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New research suggests that social media is becoming a "common problem" in Irish marriages, according to The Independent.

Over 3,000 clients took part in a survey in Maynooth over two years which discovered that both men and women find social media and technology "behaviour" causes difficulties in marriages and relationships.

Accord Catholic Marriage Care Service maintains that constant access to technology and phones has taken away the "cooling off" period following an argument.

The Accord has commented that it will alter it's service to accommodate the issue following couples' feedback.

Bishop Denis Nulty, president of Accord and Bishop of Kildare & Leighlin, said: "Social media is a huge issue. Pope Francis spoke about this at Croke Park and we need to be digitally conscious."

He elaborated on why the results are vital for the organisation; "We're dictated by gadgets so being clued-in is important."

On the removal of the "cooling-off" period he said: "When you send a text, a tweet or a Whatsapp message, there's no way of pulling it back, and it causes huge heartache for everyone involved."

"As we shape our marriage preparation courses in the future, we'll be taking this into consideration," Bishop Nulty mused.

"We have a low divorce rate in Ireland, and I would like to keep it low. I have no doubt people in Ireland still take marriage very seriously."

16,048 individuals attended the Accord's marriage preparation courses across the nation in 2018, which was down almost 800 from 2017

Accord counsellors separately provided 24,180 counselling sessions to individuals and couples during 2018 throughout the whole island of Ireland, which was less than that of 2017.

The bishop attributes some of the drop in figures to couples attending different private counselling services.

Other "problem areas" included unresolved arguments, inappropriate behaviour during arguments and dissatisfaction with their sexual relationship.

75 per cent of clients who saw data reviewed claim that their relationship improved following counselling.

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Instagram is increasingly being told to take responsibility for the harmful effects of it's site on the mental health of young people.

Between celebrities endorsing weight-loss products which have no scientific backing, the NHS encouraging body-negative adverts to be banned, and the new sensitivity screens being put in place to prevent graphic violence and self-harm being depicted; Insta is a dangerous place.

Yet, we cannot deny that selfie culture and self-branding through social media has become just a normal part of our everyday life. Me, myself and Instagram has taken over, and young people growing up today assume it's perfectly normal to try to look perfect.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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It's so prevalent in society to share the highlights of ourselves and desperately emulate others who we assume have 'better' lives, which writers such as Matt Haig have emotionally discouraged.

FaceTuning images to blur seeming 'imperfections' such as stretchmarks, wrinkles, spots, freckles, teeth, smiles, body hair, even elbow wrinkles or unwanted curves is the new normal, according to our society.

Having flaws is deemed unhealthy, and the notion of 'narcissism' or vanity is no more.

Now Rankin is trying to counteract the idea of editing ourselves in a new photo series, and it's beautiful.

The amazing photographer is attempting counteract self-editing, by showing people just how damaging the effects of social media can be.  His photo series, aptly named Selfie Harm, was launched last week on Instagram.

The renowned artist captured portrait shots of 15 teens and handed power to them and their filter apps, asking them to edit the retouched image until they felt it was 'social media ready'.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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He commented;

“Social media has made everyone into their own brand. People are creating a two-dimensional version of themselves at the perfect angle, with the most flattering light, and with any apparent flaws removed.”

“This is a new, enhanced reality, a world in which teenagers can alter themselves digitally within seconds. Mix this with the celebrities and influencers flaunting impossible shapes with impossible faces and we’ve got a recipe for disaster," he attested.

The photographer shows images of youth and natural beauty which massively contrast with the newly filtered, edited versions. It's shockingly easy for the young models to blur the lines of reality, but what is 'perfect' in a world such as this?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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He wrote on Instagram;

“People are mimicking their idols, making their eyes bigger, their nose smaller and their skin brighter, and all for the social media likes. “It’s just another reason why we are living in a world of FOMO, sadness, increased anxiety and Snapchat dysmorphia."

"It’s time to acknowledge the damaging effects that social media has on people’s self-image," he concluded.

