This week, we delve deeper into our ever-changing world, exploring the downsides, as well as new possibilities…
THE SELFIE GENERATION
Perhaps the most obvious indicator of today’s ever-changing times is social media and the selfie generation. Millennials and Gen Z have built careers offof the back of Instagram and YouTube, sharing their every moment with their fans, generating an income through adverts, sponsorship deals and merchandising. Huda Kattan, for example, has amassed a following of almost 40 million by posting makeup tutorials on her Instagram page and has built a $1 billion dollar beauty empire in just a couple of years. And whilst influencers have transformed the way we think about fame, beauty, and entertainment, it’s also created large sections of society who hide their personal photos behind filters, artificial improvements, and special effects. You only have to conduct a quick search on the App Store for selfie or photo editing to find tens of thousands of options, and that’s without mentioning software such as Photoshop and Instagram’s in-built filters. Whilst we all want to look good, consumers are increasingly altering their reality to increase the number of likes they attract on their posts.
Indeed, society has encouraged us to assess our personal value through numbers on Twitter and Facebook, with us lacking confidence and self-doubting if these figures are low. What’s particularly concerning, however, is that research shows that the “buzz” of receiving likes on an Instagram post releases similar levels of endorphins as taking Class A drugs, creating an addictive experience that ties users into these networks. It’s true that app developers use psychological tricks that continuously grab your attention, and because “likes” are unpredictable, consumers are chasing more attention to fuel their cravings, encouraging some influencers to push themselves too far.
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October 11, 2019