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The Good, The Bad and The Viral

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A new study recently claims social media is actually good for your health. This is contrary to previous studies on the same subject matter. These other studies and research were saying too much time spent on social media platforms can be detrimental not just to physical health but also mental health. It is likened to the impossible beauty standards magazines and the media have always espoused. These beauty standards is a constant reminder that ordinary people would never measure up. And because we can’t the harder we try and be miserable in the process. These platforms already have too many pictures and videos that not even a single hair is out of place except on those programs where they do this intentionally.

This new study argues that not all factors were considered. More noteworthy effects of social media were not considered. New technology and point of view from the young users of this media. This argues that there is more available connections. That social media is an avenue toward meaningful social changes all over as a global effect. A wider reach for worthy causes and to share information, ideas and point of views. Too bad it can also be addicting.

Fear of missing out or FoMO is one of the biggest arguments for developing anxieties of people with a social media account. Quite like knowing there’s a party going on where your friends are at now and you’re not invited to. These feelings arouse insecurity and jealousy that we normally wouldn’t encounter on a daily, recurring basis. Because we are a species of emotion, what we see on these platforms will invoke a reaction, and enough of it everyday can alter our way of thinking. 

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Used to be that when you talk of something viral you meant sickness. Now it means campaigns or strategy in spreading information, product or cat videos as fast as one can.  Marketers, entrepreneurs and companies take advantage of this fear or missing out and sneak these things in our news feeds, on our most watched videos and redirects. So social media is like in real life. There’s good things, bad stuff and horrendous commercials in between!

Hiding Behind Social Media

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A digital life is not supposed to take over your real life. And yet we almost always have our phones in our faces. 

The world of social media is fast becoming the norm. People are living their best lives. Capturing it and broadcasting it on social media as a deeply recorded documentation of their perfect lives. Instead of creating memories, they are creating a story. A story built on lies hiding behind social media.

Instagram, Facebook, twitter. Almost all these platforms with their image sharing capabilities encourage daily postings, one user one-upping the other. There seldom is a place or a meal they would look like without arranging it and cropping it in their mind for the perfect instagram shot.  

It used to be that social media was a way to get connected. A way to form bonds and keeping touch with others despite our busy lives. Now it looks like we are even busier with not a life to show for it. It has become a race for the most likes, the most retweets, the most heart.  

But more threatening than these is the psychological impact it leaves our youth. That they need to be a certain way in order to be liked. That likes and popularity equals happiness. Not only is their psychological health in danger but also their physical health. There has been a number of reports of bad effects for short term and long term use like seizures, cybersickness, anxiety and dependency. They would hardly be on these gadgets a long time if not for their social media accounts.

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More alarming still are those trolls and cyberbullies and so-called keyboard warriors. They hide behind their screen names targeting anything and everything. They utilise the power of anonymity and claim it all for their right to free expression. Trolls want attention and end goal is annoyance, that is why they are on the internet. Cyberbullies on the other hand, just want to cause deliberate hurt. They frequent social media platforms because their targets are on these platforms. It is best that you know what to do when plagued by these no-good entities.

These social media unpleasantries are now part and parcel of our technology-based world. It is a little interesting to see what good it will be to our society. But we should always be vigilant of the bad that could come of it, too.

Social Media Influence

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You can’t escape social media nowadays. More so if you have a smartphone. And who doesn’t? The average person has in some shape or form have encountered it. Maybe even signed up for any or all the social media platforms. It isn’t any mystery then to find that social media influence is becoming a real thing in real life.

Brands and individuals have their own social media accounts specifically because they recognise this influence. This is to increase their brand’s visibility and create more loyal customers. It also helps in connecting and communicating with potential clients and business partners. For big, known brands garnering followers and likes could be made in a day. For the small businesses, they reach this when they use their social media strategically over time. More than content, more than memes, social media can inspire and influence people.

One that is slowly gaining momentum is the zero waste – going green movement. More people are posting restaurants and shops that allow their collapsible cups. This is instant marketing for the shop and the cup. And promoting a worthy cause that of going green and zero waste. There are also places that are now selling things in bulk. They encourage you to bring your own containers because they are package free shops. Banning the plastic straw. This I credit to social media. And the fast food giants heard, obeyed or have jumped on the bandwagon.

