Process Post #1: “How to Talk to Strangers”
Social media has become a large part of our everyday lives. Over the past few years, I have noticed that through social media, one can become very comfortable with a new person just from chatting online. Much of our generation has grown up with cell phones, televisions and other electronic devices that take time away from having encounters in the real world. Due to the common use of social media, many feel more comfortable talking to someone online versus in person. Because the individual is not actually face to face with the other person, they feel they can be more careless with what they say. I believe that social media makes it hard to build a true connection and a meaningful relationship.
Process Post #2: Setting Up Falling For Fashion
At first I had a lot of trouble navigating through the backend of WordPress and getting my website to be visually up to my standards. I often found myself getting frustrated when something didn’t look how I wanted it to or if I couldn’t figure out how to add or delete features on my blog. My vision board has allowed me to understand what I want for my website. Every time I get down on myself or I get frustrated, I know I can look at my vision board for some instant inspiration. My mood board inspires my love for fashion and gets my creative juices flowing when it comes to blog posts!
Process Post #3: Adapting to My First Year During Covid
The first few weeks of my first year of university has been a rollercoaster of emotions. I was really excited to finally be done high school and move towards the next stage of my life, but I guess things didn’t go as planned because of the virus. I was honestly really looking forward to experiencing the “university life.” Going to class and sitting in the big lecture halls, getting used to the campus and finding my way around, and most importantly, meeting new people and building relationships and connections with people from around the lower mainland and from around the world. I tend to be a pretty social and outgoing person, so meeting new people was something I was most excited about. I have lived in the same house for my whole life, have gone to school with the same people since kindergarten, and have had a pretty consistent childhood. I know it can sound a little spoiled or unappreciative, but I was really excited for some change. You know how you watch those movies where they students are on campus having fun and cheering on their school at sporting events, well I guess that’s what I mean. I also would really love to study abroad and meet new people through different programs such as a co-op. Simon Fraser University offers many new and exciting opportunities for their students. I knew that going into my first year of university I would have to work a lot harder and spend more time and effort on my work. I played soccer for fourteen years which allowed me to recognize my work ethic and realize how far I can push myself physically, but also mentally. My course load so far hasn’t been too tough, but again, it is only the first month of the next four to five years of my life. The other three courses I am currently enrolled in are very much so academic, so I am excited for what this course has in store for me. I tend to usually see and do things as if they are only two options, black and white. I believe that this course will allow me to explore my creative and artistic side, as well as sharpen my writing abilities and skills. I hope I will use this course as a creative outlet for myself this semester. I know that university is a lot different from high school, but like I said before, I get excited about change and new things.
Process Post #4: Digital Gardens
While reading the “Digital Gardens” article by Tanya Basu, I realized that this blog is my own little space to express how I’m feeling. I see this blog as my little journal, a quiet space to display my hobbies, passions, and emotions. I grew up as a tom boy. You could always catch me playing outside in the rain with boys at recess and lunch, or not being afraid to fall in the mud or scrape up my knees. I played soccer for fourteen years and I did Tae Kwon Do for ten years until I got my black belt so I guess I never really explored my creative or artistic side to my fullest extent. Although I never was the artistic loving kid growing up, I did enjoy doing crafts and artsy projects at school and at home. The older I got, the more serious soccer got. We would do day trips to Kelowna or to Vancouver Island for one game. We would also train four times a week plus a game every Sunday. Soccer and school was my whole life. I think that this course will allow me to be more creative and re connect with the artistic, craft loving, younger version of myself. I want to use my blog to express my love for fashion and make it all fun and visually appealing. As you can tell from many of my posts, I have found a real love for creating collages. I sit in my bed and scroll through Pinterest finding different pictures that catch my eye and inspire me to post on this blog, and even inspire my own taste in clothing and views on fashion. Without this course, I would never have thought that I would enjoy scrolling through Pinterest, or sitting in my bed making collages for hours. Although I do have a social personality, I want to make this blog my own little space. Social media has been a pretty big part of my life and I have made many connections and new relationships through my platforms, but I think having my own little digital garden will allow me to explore different sides of myself.
