Social Media: Online Body-Building?

Over the past year, we’ve been involved in a lot of qualitative research for clients including Dell and Intel. When studying technology motivations, it’s impossible not to explore people’s everyday behavior - and when it comes to their computer, people’s behavior is deeply personal.

Online body-building

One particularly interesting phenomena described by participants, was the process of ‘self-design’ that occurs in social media; we termed it body-building. Like a child playing dress-up, social media lets people re-design their identity in digital reality.

But unlike the fleeting nature of childhood games, social media can turn this fantasy into physical reality. Want to be popular? Craft yourself into a Facebook fashionista, and soon enough you’ll be invited to the catwalk. Want to be a marketing expert? Claim to be a social media maven, and soon you’ll be speaking at conferences.
The modern day dream factory
In morphological research, there’s a belief that society (within reason) permits people to pursue opportunities, or goals, that transcend their current capabilities. This drive for development and growth is a fundamental part of human motivation.

But what’s fascinating with body-building, is the extent to which digital society permits the ‘re-design of identity’. Social media is providing a mechanism for turning fantasy into reality; like adult dress-up, or a modern day dream factory.
Social media can re-design reality; with one click you can change your life.