This month at Postconsumers, we’re shining the sunshine on some activities, hobbies, niches as well as social norms which are ridden with consumerism but they are often considered to be being postconsumer alternatives. Today, we’re tackling what might be the most ubiquitous presence in several people’s lives, social media. You almost certainly imagine social media marketing in order to connect to and stay-in-touch with your friends and relatives, a means to keep updated on topics and groups that you care about and perhaps even a means to meet new people. And whenever utilized for good, social media marketing does all of those things. But there is also a hidden … rather than so hidden … strain of consumerism in Real Stew.

According to your actual age, you’ve probably experienced the next cycle at least once and possibly several (or even often). A social network launches. There are actually no ads, in fact it is glorious and you spend all your time on the website speaking to people useful or looking at fascinating (or at least mildly interesting) things. Then, eventually, the social networking should make some money. By this time, you’ve established your network and be dedicated to the website itself, so you’re unlikely to entirely flee. And then, suddenly, you see your homepage or feed or stream cluttered with ads for things which you may or may not want but almost always don’t need. Social media is among the most shopping mall of your present era, but unlike most malls you don’t necessarily get choosing which stores you want to walk into. Would you realize that you desired to transform your Instagram photos to magnets? We’re guessing which you didn’t – until a social networking ad told you that you supposedly did!

The bait and switch with advertisements on most social media sites is the most obvious way that consumerism is worked in the model, but it’s not one of the most insidious way.

What makes a social media marketing network this sort of target-rich environment for advertisers is the volume of data that they can drill through as a way to place their ads directly in front of the individuals who are most likely to respond to them. By “the level of data that they can drill through” we mean “the volume of data that users provide which the social networking 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 in no way unfamiliar with social media marketing and most users never recognize that using a site or creating an account with a site they can be automatically allowing their data being shared (it’s typically mentioned in very, very small print within the conditions and terms that nobody ever reads). But the thing that makes it more insidious each time a social media will it?

The sort of data that you’re sharing with a social media and this the social media is sharing with advertisers is merely much more intimate. Social media sites share your interests (both stated and produced by other items that you post). Did you get pregnant recently? You don’t need to share it with advertisers, you simply need to post regarding it on the social media where you might want to share it with your family and friends as well as the social network’s smart computer brain knows to inform advertisers to start showing you diapers. Have you check out a website that sells hammers recently? Your social networking knows that dexspky04 a process called retargeting, and now you’re planning to see ads from that website advertising that very product inside an effort (usually highly successful) to help you returning to purchase it. So while data sharing is easily the most insidious way in which social media sites implement consumerism, it’s actually not the most damaging.

At Postconsumers, among the conditions that we work the most challenging to create to people’s attention is that what makes addictive consumerism so dangerous is the way, at this moment, it’s interwoven with everyday routine, society and in many cases personal identity. That’s what’s so dangerous concerning the consumer element of social networking. Social media marketing is really a lifestyle tool to let you express yourself and talk to others, yet it’s absolutely accepted that woven in the fabric of that experience is consumerism. Actually, the practice of social media marketing relies upon that. It’s assumed that folks will treat brands as “people” and like, follow and connect to them. Similar to the backlash against Mitt Romney’s assertion that corporations are people, too, the same holds true of the brand with a social websites site. Yet, the control of customer support or sales agents who manage social media marketing presence for a corporation or brand is to speak with the buyers or brand advocates as if the manufacturer were an individual. This fine line between the way you talk to actual living people on social networking and brands, products or companies is indeed fine that you simply often forget you will discover a difference. And that is an unsafe blending of life and consumerism.

Social media also relies on a “follow the herd” mentality, assuming that people seemingly nearest to you (your social networking friends and contacts) can more efficiently influence you to definitely buy, try or support a brand name, company or product. That’s why nearly all social media marketing campaigns are created to encourage visitors to share information about brands, products or companies on their social network. When you notice people who you know and trust endorsing a consumer element, you will probably connect with and, ultimately, spend money on that element. It’s by far the most virtual form of pressure from peers or “keeping track of the joneses.” And because people spend a whole lot time on certain social networking sites, it possesses a significant cumulative impact.

So, next time you believe you will be harmlessly updating your status for your friends, think about exactly how much your social networking activity is facilitating the intrusion in the consumer machine. Then update your status about that!