▼Transcending Fakebook ▼
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Overcoming Your Inner Caveman (Reloaded)
MISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS | 2014 EDITION | VOLUME 52
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I was getting ready to step out of the Mini Cooper of a Chinese mother of two who gave me a lift when she said something to the effect of: “In Anxiety, Depression & Stress, you mentioned Social Media Façade. Explain it.”
I said, “Now?”
She chuckled, “Of course! Where do you think you're going?”
So I not only explained and promised her this piece, but also referred her to its prequel.
Previously published on an Australian site.
So what's fakebook?
It's everything you saw in the video above and more, including how it all ends. From liars/fake followers to their fake accounts/profiles; following, liking & endorsing oneself on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other platforms; the juvenile proxy wars/double standards. And when all that is not working, the desperate Class C felonies and flagrant legal and admin-sanctioned violations of Fiduciary Trust, Dignitary, Human and Privacy Rights. Mark Twain said it best: “If you tell the truth [that is, if you have ONE consistent identity or set of values], you don't have to remember anything.” Or fake anything. Account or moral position. Let alone, keep checking websites to see what's being written about you, sweat a background check, or quickly delete a page you knew all along was illegal, as the net closes in. Fakebook is the small-minded path to a digital footprint rife with criminality and consequent insecurity; which never scales. After all, it's not like we don't know what Social Media is. We do. Normal people, as opposed to Machiavellian Narcissists, Psychopaths and Sadists, do. We're here to share, connect and have fun. Yet, as Voltaire said: “It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster.”
One of the most persistent questions I was asked throughout my ten years in China (never in the U.S.) was: “You keep saying big picture thinking. What is big picture thinking?” Well, here's a true story I wish I'd told more often.
I quickly noticed when I was in preparatory school in Africa that there was a 100% — not a 98%, but a 100% — chance that everybody would be caned either on the upper back or the buttocks whenever the teacher was briefly out and returned to a rowdy classroom.
I hated the thought more than Afghan women hate the prospect of a Taliban rule.
Sit right near the entrance. Most of the classrooms had several windows of course, but only one entrance door. The view was great. The sun, bright. The air, clean and fresh.
So there I sat, ignoring my inner caveman, —which naturally preferred to join in the “fun”... the herd. Except, whether online or off, it is perfectly possible to live a fulfilled and happy life of meaningful connections and contribute to your community's development without caving in to that pressure to prove something. And if you're struggling, it's also OK.
So there I sat, positioning my chair right where the teacher could see my head down attentively reading as he/she walked in.
It always worked.
The groans were loud. The lessons rarely learned. Because as I recall, I had only about 2-3 converts.
We never discussed strategy or tactics. We didn't even know what those words meant then. At least, I didn't. But most of the others, though academically bright, were, at that time, not observant enough to notice the big picture thinking that prevented me and three or so others from receiving lashes on the back every time the teacher decided the class was too rowdy.
Those who have a 60 Minutes worldview — and in this context, to Social Media — take time to investigate, understand things, understand (for example if we're talking about the 2013 US Government Shutdown or #ImmigrationAction 2014) the what, who, where, how and why behind the status quo. In other words, they embrace tedium, notice things, connect dots, read long form content, understand the facts (not mistake opinions/allegations as facts) explaining current events, and have learned how to tame their inner caveman. Oh, and when they look for a story, article, news item or other media, they zero in on the facts; the body.
Not the comments section.
Such people, like forward-thinking organizations, do well on and with the Internet because they harbor and apply the holistic view. They're here to execute a specific mission. They have a strategy. And that makes them smarter than the herd.
A purpose-driven Social Media player is not required to follow passengers headed for Melbourne when in fact his goals and objectives dictate that he head for San Diego. And therefore, it's incumbent upon him to protect and ensure his strategic vision is not tampered with or adversely adulterated by any mob with a narrow, short-sighted, distracted Local News view of either the world, and/or the web. Not just the wrong mob.
You can't teach everyone with whom you come into contact how to think, use computers, appreciate content (as opposed to looking for substance in the comments section), understand the web, HTML and Social Media. So, the smartest use of your time is to identify the only mob that matters: the mob headed in the same direction as you. Or put differently, work for the latter. Then execute around an IRM (Information Risk Management) strategy that puts you and them on course for success through collaboration and being of value. Over to you Seth...
We are capable of abandoning, bullying, raping, murdering, belittling, undermining, objectifying, cheating, stealing, ignoring, maligning, spamming, excoriating and arguing.
And the very same people can support, trust, connect, lead, inspire, invent, illuminate and wait patiently.
The extraordinary thing is that we've built a society where the second category pays off more than it ever has before. The media would prefer the former, of course. It's more fun to cover a fight than it is to report on progress. And the fast-twitch world prefers the caveman stuff as well. Tweet your first impression, better hurry. That's what our lizard brain evolved to do, it's our first instinct.
Day trading isn't nearly as valuable as building something that lasts.
When your inner caveman shows up, the question you might ask him is, “will this juicy, satisfying, visceral action in the moment build my connection and weave a platform for my future, or is the price I'm paying for pleasing the crowd the fact that I'm tearing my platform down?”
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