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The Opposite of Engagement


I was scrolling through Instagram this morning as I am wont to do when my brain is fried and I just want to relax.
There in my feed was a picture of Kylie Jenner captioned "4am with bae."
Instantly I fell in love with this photo. 
In a single image, Kylie captured everything commercial social media should be:
  • Personal - you're looking into someone else's life
  • Spontaneous - it's as if someone impulsively captured the moment
  • Authentic - it reveals something true about the person who posted it
  • Calculated - the posting is intentional, to create a certain image
  • Unbranded - there are no signs it's promotional
I realized that, in comparison to Kylie, most of the professional work I do in social media falls far short of this standard.
It's not because I can't comprehend what has to happen; I can.
Nor is it that we refuse to show selfies with our belly buttons.
Rather, it's because we - and when I say "we," I mean the grand "we," the "we" as in a large-organization, client-side mindset - are still caught up in an ancient model of communication.
We imagine ourselves to be grand, imposing, very important figures with significant things to say.
We believe that our "dignity" must be preserved above all.
And so we refine, and refine, and then opine.
But nowadays, there is no patience for self-consciousness, or speeches.
Whether it's respectable or not, we want words that sound like Kylie's Instagram.
It's not about sex. Not at all. Not really.
It is about life. A larger life than our own.
An experience that feels really real, that amplifies our own existence.
_____________
Copyright 2015 Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D. Dr. Blumenthal is founder and president of BrandSuccess, a corporate content provider, and co-founder of the brand thought leadership portal All Things Brand. The opinions expressed are her own and not those of any government agency or entity or the federal government as a whole. 

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