Are Social Media Platforms Driving Us Mad?

Social media has become something we are always using and interacting with wherever we go and has become a large part of our daily routines. We are always being bombarded with tweets, Facebook notifications and Instagram posts every minute and every hour. Most of us probably can’t live a week without updating people on our lives through social media but is social media driving us all loopy and into madness?

In 2015, research carried out by Statista highlighted that there were 1.5 billion active users of Facebook users and 400 million users of Instagram alone. Then in 2016, they found that there were approximately 320 million users of Twitter; this is set to rise in upcoming years with more and more people joining social media sites.

According to Social Media Today, the average person spends nearly two hours on social media each day which translates to a total of 5 years and 4 months over a life time.
The site estimates that the number of worldwide users of social media is expected to reach 2.95 billion by 2020 and 650 million of these users are expected to be from China alone.

Blogger and Politics Student Charlotte says that she is guilty of “being on her phone a bit too much” and spends her evenings roaming and reading through content posted on social media. However, though she is constantly updating herself with news and blogger content, she never spends too long on it at a time. Charlotte thinks that social media can impact someone’s way of viewing themselves and has admitted feeling the same.

“I look at a lot of successful bloggers than myself who are travelling and working with every brand under the sun and sometimes I do feel a little insecure, however, I understand that it does take time and it makes me super happy to see so many people be a success and do what they love.” she said.

Also according to Statista in 2017 the number of users of social media worldwide is estimated to be around 2.46 which is estimated to increase every year following up  to. 2020 with it being 2.9 billion users then.

“Social media is great sometimes, especially for bloggers and journalists. It’s changed our world view and it’s keeping us updated constantly with all the celebrity gossip but also important things such as hard core news” a Student Journalist from Sheffield said.

Student Lizzy from London says that she deleted her social media accounts when she was studying for her A Levels but started to use them again as it is a great way to talk to friends and see other people going through the same struggles she was going through.

In May, The Royal Society for Public Health found that Instagram was the worst social media platform on the impact it has on young people’s mental health. The report also identified that about 90% of young people use social media (more than any other age group) making them more vulnerable to its effects, though there is no evidence for this.

“A blogger or journalist is no longer confined to only posting their content on a blog or newspaper, but they are able to post their work on social media sites such as Instagram and even Snapchat”. a student from Manchester described.

When asked if social media ever makes them loopy (to a point where they feel they over use platforms) seven out of the ten people asked said that they sometimes do need to take short term breaks. Some said that they felt that the pressures especially from Instagram posts sometimes do make them think they need to be a particular way. However, they all said that they never let it affect them too much and feel that they can control their use of social media platforms.

I carried out my own twitter poll to see how many hours people spent on social media platforms a day and here are the results:

References –
Social Media Today: http://www.socialmediatoday.com/marketing/how-much-time-do-people-spend-social-media-infographic
Statista: https://www.statista.com/statistics/278414/number-of-worldwide-social-network-users/

Blogger/Student Charlotte’s blog & details:
Blog – http://www.simplylottie.co.uk
Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/simplylottie
Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/simplylottie

Let’s Talk About Confidence and Self Love

So I’ve been meaning to write up this blog post for a while, I just didn’t know where to begin or how to go about it or just whether it should be written at all. I usually don’t post anything that is personal to me nor do I want to make myself look like I’m preaching something when I’m not completely aware of everything within the subject area. However, with this, I think I know myself well enough and here it goes.

For a few months I’ve been quite conscious of myself and how I present myself to others around me (though it only really started coming up-to the end of my first year at university). I was feeling very low about myself, looking at models and people within the media who are so much more ‘prettier’ or ‘skinnier’ than me. Though I don’t put on much makeup, I was going through a phase where I believed that without any makeup on whatsoever, people around me would judge me or think I’m just not pretty and all the rest of it that comes with a human’s insecurities. I’ve been at the gym quite regularly recently, waking up at 6, 7am in the morning to get there and get myself at a position where I feel that I’m no longer ‘ugly’ or ‘fat’. This week it finally caught up with me and I told myself I was going to get over this phase and push myself to believe what I used to believe and was very passionate about. I never believed in the ‘perfect woman’ or the ‘perfect shape’ so why did this come about anyway? We ALL come in different shapes and sizes and if we’re healthy and happy at where we are, then does anything else really matter.

So the journey continues, I’ve made myself understand that as long as I’m happy, I’m able to continue going to the gym but still believe that I’m going because I want to go and become a healthier version of myself, not a ‘less uglier’ version of myself. I don’t think it’s been very healthy thinking the way I have been, I’ve always thought that the pressures from the media would never get to me, as I’m a firm believer in self love and being confident in your own skin. I’ve always preached this idea of being confident in yourself but I’ve suddenly been caught up within the crowd believing these stupid ideologies of ‘perfection’.

