Social media. It’s something that can consume us if we’re not careful. Lately I’ve noticed that many people who I consider successful aren’t on social media as much as I am–Cal Newport, Seth Godin, Greg McKeown, and many more–and this has me thinking a lot about how I use it. I think I’ve gotten caught up in the habit of using it merely for promotion of some sort or maybe the idea that “people buy you before they buy the product”, but if the product is good, word of mouth is the marketing that takes over.
Since the first episode of my other podcast, “Ideas”, I have been thinking about Seth Godin’s question that he raises—“What is it for?”. That’s the question he asks often, and it’s one that will stick with me for the rest of my life. “What is it for?” Or, why do you do what you do? It’s an interesting question, because motives matter. Are you doing what you do because you want some sort of attention or do you want to leave an impact? This idea of “look at me” can only appeal for so long, because it will only leave you empty. At the end of the day, you need a reason to do the things you do—that’s called living life with purpose, and that’s what this podcast is all about. So, my question to you as it pertains to social media is, “What do you use social media for?” Is it to connect? Is it to keep up with other people? Is it to sell? Or, is it to flaunt?
In an episode of “Ideas”, where I talk to Cal Newport, he said he doesn’t use social media because to might equate to 500-1,000 more book sales, and that just isn’t enough for him to sign up for this time waster. When I talked to Seth Godin, he believed that signing up for social media would take him away from producing more important work. And when I recently talked with Greg McKeown, we agreed that in order for me to produce more important work, it would make most sense for me to give up social media.
Now, I’m not saying that you should give up social media, because we all have different goals with our work. What I am saying that you should at least give thought to the work you are producing and if you are using your time in the best possible way to create the things that you truly believe will make the impact that you want to make. And in my experience social media is the easy way out. It’s the easy way to saying that you are putting in the work, when in all actuality, it’s a distraction more than anything else. Maybe I’m wrong, and feel free to email me your thoughts. But let’s think about it. What are your goals?
To write a book? Are you writing your book or are you thinking about writing one while posting on social media?
To build a business? Are you working towards all the many things that it takes to start a business or are you posting about it on social media?
To become a better leader of your household? Are you merely posting photos of your family online or are you spending the necessary time with your kids in order to help mold them into the young adults that they are called to be?
All of these are tough questions, but I believe that it’s answering these types of questions that makes us better human beings. I agree with the document the journey mentality with social media, because at least you are putting in the actual work at the same time of posting on social media. Because without putting in the work, you’re just talking about it, taking the easy way out. And we all know that it takes much more than merely talking about an idea to make an idea happen. I promise that if you begin putting in the work starting today—whatever that means for you—you will see results in a year’s time.
Now go and put in the real work, today.