Social media is also instrumental in giving brands a conscience. Or at least take notice and do something. In an effort to clean up their acts, some people are posting pictures of brands trash (shampoo, conditioners). These single use individualised packaging that are truly becoming an issue. One that some groups are making the manufacturing companies take responsibility for.


This is a good example of a huge undertaking that everyone is being asked to be aware of and participate through social media. A global concern that needs to not just be addressed but needs immediate action. For our own sake.

3 Ways Social Media Is A Cosmetic Dentist’s Best Friend

Social media management for dentists

The use of social media in numerous ways is rapidly growing. And most people are now turning to social media platforms to reach out to their dental practitioners. One can, however, browse the internet to get answers concerning their general health. This connotes that it is now possible to all oral health-related issues solved online.

And for sure, social media is a cosmetics best friend since they can relate, connect and communicate to their clients effectively. There are ways in which social media help dentist achieve a lot in their dental health services. You can easily share many minor defects that dental bonding helps with to help your patients learn more about it. Did you know that 80 % of people around the world turn to online resources for their health concerns? Now you do. Well, here are ways social media is helping dentists.

Increased credibility


It is right to say that a lot of people nowadays are making use of recommendations provided by their friends or those found online whenever they are seeking for unique services. And the truth is that whenever someone is looking for dental services, they will search for them online and find the information they need even before deciding to conduct any of them.

The websites or social media platforms of the dentists will have reviews that anyone can use to verify the authenticity of the dental doctor and that improve the credibility of the dentist. Those without an online presence, it would be challenging to prove their credibility; thus, new clients may end up not getting in touch with them. Photos and videos of past dental tasks can help increase your credibility.

Improved visibility


Your businesses may not purport to be visible without an online presence. In this digital era, traditional marketing approaches may not be as effective as they used to be back then. The world of marketing is changing rapidly with innovative ideas being put into implementation every day. As a dentist, you should leverage the benefits of the internet to make sure you are visible across numerous platforms existing online if not all.

For example; you can have a few pages to share your products and services to potential customers. The people will also interact with you through queries and clarifications, and you can even provide directions to your place. You see, your services will be merely a mouse click away!

Nurture brand loyalty


It is a proven strategy to make use of social media to build customer loyalty. See, it would be better to have all questions concerning your services and perhaps your products answered via a social media platform than having people visit your offices to ask the same queries. If you answer their questions in good time and they get satisfied with your feedback, your loyalty gains momentum. Yes, they will trust your products and services more than anyone else.

Conclusion

Social media should be like a funnel for your business. With it, you can deliver a lot that could not be achieved without social media platforms. So, if you are not yet into it, consider making a bold step of incorporating social media is reaching many people. Eventually, you will increase credibility, improve your visibility, and finally nurture your brand loyalty.

Dangers of the Digital Age

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An unspoken conflict exists between teens/preteens and adults. About having, using and managing smartphones and gadgets. Smartphone use is prevalent in young people’s lives. Adults being adults, who can sometimes be worrywarts, tend to search everything wrong with the new generation and their daily weapon of choice, the smartphone. They go about their business unaware of the dangers of the digital age.

Because youngsters have nothing to compare their lives without smartphones and all these social media platforms, most of them see nothing wrong with social media or the technology that they are now experiencing. To them it is a speedy way to connect, communicate and share. A novel way to express themselves. It is life as they know it.

Cyber bullying – the anonymity behind a keypad, those whispers, unflattering photos and threatening messages that will incite fear and embarrassment to our children. Without guidance and a strong support system, they will never tell and never be open enough to stand up to it.

Cyber flashing – as if bullying was not enough, this is another bad side of technology. The immediate and oftentimes anonymous unsolicited images can be sent through bluetooth or airdrop. Or the falsehood of befriending on apps using a different picture as profile, and receiving a call from this cyber flasher. The anonymity makes it even scarier for the victim. It could be enough to trigger anxiety issues and a general feeling of dread.

There has never been a need for parental guidance in the use of smartphones because until recently there has not been reports of this kind. Taking away smartphones may not be the right answer. Guidance and preparation, not to mention seeking out new solutions, have to be foremost in facing these problems of our digital lives. Perhaps technology can also shed some light in figuring out how to limit this predicament.

