Posts Tagged ‘social media’

Being that I am studying law, I follow a number of lawyer blogs. This week I surfed on over to the Associate’s Mind, where the lawyer Keith Lee has a blog, and started catching up on his postings. I was amazed to come across his post from April 9, 2018 that mirrors what I wrote in my post last week on “The ‘i’ Effect”. His is so well written that I have taken the liberty of reposting it here almost in its entirety.

“I’m sitting in another airport. They blur together after a while. Glass and steel and advertisements. Windswept arcologies of a future that never was. Nashville, Chicago, Atlanta. I’m currently somewhere over East Coast on my way to Boston. Sitting outside a gate, a glance around shows everyone next to each other, but face down, stroking a small rectangle of glass. [isn’t this a great description of what we do with our tablets and smartphones?]

It’s easy to notice how isolated people are in airports. The rushed weary business traveler is a cliché. Mind slung across the Internet seeking stimulation, body on the way to somewhere else. Their present location an inconvenience.

But even when not isolated by travel, we’re alone. Gen X, Millennials, the whatevers – it should all be balled up and called the lonely generation. It’s a constant refrain. Technology, the great disruptor and connector, is actually making us long for something more.

Sitting in a coffeehouse alone, yet surrounded by strangers. At the office, nose down in work. In the car listening to podcasts. On the train, thumbing through social media. It provides some thin thread of connection but often ultimately dissatisfying.

. . .what social media companies want, what they crave, is not for you to connect. What they want is your attention so they can profit from it. To create engagement. To further interaction with the system. Ad dollars pushing this product or the next in front of your eyes.

Their desire for our attention is insidious. When people respond with ad blockers and anti-tracking plugins, companies respond with Sponsored content, native content, and product placement. Something mildly enticing, striving to capture our attention for a moment.”

[Keith Lee, Are You Lonely?, (April 9, 2018), https://associatesmind.com/2018/04/09/are-you-lonely/  ]

Though we are “connected” 24/7 with our electronic devices, loneliness seems to be a topic everyone is discussing. Click on my Quote of the Week that came from an article in Vogue (June issue which is produced months prior) where Lena Dunham, actress and comedian, wrote after breaking up with her boyfriend, about experiencing and coping with “alone time”. One can only wonder how much loneliness is at the root of our increase in violence, suicides, and bullying events. So put down your iPhone and hug a human today.

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What does the “i” stand for in iPod, iPhone, iPad? Does anyone know? We’ve become the “i” generation, plugged in 24/7. Go to a museum and you see people walking through the galleries checking their iPhones instead of looking at the exhibits. Go into a Barns & Noble and watch the people who, while selecting CDs in the music section, are plugged into their iPods. I don’t know how many times I’ve almost run over a pedestrian who is staring at some tiny screen instead of being conscious of the traffic around him. Don’t even ask me about my opinion of the jerks who have to use these devises while driving. And it’s not just the “kids” who are immersed (here is another “i” word) in that other universe, it’s every generation! I recently took classes at college and, to my chagrin, had to deal with an 80 minute lecture that was broken up repeatedly by the professor checking her iPhone. For what reason? To get the latest score on her hockey playing son! In another class, there were numerous students who had their phones on silent mode but would then get up and leave the class to take the call. This other professor did not discourage their behavior feeling that they had family matters to check on. However, these people walking back and forth in front of me while he was giving his lecture made me want to scream.

Insensitive, isolationist, inconsiderate, interactive but in an alternate universe, does anyone ever connect with the real world anymore. Most people are more concerned with their “likes” on Facebook, the number of people viewing their Instagram pics, and responding in delayed time to Twitter words. It’s been proven that one can have relationships with humans where the only connection is in cyberspace but has anyone ever received a feel good emotion from hugging their iPad?

So why this rant today? I am trying to work through a very tough question in my life due to the deaths, last week of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain: Why do people contemplate and become suicidal? I have a very good friend, who when she gets winter SAD, cuts herself off from all human contact and thinks about doing it. OK, this has nothing to do with iPhones but like I wrote a few sentences ago, it’s isolationist. We human beings are meant to connect flesh on flesh, voice to ear, touch to touch, and see each other in real time. As humans, we are genetically programmed to react to our environment, either in fear or in delight. (And studies have shown that babies who do not experience human touch don’t thrive.) Electronic devices (even the smartphone’s latest attempt at virtual reality) can’t replicate that, they put up a wall between us.

Yes, I know that people commit suicide for many different reasons but I just can’t help wondering how much all of our “i” devices are contributing to the uptick in such deaths. When social media debuted no one would have thought that it could be the reason people would commit suicide. Today we know differently.

We’ll probably never know why Spade and Bourdain took their lives. They definitely were not isolated individuals. They both had family, friends and a support system. But what about the thousands who are just like everyone else in the plugged in generations who one day discover that the world of pixels is not enough. That the light on the screen can’t show them the way out of THEIR darkness and thus they decide that the only answer is to hit the off button on their life.

(if you think someone you know is going this route don’t stay silent. Talk to them, ask them if they are contemplating suicide. And give them this number: National Suicide Hotline 1-800-273-8255, where they can talk to people who are trained to help)

 

 

It’s been all over the media, the story of the woman who egged her “friend” on to commit suicide. Through the use of social media she managed to convince him that that was the best option he had. And then there was the smart, pretty 12 year old girl who committed suicide due to all the bullying she received via social media.

I wonder, if Jesus Christ were to be crucified today, how many people would pull out their iPhones and snap a picture of his agony to post on Facebook. And yet that is what we do each time we post something negative about a friend, something private about a neighbor, tear down a politician, or post a photograph which never was meant to be shared with the world. These actions crucify and create agony in the target person’s life.

