Thoughts after watching The Social Dilemma
Like many of you, I watched the Social Dilemma and had a lot of emotions coming out afterward.
I didn’t delete my accounts, even though I seriously thought about it.
I didn’t change my whole business plan and career, even though I would lie if I’d say I didn’t think about that, too.
I did worry a little bit. A whole lot actually. I did wonder what kind of world we were building.
The social dilemma
For those of you who haven’t seen it, let me try to summarize it. The Social Dilemma is a documentary (available on Netflix, put it on your must-watch list now!) that talks about the dangerous aspects of social media. It talks about how social media is hurting our society and our humanity, how it creates addiction, making us spend hours in front of a screen and cutting us from what really matters: real connections, nature, actual hobbies, etc., how it creates wrong ideas of reality and unrealistic expectations (unattainable ideals of beauty with filters changing the way we look for example), the dangerous impact it has on our mental health (unhappiness, self-doubt, depression, etc), and how it helps spread misinformation.
Yup. I can see that.
Why even bother keeping our social media accounts?
I’ve had many moments before that where I really wondered about the benefits of social media in my life. I’ve been tempted to delete them all a few times and just go walk in nature and forget about it all.
Why didn't I? I remembered. When used well, it is quite amazing.
It helped me create and maintain amazing relationships all over the world.
As someone who travels a lot, social media has allowed me to stay connected with friends I have made years ago and now live in South Korea, Argentina, Spain, France, Canada, Japan, the US... When I travel to a new country I am often put in contact with a friend of a friend who then becomes a great friend, too. And when I'm on the other side of the world, my people from home stay updated with what I'm doing through my posts which helps start conversations.
3 Belgians, 2 Canadians, 1 Australian, 1 American... one example of many.
We see each other once a year but stay connected the rest of the time.
It helped me get more deeply educated on topics that aren’t mainstream or where the mainstream opinion is polarized on, making it hard to find accurate information in the news.
Let’s take a look at the Black Lives Matter movement. It gave a voice to underrepresented communities and open the dialogue. It helped shake the system. It allowed me personally to realize how much deeper the problem was. I don’t know if I would have had the same impact on me if it wasn’t for social media. Since then my feed has become much less white-centered. It is challenging and it feels right. I started following BIPOC inspirational speakers who continuously make me question white supremacy.
It is a platform where you are free to express yourself and share your authentic self. A tool to get to know people and brands in a new light. Where we get to share ideas and make connections. Where we can find our people and know that we are not alone.
·It is an amazing tool to grow our business and grow a like-minded community in a conscious way.
On a more pragmatic way, we can’t think social media is going to disappear tomorrow. So instead of blaming the tool itself, we need to learn to use it better.
That’s why I went from oh my god why am I working in this industry? To thank god I can see how my mission has even more purpose today.
Social media for your business
It looks even more crucial to me to have a sustainable and healthy way of using social media in our daily life and for our businesses.
Marketers and companies NEED to take on the responsibility to change the way we are using this tool.
Why has that documentary hit home? Because we realize how it is being used on us as consumers, every day. Unfortunately, the way companies have been using social media isn’t always the most inspiring. We have been prioritizing profit over wellbeing. Putting businesses before customers. Money before values.
Social media platforms are not a way to make money. It is a way to make connections. Creating connections with customers is what will support your business and make money.
Good for your business
So yes, I am still very active on social media and I highly recommend clients to show up regularly and open up on that platform. Social media is part of the strategy I develop for my clients. But it is even more important today to do it consciously and intentionally. The way you will use the platform to share your authentic voice, to show the other side of your business, to connect with your community should be part of your values as a company.
Posting every day isn’t what it takes. You have to show up with intention and honesty. Then you’ll start making a difference.
What is the conscious way to use social media?
When you post are you...
Staying true to yourself and to your mission?
Keeping your customers' needs as a priority at all times?
Asking yourself if your message is truly authentic and what does it promote?
It can be easy to fall into the traps of consumerism.
Do you want to make sure your messaging is conscious and will be helpful and not hurtful?
Be inspiring without manipulating
I’ve heard that before: "I’m not lying I’m motivating myself and inspiring others by showing how it could look like." ... except, it doesn't reallyyyyyy look like this...
Inspiration is one thing. I’m not saying we shouldn’t post our pretty beach pictures. After all, real life is sooooo wonderful. So go share that. Go share that lifestyle you created for yourself where you can work anywhere in the world and where indeed you can be an inspiration for others. We need more inspiration. But don’t be shy about the hard aspects of it. Be honest, be vulnerable, show the behind the scenes, the hardship then you will really be an inspiration.
When I hear what people think of my life I think "gosh that does sound like the best life ever." But hey it’s not all pink beach every day here. Of course, it is always easier to share the positive, the good stuff, the successes, and burry the rest. We haven’t really been used to do that. Especially not in business. We want to make sure our customers know how hard we work and how successful we are. We want to share that perfect image of us because we think that's what we are supposed to do and that is what people want.
Guess what! People don't want perfect, they want authentic. They want to be able to relate to you.
You don't want your customers to worship you. You want them to respect you for everything you are doing: the successes and the challenges. They will appreciate hearing that you’ve walked that path too and you actually are closer to them than they may think.
We need to step out of that society that is money-focus, and self-centered. By building companies that need and want to sell more no matter what, we are missing the whole point of being humans.
Running a business doesn’t have to be a cold-hearted mission. You are creating something that your customers genuinely need. You have a gift that the world needs.
Make sure to keep your customers in your heart and their best interest as your top priority, and you will always have an audience.
Are you ready to go on that authentic journey with me? Follow me @shareyourbrightside and message me. I'd love to see what your authentic self is up to.
Download my conscious social media checklist and make sure your posts from now on are aligned with your mission
P.S: you've watched the Social Dilemma? Let me know what you thought about it!!