Welcome to the social media masquerade ball. A sea of acquaintances mingle. Conversation is rampant. People share their views and likes. Yet whilst words appear to flow in an impromptu fashion, they are carefully created discourses. Almost as carefully orchestrated as the elaborate clothing and masks in which their speakers cloaked themselves in.
The scenario described illustrates the paradoxical situation which Web 2.0 brings to society today. Social media platforms appear to enable us to be more social beings .
We theoretically have more friends.
We theoretically are in contact with others more frequently.
We theoretically are more conversational and expressive of our opinions.
Yet, it is all a masquerade. In the following video Shimi Cohen demonstrates how from a social standpoint society has regressed with social media. Much of what social media promotes is superficial interactions.
Why? People often interact online primarily to project an idealized self-image.
“Selfies” are filtered on instagram.
Likes and share are to signify a cultural, social or intellectual standing in society.
It is no longer “I think therefore I am.”
Descartes has been bid farewell.
We live in the era of “I share therefore I am.”
Mingling among the crowd are a few impostors. Brand names. They too cloak themselves in the garb of the partying folk. They waltz the waltz. Talk the talk. They share anecdotes and engage in friendly personable chatter.
Yet where do these brand names truly fit in this awkward social predicament?
Are they interacting with people or their idealized self-projections?
Enroc Llopart of Edelman explains:
“In this masquerade ball originally organized only for people, brands must be aware that nothing is what it seems. In a world of commoditized goods, where the act of buying a specific brand is basically a personality reaffirmation, people want to connect with brands that let them project the personal image they want to show to the world.”
So how does he suggest brands navigate this social masquerade?
Brands should dare to go bare.
Unmask and be authentic.
Lead the way and tempt others to follow in suit.