Sycophant, narcissist or value-giver?

OK, so this is probably a fairly provocative thought-piece on the use of social media, so feel free to either strongly agree or disagree at your discretion.

I’ve been using social media for quite a while. As with most things, in the early days of anything new, we all tend thrash around with no real sense of purpose. However, it’s increasing becoming clear to me that many people and businesses seem to have fallen into the trap of either being creepily obsequious about everything their friends post or completely self-obsessed in their stream of content. Neither of which, in my humble opinion, is likely to get them very far, unless the objective is purely to seek social engagement or a dopamine hit.

The most successful users of social media, at least in a business context, seem to have a more strategic focus to their activity. They tend to major on providing value to their listeners/followers. That could be some form of thought leadership, sharing a useful tip, relating a war story that others may get a useful lesson from or just seeking to inspire with motivational words.

Is your activity simply a bulletin board of all your wonderfulness or is the focus to genuinely give value to your target market? I highly recommend the later approach.


About paulhopwood

Teaching, guiding and mentoring professional service firms and successful business owners, providing them with time to think. Love family, reading and walking. Brighton UK
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Sycophant, narcissist or value-giver?

  1. Dan Hopwood says:

    Agreed. Here’s quite a famous post from a few years ago that perfectly describes the self obsessed behaviour that far outways those that seek to offer value. Worth a read/laugh 🙂

    I find social media more and more scary in terms of the cost of engaging with it. It was born to foster deeper connection but it ends up doing the opposite: encouraging peoples’ desperate need for social acceptance and results in far fewer real life interactions

    The truth is it really is amazing. Like super amazing. Especially the content on Instagram. Amazing photography, recipes, inspiration, dreamy destinations, etc etc. But the cost, I’ve realised, is way too great that I’ve now cut off all social media from my day to day life. Completely

    Removed the apps from my phone, FB, Instagram, Youtube.. Because (in my opinion anyway) the cost of engaging is dealing with a metaphorical umbilical cord between your brain and your social accounts and living life’s moments through this lens and connection

    This manifests in numerous ways I find e.g. “Ooh that would make a good Instagram post”, “I haven’t posted for a while”, etc and that’s not even with the app open. It was just a mental, ever-present mental tax

    By creating a new daily habit of “No social media”, the difference is genuinely crazy. I look up, I notice, I feel more alive, I feel more gratitude, I feel more excitement, I feel happier. But what scares me are all these kids growing up with a phone in their hand that have no idea what their getting into

    Dopamine is as addictive as drugs and yet young kids have free access to it with no education or controls to stop it getting out of hand. We’re only starting to understand the effects (Facebook users have been shown to show more signs of depression etc) but it will take years to fully see the consequences

    In summary, I highly recommend challenging yourself to no social media for 2 weeks. Remove it from your phone, block it on your machine. Give it a go, it’s amazing 🙂

  2. bookmarklee says:

    I tend to agree with you Paul. Certainly I decided long ago to offer value and ask genuine questions on Linkedin rather than play the games of constant self promotion or constantly commenting on ‘friends’ posts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s