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“A Bit of a Social Media Frankenstein Story”: Alex van Tonder Interviews Herself about This One Time

This One TimeAlex van Tonder interviewed herself recently for MarkLives about the role of consumerism, branding, blogger culture and consumer-generated content in her novel, This One Time.

Van Tonder, previously known as the blogger Cape Town Girl, says that This One Time is a story for millennials – “those of us who are on social, on our phones, plugged into the media machine and following the world of celebrities and fashion and bloggers and brands and popular culture”.

In the interview, Van Tonder speaks about the “dark side of the relationship we have with our digital personas”, the question of whether the customer is always right and whether or not we really need brand ambassadors to be perfect in their daily lives.

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I am inspired by the dark side of the relationship we have with our digital personas. This One Time deals with a celebrity blogger who loses control over the persona he creates, whose bad deeds he ends up paying the price for.

I observe over and over again that the things you put online become their own things, independent of their creators, and I loved the idea of exploring that in a fictional sense. I also wanted to tell a story that existed in the space where social media, brands, celebrity and entertainment collide. It’s a bit of a social media Frankenstein story.

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