Is social media making our lives better or stealing it. (The truths no-one tells you).
As an entrepreneur and a writer, I have a love-hate relationship with social media. Many of the blogs and articles I read seem to be either for it or against it. Normally there are three kinds of people (articles) those that love it. People who hate it. Then the category that I fall under, in the middle. Yet, no one seems to be talking about it from both angles. Here is the truth that isn’t being spoken about in one place.
The concerns for users
Many of the biggest question and or concerned that I often hear for those that are for social media is; How will people find me if I stop? How will I find new clients? What about my brand? How do I engage with my fans? And my favorite one. We need social media to be successful.
Since we live in the age that it is more precedented for users as opposed to others. It will be best to address these issues first. Before going into what the others have to say.
The truth about social media for users
The biggest concern that people are worried about is staying connected and or being able to be found by our fans. This is something that I often have been worried about as well. But, if we put it in retrospect people have been staying connected for thousands of years (maybe not as quickly as now but we have been.)
If we create content that inspires, educates and entertains others we will be found. One of the best marketing tactics is word of mouth (other users can use social media for us.)
This is also another key way of finding new clients.
Now, I have found many clients by using social media. But, I have also found just as many (if not more) clients without “using” social media. The biggest thing that I notice though is people who want to work with you will find us. With or without us being users.
Branding. Another big one that makes sense to bring up. This one is completely valid. Branding is so much more than creating world-changing content/services. Yes, this plays a huge role in our brand but isn’t necessarily the brand itself.
Luckily, many of our content can be shared with a click of a button to our social media accounts (be it youtube videos, blog post, new deals, and so much more.) If we are doing events it will be on social media through the host or others attending it and again we will be more than likely tagged on it (not only word of mouth but also adding it to our media pages for us. Adding to our brand.)
On top of that, there is nothing wrong in taking a few moments out to post anything that would enforce our brand (even if it is just that great selfie you just took.) It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it aligns with what you represent. And shows some personality.
Then we have my favorite one “We need social media to be successful”. Yes and no. We don’t “need” social media to be successful but it does help. There are so many people who are highly successful who don’t even own a social platform account.
If we look at some the most powerful and successful people we hardly see them posting on social media (and if we do, it is probably a hired social media marketer).
The main reason why we don’t need social media to be on the top of our game is due to freeing up more time to make us successful. Creating content, working in the business and not on our business. Networking with people who are actually interested in working with us. And working with our clients. (We can’t forget, doing things we love, working out, traveling, creating meaningful relationships, and so many other activities we can undergo in.)
The concerns of others
Now, leaving us with what most people I speak to say about not wanting to use social media. Does it make a difference for me to be on social media? We can be successful without it. And, my favorite one Social media steals so much time from our life.
Since the concerns for users and others are addressed due to them being so similar I will spare you the repetitiveness of some of these.
Does it make a difference to be on social media or not? This is up in the air. It does make a difference. But, only if we do not have a platform will people can sign up on (blog, youtube account, and website.) Besides, we can always guest post for larger blogs to expand our reach.
It definitely helps to have a place where people can follow you and see the behind the scenes footages/content (Authenticity is key.) More often than not people have to be able to trust us before working with us. Even more than that they normally have to see us at least 5-7 times before taking that first step to working with us. If we do not post a lot of content consistently for people to engage in, then yes. Social media will play a huge role for us since it is easy to post an update to keep people interested.
We can definitely be successful without social media as mentioned above. Here is another great article that I touch on this as well How you can effortlessly & instantly become your best version & what that really means.
Then lastly, it steals so much time from our life. I will have to whole heartily agree with this one. But, like anything else in life it all comes down to balance. If we drink to much water it is going to cause adverse effects on us. Same with anything else we do. Everything is “good” in moderation.
It all comes down to how we choose to use it and how much. If we are at a point where we think it is consuming our lives it may be time to take a break (a detox if you will.) The same for others, if we feel as if we are not engaging enough in it then use it a little more.
A big thing no-one talks about.
It isn’t so much that social media is bad for us (it does make us more depressed studies have shown, takes away precious time and much more.) But, many things in life do that. Watching too much T.v. Not working out enough. Overeating. And the list goes on.
It is due to how we are using it and how it is created. Social media is made to be addictive. If something is free then more often than not we are the equity. There is no real indication that it is time for us to stop (the news feed goes on forever. Or awaiting that next like on our status we just made to get some extra endorphins we are longing for.)
When we workout we stop once we are too fatigued to continue. If we are reading a good book we stop at the end of a chapter (well sometimes.) We watch T.v. until the show is over (but even now platforms like Netflix or popcorn time are designed to keep us binge-watching the game of the thrones series all day. )
Is social media bad? Does it help? The answer is yes. But, it all depends on how we use it. I for one love taking social media detoxes every now and then for a week to even a few months (allows me time to reconnect with the real world, people, myself, and get more real work done.)
I honestly, would probably never use social media if I didn’t get messages from people saying that my Facebook post inspired them to take action or help them overcome a hard time.
It is all a preference. The real question would be what we are aiming to get out of it.
To break it down, even more, let’s ponder of some of the pros and cons of it.
Pros of social media
- Easily connects people together (Able to find new potential clients.)
- Gives the unheard a voice (Levels the playing field.
- Keep up to date on whats going on in the world.
- A free way to market ourselves or others.
- Allows us to brand easily.
- Can be fun.
Cons of social media
- Can be slower to connect with new people personally.
- Consumes a lot of precious times from our lives.
- Can cause depression, anxiety, and loneliness.
- “Harder” to brand ourselves.
- Unwanted attention.
These list goes on ranging from things to convenience, to people being cyberbullied and much more (Better and or worse.) But, those are thing biggest one.
When it is all said and done it isn’t so much just social media but how we use it. Like mentioned above it is easy to replace one addiction for another (be it games, movies/T.V, and substances.)
Time is the most valuable asset that we have and that is what becomes at jeopardy from using social media among many other things.
Social media isn’t “bad” or “good”. It is merely a tool and depends on how we decide to use it. It can be good for many things like connecting with others, staying relevant, and for branding. It can also be bad when it comes to taking up time we could be spending on meaningful things that will better us. Like anything in life it all depends on how we are using it and how much. Also, here is a great video that first got me to take a break from it a year or so ago. (Quit social media | Dr. Cal Newport | TEDxTysons.)
What are your thoughts and take on social media? Do you think that it is useful or not?
Have you tried a social media detox? Or if you don’t use it have you tired trying it out for a little while?
We are all in this together but it all starts with you! You are creating history!
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