is: a criminal, a madman and villain.

While it’s reasonable to not need superheroes in every movie or TV show produced, we also don’t deserve to be praising or glamourising the actions these fictional characters do.   It’s become a compelling phenomenon based on the concept that we are rooting for someone who is violating everything we’ve ever known as right.  Without a doubt, the anti-hero concept is another phase that TV shows are going through, soon enough there will be another trend… let’s just hope it is one that inspires the good in all of us, rather than the bad.

 

Kanye West, Marketing’s Best.

Marketing.  What does it mean?

Well, according to a basic Google search, the general definition of Marketing is to advertise or promote something, and that ‘something’ is usually a product, service, or even an individual!

Generally, you would want to market someone or something in the best possible way, in order to attempt to achieve success.

Positive Exposure +  Positive Reputation = Positive Outcome …. Right?  WELL in more recent times, it turns out that quite the ‘opposite’ attributes can be just as effective, if not, even better, to gain exposure and a speedy success.

 

Prime Example:   Kanye West – a master of the media.

Listed below, are a few examples of Kanye’s ‘unforgettable’ moments.

… The list goes on!

Theorists will say that Kanye has us all talking about him right now – if anyone is to blame, it’s probably… us.  Because, like it or not, the media can not get enough of him, and as much as ‘we’ the public like to criticise and boast about his mistakes, according to Kanye, it wont hold him back, it can only make him “stronger“.

The future, in a new light.

I have come across a technique called ‘Light Painting’.

Light Painting is a creative technique used in photography.  It is where a camera (preferably a Digital SLR camera, or something of equivalent or better quality) is set to a long exposure setting and the movement of light is captured.  This is quite effective to show time-lapses or to show the movement of light and quite literally draw with light.

 

This technique has become quite popular overseas.  In fact, it has even featured in many TV commercials – particularly in many telephone/ broadband advertisements!  It will be interesting to see how this effect evolves, over time.

 

I thought I’d give this effect a try… what do you think?!

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Also, here’s the effect in video mode! (Just like the way they’re presented in TV Commercials).

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All pictures/ video content distributed in this particular blog post are owned by victoria0027.  Permission granted by the owner is mandatory, should you wish to use any of the content above.

#NoMakeup Selfie – Doing more bad, than good?

The trend currently sweeping social media, masquerading as a cancer awareness campaign, encourages women to strip their faces bare, snap a selfie and post it for all to see.   This trend has even caught the attention of some very renown celebrities to par-take in the campaign.  Such star-lights include:

With any trend, there are always the trolls who will back lash.  The Selfie storm has sparked cases of Cyber-bullying, particularly amongst younger audiences.  It has also had an unsettling response from cancer patients, who find the initiative to be self-indulgent and offensive.

I feel that this initiative, without a doubt, creates awareness to the Cancer Council.  However, if people online believe that their act of taking a photo and sharing it online, is a worthy contribution and suffice, then I believe it is doing nothing/ very little for the cause… It’s like an act with no real purpose.  I think it would only be okay if an extensive amount of donations have occurred as a result of this initiative.

 

Washing off your foundation, losing the mascara and posting a photo of a face that remains healthy and attractive is not brave”.

– Kim Stephens
Cancer Survivor & Journalist

 

The only way I believe that we can create real change, is by donating directly to the cause.  To help advance cancer research, please donate to the Cancer Council Australia.

Flight out of Sight

Without a doubt, the missing Malaysian Airline was (and still is) one of the most iconic media stories of the year (thus far).

As I was logging into Facebook, I was drawn to the ‘trending’ feature, which displayed:

#PrayersForMH370

This simple hash tag was the first piece of information I received about what was, the beginning of a tragic story. After looking through this particular hash tag archive, I quickly came to learn the story of the Malaysian Airline, which at this stage, was still missing.

I suddenly realised, the unusual  way in which I came to find out about this tragic story. I was on Facebook, a social media website, with absolutely no intention of searching for information about MH370, or any Breaking News for that matter.

If I had not logged into Facebook, on this particular morning, I would not have known about the MH370 scenario.  I would have probably only been made aware of the breaking story many hours later, on the evening primetime TV News possibly.

mh370

On March 24, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said the plane’s flight had “ended” in the southern Indian Ocean. Shortly after, Malaysia Airlines had issued a text message that was sent to some relatives, telling them that “beyond any reasonable doubt … none of those on board survived.”

Text messaging is a popular form of communication in today’s society.  However, I feel that this was an inappropriate way to communicate to the family and friends of the unfortunate outcome of the passengers of MH370.  Though it is assumed that Malaysian Airlines were acting in a professional matter, it is fair to say that it was unreasonable and careless.  There is a way in which certain things can and can not be said through digital media, Malaysian Airlines did not handle this situation appropriately at all.

 RIP passengers of flight MH370

The Digital Shift

It is fair to say that the internet, has brought an extraordinary change to our daily lives.  It has changed the shift in the notion of story-telling itself, and how we, as consumers/ audiences, receive that content.

Screens have replaced newspapers.

Anyone with a phone, is a photographer.

Books are electronic.

And TV, is watched everywhere but in the living room!

Social_Media_Icons_1a-960x391

The Digital Media era has created a vast range of opportunities for important stories to be told to new audiences.  There has never been a more exciting time than NOW to get digitally involved.

Information is able to be received by even broader audiences, at a faster rate – ultimately creating the perfect platform of exposure for any organisation!  However, could this faster process, be spiralling out of control?

twittercase-1_jpg_595x325_crop_upscale_q85-300x163

Earlier this year, it was reported that a juror was tweeting updates during a trial she was serving on.  The judge had specifically instructed all members of the jury at the beginning of the trial to not blog, Google, Tweet or Facebook post anything about the trial.  Although the  ‘tweets do not state her opinion or a conclusion about the case’ – the updates are technically considered public information, therefore the press and media may report on it, as it is not confidential.  In this particular circumstance, it is clear that there is a sharp divide between technology and the law.

 

Digital Media can be something amazing, if it is treated with caution.  If you choose to create or share any kind of media, think for a second.  When you have a network of friends, you have power.  Think about how you wish to be portrayed and how your actions, could potentially affect others.