To be or not to be? That isn’t the question, in this digital media-fueled age. More like to post or not to post? You must have noticed how minute the time spent without our phones has become, we’re the digitally obsessed generation, constantly double-tapping, tracking likes and comments on our ‘digital presence’. And guess what, it’s totally ok!
Our phones assist us with almost every aspect of our lives from ordering food to stalking your ex and his/her entire family and with each passing day there’s a new add-on technology designed to make our lives easier, keeping us on our phone longer.
Every single detail about the apps we use and good posts we engage with have been curated by professionals to invite us in and keep us there; obsessed. All the major corporations, A-list celebrities, presidents and pastors have all gone digital. With this much influence, it’s only natural that we follow suit.
Now it’s just plain weird not to have a presence on social media. The real draw is that it allows you to become anything and anyone, cause to be quite frank, reality sucks sometimes and we all need to escape to an alternate reality. We may say we really don’t care about what people think about us but it blows when we post that one picture that’s so amazing, in our heads, and get only 2 likes. “Like wtf!” , you think. But you never ask yourself, “Was that picture really amazing?”, “Is this what my friends want to see?”, “Am I just showing-off?” most importantly, “Does this have elements of who I am or have I taken my social media lies too far?”
The problem most people have is adequately depicting who they are on social media in an interesting way and staying consistent with that persona. You may have great content but your delivery maybe is wrong. We tend to forget that we’re talking to other humans with our posts. You should start thinking of your account as a living breathing version of yourself.
Let’s say you bought an expensive purse and you want to show it off to your friends. Would you just see them and say, “Hey guys checkout my Gucci purse!” ? No you wouldn’t ( I hope you don’t), you’d pair the purse with a killer outfit and wait for an event that they’re sure to be at, and find ways to subtly drive the conversation to your purse, like, “Carrying literally everything I own in my bag to work everyday gives me backaches, it’s such a welcome change to hold something small today.”
The second approach sounds more relatable and can be translated perfectly to social media with a photo of said slayed outfit using your comment as a caption. Not everyone can buy a Gucci purse but most, if not all, women understand stuffing their bags with needless stuff (c’mon you know it’s needless).
Looking at various social media platforms and their users, I’ve found that some accounts have adopted this open and honest interactive presence with their friends and followers, mimicking a one-on-one conversation.
And it got me thinking, that it wouldn’t be right to label such accounts as just “social media” but rather as a “digital presence” since they are so convincing.
My Favorite Digital Presences and why
His consistency with his workout videos, the short funny motivational “speeches” in between that aren’t in any way condemning and the clips of him interacting with his fans, even in traffic!
He’s that one friend that seems to be good at everything and you want to hate for that but you can’t cause he really is a good person.
Their easy breezy way of discussing hair, makeup, fashion and fitness can lure anyone in.
Popsugar is that friend that is so super excited about life, optimistic and knows how to make you smile.
Their jokes that make you cringe, brutal but honest relationship advice, insight into what and how men and women really think.
Betches is that friend that knows how to make fun of you and make you laugh genuinely at yourself.
With every picture or every video we like or post, every account we follow or unfollow, we tell people a little bit about ourselves. We say this is who I am, this is what I like. Some people may double-tap things they don’t really like just cause , “Hey, everyone’s doing it!”, and some people will never “like” until they are really wowed. And when you actually meet these people, in person, they are exactly like that and they usually end up being the shepherds ( influencers ) .
As a brand, you can’t really exclude your ad services or likes from any paying individual, it’d cause an uproar. Also, brands are made up of a variety of individuals with different interests who aren’t personifications of the brand they represent, so yes, they are just social media. They can’t show emotion the way a digital presence can.
I can post anything I want, whenever I want, with whatever caption I want, because I’m not afraid of who I am, a person with flaws, offending anyone. You either double-tap or keep it moving, you can’t like everything I do. But social media has to be widely acceptable, like how they can’t say “Christmas” but instead “Happy holidays” . The trick I’ve noticed that successful brands emulate is that they only hire people that have the same “vibe” that their brand portrays. This is obviously the more expensive option but it works!
The key to becoming a successful digital presence lies in how easily your friends and followers understand you and relate to you. If you’re a truly likable funny person, you’re presences should portray exactly that. Its very important to make sure your presence portrays who you are, exactly as you are. Noone wants to be misunderstood and people can’t like what they don’t understand. So keep it interesting, keep it honest, keep it you!
By Eniola Tanya Olushola