Have you seen The Social Dilemma? I just did. It’s a Netflix documentary that uncovers how social platforms manipulate our attention purely to maximize their own profit. Of course, as a digital marketer, I’ve known this for a while. But when it’s told from that perspective, it makes you think 🤔
In the wake of the pandemic and the racial reckoning that’s followed George Floyd’s murder, trust and relationships have been top of mind.
Trust & Relationships
Trust in social media platforms eroded significantly, particularly over the last year.
We’ve had cultural landmark moments and heard concerns about how social platforms are scaling harm with AI and Machine learning algorithms that don’t take into account diverse communities. We’ve had major boycotts of Facebook ads by some pretty large multinational brands, based on how the social network moderates content. The #DeleteFacebook Movement also continues to reappear from time to time in the wake of the latest data privacy scandal. And the list just goes on.
Many people ask if the backlash against social media has real weight behind it.
I genuinely don’t think social media is in the long-term decline.
Social networks revealed our global humanity when they first launched a little over a decade ago. And they still hold us by those relationship tentacles today. We are social creatures and when our physical connections were unexpectedly curtailed earlier this year, we turned to each other online. Even as things slowly turn to whatever the new normal will be, we’ll still be seeking each other out whether we’re close by or worlds apart.
Who Has Your Data?
We love to share with our friends and family. We want to connect, build community and create tribes around our passions and interests. We want to express ourselves.
A generation has grown up in this space. While people are concerned about danger on the digital front, it’s hard to go back. But as you use these platforms that have become so ubiquitous in our lives, it’s important to pause and ask yourself, who has your data? Every time we quickly accept the terms of service, we don’t realize just how much we’re giving away.
That’s why I go back to trust. I think if social platforms (and brands!) can build a relationship of trust with us we are more open to having our data being used, particularly if we believe it’s useful for us.
With more transparency and the ability to see how our data is tokenized, we can shape what we are comfortable with. We’ll need to have basic qualifications about who we’re sharing our data with. Ultimately that calls all companies to higher ethics and principles.