Is social media helping or hurting?

Read my full presentation here.

There are many examples of social media and the internet being hurtful. Young teens are very easily able to find images and ‘motivational’ poems and phrases online. These are found by simply searching for phrases or hashtags such as #ana, #thinspo and #mia. They can find phrases such as ‘My best friend Ana’ which personifies anorexia and gives the impression that it is someone they can rely on.

On the other hand, there are many examples of social media helping to fight against eating disorders and Photoshop. Two social media sites which are visibly helping are Tumblr and Instagram. Both of these photo-sharing sites now give a content advisory statement before showing you images if you search for terms in relation to eating disorders. Both sites also give a link to support sites and counselling pages.

There are also many celebrities setting very good examples of being against Photoshop and photo editing. Jessica Simpson refused make up and retouching in a photo shoot she did for Marie Claire magazine. Beyonce was also outraged when she found out her photos for her H&M campaign had been edited to make her curves smaller. More good examples like these have to be set in order for people to realise the differences the Photoshop makes in the advertisements we see every day.


The history of Photo – manipulation

See my presentation in full here.


This form of photo manipulation has been around for almost as long as photographs. Retouching was also used as a big factor in propaganda mainly used by Joseph Stalin. Stalin was notorious for airbrushing images in order to show him with only those who were in his good graces at the time. One famous image which he had edited in 1930 had a commissar completely removed from the image after he fell out of the Soviet Union leader’s good graces. This editing of photographs helped Stalin to succeed in winning the favour of the country and turning his followers against certain men. Mussolini was also a culprit of photo-editing where he has been shown to have airbrushed images in order to make himself appear manlier and more heroic. An example of this can be seen when he had a horse handler removed from an image to give the impression of his masculinity being very great. Hitler was also known to use manipulated photos in order to make himself more likable An example of this was when he had a close friend of his removed from a photo. It has been guessed that Hitler done this in order for himself to appear more of a ladies man as he stayed very close to this man until his death. Although the editing we see today isn’t done by people who are as monstrous as Hitler, Stalin or Mussolini, they still have very serious and lasting effects.

Culchies VS The Internet

For those of you who don’t know what a culchie is;

There ya go.

I am a culchie and I’m not afraid to admit it, I grew up and spent all of my life in a small village called Duncannon until I went to UCC . Duncannon itself is a beautiful little seaside village, but that’s pretty much it. All we have is a beach, a fort and two pubs. Now, THAT is small! It’s a town where everyone knows everyone  and their Granny (literally) but I love it…. Except for one thing – The internet connection.

Many people may not realize this but the internet is a novelty. Well it was in my house, it was near impossible to get! Even when we found an internet provider with more than two bars of reception, we were limited to very little usage amounts. I mean we didn’t even have phone signal never mind internet.

But what I am trying to say is that, growing up without it, we didn’t need it, and it didn’t bother us (that much) that we never had it. Up until now, there was at least 10 of my friends without phones never mind facebook and twitter was just unimaginable. Here in the big city of Cork, EVERYONE is on a phone constantly ! People walk through life with their heads down not even glancing up and this is a huge disadvantage to the digital age