Process Post #5: Design and Your Digital Image
One of my favourite stores to shop from is Zara. I live in Coquitlam but I would always make a separate trip to Metrotown, even if that meant I had to skytrain over an hour to get there. Zara has a lot of affordable and cute clothes, making it one of my favourite places to shop at. During the beginning of the outbreak of Covid-19 here in BC, for some reason, I had this extra urge to go shopping and buy new clothes. I think it was mainly because I was bored and couldn’t really go anywhere besides the grocery store once a week. One of the biggest things Zara is known for is their crappy website. Their website is hard to navigate and it makes it impossible to find items and shop their store in general. There have been multiple memes and TikToks that make fun of their website. That is how bad it is. But again, my shopaholic self was so excited and willing to spend big bucks on clothes from one of my favourite stores. Because of Covid, I could not physically go to the store which left me with one choice if I wanted to purchase clothes from Zara which was shopping on their website. Their difficult website was a huge turn off for me and probably for other people too. For example, I would rather spend my money else where than try to find things on their website. As the virus continues to spread and stores aren’t able to stay open to the public, a good business decision for Zara would be to make their website easier to navigate. An easily navigable website will attract more customers and increase sales. Zara does in fact have an app where you can shop, but it is just as hard to navigate as the website. Zara is now known for their cute and affordable clothes, but also their crappy website. As a big retailer such as Zara, your online website and platform are just important as your in store customer service and clothing quality for example. Social media plays a big role in everyone’s lives and will continue to grow and become more and more vital. Especially in times like these, online shopping is becoming bigger and bigger each day. Because social media is such a big part of our lives, your virtual reputation continues to become more prominent.
Process Post #6: Publics and Counterpublics
There are a surprising amount of counterpublics in the world of fashion. At first I couldn’t really think of even one, but the deeper I explored the topic of counterpublics, more and more of them came to my mind. One of the biggest counterpublics in this industry are the people against fast fashion. For example, there are those who buy clothes from websites such as Zaful or Shein, and there are those who strictly only shop at thrift stores and purchase recycled and reused clothing. I wouldn’t say I strictly belong to either or of those groups because I shop at a mix of both. I must admit, I do love buying clothes from stores like Aritzia and Zara because they always have cute clothes and you always know the new things they are selling. Whereas thrift stores such as Value Village don’t have websites and whenever you go to one, you have to do a lot of digging to find the hidden gems. As I have grown up and have developed less of a fear of the germs at thrift stores, I have really enjoyed thrifting. I love making a day out of it and going downtown and hitting all of the best thrift stores. Over the years I have become a lot more conscious of the impact fashion has on our earth. Just over a year and a half ago, I made an Instagram account where I sell my gently used pieces of clothing that I no longer reach for. It makes me happy knowing that someone else out there will also be able to love this piece of clothing like I did. There are also multiple social media platforms that allow you to resell your gently used clothes such as, Depop. Buying second hand clothing can be a bit frightening at first, but you soon realize the good you are doing for the earth currently and for our future kids and families who will live on this planet eventually. Like I said before, I don’t believe I belong to either “tribe.” Although I do shop at stores such as Aritzia, first, I always try and find that item second hand from a user on Depop or another selling platform.