There isn’t anything better than realising that you are so much better than you credit yourself for (wow, I’ve reach a new level of corny-ness). We shouldn’t ever feel like comparing ourselves to others around us, especially friends (guilty of doing that too!). Being confident in your own skin doesn’t make you egotistical or full of yourself, it’s something good and you should continue loving yourself, (though that sounds uber cringe). We all come in different blobs and that is perfectly fine. I’ll spare you any further cornishness or cringe, hope you’ve enjoyed, comment your thoughts and views about this, have you ever felt the same?

KEEP UP-TO-DATE WITH MY SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS ON INSTAGRAM AND TWITTER. 

 

 

 

 

NEW BAND EMBANKMENT RELEASE MUSIC

Embankment, a newly formed indie-rock band from Essex, have released their first single “Beautiful Losers”. The song was released on Friday after three months of waiting to release it.

Alex Blackman, Joe Bodfield and Harry Boon decided to come together in November to form the band after learning to play the instruments. Alex, who wrote the song in Easter 2017, said that the idea to form a band came two years ago before they could even play the instruments.

Front man Alex said that Beautiful Losers came about after he played the keyboard and loved the sound of the harp. The song is about going through rough patches of your life and how you can manage and push through it all. Alex said that he “felt the song had to be written and it’s just one of of them”.

Embankment aspire to be a band of the 20’s and hope that their album in the future is iconic and one which people talk about. They plan to release their album in 2021 but say it’s not yet been confirmed.

Since the song has been released, the band have received incredible feedback already. Audiences have complimented the band for ‘using their own style’ and being ‘different’. The band wish to release an EP in September but have not yet confirmed it.

Beautiful Losers is available on Spotify, Youtube and iTunes.

 

 

 

Should Organ Donation Be Encouraged After Death?

A couple of weeks ago, I was out with some friends discussing some interesting topics and organ donation came up in conversation. Most of us said that we would actually be up for the idea, it would be helping to change people’s lives and that’s something we all want to do. However, someone did argue that it would be their organs, do they really need to give them away? What if you wanted to be buried with all your organs in place because that’s what makes you human right? Why would you give your heart away? It’s your heart.

I decided to take this discussion on Twitter and I tweeted out a poll. Below are the results of my twitter poll.

It’s clear to see that those who answered the poll thought that organ donation should definitely be encouraged after death. I then took it on to talk to a few people about their thoughts including Youtuber SubPixel. He has recently signed up to become an organ donor. Bloggers including Caitlin and Louise have also recently signed up to become organ donors and both discussed why they have done so.

SubPixel said that he had signed up to become an organ donor  because it’s a great thing to do. It is also something that will help someone who needs the help and would be the last nice thing he could do in this world. He added that it is important because you don’t necessarily need them when you die; was trying to get his friends to sign up to become organ donors too.

Caitlin, a blogger from Newport, said that she had recently signed up to become an organ donor as both her parents and her brother have already signed up. She thinks it is crucial for us to help those who are in need of organs as it would be completely changing their lives for good. Caitlin said that she decided to sign up after three weeks of thinking about it as it is something big. She had always imagined herself being buried with her organs as it seems to be the ‘normal’ thing to do. However, she also said that with the rise of organ donors, from what she knows, a lot of people will probably love the idea of organ donation anyway.

Louise completely agreed with Caitlin’s thoughts and said that she signed up to become an organ donor two years ago when she turned 20. Louise is a Mental Health blogger from Essex but said that become an organ donor has allowed her to understand her body a little bit more and the importance of maintaining your organs as healthy as possible. Though Louise believes that it is important to help those who need the organs after you die, she did say that she would not want to give away her heart as she feels that nobody should have her heart – it is hers and will remains hers.

Though most people I talk to about organ donation say that they are more likely to sign up and give their organs away rather than keeping the organs for themselves, there was  19% of those who answered the poll who thought that you shouldn’t need to be encouraged to give your organs away after you die.

Someone did message me on Twitter saying that they don’t like the idea of giving away their organs because it’s just ‘bizarre’. We’ve all been given our own organs so we should keep them, he said. We shouldn’t have people telling us that it’s a nice thing to do because we could still be nice people; just not wanting to give away our insides.

What do you think? Do you think we should be encouraged to give away our organs when we die? Get in touch!

Keep up-to-date with my social media accounts on Instagram and Twitter. 

New Year’s Resolutions, Have We Kept Them?

