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If we go by the number of pics and selfies one posts of oneself, putting off other interests and work, conscious or otherwise, the intent is of self propagation. This is the simplest, yet most blatant tool of self propagation, which criss-crosses the personal and the professional domains, with immense ease, solidly supported by the ease of usage and the ready audience of the social media. This is not the only way self propagation is done, there are variety of means, both subtle and blatant, which is used on a regular basis, from making boss and colleagues feel that you have been churning out great work to hiring a professional agency to do an image makeover or create a perception which you ideally desire of.

Self propagation seems to be the flip side of man of being social animal. In small communities this was not required as each one was nearly fully known, nothing great could be added to already known persona. With communication being as it were, in the pre-telephone days, there was not much of travel and if undertaken it was to generally known lands and known people. The need for self propagation started when few felt that they need to known outside their geography. Being known is only part of the story and the way person should be known, was the other and important part of the story.

As the consumerist age dawned, product packaging and branding slowly started becoming the order of the day. This created an urge for celebrities and successful people getting into self propagation in a big way, even if it costed a huge amount of money. There was a cost benefit matrix also operating. This investment was recouped as earnings, in which manner feasible and the added benefit was that trust and good was also created which could regularly be monetised. There is also a general feeling that emerged, that if you don’t bat for yourself who else will. Work speaking for you is an old forgotten story.

With the onset of the digital age and social media after electronic media becoming the mainstream, it’s the proletarianisation of the self propagation urge, drive and passion. The multi-media format with instant communication format turned out to be ideal. It is now a 24/7 game, everybody is posted against everybody and innumerable variants of it. Work has taken a backseat, so is passion and focus for it. The world has been elevated to beyond the physical plane.


Sanjay Sahay

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