Process Post #7: The Impact of Social Media
I think one of the biggest impacts of social media has had on my generation and generations to come is the unrealistic standards. Social media has created these standards that are making younger kids insecure. Growing up, I was never a girly girl. I always wore hoodies and track pants to school and I honestly did not care one bit what other people thought of me. My parents always taught me to be confident in who I am and not change anything about me for anyone else. As I got older and social media became a more prominent part of my life, I witnessed many girls become insecure because of the beauty standards social media has portrayed. Social media makes young girls believe that they have to have long thin legs and a thigh gap, as well as have a size 24 inch waist and perfect skin. Kids growing up in the world of social media are going to become very insecure and have low self esteem just because of these standards. It always made me sad seeing my friends going through rough patches because of their appearance. Future generations need to understand and recognize that all body types are beautiful. You don’t have to be the tallest, leanest girl in the class to be the most beautiful. Personally, I have always had bigger, muscular thighs because of growing up as an athletic child. Because my parents taught me the importance of self confidence and self esteem, I have never felt like I needed to change my appearance to feel good about myself. Future generations also need to recognize that having imperfect skin is normal. Acne and puberty is natural for everyone, and it also looks different than everyone. Just because you don’t look like the girls on Instagram doesn’t mean you’re less valuable or less beautiful. Social media standards will continue to harm generations to come. Whether you learn it from your parents or from school, without learning the importance of self love and loving who you are, these unrealistic standards will create an insecure generation of kids.
Process Post #8: Getting Used to University
I have completed seven full weeks of university now and I must say it has not been easy. The whole online learning thing hasn’t been the easiest to familiarize myself with. I’ve had to adapt to holding myself more accountable for getting work done and putting in the effort in all of my assignments. I think that I have worked hard tho and it has paid off in my classes. I have realized that if I want to get far in life and do well, I’m going to have to work harder than everyone else around me. I must admit, it has been difficult to meet new people. In each class I have met a few new people, but it has been hard to build a strong connection through a screen. My first peer review in this class was on Victoria’s blog, The Procrastireader. After that review specifically, I remember reaching out to her through Instagram thanking her for the lovely review. Since that one particular interaction, I have always felt comfortable reaching out to her with any questions I have regarding this class. Normally being such a social spirit, I find it really easy to get to know people. But again, that’s when I actually see them face to face. It is weird being online. I was so excited for my first year, but it is nothing like I expected it to be. I guess everyone around the world is adjusting to the new “normal” or interacting through a screen. Other than finding it hard to meet new people, I have had an overall pretty good university experience so far. All of my professors and TA’s have been super approachable and helpful. It is sad thinking that future semesters will be online like this one, but that is just something I will have to accept. Now that I am more familiar with learning online, I am a bit scared of what it is actually like to go to school. For some reason I feel like I am going to struggle. No more pausing and rewinding lectures, or just sitting in my room listening to them. Going back to school is going to be a big change for me but it is something I look forward to doing.
Process Post #9 & 10: Monetization and Reaching an Audience
As social media becomes a bigger part of our lives each and everyday, reaching an audience becomes even more important. Reaching an audience through a blog is very similar to how businesses have target markets. Here are a few ways you can engage and attract an audience. First off, you can donate to a cause. Donating shows that you care about them, their goals, and what they are doing. Secondly, you can subscribe. Whether you are subscribing to their channel or any platform, subscribing lets them know that you are interested in what they do. Next, you can attend one of their events. By doing so, you are proving to them that what they do and what they believe in is worth your time and effort, and you are willing to go out of your way to attend this event and show your support. The next thing you can do is subscribe to their e-newsletter if they have one. This proves that you are interested and engaged in their work. The last two things you can do is read their website and/or blog, or stay updated with their social media posts. Staying updated with their current posts will allow you to gain deeper knowledge on them and what they are about. Building connections is one of the most important aspects of reaching an audience. You want to ensure that mass emails are directed specifically at each client or subscriber. You want to make sure you send personalized messages and gifts so your clients recognize their importance to you and your blog. Making things personalized will result in more people supporting you and your cause. Success is a combination of a niche tribe when you lead, a voice that a brand can attach itself to to speak to a tribe, and lastly, it is a monetizing action for your audience to respond to.
