As we spend and share more and more of our lives on social media, the way in which we present ourselves online is increasingly becoming a matter of style. In the following article, we’ll explore just what it means to be stylish online.

With the ever-increasing importance of social media in our daily lives, being stylish is no longer simply a matter of dressing well, it’s also a question of effectively using social media to convey an impression of our real selves. We receive up to 80 per cent of all sensory impressions through our eyes, which in part explains why users on Facebook are more likely to interact with an image than a chunk of text. In fashion, as on Facebook, a picture really is worth a thousand words.

When we create an online profile, we’re presenting the world with a version of ourselves. How we present our digital selves determines at least in part other people’s perception of us. We’re all aware of the signals we send with our Facebook profile pictures – or should be – and employers really do check potential employees’ social media profiles.

Presentation Is Key

Increasingly, companies and start-ups are offering services that reflect the importance of our digital selves and how we wished to be perceived online. There are a variety of services out there that cover everything to do with online presentation, from reputation management to private photoshopping services. Today, dedicated followers of online fashion can even get their own vanity URLs – the digital equivalent of a personalised number plate.

Instagram, for instance, is a medium that absolutely depends on presentation. The difference between a bad Instagram post and a good one is simply a matter of aesthetics and, as we’ve said before, the best Instagram users know this and understand how to best present themselves. On Instagram, users filter, frame, and edit images of themselves to create and curate stylish online versions of themselves.

Lucky In Love

If fashion is partly a matter of making ourselves attractive to others then Tinder is perhaps the ultimate test of online style. With the potential love of your life or at least a casual hook up at stake, stylish presentation in the app’s condensed digital form counts for a lot. The contradictory dynamics of online dating have long been around, but Tinder has concentrated them even further into four compressed photos, a short bio, and swiping. Users are both physically near to one another, yet remote; potentially recognisable, but – with an easy swipe – also instantly forgettable. Of course, given that we’re talking about aesthetics, what one user finds attractive may not apply to the rest.

Summer, Sun & Fun! Tomorrow Berlin Fashion Week.

A post shared by André Hamann (@andrehamann) on

To be stylish online, you need not only the right clothes and a sense of style, but to also understand the aesthetics of social media. Whether you do it yourself or enlist the services of a professional, it pays to exercise some style online. As we edit, filter, and frame images, we exert control over the way we’re perceived and that’s what it really comes to down to.

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