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You Can’t be Cool and Have an Instagram Account

August 29, 2016
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“We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”

 – George Orwell

Social media, particularly the likes of Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, where people post pictures or videos of themselves ‘doing things’, is fucking up the way many view the world. More specifically, it’s distorting how they view themselves in this world. Just look at the idiot Colin Kaepernick, as the latest example…

Initially intended to give everyone a voice, which is great, most social media sites have devolved to nothing more than bragfests. “Look at me” doing this or that. It’s pathetic.

Go on a Facebook page of some folks and you’d think they’re The Great Gatsby reincarnate… party photos, vacations, alcohol, starry nights, palm trees galore and poses on the beach. Meet that same person in real life, and they don’t stack up to the advertisement. Half can’t even keep a conversation about the news of the day. In fact, while you meet them, they’re probably on their phone posting about how you’re meeting them. Long and short, they’re boring.

No offense to women, but I’m noticing more and more females posting photos of themselves that were shot by a professional photographer… Betty the dental hygienist has a series of photos on her Instagram feed that appear to be a modeling audition… but she’s not an aspiring model. It’s just for the audience at home, likely an ex-boyfriend, to drool over. Nancy the Master’s student has a dozen pictures of herself in lululemon pants doing yoga poses. “Who took that picture?” I wondered… and why? They all seem to be butt shots…

I’ve noticed similar nonsense with men, too – particularly from some individuals in the entrepreneurial world. They say they’re documenting their life, creating their own reality T.V. show because it’s good for business. Maybe it is, initially. But one thing I’ve noticed is that the more they post pictures of themselves doing whatever, the more vain and self-absorbed they appear to become… this type of attitude is never good for the long-term sustainability of a business. Entrepreneurship, after all, is about making OTHER people’s lives easier or better; and as a result, incurring profit.

 

Social Media and Entrepreneurship

One very well-known, online entrepreneur has been bitten by the vanity bug induced by his social media fans. Never thought I’d see such behaviour from him. What started off as him posting pictures working out (he’s in the lifestyle business), has evolved to posting everything in his life… goes through a surgery – posts a post-op ‘poor me’ video. Goes for a walk with his dog, posts a picture walking through the woods with his pup. Buys a new pair of jeans, shows a picture wearing them and asks for comments from his followers on what they think. Has a bit too much to drink, shoots a Snapchat video half-cut, rambling to his subscribers. This behaviour is happening regularly, and by adults no less…

30 years ago any psychiatrist would say this behaviour is that of a narcissist. But today, it’s normal. Apparently it’s good for business.

Social media can create a skewed sense of importance. It has fucked up good people’s perception of reality the more popular they became. Posting this type of shit, and getting likes or reactions on social media, inflates some people’s egos. And I’m sure it can happen to all of us. If every time you posted a picture or video you got 10,000 likes, even if it is about doing some remedial shit (which is often the case), you too may start to think you’re more important than you are.

A colleague of mine, another entrepreneur, is extremely successful in the online marketing world. He once shared my views of social media, but eventually gave in. He started posting a few “in the moment” pictures here and there – some pretty cool shit of his travels. He felt as though he had to do it because his competition was. He got sucked in. Now, it’s the same as above. The guy posts everything online, and his minions like or put a heart beneath all of his posts – from pictures of a coffee mug to him going for a run (again, who took the damn picture? Did he have a photographer follow him on his run?). Meet him now, and even his attitude has changed. It’s quite a contrast of how he once was… he doesn’t leave home without his camera.

I wish he could see himself. He has completely flip-flopped and embraced the vanity insanity of social media all because his competition is doing it… he’s now evolved into somewhat of a self-absorbed individual. His posts get reactions, and therefor he must be an interesting guy, while others just aren’t.

Point is, indulging in social media often leads to a disregard of the world around you. Although tempting for many lifestyle entrepreneurs, given the reward of more followers which leads to more revenue, the side effects can be damaging…

You can’t be a great entrepreneur, or person for that matter, when you act/think as though you’re the most important person in the world. Take a look at what you’re posting on social media. Is it all about you? For entrepreneurial related pages, make it all about your customers.

Rampant social media posters beware. You’re self-focused posting is threatening your shot at greatness.

Stay hungry,

Aaron Hoddinott signature

Aaron

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Like all of you entrepreneurs and investors out there, Aaron has been in the trenches. He is the founder of an influential online media and PR company. From oil wildcatters to mining prospectors, tech gurus to medical doctors, and even celebrities, Aaron has helped market and expand brand awareness for a diverse range of publicly traded companies ran by entrepreneurs from all walks of life.

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