Beautiful Stripes: Who To Believe – Experts Or Social Media?

I’ve been lied to all my life.

Recently, a review by Cochrane Library – a non-profit, non-government organisation formed to organise medical research – has found omega-3 fish oils to make “little or no difference” to protecting heart health, reported The Telegraph.

Elsewhere, seen recently on The Guardian: “Coconut oil is pure poison, says Harvard professor” and “No healthy level of alcohol consumption is healthy”.

Now they tell us it was all a waste of time and money?

Ever since I could swallow, my mother has made me take cod liver oil supplements, and those were the days before flavoured cod liver oil was popular, mind you. You can imagine what a horrifying childhood I had.

Later, when gel-covered pill versions were sold, we dutifully bought them by the bottles, believing that it could build up immunity, stave off colds and flu, and basically, make you healthy, wealthy and wise.

Yes, fish oil is no magic bullet, but most of us don’t follow healthy diets anyway. I’m convinced that all the fish oil I’ve downed all these years had something to do with me hardly falling sick, so I’m sticking to my supplements, thank you.

The thing is, there is no definitive guidebook to living smart. One day, the latest report say this and the next, the complete opposite is true.

Cod liver oil supplements were the bane of the writer’s childhood.

Who should we believe or listen to anyway? More importantly, what are our lifestyle habits and thought trends influenced by?

Do we live by what the “experts” and “study results” tell us since they sound more intelligent, or do we swing according to what social media says?

I firmly believe in evidence-based research and checking sources before buying into a story, and even then it takes a lot before I buy it wholesale.

That being said, there’s probably eight out of 10 netizens out there who will readily buy and react to what the “influencer” of the day is selling.

According to Vivek Misra in an article on, four out of five marketeers believe influencers to be effective outreach tools.

As it is, prospective influencers are being groomed by companies and people are taking notice of micro-influencers with specific niche audiences as well.

Coconut oil is now supposedly bad for health – who do we believe?

Apart from issues such as how much to allocate, what formula to follow and how to go about marketing a brand or trend, there is the bigger unresolved problem of fraud, fake accounts and credibility, which everyone is aware of but seems to be quietly ignoring.

At some point, there has to be some kind of tool to accurately detect fraudulent accounts and fake ROI, and perhaps, even a regulatory body set up, suggests the story.

Personally, however, my biggest beef lies with the term “influencer” itself and interestingly, during a discussion at the Travel Marketing Summit in Singapore by Mumbrella Asia, Facebook Asia-Pacific’s head of agency called “for social media influencers to stop using the descriptor unless they can prove they have actually influenced something”.

Neil Stewart argued that the term “influencer” was sometimes misleading when used for people on social media who just had “some friends and followers”. In fact, he went so far as to suggest that “Z-list celebrities” would be a more appropriate description.

“To be an influencer, you must have influenced something. I don’t necessarily think that’s true for a lot of influencers. There are plenty of ‘influencers’ who have friends, followers; they have a blog and people who see their content. But until you can prove that they have ‘influenced’ – changed behaviour, an attitude or an action – I think we could almost sue them for using a false or misleading description,” he was quoted as saying.

In response, chief strategist of social media marketing agency Socialites Rochelle Sheldon writes back in defence of the term, saying the majority of those labelled as influencers are “very hard-working, successful creatives with a unique point of view and, because of it, have gained a following of like-minded people”.

“They inspire their followers … They resonate with their stories, and yes, sometimes they even buy stuff recommended to them. And that, is influence,” he said, adding that many influencers themselves hate the word as “it diminishes them”.

Looking for a familiar face in Crazy Rich Asians? Did you spot Malaysian actress Carmen Soo? Photo: AFP

Frankly, I wish brands and companies would get back to the real business of selling. All these supposed subtle campaigns, subliminal messages and image aspirations. Consumers are now a lot more savvy and information-hungry, and it might prove to be more effective to cut to the chase and try something revolutionary. You know, like, talk about the product directly?

While still heavily under the influence of social media, I devoured every morsel of news I could get on Crazy Rich Asians. That was my undoing as all that hype and insider information gave me a certain expectation and made me overly critical of the movie.

I found it enjoyable, yes, but nothing as ground-breaking or as glowing as reviews made it out to be. (OK, I know I stand in danger of being lynched by adoring fans.)

I need to watch it again with an open mind. Without looking out for Carmen Soo, or trying to understand Carcosa’s transformation at Carcosa or analysing the mahjong game.

It’s a good old-fashion love story. Some things should just be taken at face value without reading too much between the lines …

Patsy is neither young nor does she have millions of followers so she’s sticking to her day job. Share your thoughts with

This content was originally published here.

