Posts tagged blogging
Posts tagged blogging
I’m looking at pictures from before Christmas in December. I was so f*cking skinny.
— coffeeandhipbones, Tumblr
I live in the virtual world—social media consumes, at the very least, 50% of my time, and the real world contributes 100% to my social activity…so when something like this becomes a trend in my Tumblr feed, on my Pinterest page, on my Facebook wall…my insides get twisted in knots—So much so that it makes me want to reach through the virtual barrier and give a real life shake to each and every one of these girls. So, I did a little research, read a ton of articles (links below to my sources, some are outdated because I wrote this a while ago) and threw this rant together, and if one person reads it, I am happy with that.
In addition to being an outlet for people to connect to people, brands and events, social media is a platform that allows users to build communities around similar interests, likes, and ideas. It is home to some of the largest Justin Bieber fan clubs, virtual gaming clubs (even fantasy leagues are social, and so is words with friends), clans of moms, fashionistas, beauty gurus, collectors of all kinds, politicians and politically charged activists rallying followers to unite behind an idea.
However, it’s not all glamorous and the ideas are not always good…
While there is limitless content in the digisphere for this high-consumption consumer segment, there is a rapidly growing phenomenon called “thinspiration,” or “thinspo,” weaving its way through the web’s newest social hotspots. Granted, this is not a new issue for the media, but new media platforms make this poison SOOOO much more toxic. The affect media has on body image has historically been an issue (in 2001 Yahoo! Removed ~115 pro-anorexia sites citing violations of the company’s TOS), and negative reinforcement is growing at lightning speed via these new channels.
For the unfamiliar, thinspiration consists of images, tips, and angst-ridden quotes meant to be motivational for those looking to achieve what the media deems to be beautiful. Teens spend approximately 53 hrs/week consuming media in a various forms—A 2011 study conducted by researchers from the University of Haifa in Israel found that the more time teenage girls spend on social networking sites, the more prone they are to negative body image and eating disorders. According to Eating Disorders Review, a residential eating-disorder treatment center in Chicago reported between 30 and 50 percent of its teen patients actively use social media to support their eating disorders.
No wonder they have found a support group of similar-minded self-loathing and at an unprecedented and almost immeasurable depth and scope on image-laden micro blogging platforms that are not only free, but easy to use, highly viral, and chock-full-of UGC.
The imagery I refer to can be found in large quantities on emerging image-based social media platforms such as Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram and is syndicated further through Twitter and Facebook. Luckily, an increasing number of social media sites are beginning to regulate and discourage it. NEDA has provided counsel to Facebook—helping the site establish guidelines for reporting, flagging and removing users groups promoting self-harm and anorexic behavior. Pinterest and Tumblr also recently issued bans on self-harm content.
EXAMPLES OF THINSPIRATION ON PINTEREST: http://pinterest.com/search/?q=thinspo
However…the grey area in the guidelines and the sheer magnitude of content to sift through has made enforcing these bans challenging.
The other challenge is, it is often not the users creating the content that is being shared on thinspo boards or tumblrs. They are celebrities, fashion models, art and advertisements.
Thinspo is not the only disturbing content reaching teens via social networks. A random search on any of these micro-blogging sites will offer a number pro-ana (pro anorexia) blogs, images of cutters, suicide circles, and self-deprecating self loathing literature.
EXAMPLES OF SELF-HARM CONTENT ON TUMBLR: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/suicide
So how can we help?
SOURCES AND RELATED ARTICLES:
I wrote this a while ago and never shared it..I can’t really say it is because of the personal nature of it—everything I put up here is probably a little too personal. It was mostly because it is about a life I was trying too hard to leave behind…a life that I loved, but maybe wasn’t the best thing for me at the time…i don’t know. I had a good thinking day today, and I think I’m ready to speak.
So…here it is…a little insight on my experience in sneakers, social media, and the corporate world…and there’s lots more to say about it…and I’m sure I’ll get it out eventually…
I remember clearly someone telling me a while back that the one special thing about sneakers, aside from the obvious, was the way it brought people together. That a simple question like, “where’d you get those,” could start a conversation that could lead to a friendship. He was right.
I’ve had 5 years in sneakers, in the professional sense…although they have always been a part of my life, just not in the way that they are now. 5 years ago, a company took a chance on me, even after I confessed to owning just one pair of Chucks and some random shoe I used to “work out.” I was told “you’ll learn it,” and I did…better than I ever thought possible.
I found a community that was near invisible to the casual consumer…one made up of people of all kinds, from all over the world…unified by one common thread. At first I watched—listened—the forums, the blogs, Facebook, twitter…and what unfolded was an infrastructure of tech savvy, fashion conscious entrepreneurs and journalists disguised as opinionated, “my shit’s better than your shit” sneaker junkies. I had a world of untapped genius at my finger tips, and all I had to do was say “hi” and I was in.
I’m not going to pretend that it was really that easy. In a lot of respects it was—I was representing a huge company that people wanted to work with—but in others, not at all—I was representing a company, I was not an individual, i didn’t pay my dues to this community, and let’s face it…I was Big Brother in this space.
I did my research, found my allies, made some very trusted friends, and openly admitted that I knew nothing…something I don’t do often, and something that terrified me. Plain and simple truth…I knew nothing. I was taking a risk…but something I learned from this community was that they can spot a fake Jordan from a mile away and they sure as hell can spot a fake person over a phone call or an email.
Before I knew what was happening, I was in love…with the people…the shoes, the art, the music, the vibe…everything that made this community something outsiders refer to as a culture…a group of people that are governed by their own laws, have their own language, their own means of communication…part of society, but a society on it’s own…either you’re in or you’re out…and sure, if you’re out you can sit on the sidelines and watch, try to listen in, try to get it…and you might think you do…but you don’t.
Trust me. I thought i did…i still don’t.
…keep reading below, I’ve got something to say about this…of course :)
Found this on Holy Kaw in my usual morning twitter surfing and thought it was VERY MUCH worth sharing…especially since “blogger therapy” seems to have become part of a community managers role in social media…and guys…not complaining…AT ALL. The more we share, the more we learn, the better we get. So please, continue to reach out, it’s all learning for me, and the real life stories are what keep it all interesting.
I think we’ve all shared similar frustrations with proper citation and linking when it comes to images and intellectual property. What baffles me is, why wouldn’t you credit your sources?
Those you are reading and following are most likely people you respect, admire or deem sources of good credible information (at least this is the case for me…kudos if i’m following you…more so if if tweet, re-tweet, or re-post you). Wouldn’t you want these people to know that you appreciate what they are doing? that you are an advocate for their messages? that you are a fan or their writing/ideas/artwork/photography and would like to be a part of the world they are creating?
I know I would.
One of the best feelings for me is when someone re-tweets something I post on my tumblr…or when I get a little share notification in my inbox. Sharing means caring people! If you enjoyed someones work enough to share it, let people know where you found it. If there is anything I consider worth a read, I would most likely want to align myself with that person or brand. I would want to create a relationship, an association for my readers, and good feelings between my work and the sources work…more so for anything I consider worth a share.
…just a thought. I mean look at that sad kitty up there. Who wants to be responsible for that!