“…the only thing we all truly have in common is that we all live on this planet. Period.”
Social media is causing the destruction of culture, individuality, and even our sense of self. And it’s going to affect you too (the business).
Our world is becoming more and more homogeneous. We are globally connected at the touch of a phone or the mention of Alexa. With the rise of social media, everyone has an opinion, and everyone has a voice which has its pros and cons. The world has become one giant club via social media. It’s overwhelming and kinda scary. See, the problem is, the only thing we all truly have in common is that we all live on this planet. Period. So what happens when you have a club full of rival opinions, different lifestyles, different cultures, different backgrounds, different religions, different goals, different values, different experiences, different EVERYTHING? It turns toxic. Feelings get hurt. People get offended. Perspectives are misunderstood, and the truth is warped.
Can you imagine a bunch of football players being in a club with the interpretive dance club? No. Or New York socialites being in a club with Louisiana fishermen? No. It would never happen in the real world. There is nothing wrong or right or better or worse about any of these groups, we just have different interests and lifestyles.
In addition to the world turning into one giant, homogenous club, social media also breaks us down through false comparisons to falsely represented lives. It takes us away from the real world. We compare our lives to only the perfect parts of others, which destroys our confidence and sense of self-worth. It’s also ironically breaking down our ability to communicate as human beings. People gain a false sense of confidence and righteousness when they hide behind a computer to confront others. You have less self-control of your reactions and act on impulse. It’s easy to insult and do vile things when you don’t have to face the human on the other end. We have all become delusional.
What does this have to do with your business?
So since we can’t really show our individuality, personal preferences, opinions, etc. without fear of backlash from the depths of this virtual world that seems to be our second realm of existence, we are yearning to find ways to reestablish who we are and what makes us unique in the REAL WORLD. We want to be a part of things in the REAL WORLD that add value and meaning to our lives and align with who we are at our core. We want the freedom to be proud of what we were born with including our gender, race, talents, religion, etc. We want the freedom to enjoy the things we love, the things we have accomplished, the things we care about and even the things we don’t. We are longing for culture in an increasingly cultureless world. We are longing for truth and affirmation and look for it in everything. We desire to belong, to be happy and to matter. We want to know that who we are, just the way we are is ok.
Here’s where you (the business) come in.
Social media takes such a toll on our sense of self that it’s forcing us to depend more and more on external factors we CAN control to add value and meaning back into our lives, compensating for that which social media strips away. We start searching for “clubs” to be a part of including the brands we associate with and the places we choose to spend our time, including where we work, and you (the business) needs to be ready. We live in a society starved for belonging. As a company leader, you have the opportunity to fill that void while also setting yourself up for long-term success and happiness. Science, research, and proven results have our back on this one.
What do you need to do?
Start building a strong company culture. Your company must be healthy on the inside to make honest connections with folks on the outside. By creating a strong internal culture, guided by your purpose, mission, vision, and values, you will cultivate a living and breathing entity from which employees and consumers alike draw meaning, satisfaction and joy.
Side Note: The picture posted along with this article is an example of a false representation of the perfect life. This was taken in the fall of 2017, at the end of what was quite possibly our worst year to date. It was filled with surgeries, strokes, deaths, house repairs, illnesses, stress and a million bad days in a row. This was for our Christmas card which never made it in the mail.
Written by: Rhem Galloway, Chief Brand Leader at TŌDEM