My thoughts on social media and popular culture

For my recent art project my brief was to look into popular culture of today. I decided to focus on how it has changed and the possible decline of popular culture through the growth of social media. By definition, popular culture requires that the majority be engaged in it, practising it and consuming it, thereby making it popular.

Today, social media is popular culture and is used by the majority of people, it's because of this that it has the ability to influence our lives, from the way we dress, the way we speak and how we act. We are constantly being faced with the pressure of conforming to social trends that are presented to us everyday, through various social media platforms. I'll put my hands up and admit that I'm squatting my days away to get that sought after big booty, and I spend a good ten minutes on my eyebrows to ensure that they’re ''on fleek" but am I doing it for myself or because I know it's what is socially popular right now?

I feel that today's generation might feel more inclined to enjoy the same things because they are shown to us through social media and considered to be on trend, and perhaps some of what is popular today is only because of that pressure to conform with the majority.  It makes me wonder if I had avocado on toast for breakfast because I wanted to or because I knew it would make a great Instagram picture? It even effects the way we speak, with words such as bae, on fleek, hair goals, body goals, eyebrow goals brunch goals, what about our own personal goals? Are we becoming too busy trying to become like everyone else, trying to become what is considered to be socially popular at that moment, that we’re holding back from becoming our real selves? I'm guilty of this, I'm sure a lot of us are but why do we crave that approval from others, why do I need someone else to tell me I look good just to feel good?

I do believe the quality of popular culture is slowly declining due to the vast amount of content we see everyday on social platforms. With the recent loss of David Bowie I was constantly hearing how he was an icon, a legend loved and adored by people of all ages and seen as a huge influence in the music and fashion industry. It made me wonder whether today, celebrities, singers, actors will also be seen as massive icons not only by our generation but the next generation to come. Are they going to love those we adore today the same way we also love who our parents adored? We have access to anything and everything at just a few clicks away, meaning our interests are more likely to change more often and what we love one week we hate the next. So is it possible that we are faced with too much popular culture for us to love and adore that we just don't bother as much as our parents would have?

Of course there’s nothing wrong with using social media, we all do and it’s become a big part of every ones life, it’s how we communicate, make plans, share memories and can bring amazing opportunities. We are all without a doubt consumed by social media, and through this we have the ability to share, like, comment on anything we want whether that be a cause, an opinion or something that made us laugh. This means we can give anything a voice...if it has enough likes. We've somehow given ourselves the power to change peoples opinions and the way they think. We can bring light to certain issues, educate people, encourage people instead of destroying them, hurting them and looking down on them. Most of us use social media and I personally enjoy using it as way to reach out and interact with people, and whilst I can see the bad it can cause I can also see the good and I hope to continue using it in a positive way.

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