A Million Moments of Closeness with Nivea

This post is sponsored by Nivea. I don't usually do sponsored posts, but this campaign struck a chord with me as it's an area I'm quite passionate about! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the debate!  

To mark their 100th birthday, Nivea are celebrating closeness in modern Britain (inspired by their slogan 'Feel Closer', which my fellow This Morning viewers may recognise!) They are on a mission to capture 'A Million Moments of Closeness' - photos of people getting close to their loved ones (not in that way!) Check their Facebook to see what I'm getting at! 

To do this, Nivea are going on the road to various towns up and down the country, where you can get your picture taken with a pal or loved one and pick up some freebies in the process! Check out the 'events' section of their Facebook App to see if they're coming to a town near you. Alternatively, you can upload your moment of closeness to their Facebook page for a chance to win one of their 100 prizes worth£100 each.

As part of this campaign, Nivea commissioned research by Psychologist, Geoffrey Beattie (of Big Brother fame!) to find our how close we are in the modern day.  Here's a short clip of Geoffrey and his rather lovely accent explaining the findings:

The research findings all sound rather positive, that we are actually a lot closer as a nation than people think.

I am not sure what age group this research was carried out on, but I have a different idea about the effect hyper-connectivity - in particular Facebook - is having on us and the next generation. 

I feel that young people today struggle to communicate in a real-life scenario because so much time is spent on social networking websites - and I am not alone. It is so much easier to Facebook chat than to pick up a phone or meet up and engage in a real life conversation. The need for literal closeness simply isn't there. The notion of 'friends' is determined in the click of a mouse, rather than having to earn friendship. In my friendship group, nights out in the past - real life moments of fun and closeness - have been interrupted by photo sessions with 'a new profile photo' the sole motivation rather than treasuring a memory a fun night out. As if those afflicted with the Facebook bug experience life as an outsider looking in on their own life. 'How would others perceive this moment right now?' I have a terrible habit of saying hilarious things, and it annoys me when people say, 'OMG Gem, I am literally putting that as my status/in my quotes section!' I guess it's intended as a compliment, but I just feel a bit... 'Why?!' about it all. Must we mould real life moments into merely an entertaining titbit on our virtual profiles? Sort of cheapens it, I suppose.

Now this is all going to seem a bit hypocritical as I have, at the time of typing this, tweeted 9,687 times. I justify this to myself and others as a means of promotion for the blog, but it can still be quite addictive. Moments in life begin to be processed in terms of tweet-worthy and not. But in my defence, I am aware of the narcissism of it, because I have experienced life before the social network boom and after. I think if you 'get' how potentially unhealthy things like Facebook can be, you're probably okay. My worry is for the future generations growing up in a world where much communication and closeness is diluted to merely clicks and pixels. Although social networks are just a novelty for many adults, might they lead to an antisocial network for future generations that don't know any different? 

I'm glad Nivea have chosen to capture a million moments of real-life closeness as a part of this campaign, as I think more real-life interaction is probably the key to us all not going completely insane. If I let my kids use social networks at all, I'm definitely going to try and limit it so the boundaries between reality and virtuality don't become blurred... perhaps Facebook Friday... evenings... between 7 and 8pm. Yeah that's enough.

Anyway, what do you think of this? Do you think Social Networks are more positive than negative? Do you have any Facebook addict horror stories? Have I alienated my entire readership because not everyone overthinks these things? Oh, so many questions!


  1. LIKE!

    hehe sorry!
    But yes on the whole i completely agree with you; and I do feel it boils down to what you said that if you are aware of the downsides then it can be a very positive thing. Personally love twitter but mainly because I have found out about so much 'real life' stuff going on I wouldn't have known about otherwise.
    Thinking about it I'm really not a facebook person, and I find that most of my 'friends' are only really using it to advertise what they are up too; which i find a bit depressing as my thought is, if your holiday is so great why are you on facebook?

    I wonder what will happen in the next year or so when google+ becomes more popular, i hear that's supposed to be more 'social'?

    oops sorry for the essay!
    - Charlotte

  2. I totally agree that, whilst this is a nice campaign, I think that social networking has changed the face of friendships and relationships forever, and not for the better. A little while ago my younger brother started doing some casual work promoting a club, and when I asked why he wasn't working one night he said he hadn't heard back from the guy organising it so he hadn't turned up. It transpired that my brother had tried to ascertain whether he was working, not by phoning the club, or the guy himself, but by sending the guy a message on Facebook! For me, this totally sums up the way people use Facebook these days - it's how a lot of people communicate, as you said, chatting on chat has replaced phoning people, and writing on walls has replaced texting, and I find it really weird. When people are out on a night out it sometimes seems like one long search for a funny phrase to tweet or write in their quotes, or the perfect photo to make their profile photo. I rarely go on Facebook anymore, even less so since (as I mentioned in a post t'other day) a friend insinuated I and the rest of her friends didn't care about the atrocities in Norway as we weren't posting about it on Facebook. People are weird *sigh*. Sorry, wrote an essay there!

