Social Media: What Would Don Draper Do?

Mad Men hysteria has officially kicked in with the premiere of their fourth season, appropriately titled, “Public Relations.” In one scene, a reporter asks Don Draper, “Who is Don Draper?” Caught in between his present life as Don and his past life, Dick, he is troubled by this question, wary of the intentions behind the question. It is only after he makes an executive decision at the agency, that he realizes that he is in control of his own identity.

Don is in complete control over his public persona and has crafted it so well, as to make sure the past and the present never meet. But let’s flash forward from the mid-1960s and insert Don into 2010. Considering the prevalence of social media in today’s world, What Would Don Draper Do?

As we all know by now, we can’t control social media, we can only try to moderate and guide it in a favorable direction. Draper once said that the ability to make it in advertising rests on having other people like you. Facebook and Twitter would be an easy platform for those who really “knew” him and for those that despised him to vent their frustrations. Draper hasn’t changed anything about his appearance to distance himself from his past, so once his picture or bio was revealed, so would be his true identity.

Draper could control the majority of things that he posts Twitter and Facebook and could control who sees it. But what about Foursquare? I believe that Draper would lose his mind if Sterling Cooper asked him to participate in a location-based application. Not only would it make him paranoid, but he would have lots of ‘splaining to those he’s accountable to, not to mention the potential tension and further competition between co-workers. The bottom line is that he wouldn’t be able to exist in SM. Social media is a beast that not even the great Don Draper could control.

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