Living in a Connected World 2018/Printable version

Living in a Connected World 2018

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In what ways do social platforms like Twitter impact on user emotional intelligence?


Definitions of emotional intelligenceEdit

Image depicting the rational and emotional contradictions of emotional intelligence.
In this age of social media attacks, broken commitments, and rampant corruption, a high emotional intelligence quotient, or EQ, is more important than ever. Justin Bariso believes that increasing your knowledge about emotions, you’ll better understand yourself and make wiser decisions. (Bariso, 2018) [1] But what exactly is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence (EQ or EI) is the recognition and acquisition of one’s own as well as others emotions along with the capability to employ this emotional information in the thinking process and in taking appropriate steps. Individuals, groups or organisations with superior emotional cognisance are assumed to be superior in guiding emotions in dealing with environmental disputes. (Sparrow & Knight, 2006)[2] Basically it is the ability to perceive others’ emotions and exhibit yours to manage in order to empathise and understand each other and your surroundings.

Similarly, Chakraborty & Konar (2009)[3] discuss how emotional intelligence has alternative definitions depending on which professional sphere it relates to. For example, physiologists have long linked emotional unrest with physical changes in hormone levels in the body, psychologists tend to classify emotion into the four distinct categories of cognition, evaluation, motivation and feeling and philoshophers, on the other hand, are concerned with the relationship between emotion and rationality. The scope of emotional intelligence, however, is very broad but we will try to break it down into four very general abilities:

Self-awareness Self-management Social awareness Relationship management
One’s ability to recognize their own emotional strengths and weaknesses in order to impact their thoughts and actions, to help or distract them. The ability to manage those emotions. The tendency to self–control in a way to allow you to accomplish your goals. The tendency to perceive the feelings of others and understand where they are coming from. To see things from their perspective and understand what influenced their behavior. This majorly works on the principle of empathy. A skill to influence others with your communications and behaviors. It is you benefiting them and understanding the role emotions play in a relationship. Also, to make the most out of those bonds with others.

A brief history of TwitterEdit

Social media platforms are fundamental tools for analysing ones as well as others emotional intelligence.

Social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and particularly Twitter in this study make it very easy to like, comment or retweet thus making it very easy for other people to show solidarity of emotions with just a few clicks. Research indicates that emotional intelligence is significant in life comforts and achievements; it also facilitates emotional and social adjustments. (Salovey, Mayer & Caruso, 2002)[4]

Throughout this essay, we will be focusing on Twitter, or twttr as it was originally code-named, which was developed and ultimately launched in July 2006 by New York University undergraduates Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone and Evan Williams. (O'Reilly & Milstein, 2011)[5] But as the boundary between social media and reality continues to merge, Twitter is establishing itself not only as a vessel for social interaction but also social politics. Just as Franklin Roosevelt utilised the radio to reassure the American public and John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan made use of the contemporary functionalities of the television to promote their campaigns (Galdieri, Lucas & Sisco, 2018)[6]

Donald Trump, in particular, turned to Twitter to interact with potential supporters and disseminate proposed policies ahead of his somewhat unlikely victory at the 2016 US Presidential Election. Although originally seen as nothing more than a series of harmless tweets designed to provoke a reaction from his critics, he has since, somewhat ironically, found himself in federal court over his overuse of the ‘block’ function whenever confronted by opponents on controversial policy changes or even past crude remarks. Such disruptive behavior is somewhat unusual from such an authoritative figure on such a public platform with some analysts believing an EQ overhaul could be the ultimate solution to a greater overall online presence.[7]

Main ConceptsEdit


Trains, buses and planes have also been known to participate in Movember.
Social media platforms, and Twitter in particular, possess all of the key components necessary for social movements to thrive. Take Movember for example. Originally the brainchild of Travis Garone and Luke Slattery, the global movement is now an annual event that encourages men to grow moustaches during the month of November in an attempt to raise awareness of various mental and physical health problems such as prostate cancer and male suicide. It centres on an individuals ability to grow a moustache and subsequently raise money from the process of maintaining it for the duration of the month of November. Much like the MeToo movement, this creates a sense of community within a group of homogeneous individuals which in turn invokes feelings of self-awareness as participants engage with others who are also partaking in the event.

In what has become somewhat customary for online social movements, Movember has also attracted criticism for its decision to feature on Australian current affairs show Today Tonight back in 2007. However, in a somewhat unexpected move, the program later accused the movement of spending an unnecessary amount of money on running costs and employee salaries, apparently disregarding its charitable premise. The foundation appeared to ignore controversy and focus instead on rebuilding its brand which, according to their most recent annual report, is currently ranked 54th out of the top 500 non-governmental organisations.


Public protests in response to Donald Trump's comments regarding the MeToo movement.
Another prominent social movement proliferated by Twitter is MeToo. Although first conceived in 2006 by social activist Tarana Burke, the hashtag re-emerged and was reintroduced to popular culture in 2017 by actress Alyssa Milano who popularised it to describe her own personal account of sexual harassment at the hands of disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein. It has since been tweeted over 19 million times[8] with the phrase now deemed a testimony to women’s empowerment and the reporting of sexual harassment on a global scale.

But how do social movements, like Movember and Metoo, relate to the practice of emotional intelligence? Social platforms like Twitter allow instantaneous communication between otherwise unfamiliar individuals through the use of 'like', 'retweet' and 'reply' functions. As a specialized hashtag is retweeted, it is reintroduced to a brand new audience of users who then have the option to present it to their own distinct band of followers. This collaborative process gives way to a series of contemporaneous, albeit unintentional, connections between users of a common social space which can be especially valuable given that 'emotions often provide individuals with valuable information about their social environment'. (Emmerling et al., 2007, p. ix)[9] Malcolm Goldwell introduced the concept of how seemingly futile everyday occurrences can trigger rapid social change in his debut book The Tipping Point (2000). This somewhat revolutionary theory goes some way to explain the social power of a retweet and the immediate effect it can have on the dissemination of a social movement through the various channels that exist on digital platforms like Twitter.

