A prefect's musings on digital and social media

Category Archives: Video

Are selfies the new Marmite? Some people love them and some people hate them but one thing is for sure – selfies are here to stay. There’s even been a song written in homage to them.

Warning: extremely catchy and there is a medium to high possibility of your eardrum breaking.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdemFfbS5H0

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Now, to truly understand the obsession and recent social acceptance of selfies we’ve got to rewind to where it all began…. 1839. Yes that’s right, selfies are not a 21st century discovery. In fact we actually owe our current obsession to Robert Cornelieus, an American pioneer of photography. Oh Robert, some would argue he started a surge in self-confidence whilst others would say self-obsession.

Despite the first official selfie being taken in 1839 the trend only really burst onto the viral stage in 2012. By the end of  the year, the Times Magazine had declared the term ‘selfie’ one of the top ten buzzwords.

Cornilieus

Shocking selfies

Many people have their doubts about selfies, with some even going as far to say that they can lead to severe problems such as anorexia and depression.  How can a simple selfie be capable of such damage? Recently, news broke of a teenager, Danny Bowman, from Newcastle upon Tyne, who attempted suicide after struggling with crippling body image and anorexia. On ITV’s ‘This Morning’, Bowman said his decline into body obsession originated with selfies. Here’s a video of Danny Bowman on ‘This Morning’ explaining how his obsession with selfies had major consequences…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNl-1Q0R9EI

Statistics from the National Children’s Bureau were incredible,  with seventy per cent of adult women and forty per cent of adult men feeling pressured from television and magazines to have a perfect body. Selfies and these statistics are contribute to this pressure and desire to look ‘socially acceptable’ in this new and obsessive culture.

http://www.ncb.org.uk/media/861233/appg_body_image_final.pdf

Impressive Impact

However, there is always a positive and selfies are no exception. These controversial photographs can be snapshots and memories just like normal pictures; selfies are just the modern 21st century update.

In fact, selfies have achieved much more than previous crazes. In March 2014, Cancer Research launched the campaign ‘No make-up selfies’ on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. In six days women took selfies without makeup and uploaded them to social media sites and then donated to the charity via text. These quick, easy and simple selfies raised £8 million. The campaign went viral as women uploaded their selfie nominating others to continue the chain.  All of this was achieved through the medium of selfies. A rather impressive feat for ‘just’ another viral phenomenon.

no makeup selfies

Top: Michelle Heaton, Holly Willoughby and Kym Marsh in their no-makeup selfies. Below: how they usually appear

cancer research

Cancer Research Representative

Selfies are part of our viral existence and despite negative drawbacks, selfies have achieved a lot more than other previous crazes. I mean, even Oscar winning celebrities have gotten in on the act.  This is probably the most famous and record-breaking selfie  with an incredible 3, 404, 230 million retweets!

oscars

Selfies have made it. Made it through the one-hit wonder auditions. Made it into the semi-finals of up and coming trends. Finally, selfies exploded onto the final viral stage alongside hashtags and tweeps before taking home the grand prize of social acceptance.

Congratulations selfies –  you’ve made it.

 


nigella-lawson-1747124672

As the 6 ‘o’ clock news bulletin ran across the TV screen back one rainy day in December with the latest update on the Grillo sisters fraud case, I felt a congratulatory punch in the air was needed in solidarity to #TeamNigella, as the domestic goddess walked head high, well-heeled into court to give evidence.

Now, I hasten to add, that this is not a piece that condones illegal drug taking in any shape or form, and indeed, Nigella is being investigated for her substance usage and I shall leave any necessary punishment up to the legal system and the Metropolitan police; yet for her media handling, I feel Nigella should be applauded.

As the Grillo sisters were being tried for their crime, media focus switched to Nigella’s drug habits, creating an environment as, she would later be quoted, being ‘maliciously vilified without the right to respond’.

Her success remains in the detail, even down to her courtroom makeover as dubbed by the Daily Mail.  Her understated, nude makeup shades, the sombre well-cut suit treaded the line between the domestic-goddess we all know and love and the more recently exposed mistreated wife. The entire image giving her an appropriately serious yet confident manner.

nigella-lawson-drugs-307967972

Even before the trial at the time of the divorce, Nigella’s composure has stood at odds against Saatchi’s own erratic behaviour, which brought an intensely personal period into the public eye.  Although some reported Nigella’s lack of response to Saatchi public accusations as a mere admission of guilt, it also rings true to my mother’s playground mantra – ‘if you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing at all’. Avoiding a public mud slinging match, dwindled the Paul McCartney/Heather Mills effect.

Only recently has Nigella spoken publicly about the trial, after a respectful-yet-not-too distant time period, the celebrity chef spoke to Good Morning America as part of her publicity tour for her new show, the Taste.  Under this gentle grilling, her considered answers demonstrated her own humour, ‘I’ve eaten a lot of chocolate’, whilst recognising the distress caused to her family as well as showcasing a humble sense of self perspective:

‘To be honest, to have not only your private life but distortions of your private life put on display is mortifying but, you know, there are people going through an awful lot worse…to dwell on any of it would be self pity and I don’t like to do that.’

I feel that Nigella’s composed and ‘attention-to-detail’ handling of the media furore surrounding her over the last few months has only added to her strength of character; fans rushed to buy the royal blue Diva frock she wore on the opening show of the taste. As David Cameron was so publicly rebuked for stating, I’m still ‘a massive fan’.


We all have our favourite video – either the cat that screams ‘no, no, no’ (Radio 2’s Chris Evans fave, by the way) …

or the twins talking in their own secret language…

Viral videos have been known to dominate pub discussions, sporned their own video genre and even increased the longevity of the stalwart TV program ‘You’ve been framed!’

Yet, it’s almost impossible to predict what videos are likely to become mass hits amongst the globes’ population.  Most can list the characteristics of the viral video – funny, short, sometimes edgy, sometimes even troubling; but even in these characteristics the viral video has no obvious winning formula.

This can make the lives of people in the media, advertising and communications field somewhat difficult as clients request a ‘viral’ to promote their latest product or service.  Just as the guys at TNR said at their latest video production workshop at the Press Association building in London, one needs a substantial budget to pay for guaranteed views in order to ensure it goes viral.

Even with all their experience, the TNR chaps were still unable to pin point the magic ingredient which would ensure a video would go viral organically. Yet, one thing we do know for definite is that video will be sticking around for some time yet.



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