Gabrielle Ramponi – Health and Lifestyle Fad Hacks

This semester Gabbi has created a health and lifestyle series on YouTube and WordPress. Her official aim was to try and make popular healthy lifestyles accessible and easier for people to break down. Spending 1 week on each fad, she would be testing whether they were realistic and/or effective. They would be unlike the content created by “insta famous” who’s videos and blogs are often an unrealistic reflection of their lifestyles. As Gabbi was not being paid or endorsed by any businesses to create her series she did not have the pressure to create a certain image of the health fads like many popular social media stars. It would be completely unbiased and realistic.

In the first week Gabbi looked at mental health strategies and was completely open in her blog post about her personal experience with mental health. In doing so, she created a sense of trust with her audience as it was clear she would be 100% honest in her reviews and experiences. The first blog post introduced the topic and Gabbi’s aims for the week, which was to do a combination of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (C.B.T) exercises and meditation, and to use a gratitude journal. This would be done through a variety of mental health apps that have become quite popular in managing anxiety and similar mental health issues. Using Headspace, Smiling Mind, Moodnotes, Breathing Zone and Talk Space, Gabbi wanted to test out how effective these apps are in increasing positive vibes and mental health. Could they replace a psychologist when a person is unable to access professional help?

The YouTube video consisted of Gabbi talking to the camera and reflecting on her experiences with the apps during the week, explaining their purpose and functions. Although she personally found them ineffective, Gabbi made a conscious effort to point out that the effectiveness of each app would differ from person to person and may potentially help others. The video concluded with Gabbi introducing the following topic which would be yoga. I found the combination of the video and blog post really effective and would suggest shortening the video from 6-7mins to about 4-5mins and including more of the video content in the blog post.

The next week focusing on Yoga followed the same layout as the mental health week with a blog post and video. In this video, Gabbi included a clip she had recorded in the middle of the week. I think this was a great addition and I would love to see more of the progress and experiences during the week, e.g. actual footage of you doing the yoga. This weeks video was also much shorter which I found more effective as it kept me entertained and interested for the entire video. I think it would beneficial to add more information about the specific yoga you did in the blog post as well. You could possibly include photos of the poses or screenshots of the tutorials.

In Gabbi’s third and fourth week she tried a sugar free diet and vegetarianism respectively. The posts included a food diary, recipes, rules as well as other information on the diets. Gabbi mentioned in her Beta presentation that at this stage of the process she found she wasn’t happy with the videos and how they were turning out so decided to stick to the blog posts only.

I found the blog posts were a lot more informative from this point however I really enjoyed the videos and found they complimented the blog posts very well. Gabbi felt as though she couldn’t get her thoughts in order when speaking to the camera and didn’t like the staged feel of the video when she followed a script. As this series is still in its early phases, I would suggest trying different styles of videos and seeing if they work better. For example, you could try filming during the week rather than a reflection at the end. I think it would be really entertaining and interesting to see your process, emotions and reactions as they were happening. You could film yourself grocery shopping, cooking new recipes specific to the diets, eating out, etc. With anything you will get better and more confident with practice so keep at it!

Overall I think this was a really great project that has showed how Gabbi has applied the skills she have developed in digital media to something she is passionate about. Gabbi said that this is something she would like to continue after DIGC302 and I think that’s a really good idea. I can’t wait to see what you do with it next!

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