As well as the relationship between emotional intelligence and social change, this discussion also elicits the debate of gender roles within social movements. Take the afore-mentioned case studies of MeToo and Movember, for example. Both are centered on - and quite frankly would be rendered somewhat obsolete without - key attributes affiliated with one distinct gender despite this argument triggering countless accusations of sexism. #HowIWillChange: Engaging Men and Boys in the #MeToo Movement [10] aimed to uncover male perspectives of the MeToo narrative by tracking the use of the user-generated #HowIWillChange hashtag and categorising these responses in relation to a list of general reactions that are either in solidarity with women, ignorant to their claims or even going as far as to deny the existence of rape culture.

When AI goes wrong: Microsoft introduces TayEdit

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
Unlike other user-generated campaigns, Microsoft attracted headlines in 2016 for its implementation of software that traversed traditional modes of communication. The company launched a Twitter bot by the name of Tay (officially, that was to be an experiment in artificial intelligence in developing a human-like persona by engaging with millennials in an online setting. Things took a disastrous turn, however, when, within hours of its release, hackers turned Tay into a hate-spewing racist. (USA TODAY, 2017)[11]

Although the account has now been muted, eagle-eyed users were able to record the tweets in question posted by @TayandYou on March 24 2016 with some of the most offensive being:

  • @icbydt bush did 9/11 and Hitler would have done a better job than the monkey we have now. donald trump is the only hope we've got.
  • @OmegaVoyager i love feminism now (The Guardian, 2016). [12]

This project was quickly and quite rightfully shuttered with a public apology issued momentarily. ‘We are deeply sorry for the unintended offensive and hurtful tweets from Tay, which do not represent who we are or what we stand for, or how we designed Tay. Tay is now offline and we’ll look to bring Tay back only when we are confident we can better anticipating malicious intent that conflicts with our principles and values. We will do everything possible to limit technical exploits but also know we cannot fully predict all possible human interactive misuses without learning from mistakes. We will remain steadfast in our efforts to learn from this and other experiences as we work toward contributing to an Internet that represents the best, not the worst, of humanity.’ But Tay's account was never recovered with most people assuming Microsoft just wanted to forget the experiment ever occured in the first place. (Official Mircosoft Blog, 2016). [13] This apology confirms that they are self-aware of their online identity as a world-renowned tech company and how public acknowledgement of the issue helped them to manage and regain their trust and relationship with consumers.

The third feature of this case we will analyse consists of an email written by the CEO of Microsoft to his employees. It read: 'Keep pushing, and know that I am with you' in an attempt to urge staff to take the criticism with a pinch of salt while exercising 'deep empathy for anyone hurt by Tay.' and that '(The) key is to keep learning and improving. (USA TODAY, 2017).[14]

All of us that have worked in large organisations and know the importance of managers, supervisors and - above all - CEO's feedback and approvals towards our behaviour within professional environments. To reiterate, empathy is a skill that can help people to work better in individual environments as well as in teams and when you take other people's perspective into account, you are then able to connect with them on a deeper, emotional level.

Microsoft's German campus.
Thus, this is why we still cannot fully rely on technology. However, technology and artificial intelligence is not the main feature of our argument. If we look at the whole scenario from the damage done by Tays’s tweets back in 2016 - regardless of the fact that tweets were produced by a bot - it still affected vulnerable groups and more than likely damaged the company's reputation albeit temporarily. Microsoft’s apology was not a normal response to such a crisis. It is very difficult for big names like Microsoft to get exposed like this and be left in a position where they are vulnerable to the masses. They could have easily blamed other factors and used their influence as a pioneer of digital technology to shift accountability to another, lesser-known company but they defended their use of the platform and their role in the scandal whilst at the same time avoiding any lasting damage to their reputation, therefore protecting the company’s mission and ethics. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this story, however, was the email from the CEO. How many times do we see leaders like him? He showed an encouraging tone showcasing a great example of relationship management. These actions add value to the company as a whole and builds up a sense of loyalty and trust, which is key to all great, professional relationship.


'You know you are emotionally intelligent when you know how make emotions work for instead of against you. It’s time to put your emotions to work.' (Bariso, 2018)[15]

To conclude, social media platforms like Twitter facilitate in creating online environments within which emotional intelligence can be measured. Social movements, like Me Too and Movember in particular, are key examples of ways in which users are able to express self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. With regards to the MeToo movement and sexual harassment claims on the internet in general, it is important to note how much public reactions can make a lasting impact on the victim. First and foremost, it takes a lot of courage to speak out against sexual violence. Hostile reactions, accusations that you are not telling the truth and questions of why you didn't speak out sooner are all common responses to such claims and this can trigger lasting, emotional damage that is reflective of not only social media platforms like Twitter but a longstanding societal crisis that is only more prevalent in today's digital age.


In what ways does Instagram and Instagram culture flatten out cultural specificity?


Digital revolution has been experienced in the Middle East, just like in the other parts of the globe. This revolution has been fueled by the internet, which has proved to be a useful tool for Middle East residents. We must acknowledge that this revolution has influenced and changed the way of life of the people in the Middle East, by connecting them to other parts of the globe. Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have helped shape and change the Middle East culture, by introducing ideologies that were alien to this region. These technologies have enabled organizations, individuals, and groups to exchange information, express their ideas, and interact with strangers online. The use of Instagram in the Middle East countries such as Kuwait and Turkey has attracted some contradictory views; mainly due to its influence on the culture of this region. To better understand the impact of Instagram in the Middle East, this study describes the Middle East Culture and how Instagram has influenced it over the past few years.

Main ConceptsEdit

History of InstagramEdit

Instagram, as we know it today was coined in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. The idea behind this invention was to facilitate smooth interactions and efficient sharing of images and videos across the globe. Instagram differs from other social media platforms in that it Kelvin and Mike specifically created it for sharing images, photos, and videos. The amount of Photo sharing that takes place on Instagram is insanely high. Apart from facilitating photo and video sharing, Instagram also allows users to edit, and organize photos. For instance, one can upload photos, choose individuals who can view them, and also use filters and tags to edit and organize the images.

Instagram use in the Middle East, and its impact on the cultureEdit

In recent days, Instagram has gained popularity among a large number of Middle East teens. While most of them use the platform for entertainment, some of them use it to inform outsiders about their countries and the positive aspects of their cultures. In Turkey, for Instance, Instagram is a popular platform for individuals who want to inform outsiders about their food, dressing and several other aspects of their cultures. Others use the platform to attract tourists, by eliminating the bias, and stereotypes previously associated with the Middle East countries. For instance, most western Media usually portrays the Middle East as unstable, and highly risky for any foreigner.

