Saturday, March 3, 2012

Does Social Media Give Us Our Own Cult of Personality?

flaming20logo20purpleA Cult of Personality is not some new rock band playing in some dive that is about to break it big.  A Cult of Personality is when an individual “blows up” their own image before others to present themselves as something almost “larger than life”.  When one steps back and looks at how social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube, gives us our own ability to expose our lives, we have to acknowledge the fact that it is true.  We make our lives out to be amazingly important.  We expose ourselves to gain our “15 minutes” in the spotlight.  Then we bask in it.  We fill our profiles with information that make us seem that much more important, and interesting than what we may actually be.

Cults of Personality aren’t anything new.  For centuries, political parties and individuals have used various forms of propaganda to inflate their self worth, and self importance.  Every 4 years, we here in the United States see it take place when presidential hopefuls spends millions of dollars touring the country to try and ‘connect” with potential voters.  Celebrities do it regularly, especially before movies and televisions series are released.  You even see it when there are individuals that are “famous for being famous”, all because of the ability to sell themselves.

With social media, these individuals can do so on a grand scale.  However, how does this apply to the “regular person”, like you and me?  Sift through your posts on your social network of choice.  Look at what you have posted.  The running joke with some social networks, such as Twitter, is we glorify everything about our lives…including when we use the bathroom.  Our goal is to post something, anything, that may get shared, retweeted, etc.  We want someone, anyone, everyone to notice us.  Hell, this blog falls into that category, as I want people to read what I have to say, to relate to it, and even share it with others.

Is this a bad thing?  Is creating a Cult of Personality wrong?  It is human nature to stand out.  It is just natural.  You see it in the lowest of the animal kingdom, trying to stand out beyond the rest to get the mate of choice.  At the most rudimentary state, we do it for all of the same reasons.  We want to get noticed so we may achieve the goals we have set for ourselves.  Whether that be for fame, riches, sex or personal ego.

Each social network profile you have is a “Cult of Personality” for yourself.  A chance to expand on who you are.  To allow you to express yourself.  To give you the ability to impress those around you.  Just do so with a little humility.

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