At the end of the day people just want a sense of fulfillment. Some people want to find this through appreciation on social media. This is why people who probably won’t get fame or fortune still attempt it.

There are other incentives too. Money is one of them and just as important because people need to feed themselves. Fame on social media can translate to wealth, especially if you open yourself up as a conduit for advertisement. Or you can start a Patreon like service. Or you can sell your bath water.


To build on this I think that’s the sad part about capitalist societies. We aren’t in positions of stability economically or mentally due to exploitation (well most of us) and as ksynwa said becoming a social media celeb is (like the lottery) portrayed to be a vector out of that instability.

However just the lottery it’s built on the idea that only a few people can be that rich or successful or win the jackpot so it creates a rat race for people to climb and stomp over each other and sell their souls essentially to try and achieve this.

And the companies absolutely know this is the effect they cause, they build their businesses around it.

That combined with the psychological manipulation by social media companies to get people addicted to their algorithms and the societal conditioning to follow fads such as Facebook, now tiktok etc creates this toxic environment.

The act of wanting to comodify yourself isn’t capitalist in a literal sense to me (I could be wrong though) as you aren’t literally exploiting other people’s Labour for profit but the conditions and markets etc (such as people selling themselves to sponsors and advertisement companies) is very capitalist and it makes me sad to see people essentially sell their bodies to companies for a chance of escaping economic instability. I find that so sad but so typical of capitalism so I do see your main point OP, self branding while in itself not inherently capitalist is one facet of a cruel and manipulative capitalist machine that is a lot more libertarian than say free market engagement and stock trading but maybe those aren’t fair analogies.


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Yeah full agree regarding the multiple lotteries you’ve mentioned. I’m trying to think of others but I’m drawing a blank 😭

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