How Do You Brand Yourself?

2 Aug

image sourceIs it just me or does it seem strange that MacDonald’s would be the official restaurant of the Olympics? I am fairly ambivalent about the Olympics in general, however this really strikes me as odd. On what planet do peak conditioned athletes fuel their machines with Big Macs, or even MacWiltedSaladWraps?
How much money do you think a Super Sized Fatty Boom Bah Fast Food megalopolis company needs to offer the Olympic committee to turn a crap branding partnership into a sterling one?

This got me to thinking about branding. Facebook is essentially how we, as individuals, brand ourselves.
Recently a couple of the Australian Olympic swim team lads got mighty firm slaps on their wrists for posting photos of themselves brandishing guns. They were rather ‘boys own’ images and smacked more of lads who grew up watching movies like Rambo and Pulp Fiction than lads about to go all Columbine. The Olympic committee and their coaches were up in arms (excuse the pun) as they are meant to behave like Australian ambassadors, not twenty-something boys.
I think they were silly, sure, but it’s not that big a deal, considering that shooting is an Olympic sport and the entire swim team was apparently taken to the shooting range on another occasion as a team bonding exercise.
A tad hypocritical me thinks.

Anyhoo, I love Facebook. It’s an awesome way to cyber stalk people who I’m mildly curious about but have no intention of ever calling, but Gen Y are getting into all sorts of trouble with it. Of course there’s the insidious cyber-bullying issue, but there is also the issue of ‘personal branding’.
By this I mean if I want to brand myself on Facebook as an animal activist, or an armchair philosopher, or a big-mouth blogger, then I’ll no doubt get up a couple of people’s noses but generally go on my merry social media way……however, I was talking to a mother of a 14-year-old girl who recently who told me this disturbing tale……

Her daughter was at school and had left her laptop open on her FB page. Her dear ol’ Ma insists she wasn’t snooping (whatevs, she so was) when she discovered her sweet little girl was writing how she’d like to ‘suck off’ some guy (pimply school boy, ew) – not in a private message, on his public wall.
Whoa ho ho there, little lady, back that hormone truck up….do you know that anyone can see that? And your Ma just did?
Needless to say Mama drove straight to the school and picked up her daughter for a rather stern talking to.
I think it’s sad that young girls feel that, in this age of sexualisation, that’s how you catch the imagination of a paramour (I bet it worked, though), but it’s sadder that they’re doing it in such a trashy fashion.
I’m sure blow jobs went down (tee hee) at my high school, but publicly advertising it on the world wide web?
Lordy, Lordy.

Little girls need to remember that they’ll grow up to be big girls with this kind of stuff branding them on the web.
Obviously, this doesn’t just relate to little girls, but smut bags of all ages (also, take note if you are a closed-minded bigot who airs their feelings on their wall because you also look like a first class A-hole) – this is your brand.

It seems there is a whole new mine field for parents to educate their kids about. I don’t reckon it’s as simple as ‘nice kids don’t talk that way’, I think we need to ensure that computer time is properly monitored. Maybe you gotta be friends with your kids on Facebook so you can keep an eye on their hormone addled antics?

You must assume that everyone can see anything so if you don’t want everyone to see something, know something, or comment on something, don’t put it on a public forum.
The internet is like an invisible tattoo. It’ll be there long after your bits are sagging and you’ve forgotten what you’ve said, but the evidence shall remain.

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4 Responses to “How Do You Brand Yourself?”

  1. grapesgripesandgratitude August 2, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    Love love this post. Funny quick thought: saw a Coke ad for Olympics and had the same thought as you. Olympic athletes are NOT chugging down cokes. And… Couldn’t agree more about our own images and sadly cyber bullying makes me sad 😦 great post!

  2. Alison August 3, 2012 at 6:43 am #

    I love the line about the invisible tattoo. So true. Great, funny post.

  3. diannegray August 3, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    How very true! Once you’ve ‘branded’ yourself it sticks. In the old days (when I was a girl) we didn’t have the internet of FB or Youtube or twitter and I cringe to think that everything I had written or posted as a teenager would be available to the world now. Yeah – I sound like an old fogey, but ‘tread the web carefully’ is my brand and I hope to keep it that way 🙂

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