Process Post #11: Multiple Channels and Your Own Platform
I believe that one of the easiest ways for a brand or company to reach a greater audience is by having multiple channels and platforms. By doing so, they are able to reach those who have Instagram but may not have Twitter, or those who have Facebook but may not have Instagram. I think one of the biggest advantages to having multiple channels is that you can reach audiences of all ages. For example, older generations are more likely to have Facebook rather than Instagram. So if your company has a Facebook account, you will be able to reach that demographic. Whereas, younger generations such as myself are more likely to have Instagram and TikTok versus someone born in 1970. If your company’s products or services target a certain demographic such as teens, using platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, etc. will allow your company to engage more of your target market. Personally, I find myself using Instagram, Snapchat, VSCO and TikTok most often. I tend to use Instagram to post the fun and exciting pictures of myself or my friends and I. Because I am not too familiar with Facebook, Instagram allows me to keep in touch with extended family members that I don’t get to see as often, especially now with Covid. I used to use Snapchat a lot. And when I say “a lot,” I mean way too often. But as I have grown up, I find myself only using it to talk to my close friends about our day and to send each other funny videos. Third off, I use VSCO as more of an artistic platform. Although I am not super artsy, I like to use it to post pretty scenery pictures I have taken or things I find cool and unique. Lastly, I mainly use TikTok as a form of procrastination. Yes, I know that it is a very common bad habit and it is not good. But sometimes, I just find myself watching hilarious videos and use them as little “pick me ups” throughout the day. I like to use my social media platforms to stay in touch with family and friends and express myself and my life through pictures and videos.
Process Post #12: Navigating the Social Waters
Growing up, my parents were pretty on top of my social media accounts. They would do weekly checks and scroll through my Instagram feed or just take a look on my phone. At the time I thought they were being nosey and invading my privacy and I really never realized that it was for my own good. From a very young age, I was always taught the importance of self confidence, self love, and not changing who you are for someone else. When I was around twelve or thirteen years old, Ask.fm became very popular. It was a platform where you can make an account and people could leave anonymous messages about you or anything really. As soon as my parents heard about it, they sat me down and told me I couldn’t download it even if every other teenager in the world has it. I was quite upset because I wanted to have it like all of my friends. Even though I personally never had the app, I witnessed the damage it did on other young teenagers, especially girls. Girls would anonymously tell other girls that they need to loose weight or they have bad acne. Whether this was just a joke or it was intentionally harmful, there was no way of seeing who said it because everything was anonymous. This became a quick and easy way for young girls to become insecure and unconfident. More times than not, social media is used to spread negativity and hate because people feel that there is less of a consequence since they can hide behind a screen. I honestly believe that social media is a very toxic place for young teens now a days.
Process Post #13: My Last Process Post & Semester Reflection
This week concludes my very first semester as a university student. The past thirteen weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotions. Many highs, but also many lows. Going into my first semester as a university student, I didn’t know what to expect. I happened to take a pretty heavy course load which kind of scared me at first. I think this course was a good creative outlet for me. It was a good way for me to relieve some stress and focus on something I love like fashion, instead of re watching business lectures, reading my Econ textbook, or writing a criminology paper. This course allowed me to focus on my creative side rather than just my academic side much like my other three courses. I found it a bit challenging to keep up with posts because my other courses were pretty demanding and tough, especially because I didn’t really know what to expect. I found myself finding these posts as a task rather than something I want to do at first. Throughout the past few months, I have realized that this course is the perfect way for me to get my mind off of numbers and theories, and focus more on writing and creativity. This course also allowed me to reflect on my social media presence and how that can affect myself and others. As someone who wants to one day run my own business, this course has taught me much about expanding my social media presence in order to reach new audiences, and how to network myself online appropriately, especially in a business environment. Overall, I think PUB101 taught me to explore my creative side and let my thoughts run and see where they take me, as well as use wiring as an outlet to relieve any stress and anxiety I may have.
Flexible Five: Self Assessment
Grade: 86% – I believe I could have participated more in class and in tutorials, but I do believe that my growth over the semester is shown in my writing and appearance of my blog.