Heyya! *Waves with hand open like Dr. Spock* Ever since I attended the first BCM 325 Seminar of the Autumn session, the concept of a ‘novum’ has intrigued me. Not suprisingly, a search through instagram reveals that there is indeed a large audience who also enjoy exploring various elements within the sci-fi and speculative genre […]
Our social media profiles provide a platform to tell a narrative about a subject we have the ultimate authority on: Ourselves. So how does this tie into branding? As highlighted earlier, “branding is not the logo, it is not the name, but rather it is a conceptual idea, which gives consumers ‘something to believe in.” (Turner, 2015). Placing this into a personalised context, it means that our digital identity is not based solely on our avatars, usernames, and bios; it is formed around what we utilise our platforms for, what message we communicate though our tweets, our Instagram pictures, our status updates on Facebook. The avatar/username/bios form a quick overview, while the content we publish allows the audience to get a better understanding of who we are. “In essence, our online selves represent our ideals and eliminate many of our other real components.” (Green, 2013)
Are our online identities accurate reflections of who we are as a whole? Do we successfully communicate the way we understand and approach life through our digital profiles? Or do we instead present a false construction of ourselves online? One of the ideas I suggested in my post about branding and transmedia, is that perhaps our online identity varies across different platforms, together creating a larger narrative of the self, but also existing separately, without the need of information from another network.
If we are displaying different aspects of ourselves through different social networks, it becomes clear that we are curating our online presence for different audiences. Our representation of self, although only an aspect of our identity is still a vital part of it, not making it any less valid than a social network which includes all possible information in one space; but rather targeted towards a more specific audiences.
“When an individual plays a part he implicitly requests his observers to take seriously the impression that is fostered before them. They are asked to believe that the character they see actually possesses the attributes he appears to possess, that the task he performs will have the consequences that are implicitly claimed for it, and that, in general, matters are what they appear to be.” (Erving Goffman, 1959)
We enter into the social media space, assuming that the content published is an accurate representation of oneself, in some way; however when the narrative presented conflicts with itself, the authenticity has been lost. Davis (2010) suggests that we “preemptively alter our offline selves in order to authentically convey ourselves online in a particular way”, which is an interesting concept if we acknowledge that we present different aspects of ourselves through different social networks. If we are trying to authentically portray ourselves, do we lose authenticity if we omit certain aspects of our lives? I would argue that this is not the case, and Owen’s (2011) takes the idea of authenticity and how showing different aspects of self in different environments is still an authentic representation of ourselves: “James is an honest man and also kind. At the funeral of his wicked uncle, he will not be honest about his thoughts about the deceased, in order to be kind to the feelings of the rest of his family. […] Our identities are not socially universal.” As such, we perform for different audiences, we aim to create a highly curated feed of information about ourselves, which is specifically directed at an audience, with similar interests, similar personality types, similar ideals.
As some extra food for thought; if we portray a different element of our overall identity on digital platforms, and chose to invest in AI technology after we died, would that mean our varied social presences would generate a number of vastly different versions of ourself as a result of the content we have access to?
Does authenticity exist in social media? Probably not would be my answer, we all glamorise our social media profiles in some way or another. I’m not saying that it is bad that social media is unauthentic but rather trying to draw that people need to be aware of the truth behind what people post. Exaggerating on social media by portraying this perfect persona of our life through filtered lenses is the same as celebrities who look beautiful but have actually spent millions on plastic surgery, except for us theres no surgery, instead strategic lighting, angles and filters.
Have you heard of the social media application called BEME ? Bebe is an application that was launched in 2015 that promises to free people from the snobbery behind what they post. Authenticity is in short supply online, says application founder and creator Casey Neistat with social media forcing us to present over-stylized and over-perfect versions of ourselves to world. Bebe is an app where the user can only record and post video when the front of their phone screens are covered up, the suggested ways for this are to press the front of the phone to your head or chest so that a 4 second clip can record your surroundings and post it automatically without you being able to edit or filter.
Here’s Kevin Spacey talking about Beme
I tested out the app and it honestly felt a little weird, it even felt a bit invasive as i posted videos without having any control over them. I did find it interesting watching other peoples posts as it was like I was living in their shoes momentarily. It was nice though when posting to not have to worry about filtering or planning the image.
