Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Product Placement

Are you familiar with What's in my Bag? It started, I'm pretty sure, back in the early days of blogging. Women would empty their purses and photograph the contents, put the whole thing up on their blog for everyone to see. No one paid them to do it, it was just a funny little blog game. Yet another example of humanity's weird obsession with the mundane details of everyone else's lives.

I always liked it, even if I didn't participate (my bag was not blog-worthy). It reminded me of this assignment our Grade 9 social studies teacher gave us once when we were learning about archaeology. He picked one of the students' lockers at random and we went through the contents, layer by layer, and someone stood at the chalkboard and wrote down the things we learned about that person based on the stuff they kept in their locker and based on the order in which we found it (Grade 9 student, likes pb & j, male, listens to rap, math binder buried at the bottom of the locker underneath moldy, unidentifiable food, so math probably isn't his favourite subject, etc).

(In hindsight, that whole assignment was a gross invasion of that poor student's property and privacy. Buuuuut we're talking about a teacher who fake-kidnapped a student at knife-point (she didn't know she was being fake-kidnapped but she was aware of the knife) at the beginning of a Law 30 class so we could do a mock trial. This is the kind of stuff teachers can get away with in small town schools and still be everyone's favourite. I am majorly digressing here.)

Anyway, I was scrolling through Instagram the other day and I came across a post by a popular blogger, one of the ones who makes a living being an "Influencer." It was a picture of her and her kid, the contents of her purse strewn on the couch beside her. It looked sweet and candid, but when you read the caption you realized it was actually an ad for a wallet. It was like What's in my Bag, except sponsored, and the average smart person would know that that wallet was likely only there because some brand put it there, not because the blogger was a die-hard That Wallet Fan.

Brands hey? They've caught on to our collective fascination with what strangers are carrying in their bags and what they're doing at all times and what they're eating and reading and listening to and where they're shopping and what they bought. And it's not even all that original.

I'm just gonna leave this here:

The Truman Show is happening now and EVERYONE IS TRUMAN.