Instagram has exposed the Middle East to other cultures hence facilitating cultural interactions between different groups. Through this platforms, users have found a new way of sharing content, photos, and videos, on the various aspects of their cultures. Before the invention of Instagram, middle East citizens relied heavily on the western media and journalists to air information about their cultures, and the different aspects of their society. In most cases, the western media lacked a succinct understanding of the Middle East culture, and always misinterpreted most aspects of the cultures. For Instance, in Hollywood, and other American Mainstream Media, the Middle East cultures have been portrayed as retrogressive and Oppressive towards women (Qutub, 2013)[16]. However, through interactions on Instagram, most people have come to understand the Middle Eastern Culture better, hence eliminating the stereotypes associated with it.

The role of Modest Islamic influencers in cultural FlatteningEdit

The role of modest Islamic influencers in cultural Flattening Traditionally, the Middle East has been associated with a lot of negative events. It is due to such untrue information that most people, particularly from the western culture desist from visiting most Middle East nations. With an increase in the number of Middle East bloggers, the trends are changing slowly. Kuwait, for instance, has a large number of Bloggers who use Instagram to inform the rest of the world about their beautiful culture, and reasons why they should tour Kuwait. The benefits of such bloggers are easily noticeable since, over the last few years, Kuwait has experienced an influx of foreigners as tourists, and businessmen and ladies. The influx has benefited Kuwaitis not only by offering jobs to them, but also be erasing the bad image, created by the western mainstream media.

Middle East bloggers such as Fatima AlMattar, Mariam Mohammad and Ascia Al Faraj to market their culture, and to display their Iconic fashion, in a world dominated by western Fashion Icons. A few years ago, it was difficult to find a prominent Kuwait blogger or a fashion Icon who could compete favorably with their western counterparts. As more Kuwaitis have embraced Instagram, and social media use, the number of bloggers, and fashionistas are on the rise. Previously, these bloggers mainly targeted foreign tourists, by informing them about the beauty of their culture, and reasons as to why they should visit this country. There is a new trend on Instagram, whereby these Icons are using Instagram to market their foods and to inform their followers about new food tips. These influencers have played a key role in Flattening the Middle East culture, by exposing locals to foreign foods, Fashion and dressing codes.

While Instagram has numerous positive effects on the Middle East culture, it has some adverse effects as well. One negative effect of this platform is that it has led to the flattening of the local culture and its replacement with the western cultures and ideologies. The use of Instagram among Middle East youths has led to the globalization of culture whereby, most of them have adopted the western ways of doing things, ignoring their cultures. In both Turkey and Kuwait for instance, Instagram has become a popular application for people of all age and genders. Most youths who sign up in Instagram interacts with users from other parts of the globe, where they get accustomed to the Instagram culture. Most of them end up adopting foreign cultures and forgetting own cultures.

Instagram and Instagram culture have played a key role in the flattening of our culture in the Middle East and Globally. The Instagram culture is characterized by deception, whereby people portray a fake life, that they cannot afford in reality. The concept behind this culture is that everyone in this platform wants to be recognized, and their effects felt by their followers, and all people using this platform. Instagram has revolutionized how individuals interact, and how they perceive their cultures, as well as that of other people. While Instagram has revolutionized all aspects of our lives, its impact on culture is visible: both in the Middle East, and globally.

Cultural flattening takes diverse forms, but always has adverse effects on a people, and their culture. For instance, it leads to a devaluation of traditions, icons and key symbols of a culture. Most Western companies such as MacDonald’s relies on Instagram to reach users in the Middle East and globally. These companies lack a succinct understanding of key icons, and symbols used in the Middle East hence end up using them for the wrong reasons. Through the use of Instagram, the Middle East culture has been transformed into a commodity, and most aspects of the culture commercialized or altered to suit into the globalized Instagram culture. Through Instagram, Middle East youths have learnt about new food, dressing code, and in the process, forget about their cultural identity.

For a long time, Instagram, and other social media platforms have been dominated by western celebrities, which in most cases portray their cultures as ideal. Through this platforms, most of them have managed to convince middle East youths to adapt to the western lifestyle, by portraying the Middle East culture as retrogressive, and not admirable. Through Instagram, western firms have managed to introduce western food and dressing culture to the Middle East, leading to a decline in the local culture. For instance, companies such as MacDonald’s have stores in Turkey, and Kuwait, whereby they sell western foods, and drinks. The effects of Instagram in the Middle East have also been felt in other areas such as education, and entertainment.

Fashion Icons Yalda Golsharifi have also been at the forefront of informing the world about the beautiful culture in the Middle East, and specifically Kuwait. Yalda uses her Instagram account to market Kuwaiti’s beautiful culture, and to eradicate the stereotype previously associated with Middle East culture. She also uses the account to display her fashion, and to shows Kuwaiti’s that it’s possible to combine modernity, with the traditional Kuwait culture. Through Bloggers such as Yalda, most ladies in Kuwait, and the Middle East as a whole are slowly accepting modernity and embracing the use of Instagram to display their society.

Instagram use in Kuwait: Benefits and Negative effectsEdit

Kuwait is a country characterized by social traditions which are conservative but not strict (Nakib, 2016)[17]. Although Kuwait has accepted most of the western culture aspects, its majority of cultural practices have remained changed. The social norms and the laws are governed by Islam and Muslim who are the majority of Kuwaitis. In Kuwait, you will see most women in traditional clothes when they are on the streets and in their homes. This traditional mode of dressing requires them to cover their whole body from head to toe; except their faces and hands, moreover, other Arab women prefer also to cover their hands and their faces to protect themselves from unwanted attention (Nakib, 2016). Even with the Social Media revolution, the dressing culture among Arabic women has remained slightly unaltered.

Most people in Kuwait have accepted modernity since the country is less strict on the issues of human rights, and dressing code. Some Kuwaiti girls, for instance, do not wear Hijab since no one in this country is forced to wear it. Compared to other countries in the Middle East such as Iran, or Saudi Arabia, Kuwait has accepted western culture since the country is not strict, and has embraced democracy. Most Kuwait ladies, for instance, uses Instagram to record videos, and photos, and to inform other people about their culture. Most of them also use Instagram to show that Kuwait is peaceful for foreigners, and not strict as portrayed by people in the mainstream western Media. From a personal experience during a family trip to the United States 15 years ago, people were astonished that I never wore Hijab back then. Most of them were shocked when I informed them that, here in Kuwait, the rules are not strict, and women and girls are not forced to wear Hijab or follow the traditional Islamic roles.

