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November 14, 2015

Style Files | The power of social media

Recently, social media has been witness to a lively discussion on the very subject of social media. For the unaware, here's how it began. 19 year old Essena O'Neill, was a social media influencer based in Australia; a pretty young thing with immense popularity charting over half a million Instagram followers and two lakh YouTube subscribers. That was until she sensationally quit all social media platforms (which was her primary source of income), leaving nothing in its wake. Once her statement was out, she opened up about her longing for social approval and the lengths that the business can reach. Essena has now started a project Lets Be Game Changers, going to the extent of re-uploading her previous images on her website with captions telling the true story behind the picture.

As an individual with career in the digital sphere, I love using social media, for a variety of reasons. Topping that list would be, the ability to share my thoughts and creatively seek different directions; which I'm incredibly grateful that Style File and its social media channels have enabled me to pursue. However, the debate that arises is not on whether I enjoy using social media or not. Is is about the validity we gain from it, which ties social media and our self esteem together, further pushing the need making us more reliant on it.

Dayle Pereira of Style File India highlights an example of an ideal Instagram feed with a picture of a purple orchid flower in the garden
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I've previously blogged about a few things I've been apprehensive to share because they break the mold on what a stereotypical fashion blogger should be. While that was three years ago; my views remained unchanged, especially that of the number game. Before social media had the clout it holds today, blogging was more simplistic. This is not true anymore because the incessant need for ever increasing numbers has led to the extent of purchasing followers to keep up with the Jones'.

You've got to admit, when you see the likes shoot up for that rosy toned selfie of yours, it massages your self-esteem just a little bit more; which can be a good thing! One of the best parts of social media is the positive impact it can have. Similarly, the Eff Your Beauty Standards campaign embraces a body positive stance and The Power of Makeup campaign took a stand on makeup shaming. Those are just two instances and there are a million more that prove how truly powerful social media is. So unleashing that power while maintaining authenticity online, that lies in your hand.

Dayle Pereira of Style File believes in the power of social media and for its power to be harnessed properly
Image by Raynor Pereira
It goes without saying that posting on social media often has certain dictum's that are generally adhered to. You will see scenic locales and pretty plates of food at brunch. What you do not see is the messy inner section of your handbag and an undesired pimple cropping up on the chin. It is extremely easy to mask what is mundane and paint a rosy picture. The reason why we follow these made-up guidelines goes back to the debate on how the perfect picture will gain the most likes and validate our self-esteem. Don't get me wrong, everyone likes a pretty picture but pretty can't be the sole dictator of posting a picture - I like when mine has a story behind it.


A wise man once said, "With great power, comes great responsibility" In the same vein, having the power of social media is like holding a magical elixir in the palm of your hand - its potential is enormous. Using that very potential to the best of its ability, is up to you. What you upload or what you don't, how much a like affects your mood or whether it doesn't, the amount of your life you share or what you don't - that's your call. With influencer marketing reaching new heights, it is up to influencers to find the sweet spot that balances the validity that social media has on readers with the need for a genuine opinion, whether it be in their brand associations or sharing a viewpoint.

Dayle Pereira of Style File highlights an example of an ideal Instagram post with a picture of a black forest cake with whipped cream, chocolate and cherries
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We can sit up all night and debate about how Essena is a brave girl to bare it all or just a publicity seeker that's using her fame cleverly but there is a lesson to be learned. Your standing on social media is not the be all and end all. There's a lot that goes behind the making of a picture and just because it looks perfect, does not mean it is. You can do without the Internet every once in a while and FOMO be damned, it can be really good for you.

xo
Dayle

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