Hosted at Lingnan University was the first TedxTalk of the academic year for 2017-18. After much deliberation and scheduling we were able to host the wonderful Rosi Ross, a social media guru, fashion expert, and media professional. In the weeks prior to the Tedx event I was able to get to know Rosi a bit more. She is from Panama and has purposefully inserted herself into the fashion industry by “making ugly clothes look good” and posting them on social media to influence her audience. Looking at her social media profiles you may see how this is possible; every photo, clip, or statement is a reflection of who she truly is. Often in social media it feels as though the things people post can’t honestly be true and even though the posts are clearly glorified versions of their true reality, we still buy into it. Rosi, fully understanding this phenomenon, has made it a journey of hers to sell the idea of a fun and fashionable lifestyle. Yet her success in this area stems from the genuinity of her persona on and ofline. The key to this is her consistency of being who she as and standing by her ideas online and in person; her life that is represented on social media is a reflection of her true self. Her success is also a product of hard work, luck, and learning from failures and she is not afraid to share any of this with us.
On September 29, 2017 Rosi Ross came to LIngnan University to share with us her work, research, and opinions on the topic of social media and its importance we give it in our daily lives; the main topic in question being “How can we coexist with social media and still live truly happy lives?” Rosi addressed facts that we need to face when we think about our interaction with one another through social media. To elucidate this she questions our moral confrontation with our true animal behavior and how we like to mask it through media and the recent rise of social media.
In societies we have developed social normalities that separate us from other species and consciously try to negate the fact that at the end of the day, during the day, and even in the morning, we are all just animals with animal instincts. Rosi explains that “human interaction and animal needs will prevail no matter how many things we create to separate ourselves from the natural world.” One of the best possible solutions Rossi gives to help use navigate through our virtual world but to still be able to live in the present amongst the people we entertain, is to be the true version of yourself online and in person. Often we create personalities for the public so that people can understand us through a certain light–weather it is to appear to be smart, rich, or to convince people of our sexuality. Our online presence is also altered based off of what we think people should have access to regarding our lives. This is a very powerful and important tool that we utilize rather inappropriately in many instances. What we see often, are people only portraying a certain part of their life online to create an illusion. This can be executed rather amazingly when you are trying to embody that illusion for larger entities, however for a personal goal of convincing others you are always travelling, always happy, or have tons of friends–when in actuality none of this is accurate–then at the end it doesn’t matter what others think. Firstly, your happiness can never be true and that necessary self love cannot partner for the long term with those lies. Secondly, overtime, people will start to learn the truth and what you are online and in person won’t be genuine and that can affect your relationships and potential goals with your online presence.
Rosi Ross skillfully analyzes the use of the general public’s interaction with social media. In the grand scheme of things, the purpose of these different social media platforms are to increase communication, access to people and their information for sharing ideas, and to elevate efficiency. Often these are pinpointed to be aides for reaching a state of happiness; the idea that having friends and being liked will make you happier, the state of knowing you are not alone or that other people share the same feelings or ideas as you makes people happy, and that if things are easier and faster then we will be happier or at least spend less time doing things we don’t want to do. When in reality, these media tools cannot be the crutch for our happiness if that is truly the goal for your life. If we can successfully learn how to use these tools instead of depending on them, we will then hopefully be able to develop a healthy happiness coexisting with media. As our girl Rosi Ross put it, “you can only believe in higher results if you understand why you are using these tools,” and with that I completely agree.
From this experience of working with Rosi Ross and collaborating with her for future potential projects and presentations, ideas came rolling in and inspirations doubled–this is the beauty of Ted Talks. Meeting other people who are engaged in their presence and questioning their existence and purpose while actively trying to answer questions is a beautiful and important development for personal and societal growth. I enjoy working for these TedxTalk events because not only do you encounter “like-minded” people, you meet people who discuss and care about things that may have never occurred to you or interested you. The genuine and raw feeling of sharing information and ideas create roadways to new questions and topics that will nurture and feed the intellectuality of society.