Too Much Social Media Causes Loneliness

A study by the University of Pennsylvania, states that more time spent on social media platforms will decrease your mental well-being.

This has always been the case, I can hear you say. However, the University announced that there has been “a causal connection but never been proven.”

How the study worked

Using 143 undergraduate student participants. Scholars at the University of Pennsylvania made the participants fill out a mental well-being survey’s, daily. Whilst, taking screenshots of their iPhone battery, which took place for three weeks.

The participants were then split into two groups. One group limited their time spent on social media to only ten minutes per day per platform. In contrast, the other group did not alter their usual social media usage.

Are you following?

The results show that those who limit their time on social media reduce feelings of loneliness, dramatically.

However, there are problems with this study. Scholars from the University of Pennsylvania admit to not knowing exactly what social media platforms the participants used.

When social media was first introduced it was thought that using the platforms would create a worldwide connection.  Resulting in, reduced loneliness. 

Nevertheless, numbers of mental health issues and feelings of loneliness has soared, in recent years. Begging the question, is social media to blame?

Would you be willing to limit your time on social media? Do you think its nonsense linking mental health issues to social media? Or do you spend too much time on your phone?

Have your say and leave us a message in the comments section!

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5 Tips to Grow Your Twitter Audience

Twitter is a great social media platform for self-marketing and interacting with like-minded people.

To get good exposure you need followers. The following tips will build your Twitter audience (without too much effort).

1. Select the correct profile picture and cover photo

First impressions are important in real life and in the digital world too. When selecting your profile photo, it is essential to have an appropriate image of yourself.  For example, if you are a fitness influence it would be a good idea to have a profile picture looking ripped.

A cover photo is just as significant as the profile photo and usually it is used to convey your interest. If you are a new author trying to sell your first novel, it would be suitable to use the front cover of your new novel as the cover photo.

This may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised how many people trying to convey a professional image have a photo of themselves intoxicated on a Saturday evening down town.

2. Write an interesting, snappy bio

Bios are a great way to create personality. The best bios are usually short and witty. A snappy pun can captivate your audience and making it relatable is imperative.

3. Tweet

You would be surprised how many users complain that their Twitter profile isn’t growing but don’t actually engage on the platform. Being present on Twitter is the most important advice of all!

4. Respond, retweet and use hashtags

Engaging with others on social media platforms is the best way to gain followers. Furthermore, if you retweet and show an interest you will definitely receive some in reciprocation. Hashtags will also make your tweets easier to come across on Twitter.

5. Know when to tweet and never over-tweet

Twitter engagement peaks at 9 am, Midday and 6 pm.  So, don’t go tweeting important information at 2 am as people are catching Z’s. Albeit, if you tweet too often, your audience are guaranteed to disengage.

Just like attending the gym, if you are persistent and motivated, you’ll be flexing an impressive Twitter profile in no time!

 

 

 

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TikTok to Take Over Social Media?

TikTok could be the newest social media platform to consume all of our time. Have you ever heard of it?

Me neither. 

TikTok was launched in 2017. It is a social media app which allows users to make short videos and share them on the platform for their friends to see. Using templates provided by TikTok and adding music, users can act out their favourite scene from a movie, dance to a desired sequence or lip sync their most beloved song. Additionally, users are able to go live on the platform too. Similarly to other social media platforms there are followers, likes, hashtags and a comments section.

This app has relatable feel to what both Snapchat and Instagram have to offer.  Nonetheless, in my humble opinion, it is much more fun and less serious.

TikTok already boasts over 300 million active users, with a high percentage of them being in Asia. However, the app is gaining popularity in the USA and because we follow our friends so closely across the pond, don’t be surprised to be hooked here in the U.K in no time.

TikTok appears to be a playful app which currently has no sign of adverts or influencers on the platform. It certainly cracked a smile on my face. Furthermore, for those who are a fan of memes or vines, TikTok will undoubtedly breed more hilarious video content.

TikTok is available in the app store and be sure to have endless hours of fun. Nevertheless, dare I say it, TikTok could be the social media platform to dishevel Instagram and Snapchat.

Are you already in love with TikTok? Or do you think it is just another social media fad? Will TikTok eclipse other social media platforms? Leave us your thoughts in the comments section.

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Dating Apps to Crack Down on ‘Ghosting’

Have you ever used a dating app, met the love of your life and then they never speak to you again? Did you get a match with someone, used your quirkiest chat up line to then be ignored?

Well fear not, in 2019 you may no longer be ghosted.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, ghosting is when you start conversation with a person and then they decide to no longer interact, without explanation.

Heart breaking right? Or just plain rude…

The dating app, Bumble has introduced a new way to encourage its users to be more honest. Bumble will now urge individuals to tell a love interest they are not interested or remind them to continue conversations if they don’t reply.

Furthermore, when using the app, people will be made to accept a ‘ghosting vow’. If users do not comply then it could result in being banned from the dating app.

