At war with forgery – Building trust and authenticity in a digitally saturated world of pretence and deception

By Carla Pia, 2nd June 2020

We now live in a world ruled by the digital realm, platforms which anyone can use, produce and develop information, as well as push it to thousands, if not millions, of people within the click of a button. Social media platforms reign supreme in this distribution of information, where everyone becomes an expert, a specialist, an influencer, a taste maker, a consultant….As a consumer who do we trust and how has it affected us?

This avalanche of data and stimulation we are bombarded with at such a constant rate exceeds our mental capacity to process or navigate it. We are constantly forced into making decisions: Like, comment, retweet, follow, comment, update, like again…..

Our attention span has narrowed, trends last weeks rather than seasons, our minds are in constant search for newness and in consistent strain of having to make choices.

This permanent mental activity has caused permanent mental exhaustion. But, what is more alarming is we lack the understanding and respect of how information, concepts, ideas come to be. Processes and developments have pressed fast forward, as has our assimilation of information. 280 character tweets, 10 word captions, 15 second instagram stories…The result? Our criteria for appreciation has become shallow, and the awareness of our true desires has become lost. How do we rectify this? Savannah Knoop in the Spring volume of Dazed 2020 questions those behind the content: 

“It’s no secret that we live in an era of unsubtle and unprecedented fakery…..each lie looks, smells and tastes the same as veracity - how are we to know the difference?”

This statement implies the need to divide the legitimate from the fake. Influencing through these digital mediums has become deceitful, requiring little talent, skill or ingenuity. Anyone has access and anyone can publish. This was also emphasised in a separate article by Patrik Sandberg who noted, 

“From a cultural standpoint, the inmates have been handed the keys to the asylum.” 

Evidently there is a severe lack of authenticity. We need to discover a way of re-examining this in the disingenuous world we now live in and re-establish credibility. Our solution. The form of long copy. 

We have found success in forms of content which forces you to stop and take in. Over a delicately crafted flat white, or relaxing on a comfortable sofa at the end of the day. Content which you can spend time pondering, questioning and forming your own conclusions. In essence content which takes longer to digest than 15 seconds. Long form copy proves experience, expertise and shows authenticity. The writer expresses themselves fully and has to have a thorough understanding of the subject matter. It convinces readers that there has been a thought process, it allows the consumer to become pulled into a story, arouses emotions and certifies long term value. 

It negates the misinformation and vacuous vacuum that we are currently exposed to as it is too difficult to forge. Let’s question the genuineness of brands and influencers that we follow. Let’s resonate with those that care. Let’s look deeper, let’s restore craft, let’s rediscover passion. 

We now live in a world ruled by the digital realm, platforms which anyone can use, produce and develop information, as well as push it to thousands, if not millions, of people within the click of a button. Social media platforms reign supreme in this distribution of information, where everyone becomes an expert, a specialist, an influencer, a taste maker, a consultant….As a consumer who do we trust and how has it affected us?

This avalanche of data and stimulation we are bombarded with at such a constant rate exceeds our mental capacity to process or navigate it. We are constantly forced into making decisions: Like, comment, retweet, follow, comment, update, like again…..

Our attention span has narrowed, trends last weeks rather than seasons, our minds are in constant search for newness and in consistent strain of having to make choices.

This permanent mental activity has caused permanent mental exhaustion. But, what is more alarming is we lack the understanding and respect of how information, concepts, ideas come to be. Processes and developments have pressed fast forward, as has our assimilation of information. 280 character tweets, 10 word captions, 15 second instagram stories…The result? Our criteria for appreciation has become shallow, and the awareness of our true desires has become lost. How do we rectify this? Savannah Knoop in the Spring volume of Dazed 2020 questions those behind the content: 

“It’s no secret that we live in an era of unsubtle and unprecedented fakery…..each lie looks, smells and tastes the same as veracity - how are we to know the difference?”

This statement implies the need to divide the legitimate from the fake. Influencing through these digital mediums has become deceitful, requiring little talent, skill or ingenuity. Anyone has access and anyone can publish. This was also emphasised in a separate article by Patrik Sandberg who noted, 

“From a cultural standpoint, the inmates have been handed the keys to the asylum.” 

Evidently there is a severe lack of authenticity. We need to discover a way of re-examining this in the disingenuous world we now live in and re-establish credibility. Our solution. The form of long copy. 

We have found success in forms of content which forces you to stop and take in. Over a delicately crafted flat white, or relaxing on a comfortable sofa at the end of the day. Content which you can spend time pondering, questioning and forming your own conclusions. In essence content which takes longer to digest than 15 seconds. Long form copy proves experience, expertise and shows authenticity. The writer expresses themselves fully and has to have a thorough understanding of the subject matter. It convinces readers that there has been a thought process, it allows the consumer to become pulled into a story, arouses emotions and certifies long term value. 

It negates the misinformation and vacuous vacuum that we are currently exposed to as it is too difficult to forge. Let’s question the genuineness of brands and influencers that we follow. Let’s resonate with those that care. Let’s look deeper, let’s restore craft, let’s rediscover passion.