Girls Get Real: The Power of Social Media

first_imgParticipants in the social media rally pose for a group photo at the Ocean City Free Public Library. By Lesley GrahamThe internet is a powerful place. It can be a resource for research, a way to disseminate information and has the ability to connect people from all over the world. Social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook have changed the way people, especially young girls, portray themselves and their lives.Young girls quite often feel pressure to look a certain way and make their lives seem interesting and perfect online, social media experts say.  But that isn’t the whole story, or at least the “real” story.Emphasizing that theme, a Girls Get Real Rally took place Saturday afternoon at the Ocean City Free Public Library. The free event included panelists for a question and answer session. There were also stations where the girls got professional headshots, advice on how to distinguish their social media presence from others and a glitter bar for fun.  As a local business owner of Bowfish Kids in Ocean City, Caitlin Quirk knows the power of social media. She uses Instagram and Facebook to let her customers know what is going on in her shop, activities she’s organized around town and an inside look into the challenges and successes of owning her own business.But maybe more importantly for Quirk, who organized Saturday’s rally, she has also used social media and its influences to start a conversation about the perceptions of what is “real.”Over the past six years, Quirk has watched the little girls who would frequent her shop grow into young teenagers trying to navigate the world of social media.“Some of the photos I see of these girls pulls on my heartstrings,” Quirk said.With an overwhelming desire to fit in, it can be difficult for young girls to present realistic, age-appropriate images of themselves, she noted.“I knew girls were following me, so what kind of presence did I want to portray (online)?” Quirk said.And that’s how the idea behind the Girls Get Real Rally grew.The abbreviated “Girl Power” sign inspires the audience.The rally focused on four major topics of social media – creating your identity, unrealistic expectations, bullying and exclusion, and using the power of social media to connect with others.These topics were discussed among a group of online influencers who have used their social media presence to highlight their skills. The panelists included Katie Possage, a fashion designer for Free People, Magi Kernan, a photographer with over 18,000 followers on Instagram, Caity Martinez, a Cystic Fibrosis fighter, and Kristina Young, artist and owner of local studio Peace of Wood.The event was filled with advice and insight from panelists and audience members alike on how to be genuine and use social media for personal growth and spreading positivity. And it wasn’t just limited to young girls.  Barbara Gilmour, of Ocean City, was one of the older members of the audience.“I’m a grandmother, and I came here today to learn about social media, to help with my mission on developing social skills and bullying prevention materials for children,” Gilmour said. “And I definitely learned that I can run Instagram myself, rather than pay an intern to do it for me.”Each panelist discussed their perspective on social media and how they are using it to grow their brand, spread their message and influence those around them.“It’s so easy to see things on the internet and assume that is real life, but it’s not. So how do we change that perception?” Quirk asked.A panel of social media experts, sitting in front of the audience, shares advice on how girls can capitalize on the internet.Young, of Peace of Wood, spoke to the power of social media’s connectivity.“The internet is such a vast place, but it has actually made our world smaller, by bringing people together,” Young said during the panel discussion. “Focus on being that person that is good to others and genuine to who you are.”Kernan, photographer and owner of Magdalena Studios, spoke to the audience about the intention behind posting. When asked what she hoped the participants took from the rally, she stated, “I hope that they are conscious about what they are posting and ingesting: What you are putting out and what you are taking in because you can’t get it back.”Martinez, who uses her blog to spread awareness of Cystic Fibrosis, reminded everyone about the power of connectivity the internet can provide.“It’s important to be yourself and just know that there is someone out there. Especially when you are a teenager or preteen, it can seem isolating but it can bring people together – there is positivity and there is love,” Martinez said. Possage, the fashion designer, reminded girls to be authentic. “It took me awhile to figure out who I wanted to be and it’s easy to get swept up in everything you see but the truer you can be to yourself the happier your life will be,” she said.Social media is complex and challenging, the panelists said. The Girls Get Real Rally wasn’t to lecture or even find a solution. It was to start a conversation, a necessary conversation that ditched the filters and got real, Quirk explained.“I am so happy with how it went,” Quirk said. “The amount of girls that stood up, spoke their truths and shared their experiences made the whole thing worth it.”Members of the audience and the panelists exchange ideas during a question-and-answer format.last_img read more

Auction wrap: Burleigh Heads house sale comes down to $500

first_img7 Pindari Ave, Burleigh Heads sold over the weekend.FIVE hundred dollars was all it took to seal the deal at a Gold Coast auction over the weekend.The Burleigh Heads house in popular Koala Park sold under the hammer on Saturday for $1.1105 million. CoreLogic data showed a clearance rate of 37.5 per cent on the Coast with nine of 24 properties selling at auction.That’s up from the 22.7 per cent the weekend before.Mr Smith said choosing to sell via auction came down to the vendor’s circumstances.“I think it depends on the property,” he said.“I love doing auctions myself and for the sellers, they’ve got a time period and the options are in their favour. Auctioneer Dennis McDermott calling the auction of 7 Pindari Ave. Picture: Jerad Williams“The buyers liked the fact the property is close to a park and not next to many other houses.“They’re in a unit so they are looking for peace and quiet.Mr Smith said the Koala Park location and the layout of the house were big selling points.The four-storey house is built into a hillside, giving it just enough elevation to see as far as Burleigh Heads National Park and the beach “The sellers are very happy with the sale,” he said.“They are moving down to Canberra and had picked something else to buy and can now go ahead with their plans.” Auction at 7 Pindari Ave, Burleigh Heads. Picture: Jerad Williams“Two bidders kept going back and fourth,” Mr Smith said. “It got down to $500 increments and eventually sold under the hammer. It came down to $500 essentially.” The new owners are a Gold Coast couple upgrading from a unit.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa16 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago“Auctions are always interesting as the party we thought were in the strongest position to buy at the auction didn’t end up making a bid at all,” Mr Smith said. 7 Pindari Ave, Burleigh Heads.“On auction day, everything is open and everyone knows what’s going on. “If you’re lucky you can get it all done and dusted under the hammer. Once it sells under the hammer you can start making plans, you don’t have to worry about a three-week conditional contract.” Auction at 7 Pindari Ave, Burleigh Heads. Picture: Jerad WilliamsSean Smith, of Black & Young Burleigh Heads, took the property to auction where it attracted a crowd of about 40 including three registered bidders. An opening bid of $925,000 kicked things off but once it reached $1.08 million, bidding stopped and negotiations took place.The auctioneer then put in a vendor bid of $1.1 million before the house was called on the market. Inside 7 Pindari Ave, Burleigh Heads.last_img read more