Social media trends

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By Leska Ang

#hashtag

Friday, August 22, 2014


I THINK one doesn’t have to be active online to know what the latest trend is these days. Even my grandmother, who doesn't use computers or smart phones, knows what's going on in the World Wide Web. Somehow, these trends manage to make their way to us, whether we like it or not.

In the past few weeks, it's virtually impossible to avoid coming across the two new viral yet different trends.

The Makeup Transformation trend began on the popular photo-sharing application Instagram where users would post four pictures of their transformation from their regular, bare face to a glamorous celebrity with the help of makeup.

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Originally, the hashtag was used as a tutorial to show the process of contouring. Any normal person - male or female - can transform to Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, or Angelina Jolie.

But of course, it would not be the Internet if no one took a more creative turn to the trend. Over the past few days, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have been awash with photos of practically everybody with their celebrity lookalikes.

The first three pictures would show the poster with their transition - usually by way of quirky means like glue instead of gel or white paint to have lighter skin - and the fourth photo would show the completely drastic change to their lookalike celebrity.

The lighthearted trend is quite amusing that even local celebrities and politicians can't help but join in on the fun.

Another crazy fad is posting videos of getting a bucket of cold water getting dumped on one's head. It's called the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. The challenge dares three nominees to undergo the ice bucket challenge and, after, nominate three more people to do the same within 24 hours.

But before people tag this as another nonsense activity made popular by media, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge serves a great purpose. ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, and the challenge was conceived by ALS Association in the effort to bring more awareness to the disease and raise funds.

The rules of the Ice Bucket Challenge is that if one is nominated, he or she either chooses to have the ice water dumped on them plus donate $10 to www.alsa.org or, if they choose to decline, donate $100 to the same website.

The money raised from the campaign will be used towards research and development of a cure for the disease.

Nowadays, it's good to know that any worthwhile cause or advocacy can garner such widespread publicity, given the right platform, just by making a few clicks on the computer.

This generation is quite lucky to have such power at the tips of their finger. However, just like any thing that has a semblance of popularity, there are downsides to the reach the Internet has.

For example, in the flood of ice bucket challenge videos, the original purpose of the challenge is sometimes lost in the process.

The immense popularity and success of this campaign heavily lies on the number of celebrities that have undergone the challenge and have promptly posted the videos online.

Certainly, with media being ever so present in our day-to-day lives, gimmicks and fads such as these are sure to either bring us entertainment or serve a good purpose.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 22, 2014.

Lifestyle

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