The Dodgy Art of Managing Impressions: social media and superficiality

I first got onto social media back in 2007. Facebook was all the rage, especially amongst university students. At the time, the platform was only accessible to college students and you needed a university email to sign up. That was a good 11 years ago, and social media has changed a lot since then. In fact, social media’s taken over our lives.

We can connect to anyone, anywhere. It’s both a blessing and a curse. 

The amount of noise that’s on the internet is simply astonishing. Moments, memories, pictures, updates. We’re tormented with newsfeeds that go on and on about people’s lunch, breakfast, kids and what have you. There are so many different things competing for our attention. And quite frankly, most of it is rather uninspiring. 

We live in a world where everything is on demand. But still, most of the people I know have no idea what in the world they want. Presented with an endless array of options, we no longer know what to choose or what is real. 

Different platforms for different purposes all owned by the same company. Am I the only one who’s confounded by this?

We live in a world where people have mastered the art of managing impressions. There’s fake news everywhere. Fake followers. Fake lives. Fake well… everything. The filters and perfected poses make our lives look better than they really are. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at some of the things I encounter on social media.

(Mostly I just laugh…)

Everyone is a ‘brand’ these days. Everyone is a ‘coach’ these days. Everyone is an ‘expert’ these days.

But who are we really, behind the artificial shine and gloss? Behind the marketing, branding and packaging?

Is it enough to have a life that looks pretty on the outside and empty on the inside?

As those of you following this blog will know, I’m officially on Instagram as of… one week ago.

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I’d initially hired someone to take care of it, but the work was so bad that I decided to do it myself. The age old problem of marketers overselling and underdelivering. Go figure. 

So I sat down and came up with a content strategy. I went on Goodreads and made a list of all the books I loved. I’m not the kind of person that likes to take pictures, so I went through my phone wondering what would be suitable to break things up so it’s not all chunks of quotes and texts. 

And with the candid feedback of two of my friends who’ve worked in marketing, I managed to come up with something that reflects some of the values I hold dear. 

In One Million Followers by Brendan Kane, he writes:

Trust is at the core of everything. People need to know what you stand for, what your values are, what drives you – the mind-set behind how you create products and services. 

Oddly enough, it’s the same advice my great-grandfather gave me as a kid. And I can assure you he didn’t know anything about social media. 

I’ve never been one for the superficial stuff. I enjoy a good book, a deep conversation and a good meal with an old friend. I’m a little simple and old-school I guess. I don’t care for the glitter. I want the real thing.

I came to the realisation in November last year that I don’t want to spend the rest of my life working for someone else and building someone else’s vision (or lack thereof). 

My focus right now is on developing the skills I need to take Mith Books to the next level. I have a book to launch, a sequel to finish writing and a publishing company that’s going to be the first of many ventures to come. 

One step at a time, one day at a time.

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As Brendan Kane writes:

To have lasting significance you need to start today but wait for the small successes over time. When you do something small but consistently, it has a mass effect… With passion and time, you’ll build something with value. A year from now, you’ll be in a place you would never have thought imaginable. 

Just yesterday, I looked out of the window and wondered where I’d be a year for now.

I don’t have the answer to that question.

Que sera sera. Whatever will be, will be. The future’s not ours to see. Que sera sera. 

 

Author: Dipa

Founder of Mith Books

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