By Derrick Santistevan
How do we see ourselves? As times change so do the social norms in America. What seemed taboo, out of reach, or even unfathomable is now commonplace. With the revolution of the “brand” we have had an evolution of “self”.
Technology has propelled us into a time where everything matters, where our every move, word, action or lack thereof is scrutinized by others. Our need to belong, our need to adapt and our perception of how we are represented has caused us to change our sense of self.
Although our sense of self is who we believe we are, social acceptance has distorted this into who others believe we are. We try to look and act a certain way, dress a certain way, define our status, mimic people, take social or political stands, or try to belong to something so we can fit in or stand out in society. And though this has been going on since the dawn of time, today’s difference is that we have such a huge platform to show it off. Social media has allowed us to brand ourselves.
This evolution of brand has brought social comparisons to the forefront of people’s minds. By branding who we are and making upward or downward comparisons of others we protect our positive sense of self. Selling ourselves, representing what we do, like and even love builds our brand. We manipulate who we really are, our “self”, to be socially accepted.
Sigmund Freud introduced us with the psychodynamic theory of personality familiarizing us with the personality structures of the id, the ego, and the superego. Dare I say that with the changing, production, and invention of technology and the impact of media on our social identity we have created another personality structure. That over the past 120 years since Freud’s Psychodynamic Theory, we have subconsciously created another structure: veneer ego. To allow us to portray who we want to be to get a desired result from others which in turn will give us the positive or negative sense of self.
As our self-interest becomes more pious and social media more intrusive, I see the evolution of self through our sociometer become more requisite. This in turn revolutionizes the “brand” of who we are. Let’s face it, we want what we want, and that is to look a certain way so others can judge in the light that we want them to. Manipulating their perception of us so we can get the desired image. This is a type of self-serving bias that allows us to take selfies, post obnoxious comments on Facebook, become social bullies, trolls and to make our lives bigger and better, or worse and more dismal than others for likes, sponsors, love, or even a sense of belonging.
We brand ourselves to sell our brand, we lose who we truly are so we can be what people want us to be, so we can be comfortable with ourselves.