Out with the old [likes] & in with the new [comments]

Want to know what would be cool? If you commented on this post after you’re done reading it… đŸ™‚ Why, you ask? Personally, I like hearing how people agree/disagree with my point of view on different subjects (especially since only about 0.0000007% of the population will ever see this post anyways), but not everyone is feelin’ the same way. NPR, for example, announced their speedy removal of comments from their journalism sections in this article. They decided to “rely on social media to pick up the slack” which, to me, sounds like taking a problem and just transporting it elsewhere versus resolving it, but what do I know, right?? Anyways, their decision came from a result of many concerns such as discovering most of their comments were coming from just a handful of site users and that a lot of the comments recommended removing this privilege to comment (so ironic) because of the chaos they were causing on the web. Regardless of what pushed NPR over the edge to cut off comments altogether, let’s agree to disagree with them…

Comments… are a wonderful thing. Lots of comments make your post more interactive and therefore more popular. Lately, I have noticed more and more fitness accounts asking questions in their captions just so that viewers feel they NEED to comment on their post. Although a comment is… just a comment, I don’t think the typical instagrammer realizes how helpful those really are to the owner of the account. An ~awesome~ and extremely long infographic found here describes “the evolution of social media influencers” and just how important getting your page on as many peoples profiles as possible is. It’s worth the read because it really details how we made that transition from Hollywood celebrities being the desired advertiser to accounts with smaller reaches but more personal and interactive users following it.

Continuing on with the “we {heart} comments” theme, let’s look at another example where adding comments paid off big time for one particular artist. In an article posted here on Forbes, Richard Prince sold “works of art” AKA other peoples insta pics with new captions and comments for BIG bucks. Unsurprisingly, the people who’s pics he used are revolting, but the awkward thing is that no one really knows if it’s ~actually~ stealing or not. Weird.

Thankfully, social media is adapting to the times (does it feel like social media is always one step ahead of us??) and insta now gives you the option to toggle on and off if you want your followers to be able to comment on your pics or not. I keep comments on because I enjoy seeing people’s reaction to my posts but keep in mind when you’re commenting on other posts to keep it respectful… don’t be THAT GUY.

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Addicted to Lifting or Likes?

This is the post excerpt.

Out with the old and in with the new. Are personal trainers (the ones you actually go see at your gym) being tossed aside? It sure seems like it. With such a heavy presence of “fitness gurus” on social media, it’s easy to forget the fees and social interaction and just hop on insta, search: #bootyworkout, and get to work, right? According to Professor Andrea Lunsford from Stanford University, “Good writing changes something, it doesn’t just sit on the page. It gets up, walks off the page and changes something.” Sound familiar? Yes, I’m referencing the motivational novels written beneath your favorite fitness insta star’s sweaty, yet perfectly posed gym selfie. There are endless accounts to show you transformations, gym routines, dieting plans, and endless photo shopped pics showing off muscles you didn’t even know existed… but how did this trend catch on so quickly? I think the idea of “she can do it so why can’t I” would be the biggest motivator. Snapping a few videos and photos during a workout is pretty easy (and awkward) and for some it has really paid off but not so much for those NOT receiving millions of likes per day. Sadly, the transformation from couch to gym is not so easy and the way our generation is attached to our phones isn’t helping either. A study done at the University of Pittsburgh claims, “Too much time on sites like Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit, and Tumblr may elicit feelings of envy and the distorted belief that others lead happier and more successful lives.” I’m not saying that these avid instagrammers are posting just to make others feel inferior but I definitely think it is having that adverse effect. This study that claims the amount of time we spend on social media relates to our overall sense of happiness seems to contradict with the idea that we now write to change something like Andrea Lunsford suggested. Could we be overdoing the idea that our writing NEEDS to change something? Whether the fitness guru posts for their own satisfaction of improving their lifting or whether its merely to gain more likes and climb the insta ladder, these fitness posts are affecting their viewers in more ways than they probably ever thought possible.

ThisInsider.com posted an article describing “the dark side of Instagram” earlier this year about a young woman who started following a workout plan she found on Instagram. Soon after she started, she became obsessed… “I would panic every time I would eat bad food, and I would get bloated. And I would look at all of these posts on Instagram and be like, how do I not have these six pack abs?” Sadly, this is not an isolated instance. Scrolling through picture after picture of people appearing to live “perfect lives” with “perfect bodies” can be hard. Because of this, I fully support having that social interaction, seeing the personal trainer in the gym, and staying motivated with people that aren’t just a face on a screen made pretty by an overused filter.