Fifth Blog Post

I remember in middle school I wanted to be just like the other kids in my grade. I wanted the fresh trim, Nike socks, the wrist bands, and most of all, an iPhone. In 7th grade, the iPhone 5c came out and it was at a ridiculously affordable price. My father bought it for me as a present for my birthday and I was thrilled to show my friends the latest, up to trend iPhone (at the time). I went to Ni River Middle School in Spotsylvania county and they had a strict no phone policy but nothing was going to prevent me flexing my brand new blue iPhone 5c. It was the day after my birthday that I showed all my classmates all the new updates and installments that came with my new phone. As the day went by, people were asking for my Instagram, Snapchat, Kick, etc., and I didn’t have any accounts on social media. I wasn’t really a big fan of social media back then as I though it would hinder my education and it would only provide as a distraction. I would later succumb to peer pressure and made social media accounts. I’ve had the same Instagram and Snapchat accounts for the last ten years ever since. What I’ve noticed throughout the years is that I have built my on profile within my social media accounts. What I mean by that is that I’ve surrounded myself with things I like. For example, I started getting into soccer and I was getting recommendations to follow superstars such as Ronaldo and Messi. From there, I would get recommendations to follow brands like Nike and Adidas and advertisements would soon follow. It didn’t take me long to find myself wearing the cleats that soccer superstars were wearing on the pitch. I’ve always been a soccer fan, but if it wasn’t for social media and their marketing strategies, I would’ve never seen myself siding with Adidas throughout my soccer career. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but can I bring myself to commit to a switch to a brand like Nike? It would be difficult.

4 Replies to “Fifth Blog Post”

  1. I find your journey ending up in getting cleats interesting. Without you flashing around your phone, you might have not ended up making all those social media accounts. Though you still might end up getting ad targeted for Adidas, it would be less likely than it would be with your interests at the time. If you did not tag soccer then you would not have been recommended to follow a pro soccer player, nor would you have been put on a ‘targeting list’ as a potential buyer. But, that is how they(large corporations) get you. They target a set group of people for their goods(like cleats for soccer players) and then proceed to overload your feed with their advertisement-leading you to believe that they are the best(and most likely only) option for that type of good. Though they will not do it through blatant advertisement-instead they will provide their good to a famous person in order to broaden their spectrum.

    A good example would be youtubers and mobile gaming ads. Now, the company could focus all their money and attention on to spamming their game out to everyone in their own advertisements, but they do not. Instead they sponsor youtubers to play and showcase their games to an audience, ensuring that a large group of people have seen their games. Sponsoring someone has proven time and time again to increase sales/downloads, so why fix it if it is not broken?

    But then that leads to “how did I ever follow this person”. That is where a program’s algorithm gets really interesting. Based on your activity(tagging something, liking posts, recent watched history), a program can(and will) target new youtubers/people to follow to you. And then, once you are following them, the indirect advertisements will start flowing your way.

    You may think: “Oh, this pro athlete is wearing this type of shoe? Maybe I should switch to this brand.” The brand itself is not advertising itself to you in a direct manner, instead it is the pro advertising the brand to you.

  2. I relate to this so much! I think that everyone who has social media has dealt with this weird pop up of advertisement. For example, if I say out loud around my phone a food I’m craving, a pair of shoes I find cute, a movie I just watched. I am bombarded with images of the food, shoes, and the movie. I do think social media greatly influences things we like or purchase through these advertisements. It got really weird when I would just think about something and an ad would pop up about the exact thing. Maybe I am just being paranoid because It has happened so much!

  3. I have been noticing more and more recently that when I talk about something out loud I will later see an advertisement on Instagram related to what I was talking about. And mind you, this will happen when I haven’t searched or looked up anything related to what I was talking about and still see an ad. This is unsettling for me because it is very clear my phone is listening to my conversations and attempting to transcribe my words in order to direct an advertisement toward me. I do not like where we are headed with this sort of invasion of privacy and fear that corporations are increasingly controlling the way we think.

  4. I find it fascinating how much our lives are influenced by social media. I’ve had a lot of the same experiences as you on YouTube, where I’ve gotten into a certain thing, started looking it up, and then the algorithm puts more of the same type of video in my “recommended” feed. However, I’ve also had it the other way around, where I find a new obsession because of the algorithm putting a random video in my “recommended” feed. It’s shaped what kinds of things I’ve watched and wanted to look up further, whether it’s a TV show, scientific documentary, or a news report. I like to think I’m mostly removed from social media’s influence, but much like technology as a whole, because it’s so engrained in our society, I don’t think there’s any way to truly get away from it. It influences our everyday lives to an intimate degree through basing ads and recommendations on things we watch/look up. It’s kinda scary, but also kinda cool at the same time.

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