USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO SHOW WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA DOESN’T SHOW
YE’ GOTTA CARE
As it has probably become obvious if you’ve been on our website long enough, we at Studio Something care about mental health and wellbeing. We feel that if a brand has a chance to do good, it should do it. So when SeeMe came to us asking for help to spark a conversation about mental health with minimum spend, we turned to what many others do: social media. But instead of selling cool shoes, expert cosmetics, or other things that can help you achieve the ‘life you want’, we used it to get people talking about embracing what they really have, their real self.
The brilliant (and, in equal part, terrifying) minds at Facebook, Instagram and elsewhere found the perfect way to ‘hijack our minds’, using every bit of behavioural psychology to keep us coming back. Which wouldn’t be half bad if it weren’t for the fact that what we’re presented with on social media is not real reality, but more a curated version of other people’s lives - a version that doesn’t show the ‘behind the scenes’.
MY LIFE SUCKS
When we compare other people’s holidays, achievements, perfect skin and awesome friends with our own, we can’t help but feel inadequate, feel like we’re missing out, not doing enough, or that we’re not where we’re supposed to be. No wonder anxiety and depression rates have skyrocketed over the years. In all its ‘community creating’ glory, Social Media has managed to alienate a lot of people. But not from others. From themselves.
#myunfilteredlife came as a response to that - an attempt to use one of these powerful social platform’s addictive elements for good rather than ‘bad’. If we wanted to combat stigma around mental health, we needed to show people they are not alone, research that we had from SeeMe, unsurprisingly, showed that one of the biggest causes of anxiety was social media.
It didn’t take a scientist to point out that this was probably due to the fact that we were all only seeing the good bits of people’s lives. We were comparing our worst bits to other people’s best bits.
REAL LIFE IS NOT A HIGHLIGHTS REEL
The jump we made though was that in fact we all feel this way, even those who have the perceived ‘perfect’ insta game. There wasn’t good people and bad people. We were all playing the game and we all knew we were all playing the game but none of us were saying anything.
We all knew that for the one perfect selfie photo we post there is 300 we didn’t, we started from the idea that it would be interesting if for one day people posted one of the 300 ‘bad’ ones just to show everyone the other side to online life.
This became #myunfilteredlife a campaign that started off with our own organic network, personally asking everyone we knew on Instagram for one day to post a photo that was unfiltered in all senses, show us a photo that is the other side of the ‘image’ you have online.
REALITY VERSUS HIGHLIGHTS
The mum with the perfect kids posted that in fact, they just screamed most of the time
The guy in the band who posted photos from the mic on stage in front of thousands of people posted that in fact he was struggling with depression and mostly just spent his time in empty Portakabins on tour
The world travelling director who posted that most of the time he was at home doing the dishes not travelling the world as his photos would attest to.
The campaign encouraged users to share with those closest to them a photo of their ‘real life’ rather than their filtered, curated, Instagram one, to puncture the ‘everyone’s life is better than mine’ bubble that was so dangerous for many people’s mental wellbeing. We wanted them to do the opposite of what Instagram is all about, in a bid to do some good and bring something real to people’s reality.
As a result of the campaign, SeeMe’s Instagram grew with 3,000 new followers, and around 1,200 people shared their unfiltered lives, with the hashtag still being used to this day. Most importantly it opened up a new channel for SeeMe where people could get in touch with an organisation through a totally new medium, they knew that if they posted and tagged a post then someone from SeeMe would step forward to point them in the right direction to get help, it became a way to not just talk about mental health but a new way to talk openly and up about your own mental health.