How to Cope with Artificial Intelligence
If you have been following my blog for a while, you probably read my post on the Backlash against Technology, with information from relevant sources about where we are and where we may be heading.
Nonetheless, it’s important to share the latest documentary exploring these issues. Jeff Orlowski is the director of Social Dilemma and wrote about it for The Guardian. This documentary may trigger a reaction to get off social media altogether, and if you can do that, be my guest.
For a real change to take place, those at the forefront of technology, from Google to social media giants, need to be involved and willing to use their power to put people first instead of brands.
The truth of the matter is, most of us, particularly those working in the fashion industry, cannot ignore the power of social media to build a brand and ensure much needed work commissions and business partnerships. Even in the middle of a pandemic, most job opportunities are related to technology, from digital marketing to social media management.
Fashion brands and designers are seriously investing in e-commerce, which goes hand in hand with social media, and to be successful one needs to have considerable analytics data to back up skills.
The latest ‘phygital’ shows, taking place in the most renowned fashion capitals, seem to be working, and even though retail footfall has dramatically fallen, people are buying more and more online.
In an effort to build myself as a brand and work towards launching a sustainable fashion business, I have watched quite a few webinars on social media. The algorithms keep changing so there’s no definite formula, but it’s important to keep up with the latest developments.
Social media can never grasp the complexity of being human. Apart from celebrities, who are the driving force and golden egg chickens of social media, most successful accounts are clearly defined and can fit neatly into a box.
A prime example of this is the so-called fashion influencer, most of them have been in Instagram for a while and developed a considerable amount of followers over the years.
Realising their potential to drive sales, brands keep investing in them and the most successful sit side by side with established fashion editors on catwalk shows, receive the same amount of gifts or more, design capsule collections and may even launch their own label.
This reminds me of The Joneses, a 2009 film written and directed by Derrick Borte, starring Demi Moore, David Duchovny and Amber Heard. It can be immediately associated with Keeping up with the Kardashians but it also applies to influencers and to social media personas in general.
We all have one, a persona is “the aspect of someone’s character that is presented to or perceived by others”. Maybe the most negative impact suffered by young people due to social media, can be related to the fact that they may not distinguish who they see as a persona.
“Depression is usually characterised as a state of anhedonia, but the condition I’m referring to, is constituted not by an inability to get pleasure so much as it is by an inability to do anything except pursue pleasure. There is a sense that ‘something is missing’ — but no appreciation that this mysterious, missing enjoyment can only be accessed beyond the pleasure principle.” Mark Fisher
A pretty face/body wearing luxury fashion crossing the street, at an exclusive event, or on a yacht depicts an aspirational lifestyle that is far removed from reality. The point of that post is to build up a desirable image.
There’s certainly money to be made along that feed, some posts will inevitably be sponsored or linked to an online shop, or a business partnership may be in the pipeline. Other posts may even promote several outfits at once with the latest video effects.
We can no longer remain naive, social media means big business. Even if we focus just on this, (and take out of the equation its socio-political control), we should strive to become less susceptible to its influence and take back control.
There are signs of hope, Sir David Attenborough broke a world record on Instagram, reaching 1 million followers in record time, which says a lot about where most people stand in terms of the environment, which is obviously not reflected in the political arena.
The future doesn’t have to be dark and we can actually take some steps to improve our life both online and offline. Feel free to adopt any of my tips to do so, or come up with your own way of dealing with it, one that feels right for you.
How to be social media savvy
Be well informed (top news agencies and established media, preferably with contrasting political views, books from experts);
Regular social media detox (Sundays, holidays apart from last day, after 9pm, a whole month…);
Choose your favourite social media platform(s) and forget the others;
Only like, follow and comment accounts that are relevant to your brand/persona;
Organise a schedule: have designated times to post and engage with your feed (15 min max);
Stop following accounts that make you feel bad about yourself;
Start following accounts that inspire you;
Be positive in your posts and community interactions;
Cancel all notifications;
Put your phone away/silent mode when you’re with someone (business or personal situation) and one hour before bed.