On average the world shares over 3 billion images a day, our willingness to share has created an unstoppable visual language, but how aware are we of our permanent reputation online and has the expectation of digital personal branding fuelled fast fashion and a lifestyle which is intruding on our time and our health?
Social media has become such a necessary yet casual contender for our time in day to day life, with the average person spending over two hours on various platforms a day and Teens spending upwards from five hours a day it is no surprise that we are all inadvertently creating the biggest and most detailed archives throughout history.
Our great grandchildren will assumingly have access to statements we said at fourteen, pictures of us in the park smoking cigarettes, drinking vodka unwisely. Dated photographic records of who we dated and exactly what we pointed out in arguments with people the other side of the world who we have never met Without a doubt the future generations will have a greater understanding of what life is like today and be able to reflect on the past than any generation before. Yet with our constant updating it seems our time for reflection is on hold.
It is not only individual concerns that social media is fuelling but environmental challenges.
Fast fashion may be getting discussed more than ever but the negative practice of fast fashion continues and grows all the same, this in my opinion is due to our increasing obsession with social media and the rate in which we upload our day to day lives.
The idea that garments cannot be worn more than few times (and often more than once) is intrinsically linked with an image’s reach and the permanents of that garment for
‘If a outfit is worn and no one is around to post about it, can it be worn again?’
It is also becoming increasingly popular for companies to vet potential employees by their social media presence, judging them on insights that go past the resume, professionalism and capability. Can we engage with social media safely and privately or does our willingness to post intimate details of our lives and opinions online give strangers an automatic pass to judge us out of context? it is this exposure we must question and this attitude to personal judgements we must be cautious of.
Not only do more discussions need to take place around social media safety and etiquette but more actions need to take place which admittedly can be difficult, as when people hear about the idea of social media laws being passed it is often met not only with severe scrutiny but with fury the ever-popular online petitions scaring away governments from using expert’s advice and routinely ignoring the problems social media can cause, such as its connections to depression and anxiety.