Social Media Is A Tool, Don’t Be One

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Courtesy of Unsplash

“You literally have more opportunity than ever before today because of the Internet’s maturity and scale.” — Gary Vee

ot to sound cliché but back in my day the Internet was in its infancy. It arguably still is today. Do you remember your first memory of it? Just as an example, I was born in April 1993. Here’s what was founded and created prior to the ‘90’s, and the Internet Boom, in addition to what came later:

  • Microsoft (founded April 4, 1975 in Albuquerque, New Mexico)
  • Apple (founded April 1, 1976 in Cupertino, California)
  • AOL dial up Internet (created May 24, 1985)
  • Amazon (founded July 5, 1994 in Seattle, Washington)
  • Yahoo! (founded March 2, 1995)
  • Google (founded on September 4, 1998 in Menlo Park, California)
  • Myspace (founded August 1, 2003 in Beverly Hills, California)
  • Facebook (founded February 2004 in Cambridge, Massachusetts)
  • YouTube (founded February 14, 2005 in Mateo, California)

I could go on and on but I’m sure you get the point. Most people weren’t even born yet so be grateful for what you have right now. When my dad was working at Dickinson College, I vividly remember him having a Blackberry as his work phone (mainly because I used it to play Brick Breaker).

The first cell phone that my parents got me in my teens was a Motorola RAZR. Remember that? Wait, what about the iPod shuffle or iPod touch? What a classic piece of tech those two were! For everyone that has an iPhone 10 or 11 right now, be grateful. That piece of machinery is more powerful than what we used to go to the Moon for the first time ever in July 1969.

Also, recognize that the first iPhone didn’t even come out/go on sale until June 29, 2007. That seems like it was yesterday! Shoot when I was growing up we literally had to spend time outside playing with our friends, riding bikes, playing basketball at the park, playing foursquare in the driveway, throwing a baseball and football outside with my dad and friends, and the list goes on.

From what I’ve heard and seen today, most kids won’t even leave their houses or step outside when it’s nice. Whose kids are really outside playing today? Too many aren’t as they’re inside playing Xbox, PlayStation, Fortnite or scrolling away on their phones.

Let’s face it, people today spend most of their waking hours staring at a screen. We’ve become possessed by these technologies and our smartphones. But we cannot forget where we came from.

Adults spend more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media (social), according to a recent study by market-research group Nielsen.

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Source: Q1 2018 Nielsen Total Audience Report courtesy of MarketWatch

A digital detox is needed just as detoxes for our bodies are too. This is to ensure that Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google do not control 100% of your life and time.

You’re the human-being and one in control, not the machines or corporations. How you use those precious moments and time certainly determines the quality of your life.

Here’s the shift that more of us (myself included) need to be conscious of: Use technology as a bridge to human interaction and not as a barrier. Stop treating your phone like it’s a TV. It’s not here to entertain you 100% of the time — it’s here to help grow you and your life and your business if you’re running one successfully.

We now have a truly limitless playground called “The Internet” to connect, create, learn, and work from at every second of every day. Just 30 years ago, if you hated your job, your life, your friends, or your town, you had nowhere to go.

Now, with the Internet, and especially the advent of the smartphone, you can use the device in your pocket to find new friends, colleagues, communities, jobs, opportunities, entertainment or even the tools you need to build your own business while working from home. The Internet and the opportunity granted to us are ludicrous and I hope this blog gets at least one person to take a step back and change their perspective.

Social media has become the evolution of our communication engine, we’re living through and we don’t realize it, yet we’re also portraying it as a threat. The fact that the device in our pockets, can now create more upside and more potential for all of us to build businesses, communicate, connect and engage is one of the most important things that has ever happened in human history in my eyes.

The world is not “changing”…it has already changed. If I can just get one more person to take this shift a little bit more seriously by deciding to allocate their time and energy learning how to communicate on all of these platforms effectively, and with integrity, then we will all win.

That’s really it. You have to wrap your head around becoming an effective communicator on this device because it’s not a luxury. Millions of people around the world still do not have access to smartphones or the Internet so be grateful. Everything today lives and dies on communication and leadership. It’s a necessity over the next decade to master these skills and sharpen your craft.

I highly encourage all of you to get a hell of a lot more serious about it. Leverage social media as the tools and resources that they are. Please, with all due respect, don’t be a tool, troll or a bully on these devices or social media platforms.

Thank you for reading ❤

My Very Best,

Donovan Vogel

Written by

Philadelphia based teaching financial literacy | Prospering all other hours | Writer | Lifter | Reader | Traveler | Freedom & Wellness

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