I have a theory. In an age where we are losing the stores we grew up with, and replacing the art of browsing in the real world with the virtual version, I pose the question – Is your Social Media Profile the New You?
At first the idea of shopping and social media don’t really have a lot in common, but my premise has to do with the way we present ourselves to the world. While I grew up having my favourite designer stores creating the type of clothes that represented me, I feel that this same need for ‘real world’ expression is disappearing (or perhaps, has disappeared already).
Retailers will argue that they can’t compete with the range and price of items available online, but I think there’s been a replacement of the very need that shopping for yourself once fulfilled.
My favourite stores used to be Tarocash and Esprit as their once individual line represented me. Mix and match arty t-shirts, funky jeans and unique belt-buckles and I was Kevin! My haircut, the records I bought, and the little nick nacks I purchased for home were an extension of myself. These days my various online profiles are that extension of myself. It’s a cheaper option.
Ask yourself if you buy as many clothes as you used to. Does your need for self expression now find its way online, rather than the real world? By sharing the videos and ideas you like, do you find the need to share your favourite music or your thoughts with those physically around you not as important? Let’s face it, you can express yourself on Facebook to your friends and family without the need to dress yourself up or put on make-up. You don’t even need to buy the music you like – just share the YouTube clip!
I know it’s an odd theory, but think about it. You can post a review, share your media and blog to your heart’s content, putting yourself out there – thus shrinking the need to do so to those around you. I’m not saying we’ve stopped relating to the world completely, but part of our need to ‘be’ is taken care of on the very device you are using right now. Your need to express the same through retail therapy is, rightly or wrongly, not as important any more.
Please comment. I’d love to hear if you agree.