The visible differences and changes made allow the teenagers and subjects to transform their entire identity, so much so that their natural state is completely erased. There are smaller noses, smooth complexions, wider eyes and lips, everything you can imagine.

Interestingly, the photographer notes that most of the models preferred their original image, but it's still disturbing to witness the power of filters. These edits can convince people that they're regular image isn't good enough to be seen.

It's becoming harder to discern what's real and what's fake; soon the idea of reality on social media could vanish altogether.

Feature image: Rankin Instagram/Fashionista

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So, despite our constant jokes and straight up rejection, many men still seem to think it's perfectly ok to send women unsolicited intimate photos.

But as we know, that is not always the case. 

One woman has come up with a rather daring way to combat the problem – send the picture to their mother.

Like many woman, Rebecca McGregor was sick of being sent unwanted snaps from eager men, so much show that her Instagram bio now reads, “Do not ask for/send me nudes”.

And as one man recently found out, she was serious about her request.

After receiving a nude photograph from someone called Glenn on Snapchat, Rebecca took a screenshot of the conversation, found his mother on Facebook, and sent it to her, along with the message:

“Hey doll, I see you're listed at [sic] Glenn's mother? I think you need to have a chat with your son on how to approach women – see attached xx”

Now, we'll be the first to say that she could have gone about this a different way and perhaps contacting his mother wasn't completely necessary, but you've got to give it to her, the girl's got guts.

Rebecca then uploaded the picture to Facebook (again, not a great move), and the post now has over 4,000 reactions, 1,000 comments and 1,000 shares.

It seems many people assume Rebecca is asking to receive unwanted images because of her career as a lingerie photographer and boudoir model, but as we can see, this couldn't be further from the truth.

She then followed up with two more screenshots showing examples of the types of messages she is sent on a regular basis.

“Don’t complain when they get sent to your fam because you didn’t listen to me,” she wrote. 

“So the only other option I have left is to have your fam speak to you and educate if not re-educate you that when someone says NO it means NO.”

Of course, not everyone was on board with the in which Rebecca chose to teach this man a lesson. 

One user wrote,  "Glenn’s mum didn't deserve this, no one deserves this, and the condescending way you spoke to her was quite frankly disgusting."

And they've got a point to be fair. 

There are many lessons to be learned here:

No.1 – It's never cool to send someone an unwanted picture, especially when they've specifcially said no.

N0.2 – Sending said picture to someone's mother and posting it online to for the world to see, isn't much better. 

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Despite it being an illegal offence to hold a mobile phone in your hand while driving, a number of Irish influencers are continuing to post to Snapchat and Instagram while behind the wheel.

If you're a regular user of either app, you'll know that this type of behaviour is nothing new, however, one Instagram account is exposing the offenders in an attempt to rid the roads of the irresponsible behaviour.

Blogger Unveiled was set up in January to highlight issues around photo editing and failure to disclose advertising deals, and has since amassed over 40,000 followers.

Image via Instagram 

However, over the past few weeks the account has shone a greater focus on the dangerous driving habits that are so prominent among the blogging community.

Should any of the accounts followers witness this kins of behaviour on their own feeds, they can anonymously submit screen shot or recordings showing which will then be reviewed by the account's admin.

The person behind the account says their end goal is to ultimately hold people accountable to what content they share with their followers, telling Buzz.ie: "If their job is to influence, I want to make sure that the curtain gets lifted and to make people aware that not everything that the influencers post is completely true.

"Hopefully there is a shift in the industry as I do feel like there are a lot of real and truthful influencers that work hard and I would like to be the same across the board."

Image via Instagram 

In response to the controversy, a spokesperson from the Road Safety Authority told Evoke.ie:  "We have noticed. If people are videoing themselves they are distracted and they are not concentrating on the task at hand.

"The car is not the place for videoing; it doesn’t matter what you are doing.

"You don’t need the RSA to tell you that this is utterly irresponsible behaviour and dangerous. And, as influencers, the dangers are two-fold as they attempt to influence people by their behaviour."

Image via Instagram 

You can follow the controversy on the Bloggersunveiled Instagram account.

