How the Media is Affecting Your Health

With all these different pressures forced onto us from the mainstream media, there is bound to be some psychological effects. The amount that technology has developed over the years leaves me to believe that there will be more then body image problems to face. Currently the position that technology is holding in society finds users overly reliant on the social networking in order to keep up to date with whats going on. Though the information may not be anything that holds any importance in our lives, to be in the know is something that has become a part of the society we now live in.

With our attention constantly being drawn to a screen of some sort, it leaves the question as to how this is having and effect on consumers well-being. It is both your physical an mental health that could be at risk due to the large consumption of media. Lets break this down the physical and mental health risks.

One of physical effects that occurs anxiety which is due to users making themselves available 24/7 in order to reply to messages or keep updated with new posts. The research shows that 1/5 teens will check their phones through the night to see if they have missed out on anything. Cleland Woods, who presented the paper at a British Psychological Society conference in Manchester said: “Adolescence can be a period of increased vulnerability for the onset of depression and anxiety, and poor sleep quality may contribute to this.”  She continued on to say She continued: “While overall social media use impacts on sleep quality, those who log on at night appear to be particularly affected. This may be mostly true of individuals who are highly emotionally invested. This means we have to think about how our kids use social media, in relation to time for switching off.” She then went on to say “While overall social media use impacts on sleep quality, those who log on at night appear to be particularly affected. This may be mostly true of individuals who are highly emotionally invested. This means we have to think about how our kids use social media, in relation to time for switching off.”

A lot of the youth today will feel the body image pressures due to what is shown in the media. This is likely to effect females more so than males because of the amount references to what a woman ideal image is supposed to look like. This could lead to both men and women to suffer from eating disorders and low self-esteem. There are constantly posts throughout the various media platforms encouraging individuals to look a certain way which is considered “ideal”

Dr. Bernard Luskin, LMFT is CEO at numerous universities researched into Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD.) “IAD can cause tremors, shivers, nausea and anxiety in some addicts. Many professionals now consider IAD analogous to substance abuse. They include it among other pathological behaviours such as gambling and eating disorders. Try removing a young “gamer” from a video game in a hurry. You will discover how difficult it is to break the attachment between the teen and the screen.”

 

“In short, some people use broadcast and Internet media as a mental and emotional retreat and refuge. Addicts are connected to their screens; their minds trapped for hours to the exclusion of the world around them. Addicts neglect family, work, studies, social relationships and themselves. This is an addictive obsession that is human-centered and screen-deep. Mind-altering media applications may be found in video games, iPods, YouTube and other evolving communications applications. In general, these negative aspects of media and behavior are being widely discussed simultaneously with the discussion of the beneficial contributions media makes as an important source for positive behavioral change.”

Digital media is clearly having on its impact on us without the consumer not being aware of it. Technology is only moving in one direction, so we need to take into consideration as to how it really is doing damage to our physical and mental health.

 

The Music Industry – How is it influencing you?

It’s proven that children can pick up things far easier then adults, growing up they have the ability to absorb and digest information fairly quickly. With this, I wanted to look further into how the music industry is alternating the perceptions and behaviour of the millennial. More specifically, if the over sexualised artists are encouraging any types of these behavioural changes.

I think we could relate it back to the Chameleon effect, mirroring somebodies mannerisms. Of course when we take an interest in an artist you end up buying into the whole package, suddenly you want to get a similar hair cut or buy an item of clothing that they were wearing. These are also promoted in various forms of media, ‘where to buy an affordable version of Rihanna’s outfit’ or something along those lines.

Artists create catchy beats which will make their way to mainstream media and have us singing along to a song without understanding the lyrics completely.

There are many artists within the music industry portraying a glamorous side to exploiting yourself in order to be attractive. These are the women we see in todays music videos; and because they gain the attention of these men, we feel as though we have to physically be on a similar level in order to attract someone of their status. From their attitudes to their dress sense to understanding the lyrics of the latest hit at the moment, there are many aspects which could be taken into consideration when claiming the music industry to be over sexualised.

I could honestly tell you that I’ve sang along to a 50 Cent song (Candy Shop) when it was first released, word for word but not understanding what is being insinuated.

“I’ll take you to the candy shop
I’ll let you lick the lollipop
Go ‘head girl, don’t you stop
Keep going ’til you hit the spot”

It’s not until curiosity gets the better of you before that you look into the meaning of what it is you’re actually sining. You always have an idea but don’t understand it completely. It’s catchy songs such as this that will make it onto TV and have you singing all kinds of  aloud.

Kanye West, a house hold name and highly respected artists not only in the music industry but now heading towards fashion also, an influential man I could even say. He is a character in which the media thrives off. Kanye would be just one example of someone who has made being a full time stripper into an example of how to get rich, get a rapper and get famous into a doable thing; for those of you who don’t know who I’m referring to, it would be Amber Rose. Not only has he made the lifestyle of a stripper look appealing but him as well as others have made it look achievable. If you fit the profile, you may have a chance to fit the boots of personalities such as Amber Rose and Blac Chyna.

With over 14million followers between them they most definitely have gained the appeal of the public eye.

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The documentary Sexy Baby looks at the digital age and the main sources that they find are deteriorating the innocence of the the first generation to the digital age. It follows the life of a stripper and part t

ime porn star, a plastic surgeon patient and a 12 year old girl to research how the two industries effect the life of the teenage girl. Surprisingly there is more to blame on strippers/porn stars then I would have anticipated. It was discussed by another teenage character (13years old) how she believes that “every girl wants to be sexy… and a guy telling you that makes your day”. The documentary highlights how living up to the males perpective of whats ideal is what young girls are aspiring to, this being due to actresses in the adult industry actively showing an unrealistic portrayal of women.

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A lot of female artists have said that they are free to express their sexuality and don’t necessarily consider themselves as role models. They’re free to act however they please, which is true, but need to understand that even though they could be targeting an older audience, anything is accessible to them through devices that over 75% of the world all own.

The video below shows a number of examples of how prominent sexualised behaviour is in music.

 

I feel as though the main issue would be the behaviour executed by celebrities more so then the music they produce. If a young teen was to admire someone who then decided to become a sex symbol within their industry, it’s only right to believe that the teen would obtain some of these habits as a fan.

An example of this would be “twerking”this has literally taken over the entertainment industry and has become an ongoing trend. If you’re interested in examples as to how this has infiltrated the behaviours of consumers, you could refer to my ASSets post, which shows a few examples.

 

Playboys First Non-Nude Issue

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Image if Playboy stopped producing nude images. Well they have in fact announced that as of March 2016 (that will be released in Feb) they will no longer be photographing their models, celebrities and playmates naked. A Playboy post was released explaining the reasons everyone is asking, why?

“When Hef created Playboy, he set out to champion personal freedom and sexual liberty at a time when America was painfully conservative. See: any popular movie, TV show or song from that era. Nudity played a role in the conversation about our sexual liberties, and over 62 years the country made great strides politically and culturally.” Fair enough…

The images that have been put out so far feature model Sarah McDaniel in a range of “candid” shots that suggest they have been taken as selfies.

This new form of advertising however, will most definitely apply to the millennials, which could be part of the problem. McDaniels had said “the idea was to look at me from a boyfriend’s perspective”. With an app such as snapchat being so popular to a particular demographic, to them (and myself) these images could be portrayed as a couple of naughty selfies. I’m not necessarily saying that it will be the stand alone reason for an increase in inappropriate images seen on snapchat, but I think that it normalises them a little bit more then what they should be. With 45% of Playboy viewers being 18-25, this could be another example of how consumer have a fascination with teen sexuality and for it to be mishandled.

With Hugh Hef taking a stand in his own way towards the conservative US, he has helped to break down the barriers and allowed consumers to express their sexual liberties. Though the Sarah McDaniels issue is the first to come of many in the future, I’m not exactly sure what this would mean for Playboy as a business. Will the lack of nudity and photoshopped images have consumers edging for something a bit more raunchy or will the millennials simply have an appreciation for the new found image that is now Playboy?

Live for the Likes

I think it’s pretty obvious how social media has occupied this generations attention. 1 in 4 We have Facebook and Twitter among others, but I can’t help but to think that Instagram has taken responsibility for it’s users becoming slightly more self-indulged. It’s not just a platform for uploading the nice pictures of what you might be doing throughout your daily life, but it’s become a competition to see who can the most likes. So much so, certain users who have received a great amount of attention from it actually receive endorsement deals or modelling careers.

