Social media has been around for quite a number of years. In recent times though, not only has it become a pertinent extension of our lives, it has also become more universally accessible. With the rise of new platforms like Tik Tok and Instagram, its purpose has evolved from just a forum where people connect with old friends and long lost relatives to the Land of OZ where nothing is ever as it seems and every Jack is a Wizard and every Jill her own fairy godmother.
As a result of the new face of social media, it has started to attract more Millennials and Gen Zs than persons of an older disposition. With its viral challenges and trends, youth especially those between the ages of 18 and 25, are now looking to social media for the boost they need for their self-esteem and confidence. The number of likes and follows they receive now dictates their social standing among their peers as well as their confidence in themselves. This pushes a number of adolescents to do whatever it takes to gain those likes and follows and to throw caution to the wind when it comes to maintaining it.
On Monday August 9th, 2021 digital media interns of Live Well Jamaica will be launching a campaign aimed at bringing awareness to the effects social media has been having on persons between the ages of 18 and 25 years in Jamaica and Trinidad. The campaign will be titled “Embracing You: Our Voices Matter” and will focus mainly on aiding adolescents in becoming more responsible with their posts to various social media platforms by demonstrating ways in which they can manage how much social media impacts their view of self.
The campaign managers, Alicia Nicolson, a former banker and aspiring entrepreneur, Danielle Raymah, a Master’s Pursuant at the University of Bedfordshire, Marian Lewis, a Customer Service Representative and student of the University of the West Indies Western Jamaica Campus and Tameka Heath-Harding a Subject Matter Expert and Supervisor’s Assistant at 24-7 Intouch, felt as though this was a worthy undertaking based on their discoveries from their research and interview with Clinical Psychologist Dr. Sherry-Ann Turton. It became apparent from this research that despite the negativity that surrounds social media, like any other tool, depending on its user, it can also be used to spread positivity.
According to Dr.Turton, one fundamental element in negating the negatives of social media is the encouragement of proper time management when using any platform. She believes that by monitoring and balancing the time spent on social media, people will eventually become better able to neutralize the negative effects of social media. This ideology assisted in solidifying the main objective of the campaign as the officials then understood that responsible social media habits may be the key to averting some of the negative effects social media has on its primary users.
The campaign will be designed to bring across messages of self love, confidence and awareness of the things that really matter, for example, the fact that happiness comes from within. The main message ” Our Voices Matter” was constructed with the hopes that the target audience will come to understand that there is more to gain from sharing their authentic selves online. They also try to share that social media can work for you if you are responsible with your posts, and are being true to your self, as well the fact that the opposite can also be true.
To further support their objective, the “Embracing You” campaign will be characterized by challenges, digital round table discussions and other activities to be featured on its Instagram page. The campaign had its soft release last month on the Live Well Jamaica social media pages where the organizers gave an additional breakdown of what could be expected from them over the 4 weeks of their campaign.
It is expected, that at the end of this campaign, the officials would have brought awareness to this social issue and that those impacted by the campaign will become more cognizant of how excessive and irresponsible use of social media can negatively affect them. They hope to see at the end of the campaign, members of the target audience becoming more confident or open about themselves behind the filters and making more positive comments about their peers.
The organizers encourage you to follow the campaign as you too may benefit from its message. be a part of the change.