My friend was upset a few weeks ago because her computer broke, which is normal, but she was mostly distraught about having to start over with a new collection of stickers once she got her new laptop. An idea occurred to us. When I say “us” I mean mostly her, but she doesn’t have a platform in which to write about those ideas. The idea was that stickers allow people to be curators on a small scale. Museum curators create a space full of artworks and they are in control of the wall color, the works and the placement of the works. Whether it’s your water bottle, laptop or car bumper, stickers are how individuals express themselves, and the thought process behind the placement -- although sometimes unconscious -- says important things about the “curator” and his or her taste and personality.
Websites like Redbubble allow people to buy obscure stickers for every type of personality or interest, or design and sell their own. With the unbeatable deal of “Buy six stickers and get every sticker half price,” it is easy to acquire mass quantities of stickers even if you’re on a budget. What to do with those stickers is the hardest part and is where the artistic flair comes into play.
Some people want everyone in the entire world to know that they are in a certain sorority, while others want to advertise the fact that they would “rather be at nature camp” than on their laptop in the library or wherever they are displaying the sticker. Certain people include multiple categories of stickers to give off the impression that they are complex people who can’t be defined by one stereotype.
“I think that I’m telling people the kinds of things that I like and the things that define me. I kind of see it as my outward appearance,” Anna Martin, a freshman at William & Mary said. “It’s like how I dress, but on my laptop.”
Something can be said about a lack of stickers as well. These are the people who like a crisp, uncluttered feel to their objects. Much like a curator who obsesses over minimalism and exposing art in its purest form without added decoration, these people don’t want to detract from the laptop cover’s intended message.
Matt Oplinger, a sophomore, said, “I’m a bit protective about the condition of my laptop so I wouldn’t want to put anything on it that could mark it up in some way.” It is in the negative space of his laptop surface that his “exhibit” tells a story about the curator.
There are also those people who put the stickers on the laptop case instead of the laptop itself. These are the people who want the versatility of a blank slate and stable decoration. It’s the perfect solution for someone wanting to get the most out of the space that is their laptop cover.
Laptops and other sticker-friendly surfaces allow us to personalize our items and show who we are. Just as a curator’s tastes and likes shine through in their exhibit, students’ laptops display what is most important to them. So, be intentional with your sticker placement so as to give your viewer a clear vision of who you are, or just slap some on top of each other if you want to show how you couldn’t care less.