Tagged 'Facebook'

With surgery or digital trickery, people prep for social media close-ups

Recently, there has been a lot of talk around a social media-driven “narcissism epidemic” and the global selfies trend. In fact, a study out of the University of Michigan suggests that social media tends to appeal to people seeking to boost their egos by eliciting responses to their curated image. The anxiety that results from the desire to put forward an enviable image is leading to a phenomenon termed the Facebook or FaceTime facelift.

Social-media driven cosmetic procedures were first noted in the U.S. last year, and in March a poll by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery confirmed that “social media is leading consumers to have a more self-critical eye,” pointing to a 31 percent increase in requests for surgery as a result of online photo sharing. Now the phenomenon has been noted in India, with one report observing that more 20- and 30-somethings are signing up for minor procedures.

For consumers who want to refine the way they appear without resorting to medical help, various tools are popping up to help them achieve photo perfection. The iLipo app alters photos to simulate the effects of going under the knife (it’s intended to help users decide whether to pursue surgery), while advanced image-editing apps, like PicMonkey, help users whiten their teeth, slim their waists and brighten their eyes. And Chinese mobile brand Huawei is even integrating such capabilities into smartphone cameras, adding “instant facial beauty support” to remove wrinkles and blend skin tone.

Norte Beer’s Photoblocker staves off social media ‘hell’

Most people have had a drunken night (or two) that’s better off shoved under the rug, never to be recounted by anyone, anytime, anywhere. Period. But these days, remnants of less-than-lucid escapades seem to find their way into social news streams—and with Google checks becoming standard procedure among prospective employers and Facebook infidelity serving as a “primary source of evidence in divorce proceedings,” anxiety is stirring around social sharing.

Argentina’s Norte Beer has found a clever way to ensure that “What happens in the club stays in the club” with an amusing innovation: The Norte Photoblocker is a beer cooler that keeps drinkers safe from paparazzi in training. The cooler, which Fast Company reports has been distributed to various bars around Argentina, flashes a bright light when it detects the flash from a photo, making any images unusable. Nearby drinkers can safely party-hardy without fear that the night’s activities will be shared with the universe. In one commercial, Norte Beer comically takes viewers through the aftermath of a brotastic birthday bash, with and without Photoblocker—in the former scenario, one of the flirtatious attendees manages to evade the wrath of his girlfriend.

While today’s diligent partygoers have learned to self-censor (or at least use tools such as Last Night Never Happened to erase evidence), there’s little to protect from that friend who lacks a social sharing filter. This lighthearted idea helps keep Norte’s customers “safe and sound,” as this spot says, and reminds them that the beer is in tune with their world.