 

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Rihanna has called out social media platform Snapchat after the company ran an ad featuring the star that was in decidedly bad taste.

The animation featured a picture of Rihanna and Chris Brown, and asked users to vote which one they would rather 'slap' or 'punch.' 

The ads calls to memory the incident in 2009, when Rihanna pressed charges against Chris Brown for assault. 

Taking to Instagram stories, she said: 'Now Snapchat, I know you already know you ain’t my fav app out there!'

'But I’m just trying to figure out what the point was with this mess. I’d love to call it ignorance but I know you ain’t that dumb!'

You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV victims and made a joke of it!!!'

 

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'This isn't about my personal feelings, cause I don't have much of them…but all the women, children and men that have been victims of DV in the past and especially the ones who haven't made it out yet…you let us down!'

The app responded to the criticism in a statement, according to The Verge: 'This advertisement is disgusting and never should have appeared on our service.'

'We are so sorry we made the terrible mistake of allowing it through our review process. We are investigating how that happened so that we can make sure it never happens again.' 

Following the backlash, Snapchat stock fell by 5pc, in a similar manner as to when Kylie Jenner recently posted a negative tweet about the app. 

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GIFs have become a method of communication in themselves – so when Instagram rolled out a GIF feature to accessorise our Insta Stories, we were pretty delighted. 

For weeks we punctuated our night out snaps and selfies with animated emblems, but in recent days, Instagram users have complained that the GIF action no longer works on their phones. 

Tech giants Instagram and Snapchat have both yanked their GIF action off the platforms after users pointed out that some of the GIFs being hosted on the social media sites were racist and degrading. 

The platforms were using integrated GIFs from GIF website Giphy.

The racist GIF which caused offence portrayed a 'n***** death counter' alongside disturbing imagery of a game show host encouraging the number to increase.

The vile GIF caused the action to be removed from the sites until a review can be undertaken. 

In a statement to Tech Crunch, Giphy said: 

'A user discovered an offensive GIF sticker in our library, and we immediately removed it per our content guidelines.'

'After investigation of the incident, this sticker was available due to a bug in our content moderation filters specifically affecting GIF stickers. We have fixed the bug and have re-moderated all of the GIF stickers in our library.'

'The GIPHY staff is also further reviewing every GIF sticker by hand and should be finished shortly.'

'We take full responsibility for these recent events and sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended.'

There's no word yet on when exactly the GIF feature will be back up and running – here's to hoping it's soon but without the offensive content pl,ease and thanks. 

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For the last few month, rumours have circulated that Khloe Kardashian is pregnant with her first child, and with no confirmation from the famous family, fans have had to do a little detective work of their own.

Between supposed sightings of baby bumps and dodged interview questions, the “is she, isn't she” debate doesn't look like it's going to end any time soon, and her latest Snapchat has fans more confused than ever.

The reality TV star recently posted a photo of herself wearing a pair of oversized sunglasses from her new eyewear range – nothing strange there.

However, eagle-eyed followers spotted what looks like a pregnancy pillow in the reflection of the glasses.

The product is often used by mums-to-be for extra support and comfort while sleeping.

It's worth noting that the pillow could belong to Khloe's sister Kylie, who is also rumoured to be expecting.

A source told People magazine: 'Kylie isn’t going to publicly address her pregnancy until she gives birth. She’s not doing any public appearances and just wanted to take six months off.'

Can we just get a confirmation already? The suspense is killing us.

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So, at this stage, most of us are all well versed in Snapchat's intricate interface.

Streaks, geo-filters, stories – it's pretty much second nature to anyone between the ages of 15 and 30.

However, with countless features and an ever-changing selection of filters, it's easy to understand how a first-time snapper might have trouble navigating the app.

Which is why the company have opted to a complete design overhaul, in an attempt to create a more user-friendly experience.

According to Variety, Snapchat CEO, Evan Spiegel, said: "One thing that we have heard over the years is that Snapchat is difficult to understand or hard to use. As a result, we are currently redesigning our application to make it easier to use."

