Twin Sisters Find Each Other Through YouTube, Turn Their Story Into A Film

Our generation is often criticized for the amount of social media we indulge in on a daily basis. We are told that we rely on it far too much. We are poked fun at because people think we are unable to go five minutes without looking at our phone. Even worse, we are told that our friendships and relationships are diluted thanks to social media.

It’s no secret that a handful of people have nothing but negative things to say when it comes to the topic of social media, but this is a story that will prove them otherwise.

Because we focus so much on the negative aspects of social media, we’ve overlooked how it has helped us: we’re able stay in touch with old friends and family members living overseas, long-distance relationships have a chance of surviving despite the difficult circumstances, and most importantly, we are able to meet people that may have never crossed our path.

Through social media we can meet our future best friend or love interest. In fact, we can meet some of the most unexpected people imaginable. For 27-year-old Samantha from Los Angeles, that’s exactly what happened.

In February 2013, Anaïs, a French fashion design student living in London, got her first glimpse of Samantha through a YouTube video featuring the aspiring American actress. Shocked by their similar appearances, Anaïs could not help but looking into Samantha’s background and finally sent her a message.

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The twins learned that they were both adoptees, both born in the same country and shared the same birthday.

Convinced that they were related, the two began visiting one another and even spent 10 days in Korea to find out where their separation took place.

The girls decided to document and turn their amazing story into a film. Now, a year later, we finally get our first glimpse of their incredible discovery.

 

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(source 1, 2)

RACISM ALERT: University of Illinois Chancellor Gets Cyberbullied For Not Giving Students A Snow Day

People are now starting to call the University of Illinois one of the world’s most racist, sexist and spoiled universities. How did something like this happen? It all began this past Sunday evening when the university chancellor Phyllis Wise sent an email to the students saying that Monday, January 27th, would not be a snow day.

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With temperatures reaching 30-below, we can understand why some students may have felt a bit grumpy about their missed snow day, but we certainly didn’t expect students to begin cyber-attacking chancellor Phyllis Wise.

The hashtag #fuckphyllis quickly began trending as the students poured all the blame on their chancellor. Because blaming your chancellor for the cold weather is logical right?

Although mean-hearted, the tweets began rather innocently. The students simply seemed aggravated that they had to attend class in such conditions. This quickly escalated to cyber-bullying.

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Much to our annoyance, the tweets began targeting her race and gender. Here are just a few.

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A number of fake twitter accounts were made for Chancellor Wise in an effort to further her cyber-bullying attack. Luckily, as the #fuckphyllis tag got more and more intense, the amount of people sighing in disappointment increased as well. Many people pointed out that if the students were so upset about the lack of a snow day, why not just skip class? Why do they have to publicly insult an individual using racist and sexist words? Others have pointed out that the students are privileged to attend and afford a college education. The uproar simply seems childish.

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The student body president Damani R. Bolden has released an apology on behalf of his fellow students. Unfortunately, the university has not been able to avoid the public backlash towards their insensitive comments.

Racist frat parties, blackface music videos, racist youtube rants and now this? Can anyone really say racism is only something of the past?

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Why China’s “Hot Mom” Photo Competition Makes Some People Uncomfortable

A competition was recently held by Chinese social media site Sina Weibo. Their mission? To find China’s hottest mom.

While American Pie has made the idea of a MILF (you can look that term up if you don’t know it) a run-on joke since the 90’s, China seems to take this concept very seriously.

The competition was influenced by Coach’s Mother’s Day “Hot Mom” Campaign. Once again- no, we’re not kidding. In America, Coach has recently seen a slow decrease in sales. Apparently, Coach bags have been criticized for being “mom bags” and lacking personality. Coach’s China branch decided to use this to their advantage.

With the help of social media, the China branch ensured that their products gave a youthful feel. They worked in the idea of mom’s feeling even more youthful after purchasing a Coach bag. They then launched the “Hot Mom” campaign and sales have gone up nearly 40% this year.

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Inspired by this idea, Weibo launched the “Hot Mom” photo competition. The competition proved to be a success. Tons of moms took part in it to show off their beautiful and youthful looks.

While many people seemed pleased with the competition, others seemed uncomfortable with the whole ordeal.

MailOnline remarked “Some of the mothers look so similar to their daughters it is difficult to tell them apart and instead they look like sisters.” Shanghiist shared the same discomfort and agreed that it was often very difficult to tell who was the child and who was the mother.

MailOnline also commented that motherhood was already stressful enough. Jezebel highly agreed and said, “As if beauty culture didn’t already put enough pressure on us to never start looking old, working tirelessly to turn us all into a diverse chorus of consumer Queen Grimhildes.”

As the growing pressure to be beautiful gets even heavier in Asia, is it right to pin these  expectations onto mothers as well? Be a good mother, wife, and now maintain your youth until your own daughter reaches adulthood. Are we asking for too much?

