Blog post#6: Is that really you?

FB- really you

Most of the consumer images that are put in front of us have been modified in some way before they are distributed: photos get touched up and videos get edited (yes, even “reality” TV is edited).  Through the editing process, a new, a more enhanced version of reality, is shown.  If you are not familiar with how “enhanced” reality can become, I invite you to check out this photoshoot and this videoshoot to see the process in action.  However, if you have taken a graduation photo or a family photo recently, chances are you are already familiar with the process as photographers are becoming more adept at touching up their digital shots to make us look “flawless”.

The evolution of web 2.0 now makes it possible for us, the common user, to create and enhance multi-media content.  You, me, everyone can “edit” their life and make it more impressive before putting it on public display.  To some extent this is encouraged through ideas like personal branding and online image management.  However, there is also the risk of taking this too far, of creating idealized versions of ourselves and our lives.  It’s in these instances that we go from communicating with an audience to performing for an audience.  Research shows that young people in their teens and early 20s are particularly sensitive to this as they are at the stage of forming their identity and close social ties.  In some cases, they can begin to compare themselves against the idealized “personas” which has a negative impact on their happiness level, their self-esteem and their offline relationships.

For those of us who need some tips on how to create content like the pros, I would like to share the following links:

Crafting your social media presence

Start the crafting process by collecting all the “artefacts” (images, bios, resume info, etc.) that you want to be part of your public digital life (since this page is actually part of a larger collection of materials on social media, you will also find tips for getting started with Facebook and Twitter).

Crafting the perfect Facebook cover photo

No you don’t need Photoshop, you can use a free software program to help you create that awesome Facebook cover.  Need some inspiration, check this out: Facebook Timeline Cover : 40 (Really) Creative Examples.

Crafting posts

Remember that social media is like a soap box, not a diary.  Know your audience. Post something they care about.  For Facebook, be positive.  For Twitter, make an effort to write properly. For Pinterest, pin vertical shots without people’s faces in them. Need a reminder of these dos and don’ts, check this out: How to create Perfect Posts on Social Platforms.

3 thoughts on “Blog post#6: Is that really you?

  1. You have a valid opinion. It speaks to my earlier post about learning PR when writing for social media. I got the feeling that all of this would be just like Hollywood where just about every image was touched up. It’s about appearances because our social world rests on it. We’re a community of strangers and, let’s face it, sometimes you are what you look like. Of course, it leaves room for a considerably degree of shallow behaviour too. I think that’s why some people just want to get out or avoid social media altogether. It can be quite superficial at times and they’re repulsed by it. Good post, thank you. M

  2. I am confused. Are you for or against enhancing our image for social media?

    It used to be you could rely on the content of a photograph, because it was true. The lens didn’t lie. As a photographer myself, I know all to well how to manipulate an image to alter reality. Just because you can, does it mean you should?

    I agree, we should try to present ourselves in the best light possible, but shouldn’t that come from doing right instead of “appearing” right?

  3. With the advancement of technology, we are living in a world of digital fantasy. Movie makers can create computerized scenes, characters and actions that look very real. We always cast some doubt on the truth of digital photos showing beautiful people and scenery (too perfect!). We can no longer trust all the photos and videos used as proof or evidence.

    As more and more of digitally enhanced images are around us, more and more people want to look ideal like them. By nature, human beings love beautiful things. Sometimes they get them, other times they don’t, or they get them with the help of technologies.

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