We have come a full circle - from being very real to being relatively promotional to being very self-promotional to being fake. Now, we're back to square one, being very realIf you don't have a face and name to your social media account or online life, you better have a pseudonym and if you do, you better not let others find out what you look like. We live in an era where everything can and will become the butt of a joke, as a way to counter over-information.
I was lamenting the fact that my kid have, yet again, come up with another pseudonym for one of his social media accounts. He's not revealed it to me and I've not asked him for it. I don't want to find out everything about my kid via his social media accounts. If he's got a problem, he'd better scoot his ass over to me, in my face, and tell it to me like it is...minus all that online drama. I've got enough of that, as it is.
I told them, both kids, about a time when we all went online, via the wonderful world of dial-up internet, and went by each others' real names. Like on this blog. We just went ahead with our real names, write blogs, visit each other once in a while and leave positive and supporting comments on the blogs as a form of encouragement. As a rule of thumb, we knew to say nothing if we had nothing nice (or relevant) to add to the conversation.
We now live in a world where everyone, including your Aunt Ah-Cheng and Uncle Bert, is an online publisher. Anyone can be a Youtube sensation, including your pet snake. There's over-information at every level of the game. As a person who has been in this game for more than a decade, I think it's time we pick and choose.
The funny way that millennials deal with such situations is that they have the tendency to turn everything into either a joke, a meme or a prank video.
Let's face it, we can't be serious about EVERYTHING that we see on the Internet because if we do, we will all be crazy by now. So, everything, when it becomes a joke, has less gravity and people are less likely to become overwhelmed by the things that they are exposed to whenever they turn on their smartphones.
It's either a joke or something damn serious. Nothing in between because that would be totally not-worth-the-time.
We can't stop the cycle of internet-information-search, anyway, as long as we have the Internet so, we will have to deal with the fact that if we find as much as a pimple on our face, we'll be hitting WebMD.
Online exploration is becoming not just a means, but an end in itself, and it’s all thanks to these digital natives - Social Media TodayGoing back to the start of this blog post, the reason why I say that we need either a name, a face or stay anonymous forever, is because Millennials are pretty hard to convince. Because of exposure, as a 15 year old, they know more than most 15 year olds back then. They are already in a dynamic social conversation whether they are initiating it, involved in it or participating in it.
Hence, when we are trying to convince a youngster why they should buy our ebook, we better have a rock-solid proposition. If we are not authentic, funny or viral, we are doomed in a landfill of never-to-bes. Living in a world of fake selfies and endless rounds of online self-promotions does this to people. The only way to appeal to people these days is...to go back one big circle...which is, to be YOU again.
Honesty is key, even if it means outing your own faults and owning up to mistakes. The fact is, people trust people. And people buy from people, not brands - Twitter @lauren_hannahAnd if you can't be authentic and transparent in this new game of Internet, you're, honestly speaking, you're OUT. If you intend to fake your instagram picture, a Millennial is waiting in a dark creepy corner of the Web to sniff it out and outsmart you with their own Youtube video.
Millennials are inherently skeptical and question the authenticity of content regularly. A Global State of Content study Adobe released in December 2015, found 61% of U.S. consumers question whether even a news article is biased, let alone a branded marketing post.
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