Today, I need to address the Social Media issue. Because, this is indeed what it is – an issue. I wanted to narrow it down, in terms of the Fashion Industry, as I understand that all areas of different industries are affected by Social Media at a huge scope. It’s not surprising, because it is a huge business in our generation. The first thing I have to mention, is that I have always been weary of Social Media, and felt that the use of it, has been hugely abused in the Media. It is abused in a way, that we have become consumed, unaware and blindly accepting of it. The second thing to mention, is that I had completed a Social Media internship not long ago, and can say that it is likely that all Fashion companies are very much similar in their Social Media.
The truth is that many fashion bloggers we see on Instagram, Youtube, Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and all the various Social Media platforms, in many cases are sponsored and contacted to promote a fashion companies products. Now, this would seem fine, because they get to be paid for showing products to a huge following online. But, here is the part where I want to express that it’s not okay. Since the expression of genuine views and total individualism, we are a society where the majority of people are conforming to the demands. These bloggers are having huge influences to men and women, and in that sense, to be paid for products is a product of advertising. In saying this, it would be unfair to say every blogger does this, because there are bloggers who express 100% their own views without any pay.
It’s another thing to mention, if the Blogger is passionate about the company. However, very much of the time, the person may not of gone out of their way to purchase the product unless the company had not approached them in the first place. It’s unsurprising that in the technological generation, we are consuming so many lies, upon lies, upon lies. The amount of news that has been distorted from the complete truth, the highly edited images we see in magazines, the presenters we see on the stage and the information we feed off like a sponge. It makes us shallow. It makes us ignore all the true core values and core issues within society. We have become such an Image based society, that our sense of judgment is completely injustice.The sad truth is that businesses (to some degree and on different levels) are all about money. I know that it would seem shallow to think that, because many businesses instill such values that are agreeable and people would stand by. However, at the end of the day, people need to live and make a living off money. The harmful act of this, is that often there are businesses (not saying all) that will go out of its way, to gain more people to buy their products. We are living in a generation where the people online, with many followers, views and likes are treated the same as celebrities. Where as people are ignorant to know that these people are only human too. I would beg for a society that is not shallow, but unfortunately I know this won’t change in the short future. We can, however, make small changes.
We can do things more in person. Staying away from the phone screen and living in the real world. Even, when talking to people, show that you care. Really care. I have to say, I think that there are many people who go online to relate with strangers or friends, because many of then are lonely, many need a sense of self gratification/self worth and many want to be recognized (obviously not all). However, we are surrounded by people everywhere. I would be completely lying if I said, that I have not starved myself before or ran every single day as a young teenager, because I wanted to look like the girls in the magazines. It would be a lie. But, the truth is that Social Media in the Fashion Industry is having that negative impact on individuals.
The harmful part of Social Media, is how extreme the positive and negativity is feeding off of it. They are highly extreme. People may comment #Goals or #Fitspiration. They may aspire for it to huge extremes or cruelly judge it. It may look perfect, it may look unattainable and it may be a fantasy. That is because it is. Social Media is becoming more and more a public domain to advertise and for want of a better word – to show off. People’s self worth are not surrounded by things. To think if I was lying on a hospital bed with cancer, the last thing I would want is a new Louis Vuitton bag. The first thing I’d need is my family and friends. A hug, a smile and someone to hold my hand. We need to stop holding onto our smart phones, as if they are controlling us. I am tired of even the little things, where going out with some people, they will still check their phones. Let’s be real (because Social Media is not real life), and talk about things that matters, and if you were wondering – that would be off the screen.
If you are grateful that someone has addressed it – Please visit Let’s Be Game Changers, and support this cause, if you strongly agree with it too.
Photography by Laura Makabresku