You’re probably reading this and thinking “Why on earth is she talking about New Years when it’s July?”. The blog title gives it away. Most of us have probably forgotten that we made resolutions for 2017 or we just don’t even think about it. You’ll be surprised (not really) to know I haven’t kept any of mine, well consistently anyway. Every year I tell myself I’ll aim to make realistic goals yet somehow they don’t become reality (probably because they are way beyond my abilities to take on anyway). Half way through the year and let’s reflect on how I’m doing with these resolutions.

SPEND MORE TIME BLOGGING:

I think everyone who read’s my blog and keeps up-to-date with it will probably know this is an absolute shamble. I’ve not spent much time blogging since January, I seem to always go through phases where I’ll blog a lot but then have a long period of not blogging at all. I need to find a solution to this problem ASAP. (If anyone has any suggestions on keeping the ball rolling with blogging, please hit me up, thanks). I say all that but I have been able to continue blogging and I’ve not given up – which is good for me! Let’s get this motivation back and we’ll retry this resolution again next year but do it MUCH better. This time next year, I aim to have at least 200 posts. {Side note – I made a blog post on 19 Things To Do Before I’m 19, to have 200 posts but it has NOT happened (was I a bit too big for my boots?)}

JOIN A GYM:

Well, this has not happened. At all. I did plan to join one after my exams had finished but this went down the drain after losing the motivation and not having a gym buddy. How do I go about gaining the confidence to join a gym by myself and look like a moron using the equipment for the first time?

STRESS LESS OVER LITTLE THINGS:

Now actually, compared to this time last year, I have been less stressed. Maybe because I’ve only actually had one exam so I’ve had less stress over little things such as “am I revising enough?”. However, I have still stressed out over little things such as stressing over whether I’m good enough to blog? I think we all stress anyway, it’s natural. I think I am doing well with this resolution though it is probably a general thing anyway.

BE LESS DEPENDANT ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

This has not worked in any shape or form. This is probably the most unrealistic resolution and goal for me because I seem to always be on it unless I’m asleep or too busy. Social media is a huge part of my day to day life and I do depend on it, for my news, updates etc. I think can be good and bad. Being dependant upon it may not be too good but I have been able to reach out to potential interviewees through social media.

SPEND MORE TIME OUTSIDE – IN NATURE:

This is probably one of the only New Years Resolutions I have actually kept coherently. I have definitely spent A LOT more time outside, instead of being at home watching Netflix. I hope this continues throughout the year because being outside according to psychologists and experts does actually mean you’re more likely to be happier.

Let me know if you’ve kept up-to-date with your resolutions and if you’ve been cheeky and not even bothered with them!

Keep up-to-date with my social media accounts on Instagram and Twitter. 

I’m Jumping 160ft! 


As many of you will be aware, I’ll be taking on a 160ft bungee jump this month. This is the scariest but the most exciting thing I have ever done. As someone who’s afraid of heights AND water, it’s probably not a great idea but why not? It’s for an amazing cause and is also a little bit of ‘fun’.

I’ll be jumping to raise money for Water4Life projects in Africa with Islamic Relief. There are so many people who die every single day purely because they aren’t drinking clean water. We take advantage of that. Sometimes we get caught up with life, we don’t realise how privileged we are just to have the basics necessities to live.

I’m jumping over Salford Quays, now this is where I also study so it’s close to me and it’s somewhere where I’ll go to after the bungee jump. (Either really good memories or bad ones, let’s hope it’s all good right?).

If you’d like to sponsor me, even if it’s just a pound, it’ll be mean absolutely everything! The link is:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/shafiasbungeejump

 

The Happiest 5K that I did nOT run.


Photo credit: Sufia Begum

Though I did not take part in the run, The Colour Run was by far one of the best events I have been involved with. The amount of colour, fun and positivity the event held was ridiculous. Waking up at 6am was definitely worth it; I would do it all again.

Orange zone was where all the fun was at, I was completely covered with the paint at the end of the event. I even had it up my nose which was a bit hard to get out. There were over 9,000 people who had registered to take part in the run at Manchester’s Etihad stadium, it definitely felt like that. We had tubs of paint and I just kept having to refill the mustard jar.

There were people rolling around on the floor to cover themselves in more colour and people who just walked the run to get more colour thrown at them. There were so many unicorns and princesses who were completing the run for charities and more than just having fun.

The run was also a really good place to meet new people from all different backgrounds interested in the same thing, cOLOUR and fun. I would say I am without a doubt taking part in the run next year. It was just full of excitement. I didn’t get to interview anyone because of how busy the event was and because of how much paint there was. This was something that really disappointed me because it would have been an excellent place to interview people and get some really good photographs.