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How Is Secretive Social Media Helping Teenagers Keep It Real?

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Being constantly exposed to social media can be very stressful and exhausting. It applies to teenagers in particular, since social media is a huge part of their lives, ever since they can remember. Exchanging photos, chatting with friends, posting different stuff sure is fun, but can become difficult to handle. Why? The answer is easy: people judge you based on your online activities. Therefore, you have to put a lot of effort to maintain that image of yourself, the one you want everybody to see. That, unfortunately, means a lot of faking. Saying what you don’t mean, following people you don’t care about, taking hundreds of selfies before finally choosing that one which deserves to be uploaded (i.e., is likely to have most likes,) forming an opinion of yourself based on how others view you on social media. While, the most parents dream of encouraging their children to read booksinstead of social media comments, the reality is different.

 

Teenagers Are Getting Tired of the Expectations

 

Today’s kids feel pressured by social networks. Since they can’t quit and delete their Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other apps (because to them that would equal being dead), they have found new ways to express how they feel. Hint: no, it’s not therapy, and no – it’s not quitting social media altogether. It’s the opposite: installing more apps and more social networks but those that “allow” them to be themselves. Anonymous platformshave become increasingly popular, giving people, mostly teenagers, the opportunity to say what they mean and share their feelings without being exposed. Other ways of keeping secrets safe have also appeared. Kids have found ways to secretly interact amongst themselves online, without the involvement of parents, teachers, bullies, or snitches.

 

Using Fake Tools to Be More Real

 

One handy app that helps teenagers hide pictures, videos and other files from people who like to look through their phones is Calculator%. At first glance, it seems like a regular calculator app. Its primary use is to password-protect files. To unlock secret folders that exist nowhere else on the phone, you have to type a code. The app is available on both app store and play store and has recently raised some adult’s eyebrows. It also has been removed from someapp stores.

 

Another way of sharing files with only chosen people is fake Instagram profiles, a so-called Finstagram, or Finsta. Mostly, girls are those who have these profiles created, and they use them for sharing ugly selfies, private jokes, pictures of outfits they are not feeling so confident about, and similar stuff. The Finsta owner alerts those who she wishes to share her secrets with by following them from a Finsta account and then accepting them when they follow back.

 

A bunch of anonymous chat apps is becoming popular among young adults as well, one of the best known so far being Yik Yak. Based on your location, the app shows you short status posts from more recent to oldest. You can post, downvote or upvote existing anonymous posts, or read comments and comment yourself, anonymously. The trouble had started when posts about bomb threats led to canceling classes in schools or putting entire buildings under lockdown. As a result, some campuses have entirely banned Yik Yak.

 

All in All, Online Presence Seems Inevitable

 

In the end, your online presence will cost you. Teenagers are particularly vulnerable since they care about other people’s opinions more than the grownups do – hence, a more anonymous approach to expressing themselves on social media. While quitting social networks might be the best solution, it seems that hidden networks will have to do instead. If you are looking to bring a set of healthier solutions to your family every day, try Progressive Rising Phoenix– we’ve got some great ideas!

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How to Increase Your Social Media Presence If You Are an Author

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In the era when everyone’s encouraged to have a voice, being an author (one that’s looking to be relevant, at least) is extremely difficult. Although; we’ve never had so much opportunity to be heard, understood and accepted. We’ve also never before had as many people voice on anything and everything, making the concept of speaking your mind – or, in the case of an author – writing your mind – almost irrelevant.

But, How’s That Related to 21st-Century Authors? 

It can be, in many ways. While a sense of belonging to this virtual, opinion-colored village is beautiful, for an author to make a difference, they need to stand out. And, how does one stand out in the sea of (relatively) great and not-so-great content? The formula’s simple:

  • Find a clear voice and defend your attitude
  • Stick to a writing direction and thematic concept
  • Know who you are writing for, and target them

Here’s what to do to increase your social media presence:

 

Be Consistent

Yes, we keep seeing new content signed by many authors, but – what are the pieces we want to read? Those with attractive headlines (topics we find attractive,) and most importantly, authors whose opinions we relate to and trust. An author who helps us cultivate a lifetime reading habit is the author we want in our bookmarks. However, no matter how good you are, you can’t expect to get famous overnight. Instead, post consistently and methodically, and wait patiently for your audience to form. Once it does, the power of word of mouth is stronger than you think! When people start sharing your stuff across social media platforms, you’ll be solid gold.

Choose the Right Platform

Different types of content require different social platforms. Since, in the 21st century, the term author is no longer reduced to written material only, we’re now seeing a lot of visual and auditory content presented across platforms like YouTube, Instagram (Story), TED videos, etc.

Here are the best platforms to use for your genre and increase your social media presence:

Fiction

  • Facebook + Facebook Ads – Whether you are sharing your blogs written on other platforms (such as Medium, for instance) with your friends or you’ve opened a Facebook group you use to publish your work and engage fans, FB will help you form an audience
  • Instagram – When you want to merge your visual talents and written content, Instagram is great to catch your readers’ attention. Use the right hashtags to attract people that will want to read your article

Poetry

  • Instagram – Believe it or not, Instagram is great for poets who tease with their art through Instagram posts. Let’s all remember R.M.Drake and Rupi Kaur who turned their posts into not only published work, but, thanks to their Instagram presence, became an internet sensation. Make your Instagram poetry short, heartfelt and snappy. Complicated metaphors and long poetry aren’t the best forms for Instagram

Screenwriting

  • Twitter is a fantastic platform to share teasers of your work, information about your works in progress, your knowledge on a subject matter and offer commentaries on recent films and scripts. It helps to establish yourself as an authority in your arena

Non-fiction

  • Twitter – See the above
  • LinkedIn – An excellent platform for authors who are targeting the business world. For instance, write about ways reading can help your career, hacks on how to get more productive at work, etc.
  • Medium – At this point, one of the most popular and diverse non-profit platforms out there, helping authors of all genres have their voices heard. Medium is great for publishing your work and connecting with other authors in the community
  • YouTube – The best search engine (and a platform) to create tutorials that should establish you as an expert on a particular topic.

Connect with Other Authors

It’s understandable that you may feel threatened by other, more visible authors but the truth is – there’s enough space for everyone. Show support to your fellow writers by sharing their work, commenting on it, recommending it, writing “response” pieces to their posts then tagging them or merely asking them to return the favor by sharing your work. The community is usually pretty tight, and when you position yourself as a supporter rather than a competitor, everyone will recognize, appreciate and admire it –  yes, your (potential) readers, too.

In the digital era, the era of hot topics popping up on an almost daily basis, a strategy is everything to a writer (next to their talent), and you need to be smart about yours if you want to succeed.  Visit Progressive Rising Phoenix to learn great ways to achieve as an author on social media!

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