Social media has made an imprint in today’s society. Allowing for the ease of communication and simplifying the ability to learn and promote. However, with positives comes the negatives as a society which aims to be connected often becomes disconnected.
A negative which has been imprinted within our brains is Social Media’s ease to promote “black magic”. A sort of black magic which leads us as humans to make bad choices.
Personally, I can relate as when assignments and everyday tasks pile up one-by-one, I find some of those tasks can be done to the bare minimal effort and not to a satisfactory effort.
However I also find social media as extremely influential and positive as it can allow for motivation and to spark a drive to do more.
So the question is whether the negatives outweigh the positives?
My topic is travel content, I am researching Jay Alvarrez a USA lifestyle and travel influencer. This media niche ranges from travel, photography, videography and extreme activities (e.g. sky diving). Most influencers have a strong connection to their audience “by sharing details of their personal lives, interacting with followers across social media platforms, and encouraging a sense of community” (Lawson, 2020).
Jay Alvarrez has a broad field site, he is a business owner for an online digital assets company called The Creator Studios. In addition to this he posts regularly on instagram, youtube. Over the years, Jay has expanded his network and become popular by keeping his followers up to date with his lifestyle and travels around the world
My ethnographic research is a “methodology for studies of cultures and peoples, with the assumption that they have something in common” (Sobolewska, F. Smith & Turner, 2009). By researching all of Jay Alvarrez’s social media platforms, I believe that there will be similarities.
A common ethical issue for lifestyle influencers is authenticity. Wellman, Stoldt & Ekdale (2020) identifies that “ethics of authenticity is premised on two central tenets: being true to one’s self and brand and being true to one’s audience”.
My DA will be a travel Instagram @aquilahproductions, This will be a fun experiment to see how much I learnt about his lifestyle over the semester and see if I can replicate his Instagram feed. I will also attempt to edit the photos and videos in a similar way and use the same aesthetics he does.
Lawson, C. E. (2020) ‘Skin deep: Callout strategies, influencers, and racism in the online beauty community’, New Media & Society.
Sobolewska, E., Smith, C.F. and Turner, P., 2009. Auto-ethnography: problems, pitfalls and promise. HCI Educators 2009-playing with our education, pp.91-97.
Wellman, M.L., Stoldt, R., Tully, M. and Ekdale, B., 2020. Ethics of Authenticity: Social Media Influencers and the Production of Sponsored Content. Journal of Media Ethics, 35(2), pp.68-82.