Wednesday, 9 November 2011


I’ve been pondering the idea of self-branding on social networking sites: of creating – through selectivity or outright lying – an idea of oneself different from reality. I’ve always said I’m uncomfortable with the self-branding aspect of Facebook (although I do untag unflattering photos posted by friends). But I’ve apparently got no problem with it on Deviant Art, giving myself a name – The Dandy Highwayman – that comes with a whole set of associations and implications: I’m a rake; a libertine; I like Adam Ant etc. Am I creating a persona to “live” through?

I think for me it feels different than concerted self-branding on Facebook because on Deviant Art my profile represents me as an ‘artist’, so it’s a persona to work through rather than live through, kind of like Banksy or Plan B’s Strickland Banks. Of course, the danger (or for some, perhaps, the desired effect) of any kind of self-branding is that the persona you create comes to eclipse you as an actual person. Ben Drew has announced that he won’t be playing Strickland Banks again, because he’s tired of people assuming the stage-persona to be him, but he still goes by ‘Plan B’ which is itself, presumably, a stage-persona.

How do others feel about the whole self-branding issue?

1 comment:

  1. I suppose when it comes to self branding, Facebook personalities and cyber-personalities are just another version of yourself anyway, just in a very public manner. We have a plurality of identities anyway, and act differently in different situations depending on who we are with, the environment, etc. As that over used quotation from Shakespeare states, 'the world is a stage', and we are all actors/players in this reality. Facebook is another version of this, the problems come with Facebook when you loose control of your own identity on the internet, with personalised advertising etc. Im not so much worried about self-branding on the internet as other people might be because i feel we do that anyway, in all aspects of our life.


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