The truth about social media is that it’s all about sales. And helping someone else to sell something.
Later Edit: No, this is not another one of those articles on social media. They also made a movie about it. Netflix did and it spiked the sudden interest of the ‘poor people’ using the internet with no idea that their most personal desired and thoughts are being sold to the highest bidder. And, I would like to take some credit for writing this post two years before any major streaming service took notice. But I’m glad you’re here. There’s still hope for you.
How do you make money on social media?
That’s why is this hype with likes, comments, sharing, and whatever the social media platform have. it’s about numbers and making users consume content.
Because if you have convinced a large enough number of people to consume your content, then the marketing people of some sort of brand or corporation will trust you to sell their product. And that’s how you make money.
But that is the ugly truth about social media?
Try this as an experiement.
Try to ask for help, on something you are a newbie, and you will find yourself all ignored. Nobody will waste their precious time to help you, in exchange for gratitude. That’s when you begin to notice the truth about social media.
I don’t feel it real. Probably, because it never was, and all these friends we have on social media networks are not our friends. They might know a lot about us, because we publish everything and make it easy for actually anyone all kinds of different aspects of our lives, but they don’t care.
Now, here’s the problem.
We were never connected in the first place. Humans have a need for connection and social interaction. We need to be part of a group.
That’s just how it is. But, when I say connection, I’m talking about a deeper connection, the one you form with whom you used to live together or play in mud when you were children. Someone with whom you lived several life experiences and usually whom you share a few opinions.
There are no guidelines or checkboxes to check to see if you are connected with someone, but I haven’t heard or met someone who developed a deep connection with some random people they never met in real life.
The thing is that more and more things are happening on social media today, and even if you want to avoid it or live without it, you would end up being isolated from the rest of the world, and that’s not what we are after.
How social media should be used, but it’s not
A much better approach would be, perhaps, an education campaign, about social media and how it can be used, by whom and for what purpose.
Social media should come with a users’ manual and be used with precaution. It’s like a medicine you take and sometimes, the effects are irreversible.
I’m talking about social skills, human interaction, personal growth, live values and perspectives, goals, principles, and basically everything you need to know and experience to become a happy and mentally healthy adult. If you want to tell the truth about social media, then we have to speak about all of these.
It’s all there. But not how we know it would benefit us, but how it used to be the TV before the internet was invented. Remember those days? We were sitting days in a row to watch whatever it was on, just because it existed.
Aside from watching cartoons when I was in primary school, which helped me to learn English, I can’t really remember anything from those times. My mind goes blank. I, most probably, wasted some days and probably years, slowly killing my brain, by not feeding it something to induce creativity, but to kill it.
Then we get back to it to try to stop it but doing so we become even more obsessed with our own insecurities. It’s a rat race and we’re trapped in it.
As with the example of the television, some aspects of it should be regulated. Way more than they are today. Because today, basically, they follow you around the web, no matter where you go, and the first chance they get, they try to sell you stuff. But not just any stuff. Something you like or look for.
Because now, they have something they didn’t have before: your personal details. Everything you ever put out there, online, it’s there forever, and they (marketing agencies, Google and basically any online social platform) will use it against you.
And by now, most of us, the internet-obsessed crowd, have figured it out. We need others to like us. I mean, the online version of us, and then we use their attention to create an income. Theoretically, that’s how it works.
Social media is about consumers and money
Not all of us generate income from our online presence.
Of course, some must remain the ones to consume, because otherwise, this entire theory would collapse. But among these is where the struggle gets real. We don’t admit it, but we want out. I want out. I am frustrated and tired of this game of social media.
If I want that online attention, I must make sure I give some to others first.
I really try to educate myself not to expect something in return for what I have and want to offer, but as days pass, I can’t see too many ways out of this. Either my content is completely crap, or I am getting what I offered. Usually, you’re getting less, if you really want to count the numbers.
If I don’t put in the hours, the effort, the creativity, it’s like dumping a shit in the middle of the road and everyone else will just go around it. And life goes on. You either comment on other people’s things or you don’t exist.
Likes are not enough. Anymore. They used to pump the ego, but now it doesn’t work anymore. Especially since all the marketing departments and agencies are stressing themselves to death about engagement.
Engagement is everything that a user does actually to interact with your content. He has to put in some effort. Or it doesn’t count. We all double-tap, and some are really fast at it. But what’s the point? It doesn’t matter.
Adopting a new perspective for social media
And now I ask myself, what’s in it for me?
I spend hours on end to craft my content, and that’s when my expectations raise so high, I can’t even explain. But when the numbers come or don’t most of the times, I fall and I fall hard. I don’t like to compare, especially myself, but I’ve seen others and their craft sucks big time compared to mine. So what’s the matter? Do I really suck? Do I still need to learn more about how the games of social media works?
Starting today, I decide to be happy.
I don’t care about the truth about social media. I’m not waiting for anything special to happy to be happy with myself. I am happy right now, and if something doesn’t help me containing this state or it alters my happy vibes, I just get away from it. Life’s too short to spend my hours on Instagram.
Instagram will one day become the next mySpace or Hi5. My time will be used to serve me better in the future. Investing it in something meant to die at some point, it’s just stupid. That’s the truth about social media.
Here are my other rants on Social media and the online environment: