i was wrong about social media
The Old Way
I have (or had) a pretty negative stance on social media.
My negative thoughts on social media are as follows:
It trains us to be inauthentic and narcissistic.
It ruins our ability to focus.
It polarises our thoughts.
It spreads fake news.
It makes our normal lives look undesirable and the lives of the top 1% look normal.
It makes the unrealistic look realistic.
All the above destroy our mental, physical and overall well-being.
So ironically, I started to post more and more on social media. I started a YouTube channel and posted more of my thoughts on Twitter and LinkedIn. I even used Instagram and Facebook too.
I didn’t stop using these platforms, I used them more.
So aren’t I the hypocrite?
But even with the above list, I think social media is here to stay.
Complete abstinence can be done but your quality of life won’t be as good these days. All your friends and family will be using social media. And it’s quite weird not to have any online presence at all.
So if social media is here to stay, how can we use it to our benefit (and also the benefit of others)?
The Proper Way
Just some backstory, the social media landscape has changed. When Facebook became popular, it was based on the friend model. You send a connection request to someone, and they would have to accept that request. This virtualises friendships.
Now, this has changed to the clout-driven follower model with Instagram, Twitter and even YouTube. Instead of accepting a friend request, unless you have a private account, any individual can follow you and vice versa.
The new kid of the block, TikTok, reduces the entry barrier for almost any individual to create content. You only need a phone.
Social media accounts have turned from small friendships and communities to an individual now being able to command a following.
If one wanted to share a life event or an idea, one can share it with friends, but a much better way to get more eyeballs is through sharing with followers — a potentially bigger audience. This is great for celebrities or people who want to become celebrities, and for those who want to follow these celebrities, popularising this form of social media model.
From that, we can see the importance of getting more followers. More followers mean more eyes, and more eyes mean more brand deals and opportunities to sell to your audience. And this is why people do what they do to get more of them.
I’ve been producing content to garner an audience since 2019. Before that, I would post content about my life (like most people do - think, events, times with friends, food at the restaurant).
When I started making content, I thought the most important thing was, like I said, the numbers and getting followers.
But we forget what social media can be used for. Instead of thinking about the number of individuals subscribing to your content, think about the quality.
When you write a blog post or upload a video, this is your idea being shared with the world. It may not be shared with many people (like in my case), but these platforms act as little robots that tirelessly share your ideas with other people.
There is no gate-keeping for your ideas to be put out there, and little to know technical knowledge.
And the algorithms are getting so refined, that your ideas get shared with the right people.
If your idea meets the right person, that could be potential value to help improve their life, or it would be a possible business opportunity.
And therein lies the gold. Social media are robots that share your ideas with the right people to provide you with great opportunities. In a way, you are creating your own luck.
This is how I plan to make new friends/connections, get work, and provide value.
Granted, if you have a bigger following, you can cross-pollinate your ideas better. But another ace up your sleeve and something more within your control is to be authentic, build in public, and talk about what matters to you.
You are bound to find the right person, and this will lead to great opportunities in the future. I promise you this.
So don’t worry about the numbers. All you need to do is continue to create authentically, my friend.
Stay focused and talk soon,