This paper explores the contributions of autonomist Marxist theory to my understanding of reality television, self-branding and social media. Autonomist Marxist ideas help to bridge the classic media studies divide between critical political economy and cultural studies, illuminating the very material connections between television’s mode of production, its texts, and its broader cultural context and impact. Concepts such as the social factory, immaterial labour, the socialized worker, and virtuosity, contributed by thinkers such as Mauricio Lazzarato, Paolo Virno, Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt, have enabled me to argue that reality television is a privileged site of production in the post-Fordist era; it not only produces texts or ideologies about work and life, but also models the monetization of “being” and produces “branded selves”. While autonomist ideas are extremely useful, the field of thinking is complex and not without its internal debates. This paper also explores contributions by George Caffentzis, Massimo de Angelis and David Harvie, specifically the concept of the war over measure, arguing that this concept helps to frame some of the ways in which the public expression of opinion and feeling online and in social media are being captured, measured and put to work for capital.