Just as there is a science behind why different technologies spread information, there is also a science behind why people share certain pieces of themselves through social media. The goal I’m sure we could all agree is self branding: to edit things down to a place that makes each person look great.
Socially, we’ve been doing this for centuries. The law of magnetism tells us that, “like attracts like.” Or the old saying, “birds of a feather flock together.” My husband and I always joke about our own appearances quoting, “tens marry tens!”
Dustin Hoffman recently addressed this issue when explaining his role in the movie Tootsie. He said that there were too many women he had missed out on knowing because he had been brainwashed – they didn’t meet the level of attractiveness society had taught him as acceptably approachable.
But isn’t social media just perpetuating this issue of defining the best level of everything. I wouldn’t post a picture of myself look anything less than tidy (and forget about beach shots). I get nervous anytime someone posts anything that includes me/my kids for their audience to see. I’ve even heard of cases where a rivalry between friends will have one of them posting Facebook pictures of the two together where one has clearly had their hair done and full make-up in tact, while the other just got out of the pool.
Lets face it, we all jump at the chance to share photos of ourselves at concerts, the awesome cupcakes we made for our kid’s bake sale and we want everyone to know how popular we are on LinkedIn (http://mashable.com/2013/07/09/jonah-berger-viral-content/).
So what do we do now? Start a campaign that advocates for ugly pictures, posts that highlight the time you forgot it was spouses birthday, took your kid to a party on the wrong day and tucked your skirt into your underwear before leaving the restroom?
Well at least we’ve got blogs!