On the Internet, Nobody Knows You’re a Dog

Even now after finishing University and getting a job in Social Media, a certain book by Alice Marwick has stuck with me all this time. In this book, she opened my eyes to a concept I’d never even thought about, the fact that I, am a brand.

Sound silly? It isn’t.

In the book Marwick concludes that on Social Media platforms and other blogging sites, there is no such thing as a real person, we are not ourselves, we are not full people. She claims that every single action you take online is an attempt to brand yourself as something/someone. You’re marketing yourself.

Think about it like this, you may say “I only ever write things that I’d say in real life!” but is that actually true? Even if it is, that’s a conscious choice too, you can’t edit your words in real life, or click on the little bin icon before they reach anyone’s ear. You can online.

Online, you can: mull over ever single grammatical change, write the same tweet 100 times, swap a word about, add a picture, change it to a meme, realise you look to juvenile with a meme and change it to a GIF, put a hashtag for more exposure, wait until you know people will be online to post it, make a last minute decision to remove the GIF and just go with the original picture, post it in hope and then delete it 5 minutes later, when it falls flat on its arse tumbleweed and all.

You’re branding yourself.

Branding yourself just as much as any multi-million pound corporation, hundreds of girls who run a Harry Styles fan page or the guy who does rate my toast.

Want proof?

Social Chain are a marketing agency who control some of the most popular Twitter accounts that you’ll all be familiar with. What seems like an innocent, funny parody account could actually be a whole agency, manipulating their followers into trending topics that their clients want people to be talking about.

Their success comes because people don’t know who they’re interacting with, or who runs the account.

As the famous internet Meme goes:

On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog…