Thursday, April 26th, 2018 | 4 min read
Will social media be the downfall of us all? A tricky question for an event like Social Media Week 2018, but an important one nonetheless, as panelists discussed how social affects the way we live, work, and consume.
Max Stossel, Head of Content and Storytelling at the Center for Humane Technology, related how teens have said the worst part of a recent breakup wasn’t sadness, but the end of their Snapchat streak.
Stossel mentioned this phenomenon as he explained how our digital personas are taking over our physical ones. As another example, he pointed to physical installations, developed by companies such as Refinery29, which exist almost solely to be featured in Instagram photos.
He also brought up the tried and true argument that Facebook’s echo chamber has altered our shared sense of reality and pushed people apart far more than it has brought them together.
As a result of this new world, Stossel pointed out, there’s been a notable rise in rates of isolation, suicide, and depression – especially among younger people.
“If this sort of thing was happening in the automotive industry,” he said. “There’d be a recall.”
New Language For a New World
Social Media Week took on an academic bent during a discussion between Emmy Favilla, BuzzFeed Global Copy Chief, and Ammon Shea, Editor at Merriam-Webster. The two panelists talked about BuzzFeed’s style guide, which constantly evolves to reflect the rapid ways that language changes in the digital age.
Favilla recounted how BuzzFeed dropped the hyphen in terms like “Asian American” since hyphenated phrases to denote dual nationality have a problematic history. She said that she and her team view the style guide as a “living document” that will always be subject to change.
Shea then shared his view that we’re drifting away from the dictionary being the ultimate arbiter of whether a term is considered a word or not. He and Favilla agreed that “adulting” – while not (yet) formalized by Merriam-Webster – is made up of letters, and has a meaning that’s easily understood. For all intents and purposes, checking those boxes means the word is, at least in their opinion, a word.
As he discussed how “adulting” and its ilk should be considered real words, Shea explored how people (typically older ones) have been decrying the death of language for hundreds of years. He pointed out that people don’t usually get annoyed by something that only a few people are saying – they get annoyed by terms for phrases that lots of people are saying.
And as social media has democratized language and allowed regional or demographic-specific slang to become mainstream, there are more opportunities than ever for people to reject, debate, and ultimately accept new additions to our linguistic arsenal.
Being a Positive Influence
Whitney McChane and Cavan Reagan Reichmann, two leaders at advertising agency Carmichael Lynch, presented on their view of influencer marketing. They said that customers are right to be skeptical of the practice, as celebrities get outed for buying social followers and AI-produced content appears alongside real humans with greater frequency.
Then there’s the matter of disclosures. Since the space is still so loosely regulated, it can be difficult for consumers to ascertain whether a post is sponsored or not.
Their advice for brands? Balance reach with relatability. People with the most followers aren’t always the most authentic representatives of a brand, McChane and Reichmann said. And when it comes to disclosures, find fun, informal (and honest) ways for influencers to include them in their posts – that way the caption feels real and upfront, and not just mandated by the FTC.
The presenters also argued that instead of giving their influencers with guardrails, they should instead offer “guide rails.” In their view, an influencer who goes a bit overboard with a post – perhaps by being a little too edgy – is far more valuable than one who stays within a brand’s narrow guidelines. A dose of realness outweighs a sterile, 100% brand-compliant post every time.
Ce site web utilise des cookies pour vous vous assurer une expérience de navigation optimale.OK En Savoir Plus
Diese Internetseite verwendet Cookies, damit Sie die Funktionen der Website optimal nutzen können.OK Weitere Informationen finden Sie hier
Este sitio web usa cookies para asegurarnos que usted reciba la mejor experiencia en nuestro sitio web.OK Aprenda más