Brand me

February 21, 2009 at 1:39 am (1) (, , )

business_brandingMy online personality, brand me, can be crafted, edited and used to influence.  An online persona allows us to manipulate our image to suit the way we want to be perceived.     

Establishing a brand online took me no longer than a few careful mouse clicks and 15-minutes to set up my profile.  I selected a suitable picture and clicked send.  No overt intention, no real thought going into the process.  Just that easy.  

Branding oneself in reality takes a lot more consideration. Years of honing tastes, building experiences and trying to stand out from the crowd, has only left me more confused and still debating the meaning of individuality.

An online brand does not come without its challenges.  As simple as it may be to set up a profile, an alter-ego or a manipulated version of you, it can just as easily backfire.  If you’re like me–using social media to market yourself to potential employers–we must be weary of the image we project.  Representation of  brand me should reflect and highlight my skills, rather than discuss the latest weekend fiasco.   

A little more contimplation than click and send.

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Anti-social media

February 12, 2009 at 11:34 am (1) (, )

antisocial1Anti-social media is not a personality disorder.  Well, not yet at least.  Rather, it is the act of socializing using symbols, acronyms, status updates, videos and pictures to communicate.  In an effort to “connect”  with friends, we are disconnecting from face-to-face interaction.  The advent of social media has me wondering: does twitter and Facebook make us less social?  In one swooping answer, yes.

Non-verbal communication accounts for the majority of what we say, without actually saying it. We are able to pick up on the subtle cues that the written word simply cannot.  Facial expressions, body language and eye contact, add impact in a way that emphasis with CAPITALS and smiley faces can’t measure up to.  The removal of the lived experience when using media like twitter and Facebook, make communicating a guessing game; unsure of what the other is really expressing.

The symptoms of anti-social media behaviour are easily detected.  Compulsion, secrecy and perhaps even isolation.  However, the severity of the symptoms depend on how you choose to use social media.  As a marketing tool for a young PR student such as myself, it only makes sense to promote on sites like Linkedin, Digg and twitter.  Social media used in this sense, provides the user with global networking capabilities, and the opportunity to keep with the trends.  My only challenge: learning to do so in 140 characters or less.

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