The One, Social Media Influencers and Ideals of Love in the 21st Century: What they all have in common.

It’s so common these days to see people who are committed to another, posting either a lot or very little of their relationship on social media. Those who post a lot of photos, statuses and moments of their relationship are considered to have a “shaky” or “unstable” relationship, filled with insecurity and egotistic mindsets. Those who post very few pictures or statuses of/about their partner are considered to not even have a relationship. That if they aren’t posting for everyone to see, they have issues or are on the verge of breaking up.

Personally, I can say that I post somewhere in the middle in regard to what i share about my relationship with my S.O. I don’t post to get likes. I don’t post to receive a flood of comments from my single friends about how “perfect” my relationship is and how “jealous” they are of me. i don’t post to gain attention, or to portray my relationship as perfect. Let’s face it, no relationship will ever be perfect. In my opinion, the most perfect relationships are the ones that are battered and bruised from hurricanes of emotion, and yet they still manage to keep fighting for one another and committing to one another every day.

So, I have been questioning, what is it in our world that puts this stigma and plants this subconscious goal of having a perfect relationship?

Recently in the world, the colossal effects of social media have spread to all corners of the globe. People now make careers based off of how many likes they can get on a post on Instagram. It is truly absurd in relation to how quickly all of this came about.

Instagram is a well-known platform, on which everyone can share everything. “Insta-famous” people can basically shape the way in which society moves forward, as they’re influencers. What i have been noticing more and more recently though, is the growing pattern in “relationship goals”. These “relationship goals” have stemmed from a post that one of these many influencers has posted. For example:

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These pictures begin to build up a set-criteria, an ideal of what love is like, particularly in the 21st century. They all portray perfection, however we don’t see the “behind the scenes” of the relationship. What actually goes on. This is the hardest part of trying to resist confining your beliefs and expectations of love, based off of what you see PORTRAYED on the internet.

As a young woman in society, i have always fantasised about finding The One. And as i have gotten to grow and gain more and more knowledge, i have realised that I will never find The One. Now I don’t want people who do know me personally to get confused, as I am in a serious relationship with someone I consider the love of my life, because of the above statement. What i mean by “never finding The One” is this; The One, the “person” that media and society has created is simply not real. I believe that The One is almost like an outline of what people need to go off of in order to find their “soul mate”. This set of characteristics is out-dated and is only catered to a certain type of person.

So, what do social media influencers, love in the 21st century and The One all have in common? They all portray a set perception of love, and what love looks like. This is, to be blunt, creating a growing issue of naivety and cultivating unrealistic expectations of love. Love isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. It’s dark storm clouds and hurricanes, filled with raw emotions. Love is a commitment. It’s a hard commitment, but one that is worth it when the day is over.

I can easily and wholeheartedly say that since meeting my S.O my perception of love has changed. I have grown to realise that it’s not meant to be some joyful fairy-tale. That’s an unrealistic and naïve expectation. It’s hurt, and pain. But it’s mostly joy, happiness, contentment, and stability.

So really, what is the true point of this post? My point in all this is to spread the message that one shouldn’t spend their life wishing for The One to walk into their lives, because there is no perfect human out there for every single person to find. My point in all this is to spread the message that no matter how perfect an influencer, or a regular person portrays their relationships to be, they still have issues. My main point in all of this is to stop the spread of unrealistic and naïve expectations, to stop the cultivation of false hope in young individuals. Love is not a fairy-tale. It’s a long, difficult journey, but the end result is the sweetest part.

In a world where lies are too common: What trust do I have in my ‘news’ sources?

What trust do I have in my ‘news’ sources?

This is a question that left me pondering, what even are my news sources? I mean, the only real way that I find out what is going on in the world is through social media platforms.

Facebook. Instagram. Snapchat. Twitter. All ‘trustworthy’ resources… to an extent.

During the modern age, it is undeniably known that rumours, falsities and conspiracies circulate on social media, on a day-to-day basis. Social media can almost hypnotise us to believe whatever see, read or hear. It can so easily desensitise our critical thinking, engagement and interaction with news. It’s this kind of desensitisation that scares me, as we begin to ignore the questions of what’s real and what’s fake. We can begin to enter a “brainwashing” stage, if you could even call it that. Hypnotisation is a common theme in films and a particular example of this “brainwashing” that we can experience, is a scene from classic comedy Zoolander.

So, in relation to this question, I had to really think about what I read and classified as news. Millennials in the twenty-first century have the luxury and privilege of communicating with someone who may live on the opposite side of the world to them. We do this through social media. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are the main platforms on which everyone can share everything, and everyone can see what’s shared. Now, recently Facebook has advanced and expanded its mediums that it can provide on the app. For example, articles and links to news stories can now be accessed with one click. This makes accessing news a lot easier. However, my amount of trust in these sources is dwindling.

Not all of the original sources that these articles come from are trustworthy. For example, the Daily Mail Facebook page is always posting new articles about anything and everything. These articles from this particular source have been proven to be not very accurate in the past. Thus, now as more and more people can access these stories, my faith and trust in the content itself is almost non-existent. So that leaves me to question, out of all of the articles and stories that I see on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, how much of them are actually true? 20%? 15%? 5%? For me personally, the importance of critically engaging with the media builds up a trust and distrust for certain sources as I’m constantly questioning the truth that may be embedded within the content.

So, it all really boils down to this; how much trust do I really have in my news sources? The answer? It all depends on the story, the content, and the obvious truths.

 

Representation and Interpretation: how far have we really come as a society?