Or is this simply a way to keep mothers healthy and active? Maybe this is a way to congratulate the mothers who worked hard to stay healthy? Tell us what you think.

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(source 1, 2, 3, 4 )

Facebook Depresses Japan, Loses Popularity

Here at Audrey, we’ve known the dangers of facebook and social media for quite some time now. In our Fall 2013 issue, we pointed out that a 2013 study conducted by two German universities showed one in three people felt worse and more dissatisfied with their lives after visiting Facebook.

Users felt envy, loneliness and isolation, with the most common cause of Facebook frustration stemming from others’ vacation photos. The second most common cause of envy was social interaction — feeling a “lack of attention” from having fewer birthday greetings, comments and “likes” compared to friends.

 

And it wasn’t just college students. The study found people in their mid-30s were most likely to envy family happiness, while women were more likely to envy physical attractiveness. After all, what is Facebook but an online brag book for all to see? A 20-something colleague recently summed it up when asked why she posted so much food porn on Facebook: “To make people jealous.”

 

The term “facebook depression” began in 2011 after the study Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking was published by sociologists Hui-Tzu Grace Chou and Nicholas Edge. The study showed that those who spent less time on facebook seemed to live happier lives.

Of course, the repercussions of facebook depression is not simply confined to the US. In particular, Japan seems to have finally become overwhelmed by facebook depression.

In 2008, facebook launched in Japan and seemed to head towards instant success. At the end of 2012, the Japanese facebook site had over 17 million users. However, five months later, the amount of users became 13 million.

So what could be the cause of this very sudden and large drop? According to RocketNews24, Japanese Psychologist Kouji Yamada claims Japanese facebook users are “developing an inferiority complex about their lonely, boring and unsatisfying lives.”

Apparently, we’re not just too sensitive over here. The facebook depression syndrome may actually be a global issue.

(Photo Source)

UPDATED World’s 15 Most Followed Asian Female Celebrities on Twitter

In our Fall 2013 issue, we published a list of the World’s 15 Most Followed Asian Female Celebrities on Twitter.

Loyal fans were quick to point out that a lot can change in one week. Many people did not hesitate to contact us and let us know of ladies who deserved to be up on our list or let us know that their favorite moved up a spot. So here is the updated version of the World’s 15 Most Followed Asian Female Celebrities on Twitter!*

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1. Indonesian entertainer Agnes Monica (@agnezmo) — 8,682,282 followers

2. Indonesian singer Sherina Munaf (@sherinamunaf)

3. Japanese-Swiss-Polish Brazilian TV personality Sabrina Sato Rahal (@sabrinasatoreal)

4. Indonesian actress Luna Maya (@LunaMaya26)

5. Filipina Australian entertainer Anne Curtis-Smith (@annecurtissmith)

6. Japanese American artist Yoko Ono (@yokoono)

7. Bollywood entertainer Priyanka Chopra(@priyankachopra)

8. Indonesian actress Shireen Sungkar  (@shireensungkar)

9. Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone (@deepikapadukone)

10. Filipina American entertainer Nicole Scherzinger (@NicoleScherzy)

11. Indonesian entertainer Aluna Sagita Gutawa (@gitagut)

12. Filipina actress Angel Locsin (@143redangel)

13. Filipina actress Angelica Panganiban (@iamangelicap)

14. Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor (@sonamakapoor)

15. Filipina actress Cristine Reyes (@mscristinereyes)

*As of September 25, 2013 

China Loosens Its Grip: Plans To Unblock Facebook & Twitter in Shanghai

The strict firewalls surrounding China’s Internet access may be slowly coming down, albeit in a small section of Shanghai.

As reported by the South China Morning Post, Chinese officials have agreed to lift the firewalls on websites considered politically sensitive by the Chinese government, including social networking sites Facebook and Twitter as well as the online site for The New York Times, in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

The lift will only be in a 28.78 square-kilometer (11 square-mile) area intended to let foreign businesses work within the country, which includes the Waigaoqiao duty-free zone, Yangshan deepwater port, and the international airport area.

As it is commonly known, the current Communist Party in China actively censors the Web. Facebook and Twitter have been blocked since 2009 following violent riots in the province of Xinjiang; the government claims the hostility was encouraged on the popular social media platforms. The New York Times has been inaccessible since its report last year on then-Premier Wen Jiabao.

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But why allow the access now when the country — which boasts a total of almost 600 million Web users — has its own, very strong social media platforms (not to mention the use of VPN and proxy servers to access banned sites)? Weibo, a Twitter equivalent, has more than 500 million registered users, two times as many as its U.S.-based counterpart. Renren, a Facebook-like site, has 147 million users and 37 million active users per month.