However I don’t necessarily think that Beme, although is achieving to create an authentic social media app is actually succeeding, because we can still choose when and what we post. Like I could only Beme when i’m doing excersise, or run for 2 minutes and post it to Beme without actuating running? Social media isn’t authentic, but are we as humans actually authentic? We all act differently when we’re around certain people, I’m probably more “authentic” around my family as I feel more comfortable around them, however I might try to be more happy, fun or interesting if I’m around new friends or people I’ve never met before. Social media is just another part of how humans want other humans to perceive them. It’s way we talk, dress, act and now thanks to social media what we post that helps others define who we are. I make sure my instagram feed makes me look like a happy, fun, adventurous not because I want to falsify who I am but because I want my followers to enjoy the photos I post.
We all know that digital media has become embedded in our everyday lives, and have changed the way we engage in communication, creative expression and how we produce knowledge. I plan to argue that instagram and other social media’s are negatively effecting our identity construction, especially in young people, under 25.
Rachel Brathen, a “instagram celebrity,” shared in a TEDx talk in 2015 that she slowly became famous on instagram from posting photos about yoga, health, food and happiness. However when she posted a photo of tequila with the hashtag “long day” her follower slammed her for being a hypocrite.It gave her the realisation that she wasn’t being completely honest with her followers. It is one of the dangers of social media, what we share and orchestrate our lives to be is what people actually believe to be true, not everyone see’s through the filters of social media.
Tell the truth. What is the truth? Social media is so often used to construct the idealistic online lifestyle. Adolescents in 2016 are having their identity influenced or even are finding it through social media. An identity isn’t something we are born with but is rather a socially constructed attribute. Who we are isn’t only determined by internal factors but also external, this is where social media comes into affect. Social media has become an extension of our identity formation. Part of identity formation is thinking about the type of person we want to be and social media allows for people, especially adolescents, to use this constant flow of information, photographs, videos, celebrities to be a guide for their own social comparison. Ideas and values that teenagers are developing of the world through social media aren’t always necessarily how the real world actually works. Likes don’t actually correlate to the future success of a young person.
Do you have a digital plan for when you die? An idea of what you want to do with your online presence after death? “Nine out of 10 Australians have a social media account of some description, yet the vast majority have not even had a conversation – let alone written anything down – about what should happen to these accounts when they die,” (Brad Hazzard, 2014)
What if you could live on after death? What if, when you died, your social networks took the information you had provided it with, and then integrated it with software which analysed the way you interacted with the medium, and was able to continue your interaction for you?
Currently, Facebook opts to memorialise accounts when people pass away, unless family members request for it to be deleted, but what if we didn’t have to stop at the idea of posting tributes, and tagging our loved ones in the statuses. What if we could just message them, tell them how much we loved and/or missed them and get a response?
Two years ago, I had a friend my age pass away from cancer, and I had sent her messages in the days leading up to this. I had dyed my hair purple as it was her favourite colour, and wanted to show my love and support for her through this difficult time. While I’m sure she did not see the post, it makes me wonder what would have happened if this technology was available. What would she have said? Would it have reflected the girl I knew, and if it did, would she really be dead? And if the AI which responded evolved over time based on conversations, would she still be the same person as when she physically died?
Today I will be talking about branding, with a specific focus on the corporate brand, that is, organisations and their use of brand, and how it the internet as a social network changes the way in which they present themselves.
So let’s jump straight in shall we.
[WHAT IS A BRAND?]
Think about Apple. Now forget everything you know about the product. It doesn’t matter. The brand does. Apple computers, iPods, iPhones — they’re all produced in various factories across South East Asia. These same factories are just as able to make parts for Android or Windows Phones. It doesn’t matter. Apple, with their HQ in California, aren’t about a product. They’re a brand.
Apples branding strategy focuses on the customer and their emotions: the experience of how the apple image makes you feel. “The Apple brand personality is about lifestyle…
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The art of Instagram.
- “EDIT REAL CAPTION: paid for this photo. If you find yourself looking at “Instagram girls” and wishing your life was there’s… Realise you only see what they want. If they tag a company 99% of the time it’s paid. Nothing is wrong with supporting brands you love (for example I proudly would promote Eco sheets or a vegan meal in exchange for money as its business for a purpose to me). BUT this ^^^ this has no purpose. No purpose in a forced smile, tiny clothes and being paid to look pretty. We are a generation told to consume and consume, with no thought of where it all comes from and where it all goes.”