Kuwaiti girls cheering for the National soccer team in Kuwait city
Strict Muslim women in Kuwait City

In Kuwait, most of the social norms incline toward Islam, whereby the majority of them are guided by the Quran. Laws outlined in the Quran advocates for both men and women who are Muslim to wear modest clothes while in public. Although there are no specific clothes mentioned by the law, Muslims and Islamic women know that they should cover their bodies completely except for their hands and faces. The cloths should also not show body form or shape but should be loose, and it should not be transparent thus not attracting attention due to its beauty (Nakib, 2016). The modest clothing combined with fashion is a mode of clothing that embraces fashion while still following the traditional cultural rules. Zaynah Ahmed is an influential figure of modest clothing and a blogger who has risen due to her interest in fashion. Ahmed opined that her interest in Fashion and blogging emanated from the desire to show Arabic women that one can still be in the fashion industry without compromising her culture or religion.

Instagram has influenced the cultural values of Kuwaitis in on aspects such as clothing and behaviors especially among higher education students and young people. Compared to other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, Instagram is more influential since it was created specifically for the sharing of videos, and Images. When a person posts a photo in a certain modal dressing; the other members following the account on Instagram may be influenced to try it too or may be compelled to criticize it. Ahmed points out that bloggers use the internet and Instagram to influence citizens from Kuwait to embrace western aspects of life and to adopt the modest code of dressing (Wakefield, 2017)[18]. As opposed to other bloggers, Ahmed uses the platform to shows fellow Arabic women, that they can embrace modernity but within the confines of their cultures.

Although there is a misconception about women who cover their hair, that they don’t express themselves fully through fashion, women from the middle east and particularly Kuwait wear hijabs and veils and cover their bodies in their modest clothing (Wakefield, 2017). However, some women from Kuwait have been posting photos on Instagram, the biggest photos and videos sharing social media network. The increasing number of women and men posting their photos on Instagram and sharing varieties of different kinds of modest clothes has influenced the culture and norms of the young people in Kuwait. Some Muslim and Islamic women from Kuwait display their fashion and styles through Instagram, using fake names to protect their privacy (Wakefield, 2017). Others who fully embrace fashion and modest dress code have genuine accounts, but they ensure that they wear loose clothes and also cover their bodies, others scroll through the feet.

In Kuwait, men and women are not supposed to socialize in public; however, this happens occasionally at different levels of interaction. With the use of Instagram, where a man can open and view accounts of female counterparts, the interaction between men and women has been increasing with time. This interaction is, in turn, discouraging the traditional culture of separation between men and women. Moreover, the use of Instagram is enabling women to display their pictures in public with intentions of displaying their beauty which is against the Koran laws. Interactions outside the traditional confines of Islam laws has contributed to the degradation of the local culture, and younger people are embracing foreign cultures. Most of them for instance, are using Instagram to communicate with members of the opposite sex and to interact with people outside the Arab world.

Instagram use in Turkey: Benefits and Negative effectsEdit


Compared to Kuwait, Turkey is more open to western culture, and the country has more freedom. For instance, drinking is totally legal in this nation, and there are numerous bars and strip clubs. Instagram like other types of social media has been significantly incorporated into this society and used to the advantage of the local people. Even though Turkey ranks among the countries that still retain some of their traditional cultural practices, Instagram use in this nation is high (Mohamed, 2015)[19]. Some factors that have contributed to high Instagram use among Turks include a large number of young people, availability of internet connection and globalization.

Turkey has benefited from the Instagram revolution, and most youths have incorporated Instagram in their day to day life. Turkey has benefited from the Instagram revolution since it has increased interactions between Turks, and the outside world. Just like other nations with a significantly high Muslim population, face to face interactions between members of opposite genders is highly discouraged. Before the introduction of Instagram and other forms of social media platforms, interactions between members of opposite genders were substantially minimizal due to culturally imposed restrictions. However, the integration of social media in these nations has resulted in improved interactions across members of opposite sex by providing an alternative way for (meet-ups) where communication occurs not only in a smooth manner but also in a safer environment.

In addition to promoting cross-gender communication, Instagram has provided Turkey with a platform to show off its rich culture (Pappé, 2014)[20]. While going through the Instagram profile of most Turks, one can notice that they like flaunting about their rich cultural heritage such as their clothing attire, historical sites, and cuisines (Pappé, 2014). The significant economic development of the Turkish economy can be attributed to its contact with the outside world, which has made it possible for Turks to interact, and to trade with other cultures. Through such interactions, Turks have not only managed to portray their country as a top tourist destination, but also a home of prominent fashion designs. It is through such activities that Turkey have become a leading tourist destination for tourist and business individuals looking to explore their rich culture.

Despite the impact that Instagram has had in bringing the world in contact with the rich Middle East culture, the culture of turkey has also benefited through the exposure its people have to other cultures. While each culture is unique in its way, there is always a chance for people to borrow from other cultures, in order to improve their own. Given the high rate of Globalization, interactions between Turks, and the outside world has been made easier, and highly efficient by Instagram. Before visiting this country, one can, for instance, use Instagram accounts of prominent Turks to identify the does and Don’ts in this country (Mohamed, 2015). Through this approach, the number of businessmen and women visiting turkey has increased tremendously.

Even though most Middle East countries are Arabic speaking nations, the use of Instagram has inspired individuals from these countries to learn at least one-second language such as English. Studies show that, in Turkey, English has been significantly incorporated in tourist centers to ensure that a large number of tourists and business people who make their way there can effectively communicate (Pappé, 2014). The leading tourist destinations in Turkey such Cappadocia, Sultanahmet, and resort town in the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts have incorporated English as a major language for communication. It is through Instagram that most Turks have identified the need to learn and understand English, to blog and communicate effectively with people from English speaking nations.

