Multiple Personality Order

We have been living with multiple personalities for years. Millennials have been known to show varying sides online, way before the chatter began around the benefit of the "Circles" capability in Google+.

Some dabbled with multiple personalities "verbally" through AOL IM and in chat rooms. While others explored extending their lives in ways that "didn't exist," through gender changes, in Second Life. And right about the time when there were questions about the first or even second life one is living, video platforms like the Wii and Xbox made the versions more mainstream, socially acceptable and common with customizable avatars.

And truth be told, it's certainly not limited to behavior on a platform as evident with contestant Jeff Medolla's masked-heart-defender wearing ways on this season's The Bachelorette.



Nowadays, we create and utilize parameters that enable us to filter the versions of ourselves across the social platforms we know today like Facebook and Picassa. Because, as Instagram reminds us, "Like in Facebook, you have to behave yourself. You have to think that your words are part of your personality." All of this filtering sometimes makes the introvert more extroverted and the extroverted a bit more introverted and back again.

Now circling back to Google+, regardless of whether or not the platform is good or bad, a capability like Circles can teach brands something useful.

The filtering capabilities show just how modular we actually are, always have been and how we share different pieces of ourselves with different people. We have work personas, family personas, friend personas and so on.

We do this as a way to save face, whichever one we are wearing at the time, to try and prevent ourselves from making yet another mistake by sharing too much with the wrong person or group of people.

And the not so crazy thing is, enough though it seems more complicated, there is no disorder. Slicing ourselves into different personalities somehow creates order, making life more simple. As Google+ explains, "you share different things with different people. But sharing the right stuff with the right people shouldn't be a hassle. Circles makes it easy to put your friends from Saturday night in one circle, your parents in another, and your boss in a circle by himself, just like real life."

Thus, it makes sense for brands to think about how they connect with us this way too. We segment ourselves, presenting different pieces across many places.

So, when establishing connections with Millennials:

  • Consider how to make them resonate with the right audiences in the right way.
  • Recognize connections don't have to be limited to one approach and there is more than one right way to make them at the same time
  • Remember Millennials are more than the lump sum of the generational moniker. Millennials are multi-dimensional with multiple personalities including moms, dads, students, professionals, alumni, collectors of Mr. Potato Head, dog lovers, kickball players etc.
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