Crossroads crossroads crossroads. I’ve been saying that a lot in my journals lately. Everything is a crossroads. Why do I feel so damn conflicted all the time?
Because you’re young and you don’t know what you’re doing and you’re figuring things out.
Yeah. True. Well right now I’m struggling with wanting to being a content creator and using some of the very platforms that I’m saying are bad. On the one hand, they are necessary to building an audience from the ground up. They’re necessary for business. Or is that just what people want you to think? Would I be able to build Olfactrix and my content personal brand thing just with a website and word of mouth? I mean constraint breeds creativity right? I feel like I would have to work twice as hard for half the exposure or results. But I think the most important thing is to stay true to what’s authentic to me. If that means no Instagram and no TikTok, then so be it.
If I am going to use TikTok and IG I’m not going to follow anyone. No one. And I wouldn’t dare ask someone to follow me if I’m not going to do the same for them. I’m comfortable with using YouTube but going live on mobile requires 1k subs. So how could I go live on mobile on my website? And how am I going to get people to my website?
Guest blogs, podcast interviews, word of mouth, people sharing your stuff with other people. You just have to give them something worth sharing.
I guess what I’m really looking for right now is can it be done? Can it be done without social media? Can it be done with just YouTube and a website and a podcast?
Can a man go to the moon? Can Elon musk get to Mars? Can a black man be president? Can you do anything you put your mind to?
Yes. Yes you can. And also you can use IG live and IG TV and only those. You don’t have to use the entirety of every platform. And the key to all of this is to find YOUR balance. And for you it sounds like that means not posting to the IG grid.
What if we looked at IG as a content publishing platform rather than social media and we used it like that?
But it is still social media. And it’s still harvesting peoples’ eyeballs. And that would make me one of the harvesters. They have an addictive business model. And I think that this issue is important and serious enough that I’m very unsure about whether or not I should be on these platforms at all. Even if it is in the pursuit of business and helping people. I mean if I’m trying to help people get off the internet and back into life, yet I’m on the internet but more specifically, the most toxic platforms of the the internet, then what am I saying?
Do you think the world is a better place with the internet?
Yes. And it’s also worse in some ways. What I’m struggling with is sacrificing a little bit of what I believe in order to gain from it. It’s not about good vs evil. It’s not like using the dark side of the force vs the light where you can only use the dark through hate and anger and fear.
I don’t like the idea of having to harvest people’s attention in order to do business.
But dania that’s marketing. That’s radio. That’s billboard that’s everything.
Yes but a billboard isn’t a slot machine in your pocket.
Do you think that by being on IG and TikTok, you will help people get off IG and TikTok and YT and all the rest of it? Or do you think that by being on IG and TikTok, you’re setting a bad example and being in authentic?
Yes and yes. I mean, I kinda feel like going on TikTok and IG to help people get off them is like a preacher going into a bar to “minister” to the “lost” meanwhile it’s just a cover to let himself have a beer or two “in the name of the lord.” I think ultimately actions speak louder than words and authenticity and honesty is the most important.
This is how I feel about social media and no matter what Gary V says about it or what platforms I should be on, or if the social dilemma is an “immature conversation around these tools” the fact of the matter is he’s wrong, these “tools” are not just tools they are pocket sized casinos and the house always wins. And each person has to decide how when or if they want to go inside that casino. This is me deciding. IG is for live-streaming my morning and evening meditation. Maybe an occasional grid but that’s it. I don’t want people binging my content. TikTok if I use it is for advertising my YouTube channel and website. Youtube is for helping people.
The thing I find so hard though is the fact that people were addicted to the internet before YT before FB before Google even. And I don’t feel that the whole internet is a casino. Except actually I kinda do. It’s become that way because now every site has to compete for attention and our attention is so valuable and so fractured. And it’s gotten to a point where we as humans compete for the attention of our friends and family against their phones/computers/video games.
Here’s what I want- I would like a life where I don’t have to use the internet at all ever if I didn’t want to. I wish I could find some like study being done in which people live like it’s 1995 and I could get paid to do that. I wonder how that kid from the Tedx talk made money in his year without the internet.
But don’t you think showing people how a balance works with using social media would be a more powerful example? Don’t you feel like you’re being too dogmatic and black and white about all this?
No. Maybe in 1998 yes but right now no. Because social media addiction and internet addiction is problem at scale. It’s not like back in 1995 when most people barely used the internet at all and then a small group happened to get addicted. This is addiction at scale. And it’s addiction on purpose. In 1995, web designers weren’t designing chat rooms to be addictive on purpose. This was intentional. The consequences weren’t intentional but the addiction was. No casino wants its customers to go bankrupt per say, the casino just wants to extract as much money from the customers as possible by keeping them inside for as long as possible. So in a roundabout way, yes the casino wants its customers to go bankrupt.
Or maybe not bankrupt. Bankrupt isn’t the right term. Bankruptcy would mean that they would have no money to play anymore. On social media, bankruptcy, at scale, would mean that no one is adding content anymore, just consuming it. I swear to god it’s more like the matrix, they want to keep you alive but just barely and only enough so that they can harvest your energy and attention and life essence.
So no, I’m not doing the social media thing. I’m not getting on TikTok just because Gary V says that it’s good for building a brand. I wouldn’t play in a casino even if I was the best player in the world and I was guaranteed to win. Because that’s my moral line in the sand. It doesn’t have to be everyone’s but that’s mine. We don’t have to abolish casinos or social media but I’m not gonna sit at the slot machines. We don’t have to demolish Facebook and IG and YouTube but I’m not gonna use them beyond what I find necessary.
I don’t want a life where I’m always thinking about content content content, and views and comments and blah blah blah. I want to help people live more meaningful and more purposeful lives with less time spent looking at a screen. And it seems very paradoxical and convoluted that to do that, I would need to be constantly in front of a screen filming a video or posting or thinking about what to put out next in order reach through someone else’s screen to grab their attention and tell them to come off it.
I don’t want to contribute to the addiction machine of the internet anymore than I need to. Yes I’ll blog, yes I’ll make YT videos, yes I’ll do IG livestreams only because I think that’s the best way to connect with other people who want to meditate with me, at least until I reach 1k subs on YT so I can do them on YouTube mobile. If I ever reach 1k subs on YT. I don’t want subscribers though. I don’t want followers. I want to engage with people directly without a 3rd party manipulating us and harvesting our eyeballs in the process of us connecting through the internet.
Social media and the internet are tools. But it’s not about how you use those tools like everyone says it is. It’s about how those “tools” are using you.