For now what we can control is how we prepare and mold our children. Being involved in their daily life and opening their eyes to the risks and potential harm of ‘stranger danger’ of both online and in real life situations.

Selling direct on Instagram

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There’s a new checkout beta program on Instagram in the US. This program will let users tag items which they could then sell directly to their followers and other people while viewing their posts and Stories.

Businesses and brands and now even individuals can use product tagging. Instagrammers welcome this move as it could prevent oft-repeated questions of what and where some featured products are available. Followers can click on the tagged product for pertinent information. Thus, businesses products through influencers and individuals are now selling direct on Instagram.

This development has been made public by Facebook and Instagram as part of a transactional swing of the platforms. Instagram creators and a lot of daily users, including influencers are excited at the prospect and functionality of this program.

But commissions for the products are not yet offered for creators but it is something that might be available in the future.

A spokesperson said, “People are already shopping from creators by asking product questions in comments and Direct, with the ability to tag products, creators can provide the information their followers are looking for and get back to expressing themselves and sharing what’s on their mind, which will make their followers happy too.”

Linking products on Instagram :

This feature is currently available to approved businesses in these markets.

Before you begin

  • Your account must be approved for shopping on Instagram to feature products in posts and stories.
  • Make sure you have the latest version of the Instagram app.
  • You should already have completed set up for shopping on Instagram before you can enable it from your Instagram App.

Enable Business Settings for Shopping on Instagram

To enable the ability to feature products from the Instagram App:

  1. Go to your profile and tap
  2. Tap Settings
  3. Tap Business.
  4. Tap Shopping. Note: The option to tap Shopping is only available to accounts that have been approved for shopping on Instagram.
  5. Tap Continue
  6. Select a product catalog to connect to your business profile.
  7. Tap Done.

If you don’t see Shopping, your account is probably still under review or it hasn’t been approved for shopping on Instagram. The review process can take up to a few days, but sometimes we may need to review the account in more detail, which can take longer.

How to Post Instagram Photos Directly to Facebook

Instagram is the hot app on the block these days. It captures the amazing images we are all able to take with our smart phones these days. Instagram can, also, be a powerful marketing tool for your business or vocation. So, how do you post Instagram photos directly to Facebook? You begin by launching the Instagram app from the home screen of your phone. On Android phones open your profile and tap on the three-dot menu icon. On IPhones from Profile tap on settings in the top right corner. Then,select linked accounts>Facebook>Share To. As a Facebook page manager, you can select your preferred page to default any future Instagram sharing on Facebook to that particular page.

Instagram Shares Improve Your Facebook Page

Instagram is owned by Facebook, which means it is very happy to share and play ball with Facebook. This platform has been kicking more goals in terms of audience engagement than Facebook has been for some time. Studies have shown that Instagram has the highest rate of engagement out of all the social networks. Instagram photos are of a higher quality, generally, than images are on Facebook, so, you will be boosting the quality factor there. Instagram has a more spontaneous reputation, which means that your posts will be fresher and viewed as more genuine by cross posting.

The Immediacy of Instagram Shines Through

 The immediacy of Instagram helps contribute more content to your Facebook page, which can feel a bit like your sex life in the autumn years. Keeping the flow of content happening on your social media accounts is vital to maintaining their effectiveness. Establishing a social media page on a platform is akin to having a pet – you need to feed it every day. A social media guru friend of mine, said of Instagram, “it focuses your mind on producing content and trains you in visually expressing your business online.” The internet is primarily a visual medium, a picture tells a thousand stories kind of thing.

 It’s All About the Photo Stupid

 It is important to remember that Instagram’s roots are in mobile phone photography. It’s all about the photo stupid! This cool social media networking app is made for sharing photos and videos. The captions are pretty important too. Applying filters to your Instagram posts is, now, an essential part of the whole Instagram schtick.There are some 23 filters available to choose from via the edit option at the bottom of the photo editor.

 Good luck with posting your Instagram photos directly to Facebook and happy Instagramming.

