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You, Me, Our Social Dilemma


What is your opinion of The Social Dilemma? If you’re not familiar, The Social Dilemma is a Netflix drama-documentary about social media. Through interviews and dramatized scenes, it illustrates how the most popular platforms influence our thoughts and actions.

My goal with this blog entry is to get you to think more about how you use social media.

In The Social Dilemma, former employees of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google share how our online profiles support political and corporate interests. The news and ads that pop up in your feed are not coincidental. Based on your online activities, sophisticated algorithms target you to buy into stories, products, and services.

With some research and financial investments, anyone can find out how much time you spend scrolling, reading comments, responding to posts, or watching a video.

Although I saw the film two weeks ago, the following quote stays at the forefront of my memory. “If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product.” While most social media platforms are free to join, the cost of losing your privacy may outweigh the convenience of staying connected online.

A father with his three kids
Pic on my cellphone of me and the kids

If you spend any time on the internet, Big Brother is here and watching. This claim is not a conspiracy theory; it is a fact and documented policy. The cookies in your browser are one of the multiple resources that can track your online activities. Social media platforms have tools that can capture everything from your location to the images on your cellphone.

Are you feeling an intense desire to delete your accounts? I felt that way after watching The Social Dilemma on Netflix. But, listen, it’s not all doom and gloom.

There are some benefits to using a variety of the established platforms. They help you connect with family and friends. Social media provides a creative outlet for artists. Joining a network such as LinkedIn can help you find a new job and learn new skills with the premium features that include LinkedIn Learning. If you’re a business owner, social media makes finding customers easier.

As markets move further away from print, television, radio, and other traditional advertising outlets, social media offers digital tools to reach a broader audience. The Social Dilemma reinforces this reality.

I have a love-hate relationship with social media. I love Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube’s tools to raise awareness, share inspiring content, build community, and create business opportunities. I hate how these tools drain your time, suck you into the loophole of comparison, and do not produce consistent results.

Here is my social media dilemma. If I distance myself from the environment, you visit every day, my chances of helping you improve your life decrease. I live abroad. It is more likely that we will meet on Facebook's digital streets rather than the pothole laced streets of Antigua.

Yes, I struggle with the fear of missing out! #fomo Social media helps us feel connected during a time when a pandemic mandates isolation.

When considering the privacy risks, time investments, and benefits, I often think about deleting my accounts. I don’t know for sure, but I believe my wife gets tired of my threats to leave social media. We have a similar conversation to this blog post every week.

She is a social media guru. In her business, she creates high converting copy for business owners. Her familiarity with the various platforms has produced some incredible financial results for her clients.

Two people smiling at the top of an Antiguan hill
Me and the wife at the top of Goat Hill- not posted on social media

Those last three lines were a plug for my wife’s work...#oops

I don’t click the button to delete my accounts, because leaving these networks when I have an abundance of talents, skills, and gifts to serve others in need, does not feel right. Many of the people I hope to inspire and equip with resources to live in their potential have social media accounts.

Have you thought about what your life would look like without social media? I know it's a crazy idea to think about living one day without Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Some struggle with not signing on for fifteen minutes.

I do not hang out on social media to keep up with Trump's administration's latest foolishness or to play games. If I see another post about the debate, upcoming election, and #45's positive COVID results today, I might explode! My accounts remain active to serve you and our community better.

I believe you are similar to me and don’t like the idea of feeding a hungry system with interests in controlling human behavior. What should we do?

Here are three simple tips to consider today:

1. Reflect on your reasons for maintaining a social media account.

2. Turn off your notifications.

3. Post inspiring and authentic content representative of your life.

In your reflection time, think about the following questions. Could you use the time spent on social media to transform a hobby into a passion or business? Does your family need more of your undivided attention? Do you feel energized or drained after thirty minutes on Facebook or Instagram?

I have asked and answered these tough questions and others for myself in the last two weeks. My responses to these questions have forced me to be more mindful of the time I waste on social media apps. I will keep my accounts because I know this is where you hang out when bored.

One day, I hope you scroll down your feed, find my content, and decide to take steps toward courageous living in your purpose.

My notifications are off, which explains why I may not respond to every one of your comments or emails in five minutes. Know that I am here for you. I will continue to post inspiring and authentic content while also remaining aware that Big Brother is watching and recording.

The risks are worth connecting with you. I will not post every day, but I will remain consistent in my messages as I continue to grow into the best version of myself.

What about you? What will you do differently with social media this week? Consider responding to this blog post with a comment below or following one of my social media accounts found in the header and footer of this site. Let's hold each other accountable for the awareness shared in this blog post!

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