According to the Hong Kong newspaper’s report, the move is for economic reasons. One source stated, “In order to welcome foreign companies to invest and to let foreigners live and work happily in the free-trade zone, we must think about how we can make them feel like at home. If they can’t get onto Facebook or read The New York Times, they may naturally wonder how special the free-trade zone is compared with the rest of China.”

Set to open at the end of the month, the Shanghai FTZ may expand to include more of the Pudong region, if it proves to be successful.

(Sources: 1, 2, 3)

 

Is Facebook Causing Depression?

Story by Anna M. Park.

You come home from work. It was a fair to middling day. Your boss didn’t yell at you, you didn’t totally cheat on your diet, and Andrew still hasn’t called. You sit down with a glass of wine, open your laptop, and start scrolling through Facebook. Brian finally tried a cronut. Jessica’s baby is growing some hair. Wow, Kris is looking really good. Tran got into that grad school? Sylvia took another vacation? Grace is engaged?!

You slam shut the laptop. Now you’re depressed.

Join the club. According to a 2013 study conducted by two German universities, one in three people felt worse and more dissatisfied with their lives after visiting Facebook. Users felt envy, loneliness and isolation, with the most common cause of Facebook frustration stemming from others’ vacation photos. The second most common cause of envy was social interaction — feeling a “lack of attention” from having fewer birthday greetings, comments and “likes” compared to friends.

And it wasn’t just college students. The study found people in their mid-30s were most likely to envy family happiness, while women were more likely to envy physical attractiveness. After all, what is Facebook but an online brag book for all to see? A 20-something colleague recently summed it up when asked why she posted so much food porn on Facebook: “To make people jealous.”

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These findings aren’t new. Scientists coined the term “Facebook depression” after a 2011 study found that teens could be negatively affected by using the social networking site too much. Another study published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, by sociologists Hui-Tzu Grace Chou and Nicholas Edge, concluded that “those spending more time on Facebook each week agreed more that others were happier and had better lives.” Students who used Facebook longer also agreed less with the statement “Life is fair.” Moreover, the more Facebook “friends” a person had whom they did not know personally, the more they believed that others had better lives. And in Chou’s most recent study, she found that those with more Facebook friends cared less about their work performance, and those who frequently updated their Facebook profile liked their current job less and were more likely to think about changing jobs.

Granted, feeling unhappy is not the same thing as depression, but it could be said that Facebook may not be the best thing for an already susceptible population. After all, Asians are arguably the most wired people in the world, and we also bear the ignoble distinction of having the highest rates of depression. According to a 2011 report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Asian American teenage girls have the highest rate of depressive symptoms of any racial, ethnic or gender group. In fact, Asian American girls and women aged 15 to 24 die from suicide at a higher rate than any other racial or ethnic group, and suicide is the fifth leading cause of death among Asian Americans overall (only ninth for white Americans). It’s not just young women either; Asian American women over 65 have the highest suicide rate in that demographic. And while some studies find depressive symptoms in 35 percent of Chinese immigrants, among Southeast Asians, 71 percent meet the criteria for major affective disorders such as depression.

So should we get offline altogether? Many have, or at least minimize their usage; the researchers behind the German study concluded that “users frequently perceive Facebook as a stressful environment, which may, in the long run, endanger platform sustainability.” But you don’t have to be entirely anti-social; just do it face-to-face. In her study, Chou also found that those who spent less time on Facebook and more time socializing with friends in real life were less likely to report that they were unhappy. So get out there and really like something.

This story was originally published in our Fall 2013 issue. Get your copy here

Adorable Asian Baby Overload

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The birth of the royal baby seems to have everyone in a baby frenzy. Although the world has only gotten a glimpse of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s new royal baby boy, Prince George Alexander Louis has already been the talk of the town. While we all anxiously wait for the radiant new parents to release more photos of the baby, we decided to tend to our baby-frenzy.

We’re not quite sure when this trend started, but cute Asian babies rank right up there with puppies and memes when it comes to social media sites. A quick scroll through my tumblr dashboard will mean squeals upon squeals because its covered with, you guessed it, adorable babies.

Here are a few of our favorites:

1) The Messy Hair- Teddy Bear Baby
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2) The Happy Monkey Baby
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3) The Big-Eyed Baby
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4) The Shocked Panda Baby
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5) The Squishy Baby
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6)The Scared Penguin Baby
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7)The Fashionista Baby
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8)The Has-All-The-Ice-Cream Baby
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9) The Has-No-Ice-Cream Baby
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10) The Cheeks for Days Baby
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11) The Chun-Li Baby
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12)Baby In Red
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13) The Kitty Baby
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14) The Hipster-Glasses Baby
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15) The Schoolboy Baby
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16) The Adorably Hungry Baby

And last, but certainly not least

16) Yerin Park
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