Saturday, December 4

Lucy Blakiston: Shit, you should be worried about an Instagram hit


An Instagram account created by three teens from Blenheim in 2018 has become a huge success.

Shit you should be worrying about (aka SYSCA) now provides information, articles, and podcasts to more than 3.3 million Instagram followers.

Lucy Blakiston, Olivia Mercer and Ruby Edwards from SYSCA

Photo: SYSCA

SYSCA co-founder Lucy Blakiston tells Kim Hill that she first got the idea for a more youth-friendly online news platform while she and her childhood friends Olivia Mercer and Ruby Edwards were studying Media and International Relations. at the University of Victoria.

“I knew I had a pretty good knowledge of the world, but I thought, what is the barrier preventing me from really understanding the world outside of New Zealand? It was a mix of the jargon and the length of the articles they were giving us and also the design. Black and white is not so attractive to young people who are used to being given these beautiful products. “

Shit you should be worrying about it offers an entry point to complex information and a starting point from which people can learn more, says Lucy.

“We are like that younger cousin who sits at the table and explains in really normal words these great concepts. And we are just a starting point … there is absolutely no way that something on Instagram can be the beginning and the end. of your education, but we would rather give people a few points to go and take a closer look than let it all feel too “difficult” to even begin to care. “

Lucy Blakiston from Shit You Should Care About

Lucy Blakiston from Shit You Should Care About
Photo: The spin-off

In 2018, it didn’t feel innovative to put news information on Instagram at a time when the social media platform was full of influencers, but Lucy now realizes that it was quite a unique approach.

“We moved [journalism] real short form and now a lot of people do it. “

Last year, when New Zealand’s first Covid-19 lockdown ended Lucy and Ruby’s plan to move to London, that’s when Shit you should be worrying about it really took off, says Lucy.

On her platform, she and Ruby simultaneously tried to make sense of Covid-19, the Black Lives Matter phenomenon, the United States elections, and the New Zealand elections.

“People were locked inside, craving information, but not knowing how to work to get it. If we could preserve it, summarize it for them, and provide the right people and the right information, we did it.”

When SYSCA gained 1 million followers in a month, Lucy took a step back to think about what they wanted to do and what they didn’t want to do with their “now huge audience.”

What they are accomplishing now, he says, is helping young people feel that it is okay to worry about a lot of things that you are still learning about and not be afraid to ask silly questions.

Lucy tells Kim Hill that it has taken three years for her to reduce her own daily news consumption process, which takes place between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. every day.

After taking a “pulse check” of the news landscape of her direct messages, Lucy reads as much news information as she can, from around 40 online media sources and a plethora of newsletters.

She is well aware that SYSCA often reflects to its audience the worldview they already have, and says it is trying to find ways to obtain information beyond its own echo chamber.

“He Shit you should be worrying about he’s preaching to the choir a lot and I really want to figure out how to get out of that. If anyone has any advice, feel free to message me. “

SYSCA fans will know that Lucy has been a huge fan (aka ‘stan’) of British pop star Harry Styles since he was 15 years old.

Her former band One Direction has some credit for forming SYSCA, Lucy says, as she first learned editing, web design and community building skills working on One Direction fan sites.

“Harry Styles is a wonderful human being … he also represents some really great things … he embodies a lot of really nice things and it’s nice to have a celebrity that you think ‘if I met you, I think we would.’ Good talk ‘.

Lucy is also a fan of the UK reality television show. Island of love and explores his lessons, including understanding different communication styles and how to spot gas lighting, on NEON NZ’s pop culture podcast. Vulture culture.

The new video series Extremely online, created by SYSCA’s Olivia Mercer, looks at the “puzzling” world of the internet, Lucy says, including deepfakes, uniqueness, and why AI has a racism problem.

You can watch all episodes of Extremely online here.


www.rnz.co.nz

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