Hidden messages in social media?

My audience is the MDST 485 class and the goal of this blog is to inform my fellow classmates about how our modern use of social media can have a negative impact on our lives and our well-being.

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You can see it in your Facebook timeline or Instagram gallery – a digital footprint of your mental health.

It’s not always hidden in the obvious hashtags or inspirational quotes, but rather interpreted through the subtle use of words that might be hinting … you’re feeling kind of blue.

And, literally, your photo feed will focus on the cool blues and grey tones in your pictures when you’re feeling blue. Your words reflect your negative energy, and your pictures will look as blue as your words sound. Along with your lessened posting comes the lessening of likes. Nobody will want to “like” your blue enhanced rainy day picture with sad song lyrics.

That’s exactly the problem. When we take to social media to express our emotions and show the rest of the world a little bit of our “real” life, nobody wants to see the real. We’re expected to show the highlights, the happy things that will make other people happy, too. Even when we are posting seemingly happy pictures, there are hidden clues that prove we aren’t as happy as is posted.

The words we use are more telling about our mental health than we realize. This tool analyzes text and examines the words we’re using in order to tell us more about our emotional state.

Analyze your own Tweets using this free tool at http://analyzewords.com/

The Castells reading talked about how we can change the behaviors of others through the use of social marketing. Even if this type of direct marketing isn’t 100% effective, it’s still a positive way to connect with an audience and spread a message. Sharing positive messages, whether that be for the sake of advertising or through our own personal updates, is infectious to the attitudes of others. Once we address our own behaviors and make positive changes, we can influence others positively through social media.

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