A case of dig­i­tal ther­apy

New Straits Times - - Live -

IT’S hard to pic­ture mind­ful­ness as the core rea­son back-bon­ing my use of so­cial me­dia. Of­ten­times, the thought of stay­ing up­dated and con­nected ad­mit­tedly in­curs more anx­i­ety than feel­ings of grat­i­fi­ca­tion. But beauty vlog­ger, so­cial me­dia in­flu­encer and dig­i­tal con­tent pro­ducer Mina Rosli is here to prove oth­er­wise with a solid case.

The brain­child be­hind Mina Ross, the beauty-themed YouTube chan­nel with 16,575 sub­scribers to date, be­lieves that the In­ter­net can be one of life’s best tools to al­chemise self-growth and as­ser­tion. It boils down to us­ing it the right way.

Mina as­serts rad­i­cally, “The key is to know the true rea­sons why the In­ter­net and so­cial me­dia are use­able to you.”

The 23-year-old Klang na­tive, whose full name is Siti Nur Ami­nah Rosli, first found so­lace in the In­ter­net at the peak of her clin­i­cal de­pres­sion, a con­di­tion she is un­apolo­get­i­cally open and hon­est about.

“It’s weird that my de­pres­sion was what made me pur­sue what I do. I know it seems coun­ter­in­tu­itive, but that’s how it was,” Mina said.

“I guess it worked as a fac­tor be­cause some­how, I man­aged to frame my think­ing into see­ing it as a weapon to re­build my­self, af­ter all the de­spair. The In­ter­net is a lim­it­less space.”

START­ING POINT

Smacked right at the start of her 20s, the ‘rock bot­tom’ Mina had prompted her to start documenting her life pub­licly via pho­tog­ra­phy and so­cial me­dia.

Mina, a Tay­lor’s Univer­sity grad­u­ate, says, “I ac­tu­ally never saw my­self go­ing into so­cial me­dia work at all. I started play­ing around with it some­time in 2014, as I was reach­ing the end of my diploma course. And I have al­ways been into pho­tog­ra­phy, but not pub­licly.”

Around the same time the epiphany came, she started trav­el­ling, af­ter tire­lessly work­ing odd jobs and sav­ing up ex­tra al­lowances to fund the jour­ney.

A two-week break in the UK fol­lowed by an un­ex­pected few months of ex­plor­ing Amer­i­can soil had not only allowed her to im­prove her mind fac­ulty, it also gave her time to train and de­velop her pho­tog­ra­phy skills.

“I de­cided to pho­to­graph mo­ments in my jour­ney and up­load them on my so­cial me­dia pages. I was sur­prised by how much peo­ple ac­tu­ally like what they see,” she said.

Mina’s foray into beauty and makeup came shortly af­ter­wards.

“Grow­ing up, my mom was strict and wouldn’t al­low me to wear any makeup. So fi­nally hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to ex­plore it, I went all out,” Mina ex­plained.

“The in­tense need to ex­plore it fur­ther came around the same time as I started ex­ist­ing on so­cial me­dia. I was happy to share the jour­ney and talk about it.”

And ex­plore beauty Mina did, not­ing the sat­is­fy­ing aware­ness that came with know­ing which makeup tech­niques worked on her and ac­cept­ing what didn’t.

Given her de­pres­sion, Mina was par­tic­u­larly privy to the im­por­tance of set­ting a pos­i­tive, em­pow­er­ing tone about beauty, not only for her­self but also for her grow­ing pool of fol­low­ers.

From there, it be­came eas­ier to keep build­ing her self-cer­tainty — and her brand pres­ence.

DEFYING THE STEREOTYPE

Not long af­ter, on­line re­quests for makeup tu­to­ri­als came rolling, prompt­ing Mina to start vlog­ging and post­ing vis­ual how-tos on YouTube.

It was an in­tensely buzzed about af­fair from the get go, lead­ing her In­sta­gram fol­low­ers to mul­ti­ple ten­fold. To­day, her fol­low­ing sums up to a whop­ping 41.9k devo­tees.

