Yet another one of those boring informative and dictating motivational pieces on social media? Not until you have read just about how we are fooled. In the era of hate clicks selling more, all of us need to get educated about the real world of social media.
It is not new for us as millennials to find a new meme or mock video, be it about politics or the showbiz. We get it all. But, at what cost? Do we know the truth or are we just being blind to reality by a series of “influencers” cultivating wrong perceptions?
The sheer effect of media on student lives:
No! I promised not to make this article tedious and repetitive, and I shall keep my word.
How many of you are students and have more than one social media handles or is exposed to some media? I know it is a vast number. But what if I tell you that, all these media is what is changing your mindset and also even your job and lifestyle? You might be thinking, whoa that is a huge statement to make.
Let me break that down for you.
Well, this phrase gained popularity among psychologists from around the 1940s. They then wondered that if a notion not noted consciously by one, could still affect their behavior (the external subliminal stimuli). Until 1957, this was of a topic of interest only to the psychologists, until, the advertisers saw it as a golden opportunity to print money. James Vicary thought it would be fascinating to use this for the selling of popcorns, and Coca Cola. At the movie theatres, flashing messages like “Drink Coca Cola … Eat Popcorn” on the screens, increased the production of about 18% more for popcorn, and 57% more for Coke.
These messages are intended to cultivate thoughts in the minds of the viewer even without them knowing about it. This unconscious manipulation done to you is single-handedly the creepiest thing you might have heard today. The advertisements you see about your favorite drink to your favorite political party; everything might contain messages unknown to you, only to brain-wash.
There is the sheer tendency of the market to sell its products, be it material or service. We might fall into their persuasion strategies. This may affect our lifestyle, our idea of quality life, or for that matter our opinion about society and it’s functioning. We are made to learn how to choose, how to accept, and even how to feel. That is some profound gruesome fact right there.
What does our social media do here? It accentuates these ideas further. They get in-filtered into the masses and change the thinking pattern in general.
The Hate Click Industry:
How often have you seen celebrities or the media houses getting trolled for their behavior? Although valid criticisms, yet it is less likely that their publicity is lessening. Why do you ask? Welcome to the negative trade business!
A journalism graduate student and a writer for “The Edit”, Jonélle La Foucade once wrote an article criticizing Beyoncé in the article, “Beyoncé is Overrated AF”. Thinking this to be a fun article, the writer was already apprehensive of certain negative comments. People did not take this lightly. Within hours of posting, 12 comments were already made, and the post had to be taken down almost within 24 hours. Although La Foucade had officially asked forgiveness from her readers, she accidentally gave the industry a mammoth idea.
In India, recently, this trend was witnessed that garnered colossal speculation. Many influencers were arrested and banned for spreading hate speech that consisted of demeaning people who did not agree to their notions. Some even went as far as giving rape and life threats by producing fan pages out of millennials and teenagers. 95% of their followers consist of young people, and astonishingly such influencers carry out such hate speech in the open, gaining estimated thousands of followers each day.
Let’s take a look at another example.
According to certain theorists, Apple, the well-known brand, has created it’s identity by providing the idea of a ‘status’. They launched their product; ear pods right before the beginning of a holiday season. Co-incident much? They don’t think so. Soon ‘ear pod’ started to hit every holiday list and it is stated that they marketed their product via memes! This way, everyone got involved in their marketing strategy. Is this a fact? Well, no one knows, not even the theorists.
The eye of the Government On You:
There is always a debate about Facebook regarding its security. However, time professionals saw a more significant threat. The 10-year challenge is done by most of the people on Facebook, of some celebrity or their family member. This was popular for a long period, and almost everyone participated. However, for the writer of Wired, Kate O’Neill, this is all a part of the algorithm. Facebook activates its facial recognition algorithm, especially on age progression. That could easily help Facebook to produce images of the future you!
These controls seem subtle, yet when we address them, reveal the most shocking aspects.
One such example is of a biotechnology company, 23andMe. It was firstly approved by FDA accumulated people’s genomic databases, in the name of detection of diseases. However, medical officials and researchers found out Google’s tie-up with the company. Patrick Chung, explained to Fast Company, who himself was a board member, how once the company has the data, it becomes “the Google of personalized health care”. Although 23andMe assures that it would not sell our genetic information, it admits to sharing aggregate information of patient genomes. To think that our genetic information is safe in the hands of third parties is not a good idea!
What is the student’s role?
Media is an essential part of our daily lives. No matter how much we try to avoid, we end up searching for the meaning of even the trivial things on the net. This article was not written to make you aware of the time you spend on the net or social media. It could give rise to acute eye problems, lack of concentration in the real world, and our parent’s favorite ‘wasting time’! They are the immediate drawbacks that the youth need to focus on.
Yet, are there certain things that we are overlooking? Or worse, made to overlook? Is the world as simple, or are there hungry advertisers trying to coax you into their trap of a make-believe world? What do you think?