The WestBrooks is a prime example of this. The new reality show follows the life of an Instagram famous personality and her sisters who reached the likes of the BET network to create this show. With over a million followers on just her Instagram account, India WestBrook has the attention of the digital world, and has used it to her advantage. These sisters are just one example of how important receiving all those “likes” are.

 

“With great power comes great responsibility” – Ben Parker. Okay lets forget the fact that I got that quote from Spiderman for a moment, I feel as though this applies to the individuals who have the social power through these social media outlets.

Trying to find a socialite myself to get an understanding from their point of view didn’t prove to easy, however I did manage to get some words from comedian Mikes Comedy who uses the various social medias to share his talent. Currently sitting on 95.1k followers on Instagram alone, there is some light that he could shed on the potential responsibilites for a social media star. Lucky for me he’s a student at my uni, accompanied by one of his friends also a user of social media the pair has a few words regarding the subject.

 

Market research was conducted online with 1623 participants that looked further into “Getting a “Like” over Having a Life”Best selling authors Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield acknowledge the fact that consumers are losing connection with our lives in order to earn “likes” and social media praise, naming them “Trophy Hunters”.

David Maxfield then adds, “If our attention is on an invisible audience rather than the present moment, we become understandably disconnected from the moment. This study is a caution that our devices are beginning to control our attention in ways we may not even realize.”

I believe the problem is a lot greater then what most of us understand it to be, with technology becoming more advanced. The pair has also stated how the obsession with social media isn’t only becoming a distraction, but is dictating lives even if you are unaware of it.

A mother of a 3-year old writes: “I disciplined my son and he threw a tantrum that I thought was so funny that I disciplined him again just so I could video it. After uploading it on Instagram I thought, ‘What did I just do?’”. We are developing an obsession with capturing the perfect moment in order to show this to our followers, rather than being in the moment, all for social praise.

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Social Experiment – Famous faces

Going by the research I’m doing as to find out if the mainstream digital media is having any effect on consumers, I decided to do a social experiment.

If I was to show you photos of 10 famous faces, do you think you could name them all? The reason behind this was to see who people are more familiar with. I had chosen a variety of people who I believe we should recognise as well as including some of the obvious ones.

These are the following pictures that were shown to people, how may can you recognise just from their faces?

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I did include all these celebrities deliberately, some of them are individuals who are currently famous, some are famous for their political roles, others have made their mark into their chosen industry and should be recognised for it. What I took away from this experiment was that people are more aware of those who are socially current, such as Kim K or Kanye West. Even if the person is world famous, if they aren’t current or weren’t discussed to much on digital media I doubt the exposure they will receive will be that great. For example Nicola Adams who is a young female boxer and has won a gold olympic  medal due to her talent. I would assume people, especially of a similar age to myself (I’m 22) would be more interested in those who have earned the acknowledgment of the public with their talents.

 

Answers:

Kim Kardashian,is an American television and social media personality, actress, socialite, and model.

Abraham Lincoln,  was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. In doing so, he preserved the union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the economy.

Nicola Adams, MBE is a British boxer and the first woman to win an Olympic boxing title. The Gold Medal winner at the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London as of 2015 she is the reigning Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games and European Games champion at flyweight. She was the first ever female boxing champion at both the Olympic and Commonwealth Games.

Jimi Hendrix, was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century.

Margaret Thatcher, was a British politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1979 to 1990 and the Leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. She was the longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century and is currently the only woman to have held the office.

Pelé, is a retired Brazilian professional footballer who played as a forward. He is widely regarded to be the greatest player of all time. In 1999, he was voted World Player of the Century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics.

Gaz, reality star from MTV’s Geordie Shore.

Malala Yousafzai, is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. She is known mainly for human rights advocacy for education and for women in her native Swat Valley in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. Yousafzai’s advocacy has since grown into an international movement. (and she’s only 18!)

Kanye West, s an American recording artist, songwriter, record producer, fashion designer, director, and founder of the record label GOOD Music and creative content company DONDA. He is one of the most acclaimed musicians of the 21st century.

Angela Merkel, is a German politician and former research scientist who has been the Chancellor of Germany since 2005 and the Leader of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) since 2000.

