On Halloween my mother in law came for a visit. It's a super fun time for her to come and see the kids in their sugared-up and dressed-up glory. I'm really lucky, my mother in law is easy to get along with. While she was here, I felt guilty working when the kids were at school. I felt like I was having half-conversations with her as I had one eye on whatever I was working on.
One day I took her along to a sales call in the country. We had a great time, and she walked around the quaint town while i was on my call. After the meeting, we went for coffee and sat outside enjoying the glorious Indian Summer. I can honestly say we had an authentic and meaningful connection.
This wonderful afternoon made me think more about the importance of connection. Connection is one of the guiding philosophies of Yoshi-Bella. A lot of people are down on social media. Some argue there is nothing "social" about it. I love social media, it allows me to keep in contact with people I would have lost touch with long ago. And as part of my business, I promote my product here. For example. over the last 6 months I have become more active on Instagram. As an amateur photographer who likely has ADHD, this is a perfect platform for me, and I am totally digging it. I was so excited to get my first comment on a post "this is awesome!".
When I started getting follows, I was over the moon! Follow them back! That was so nice of them to follow me. Kumbaya.
I was unsuspectingly crushed when learned that these were not people who saw my feed and wanted to get to know me, these are "autofollows". About 24 hours later, there is a subsequent "auto-unfollow", where the follower hopes you will continue to follow them and not notice if they stopped following you. Do you Follow? It's like high school popularity all over again.
Apparently, if you follow more people than follow you,
you look like an internet loser.
But the best way to get followers is to follow other people, stoke up their ego a bit and then silently retreat. Repeat this process enough times and you have an army of unsuspecting followers who really thought you were just interested in what they had to say (schmucks!!!).
Early on, I signed up to try one of these auto-apps. I quickly realized that I'm outsourcing connection. What's the use of tons of meaningless interactions? To give others a false sense of popularity? How is this benefiting me, and even if it did benefit my business, I would hate that it did. As I sat with my mother in law and enjoyed the sunshine I realized that this type of connection is what's important. Social media is a tool, but it is not going to drive the car.
So, if you follow me I will definitely check out your feed, comment on photos that warrant a comment, and follow you if your posts resonate with me. I only follow those who genuinely interest me, and if I comment, it's because i read or saw your post and felt it comment-worthy. Autofollows are different from autoposting - scheduling out your social media posts for the week or month. After all, this is still your authentic opinion and material, just spread out in such a way to give more time for the real connections in your life (isn't that what life is all about?)
You can't outsource and automate meaningful connection.
With the holidays approaching, I wanted to send some gifts home with my mother in law. Finally, I decided on small gifts that honored authentic connection. I made a series of customized snaps with the grandkids, my sister and brother in law's beloved dog, one with grandma and the grandkids, and one of each grandkid separately
What do you think about autocomments and autofollows (and other automation systems that "pretend" they are a real person?)
How do you stay connected to what's important? Let me know in the comments.
Warmly, in connection,