Instagram and Capitalism

Don’t expect this to be eloquent, expect it to be passionate.

We live in a capitalist society.

This is something I’ve been dwelling on considerably for a long time, and especially over the last few days. You may have heard of Instagram’s newest proposed updates to remove chronology from our feeds. This might not seem like a massive change but it could have dire consequences on smaller accounts and small business owners, myself included. It is unlikely that small accounts and businesses will still receive the same exposure as they would otherwise, for being swallowed by the larger accounts and celebrities. If you would like to learn more (and sign the petition to prevent this) please click here.

But, how does this link to capitalism? At the very base of it, this is a prime example of the capitalist We live in a capitalist society, and that's easily told just by taking a look at social media.nature of our society. The implications of ridding the chronological feeds instils a sense of capitalism – bigger, more famous and wealthier overshadowing the smaller and poorer. By using algorithms and removing the chronological order in feeds, Instagram is following in the footsteps of it’s mother company, Facebook, and if we take a look at Facebook’s progression over the years we can see the similarities and predict future changes. By introducing this algorithm that shows popular posts at the top of the feed, it allows Instagram to manipulate what the users see and when. Naturally, the next step is monetization. Just like Facebook introduced, businesses will be able to pay to promote their posts to the top of feeds – just like the sponsored ads you now see on Instagram, again following in the footsteps of Facebook. This is a real life example of capitalism, away from the realms of social media, in the way that it is large conglomerates having power over our lives. Continue reading Instagram and Capitalism

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Why I Oppose to the Syrian Airstrikes

If you live in the UK – or just about anywhere else in the world – at the moment, then you should be entirely aware that yesterday the British Prime Minister, among other MPs, voted for military airstrikes in Syria.

Even with the lack of a convincing case on behalf of David Cameron, MPs voted 397 to 223 in favour of sending RAF Tornados into the skies over Syria.

Across the web, thousands of people – who David Cameron has labelled “terrorist sympathisers” – are speaking against the decision. Myself, likewise.

It is no secret that in this country there is a great deal of Islamaphobia. It is almost common knowledge that “all Muslims are terrorists”, despite this being an outright lie. Action such as this is only going to add fuel to this particular fire because Britain have now joined the coalition of people who are bombing an innocent country in order to tackle a terrorist group that is based worldwide. ISIS – or whatever you choose to refer to them as – is a terrorist group. It is not a nation, and it is not a country, so how is bombing a country where the majority of people will be innocent going to solve anything at all? Continue reading Why I Oppose to the Syrian Airstrikes

The Hypocrisy of Society

I’ve spoken about this topic before, on my old blog, but I wanted to reiterate some of those points here, because I feel as if I’ve had more time to ponder over this topic and develop my thoughts concerning it.

0000000000000000000000000000000001There is no denying that there are many rules, regulations and conformities put in place by society. There’s also no denying that a lot of these conformities lack logic. As a society, we are beginning to contradict ourselves: “it’s important to be yourself but, no, not quite like that.” Or maybe this isn’t a new concept – maybe society has always existed as a paradox.

But rather than delve deeper into the analysis of the historical ways and conformities of society, I’d rather discuss the thing that confuses me in perhaps most depth: the minority is no longer the minority.

Almost everyone I know seems to settle on the concept of society being a corrupt machine, governed by capitalistic conventions and unrealistic expectations, as if they are detaching themselves from this aggregate. My point being is that we are the people who make up society. If it’s the majority of society who oppose to the ways of society, why are things not changing?

You’ll hear people blame society for the inconveniences within their lives – the unrealistic expectations so commonly accepted and the negative labels attached to people regardless of their actions – but those people are part of what makes up this society that they despise. We blame society but we are society. Continue reading The Hypocrisy of Society

Over the Rainbow

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It’s not often that I’m behind on the news but I’m disappointed each time I am. I was especially disappointed this afternoon when I heard that I had missed the announcement of one of the most important milestones in social justice of my life time: homosexual marriage is legal in all 50 states. As an issue I feel very strongly about, I was understandably ecstatic as to hearing the news. I have been known to campaign for equality – particularly LGBT equality – and hold very strong views on the topic.