  3. And also totally agree with Charlotte about the holiday thing; always laugh when I see people posting countless updates on FB whilst on their hols that are supposed to incite jealousy but make me think if they were really having THE BEST TIME they probably wouldn't be on Facebook!xxx

  4. I have to sayI completely and utterly agree. I myself am a bit of a tweeter, only because I enjopy the novelty of blabbing and not being told to shut up haha! I have to say though I have actually made a fair few friends through the internet but we don't rely on it for communication/building the friendships further. I communicate with some family through text, email etc, and I don't like it really. I do prefer a more personal way of contacting people if I need to. But have you noticed how many people these days seem to go (oh but textings quicker, I don't like talking on the phone) etc etc? This is probably why! Nivea have got it right, although it seems a little ironic that it is on their facebook page heehee!

    I also think that the internet and social networking can actually cause more harm than its work. I'm guilty of preferring to sit in my room and play online games, surf forums etc rather than go down and spend time with my family, but you live and learn I suppose. I do know though that I probably witness 1-2 facebook arguments daily, and even more twitter ones. It's like a war of the words between the keyboard gangsters - even worse, a simple sentence taken the wrong way can spark an argument between friends. I know my sister fell out with one of her friends of over 10 years because she posted a picture of her that she didn't like!

    I've now limited the amount of time I spend on twitter, facebook and even here so I can actually live through life rather than through a virtual profile. And I really know it's better for me.

    Thanks so much for this post Gem! So insightful, as are all the comments! xoxo

  5. Completely AGREE 100%. Social networking is nothing but complete negativity. All my newsfeed ever is, is silly arguments, people making sneaky snide digs. Nobody on Facebook looks at things in a good way, they want to see the bad in everything.

  6. PS Rosie and Charlotte - I thought the exact same when I saw people tweeting pictures from T in the Park and Sonisphere - gerrof your phones and enjoy yourself!!!

  7. i miss the days when we had to call round for our friends or ring their house phone, now it's all about facebook or twitter. i'm as guilty as the next person though. having said that, i still much, much prefer going out with my girl/guy friends and just chatting in person than sat on a computer. it's lovely being close with people in real life. xx

  8. I think this Nivea campaign is a really good idea. At 18, I don't really remember a time when there wasn't a social networking site around. Because of them, we are becoming far more anti-social and really quite awkward when it comes to real-life interaction, which is never good! Being close over a computer screen is not a good thing, you can't gauge their mood or body language through a keyboard, it's just not the same! I hate it when I see tweets or fb updates from people when they're supposed to be enjoying a night out etc, instead of caring about other people thinking you're having fun, you should actually concentrate on where you are! That being said however, I am a twitter addict, and probably a bit of a facebook addict too. But, like you, I am at least aware of it and the cons! xx
    Sirens and Bells

  9. Thanks so much for your comments guys.

    I literally never trawl Facebook so am unaware of the negativity and stuff I'm probably missing out on! SO insightful to hear your thoughts on all the bitchiness that goes on...

    Charlotte - Haha, so true! At least you see it for what it is, I did read research somewhere that people read about other people's 'exciting' lives on Facebook and get horribly depressed about their own lives! Ridic! You're so right. My favourite moments are the ones I haven't bloody tweeted about!

    Rosie - So glad you agree with me about the 'hunt' for some sort of 'classic' moment to share with the internet... So akward!! And that Norway thing is just absurd. Sod Facebook!

    Amii x - shocking about your sister and her friend! I've definitely considered a Twitter break too, I find that ridiculously bitchy!

    Sweet Findings - Yeah so true, my mum goes on about the good old days before phones where if you arranged to meet somewhere at 1pm you'd just have to be there. No phones involved! Can't even imagine!

    Katy - Thanks so much for your insight, interesting to hear the views of someone that has grown up during the social networking boom! So glad you can see it for what it is. Hope there's more intelligent ladies like you!