During the week in BCM 110, we have been looking at semiotics; the language of signs. Semiotics is split into two parts, denotations and connotations. Denotations are what is there, what you look at without a critical viewpoint. Connotations are the meanings that are embedded within the image, what you see when you look at an image with a critical mindset.

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Now, to the naked eye, the above image may look like an innocent tomato sauce advertisement. The denotation of this image is simply, a picture of a girl wiping her mouth, some text, and a tomato sauce bottle in the bottom right corner. However, if you look at the ad with a more critical and inquisitive way of thinking, you can clearly see the sexual connotations that are associated with not only the gesture of the girl, but the slogan on the advertisement. In all honesty, after you’ve seen this connotation you can’t really “un-see” it. You can really only read this image in one way, and that’s in analysing it with a sexual connotation.

Advertisements like this can do a number of things. The main action that this particular advertisement takes, is objectifying women. The woman in this is made out to be more like an object than a person with emotions and feelings. Miss Representation, 2011 documentary, explores the ways in which women are represented in advertising and the way that women are objectified in the media.

 

Since we are on the topic of women and men and how they’re represented in the media, I think that it’s necessary to bring up some other truths. As society develops, we are starting to see more men become objectified (as well as women). Patterns of societal pressures about body image are beginning to have a more prominent effect on young boys and men as well as continuing to have effects on young girls and women. In saying this, however, more body positive role models are starting to emerge. A big one for women at the moment are celebrities like Ashley Graham and Iskra Lawrence. These people are important, as it is them who are remoulding societal expectations.

https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/ashley-graham-is-the-body-positive-inspiration-women-need.html/?a=viewall

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/fashion/people/british-model-iskra-lawrence-has-made-a-living-out-of-celebrating-the-flaws-society-tells-women-to-be-ashamed-of/news-story/96ace14782ee208aab999e878511a724

But turning our attention back to the ad, controversial advertisements like this may look innocent at first, but once we truly look deeper and see the underlying meaning… that is when you can truly understand that although we have progressed as a society a lot, we still have an extremely long way to go.

This advertisement is a controversial piece of material that shouldn’t have been released at all.

Media Audiences: Why are TV series so addictive?

What is it about Netflix series that make them so addictive to us, a media audience? Is it the fictitious characters that we get so emotionally attached to? Is it the anticipation of a climatic storyline? Or is it the fact that we, as humans, can make connections and relate to the entire premise of it?

I, myself, watch my fair share of Netflix series. However, one that I cannot tear my eyes away from is the Netflix show, Riverdale. It’s fair to say that I’ve re-watched both seasons, about 6 times. I’m currently on my 7th

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It’s a show about love, hate, deceit and mystery. Not everyone is who they say they are, and there is always a new twist in every episode. This is an element of why it is so addictive, and why it has such an effect on media audiences.

The show itself is an interpretation of the Archie Chronicles, with a spooky, dystopian twist. It offers light-hearted comedy, innocent romance that soon turns to provocative, intimate scenes, as well as an eerie element of mystery.

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Riverdale enhances an audience’s thirst for knowledge. The first season surrounds the story of a murder. One of a popular, good-looking, football captain. Jason Blossom. Each episode presents a new suspect in his murder, a new detail in the mystery. This anticipation is what I personally find so addictive. Not to mention the fact that the characters themselves, are relatable, and express the true feelings of what it’s like to be a teen in the 21st century.

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Albeit the situations they’re in are farfetched in a “normal, every-day life” sense, the characters that have been created have an effect on us as an audience.

We engage, criticise and emotionally attach ourselves to these characters, the relationships they share. This engagement and interaction can be clearly linked to the theory of a dystopian/utopian audience. A dystopian audience can otherwise be known as a passive audience. One that doesn’t critically engage with the content. A utopian audience however, is known as the active audience. One that analyses, questions and interacts with content.

I, for one, consider myself as apart of the utopian audience. I find myself, especially with Riverdale, getting emotionally attached to characters, and invested in fictitious relationships. For example, a fictional relationship that I am personally invested in is that of BUGHEAD. No matter what, I always just adore them. And when they did break up, and get back together… and then break up again… and then get back together again, I won’t lie in saying that period of time was an emotional rollercoaster for me.

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And yes, I will proudly state my anger and frustration about VARCHIE. These are the kind of effects that TV shows can have on media audiences. They draw you in, attach themselves to your heart with a grip like a vice, and leave you yelling at the screen when anything bad befalls the characters you love.

In saying this, I truly believe that Netflix series, such as Riverdale, actively encourage a response from viewers. Whether it be happy, sad, or extremely frustrated. If you haven’t seen Riverdale yet, I would strongly recommend you at LEAST give it a go! To further persuade you, I’ve hyperlinked the trailer below.

And if you’re a diehard fan like myself, check out this article!

https://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/tv/a15338632/riverdale-midseason-two-premiere-reveals-archie/

Happy binge-watching!

 

The Journey Begins

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step.” – Lao Tzu

A journey is a process, whether it be an emotional or a physical one. My journey begins today. This journey begins at the point of where I am entering the unknown – adulthood. This site is an opportunity for me to express my opinions on different topics, and conversations and events that are happening in the world around me. The open expression of an opinion is what starts a conversation. This conversation has one of two outcomes – either a positive or a negative outcome. However, this conversation can lead to a change. In this day and age of technology, we have the world at our fingertips. Our generation, in particular, has grown up in an age where technology is a central part of our lives. Some may see this as a negative. I, however, see this as a positive. We are the future. We are the positive change that is coming. Therefore, I see technology as a positive. It allows us all to connect, to share ideas and to move towards a better world. So, in saying this, I encourage others to contact me and start these conversations. This is the beginning of a journey, one that can be seen Through My Eyes.

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