I cannot fathom the concept of homophobia, racism or any other discriminatory behavior. Whilst the colour of your skin and who you fall in love with are both natural things, prejudice attitudes are not.

I’ve ranted against homophobia many a time – online and in person – and I’m unlikely to stop until it’s been completely eradicated. If that means I’ll be speaking forever, then so be it. Let’s start with the phrase everyone has heard:

Love is Love

Not only is love a natural emotion, and one that most people experience within their life, more often that not, it cannot be controlled. Likewise, it doesn’t generally affect people other than those in love. This begs the question, who has the right to tell a person who they can or cannot love? The person you fall in love with is not someone you have chosen out of the millions of people on Earth. The person you fall in love with is someone you have met and formed a connection with and that connection is as valid, regardless of the gender. Continue reading Over the Rainbow

Why I Oppose to First Past the Post

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I’ve spoken before on this blog about politics, as I’ve spoken before about the first past the post electoral system, but I’d like to speak about it in more depth. Before I start, here’s an overview of what the first past the post system is:

First Past the Post (FPTP) is the electoral system used to elect MPs to the House of Commons. It is a system in which the winning candidate does not require the majority vote. If a party is able to win over 50% of the seats (326 out of 650) in the House of Commons then the said party wins the election: their leader becomes Prime Minister and they are able to form a government.

Each political party selects one candidate to stand on their behalf alongside independent candidates that do not belong to a party. A person can only vote for one candidate under FPTP and it is conducted using a secret ballot, maintaining anonymity of the vote.

So, what are the advantages of a system like this:

Accountable representatives

There is only one MP per constituent which means that constituents know who to hold accountable for their representation in the House of Commons. Continue reading Why I Oppose to First Past the Post

Fight Back

There was once a time when I didn’t understand the meaning of “living in a system”. Of course, I had often heard the world and society in which we live in being referred to “the system” and how people want to “escape” such system, but for a long time I didn’t understand what it was or, more so, why you would want to escape it.

I think it was probably around the time I first heard the quote “we are all living in a cage that’s too large to see” that it struck me what this system is, and how obvious it is that we’re living within the constraints of one.

We are born and then after about four years of learning to speak and walk and such, we spend a quarter of our lives in education in order to get a job which we will spend the rest of life working in just to afford life’s basics: food, clothing, shelter. And, then, we will die. Unfortunately, of all of these inevitable stages, that one is the one we cannot, under any circumstance, escape.

caa9a7a5b301388d2531c221863dd51fI’ve spent a long time waiting to get out of education, under the pretense that that’s when my life is really going to begin; I can be free. But it’s not the kind of freedom I’d want. It’s freedom governed by rules and regulations and social conformities. Continue reading Fight Back

Feminism is for men, too

feminism

ˈfɛmɪnɪz(ə)m/

noun
noun: feminism
  1. the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes

The most important selection of words taken from the above definition has to be “equality of the sexes“. A common misconception throughout most of society is that feminism is misandry. Feminism is not misandry. Feminism supports the idea that each gender should be treated equally; it supports the equality of the sexes, not the idea of women being given more rights than men.

As feminism becomes more well-known, it seems to me as if the meaning behind it is becoming misconstrued and it’s developing more and more negative attention. I’m sure that you have all heard of the anti-Feminist group “Menism” by this time but, if you haven’t, here’s a brief overview of what the meninists (even the word itself is clumsy) campaign for and the type of propaganda they release:

In case you haven’t caught on yet, I have a problem with menism. This is not because I am a woman, nor because I think that men deserve less rights than women – because I strongly agree in equal rights – but it is because menism does next to nothing for the men in need. It is not about giving transgender men, gay men, black men, Asian men or men that belong to vulnerable minorities equal rights. It’s about patriarchy; men who feel threatened in their position of power. The purpose of menism is to work against feminism. Continue reading Feminism is for men, too