  10. wow this is so interesting - i'm in complete agreement with you in regards to social networking sites also - i have a friend who is obsessed with facebook, there isn't a minute of the day where she isn't glued to it on her phone. it actually really frustrates me now, it's like she has to have her life validated by a 'like' or a nice comment. if no one likes her new profile picture, she'll take it down, or if no one comments on her status, she'll delete it. very sad really - though i'm sure she's one of the more extreme cases!

    For generations to come i hope that kids are made aware of the benefits of social networking (there are good points too!) but also the downsides, and that it should be used sensibly and in moderation. I think everyone would benefit from that in the long run!


  11. I'm new to Twitter, and still learning, but have had a positive experience with Facebook. It's allowed me to re-connect with people I've lost touch with (like a penpal in America from when I was 13!), and is a good way to keep in touch with the students I teach (I lecture in PR) when they graduate. However, I see students glued to their phones and laptops, and people who have had really negative experiences - particularly "cyber bullying" amongst the girls. Like everything, there are pluses and negatives, but it kind of freaks me out to think of people sitting messaging online instead of going out and having a drink or to the cinema together!

  12. Agree! Really cool ad. There is nothing more familiar than the smell of Nivea cream! ^^

  13. This is a really interesting post, and it's similarly close to my heart! I deactivated my Facebook a few months ago - I've been struggling with low self confidence for many years, and I think Facebook made me feel vulnerable - that sounds weird, but I didn't like not having control of pictures that went up of me, and how facebook generally creates so much gossiping and negativity. I honestly feel so much better not having facebook, and it hasn't affected my friendships in a bad way at all. I can also procrastinate on fashion blogs instead, woohoo! Thanks for your insightful post :)

  14. I'm a bit older than you Gem and so I remember The Days Before Mobile Phones, let alone before social networking. It seems like ridiculously long ago! I'd always rather see my friends in person. We've never been that good at yaddering on the phone for hours so it's always been texts if we can't see each other in real life. Emails/Twitter etc aren't that different to that really.

    I've never had a Facebook account and am fairly new on Twitter. There is some sniping on there but more so directed at some of the people I follow rather than said by them, if that makes sense? I tend to mostly follow bloggers I like, the odd company and various sportspeople and journalists/authors so perhaps I avoid a lot of the petty bitchiness? I dunno, it's just not something I see that much of on there. I might be in the honeymoon stage still but I'm really loving it - so nice to be able to chat easily with fellow bloggers.

  15. I partially agree.

    I know quite a few people who are constantly on facebook, so that when I look on mine all I can see is endless updates about their favourite sandwiches and suchlike, to the extent that I have started to doubt that any of them have real lives or friends.

    On the occasional midweek day off, if I check facebook I do find myself thinking "Don't you people have jobs/lives?"

    Also, something I don't think you mentioned is how alienating facebook can be for people who don't have it, for whatever reason. There are fewer and fewer round-robin texts, and in some friendship groups, if you're not on fb,, you just can't join in.

    The photo thing is definitely annoying. I've pretty much given up on putting pics on fb, because when I did and I was taking pictures, people would quite often try to make them "crazy" or "interesting", and insist on vetting any pics of them immediately lest an unflattering shot end up online.

    On the other hand, I find a phone call a lot less effort than fb chat (too much typing), and facebook has helped me keep in touch (vaguely, but still) with a lot of people who might just have drifted off my radar.

    Also, future generations are probably going to be so busy dealing with a worldwide economic crash/alien invasion/cloning epidemic that I doubt facebook will be that big a concern.

    K xx

  16. I totally agree - all I ever see on facebook are things that are designed to make other people jealous (um, WHAT? No I am not jealous that you are 'having snuggles with boyf and bump' vom.com), people updating their status whilst they're having an AMAZING night (are you really?), or pointless statements like 'big salad for lunch b4 work xoxoxo'.

    It's true that some people use it as their only method of communication, but I think if someone can't be bothered to actually contact me then I can't be bothered with them.

  17. what an interesting post!

    i like facebook for what it was intended to be (or what i imagine it was intended to be for) - to see what people are up to and arrange gatherings and things. i'd like to think i'm not a facebook addict, but like you said, if you're aware of what you're doing then it's not too bad.

    i do feel like some people use facebook to create an unrealistic persona for themselves, like on fb they are incredibly witty and have 1000+ friends and then in reality they're just normal with a normal amount of friends. which is a bit weird.

    i'm in love with twitter and sort of use it just to rant or like a diary really. so hopefully that's not too bad...

    ah this post has got me thinking. as all good posts should. x

  18. I agree which is why I left facebook, people fell like they are keeping in contact when really people are communicating less as they know what people are up to without actually having to ask them.