Cleverly launched this Halloween, Bumble have even employed a ‘ghosting expert’ (what a job) who will give advice to those who are victims of ghosting. Badoo (the world’s most widely used dating app, did you know) has followed similar sanctions to ensure their users are kept happy.

It is thought that this initiative has been added as the population are beginning to lose faith in dating apps.

Social media platforms have made it easy to ‘ghost’ as now there is an option to connect with millions of people. The possibilities of a new love interest are endless!

Let’s hope this is a lesson to all that leading someone on is not cool. However, if ghosting is your thing stick to the U. K’s most loved dating app, Tinder.

Are you still active on dating apps? Or has ghosting put you off? Leave us your opinion in the comment section!

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Hashtags Are Changing Politics

The hashtag has grown in popularity and awareness since it was introduced on Twitter in 2006.

The founders of the social media platform never intended for it to become such a powerful symbol. It was initial used as a way of organising data and information.

Hashtags are now used as a marketing ploy, a symbol for brands and a way to get involved in online conversation.

But now the hashtag is even shaping politics. Political figures such as Donald Trump and Barack Obama used Twitter as a way to gain followers and get their political messages across to users.

Barack Obama is currently the third most followed person on Twitter, whilst his good pal (I hope you can sense the sarcasm) Donald Trump is seventeenth.

With the midterm elections taking place in America, the highest trending hashtag currently is #ElectionDay. A whole host of celebrities and public figures have been tweeting about their political views and urging people to vote.

Hashtags have also bought concerns into the forefront of public conversations which have then been dealt with by governments. For example, #MeToo sparked conversations about sexual abuse, gender dynamics and harassment in the workplace. #RefugeesWelcome urged governments to rethink their laws on immigration.

#FreeIran #ClimateChange and #ImWithHer are all examples of how great the hashtag now is.

The ‘#’ is an influential symbol when it comes to raising awareness of variety of issues. With 335million Twitter users and 500 million Tweets a day, the social media platform is an easy way to target people with propaganda. The hashtag is the catalyst of trending certain beliefs and is shaping the future of politics!

Have your say, do you think the hashtag has made politics more accessible? Do you think social media platforms are the future of politics? Leave your opinion in the comments section.

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The End of the ‘Like’ Button?

Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, has announced that Twitter are going to abolish the Like button.

Dorsey admitted at a recent Twitter event that he was not a fan of the like button and Twitter are looking at ways to introduce new initiatives which will stop people tweeting for likes.

There is increased pressure on social media platforms to ‘clean up’ their sites to improve mental wellbeing and happiness among users.

Psychologists have highlighted that positive validation on social media releases endorphins which can lead to social media addiction. Psychologists have further suggested that a recent trend of users uploading a post then deleting it if it doesn’t receive enough likes is damaging free speech and causing anxiety. 

Be honest, how many of you have deleted posts due to lack of likes?

Twitter has come under major scrutiny in recent years for fake news, data breaches and trolling.

Dorsey seems to finally be taking action in recent weeks. He has promised to deliver a ‘healthier platform’ by demolishing ‘echo chambers’ (a place where everyone agrees and doesn’t allow others to debate) and cracking down on misinformation.

Additionally, Dorsey has stated that Twitter are looking into making verification ticks available for all. In the hope that fake accounts will no longer exists on the social media platform.

And finally, Dorsey also expressed his desire to hide how many followers a user has on Twitter.

If you read our blog Kanye wants to Hide Followers, maybe his message is getting through to the bosses of social media?

Do you think removing likes and followers will make you happier on Twitter? Do you enjoy receiving likes? Or is it affecting your wellbeing? Leave us a message with your thoughts in the comments section!

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LinkedIn: a Platform for the Rap Stars and Footballers?

LinkedIn: a Platform for the Rap Stars and Footballers?

We often associate Linkedin with shirt-and-tie-wearing businessmen and women making connections and championing their career accolades.

Hold up (imagine Dr. Dre’s cameo in the next episode) …

LinkedIn has announced that the social media platform is popular with rappers and footballers.

Music artists usually promote their work on sites such as YouTube, Soundcloud and Spotify. However, over 30,000 rappers have active profiles on LinkedIn.

But why would they bother?

LinkedIn is a place where music artists can make more meaningful connections with record producers, other artists and venue directors. If you request to connect with an industry elite, LinkedIn will let them know you are still waiting for a response after five days.

Currently, world renowned artists such as Jay Z, Drake, Rick Ross and Gucci Mane have LinkedIn profiles. So, who knows after some probing by our friends at LinkedIn they might actually take a look at what you have to offer (we can at least wish).

The best part is that rappers can endorse each other for attributes such as: ‘flow’, ‘song writing’ and ‘grime’.

Unfortunately for aspiring footballers, Gareth Southgate doesn’t have LinkedIn so don’t expect an England call up anytime soon. Yet, this week it was announced that Chilean born footballer Yashir Pinto was approached on LinkedIn by the Palestine national team.

