This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining light on some activities, hobbies, niches as well as social norms which are ridden with consumerism however are often looked at as being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what may be the most ubiquitous presence in lots of people’s lives, social networking. You most likely think about social websites as a way to get in touch with and remain-in-touch with your friends and relations, a means to keep updated on topics and groups that you value and possibly even ways to meet new people. And once used for good, social websites does all those things. But additionally there is a hidden … and not so hidden … strain of consumerism in Realstew.
Dependant upon your real age, you’ve probably experienced the next cycle one or more times and perhaps several (and even often times). A social networking launches. There are no ads, in fact it is glorious and you spend your time on there talking to people useful or considering fascinating (or at a minimum mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social network has to develop money. By that period, you’ve built up your network and turn into invested in the web site itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. And then, suddenly, you find your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for things that you might or might not want but almost always don’t need. Social networking is one of the shopping mall of your present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get the choice of which stores you would like to walk into. Did you realize that you wanted to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing that you simply didn’t – until a social media ad informed you that you simply supposedly did!
The bait and switch with advertisements on many social networking sites is regarded as the obvious way that consumerism is worked in the model, but it’s not the most insidious way.
The thing that makes a social networking network this type of target-rich environment for advertisers is the amount of data that they may drill through so that you can put their ads directly ahead of the those people who are most likely to answer them. By “the amount of data that they may drill through” we mean “the volume of data that users provide which the social media network shares with advertisers.” Now, to be perfectly clear, an internet site sharing user data with advertisers in order to help them optimize their marketing campaigns is by no means unfamiliar with social networking and many users never realize that using a site or creating an account over a site these are by default allowing their data being shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, really small print inside the terms and conditions that nobody ever reads). But exactly what makes it more insidious when a social networking would it?
The particular data that you’re sharing with a social networking and therefore the social networking is sharing with advertisers is merely much more intimate. Social networks share your interests (both stated and produced by other items that you simply post). Would you become pregnant recently? You don’t need to share it with advertisers, you just need to post about this over a social media where you may want to share it with your friends and relatives and the social network’s smart computer brain knows to know advertisers to get started on showing you diapers. Did you go to a website that sells hammers recently? Your social network is aware that dexspky04 an activity called retargeting, and now you’re going to see ads from that website advertising that very product within an effort (usually highly successful) to help you back to purchase it. So while data sharing is easily the most insidious method that social media sites implement consumerism, it’s actually not the most damaging.
At Postconsumers, one of several concerns that we work the most challenging to create to people’s attention is the fact that why is addictive consumerism so dangerous is the way, at this moment, it’s interwoven with everyday life, society as well as personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous concerning the consumer element of social media. Social media marketing can be a lifestyle tool to help you to express yourself and contact others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven in the fabric of the experience is consumerism. The truth is, the concept of social media advertising relies on that. It’s assumed that folks will treat brands as “people” and like, follow and communicate with them. Just like the backlash against Mitt Romney’s assertion that corporations are people, too, the same holds true of any brand over a social networking site. Yet, the control of customer care or sales people who manage social networking presence for a company or brand is to speak to the shoppers or brand advocates just like the company were an individual. This fine line between how you talk to actual living people on social media marketing and brands, products or companies is so fine which you often forget you will find a difference. And that is a dangerous blending of life and consumerism.
Social media also relies upon a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming that those seemingly closest to you (your social networking friends and contacts) can more effectively influence one to buy, try or support a product, company or product. That’s why nearly all social networking campaigns are made to encourage men and women to share specifics of brands, products or companies on their social network. When you notice people who you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you are more inclined to communicate with and, ultimately, pay for that element. It’s the most virtual kind of peer pressure or “keeping with the joneses.” And since people spend a whole lot time on certain social networking sites, it comes with a significant cumulative impact.
So, next time you believe you will be harmlessly updating your status to your friends, consider how much your social network activity is facilitating the intrusion of your consumer machine. Then update your status concerning this!