Blog Post #6

The advent of new media has changed the world forever, but has it been for the better?  New media has been exploding in the last few decades, but what really is new media and how does it affect us?  “New media” can be hard to define, but Lister, Professor of Visual Culture in the Department of Culture, Media and Drama, at UWE, Bristol gives the following definition:  that new media are “methods and social practices of communication, representation, and expression that have developed using the digital, multimedia, networked computer and the ways that this machine is held to have transformed work in other media: from books to movies, from telephones to television.”  In short, new media relies on the digital age.  This media has continued to growing exponentially since its birth.  New media has brought a range of wonderful information into the lives of everyday citizens and has open doors in many ways. However, new media, especially social media, also has a dark side. It is not always used for pure purposes.

New media, particularly social media, is encouraging narcissism.  This extreme self interest, often at the expense of others is become more and more rampant in our society.  When you look at  the social media posts of pre-teens to adults, you see a trend of self-absorption unlike any seen in recent decades.  Is social media truly to blame?  Some would try to argue otherwise, but W. Keith Campbell says that social media is utilized “to look important, look special and to gain attention and status and self-esteem.”  Social media was originally created as a way of connection with other individuals, but this so called “social media” is not so social anymore.  Individuals hardly interact with each other past a simple “like “or one-word comment. Instead, social media is used to self-promote and show others how interesting or how cool you are.  This type of new media  explosion is also an explosion of narcissistic traits.

New media and other social media has other negative affects on society today.  While there is a growing number of people utilizing social media for altruistic purposes (often promoting a nonprofit) there are also means to uses social media in a sinister manner.  Terror groups such as IS (ISIS) have been using social media to not only promote their ideas, but also to recruit terrorists.  This type of propaganda is growing increasingly difficult to control.  In past years, terror groups have had to rely on more traditional media for their  communication and propaganda.   However, there has been a great shift in how terror groups communicate.  More and more terror groups are using Facebook to communicate.  “In the issue that circulated on social media in January, Dabiq ran a two-page paean to Farook and Malik, the latter of whom used Facebook to pledge her loyalty to the Islamic State’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”  More and more of this is happening, but social media companies have trouble stopping it.  This social media today is not only creating a negative impact on us today, it’s creating a dangerous one.

New media and social media can be used for pure, good, and ideal reasons.  Initially, these purposes such as creating and building friendships were the main reason to use social media.  However, social media has taken a dark turn.  Instead of being used for altruistic purposes, it has evolved to become narcissistic and even a venue for organized crime.

 

C. (2014). ISIS uses social media to increase Western recruitment. Retrieved April 29, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wObRO6jwrA4

Is Social Media to Blame For the Rise In Narcissism? (n.d.). Retrieved April 29, 2016, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/compassion-matters/201211/is-social-media-blame-the-rise-in-narcissism

Lister, M. (2003). New media: A critical introduction. London: Routledge.
Why ISIS Is Winning the Social Media War. (n.d.). Retrieved April 29, 2016, from http://www.wired.com/2016/03/isis-winning-social-media-war-heres-beat/
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Blog Post #5

In these days of social media and networking, self-branding  often called a crucial part of of the working world today.  While many young people participate in self-branding and use it to further their careers, the idea seems to be based on narcissism.  Is self-branding a necessary evil, or is there a way to participate in self-branding in a more authentic light?  Through my research, I discovered that self-branding can be used more authentically, honestly, and purely for nonprofit.

As a graduating senior of college, I am currently searching for a full-time position.  Ideally, I would like to work in the nonprofit sector abroad.  I desire to work in the nonprofit sector, because, as a Christian, I believe that we are called to help others in need.  However, when one thinks of self-branding, they think of self-promotion purely for their own benefit.  This appears very much at odds with the fundamentals of nonprofit work–helping others and not self.  However, more and more people are discussing the necessity of self- branding in the nonprofit sector.  Self-branding is important for two main reasons–1) acquiring a position and 2) garnering support for nonprofit work.

Individuals who are interested in nonprofit work may be less likely to desire to self-brand and self-promote.    However, these techniques are not only appreciated, they are also expected.  Self-branding shows a future employer what type of employee you are, and what types of values you stand for.  This second half is particularly important in the nonprofit sector.  “Tap into the beliefs and convictions that you hold” says Tamara Schweitzer.  Values and belief systems, especially religion, are a very crucial part of being a nonprofit employee.  Therefore, it is necessary to self-brand and communicate these values to future employers.  This self-branding would likely be seen in objective statements in resumes and cover letters as well.  Thus, the whole application process of nonprofits rests on the idea of self-branding.

Self branding is also important for gaining support.  Many nonprofits, particularly Christian ones, are tight on funds.  They often pay employees little to no salary.  Thus, it is necessary for employees to garner monetary support.  So, many employees turn to self-promotion through media and self-branding.  They do this on social media and by holding fundraising events.  In those speeches, events, and social media, the speaker is self-branding as trustworthy and authentically trying to help others.  They show the supporters that they are worthy of their support.

Overall, while at first self-branding seems purely like a product of narcissism, it can be used in a more authentic light.  In fact, self-branding can be used for good.  Self-branding clearly promotes the good of the promoter, but it can also be used to do more.  It can be used to actually help others, by promoting those that can do the helping.  Initially, I disliked the idea of self-branding.  However, after more thought, I realize that self-branding can be used for good.  Therefore, in my future job search, I would consider using self-branding to aid in my nonprofit work.

 

How Nonprofit Leaders Create An Authentic Personal Brand on Instagram. (2016). Retrieved April 12, 2016, from http://www.bethkanter.org/hipster/
F. (2015). How To Build Your Personal Brand. Retrieved April 12, 2016, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaP7ofAHoc4
Generation Like [Motion picture]. USA: Frontline/PBS.

Nolan, L. The impact of executive personal branding on non-profit perception and communications. Public Relations Review. Retrieved April 12, 2016, from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/268690297_The_impact_of_executive_personal_branding_on_non-profit_perception_and_communications.

The role of personal branding for nonprofit professionals. (n.d.). Retrieved April 12, 2016, from http://www.socialbrite.org/2011/11/04/the-role-of-personal-branding-for-nonprofit-professionals/