Like in Kuwait, Instagram has helped Turkey to eliminate the negative stereotype previously associated with Middle East nations. The increased number of Instagram users from Turkey is a clear indication that the platform has proved to have a positive effect on culture. The distinct impact this mobile application has had in advancing the Middle Eastern culture is evident through the increased number of tourists and business persons that are making their way into this Middle Eastern country with the aim of exploring their rich culture (Zeng & Gerritsen, 2014)[21]. Before the introduction of social media applications such as Instagram, most people across the world, particularly from western countries, had a negative image of Turkey and other Middle East countries. However, the introduction of Social Media applications such as Instagram has had a substantial impact in presenting the world to get the firsthand information about this nation. Since Instagram allows individuals to take and post photos and videos, Turks have used this platform to take photos of their Cities and other destinations, and post them for the rest of the world to see.


In conclusion, Instagram has flattened most aspects of the Middle East culture, harmonizing them with the rest of the world. Through this platform, the Middle East citizens are now connected to the rest of the world, where they can learn a new culture, and also showcase own culture. Both Turkey and Kuwait have benefited from this platform, both economically, and socially. Instagram has allowed both nations to inform outsiders about their culture, and to erase the negative stereotype, created by western mainstream Media. Through this platform, modernity, and democratic values and processes have been incorporated into the Middle East for the benefit of the locals. While Instagram has presented new issues and Challenges to this region, its benefits outweigh the negative effects.

See alsoEdit


What categories of data can benefit merchants to improve their sale profit?


With the advent of the 21st century, the digital age is developing more and more rapidly. At the same time, more and more people will use the Internet in their lives and work, we are witnessing the entry into the era of big data. When people use digital media, they will generate a series of personal data, what is personal data? First of all, this personal data does not involve company or organization information, he applies for the real designated contact. Second, "Personal data is recorded in an auto-running device(Ticher, 2008)", which refers to a computing device or an automated device, such as a monitoring system or closed-circuit television, etc. The data will be transcribed to the contents of the personal computer records. And personal data " can include any information about an identifiable, living individual which is recorded in any way(Ticher, 2008)." For instance, personal profile, web browsing history etc., which are likely to be tapped by some merchants in order to better understand consumer preferences and demand. Thus targeted product promotion, the promotion method can be offline or online. And ultimately make the business get more benefits and increase the awareness of their own brand. We will study from four aspects: consumer, consumer data, business promotion themselves method and the benefits brought about by effective advertisement, and through examples to confirm our argument: the acquisition of consumer data by the business can effectively enable the company to find their own direction, so as to increase the profit of the business. This paper will discuss consumers' classification, analyze consumption data, analyze what businesses can do after analyzing data, and carry out important business promotion methods.

Main ConceptsEdit

Consumers There are two types of consumers, existing and growing. The potential increase in consumers is attracted to the way products are sold. Businesses can recommend products to existing consumers based on their gender, age and work. The number of people who buy products will increase. Potential increased consumers become existing consumers. Businesses then analyze their consumption data to attract the next set of potential customers. It's a continuous cycle. Merchants will investigate the existing consumers, analyze the consumption data, find out their common points, and then use the common points for point-to-point promotion to attract more people in need. First, the company's staff will conduct statistics on existing consumers (such as basic information and personal information) as well as these data. Secondly, find commonality and define the characteristics of potential users. Then, when businessmen understand what talent they need to attract, they can get the right drugs, invest in useful advertising, avoid inefficient investments and waste assets. Finally, when placing certain advertisements, merchants will attract corresponding potential users, thus expanding consumer groups and ultimately improving the interests of the company.

Consumers Data: The consumers data we need to consider is not only the identity information data, but also can involves customer consumption record. The identity information of consumers is their personal information which includes their name, gender, marital status and interests on goods. The types of data collected from consumers range from Internet browsing history to location via mobile devices to connections and interests via social media. The data is then processed and reused by various companies. Some of them are directly related to consumers, such as retailers (CMA, 2015). Other industries, such as information gathering and analysis, are not visible to many consumers (CMA, 2015). In general, data mining (sometimes called data or knowledge discovery) is the process of analyzing data from different perspectives and summarizing it into useful information that can be used to increase revenue, reduce costs, or both (Lokendra, 2013). Data mining software is one of the analysis tools for analyzing data (Lokendra, 2013). Although data mining is a relatively new term, it is not. For years, companies have used powerful computers to sift through vast amounts of data from supermarket scanners and analyze market research reports (Lokendra, 2013).

Wal-Mart Supercenter at Fountain Square, Waukegan, Illinois
Wal-mart's data analysts, for example, have found that when new fathers buy diapers, they put beer in their shopping carts. So wal-mart came up with a good marketing strategy. It may seem ridiculous to put beer and diapers together, but when new fathers buy diapers, they can easily get the beer they need, which is very convenient for them (Nate, 2012). This shows the importance of data, which is directly related to the growth of sales. Many retailers analyze data to find out when to put the goods on the shelves and what goods to put together (Nate, 2012). Another example of shopping malls using data to determine when to put goods on different shelves. A Midwestern food chain USES Oracle's data mining capabilities to analyze local buying patterns. They found that when men bought diapers on Thursdays and Saturdays, they also tended to buy beer. Further analysis showed that these shoppers typically buy groceries weekly on Saturdays. However, on Thursday, they only buy some things (Lokendra, 2013). Retailers concluded they were buying beer for the coming weekend. The food chain can use this newly discovered information in a variety of ways to increase revenue. For example, they can move the beer monitor closer to the diaper monitor. They can ensure that beer and diapers are sold at full price on Thursday (Lokendra, 2013).

It is worth noting that as merchants collect a large amount of customer information in recent years, customers also begin to worry about the use of data. But any of this needs to be seen dialectically. For example, like Safari, its ios system occupies a large proportion of the market. It USES cookies to locate customers' geographical locations and collect browsing records that are of interest to customers, which has led some customers to object to them. But there are still people who don't object to being tracked when they visit the site (EY, 2013).

