Attached above is my most recent log for tracking my personal brand via my social media use. This week, I realized how much of my personal life over the span of a week can effect and change my personal brand. For example, last week I was traveling and also had a lot of projects due, so my personal brand was consistently updated throughout the week. I wanted to create this persona that I am essentially the quintessential “study-abroader”, maintaining my grades while also having a great time traveling as well. Whereas this week I wasn’t traveling or that busy so I was forced to continue to entertain my followers in order to maintain this persona by posting pictures of my trip and posting videos on snapchat throughout the week.
This past week I noticed a few changes in my social media use. Of course I didn’t suddenly become this careless social media user, but I definitely was more aware of the time I was spending on social media and shaping my personal brand. I constantly questioned how much of my posts were purely authentic, in other words accurately depicted how each day went, and how much of it was framed for my followers. Breaking down each day of this past week I think I made some improvements by spending a little less time obsessively “lurking” my followers, however I still lived up to the cliche of spending way too much time editing and over analyzing my photos before posting them.
I wonder if shaping one’s personal brand varies based on gender? I assume males try to shape their social media use to resemble male stereotypes that they are aiming to associate themselves with, while women spend time shaping their appearance and persona on social media to associate themselves as beautiful and interested in varying subjects depending on who they are trying to portray themselves as, but they definitely care a lot more. I have noticed a lot of my female friends are aware of photo editing apps including Visco and Facetune. Facetune allows you to edit your facial features and body to appear thinner, whiten your teeth, and even give yourself a fresh tan. Which if i’m being completely honest, I’ve used both apps and I know the majority of my girl friends do as well if they want to spruce up a photo before positing it. A lot of my guy friends aren’t familiar with this app and those who are tend to make fun of it. Adolescent girls spend hours each week consumed by editing their appearance because they can….and we question why women in our society have such low self esteem and appearance issues.
So what I am starting to take away from tracking my social media use and my personal brand is how harmful this obsession truly can be. The goal ideal image that both men and women are becoming obsessed with trying to portray themselves as online is forcing them to lose sight of themselves. As mentioned in my Prezi during my in class presentation, competing to find a job and stand out from others on social media has become a very relevant and important aspect for people looking into the job market. To say that society is becoming more and more obsessed with competing with one another leads me to question where our pureness and genuineness is headed as a future society. We are essentially being influenced to frame ourselves online in ways that make us better than those around us in order to stand out amongst the crowd. With the growth of technology, who even knows how terrible the effects of social media might be in our near future.
Next week I plan to take a survey from my friends in order to see how they feel about their social media use and efforts towards shaping their personal brand in order to get a different perspective as well as still maintaining my own personal social media log to track my progress.