The original sirens myth is quite outdated. Nowadays, sirens are not just a few mysterious creatures living far from civilization on a distant island. In fact, a vast amount of men and women are actually sirens. Our modern times tend to glorify fame and profitability over anything else. "Personal branding" is perceived as a positive value: many consider the opinion others have of them as a key to an happy life. "Followers", "Fans", "Likes" are highly wanted trophies. Loads of books exist, explaining to the masses how the should behave, what they should show or hide of themselves, in order to maximize consideration.
Are individual personalities really products? Are we ranked by our amount of fans? Is compliance to the dominant ideological standards the only way? For example, when I hear our political leaders, I am often extremely disappointed. Why are they even talking about their personal life? Why is it of any importance that this candidate likes running in the morning, while that other one prefers reading poetry? In the end, what matters are ideas and programs, not the color of the hair or the person's preferred food. Yet, crazy amount of money is spent on marketing and communication, just like for the average new car.
While I of course understand why we are there, and why these techniques are efficient for their users, I still can't prevent myself from being disappointed. It would be too sad to just abandon utopia and ideals. Can't we outsmart marketing? Can we build a saner world? Can't we focus a bit more on global ideas and fate, instead of contemplating our little navels? I believe so. It all starts by putting some ear plugs, so the sirens can keep singing all they want, without interfering with what is really in our minds. Try to think about it next time you come across one of these creatures!
Special thanks for my wife and my coworkers (Clément, Yannick, Simon, Luc and Vincent) who posed for this image.