  19. Very well said Gem. I think social networking is a very positive step in connecting people, it's plays a big part in the amazing ability to connect people all over the world. That can never be bad but there is definitely a line that the future generations seem to blur more and more.

    When it comes to real life moments, I sometimes even forget to get my camera out when I'm out with friends, the reality of the moments and memories are always so much more fun. Don't get me wrong I'll bust out some poses with the girls but why not just enjoy it and remember it (depending how many beverages of the alcoholic variety are consumed lol).

    x x

  20. I thought I was the only person who planned how I would be with my future kids. Haha! I will not allow them to have their own phone until they are about 12. High school age. Maybe older. That's quite late nowadays, isn't it? Facebook friday sounds like a great idea! The world would be a better place if it was just facebook friday. What did we do before facebook?! ♥

  21. What a surprising set of responses to such an insightful post. I like the fact that whilst everyone agrees with you to some extent there is no hypocrisy attached to it. It seems we all hanker for a bit of good ole fashioned face-to-face as well as social networking. I wonder about future gens too, although I'm a smidge older than you we are still part of the same gen that played out and went to each other's houses as opposed to chatting online.
    I personally see nothing wrong with it in moderation but decided to cancel my Facebook account for reasons I'm sure you can all relate to: 1. Was sick of reading updates on people's every meal, bowel movement, noise uttered by their child etc. and 2. Got upset from reading bitchy comments and witnessing rows. Now I see and hear from people more than ever! Bring on Facebook Friday!


  22. I completely agree with you on this. I tweet a fair bit, but I still think of it as quite a novelty, whereas I think many younger people take social networking so seriously. I think facebook & twitter phone 'apps' are making it worse too because you don't even have to be at home anymore to go on social networking sites! I think what you've said is really valid & people do need to think about how much time they spend on their laptops & phones. We all need to spend more time with 'real people' and loved ones & remember how to communicate without putting 'LOL' at the end of every sentence.
    Rebecca x

  23. Although I love Facebook because it allows me to keep in touch with people I wouldn't otherwise see often, it has ruined my 5 year relationship with my now ex boyfriend. I never imagined it would, however a 'friend' of his from work seemed like she would go to any length to split us up. After posting a nasty 'joke' about him for me to see, which was done to upset me, things between us broke down as he claimed it was just a joke between friends. Facebook is fine to a point. I now know not to add nasty people just because I feel I have to. It gives them a platform to piss you off which they do not deserve. Be warned people!

  24. I totally agree with you on this one.
    Facebook (along with many other networking sites) has become such a part of life, and I hate it. Of course I am guilty of it myself, too many "friends" and too many pictures indicate that to an extent my life does revolve around FB. Although this year it has been invaluable, I've been living abroad and it makes it a hell of a lot easier to keep up to date with what's going on with friends and family, it's also made me lazy.
    So often I think 'what would I do without Facebook?' but it's easy - I'd send a postcard, pick up the phone, god forbid I'd write an email. Our generation has become so reliant on the ease of clicking a couple of buttons to 'update my location' or tag a picture of me on holiday - as if this is enough to keep a friendship going.

    And I agree with what you say for the younger generation now, I remember the days of no/limited internet and I had to go out and see my friends, call them up to arrange going to the park. Now all kids seem to do is sit on the computer "chatting".
    You could even go as far as to think about what would we be like in 10 years time - will children be able to type and tweet before they can hand write?!

  25. So with you on this. More so with everyone getting older and spreading their wings facebook seems like the easy way out to keep a friendship "alive". Its so shouldnt be about that though.

    Helen, X

  26. i definitely agree that people are becoming less close in real life. i try to only go on facebook about once a day. me and my best friend entered our photo onto the nivea page and we won picture of the day for today :)

    Faye x


  27. It's such a good point you make! I think now that blogging has become quite prominent too, it's another 'bubble' which potentially people can become really absorbed in. I'm not always a good blogger, because I like to keep my social life nice and full!

    I do love having Facebook because it's helped me get to know other people better, and I've ended up hanging out with new people more because of it - which is kind of how I think it should be, used as an encouragement for real life happenings, not as a substitute.

    I think it's hard for our generation to be critical of it sometime too, because it can make us look like hypocrites! I do think we're lucky enough to have the balance still. My 13 year old cousin was using Facebook the other day and I felt quite strongly that he shouldn't be.

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