Scrolling Limits Hit Users of Facebook & Instagram

Media reports indicate that Facebook and Instagram are about to implement time limit provisions for users on their platforms. These new tools will allow users to manage their time by setting time limits on their scrolling behaviour. Previously, and in a similar vein to casinos banning clocks from their facilities, users were unaware of time’s ticking nature during their social media forays. Disappearing into the digital realm was a common Alice down the rabbit hole experience for many users of Facebook and Instagram. Parents have contacted police thinking their children have been abducted, when they were merely locked in bedrooms on social media. Wives and husbands have filed for divorce citing spousal neglect. Too many, once normal, folk have been lost to a computer-based obsessive lifestyle.  Now, scrolling limits hit users of Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook Forced to Change

Facebook dropped $US 119 billion last week in their share value. Mark Zuckerberg has faced congressional enquiries and the approbation of the world’s media in recent months. Fake news is never far from the lips of the president. Russian bots have belittled the reputation of the world’s so-called ‘greatest democracy’. Facebook has been forced to change by these building dark clouds on its horizon. The mental health of its estimated 2.23 billion global users of the platform has suddenly become an important issue for Zuckerberg and his managerial team. Sedentary lifestyles are physically killing us and time spent on Facebook and Instagram is a substantial part of this growing health epidemic.

Poor Mental Health Outcomes

Poor mental health is a consequence of poor physical health. Lack of exercise is a major contributor to depression globally. Whether allowing people to set time limits on their scrolling behaviour will save the planet is highly unlikely in this writer’s view. Hopefully, there are positive signs that future generations are tiring of the allure of this platform. Social media platforms like Facebook appeal to many as a simplified way of interacting with life. They are like board games, where the complexity of existence is reduced down to a superficial set of behaviours. These do not demand any sacrifice or any real commitment of any kind. Identities are fraudulently created and manipulated to mimic signs of real life. Friends and followers are bought and sold cheaply, unlike garnering real friends or followers. Likes are flashed up in a head spinning haze of insincerity. Living Life According to the Rules of Facebook is the title of my coming book.

Will the new Nine Ate Fairfax entity be able to stand up to Facebook for longer than the scrolling limits on my Facebook page? Join me on my next outing here to find out what is likely to happen.

Facebook Fakes Fumble on Texas, Queensland

The ABC reports that the tiny town of Texas, Queensland has become home to hundreds of Facebook fake identities. Speculating that it is all due to auto-suggestion protocols online, when users are setting up a fake profile on Facebook, it appears that the Aussie town comes up as a third option for places in Texas. Many of these fake identities are involved in pro- President Trump postings on Facebook. Texas, QLD only has a population of some 900 people, but boasts hundreds of profiles of US military personnel who claim to be from there. Facebook fakes fumble on Texas, Queensland.

Fake News Alive & Well on Facebook

Fake news is alive and well on Facebook. The ABC provided details of 218 of these fake profiles to Facebook and most of them were taken down within a few days. Since then, another batch of 19 has popped up, as new profiles of US military personnel from, you guessed it, Texas, QLD. It sounds like a poorly programmed bot or poorly educated folk employed, probably offshore, by unscrupulous social media manipulators, perhaps on behalf of Trump interests. It is not the locals in Texas, QLD, committing these fraudulent activities. The ABC identified pro-Trump interests, love site scammers, and get-rich-quick scammers, using these fake identities online for their nefarious activities.

Locals Unaware of the Ruse

If all these US military types, sexy women and successful investors did all live in this tiny town on the Dumaresq River in the southern parts of the Darling Downs, it would be a pretty happening place. The ABC pointed to the fact that Lee Kernaghan, apparently, put Texas on the map via his country music classic of the same name. The song’s lyrics stereotypically reveal that it is a one-horse town. Lester Dawson, the editor of the local newspaper, was unaware of the Facebook ruse and its links to his town, until informed by the ABC News reporter.

Social Media Replacing the Real World

Social media is rapidly replacing the real world for many folks around the globe and it is becoming increasingly important to view the online realm with a great deal of scepticism. It is also paramount that traditional media, like the ABC, continue to scrutinise platforms like Facebook and call them to account. Governments are failing to do this job, both here and in America. If Trump in the White House is, seemingly, making use of fake news for his own purposes, he may be the President who cried “wolf”, once too often.

 

Is Too Much Media Coverage Killing the AFL?

