Social Media is an amplified voice of who we are. For some, they may portray the life they want to live and for others it can be a raw look into their lives. Whatever the intention, its a new form of media that is here to stay!
There is no doubt social media has taken on new forms. What started out, as ways to help us connect with family and friends has now become a content juggernaut turning everyday people into Internet stars and celebrities. Gone are the days where you would have to be on TV to become famous. We now have 12 years olds who have become celebrities from their basements straight to your smart phones and laptops. And not just minor celebrities. They appear on Billboards in time Square, ads in your favourite stores and even have shows streaming on Netflix. This is the new era of content creation and consumption.
While I hardly consider myself an internet success, I have grown a following on social media and had the opportunity to do some things I had never seen possible. I understand this world to some degree and have learned many things through my own experiences, conversations and observations. Yet within this world of social there are still boundaries that should be respected. However in order to grow on social now you need to push these boundaries to shock, entertain and out do the next individual.
A beautiful photo isn’t enough. You need to climb the highest mountain. A funny video just own't do anymore. You need to bring shock value. People have become desensitized to great content and are looking for the next big thing and the content creators will do whatever it takes to bring it to them. They all want to edge each other out for more views, more likes and to be the best. I personally find this exhausting.
We saw this with Logan Paul’s latest video, which showed a suicide victim on his latest vlog. It caused backlash from the Internet for its insensitivity. What brought Logan Paul to even think this was acceptable to post? What was even worse is that is had 6 millions views before he took it down. The damage had been done.
First, I don’t want to make Logan Paul the problem. He is just the one who did the act and took the hit. But it highlights a bigger problem in the social media community.
So as we look at this we are forced to ask, “What does this act say about our current society and this social media generation”? I took a look at Logan Paul’s videos and Instagram and was surprised to see that so many people found this content entertaining. It feels void of value and empowerment. People have fed into this machine and helped create this narrative. Is this what people really want? Mindless and silly acts that promote self. This is the symptom of a greater problem. I am not here to criticize. What he has done has worked for him, but just because it works doesn't mean it is worth it.
Here are a few things to consider with Your Social Media in 2018
1. Social Media has Become Social ME-dia.
The content that is being created is very self involved. Look at me, look at me. While I am all about sharing true and sincere experiences, some content being created is not helping others fulfill their goals and dreams but rather showcases empty lifestyles void of substance and meaning.
Question- How can you use your social this year to help others?
2. Content Should Be Thoughtful
Are people creating with purpose and analyzing why they do what they do or are they so distracted by likes and views they compromise who they are and what they stand for. It is one thing to apologize after the fact but if you analyze before hand then there will be no apologies required.
Question- Is what I am creating helping or hurting?
3. Competition over Collaboration
I have always believed that we can use social media for good and that it is always better when we work together for the common good. Maybe I am crazy for believing this, but I honestly believe that social media can and should be a space of connection, true community and empowerment.
Question: Do I want to make a difference with my social media? How can I work with others to make this possible?
4. Is There Purpose Behind My Posting
It seems likes some people are just shooting in the dark with their media, creating what they know will get a response. Everyone wants their content to do well, but at what cost? I sometimes wonder if people love what they do or are they out please and impress others. This isn’t to say that content can’t be entertaining, that in and of itself has a purpose. I am talking about well thought out contention with intention.
Question: What is my purpose with my posting?
I am sure I will have lots to add to this narrative as the year goes on but this year I am committing to create content that is helpful to others. As we look at the landscape of social media, lets evaluate how we are contributing to the conversation and adding value to others.
An entrepreneur, creator, father & husband from Calgary, Scott Bakken is inspiring a generation of creatives to live their best life.