Personal branding was a term I thought was reserved simply to businesses and business people. While I admit my range with these things is pretty small I still haven’t been consciously savvy with the way I marketed myself to other people on social media because it almost felt as though I was unnecessarily commodifying myself. While it’s tedious to constantly hear about how the pandemic has changed the way we connect with each other, I am still critical of the way we may be sleepwalking into new dynamics in relation to how we showcase our skills and talents without properly assessing their impacts.
Lockdown has led to many people curating digital content that they previously had not given the time for. Whether it was Youtube channels or Tik Toks, there has been a boom in the creative content being uploaded and there seems to be now “no excuses” in creating content whatever it was about. While I’m never one to discourage someone when it comes to creating content online, I do want to shift to the other demographic of people who simply do not feel the need to document their interests online however feel a sense of pressure and keeping up when it comes to creating an online brand for themselves. While online branding does come with increasing your opportunities and network to some degree, it is often difficult to filter through how much of it is truly meaningful and enriching one’s life.
I know plenty of individuals who are extremely talented and creative or have done incredibly in their field professionally but simply want to preserve those aspects of themselves offline. Are they in this way doing themselves a disservice? I would argue in some cases, no. You can still reach people and connect with people even in our new dynamic just as powerfully without it being paraded on social media sites. Many even argue that once something enters the digital sphere its value is reduced to hits and likes rather than the simply immeasurable enrichment it brought someone and in that way cheapens the work you have created or what you have achieved. By extension of this, your own confidence in your work which is assumably an important part of identity can also take in that impact. It is because of this I am slightly concerned about the pressure to showcase one’s talents and accomplishments online and how if they are not consistently keeping everyone updated on it they are depriving themselves of them of opportunity and networks, is such a system fair for those who simply wish to lead a more “private” life?