Are You Connecting or Broadcasting: What Are You Creating in the World?
The current world is about one-way broadcasting of information, which is stuck in an antiquated model. Brands are hardwired to communicate in one direction. The old world is about announcements and press releases. It is a competition between who can yell the loudest and get the most attention from people. Through advertising, companies’ goal is for consumers to buy their latest and greatest products and convince us why we can’t live without them. We have been conditioned to be talked at, and it started with our broken education system. Some brand always wants to capture your attention.
“Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It’s freedom from fear. It’s a billboard on the side of the road that screams with reassurance that whatever you’re doing… it’s okay. You are okay.”
— Don Draper, Mad Men
Companies make money by interrupting people’s TV viewing and getting their attention. This has also been true of magazines, radio and other mass media. Big companies have been built around the notion of scarcity. Each company works hard to make something better and cheaper. But then they needed advertising and marketing gurus to figure out how to yell it at as many anonymous consumers as they can. And if consumers like their product or service and buy it again, then they can do it all over again.
People who are stuck in the old industrialized world tend to take their tactics into the new world as they still…
- See the goal as getting in more people’s faces with announcements and one-way communication
- Care about how many followers they have on Twitter, likes on Facebook and Instagram, check-ins online and contacts on LinkedIn
- Are obsessed with how to get more people to read their Facebook posts, comment on their blogs and retweet their one-way broadcasted messages. They do not reply or engage on “social” networks
- Broadcast their wares and services. Look for where they are mentioned and acknowledged. Being on a list is their measure of success; they were picked
- Provide the recipe for success: the must and the how to
- Don’t know how to create and engage a community to spread their message and share their interests
We don’t really have many real “social” networks as most of the ones we have our based on advertising models and many need to be profitable before they are social. We also don’t really understand communities when it comes to the online world as they too have been hijacked as a way to influence your consumption. There are algorithms and models that monetize your consumption.
The response of “everyone else does it” or “this is how we’ve always done it” is not a strategy. I am not saying you need to create a large bureaucratic process. But to move quickly, make sure you are enabling your strategy by plugging your key holes and finding the people out there who can help you. And there are plenty out there who are not looking for the next “job” but would be happy with doing a project with you.
I am weary of the status quo of how we need to be. I am imagining new and better ways to move forward. We have the opportunity today to pursue new ways of working and living by experimenting. The status quo will call it innovation and put it in the middle of a process that people need to follow. Innovation comes when people can think freely and create — it requires a culture of the unexpected and unapproved. What, if anything, is getting in your way?
We have only scratched the surface when it comes to the Internet as there is so much opportunity to build real social networks for our time when we have a mindset of a creator.
What is your role in all of this?
So how is complexity and noise getting in the way of your work and life? How did you get here? What are you consuming? What do you need to do to unlearn about how you react to the noise? When was the last time you had a real conversation and truly connected with someone? And, what can you learn from it?
You may sit and complain about fake news and superficial people, but do you want to spend your life complaining and blaming? Do you want to fit into old decaying systems and feel powerless, or do you want to step into your original power and create something meaningful in the world?
Everything is already here to be discovered. How are you going to spend your day? Are you going to choose a healthy state of mind of possibilities, or a toxic one of problems and challenges?
It is always a choice when you live in conscious awareness of being part of a much bigger world that is right here, waiting for you to not only see it but also experience it fully.