You don’t have to be a bully or psychologically impaired to have your e-mails or tweets wreck havoc on someone. Just look at how our President, yes the president of the United states, has negatively impacted not only the objects of his tweets but his own presidential image. Sometimes it’s not so much the content of a social media post that is the problem but the choice of words used to express an opinion.

For good or bad, social media in all its forms is here to stay. Maybe it’s time to stop and take a look at how our social media words and pictures pollute and demean our existence and hurt the ones to whom we send it. We have the choice to spread messages of hope and beauty rather than despair and ugliness. Let’s make life better by choosing to use it for good

Sometimes social media fulfills more than the itch to waste time or “connect” with friends.  Sometimes words posted go way beyond a “posting” but are a cry for help, a last ditch effort to reach out. This story about a Craigslist posting has astounded everyone from the Star-Ledger newspaper reporter, Kelly Roncace, (“Mistakenly placed Craigslist ad could save a woman’s life”, Nov 22, 2015) where I first encountered it, to the 6:00 nightly news on CBS later this week.

We all know that Craigslist is that vast bulletin board in cyberspace where you can look for almost anything from meeting people, to finding job openings, posting events, and selling things. Sometimes your postings get posted to the wrong category and a bit of irritation ensues. But in this story a miscategorized post saved a life.

Glenn Calderbank was looking for construction materials when he came across a misplaced ad where someone was looking for the donation of a healthy kidney. He had just lost his wife to kidney failure and upon reading the ad saw he was the same blood type. Something inside him just said he was also the right type. He contacted the individual who placed the ad, got tested and shortly will donate his kidney to Nina Saria who had suffered kidney failure more than a year ago and was surviving only through routine dialysis. Originally there was no response to the ad (they didn’t realize it had been misposted) but when Calderbank came across it, it tugged at his heart strings. He had to do something.

Call it serendipity or the intervention of a higher power, but words have a way of escaping their creators and achieving results. In a world where we have recently heard all too much about the negative use of social media, I hope this story reaffirms that through the power of words, miracles CAN happen in cybespace.

 

Here we are, a brand new year with new possibilities and new challenges. Last year produced an overabundance of negativity, so I made only one New Year’s resolution: Be positive in thought, word and deed. Some days, with the news reporting yet another financial crises or some big corporation bilking the innocent, along with a number of small businesses in my town failing, this can be a hard resolution to keep. However, I firmly believe that our thoughts have the power to shape our reality so I’m letting all that negativity roll of my back. This year’s first article presents 10 marketing tips that can positively impact your company or career.

The economy is definitely stronger, but still uncertain. So what can we do to create positive marketing plans in the year to come? I’ve compiled these 10 tips from a number of sources that have come my way since January 1 and whether you run a professional services practice, a business that sells a product or are trying to market yourself for a new job, they can help you formulate your strategy for coping with the months ahead and attaining the marketing results that will help you realize your goals.

1. Go back to the basics. Focus more on what is measurable and can yield more immediate returns. This includes an increase in marketing tactics such as cold calling, email, and mail (yes, snail mail! Research has shown that a well done paper piece has more impact than an e-mail “blast”). 

2. Do “value-based” marketing. With the overload in marketing communications and noise, value-based messaging will standout even more than a straight up sales pitch. The messages that are thoughtful, reader oriented, and value-based not only in their service delivery but also in their marketing content will get the results.

3. Don’t let excuses make your plans fail. Giving up by saying what’s the use, only proves Henry Ford’s adage correct, “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right.” In all economic times, some companies will fail, others will succeed. The people who continue to sell and work hard are the people who will bring in new clients, make money, and prosper regardless of the economic conditions.

4. Focus some of your efforts on social media. It is here to stay, has proven it does get results, but it will take some sleuthing to find what is best for your marketing mix. Read what you can about how to use it then give it a try.

5. Respect marketing. Don’t chop marketing spending in the attempt to save cash. Analyze what has worked and ramp that up. Do research into alternate marketing and PR strategies that cost little or nothing to implement and give them a try.

6. Look at marketing as a revenue generator: Without marketing, you’re basically sitting in a room talking to yourself! You have to get the word out about how great you are and what you can do for a customer. Having a list of marketing strategies to implement, along with a good marketing plan is your roadmap to successfully connect with prospects.

7. Focus on those leads that have the money and the power to buy (or hire). While we all know the stats that most leads are long-term leads, there should be a stronger focus on locating short-term leads and new conversations with prospects who are ready to buy NOW.

8. Be brave and try new tactics. There are hundreds of websites and books out there that deal with what is known as “guerilla” marketing. Look into their suggestions, you never know what works until you try it!

9. Respect your customers and create your plans from a benefit, value driven perspective. WIFM (What’s In It For Me) is a strong motivator, so develop all your content with that in mind.

10. Seek out advice. Subscribe to e-newsletters, read business magazines, engage a business or marketing coach, engage a good freelance writer, whatever your budget allows. Get out of your comfort zone and see what is going on out there.

There will always be businesses that need your services or skills. The fruit might be higher up on the tree, but the tree isn’t dead! So get that ladder (your positive, can-do attitude) and resolve to believe that in 2014 you will succeed and grow. Just be sure to continue to invest the time, money and energy in marketing, and focus on providing value – in service delivery, marketing messaging, sales, pricing, and every other aspect of your business. 

If rewriting your marketing content or creating new copy is part of your 2014 plan, I can help you get your message across clearly and motivate the reader to take the action you desire.  Call now for a FREE 30 minute consultation! 908-241-5874 or e-mail beyond-words@att.net

Being that Popes have made the media a lot in recent weeks, here is a quote from the now Pope Emeritus, Bennedict XVI on social media (of all things!) “The digital environment is not a parallel or purely virtual world, but is part of the daily experience of many people, especially the young.” He was also the first Pope to get a Twitter account!