Social Media: A New Marketplace Where the Product Is You

Social Commentary

Social Media: A New Marketplace Where the Product Is You

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

“H

e has only seven followers,” I recently told a friend while criticising her chauvinist boyfriend, as if his lack of digital worth was a fitter proof of his foulness than his personality. Hmm, if you really come to think of it, it is, isn’t it? At a time when our preferred mode of transaction is digital currency, if he isn’t able to sell himself to people on the internet, can he really woo a girl?

You see, since we took to Facebook a few years ago, it has gone from being a harmless staycation, brimming with pictures and song lyrics, to being a directory meant for background checks. There could be a potential soulmate, a dream company, or even God him/herself lurking in disguise on our friend lists. So we draft our statuses a minimum of five times, morphing and mending what we really want to say so that we can present the best versions of ourselves to rank strangers on social media. Nine out of 10 Tinder bios speak of their political leaning, innumerable Instagram accounts advertise their pet-friendliness, and most Hinge profiles are incomplete without yelling out their affinity toward pot and harder drugs from rooftops. We ration our emotions, perfect our personalities, and assemble our opinions so that people on the internet are sold a faultless commodity – one that inevitably holds their attention.

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