Summary: People are spending a lot of time on social media networking sites, and it’s not entirely their fault. Social media is designed in such a way as to instill addiction into its users, either by providing a ludicrous amount of content to sift through that continues to build, or by building up habitual responses through enticing lures, such as notification numbers.
Communication Problem: Is social media use inherently good or bad? Is it good because it allows people to communicate with those they couldn’t talk to otherwise and enjoy online content conveniently, or is it bad because it thrives off of an addicted user base and is designed to exploit people prone to addiction?
Image Ideas: Barring use of actual drug imagery, I will hone in on something very related to social media: games. Specifically, craze mobile games that make their companies money by keeping their players leashed via waiting for features to unlock and limited lives that only renew every so often. Because of these barriers, people who are hooked on the game are willing to do or pay anything to advance, which creates a vicious cycle of exploitation.
To show this metaphor in photography, I think a portrait shot that is slightly over exposed would represent the “euphoric haze” that one’s mind is in when they are enjoying such a thing, even though it may be unhealthy. The subject would be enraptured with their phone, overjoyed, but utterly oblivious to the world around them. I would then add cartoonish icons and details such as a score counter in post to create that effect of a video game, blurring the boundary between the virtual world and the real one. The copy would read something like, “Life is a stage, not a game. Limit your social media use.”
Results: My original idea ran away from me, as I forgot this would be a cover for the article with the type already provided. In that case, the idea that my group went for was that of showing how overpowering social media addiction can be through visual metaphor or acted out scenes. The dark background and moody lightning conveys a more direct message about how social media is harmful to a person’s life.
Your final image is very far from your original idea but that is part of the process. You have to start somewhere. I think the scale and the proximity of the phone to the subject in the final photo go a long way to describing the idea of addiction without going over the top.