The Commodification of Personality

I thought I should explain my current Twitter background which looks a bit like this:

You might have read that teens don’t use Twitter. I wonder if that has contributed to the commodification of personality on Twitter. We have become quite good at ‘branding ourselves’, creating Twitter backgrounds with bios, Twitter landing pages, and for a while there it felt like ever second Twitter avatar was like a smiling passport photo.

So, I thought I might just leave my background blank-ish, for the moment. Creating the ‘perfect’ personal online brand might be helpful to certain agendas at a particular time. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to have a Twitter background, landing page or smiling avatar. I’ve done it myself. But…just thinkin’ ….do you risk losing your ability to find new ways to express yourself or innovate in a quest to create an effective, popular digital footprint? What else could you do with a Twitter background, apart from showcasing the best of *you* (which in turn, might actually showcase the best of *you* more than a neat bio ever could)?

Oh. I just googled “commodfication of personality”, in case there was anything interesting and came across an interview with Rick Moody (The Ice Storm) written a year ago. At one point the interviewer Ryan Boudinot asks “Have we gotten to a point where the commodification of personality has become so overbearing that it’s impossible for us to separate self-promotion from expression?”

Your thoughts?

4 thoughts on “The Commodification of Personality

  1. anthonymci

    In the past, jobs were found through word of mouth, knowing people, casual lunches or long term vegetation in the one position. Now there is a strong movement towards at least looking at potential candidates via their online presence. So what you say is correct, personality is becoming commoditised, but this is only because we need to sell it as part of the entire package of our employability.

  2. bhowmik

    As anthonymci says, ” .. we need to sell it as a part of the entire package ..”.

    Don’t know if it is a good thing or bad but the general thought process before putting anything online is that this is potentially going to be seen by a lot of people and I probably should be aware of what i am portraying.

    I am not a big fan of “creating” a personality so that you have a certain appeal, but then again that seems to be the way things are these days :)

    1. wonderwebby

      Hi Anthony and Bhowmik. What I wonder, more than IF personality is becoming commoditised, but to what extent, and to what degree are we restricting authentic, innovative expression. And what impact does that have on the way we relate to one another and our surroundings. How do we perceive and use blank online spaces – just a place to populate with the best of *me* in direct terms, or potential spaces for art, stories, statements, juxtapositions and opportunity? (by the way it’s still dark outside but my youngest is up playing with his toys. I’m having a cup of tea. And I’m hoping what I just wrote makes sense at this hour of the morning! :) )

  3. anthonymci

    Maybe not a commoditisation of personality, but more a categorisation. And these categories seem to be important. I know it certainly changes my behaviour online these days. I’m trying to be much more deliberate when managing my online presence.
    It made sense…but I had to read it twice! (Though I’m sure it’s the same with my blog posts too)

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