Social media, advertising and our self-esteem.
Powerful influences, invisible by their constant visibility!
If you have phones, tablets, computers and TVs, you’re exposed to advertising and social media.
Yes, we can create ‘free’ accounts on all the various platforms, in return for placing adverts and ‘sponsored’ or ‘suggested’ postings in our viewing. Algorithms cleverly watch what you view and search on, to tailor the adverts and posts you see. But how aware are you of the effects of social media, advertising and our self-esteem?
Should the very word ‘influencers’ on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok ring alarm bells?
What’s this got to do with photography and getting in front of a camera?
Well quite a lot really – mainly in the way it influences how people see themselves in an image.
I’d love to say I see as many positive comment as negative, but I don’t. However, I’ll let you be the judge of that in comments you see and read on your own platforms.
Is all advertising and social media bad?
Definitely not – there are many things we see or search on, that are useful to us and just what you need in your personal or business life. People can also be very supportive of each other in images they see of their friends and loved ones. So I’ve become quite an observer of these influences and the way they operate.
But it’s a lot to do with how easily you are influenced?
This is what I often observe:
- Are they trying to make me feel bad about myself in order to sell me something?
- Are they using urgent time scale pressure, so I will make a quick decision to buy/commit?
- Are they using sensationalism or ‘click bait’ to draw me in?
- Are they using peer pressure, so I will want to be part of that gang or tribe?
I use the word ‘they’, because there are humans who make decisions on marketing strategies. The algorithms, mainly collect the data they want to know about on peoples behaviour – that includes you.
I could go on…
What’s the damaging end result in amongst all this, if the above list works?
People, thinking they should be more like this that or the other, or have this that or the other, because they are led to believe they will then be a better person, or, accepted and ‘fit in’ to society.
I hope you get an idea of what I’m observing here. People can be subconsciously influenced to have a poor image of themselves, for no good reason! However, it’s something I both hear and observe in many who come to work with me. Yes, I include myself in that as a younger person, when I hated my photograph being taken. A lot of it was to do with my own self-esteem and how I viewed myself.
At this point I’d like to share a very relevant and current You Tube video from Dove:
Realising if we are to truly be in charge of our own lives and the decisions we make, for the sake of our own mental health, awareness of these influences is absolutely key.
Yes there are many plus points having the technology to connect with each other and, have easy access to important information so freely. However many in society are being blindly led in a direction these influences want them to go and most of us are exposed to this much of our waking day.
Remember it is you and you alone who are in charge of your life.
You can be in control of what you see and hear. Be aware of what influences your life. Others will respect you far more for being your own person.
So, how aware are you of the effects of social media, advertising and our self-esteem?
Do you want to be in charge, or be influenced?
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