Digital Photography: the power of sharing

Source: Info Trends

Source: Info Trends

We take photographs for numerous reasons to record memorable moments. With the help of mobile phone, we can take photos and upload them on social media immediately. The use of digital photography brings a shift from special or rarefied moments to everyday images. (Murray, S 2008) Taking photos from everyday becomes an important digital sharing practice. Taking photos, uploading on social media and sharing with others becomes ubiquitous within internet users. Currently, there are more than 2 billion internet users and the third billion will be reached by the end of 2014. They share photos or with text on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. A blog from The New York Times says that the act of taking photos is no longer enough to confirm reality; only sharing with others can give us that validation. Internet users share photos to tell stories while celebrities share photos to promote themselves and interact with their fans. Sharing photos on social media also becomes an important marketing tool for brands to promote their products and communicate with consumers. In other words, all participants are now aesthetic producers, adding photographs into content for their profiles, blogs, feeds as well as consumers.

Statistics from 2013 shows that 62% of internet active users have shared or curated a photo or video. Visuals positively affect engagements include reading, clicks, shares and purchases by 80%.

Source: dlvr.it

Source: dlvr.it

Sharing photos of our daily lives seems become a trend that most of us see it as a better way to share our stories and experiences. Basically, we freely share everything in our daily lives, from products we like, places that we enjoyed and sights that inspire us. Internet users share photos with many different reasons. A study conducted by The New York Times Customer Insight Group, titled “The Psychology of Sharing,” claims several main reasons why people share information online. First, we share to bring valuable and entertaining content to others. Second, we share to define ourselves to others. We also share to grow and nourish relationships. Another reason why we share is for self-fulfillment. Finally, the last reason is to market causes or brands.

For celebrities, they share to promote themselves and increase exposure further to build a better relationship with fans.

Source: Ellen DeGeneres Twitter

Source: Ellen DeGeneres Twitter

Social media has allowed a new way to follow and track the lives of our favorite celebrities. Most celebrities have their own social networking sites account for sharing information and interacting. Celebrities have started letting public look into their everyday lives from a first person point of view. More stories and photos are being leaked to the public first on social media than by way of the traditional outlets. Rihanna, top 5 Instagram user that has most followers, updating photos of her celebrity and personal life.

Source: badgalriri

Source: badgalriri

It also offers an opportunity for fans to show their supports via follow their favorite celebrities and even repost on their own Instagram. Fans, sometimes, share photos of their favorite celebrities in their social networking sites without permission. Scholar, Henry Jenkins, asking whether fans are copyright infringers, creative collaborators or niche marketers. Some suggest that fans are different from plagiarists, scrapers and other copyright infringers.

As for brands, they share to promote their products and build brand recognition. When it comes to marketing business, pictures speak volumes. Posts on Facebook, for instance, increasing engagement when include album, picture or video by an average of 180%, 120% and 100% respectively. Social media differ to traditional media in one key respect which is they enable two way conversations. Therefore, brands can ask consumers to share photos with them. Instagram, a photo-sharing program quickly became the fastest growing marketing tool on social media. Big brand such as Coca Cola uploads creative photos on Instagram to promote the brand.

Source: Coca-Cola Instagram

Source: Coca-Cola Instagram

Their product can be seen somewhere in the photo. Those photos deliver the personality of young, positive and creative. Coca Cola creates the photos in an aesthetic way and engages audiences effectively. Brand created photos are posted on brand’s official Instagram feed while consumers shared images are posted on their personal feed but can be searched by typing in hashtag (#) with the brand’s name. (Chang, C.Y 2014)Photos can help to reflect brands without being directly sales related. It also creates a vibrant visual community between brands and consumer perceptions.

 

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The effect of Facebook addiction

zuckerberg

Source: DailyTech

Mark Zuckerberg, from Harvard University, launched the site called “thefacebook.com” in 2004. The site became a hit within two years after it extended beyond educational institutions. Anyone can become Facebook user by registering with email address and it is free to join. With 1.3 billion active users per month, Facebook becomes one of the most popular social networking site and the number is still growing. Love it or hate it, there is no deny that Facebook is already became a part of our life.

According to DigitalBuzz, 48% of Facebook users aged from 18 – 34 checking their Facebook would be the first thing they do when they wake up.

Facebook-addiction-1

Source: digitalbuzzblog

A recent study claims that the desire to stay on the top of social networking sites is the most difficult to resist compared to sex and sleep. How many people on earth can say that they can live without Facebook? The answer is too obvious to point out.

What spell that Facebook cast on their users? What makes Facebook so special that can attract billions of users? Facebook offers a new way to connect with each other and reach news that happened all over the world. Facebook users also obsessed with Facebook activities such as updating statuses, uploading photos and videos, checking in, and liking or commenting on posts. Once users registered on Facebook, they start being friends with anyone around them or following fans pages and it is a beginning of life engaged with Facebook. However, over past few years, the phenomenon of over rely on Facebook attracts significant attention. Here are few signs that can tell if a user is addicted to Facebook or not.

Source: brandrepublic

Source: brandrepublic

Firstly, checking Facebook whenever possible which means users would check their Facebook page anytime, anywhere they have opportunities to access. They tend to check most recent newsfeeds or comments that their friends left on their posts or perhaps just a habitual movement.

Source: Hongkiat.com

Source: Hongkiat.com

Secondly, spend more than an hour per day looking through Facebook. Thirdly, add as many friends as they could even someone they just met once. Finally, compromising real life and live in online social life. Facebook addict start to over-reliant on Facebook and give up the real social life. All of these actions are daily behaviors of Facebook addict. They have serious impact on people who overuse Facebook, especially young generation.

With smart phones and 3G/ Wi-Fi become commonplace, people can access social networking sites whenever they want and the number of “phubbers” grows dramatically. Although Facebook provides a brand new way of connection, it also brings negative effects to addictive users. Recent research from California State University shows that overuse social networking sites like Facebook can have serious psychological disorders, including narcissism, antisocial behaviors, mania, and aggressive tendencies among young adults. The healthy implications of excessive Facebook usage could occur not only on youth but also adults and even elders. Users make friends or connect with friends and relatives through Facebook instead of face to face could also results in losing skill of social interaction and communication as well as speaking skills. Moreover, a BBC News report suggests that online relationships lack of “real” social interaction could keep people apart. While people spend more time on social networking sites like Facebook, it may increase the level of social isolation.

Source: skinflint

Source: skinflint

The other negative impact is that it could decrease productivity both on study and workplace. Effectiveness and productivity may fall down due to frequently checking on newsfeed and comments on Facebook. Nowadays, students have a number of ways to access social networking sites which could be distractions whenever in class or study. It is more difficult for students to focus on educational tasks. On the other hand, work performance could also be affected by obsessing with Facebook as well.

Last year, a pair of Ph.D. students at MIT’s Media Lab, Robert Morris and Dan McDuff, came up a machine called “Pavlov Poke” to control their social media impulses. They set up some code to monitor their browsers and connect with a special device. If they visit Facebook site too often, they would get a shock sent from the device connected to their keyboards. They claim that the shock is not dangerous but is enough to get your attention.

 

Facebook is designed to enrich social lives; however, the impacts of overusing it cannot be overlooked. Although it has led to positive changes in the way people communicate and share information, misusing Facebook could bring negative effects on real life. It is important to let online users realize the consequences of over-reliant on Facebook and educate them how to make Facebook a valuable tool for communicating and receiving information.