How Asian Social Media Transformed a Quiet U.K. Walking Spot

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“When we search for London on social media, it’s the first thing we see,” Hyeon Hui Shin, a 28-year-old tourist from South Korea, said of the East Sussex cliffs, known as the Seven Sisters. “I didn’t know it was so far from London!”

The Seven Sisters — stark, white chalk cliffs facing the English Channel — have long been popular among hikers, a hardy, “walking type,” said Fran Downton, a marketing manager at Tourism South East, the region’s tourist board.

But over the past two years, visitors from China have been increasingly hopping on trains to make day trips here from London. Travelers from South Korea have now started joining them. And they are largely inspired by the cliffs’ appearances in social media, films — especially the “Harry Potter” series — and by recommendations from celebrities.

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Why Twitter’s #HimToo Mother-and-Son Saga Was a Satisfying Social Media Moment

Screenshots of the original tweets side by side.

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It was a social media saga that took the form of a three-act play: First a mother’s politicized Twitter post about her son, featuring a picture of him posed ridiculously and her complaints about his lack of dating life due to “the current climate of false sexual accusations,” went viral. Soon it inspired a wave of parodies: people posting about their “sons’ ” problems in the “current climate.” (Marty McFly can’t go on dates because his mother made a pass at him at prom!) Then the actual son at the center of it all spoke up to clarify that he had no idea what his mom was talking about.

The Teens Who Rack Up Thousands of Followers by Posting the Same Photo Every Day

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Every day for more than a year, Joey, a 15-year-old high-school student, has logged on to Instagram and posted the exact same photo of Otis, a cartoon cow from the children’s TV show Back at the Barnyard, to an account that now has almost 30,000 followers.

“For the first couple weeks, the account was only followed by my friends mostly, and a few other people I didn’t know,” said Joey, who, like all the teenagers quoted in this story, asked to be referred to by his first name only. “Over time, it just started to grow crazy amounts of followers, so I started to get committed and continue to run it.”

“Same photo every day” accounts are a subgenre of interest-based “daily” accounts, dedicated to posting one thing within a set theme every day. But over the past year, they’ve become more popular. “It’s just trendy now,” said Lily, a 19-year-old who posts the same photo of her friend every day.

The Existential Void of the Pop-Up ‘Experience’

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These places are often described as “Instagram Museums,” and the real experience plays out only after we post photographic evidence on social media. The internet is an increasingly visual space, and these museums, with their enormous pools of candy and gargantuan emoji props, are designed to fit the shrunken-down Instagram grid. What’s the point of anything else?

The central disappointment of these spaces is not that they are so narcissistic, but rather that they seem to have such a low view of the people who visit them. Observing a work of art or climbing a mountain actually invites us to create meaning in our lives. But in these spaces, the idea of “interacting” with the world is made so slickly transactional that our role is hugely diminished. Stalking through the colorful hallways of New York’s “experiences,” I felt like a shell of a person. It was as if I was witnessing the total erosion of meaning itself. And when I posted a selfie from the Rosé Mansion saying as much, all of my friends liked it.

Instagram’s in love with bare-faced brutalism – and so am I

Preston bus station

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Has Instagram saved brutalist architecture? That theory has been put forward by the editor of Phaidon’s new Atlas of Brutalist Architecture, which surveys nearly 1,000 bare-faced concrete structures around the world. Editor Virginia McLeod attributes the style’s resurgence to the assiduous hashtagging of the Instagram community – nearly half a million #brutalism posts and counting. “I noticed more and more interest in brutalist architecture,” McLeod told Bloomberg last week. “People were excited about it and loved the graphic quality of it.”

I would have to argue there’s more to it than that – the “it” being both brutalism’s revival and appreciation of architecture in general. Brutalism’s newfound Instagram popularity is potentially just as superficial as what made it unpopular in the first place.

 

Edinburgh nightclub meme: What was being said

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Actually, the two were at school together and hadn’t seen each other for a while – the now famous photo was taken as they were having a quick catch up.

Lucia admits she was pretty much ready to go home – which explains her expression.

And have they learnt anything from the experience?

“I probably wouldn’t have worn that shirt if I’d known I was going viral, I guess,” said Patrick.

“But… nah, not really. It’s just one of those things.”

Lucia said: “I’m just glad I did my make-up that night.”

How (and When) to Limit Kids’ Tech Use

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No one cares more about your child’s well-being and success than you do. In today’s digitally-fueled times, that means guiding him or her not just in the real world but in the always-on virtual one as well. Teach your children to use technology in a healthy way and pick up the skills and habits that will make them successful digital citizens. From 2-year-olds who seem to understand the iPad better than you to teenagers who need some (but not too much) freedom, we’ll walk you through how to make technology work for your family at each stage of the journey.