D.A. Contextual Essay

Watching my D.A. progress over the semester has been an eye opening experience. When I first chose to aim my focus on social media’s effects on personal branding, I quickly decided that building a blog would be the perfect option for me.What I have learned about myself during my career as a college student is that I thrive when writing, especially when given the opportunity to write about myself and my opinions. I believe writing gives you the opportunity to really reflect on your ideas, and as seen throughout my social media log for the month of May, my direction and reactions not only varied but also continued to become more focused and clear.

The first week I had the easiest time maintaining my log and staying on track with my schedule. I found my first post to be the most focused and detailed, especially in regards to how it related to my personal brand. As the month progressed, staying on top of my log and consistently blogging each week became hard and repetitive. However, I knew I would be able to get it all done by reminding myself that writing about my reactions to how I represent myself virtually was more interesting than painful.

As the weeks progressed, I honestly didn’t see as many changes in my social media use as expected or hoped for. I will admit I became more aware of how much time I was spending on social media and editing apps, however, this didn’t necessarily influence me to change anything. If anything, it just made me shameful of how obsessed I was with my social media but also aware of how important it was to me.

When I began to feel like I was getting behind, I used my saved snapchats stories and dates of posts in order to keep track of when, where, why and how I was posting things. I kept the log in the notes in my phone each week and then transferred it to excel when I was ready to blog each week.

I think something I struggled with was taking each week’s log and using them to learn specifically about personal branding. I will admit that I was somewhat confused on exactly what the D.A. was asking for.  Instead of using the research I found for my first two blogs at the beginning of the semester and my Prezi, I focused more on analyzing my learning process. Rather than bringing in factual info on personal branding, I wanted this process to be more of a documented blog about my feelings on how social media’s prevalence in my life has influenced my ability to brand myself to my followers.

As the weeks went on, because I felt a log and reaction would become too repetitive, I forced myself to get creative. I added to idea of creating a survey in order to get reactions from my friends on social media and how it effects their authenticity when building their brand online. This idea allowed me to compare my own opinions and ideas to those around me. However, I could’ve pushed the survey on more people in order to get more information on my peers’ and classmates’ feelings. Instead I found the answers to be somewhat contradicting and not as helpful as I had hoped.

Bringing in other platforms I use to form my personal brand was also important and a good asset to my last blog post.  Because I originally was only focusing on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat in my logs, I began to lose sight of all the other platforms I use to strengthen my appearance and persona online. I could’ve completely left out Twitter because I only use it for class, and instead added LinkedIn and WordPress in order to more accurately represent my digital use.

Overall, the process allowed me to learn a lot about myself as well as how important building a personal brand is for society today, especially my generation. I am at the peak of my online presence and it’s importance towards my success. I am headed towards my last year at uni, and the path towards finding a future successful job, family, friends, etc. My life is changing every day, just as my personal brand does. It is important to maintain exactly how I want to be represented and viewed online. Whether I like to admit it or not, my online presence has taken completely taken over my life.

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