Social influencer 'truths'


It is no secret that the world is becoming a much smaller place thanks to social media and a variety of smart phone apps that enable us to share our experiences with others - even though they are miles away – but has social media had a negative effect on how we now enjoy our leisure time?


It is not uncommon when on holiday, at a restaurant or even visiting a beautiful pagoda, for us to strike a pose and take a new selfie before sharing it on our social channels in return for likes, shares, retweets and replays but is this need for a photo taking away from really enjoying our spare time?

 

Read the article about a social media influencer who tells the truth about how false and fake many of her photos are.

Then complete the vocabulary exercise about the nine words highlighted in red.

 

Recently Instagram influencer, Essena O’Neill, who has over half a million followers, revealed that what we see on social media isn’t always true or real. The young woman declared she was quitting social media and pleaded with followers to stop living their lives through their screens and encouraged them to “go out and meet people to feel connected instead”.

O’Neill edited the captions beneath her “perfect” Instagram shots and informed her followers of the real situations behind her highly popular images. Rather than candid shots taken to capture both a beautiful scene and perfect pose to demonstrate her “great life”, she admitted many shots took hours to set up with her younger sister acting as photographer, her beautiful clothes were provided by large companies looking for a little covert advertising and she even admitted being paid for a selection of her posts.


One of her edited captions was changed to say “NOT REAL LIFE – took over 100 (shots) in similar poses trying to make my stomach look good. Would have hardly eaten that day. Would have yelled at my little sister to keep taking them until I was somewhat proud of this.'


Another post stated “Edit real caption ‘Please like this photo, I put on makeup, curled my hair, tight dress, big uncomfortable jewellery... Took over 50 shots until I got one I thought you might like, then I edited this one selfie for ages on several apps- just so I could feel some social approval from you’ THERE IS NOTHING REAL ABOUT THIS”.


Both of these statements suggest that what we see on social media isn’t, in fact, what is happening in real life but rather, a somewhat fake perception of staged situations that we, in the real world, would find difficult to replicate. So when we scroll through our Instagram or Facebook feeds are we really seeing what our friends are doing on holiday, or rather, are we seeing what they want us to see?


What do you think of social media – do you think it prevents us from having a good time whilst we are away? Do you think we spend too much time setting up the perfect pictures to share with our loved ones – or is social media a true representation of our holidays, leisure time and our everyday lives?


When you've finished reading, enter your details below to answer the vocabulary questions.


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