Aims of Consumption Data/What Can Data Analysis Do: These categories of data can help merchants in-depth understanding the need of users so that come up with new business promotion methods. In simple terms, on the one hand, using these data to better understand consumers and increase their satisfation with consuming eperience, on the other hand, it helps excavate our potential users, which means expanding the consumer base. Today, data mining is primarily used by consumer-focused companies -- retail, finance, communications, and marketing organizations (Lokendra, 2013).A lot of data comes from study of behaviors by consumer tracking. Companies basically study these consumer-purchasing pattern to send them the right advertisements. There is many target examples used by merchants. The existence of target market is to attract a specific kind of customers through targeted sales (John, 2018). For example, one kind of shoes or clothes is only aimed at young people, or boys or girls among young people (John, 2018). It can also be a class of equipment such as waterproof clothing waterproof shoes, is only for outdoor sports enthusiasts(John, 2018). Then the merchant can attract the part of customers who are interested by designing specific products (John, 2018). Only through these consumption tracking records of data, businesses can really know what consumers often buy. Targeted advertising and other ways can be adopted by he leaders of merchants to increase consumers' chances to buy products based on different groups of people's needs.

Now many companies and businesses want to have their own set of data so that they can control their own operations through data analysis. Data can help them reduce operating costs, solve operational risks, increase the number of customers, and thus improve the profits of merchants (EY, 2013). Five years ago, customers would have marveled at the ads and products that merchants tailored for them. Now, customers have begun to expect to see products based on their own, customers are very willing to accept the promotion of the products they are interested in (EY, 2013). In this way, it is very convenient for customers who have no free time to choose from a dazzling array of products. These customers are willing to accept that. If the merchant does not provide it with the promotion of the content of these products and the dissemination of advertising. They are likely to lose these customers (EY, 2013).

Business Promotion Methods: Merchants can increase the value of their products online and offline in a variety of ways. For example, e-mail marketing, online advertising, etc., this type of advertising is suitable for small and medium-size enterprise, relatively cost-effective. It is also a promotion method under the cable, such as a billboard for a subway station. However, in today's digital age, "Internet and related technology development have produced digital and interactive promotional methods" In short, More and more merchants choose to combine themselves with digital media to promote themselves. For instance, customers can find new products on Facebook, and they can also purchase through Facebook through the link. After receiving the product, If they feel satisfied, they may through social media tells their friends. This behavior will improve merchants awareness of the brand and products, It also makes this marketing model a virtuous circle. In this essay, I will introduce three unique advertising methods that can serve as a success story for promotion.

Adidas Logo

·The first is one of Adidas' digital marketing tools, which is summarized as "Let somebody else do the talking". Some time ago, Adidas has launched a product called the Fitness Tracking Chip. This chip allows the wearer to monitor his fitness progress, interact with people through the running route, and share it on social media. Adidas is a sports brand, so most people who buy this brand are willing to exercise and fitness. Therefore, this is the original intention of the company to design this product. This product allows athletes to record their exercise intensity and sports time, they also can choose social media for punching. In my opinion, this marketing model is very smart because the company captures the customer's needs, some customers choose punching on social media not only satisfies people's desire to show off but also gives them a way to record their lives. When his friends on social media see his records, even if they don't buy them, they will know more about the brand. This kind of publicity is promoted by customers, allowing customers to promote the company's products or the company's brand. This is a model for learning for some small and medium-sized enterprise. For companies, however, companies can use the chip to uncover customer demand for products, the company said. "A large amount of data collected through these tracking chips allows them to monitor when customers use the product and let them know when new products are needed(Turpin, 2016)". The company can improve its products by collecting data from the chip and exploring the customer's demand for the product, which is why Adidas has always been higher than other competitors.

MARKS & Spencer logo

·Another example to be elaborated is the promotion of a large British supermarket-Marks & Spencer, which can be called "understand the current hotspots and combine customer needs". In 2012, a supermarket in the United Kingdom launched a strategic policy aimed at reducing unnecessary packaging to achieve global environmental protection. This was the first supermarket to announce the beginning of environmental protection. The news was released, which aroused the enthusiasm of environmentalists. It is also very effective in reducing the cost of packaging for its own company. It can be said to be a win-win strategy model. First of all, this model has enabled some environmentalists to conduct hot discussions on the Internet, indicating that the recognition of the company's practices will make this environmental awareness more choices for the supermarket to purchase the necessities of their own lives. Secondly, for those who have not realized that they need to be environmentally friendly, maybe they will look at the advertisements of the merchants or through the sharing on the social media of friends, they will begin to pay attention to the issue of environmental protection. In fact, it is also a kind o "hot attitude" to buy items at this supermarket. In the end, the company can achieve high evaluation in the supermarket, making the brand's social reputation and people's awareness of the brand, and also gain more turnover, which is often a company key to improving merchants own interests.

File:Pikachu de miriam.png
Pikachu de miriam

·The third example is the most popular Pokémon. The company's marketing approach is summarized as "creating hot topics and accelerating the expansion of the company's peripheral products." The Elf is a cross-media series that includes games, novels, peripheral items, movies, and more. From the black-and-white version of the game console to the limited edition switch of the Pokémon series, sales have only increased, and the sales data shows that the Black Five has become the top five game sales in the United States in 2018, due to the company’s publicity strategy. This company not only focuses on making game consoles but also caters to the preferences of the mass customers, makes the products around, so that people can always access the products launched by the company and make the cartoon characters in Baoke’s dreams always hot discussion in social media. By monitoring people's data on the hot search of products, the company measures whether products are valued and forgotten by people, and produces more around product at the right time to evoke memories and heats of the company's cartoon characters. As a result, this series of products has always been hot in the market. When people who like Pokémon discuss Pokémon on social media, it is actually the success of publicity, because people's discussion makes this series produce a certain amount of heat, and products with a certain amount of heat must have good sales.


Consuming data comes from consumers themselves. The business promotion methods are designed by merchants are based on the consuming data, and the methods merchants use, such as advertising, influence consumers’ consumption tendency. These four aspects are users, consumers data, ways to promote awareness of the brand or company products and increase consumers (expanding consumers, companies increase interest) The first aspect: users: consumers of products The second aspect: consumers data - in simple terms, is to use data to better understand consumers and through data mining our potential users to make our products even better. The third aspect: the way to promote product promotion: equivalent to the company's investment in the external market, these investments can be online, it can also be off-line. The fourth aspect: increasing consumers: This is equivalent to expanding the consumer base and attracting more potential users. Then the relationship between the four aspects is: Firstly, the company's personnel will count existing consumers (such as basic information and personal information) and these data. Discover commonalities and clarify the characteristics of potential users. When we understand what type of people we need to attract, we can get the right medicine, invest in useful advertising, avoid inefficient investments, and waste assets. When we invest in certain ads, we will attract the corresponding potential users, thereby expanding the consumer group and ultimately improving the interests of the company.

