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My Klout score must be at least 55, it will be a disaster of it’s below, a sign of Social Media clumsiness, of defeat, of isolation. My avatar tells me that I haven’t visited this or that virtual community since a month. On top of all that I need to be enthusiastically empathic, emphatically compassionate, emotionally intelligent, authentically genuine, unforgettablly funny, interestingly intellectual, carefully charismatic, … .

The Self Publishing Man

The Self Publishing Man

I have to be holier than the pope, drive a car that is big enough to fit my ego, I need to possess a house that radiates my success. People tell me that I have to be happy, content. My engagement is my capital and correlated with my contributions on yammer, the number of tweets, the number of meetings I attend …

Thank God it’s monday, so I can get back to work at 6 am, some employment branding campaign yells at me. Have success. Successful ? Look at my agenda. It’s full; I must be successful. People want to talk to me; they need me. My power is rising because they can’t get on without my consent. Power? Did I not say when I started my career “I don’t like politics” ? Now the power is running through my veins. Maybe I can become the president of the parents’ committee in my daughter’s school ?

Let’s look at the results of my 360, my leadership review, my customer satisfaction index, my compassion index, … The age of feedback, remorceless. I see that the employee satisfaction index has gone up, but people feel that they do not earn enough money. That’s new.

Let’s have a look at the number of people who have visited my linkedin page. Oops, that has dropped. Let’s post another comment. First I will read the 7 tips to attract followers on twitter. Let’s use a provocative title, then they will read it. That will increase my klout score. My God, 10 people have unfollowed me. Who are they. Why did they unfollow me?

Here lyeth David, his Klout score was 55. So was his age.

Am I really successful? It’s been a while since a headhunter has called me. Have they forgotten about me ? Maybe I am blogging too much? They can read my thoughts and they don’t like it. Let’s call my career counsellor, he can give me some advice on how to manage my personal brand. I’m a brand, yeah. My brand is my personality, or vice versa. I cannot be sure about that. Let’s call my coach to find out. Another appointment in my agenda, yeah. I must be successful. Let’s also schedule an appointment with my wife now that I am at it.

Bling. My Iphone notifies me that there’s a new facebook message. Let’s react on my IPAD. What comment could increase my TweetFactor. Oh it’s friday, let’s recommend some people #followfriday. Hopefully they will thank me. Let’s have a look at my popularity statistics.

What are we doing?

What are we doing? Have we gone mad? This is the age of the plastic personality. I must be perfect. The mental face-lifting that we do every day has alienated us from our true self. In the quest for meaningfulness, we have been sidetracked and are distracted by things that are not important. In the age of the plastic personality perfection is the highest target. Perfect marriage. Perfect career. Perfect image. You are a brand. So you need to advertise for it. Stop for a moment to think about it.
I wish everyone a perfect weekend. Enjoy your family. Enjoy your friends. Enjoy your glass of wine. Feel the sun on your face. Enjoy the hand of your child in your hand. At the end of the day, you are what you are because of what you mean for others. And you need not to brand yourself in order to be who you can be. Don’t be plastic. Be your obnoxious self, if that’s who you are.
P.S. The thoughts in italic above are fictitious. Any resemblance with a person that you know is totally coincidental and not at all intended. I am 44.

David Ducheyne is the founder of Otolith. As a former HR and business leader he focuses now on humanising strategy execution.

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