Gaming Vixens

It is apparent that female characters in the worlds gaming industry are over-sexualised. The leading roles, majority of the time are men, whilst the female characters will take more of a back seat. The characters that are shown throughout games are usually big, macho men who are ready to fight some sort of battle. The women are supporting characters, most of the time shown wearing near to nothing. The gaming industry is guilty of portraying the male and female stereotypes, and then some.

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Playing video games myself growing up a few stick out in particular that leave me puzzled when trying to understand why they look so sexual. Surely the minimum amount of clothes won’t help them whilst they’re in combat with the other characters. I’m pretty sure we all remember Lara Croft – Tomb Raider, even with the lack of high definition features in the game it was pretty obvious that Lara Croft was a sexy ass character. What was the appeal? A woman with overly large boobs, tight abs and the longest legs was in search for ancient artefacts… whilst carrying a gun. It could be due to the fact that the hot characters are involved in an action filled adventure, which will no doubt attract even more of a male audience then usual.

The issue that we have here is that there is a massive consumer base for gamers, though some of us may question the way characters are portrayed within the game,  it doesn’t (and I’m sure won’t) stop product purchase.

 

Hardcore gamer and fan of League of Legends, Dorrani who has started making gaming videos on his YouTube channel shared his thoughts on the subject matter…

“When talking about oversexualisation in games it comes down to the simplest answer more often than not with a few variables, The main answer being sex sells but if you look at the bigger picture psychologically it goes way deeper. The developers of these games know who their customers are, Stereotypically male loners who lack interaction with the opposite sex. so the dev’s pray on these customers giving them a virtual taste of what a set of bouncing breasts or a tight bum in combat gear up close would look like. Talk to any gamer over the age of 20 and they’ll tell you running joke the developers of the Lara Croft tomb raider games seem to have where in every game her breasts seemed to grow larger. Back then(1996) I personally couldn’t understand the fascination with Lara’s breasts in the game because the technology back then was not even possible to make them realistic enough. With the current tech developers now possess, depending on the studio that makes the game anyone’s wildest imagination can become a reality. These girls can be one man’s greatest fantasy with a sexy face, the most eye catching figure wearing the tightest costume with breasts that are spilling out the top. Graphics and CGI are at an all time high with people questioning some of the in game footage and mistaking it for real life, customers will get attached to these lifelike CGI females in game replaying certain levels just to see side boob over and over again.”

 

 

 

LYNX will get you girls

If it could only be that easy for you guys out there, spray some deodorant on yourself and watch the women flock… would sell for more then £2.50 though if it was true. In their advertisements, the underlining message is by using their product you will get girls.

Many of the Lynx commercials have a sense of humour along side an average guy, followed by numerous female characters, and looking at their target audience I can understand why this would work. Lets have a look at an example.

So the video shows a number of fallen angels descending to the ground, in which they are all walking in one direction. As I would expect everyone to behave, if you saw a fallen angel, the locals are admiring them as they continue to collectively walk in one direction. Finally we see the man who was smart enough to use the deodorant in awe as all the angels start to approach him. The reason this advert is one I felt to use was for the fact that the male role wasn’t a stereotypical masculine figure, it shows the male consumers that you could be an average guy but still receive the main goal from using this product, the main goal being to land the hot girl(s) in the end. I might ad that the use of Air – Sexy Boy being sang oh so angelic wasn’t enough to interpret the message.

 

NEXT.

In this ad, it shows the love story of a man and women in various scenarios trying to reach each other, however life gets in the way. It shows a number of different eras in which they get separated before they meet. Though, as we have with any love story, it ends with the guy getting the girl simply by using AXE (which is the american version of LYNX).

One more?

This is one LYXN/AXE’s adverts and suprinsingly breaks away from what we expect to see. The ad disregards all the typical male stereotypes that mainstream media showcases and tells men to embrace what they have. Can’t really put a downer on an advert promoting self confidence can I? There isn’t to much to compare it to when looking at their previous campaigns, the consistency has been kept by showing men that they will get the attention of women from using their products. Let me shed some light on what I’m trying to say, though the message is use our products and you’ll get women, it is shown that by using their products you’ll show confidence by embracing what you have. Then you’ll get the girl. The tongue and cheek used when referring to what they have reinforces the confidence they are trying to encourage with a secondary meaning if you know how to read between the lines.