This paper mainly describes the relationship between consumers, consumption data of consumers and business promotion methods. It also explains the types of consumers, how to get consumption data and the ways to increase the number of consumers through these data. Because these data can help these companies make specific arrangements. The continuous progress of data analysis and mining technology makes its application fields more and more extensive. It can also help many organizations in other ways. Not only for merchants, but it also has been applied to more fields, such as health care, finance and police detective. However, analysing consumers data is not enough if the business want to be stronger and more successsful. "Personalising products and services is also necessary, which includes using consumer preferences to offer a service more closely matched to their needs – for example in retailing, to make tailored recommendations (CMA, 2015)."


CMA. (2015). The commercial use of consumer data. Report on the CMA’s call for information. Retrieved from 29/11, 2018.

EY. (2013). In the decade of the customer, knowing your customer means owning your data. Global Media & Entertainment Center. Retrieved from 29/11, 2018. file:///C:/Users/DELL/Desktop/10/essay%20resourses/EY-In-the-decade-of-the-customer.pdf

John, S. (2018). 11 Examples of Target Customers. Retrieved 25/11, 2018, from

Lokendra, S. (2013). Data Mining: Review, Drifts and Issues. International Journal of Advance Research and Innovation. Volume 1, Issue 2 (2013) p.44-48

Nate, W. (2012). Diapers, Beer, and Data Science in Retail. Contemporary Analysis. Retrieved 25/11, 2018, from

Ticher, P. (2008). Data Protection vs. Freedom of Information. IT Governance Ltd. PP. 29-32.

Turpin, D. (2016). Four keys to marketing in the digital era. Retrieved from 29/11, 2018.

In what ways does the practice of copywriting shape the affordance of platforms and websites?

How does the evolution of social media influence business communication?Edit


Generally, consumers use social media to access content content simply and directly in the way of reading, watching, and touching. With the rapid development of social media and the increase of social media platforms, more and more consumers prefer to create and share information with the help of the Internet. According to Mangold and Faulds (2009), the technology is enjoying increasing popularity and attention due to its ability to connect hundreds of thousands of people and allow them to interact with each other. This way, new ways of reaching markets have emerged, which - almost inevitably - has changed the tools and strategies businesses use to communicate with their customers (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). Moreover, businesses use social media to improve their business communication not only with their customers but internally as well. How did this disruption occur? Why is social media so powerful that it could radically disrupt business communication? The following essay will explore how of social media influences and transformed business communication.

This piece will aim to explore the literature around social media and business communication from which an argument will be formulated with regards to the influence of social media on business communication. In order to underpin the arguments, this essay uses case examples.

Social Media and Business CommunicationEdit

Social media icon

According to Kietzmann et al. (2011), social media is defined as highly interactive platforms which allow its users to interact with each other and with content. It is a tool for communication, sharing and creating content, as well as a technology which allows users to have an online presence (Meikle, 2016). Statistics show that in July 2016, approximately 1.13 billion people use social media on a daily basis (Larosiliere et al., 2016). One of the most common form of social media is social networking sites. One of the major contributions to social media literature is that of boyd & Ellison (2007), who provided a definition for social networking sites and explored their main components and characteristics. According to boyd & Ellison (2007), social networking sites are web-based services that allow individuals to create an online profile within a bounded system, create a list of connections with people they know, and create mutual connections with them. Some of the early versions of these social networking sites included MySpace and the early version of Facebook. Today, some of the most popular social media platforms include:

Popular Social Media Platforms

Each of these platforms is highly interactive and allow direct communication with others. Social media has been studies across many academics fields in order to gain a deeper understanding of its nature. One such field is the area of impression management, self-presentation, and friendship performance, where individuals are able to create and maintain an online representation of themselves (boyd & Ellison, 2007). Donath and Boyd (2004) expand on this by adding that online identities play an important role in getting by in the online world. This leads us to assume that the same is true for not individuals, but for businesses as well. Businesses can create an online representation of themselves, which others see and interact with. This is a radical development in their way of reaching their target market.

Social Media as a Data HubEdit

Ellison and boyd (2007) also argue that social networking sites are rich sources of data. The data obtained from these sites can provide useful insight for businesses to understand their market's behaviour, as well as to conduct market research. Moreover, by actively participating in discussions with customers, businesses can build trust with their customers. Porter and Donthu (2008) conducted a study in which they examined how trust is developed in virtual communities. They found that although members of a virtual community value interaction, organisations must be more interactive if they are to cultivate trust and provide further value to their customers. In addition to this, interaction creates more data which businesses can analyse in order to gain an even better understanding of their customers and market demand.

Although there is a clear consensus in the literature that social media has been enjoying an increasing popularity (Kietzmann et al., 2011). However, since the technology is fairly new, there is still many uncertainties around it. For instance, Carpenter et al. (2016) found that higher education institutions are still unsure as to how to apply social media effectively to their marketing strategy. Nevertheless, it is unambiguous that social media is transforming the way businesses and institutions communicate.

Transforming Business CommunicationEdit

Social media opened up communication channels for business to promote and advertise their products. One of the most important advantages of social networking sites is the fact that that's where everyone's attention is. This way, it is a lot easier for managers to identify the communication channels through which they aim to advertise and promote their products. The literature around social media has been studying the technology from several perspectives related to business communication. For instance, Mangold and Faulds (2009) argued that social media has become a hybrid element of the promotion mix. They state that the technology enables businesses to talk to their customers, but it also enables customers to talk directly to one another. In a sense, this creates virtual communities around the brand or business. Virtual communities are defined as social groups where the members' psychological and cultural qualities align, thus creating mutual interests and connectivity without physical connection (Parks, 2011). There is still a lack of consensus as to whether social media and social networking sites are virtual communities, but it can be argued that virtual communities can emerge via social media and social networking sites. In a sense, businesses can be regarded as the role models or opinion leaders of their virtual communities, which obviously radically changes the way they reach their customers. Mangold and Faulds (2009) also state that another key element added to business communication by social media is the fact that the technology opened space for discussion. Customers can now discuss and share their experiences with the business they interact with, which then can be seen by other members of the community.


