So there I was, minding my own business, listening to “The Infinite Game” by Simon Sinek (love him and his pompous attitude) as he was explaining that in the ’80s (thank you, Ronald Reagan), corporations reworked their mission of selling products and serving those buying them to serving those who owned stock, with the goal of profitability above everything else. I was thinking about how proud I am to not behave that way with my own company and the clients with whom I choose to work — with an exception or two, but we will leave that alone for the time being.
Then Facebook and Instagram went dead. For hours. Karma?
I watched the “60 Minutes” piece in which the Facebook whistleblower described the Darth Vader-like approach Facebook takes when dealing with anything that gets in the way of one more dollar earned, and its sacrifice of tween girls and honest politics.
I then realized I spend considerable time using Facebook and Instagram in the service of advancing our clients’ growth and customer acquisition. Like, a lot of time. And it works. It makes them (and me) money.
All righty then.
I couldn’t sleep last night, thinking about it. What if my now 26-year-old daughter were 10? She had enough to contend with in being the daughter of my crazy self, and I imagined the considerable fear I’d have if she were in the age bracket that appears to be struggling. Facebook management is aware of this issue, and they are OK with it because if they change it, they will lose market share of advertising dollars. And then there was the Sheryl Sandberg incident, where she actually had her team at Facebook set out to destroy George Soros (who I know and respect deeply) because he gave a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos that challenged the “goodness” of the brand if it continued to dominate.
(Well, he was right, wasn’t he? No surprise there.)
What to do?
I realized that it is my responsibility to lead those who pay me to be at the forefront of their strategies to find another alternative to giving the advertising dollars we designate to those platforms that I now know destroy the world rather than making it better.
How will that look, you ask?
First stop. Word of mouth. I believe (or I have believed since late last night) that word of mouth outside of the platforms from hell that are destroying our nation, could be the ticket. Stay tuned for what that might look like. Let's redefine the vehicles for where our circle of influence can gain traction and, rather than move the social media boulder sitting in the center of the road, walk around it and re-work our route to the destination of success.
Stay tuned as we explore that in the coming weeks.