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Trump’s 2020 attack strategy: Smear Biden over mental fitness By Eric Bradner, Ryan Nobles and Dan Merica, CNN President Donald Trump and his allies have zeroed-in on an attack against Joe Biden, going after the presumptive Democratic governmental nominee’s mental physical fitness in a coordinated effort using smears and innuendo to paint him as ill-quipped to be President of the United States. Trump for months has questioned the mental skill of the opponent he calls “Drowsy Joe.” Trump last week described Biden as “a sleepy person in a basement of a home,” and he has actually repeatedly recommended that Biden did not personally write declarations issued by his project criticizing Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. His project and the Republican National Committee have progressively focused its attacks on Biden’s tendency for on-camera verbal stumbles in recent weeks, as it looks for to define Biden after he emerged triumphant from the Democratic primary. One example came previously this month, when Trump’s campaign launched an ad comparing Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, which closed with the line: “At least Bernie remembers his positions.” The attacks are an early demonstration of how Trump will utilize the full Republican politician Celebration apparatus to run a scorched-earth campaign based upon personal insults and unwarranted insinuations– a heightened variation of his playbook from 2016, when Trump and his allies, without proof, called into question Hillary Clinton’s health. They have actually become a daily occurrence from Trump’s campaign, assistants and Republican allies throughout every medium possible– on social media, in campaign e-mail blasts and videos and on Trump-aligned media companies like Fox News. Biden’s advisers and Democratic allies mention that Trump is guilty of many of the same verbal tics he is attacking Biden over, and often lies and embraces conspiracy theories. As one Biden ally put it: “Has Trump taken his own guidance and downed a gallon of bleach yet?” The attacks weaponize Biden’s propensity to stumble over words, utilize the wrong word or interrupt himself in the middle of long answers by stating, “anyhow,” and altering course. To fans of a former vice president who in December 2018 called himself a “gaffe maker,” those long-time spoken tics have always belonged to Biden’s public persona. They are made more forgivable to his advocates by Biden’s openness about conquering a stutter. Aside from periodic jousts amongst assistants on Twitter, Biden’s project has mostly neglected the Trump project’s attacks. Biden-world’s view is that the political and media landscape has actually shifted because 2016, when every Trump attack on a rival was treated as novel and took command of the project narrative on social media and cable news. His consultants pointed to Trump’s stopped working efforts to guide the political discussion in the 2017 Virginia governor’s race, when he and his GOP allies cautioned of the MS-13 gang, in addition to the 2018 midterms, when Trump’s message concentrated on caravans of refugees approaching the US-Mexico border. ” The misapprehension that whatever Trump wishes to speak about is inherently efficient and that he gets to act as the media’s at-large task editor has actually been closed,” a Biden consultant said. As Biden has adapted to marketing in the age of coronavirus– knocked off the campaign path and rather transmitting occasions and interviews from a transformed rec room in his basement in Delaware– Trump’s project is seizing on every on-camera miscue, with conservative Trump allies such as Fox News host Sean Hannity then magnifying them. ” His sharpness, or absence thereof is on screen every day, every time he talks,” Trump project spokesperson Tim Murtaugh informed CNN in response to concerns about the technique. “His failure to keep a train of thought going is obvious.” Biden frequently looks down at his notes, which Trump’s allies have actually mischaracterized as Biden dropping off to sleep. Trump’s boy Eric Trump tweeted a seven-second video from Biden’s online broadcast with Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, along with the hashtag “#SleepyJoe.”. Robby Mook, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign supervisor, said Trump “always projects his biggest weakens on his challenger in an attempt to deflect criticism from himself.”. ” What is very clear is the White Home thinks his presidency will be evaluated on how properly he is managing coronavirus, so it makes ideal sense that he is now attempting to accuse his challenger of incompetence, which is ridiculous.”. The attacks resemble how Trump’s campaign pursued Clinton in 2016, Mook noted. Trump and his campaign frequently cast the former secretary of state as sick or unhealthy, a technique that was further elevated after Clinton stumbled after a September 11 occasion in New York due to concealed pneumonia. ” I simply see a pattern regularly from 2016 all the way through now, which is, he attempts to predict his most significant issues onto his opponents so he gives the media a false equivalence to attempt to muddy the water,” Mook stated. “Part of the factor he was so obsessed with calling Hillary Clinton dishonest is because he is probably the most deceitful individual to win the White Home.”. Biden advisers argue that Trump’s efforts to caricature Biden won’t overcome the same qualities that insulated him in the Democratic primary: After 5 decades in the public eye and eight years as President Barack Obama’s No. 2, voters feel like they know him. Biden frequently expresses distaste for attacks on his rivals’ character. His aides say that by questioning Biden’s mental capability, the President is guiding the project toward concerns of character and fitness. ” This is asinine to tee up– since it’s 10,000 times even worse for him,” a Biden adviser stated. As an example of how easily Trump could be parodied, Biden’s assistants indicated a video from The Daily Show in which Fox News hosts and analysts’ comments about Biden’s mental skill were interspersed with videos of Trump’s own verbal flubs. Biden spokesman Andrew Bates tweeted The Daily Program’s video, which has been seen 3.6 million times on Twitter, on March 25, in action to Trump spokesperson Matt Wolking tweeting: “When is the last time Joe Biden was lucid?”. ” Triggering voters to assess prospects’ mental states is a devastating proposal for Donald Trump, so we’re never going to prevent him from going there,” Bates said. – CNNPolitics.

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