Personal Branding — Are we humans? Or are we commodities?

Do you know what’s good about the new Netflix series Love?

Apart from speaking to the generation of 25–40-year-olds that are usually grossly misrepresented as people with high-paying dream careers and children, Love represents the forgotten drifters of that generation. It represents a lot of us as we are;

  • adult teenagers
  • with ‘good’ jobs that we happened to land
  • single
  • living in sharehouses
  • a penchant for Friday night knockoffs to celebrate making it through another week (#grim)

Love also gives 25–40-year-olds the opportunity to do what we truly love; shamelessly binge watch TV. In fact, Jumpshot reported that one in five Netflixers binge watch on any given day. Binge is the new classic. Sorry fidget spinners.

Now let me ask you this: What do you look like (and what state from the night before are you in) when you binge watch? And would you ever post this to Instagram, unfiltered, without the angles?

In the first episode of Love, Mickey comments on our filtered existence and the effect that it can have on thinking that we are doing it all wrong:

“I refuse to believe that all the dipshits I went to high school with, who are married now and putting pictures on Facebook every day of their kids, in little headbands, have it all figured out. Right? That’s gotta be bullshit”.

Amen sista.

A person’s Facebook is how they advertise themselves. And, unfortunately, when you advertise yourself looking tired and wrecked from a day of stressful work, the community takes to it as attention seeking instead of, “that person is just being honest and vulnerable about how their day panned out”.

Be stressed, but look good and do your life properly.

Consumer advertising doesn’t help either.

I want ads that don’t shame me about my choice to lie on my couch all day.

I don’t want ads at this time in my life that tell me that for me to be at my full potential I need to buy these Nike leggings and run 10KM wearing this Nike watch that tells me how I’ve run 10KM.

I want ads that are like, “Hey, Tinder sucks! Have 10% off this disco dance lesson around the corner from you. Date yourself. You’re great.”

I don’t want this, “You’re a woman. All women love Taylor Swift. She has a new album. She drinks Diet Coke and you should too. It’s endearing when women choose less sugar.”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy when I see my mates with their kids in my newsfeed. It’s not wrong that people are having kids and getting married and buying houses. It’s bloody great. What is interesting though is that direct-source statistics show that these parent-people post more than non-parents. ‘Sharenting’ if you will:

Why is that? Is it because society tells us that this is how you are meant to be when you’re an adult? Settle, have a house, have kids. Look everyone, I’m doing it properly. I’m validated.

Are we wrong to go Facebook Live at 4AM when you’re making one-off meaningful conversations with strangers? Even if you’re holding down a good job, making movements and you’re renting; you’re doing it all wrong.

If you’re looking for #inspo on how you should be living your life, look to yourself and what is actually going on around you. Post yourself being you. Fuck the haters and fuck this personal brand shit. You’re a human, not a commodity. Help start the social revolution. If no one presses ‘like’, who cares. They saw it and they thought about it. Job done.

You feel like shit and you want some support? Say it. Social media is a community that exists for people to connect and support one another.

It’s only right that we help each other feel validated considering the amount of unattainable lifestyle messaging we face every day.

And if you work in advertising or marketing, stop and think about the impact that social media has to target specific people in specific stages of their lives.

  1. Show them that who they are is real and good and important.
  2. Celebrate where they are now, but help them get to where they want to be.
  3. Do your research. Who are you actually speaking to?
  4. Push for clients to take risks. Push for clients to be real.

IRL should not be a thing. Real life should just be real everywhere. I’ll finish this off in the words Flava Flav — “Don’t believe the hype”.

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