I will raise my hand and identify myself, up front, as a passionate, life-long AFL supporter and fan. I struggle to get, even vaguely, excited about NRL’s State of Origin. Trying to understand the decisions of the referees in Rugby Union has me scratching more than my head. Soccer, in my opinion, lacks scoring and body contact. Basketball is one of those overhyped American sports, which is more mouth than action. AFL has it all: full body contact, speed, sublime skills, thrills and spills. It is the game for me, but, is too much media coverage killing the AFL?

Wall to Wall Opinion & Analysis

It seems like only yesterday, but was probably twenty plus years ago, when the footy was rarely on the TV, apart from the matches themselves. A Sunday morning review show on Channel 7 and 9, and that was about it. Now, AFL has its own dedicated channel on Fox, with wall to wall opinion and analysis. On the Couch, AFL 360, On the Mark, Bounce, Open Mike, The Beep Test, The Weekly Lowdown, Saturday Stretch, and Bob are all on Fox Footy. The Footy Show on 9 has been around forever. 7 has Talking Footy, The Front Bar and Gameday. I am sure that I have missed a number of shows on community stations and state-based programs as well.

If Something is Worth Saying, Say it Loudly

All of these programs are populated, in the main, by ex-AFL players as their talking heads, with a few savvy TV hosts thrown in for good measure. The gameday coverage itself on Channel 7 and on Fox contains around six or seven commentators and specialist boundary riders for each match. To say that the coverage is brimming with ‘so-called’ expert opinion is to do a disservice to the concepts of overflowing and capacity. Ex-Players like Dermott Brereton, Dwayne Russell and Brian Taylor believe in the principle that if something is worth saying it is worth saying loudly. Sports commentators of all persuasions, AFL, NRL, rugby and soccer, back the booming voice to silence any doubters. The question must be asked, however, do all these shouting sages contribute to make watching the game a better experience?

The Game is Lost in a Sea of Overhyped Opinions

In my view, the game is lost in a sea of overhyped opinions and platitudes. These blokes, and they are blokes in the main, are paid well to proffer their opinions. On this basis alone, I surmise that they feel the need to emphasise what they are saying on air. Pronouncing each syllable of every word with gusto, and in BT’s case stretching vowels and syllables like OR-AZ-IO FAN-TA-SIA for his own amusement. I must admit that I enjoy BT’s vocal histrionics, simply because they are so silly. The amount of hot air being generated by these sports commentators should be enough to power one of those failing coal powered stations around the nation.

The Coverage is Sucking the Oxygen Out of the Sherrin

There are concerns being raised about falling attendances for the AFL in Melbourne, its heartland. Plus, lower TV ratings for matches, when compared to the same time last year, have been recorded in 2018. Industry pundits and ‘so-called’ experts are confidently predicting major rule overhauls to combat congestion and lack of end to end scoring. These ex-players are singing from ‘the golden years’ song sheet, when high marking and free-flowing footy, apparently, graced our ovals. I, personally, reckon that memories like these are always washed in a rose-coloured glow and things were never quite as rosy as believed. I don’t think there is much wrong with the game itself, but the coverage is sucking the oxygen out of the Sherrin, right before our eyes.

Let the Game’s Natural Poetry Speak for Itself

Let the game’s natural poetry speak for itself and let’s put a sock in the mouth of overblown commentators like Anthony Hudson and Dwayne Russell. It was always a point of difference for me that AFL did not need the lungs and larynx of a Darrell Eastlake or Ray Warren to make our game infinitely watchable. I miss the measured punning of Dennis Cometti terribly. There are too many talking heads on the footy shows, with too few worthwhile things to say. There is a surfeit of faux analysis concerning gameday strategies, which must have the coaches rolling their eyebrows back, if not an extra man in defence. There are some good operators on TV, I like Matthew Richardson and Tim Watson, these are two examples of keen intelligences who don’t need to shout out their stuff to get their message across. Footy coverage, just needs some pruning to make it less of a talkfest and more of a spectacle once more.

Let’s not let Rupert Murdoch turn coverage of the AFL into a copy of the “American-style’ overblown NFL, where the media runs rampant like a gunman in a US school. Restraint is called for, now and into the future, in regard to the media. Too much media coverage is killing the AFL.