Expressing her ap­ti­tude as a cre­ator, the young woman muses, “I love pro­duc­ing videos. I en­joy pro­duc­tion work, and mak­ing con­tent. There’s al­ways some­thing to cre­ate.”

“And If I’m not pro­duc­ing or edit­ing, I’m ex­per­i­ment­ing some­thing on my face. I realise the un­der­ly­ing thirst for cre­ativ­ity is sim­i­lar in these two things, which is why do­ing both at the same time is won­der­ful to me. I’m a hap­pier per­son be­cause of this,” Mina adds.

The qui­eter yet more sig­nif­i­cant high­light of deal­ing with her de­pres­sion with tech­nol­ogy is her in­creas­ing fo­cus on her nat­u­ral role as con­tent pro­ducer.

A year into vlog­ging for Mina Ross, Mina was ap­proached by Me­dia Prima’s dig­i­tal di­vi­sion Stu­dio 8 to pro­duce con­tent for their on­line fun­nels, in par­tic­u­lar their in-house YouTube chan­nel called Hatch.

What started out as an in­tern­ship course ne­ces­si­tat­ing monthly video contributions had later trans­formed into a full-time pro­duc­ing gig.

Such ‘on­line-to-off­line’ growth model, if you will, is hon­estly un­heard of with most of the so­cial me­dia in­flu­encers out there.

Re­call­ing her ex­tended jour­ney into host­ing, Mina says, “I was thrown into the deep end. And silly me, I didn’t check the fine print of my con­tract, which pre­cluded the fact that I have to at­tend Me­dia Prima’s award shows and events.”

“My first of­fi­cial host­ing gig was Anugerah Skrin 2016. I was so shaky, my anx­i­ety just flared up, all the way! But look­ing back, I learned so much about host­ing. It ac­tu­ally teaches me to take con­trol of my nerves.”

When she is not busy fine-tun­ing her host­ing prow­ess, Mina spends her days in the stu­dio plan­ning con­tent cal­en­dars, writ­ing scripts, and ideat­ing pro­pos­als.

The bud­ding pro­ducer also takes note of edit­ing tips and take­aways for Mina Ross; from Fi­nal Cut Pro, she has grad­u­ated to the more com­plex Premier Pro pre­ferred by her col­leagues.

MOV­ING FOR­WARD

With ev­ery­thing that’s hap­pen­ing on her plate, how does Mina man­age emo­tion­ally?

“Keep­ing the bal­ance be­tween my day job and my in­flu­encer du­ties is ac­tu­ally re­ally tough. But I tell my­self to fo­cus on achiev­ing, which I like to do,” Mina said.

Not­ing how im­por­tant it is for her to keep abreast of every daily ac­tiv­ity, she adds, “While I use iPhone notes and the Google Cal­en­dar alarm re­minders, I also write a lot in my phys­i­cal plan­ner. It al­lows me to track my emo­tions and stay mind­ful.”

Part of deal­ing with de­pres­sion is ad­mit­ting that episodes of it will al­ways sur­face from time to time. A rou­tine that thus helps Mina man­age is what she la­bels as ‘so­cial me­dia cleanse’, a pe­riod dur­ing which she would re­treat from tech­no­log­i­cal rou­tines and un­nec­es­sary con­tacts.

“When­ever I see my­self re­fresh­ing my Face­book feed five times in one short sit­ting, I know it’s time to dis­con­nect,” Mina ex­claimed.

Not­ing on her brav­ery in openly expressing her cause and climb, Mina un­abashedly coloured her response with an as­tute be­lief in re­li­able sup­port.

“I want girls out there to know that if you have a men­tal ill­ness, it’s okay to ac­knowl­edge and ad­mit it, and know that it’s not your fault,” Mina says.

“For those suf­fer­ing in si­lence, you def­i­nitely have to learn how to shape your life, on your own terms. Do not let your con­di­tion dic­tate who you are and how you live. Us­ing the dig­i­tal world cre­atively helps you to know your pain bet­ter, and pushes you to move on.”

Us­ing the dig­i­tal world cre­atively helps you to know your pain bet­ter, and pushes you to move on.

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