Idealized Reality

In Progress

Synopsis

Modern day society is thriving on social media to the point where the direct connection of reality versus fantasy becomes a blurred line. This idealistic reality that entertainment has created is having a significant impact on the social skills and mental health of the emerging generation. Adults and parents fear that teens and young adults are becoming too immersed within digital platforms to the point where future generations may start to lose basic humanistic characteristics such as communication skills. I plan to create a personal assistant application that will help manage, curate, and balance the social media presence of its user. The goal is to ease the stress caused by the unrealistic ideas of reality of social media.

Research

Sensory Overload

Sensory Defensiveness

Synesthesia

Distortion

Sense Development

Emotions: The Sixth sense

How the Brain Functions

  • after experiencing sensory overload/unnatural senses, the mind can take a while to readjust

  • senses can function like muscle memory. You brain will connect the sense to a previous experience before it can process where it came from or what the memory is

  • senses are processed in different parts of the brain like tastes on a tongue

  • confusion by senses is possible because the brain cannot process and piece all the senses together as fast as we take them in

  • Synesthesia: visuals before speech, confusion and correlation between senses


Sensory Overload & Sensory Defensiveness

  • more common in people with disabilities

  • places like haunted houses and amusement parks induces sensory overloads to encourage the user to be scared or anxious

  • can cause your senses to be heightened or shut down completely

  • most people experience some level of sensory defensiveness without knowing

    • similarly to ADHD, these people find things intolerable and are then unable to work

    • EX: not wearing a turtle neck shirt because the person feels like they are being choked

  • sensory overload can cause annoyances which leads to intense emotions

  • sensory defensiveness often leads to sensory overload

Idealized Reality of Social Media

“I only look good in pictures at a certain angle”

“Do I sound basic when I post this?”

“I am too scared to post in case it isn’t cool”

“I don’t like her, but I pretend I am close to her online”

“I am better talking online than in person”

“Social media is more stressful than school”

“Social media is taking way too much of my time. But I can’t stop!”

The main method of research discussion used in this project are surveys. The target users for each surveys are teens and their parents. The teens surveyed ranged in age from 14-23 and a total of 30 people were interviewed.

The key insights from these interviews are:

  1. Entertainment creates a lack of social skills due to a decrease in human interaction and an increase in solidarity screen time.

  2. Parents believe that entertainment is negatively affecting their children because they believe their upbringing with minimal technology is the best way to raise children simply because they turned out more sophisticated.

  3. The projected life on social media through pictures and comments create an unrealistic reality that mimics a utopian life.

  4. Reality television films creates a misconception of what life is for the emerging generation through unrealistic life scenarios.

  5. Entertainment has been an essential part of depression and anxiety disorders due to the enormous pressure applied to teens today.

The main causes of social media addiction for these teens is the desire to be popular. Every single teen I interviewed stated that a key factor of joining a social media platform or binge watching a television series is because they either want to keep up with everybody else or they want to start the trend. When asked the simple question of why do they utilize electronic devices for entertainment so often, many replied that everybody else was doing it too. What might have started out as an easy way to share one’s life updates, soon turns into a battle of popularity. Teens have admitted to attending events and spending money on unnecessary items to fuel their social media presence. people seek to have an online presence that is adventurous and lavish, regardless if it is an accurate portrayal.

This leads into the creation of an idealized reality. As social media portrays what a person wants people to believe their life is about and movies are showing a utopian society, teens are becoming stressed to keep up with this new reality. Snapchat, Instagram stories, and reality shows such as the Kardashians encourage people to believe that their lives are boring and less interesting because they are not enjoying the same experiences as these reality stars. This has lead to an increase in severe depression and anxiety and encourages self-doubt in teens. More and more users are starting to focus on the image they are portraying themselves online rather than use the platforms to update their friends on their everyday lives.

Another main point that almost all of my sources brought up was that social media and the film industry is causing a lack of development in social skills. Teens are becoming more awkward and more reliant on entertainment rather than in person, human interaction. The majority of the concern is coming from worried parents while a few  teens themselves feel as though they are getting sucked into the black hole of entertainment. According to a social media survey by Statista, on average people spend over 135 minutes on social media. This rate has been increasing by around 10% each year. Here is a comparison of how much time the average human spends on social media. People spend more time watching social media and entertainment than eating.With the time spent on social media alone, a person is able to fly to the moon and back. More than double that for entertainment as a whole section. This topic has been brought to the public’s attention through the news, schools, and in movies.

Halfway into the process, the project did not seem to really solve the problem stated in my synopsis. While the video is interesting and would create a unique insight into the social media world, I decided to forgo the idea and start a new one that could solve the problem statement more fluently. This video was more of my own interpretation and imagination on what it would look like if my brain tapped into the media.I began to research more into what people were saying about the social media habit.

 

Prototype Idea 1: Campaign

Deliverable: A printed mini handbook

The idea behind this idea was to create assets for a social media campaign that would encourage people to start posting who they, not who they want to be. The main component of this project is to create a book filled only with questions that run throughout the process of posting on social media to incite a thoughtful and reflective mood. This will hopefully get people to think more in depth about why they are posting and what they really want to post. Stickers would was add another level of advertisement.


This idea began to feel unrealistic because changing millions of users’ behaviors was not feasible. I decided to go back to ideation to see if I could come up with a better solution.

NOvo: Personal assistant for social Media

Medium: app that is responsive

I named the application Novo because in latin it means revive or new. This application is meant to revive the way people use social media so that what they are showcasing online is a reflection of themselves by encouraging users to experience their community. The purpose is to make the process of social media more efficient, rather than limit or control what users are doing. That way users can continue to post with more confidence and without the associated stress that comes with it to have more time and energy to do other things.

Novo is a personal assistant application to help manage, curate, and balance a user’s social media life. This application will pull data such as location, posting habits, activity, and see what the user’s friends are doing to keep the user up to date on the latest trends. This app is meant to alleviate the stress that comes with using social media by helping the user curate his/her social media with the latest trends by providing data and suggestions pulled from famous social media stars. Another main feature is balancing the user’s social media life by promoting a healthy amount of social media time and suggesting when to block it for a period of time. The Novo bot will also provide suggestions on where to explore so that the user is not just going for the insta, but going for adventure. The goal of this application is to inspire users to live the life they want to portray online and do it in a stress free way with their own social media personal assistant!

Perspective App Screens Mock-Up@2x.png