To put in context, a bad review, or even a misinterpretation of an online piece of media can have significant impact on the business's image. Such was the case with H&M, where the company promoted one of their products online. The inscription on the jumper said "Coolest monkey in the jungle" and was worn by an afro-american child. This caused a massive indignation on the internet, and also resulted in a group of locals smashing an H&M store. This example supports the argument that the social media presence of companies are in the forefront of attention and therefore should be used with caution and efficiency at the same time. Furthermore, this goes beyond the members of H&M's virtual community, as it can be seen and read by everyone who is on the internet.

According to boyd (2012), in some instances, individuals can have an online self and an offline self. This essay argues that, in a sense, businesses can be regarded as online entities as well, because they also take part in the online interaction through social media. This form of interaction is a perfect example of two-way communication, where the sender sends a message to the receiver, who then replies, swapping the roles of the individuals communicating (Shannon, 1961). Therefore, it is assumed that boyd's concept of being "always-on" is also applicable to businesses. Not only do they represent themselves online, but also act as a body with which others can interact with.

Case StudiesEdit

A company might have multiple social media platforms and tools to develop its company image and build up the reputation, which is crucial to grasp the main and target customer. Those process can be done by the kinds of social media platform as well as internal systems which depend on different characteristics, such as interests, preferences, behavior, location, website or kinds of app, engagement-based targeting etc.

White ElephantEdit

Social media has transformed the ways of business communication. Especially from one culture to another, social media has the responsibility to transform the business matter and different culture.

Science 1990s, social media not only changed the tools and strategies businesses use to communicate with their customers (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). Shanghai White Elephant Swan Battery Co., Ltd was usually known by Shanghai Battery Factory, it gains a good reputation in domestic and abroad market and has a heavy duty battery specialized manufacture history of seventy years, especially in Asian countries. However, when White Elephant come to West market, although The White Elephant with high quality and acceptable price, it still unsalable. Because they ignored the importance of business communication. For the reason that the white elephant means an expensive possession cost a lot but the lock of disposing of, particularly for maintenance which is out of the use or loses proportion. At that time, The White Elephant did not have an organized feedback system, even did not get enough preparation for the business communication with local customs and other battery suppliers.

KFC and WechatEdit

The crucial to KFC's success in the country has been catering its menu to local tastes. And KFC is the most popular fast food chain in China so far now. KFC dominates the country's fast-food landscape, which with more than 5,000 chains cross 1,100 cities around China. KFC was the first American fast food chain to launch in China, and opening its first China branch in 1987. It quickly became a symbol of the country's rapidly reforming economy and newfound openness to the world.

To be the corporation, there is anther succeed business communication example (Harrison Jacobs 2018). When KFC came to the Chinese Market, they found some dishes on the menu are unsalable. So they made the full use of Wechat, which is a Chinese social media platform to build their local company image, as well as reputation. Firstly, KFC made a Wechat Official Account to display their new menu and call for people to mark them with satisfaction from price, taste, and looks. This initiative retrieved a number of customers. On one hand, KFC got the in time feedback from the customer and made an interactive to change their menu in order to adaption. At the same time, they made fully market research and found out although the major of the white collar prefer to choose KFC package for breakfast, they still miss the traditional Chinese dishes with rice for the beginning of a busy day. So KFC collected big data and feedback on people’s expectation in store and online (especially on the official account) for new local dishes to improve their sale. While KFC updated their menu immediately with Teriyaki Chicken Chop Rice and other Chinese traditional food to perfect and enhance their menu. Business communication not the unique for companies, but also including consumers’ react. A benign business communication cycle can benefit company and customer.

These are the marketing agencies, but they are really they change the thinking of people but these are the best way to do market just any product. The spread of KFC also changed the Chinese mind of fast food. Several years before, fast food is considered junk food, quick and cheap. Gradually, post a picture of eating at KFC on the Wechat moment became a new fashion. Nowadays, KFC was seen as an "exciting, unique, and brand-new experience never before encountered… like taking a tour of America, with all its connotations: political, cultural, time, and space — real or imaginary."(Harrison Jacobs 2018).

In terms of the sale in 2016 in China, KFC holds 11.6% of the market share, according to Euromonitor, far ahead of McDonald's 5.6%.


Compared with Wechat, Facebook has been a unique social media platform, which can not be copied by Instagram, We talk, and other social media platforms.

Facebook as a social media platform, it has become a dependent company. According to the annual Facebook report in 2016, the profit of Facebook was more than 27.64 billion dollars, as well as the revenue keeps growing with 23% as a result of the increase of the user of the mobile phone. ( Alexander V. Laskin) Facebook has acquired 65 companies around the world with the amount of 23 billion dollars in order to improve the kinds of features of their website since 2009. After finishing that, the Facebook set up their business, which including adding different features origin from the companies it has acquired made some adaptions and acquisitions aim to match the mobile phone sector better. Facebook also purchased Instagram and Whatsapp with the price of 1 billion dollars and 19 billion dollars in order to make investments in social media platforms.

The ultimate objective of the Facebook campaign is to determine the ad formula as well as the bidding options. Facebook provides different goals, which can be categorized into three categories. They are considered as consideration, awareness, and conversion (Scholz, 2017). In the beginning, the consideration of Facebook is just a communication tool among colleges. In order to enhance the number of the user, Facebook added some little functions as well as make a communication circle. A monthly active user or MAU is referred as a registered Facebook user who has logged in to the Facebook account through the mobile phone or computer or used the Facebook messenger system to chat with the friends for at least one in the last thirty days period (Gebika, 2014).

In the Facebook marketing environment, through the creation of the business manager account, the registered advertisers can optimize their Facebook pages as well as the ad accounts both and after setting up the information of accounts, and after completing the other formalities, they can be the part of the campaigns of Facebook (Carr, 2008).


Social media has radically changed communication, which can be observed on a daily basis. Any kind of social media is the marketing agencies, to some degree, it really they change the thinking of people but these are the best way to do market just any product. There is tangible evidence that the technology has changed not only the way we communicate, but also how businesses communicate. The traditional ways of reaching out the market are long gone, instead, customers and businesses interact with each other everyday through social media. Feedback is instant and data about consumer preferences are faster than ever. It is up to the business to filter the relevant data and make the most out of it in order to further enhance its communication and improve its overall profitability.


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