Pinto, who was a Chilean international up until under 20’s was eligible to play for Palestine due to his Grandad being Palestinian. The man who plays top flight football in Chile (it takes him 32 hours to get to an International home game) did not disappoint and scored two goals on his International debut.

This is not the only time a player has been approached on LinkedIn, ex-Leicester City youth player Ethan Hodby used LinkedIn to find himself a club after being released by the Premier League club. His post received over 600 likes and 250 comments. Hodby was approached by lower league clubs with invitations to trial.

This proves how LinkedIn can be a great platform for meaningful connections no matter your career path.

So, good luck to those bombarding Jay-Z with connect requests and football fans trying to find Palestinian ancestors! 

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Zuckerberg promises ‘more meaningful engagement’ on Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg has promised to bring back a much simpler, positive social media platform.

Currently, Facebook is a marketer’s paradise where adverts and promotions can be displayed to users with ease (every fifth post on your news feed will be trying to sell you something, take a look).

However, this has created a hive for advertising products, fake news and explicit video content.

Zuckerberg announced in a recent Facebook post titled: ‘Bringing People Closer Together’, that individuals feel much more fulfilled when they use social media to connect with people who they care about.

On the other hand, Zuckerberg expressed concerns in aimlessly scrolling through meaningless content. He revealed that this was much more likely to impact people’s mental wellbeing negatively. 

Facebook now will attempt to bring back meaningful engagement which was the purpose of the platform in the beginning to make people feel more connected. Users timelines will contain more content about their friends whereabouts rather than which tooth whitener would suit their needs best.

Although this may sound like a positive change for most users, it may not work for everybody. If you are a fan on memes or humorous video content then you may be seeing less of this on Facebook (unless your friends have actively made them or shared it on their profile).

As for social media marketing companies, advertising is going to be monitored and posts selling products will not be present on your timelines as often.

It has been speculated that this change is an attempt to restore faith in the platform as recently Facebook announced that five million profiles had been hacked. As well as the Cambridge Analytica scandal, users trust in the social media platform is being squandered.

Have you lost trust in platform? Would the introduction of meaningful content make you use the platform more often? Will you miss products being advertised so often?

Either way, look out for more meaningful engagement, it is Facebook’s new initiative to improve people’s happiness.

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Kanye wants to Hide Followers

This week, Kanye West has expressed his desire to participate in social media without showing his followers or gaining likes.

Easy Yeezy…

Although this may sound crazy, part of Kanye’s reasoning actually has some rationality. He states that having thousands of likes and many followers almost makes some feel god-like (probably himself), whilst leaving others to feel worthless.

Kanye believes that users should be given the option of what they want to show and when they want to show it, he proposes an ‘on/off’ button which would give the users more choice.

But why? Kanye has 28 million followers on Twitter and 3.6 million followers on Instagram. On average he gains 50 thousand likes on a single Tweet and up to 400 thousand likes on an Instagram post!

West infers that the current mental health problem is down to the fact people are seeking love online and not always getting what they want, but worst of all comparing their online prosperity to others.

He goes on to explains that the CEO’s of social media platforms have a duty of care towards their users and need to find ways to stop people from craving validation online.

However, this is not a new idea, Ben Grosser, a professor of new media at the University of Illinois came up with an invention in which he called ‘Twitter Demetricator’ which does exactly what Kanye describes, a platform where you can only view a user’s content without commenting or liking.

Grosser claimed that this new innovation would stop users seeking validation and comparing themselves to others online. Additionally, Grosser found that people could shape their own opinions about certain content without being misconstrued by others.

Could this be a new way in which we use social media? Should we have a choice of when went want to seek validation? And could this rest from online validation improve people’s mental wellbeing?

Do the CEO’s of social media platforms have a duty of care towards their users?

It remains to be seen but dare I say it, there could be method in Kanye’s madness…

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Instagram’s Hidden Hashtags

Are you still using #hashtags?
Do you display them in the caption?
Have you moved them into the first comment?

Instagram are currently testing a new way to make posts look less cluttered and more appealing to consumers.

We all remember popular hashtags such as #SelfieCulture and #NoFilter. We’ve seen accounts with 30+ hashtags on every single post. Now you can hashtag away whilst saving some dignity.

Hiding content on social media sounds a bit fishy as the point is to be ‘social’, however this new initiative could really enhance the look of both personal and professional accounts.

The idea is to add hashtags to posts without the hashtags being visible in the caption, and users can decide where they want their hashtags to be seen.

By hiding the hashtags, the caption area is left cleaner and less cluttered, with no distractions by clumsy hashtags.

Although this may seem like a small enhancement, people have been trying to find a way to present hashtags on Instagram, without being intrusive. Isn’t that why we started putting hashtags in our comments section instead of the caption?

Instagram are testing the feature, but haven’t let on whether it’ll be available to all users.

Would you use it? Or do you think it detracts from the authenticity of Instagram? Let us know on Twitter and Instagram.

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