Week 4 – Global Social Media

Week 4 – Global Social Media

Instagram is a platform that allows me to express myself in a certain way. Instagram is known for its countless amounts of photoshop and insanely people would buy likes and followers, all for validation. On Instagram, there seems to be an unaired competition between everyone’s accounts: Who has the most followers? Who has the most likes? Whose photos are better quality?

Instagram vs. Reality' Exposes The Truth About Those Unrealistically  'Perfect' Pics | Bored Panda

I tend to not photoshop and buy validation personally, I instead use the social media platform to express myself by posting photos of myself and sometimes with friends or family, were I’m genuinely happy. A few years ago, I would base every photo I posted on the amount of likes I would get and followers I would gain, if it was not sufficient enough, I would then delete it. Now, I post phots for myself and find joy from editing the filters on my photos. I use my profile page as a reflective mechanism, a visual diary I can look back at and be grateful for all the happy memories I have made. I try not to focus on the analytic side of the platform and don’t compare myself to others, it is hard, but I found more self-confidence from not basing myself off other people or worrying about what people think.

In a medium article, a journalist Zaina B, attempted to go 2 weeks without the social media platform, Instagram. In the 2 weeks she was without the platform she then reflected at the end that “In the past two weeks, I have clicked on the Instagram app for completely different reasons. Before, I would go on Instagram to update friends and strangers of the most flowery parts of my life. To figure out why people post things on social media, I had to first ask myself why I post the stuff I do”. She found that spending 14 days off Instagram, helped her reflect on why she was on this application at all. Zaina discovered she used to post (much like myself) for validation off others.  Her new quest on the app was to post for herself and to update her loved ones on how her life is progressing.

In this week’s reading about funeral selfies called “Selfies at Funerals: Mourning and Presencing on Social Media Platforms” The authors discuss the extent of social media, specifically Instagram. “It is important not to place too much significance on the selfies and assume that they are a summation of an individual’s feelings and general approach towards the ritual event. Selfies are intended to be an ephemeral and creative form of “live communication” that are part of the ongoing streams of social intercourse in the lives of the people depicted. They are not attempts at storing or preserving life” Van Djick quoted, explaining the form of communication used by an individual to portray their feelings. He  later adds it could be loud forms of posting such as funeral photos could be used for a  source of validation, in its purest from – a cry for help and comfort.

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Medium. 2020. Everyone On Social Media Is Seeking Some Kind Of Validation. [online] Available at: <https://medium.com/@zainabwrites/everyone-on-social-media-is-seeking-some-kind-of-validation-c285b3f232ed&gt; [Accessed 1 September 2020].

moodle.uowplatform.edu.au. (n.d.). Platform: Log in to the institution. [online] Available at: https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/pluginfile.php/2425506/mod_resource/content/1/W4%20BCM111%20Meese%20et%20al%20-%20Selfies%20at%20Funerals.pdf [Accessed 1 Sep. 2020].

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Week 3: Global News

Week 3: Global News

Aside from the actual news, everything I hear about news wise; I tend to find on social media. From local news to international news, all you have to do is looks at the trending page on Twitter, and it will tell you everything that is going on globally, with no barriers or sugar coating. There are pros and cons to both forms of journalism, and each have revolutionised our way of thinking.

Mainstream news is informative and give you information quickly and is extremely detailed, we seem to trust this form of journalism more. Yet, news companies tend to only tell us half of the stories happening globally, they only tell you information that they want you to hear and tend to sugar coat. For example, disaster is happening in Syria, a country in War, or the concentration camps in China for Muslims that killing millions of innocent people, yet mainstream media has not brought any of this information to light. Instead, it seems that they are covering up these stories and are in fact ran by governments. Whereas, online journalism is nearly just as quick and gives you real and tough journalism. Citizen journalism gives you information that is definitely not sugar coated and tells you every gritty bit including photos. They give you tough reality checks and make you open your eyes to severe circumstances. Twitter, Instagram and TikTok were all platforms that lighted the flame after the horrific death of George Floyd in America, every day citizens rallied around each other spreading news of disastrous events mainstream news had not made people aware of. Along with this impactful change in journalism, it still holds its faults. With everyone being able to spread news through a simple tweet, Instagram or Facebook post, people are able to twist stories into a new version, simply lie or too strongly voice their opinion. It impossible to tell whether some stories told online through media are true or just a rumour and with there being bias, it can shift the way people view a story all together.

