Issue 15: Subverting Social Media Norms
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Issue 15: Subverting Social Media Norms

Photo by Parisian photo poet Stéphanie Pfeiffer

Last week in Paris, Instagram hosted an event called "Coeur sur Paris", which featured talks by Influencers and is accompanied by a city-wide advertising campaign for the social media application. It was billed as an effort to educate the young generation on how to 'liberate their creativity'—but also could be read as an attempt on Instagram's behalf to gain more users in France, which doesn't even rank in the top 10 of countries who have the most users (the US, of course, is number one).

It's interesting to live in an age where some advertisements in real life push our attention to a digital realm, rather than pushing a traditional product we can buy. But as the attention economy relies on social media and its user base (us!), we have the power to subvert these norms. Read on for more and our tips for a digital cleanse. 

Quell Anxiety, Be Boring on Social Media

We are all aware how comparisons are odious, and that social media can make us feel like our lives are inferior to what's presented to us through our phones. That dynamic is exactly what makes social media turn us into sitting ducks for the targets of advertisers and influencers—impulse shopping is on the rise: social media use can lead to a 40 percent increase of extra, unplanned expenses. 

One possible solution to quiet our anxiety and envy: to be boring on social media. As this WIRED article argues, "Boring Instagram and YouTube do not smell of capitalism. The accounts are more like odd art projects or Saturday morning television—#notsponsored, not screaming for your attention.” NYU marketing professor Alix Barsach thinks that by posting 'realer, more mundane' photos, our urge to keep up with the Joneses may be tamed with these everyday reality checks. 

IRL Prompt: Social Media Cleanse

This week's prompt: do a social media audit and cleanse. Here's our very own IRL guide:
  • Monitor your screen time for a week: how do you compare to the average of 2 hours and 22 minutes on social media a day?
  • Unfollow accounts that don't inspire you: like with anything, there's junk content that makes you feel bad and accounts filled with inspiration. Declutter your feed with anything that you could live without.
  • Delete your extraneous social apps, even for just 24 hours. Or turn on airplane mode. Marvel at how free time will magically appear.
  • For longer detoxes, announce them on your profile. Take a full Facebook Sabbatical. If your main fear is missing out on messages, just update your profile to say that you're currently unplugging and add your email. This way you can make sure you don't miss anything important and perhaps even inspire someone else to sign off for a bit.

Thank you for reading this week's issue of The Slow Scroll! We want to hear what you think: your thoughts on social media, IRL events like Perchance, or anything else. Just email us your thoughts and we'd be happy to feature in upcoming issues. 
Send this to a friend who needs to slow down. Then grab a cup of coffee with them.

Why ‘The Slow Scroll’?

Social Isolation is Killing Us. Tech companies are failing us. And we’re all hopelessly addicted to our screens.

Living IRL has never been more important.

That’s why we created The Slow Scroll, a weekly newsletter by IRL Labs, sent directly to your inbox (oh the irony). The Slow Scroll curates the latest and most inspiring content and resources, empowering readers to untether and live slowly.

Brought to you by...

Ivan Cash, Editor-in-Chief
Cyrena Lee, Editor and Lead Writer
Erin Ellis, Illustrator

Emily Lin, Producer

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