I like this. There’s a culture of transparency kinda bubbling about. Have you noticed? People seem to be wanting to acknowledge to the world where they’re going wrong, or veering toward pretentiousness, in a spirit of “we’re all in this together, aren’t we?”.
I quite love the “Shit xxx say” videos doing the traps. Mostly because they’re not cynical or cruel. They’re acknowledging. They seek, I think, to enroll us all in the same story: “Yeah, I know I’ve got a little caught up, and I’m a little affected…”
And the net result is to connect us further with our humanity.
Which, dammit, is all I really want from this life.
I also like that some companies are getting in on the act, not hiding behind the constructed messaging anymore. It’s a mild breath of fresh air. Canadian Yoga brand Lululemon made this pisstake of the painful stuff people-who-are-just-a-little-bit-too-intimate-with-their-own-hamstrings can say. Clever. Brave. It works.
The cynical among us could say brands and businesses don’t have a choice anymore. Everything is transparent, everything Google-able and exposable, and you might as well get in first and acknowledge your faults before your narky customers dig them up.
But Trendwatching recently flagged the new movement: Flawsome….where companies expose their flaws, in a humane way, creating an overall awesomeness.
They describe this leaning toward transparency thus:
Consumers’ disillusionment at corporate behavior has (finally) spilled over into outright disgust. As a result, any brand that can show business in a new light will be (deservedly) welcomed with open arms.
“Human nature dictates that people have a hard time genuinely connecting with, being close to, or really trusting other humans who (pretend to) have no weaknesses, flaws, or mistakes…
Online culture is the culture, and inflexible, bland ‘corporate’ façades jar with consumers who live online where communication is immediate, open and raw.”
This one is friggen hilarious, too. I recognise waaaaaay too much of myself in this. “Is this bacon nitrate-free?”
I love this one that my friend Christiaan (aka Fully Sick Rapper, who I’ve interviewed before) has just made…a total pisstake of what I labelled “Cocaine Yogis” for a story I commissioned when I edited Cosmo. He nails a certain scene in Bondi…and other languidly middle-class enclaves around the world.
If I’m to be transparent…I say much of the shit in all three videos. I wear the glasses. I ride the bike, too.
Hyper-engagement comes at a price: hyper-self-awareness. We can’t escape ourselves these days, can we?! Sometimes I feel a little grubby the way I bang on about things on this blog: sugar, eating fat, living a breezy life in Byron, cooking whole food, green things.
Sometimes, to be honest, I think, “Sarah, pull your head in”. On these occasions, I back off a little. I simply don’t post.
But I do think that making raw, honest, humane connections is important. This means sharing what we know, what we learn. It just comes at a price.
Do you feel the same? Are you cringing about the shit you say?