It's reported that the new-look app will still open directly to a camera, but instead of separating the 'Chat' and 'Stories' sections, everything will be stored on one screen to the left of the camera.

2018 will also see the introduction of user generated 'Snapchat Lenses'- where by any user can create there very own lens.

“We are working hard to democratize Lens creation so that anyone anywhere can create and publish their own Lenses,” said Evan.

What's more, as well as allowing specific brands to monetize its uploads, Snapchat will soon offer certain creators ans influencers the change to earn money from their stories.

According to Business Insider, the re-design will launch on December 4, 2017.

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Snapchat's CEO, Evan Spiegel, has announced plans to overhaul the design of the app – a move which he acknowledges may cause disruption to business for the foreseeable future.

Responding to long-running criticism regarding the app's confusing design, Evan explained that the team are on a mission to make the app more user-friendly. 

"One thing that we have heard over the years is that Snapchat is difficult to understand or hard to use, and our team has been working on responding to this feedback," he said this week.

"As a result, we are currently redesigning our application to make it easier to use."

With a nod to the immediate future, Evan asserted that the re-launch may result in a number of challenges, but insists the overhaul is vital.

"There is a strong likelihood that the redesign of our application will be disruptive to our business in the short term, and we don’t yet know how the behaviour of our community will change when they begin to use our updated application," he said.

"We’re willing to take that risk for what we believe are substantial long-term benefits to our business," he added.

Reports suggest that Snapchat failed to impress older audiences since its launch, while its popularity among its target demographic has been dwindling in recent months.
 

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This week, social media has been up in arms after news circulated that Snapchat would be closing its virtual doors later this month. 

Snapchat fans mourned as speculation that the app was coming to an end on November 14 was rife. 

However, it turns out that the information, which spread like wildfire online, was completely fake. 

'CEO Evan Spiegel of the very popular app Snapchat has released that Snapchat will be removed from all app stores by November 14,2017,' read the false statement. 

'According to Fox News Media Evan has decided to make this decision due to copyright and legal issues with Facebook, Instagram, and Musical.ly.

'By the date November 14,2017 all Snapchat apps with be removed from all devices and all app stores.'

'DISCLAIMER all data and media associated with the app will also be deleted within the app.'

Thankfully for fans of the photo sharing app, it has been revealed that the 'article' in question was in fact a hoax. 

However, enough people shared and believed the story that it went completely viral. 

CEO Evan Spiegel himself responded to tweets from worries users, simply declaring the false information as 'fake news.' 

 

Feature image: AlesiaKan / Shutterstock.com

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Much to the despair of many social media users, popular app Snapchat went down last night. 

The image-sharing app was unusable for a number of hours, as the app would not refresh or allow users to send snaps.

The Snapchat support page tweeted out to the thousands who had gone online en masse to question what was happening with the app.

'We're aware of the issue and working on a fix,' read a Twitter statement from the app last night.

'Stay tuned for updates! We recommend staying logged into your account.' 

Social media was of course in uproar over the issue, which has since been rectified:

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It's been almost two months since TMZ broke the internet with claims that Kylie Jenner was pregnant with her first child, and with no confirmation from the Kardashian camp, fans have had to do a little detective work of their own.

Between supposed sightings of baby bumps and cryptic Instagram posts, the “is she, isn't she” debate doesn't look like it's going to end any time soon, and her latest Snapchat has fans more confused than ever.

The 20-year-old makeup mogul shared a photo of a home cooked meal along with the caption “full ass plate” – but it wasn't Kylie's food that got people talking.

Eagle-eyed Snapchat users spotted what looks like a glass of white wine in the top right corner of the photo, leading many to believe the star is not pregnant.

Some fans took to Twitter to share the revelation:

Meanwhile, fans have speculated that Kylie made an attempt to hide her 'baby bump' in another recent snap. 

Some suggest the star chose to purposefully cover her stomach in an over sized hoodie in a clip that showed her cuddling with her dogs, Norman and Bambi. 

Can we just get a confirmation already? The suspense is killing us. 

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