The Hope for our Digital Future
If I asked you what type of world you lived in right now, what would you say?
If you asked me, I would say we live in a world with tremendous opportunity and human potential.
Sure, there’s a lot of bad stuff going on all over the world, but the important question anyone should ask themselves is: “What do you surround yourself with”?
As a university student, the largest source of my attention goes to school, work and sculpting the perfect Instagram.
We as a generation love to listen to negativity and judge others to boost our ego.
Whats the deal? When did we become so cynical start comparing ourselves to each other?
I’m in no position to judge, so I wont.
The only thing I can do is adapt to the world we live in.
The way I look at it, that’s my only option. I’ve never been one to pander on negativity.
From what I’ve grown up with, business, life, love, and family is all about people.
Life is a people centric device. Yes, a device. Our goal is to use our individual life to navigate through harsh realities until we reach our perception of happiness, if it’s possible.
If anyone wants to be anyone in today’s economy, learn social dynamics behind people and where their attention lies.
PR. Public relations.
Thats where our attention is directed.
Whether you love posting selfies on your Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat as a teen, or cute pictures of your grandchildren as a grandparent, we as a species love showing off and comparing.
Immediately, I bet maybe a handful of you are saying, “ You know what. He’s right. I’m done with social media”!
Let me stop you right there. The rest of my story is going to be on how this phenomenon is a good thing.
So don’t go untagging yourself from embarrassing family pictures just yet.
In my opinion, we as a society should re-evaluate where our attention is directed.
Recently I’ve had the urge to start building an organic, genuine social media presence to help me learn more about the ever-changing digital age.
Personally, I think I’m at an advantage right now.
I’m a college student.
The most naive title you could give someone today, is a “College Student”.
That’s a grossly underestimated title if you ask me if you want to understand how to thrive in today’s internet world.
By that I mean, most of my collegiate associates react very wide-eyed to the innovating world, and most of the time are the the ones who are capable of building a life off of this idea.
Going back to my point of how we as a species enjoy stroking our own ego, we can utilize this trait to connect with one another on social media.
We become too romantic on old school philosophies that really aren’t gaining traction anymore.
Things such as newspaper marketing, flying across the world for a business meeting, etc.
Our outlets for expression now lies in the digital age, so with a people centric mind-set, how do we combine both?
By first accepting that social media plays a critical role in our life.
Instead of shunning your lack of followers or likes on your Instagram, understand why you don’t get the attention you deserve.
Instead of buying ad space on the paper or flyers, look to see if the internet provides any options.
I’m going to guess you’ll find some options.
From personal experience, I believe it’s from a lack of genuine personal content creation, as well as a lack of content volume.
Don’t fake yourself, or your audience, people love honesty and value.
Next, analyzing where your friends, family, co-workers and target audience’s attention lies in the age of apps and streaming services.
Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, some of the titans in content creation and volume of content.
We as humans search for people and things we best relate to.
Facebook is a platform which shows us things we enjoy and share, by running it’s incredible algorithms.
Netflix, Youtube, Instagram, all do the same.
They show you what you want.
The idea here as a owner of a personal brand on social media, is to play off content that you love and share on a daily basis.
You might be asking yourself, “Why am I listening to a college kid who has an Instagram and free time”?
No one is asking you to become a CEO of a social media company, but if you think about it, if you own a smart phone and any of the major media apps, you are one.
Yes, I learned that from my idol, Gary Vaynerchuk. That man has some insane trend prediction skills.
Family 1st! but after that, Businessman- a dude that Loves the hustle, people & the @nyjets - @vaynermedia. Tasted wine…www.garyvaynerchuk.com
As a naive college student who bores himself with finance classes, I use a lot of my free time learning where people spend their time online, as well as study the social dynamics of people.
As creepy as that sounds, I don’t look over people’s backs to see what they’re doing on their phone, rather I’m aware of what happens on my social media news feed, my daily conversations with people, as well as major social trends.
Don’t worry if you’re the type of person who sees social media as “poison” to our youth, I was like that as well.
If you think a 14 year old spending his free time on Instagram looking at his favorite follows, learning how to interact on a digital medium, catching up on whats trending in his school, friend group and age group, is “poison” . Then I guess you’re a little behind on the times.
Understandably, we all have our opinions, but when we see the people who are winning in the digital media industry, we see a powerful social media presence portraying their genuine personality.
Let’s quickly sum up how we connect people using a digital lens in the 21st century.
As the internet remains arguably the quickest and most powerful shift in human culture, we social creatures need to adapt.
This is no apocalypse, but it might be for many retail, brick & mortar business, who still don’t know what hashtags and tweets are.
Whether it is businesses, or individuals, branding yourself to stay relevant in this day and age requires building a genuine brand for your content.
Accepting the digital shift in human culture as well as using the shift to your advantage, looks to be the future for a lot of young people today.
I’m no Instagram connoisseur or Snapchat aficionado, honestly I barely know how to navigate my LinkedIn, but being in a university surrounded by so many organizations and people marketing themselves on different platforms, only helps me utilize the ease of marketing my content.
To survive in today’s intensely saturated internet world, while ironically it being so new, we need to stand out.
Standing out means doing what you truly enjoy, and creating material around it; while simultaneously disregarding the overdone plays in social media.
Whether you consider yourself a Digital sloth or a new age internet anomaly , developing a marketable social media presence could aid your business or personal brand.
Promote and give value, create what you like, and always remember to DO YOU.
Those are the keys to improving our future in the internet era, from the perspective of a rampantly ambitious college student.
I appreciate you reading! If you enjoyed what you read, drop a heart down below! Mad love.
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