Many people argue that the two forms of journalism are equal, as mainstream news gives us factual information in a timely manner and media gives us 100% of stories happening globally with real facts. It is here we hold the question: what news is actually real and what manipulated, changed or false?

An example of citizen journalism is the recent tragedy in Beirut which later lead to a security lockdown in Lebanon, when the government started to refuse using their resources to further investigate and dig for survivors. The world was unaware of how what the Government was doing hence citizens took to social media such as Twitter and Facebook to take a stand. The citizen journalism extended to helping them rally around each other and start protesting to protect their rights. The New Arab article stated “Activists would share cellphone footage of these incidents, accusing broadcasters of deliberately not showing up to the scenes or the government and ruling parties from preventing journalists from entering”.

'We will not be silenced': Journalists are also victims of Lebanon's security clampdown

BBC News. 2020. Mainstream Media ‘Still Dominate Online News’. [online] Available at: <https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-27772070&gt; [Accessed 18 August 2020].

Chehayeb, K., 2020. ‘We Will Not Be Silenced’: Journalists Are Also Victims Of Lebanon’s Security Clampdown. [online] alaraby. Available at: <https://english.alaraby.co.uk/english/indepth/2020/1/20/journalists-are-also-victims-of-lebanon;s-security-crackdown&gt; [Accessed 18 August 2020].

Week 2: What popular culture do I consume?

Week 2: What popular culture do I consume?

There are copious amounts of popular culture that I consume on the daily. Examples being television and hours of social media including Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook etc. However, one type of popular culture consumes HOURS of my day, swiping on my phone mindlessly. This being TikTok, an application that has astronomically took over the world in a matter of month. In short, the app allows you to watch short videos on a loop through their “for you page” which is accustomed to the individual person, giving you hours upon hours of content to enjoy. It is extremely addictive due to how many people make videos/use the app, broadening what you watch.  As well as spending most of my time watching TikToks, I have also created content for my digital artefacts in BCM112, BCM114 and for BCM206 this semester. It’s so fun investing time in making TikToks, and it is almost as addictive as watching them.

TikTok originated in China when it was merged with a popular Asian app called ‘Musicaly’. The new formed app first became popular when a famous music artist made a video about his new song “old town road’ bringing the app into western culture. Many fans downloaded the app and used the song to make videos. From there the app continued to grow and from late 2018 to now, the app has gained over 2.3 billion downloads. It is the fastest growing form of social media in history. Now artists such as Doja cat have grown their platforms from TikTok, Doja cat’s music grew to popularity purely due to TikTok videos. TikTok has revolutionised this generation, trends, sounds and music are performed by millions of people daily. Business Insider stated that TikTok promotes equality and helps people find their voice, the culture on this app is described as positive and welcoming. It has for many, changed the way people think and allowed people to voice their opinion.

With that being said, this chosen popular culture correlates closely with a theory from this week, Cultural proximity. In the reading Cultural Proximity and Audience Behaviour: The Role of Language in Patterns of Polarization and Multicultural Fluency, Straubhaar explained cultural proximity as ‘‘the tendency to prefer media products from one’s own culture or the most similar possible culture’’.  TikTok became popular when countries such as England, Australia and America invested in the app.  When western creators started making content, more people globally began to download the application. The reason for this is due to when Asian countries solely dominated ‘musicaly’ the original app, many people from western countries were not interested in this content or couldn’t relate to it.

 People to tend to invest in media that relates to their own culture or is similar, it seems to be more comfortable and preferable. TikTok has become a part of everyday life, much like Facebook and Instagram, however the app is that popular, trends from the app have even been seen and used on mainstream television and it has had the ability to make normal people extremely famous.  

TikTok: Here's How to Share a Video Outside of the App

Leskin, P., 2020. Inside The Rise Of Tiktok, The Viral Video-Sharing App Wildly Popular With Teens And Loathed By The Trump Administration. [online] Business Insider Australia. Available at: <https://www.businessinsider.com.au/tiktok-app-online-website-video-sharing-2019-7?r=US&IR=T&gt; [Accessed 11 August 2020].

Ksiazek, T. and Webster, J., 2008. Cultural Proximity and Audience Behavior: The Role of Language in Patterns of Polarization and Multicultural Fluency. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 52(3), pp.485-503.