The Internet and Social Media: Demographics Vs. Tastes – Olivia Finley


After reading over the chapters this week I really thought of how fascinating it is that the Internet and social media can give anyone a voice and make them more than just a demographic component to companies. I watched this Ted Talk called “Social media and the end of gender,” by Johanna Blakley and in it she discusses how many companies use traditional methods such as “old school demographics” to target consumers and how that is starting to become more difficult online. Anyone one can lie about their age and their demographic features when they get on the Internet (a great example of that I believe is MTV’s Catfish).


A very important thought that I took away from her Ted Talk was that just because precise demographics may become difficult to track all the time it doesn’t mean that marketing and advertisements cannot reach a solid target market online. She talked about how companies can now have the ability to target people much more effectively by targeting them based on their TASTES. They can track what people search for and do online and more importantly what they like.  In the video she say’s, “Our tastes are being respected in a way that it hadn’t been before, it had been presumed before”. I found this interesting because although many people believe that companies aren’t respecting their privacy by using these advertising and tracking methods it still could be argued that it gives consumers a voice. They are able to take their selves out of a stereotypical demographic and create their identity online.


I feel like this almost breaks the demographic assumptions and is better for companies and consumers because they don’t get advertisements for products thrown at them because of how old they are or what ethnicity they are and more. Personally if I’m going to have to see ads every time I get online then it might as well be for something I’d actually use or enjoy instead of what a majority of females that are of the same ethnicity or age as me would purchase. It’s a strategy that is more effective for marketers and I don’t mind because I believe that it makes going online more catered to me and more convenient when I decide to shop or search for stuff. Do you have any thoughts or disagree? Let me know!

Olivia Finley


Watch the Ted Talk here:

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