People are all around us. Whether in person, by the marks they leave or the things they create, people and the byproducts of them are always with us and around us. We are constantly influenced by those we meet personally and those who we don’t meet.
Advertisment seeks to influence us into buying company products and into brand ecosystems, making us grow into them and with them. The products we buy due to advertisment are an example of how people we do not personally meet or have any connection to have the power to influence us into making decisions and to do tasks they would like us to. As we grow these advertisments and the habits of giving in to them are instilled in us and the advertisments themselves can influence our way of thinking and become pop culture references that we remember if done well enough.
Society has created this bridge between us and people we don’t know in other forms of media as well, such as Twitter and other social media sites. We relate to what they say and are influenced into new things and new ideas that, in some way or another, shape us as constantly growing people. Yet we may never have spoken to them or even seen them face to face in real life without the aid of screens or technology.
It’s a dangerous path, allowing people who we don’t know and who are only interested in us as consumers in order to make a profit to direct our thinking and shape what we trust, believe and the way we live.
Likewise, allowing people to shape our views, who we’ve never met is a dangerous practice. We don’t really know the people on the other side of the screen and often the side those people show to the camera is a side they put on for the camera rather than their usual self. Even on twitter, people can say anything and everything, which does not really have to align with their actual views.
There was a time when you knew people and were influenced by those around you and knew who to listen to and who not to since you were aware of the good and bad. You could be friends with people and not neseccarily take tips from them or allow them to shape your growth as a person as you knew that they didn’t exactly live a life or give advice worth following. Online however, it’s a different story. People say one thing and do another. It’s very easy to follow people and relate to an inspirational ‘tweet’ and think that person really has it down, when you don’t really know them at all or know if they’re being genuine or not.
It’s much better to know those around you and grow yourself as a person by noticing the bad and good in those you can see and learn from both rather than relying on or listening to the masses of people on social media who are most likely putting on a front to satisfy the viewers, or even being influenced by brands who are simply after sales.
Grow by example. Learn from the bad, follow the good. Make sure people are genuine and don’t simply agree with what’s being said because everyone else is. In 2018, everyone online is trying to get in and shape a little bit of who you are and will become. Make sure you end up being who you want to be, not who they want you to be.