Fieldwork // ethnographic deception

Just Smile #selfie #ootd #love #girl #pretty

A photo posted by @hollyat14 on

Using the right hashtags, this post (derived from the Age photoshoot) received over 15 likes. It was interesting and a little disturbing that my account has less than 5 followers but 15 strangers were still able to view and like this post. The anxieties surrounding exposing my younger self on the internet have re emerged after taking a look at the accounts of a few likers, one being a grandfather from Cyprus….. This post shows the power and influence of using the right hashtags, generic ones such as ‘selfie’ ‘girl’ seem to draw a lot of people to me. It’s also interesting that I find myself immersed in this momentary excitement at getting likes on my photo. Part of it is a strange satisfaction in the fact that my project’s function as a piece of ethnographic deception is working. But it also seems to be myself getting caught up in the bizarre, quite visceral validation that comes with strangers seeing an image of (an incarnation of) myself and liking it. I come from a professional PR background also, where the pursuit of followers and likes on owned social media channels is akin to buried treasure, so this may also be coming into it. I’m disgusting myself, but reflections on this disgust are the most interesting part of all this.

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