Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. I was waiting for the fog to b
Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
I was waiting for the fog to burn off — physically and in my head — when I received a tantalizing email.
It read, in part:
This is the worst thing in the world. OK, climate change. But this is number two.
Naturally, I perked up. This was written by someone I respect, so what could this number 2 worst thing be?
A private tour of Mark Zuckerberg’s wardrobe?
An invitation to dinner with a congressperson, after which you have to pay?
A free consignment of pink Uggs?
Truly, it was far worse than all of these.
For my correspondent sent me a link to a CNBC article about the sudden popularity of something truly world-ending.
I understand that little on Instagram may be what philosophers would describe as real.
This, however, represents a perfectly new dimension of apocalyptic thinking.
It seems that people are prepared to spend money — actual money — to buy clothes that make them look better in pictures.
Yes, virtual clothes. Clothes that will never exist in the physical world.
Made-up clothes for made-up people in a make-believe-or-else-I-won’t-be-popular world.
There’s a certain perfection to it, isn’t there?
Imagine if you’re a so-called Instagram influencer. You’re running out of ideas as to how to influence the millions that follow your every move, pout and pose on the venerable picture site.
What better than to show yourself in other-worldly clothes that will make everyone think: “Where can I get that?”
To which the answer will be: At your local digital clothes store of course, darling.
The CEO of Scandinavian fashion retailer Carlings, Ronny Mikalsen, explained it like this to CNBC:
I spoke to my daughter, she’s 12 years-old and I told her about this, and she made me realize that it’s not that strange actually, it’s not that far fetched or science fiction. People are buying skins, people are using filters on social media and so on.
And so on this bandwagon you can jump and perhaps even make a sparkling amount of money.
After all, Carlings is charging 10 precious Euros for a headband.
Yes, a virtual headband that fits only on your head in pictures.
For 30 Euros you can buy more substantial pieces of (non-existent) clothing.
Are you ready for the most painful part? The Carlings Digital Collection has already sold out.
Can’t they just muster some more out of their laptops?, I hear you grunt.
But no. Scarcity is one of the most fundamental aspects of fashion.
The psychology is beautifully breathtaking.
This is fake clothing for people who prefer to influence real people with their fake lives.
It’s all about raising the wearer’s crediblilty on Instagram, says Mikalsen.
Which only makes me wonder about the sheer joy of using the word credibility in association with an entirely fake image.
You may conclude that this isn’t the worst thing in the world after climate change.
I, though, will suggest that it’s even worse than climate change because we can still do something about climate change.
When it comes to Instagram influencers wearing virtual clothes, it’s clearly far too late.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
This article is from Inc.com