Need input for uni project- issues with social media, avatars and how they have affecWatch
Here is a link of my original blog post, I'd be so grateful for any in put. How has social media and having avatars affected you?
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I take issue with that.
Youth Issues- I take issue with social media.
I want to respond to youth issues- A pretty broad area so I’m going to condense it down and have a look at generations. Making it personal, I’ll be looking into my generation and the issues we had to face whilst growing up within the boom of social media and the questionable psychological effects that came with it. My first issue- Why are we making online avatars which portray a different identity than we actually have.
Avatars and real life.
Whats with all the hype?
Within the past 20 years the technology that I have been using has been rapidly changing- If someone had told my former 10 year old self that I will have a mobile phone that works they way it does now, I honestly wouldn’t have believed them. Along with this growing technology I’ve had to face the wrath of social media. I was a part of the very first generation that had to grow up throughout those painful teenage years with the extra maintenance needed of an online avatar.
My first avatar was on AOL messenger- on purely a virtual messaging social scale. At the age of 11 (2001) I was my own pressure of writing the correct things to keep my recipients interested. I felt the first urge of social pressure virtually on a daily biases. Suddenly communication with my friends had a higher priority within my life –virtually messaging my friends , fueling teenage gossip, jokes and tears, I honestly think this was the start of where my generation begun to revolutionize their way of social thinking virtually.
Pretty soon after AOL, Online communities took off such as Bebo and Myspace- along with a string of other on line profile websites. Visual communication socially had started within a fast past platform. Around my year, Myspace was the main site we used as one of our avatars- Suddenly we were able to create an on line profile of ourselves that we could show case to the rest of the world- a whole new level of social likes and dislikes took off that had never before been an issue in human existence. Virtually, it wasn’t cool if you had a low friend count, to have a boring profile picture, to not have added any HTML personal touches. It was cool however, to have thousands of friends, photoshop’d profile pictures, high photo comment counts and a high page view. We had begun to understand the power of avatars and how it could affect our self-esteems and our opinion of social status.
Right now social media has expanded into multiple media channels- Instagram and Youtube has fallen in line with facebook and twitter – An on line social presences is a daily welcomed duty and we’ve started to gain followers in the masses that are fans of our avatars.
Looking into avatars, we’ve taken this word from Hinduism- It means for a god to release his soul into bodily form on earth to act out his teachings. With this term in mind, why are we are glorifying our personal lives throughout editing, to make ourselves more appealing to our target audience?
On a basic level our status of on line social interaction gives us personal gratification. But looking deeper could adopting avatars be seen as a psychological issue?
The American TV show ‘Catfish’, explores the nature of fake and real avatars and the emotional impact the profiles have had on multiple people’s lives. Most turn out to be completely fake but some are real- editing what they choose to make public or not. Although ‘Catfish’ shows this through extremes, we all actively edit our avatars- subconsciously thinking in advance what the viewer will perceive. Avatars have allowed an extra world for us and we’ve had to learn how to digest it and how to incorporate it into our lives.