Media Junk Food

Too many emails are coming in.

Not from person to person. I love receiving those.

Heck, I love email. Hit reply and I want to get back to you, even if I always can’t. And with email, you can reach almost anyone in the world. I sent about 4 just today to people I’ve never yet met. It’s like your inbox is this wonderful place full of opportunity.

And It’s the gateway to making things happen. It’s how you introduce people, activate people to volunteer, share insight, notify people of your upcoming show…

It’s also the last feed where you can control the experience and have a conversation one-on-one.

Facebook’s having an existential crisis because they’ve ruined the experience by allowing the flow of too much information. Which is why it’s time to get back to local. Get back to relevant and personal communication.

But slowly email has been ever-crowding with E-blasts into the oblivion. Social media tactics ported over to email.

Some subject lines from my inbox today:

“The #1 Mistake Aspiring Speakers Make”
“Reason #2 to get off the fence”
“Hottest Way to Get Warm Leads”

I’m tempted to click but I don’t.

Funny how the impulse get’s you.

You’re at work, and the back of your mind is unknowingly scanning for shortcuts. And the subject lines feed into that.

Or maybe we just want to be doing anything other than what we’re doing right now. The keys to the world are right underneath our nose, heck, probably right in the middle of the task that you’re currently avoiding.

But instead, we reach for the marshmallow.

But I don’t blame you, the industry is built on this.
I’m likely guilty of this same thing on occasion.

Have you read “Hooked”?

“the hook model-a four-step process embedded into the products of many successful companies to subtly encourage customer behavior.

Through consecutive “hook cycles,” these products reach their ultimate goal of bringing users back again and again without depending on costly advertising or aggressive messaging…”

Basically: Ther’es a model that hacks our brains reward system to leave us addicted to your product.

Basically: Psychological addiction is a major component of Social Media products, and is actively hired for. Daily Active Usage at all costs.

But we know this.

It’s only that recently the conversation is turning and some of us are changing our diet. Abandoning most outlets in exchange for a small trusted few. And I’m developing a poor taste for most anything prescribed to the masses.

First, because it needs to be stripped of its insight to fill the demand for shortcuts and shallow insight.

Second, because tactically if we’re all doing the same things we’re likely doing nothing interesting.

Third, because try as the writer/producer may, many times things are misinterpreted.

So lately I’ve developed a downright aversion to some media.

Hey, we should enjoy junk food from time to time. There’s no shame in lovingly consuming something you know is bad for your body but good for your soul. And sometimes Buzzfeed et. all just feel pleasurable.

But they’re not nutritious.

Anyways, I’m ranty because I immediately regretted buying the latest marketing book I purchased.

Not because it lacked insight, but because of the 9-12 chapters surrounding the insight. And the 9-12 freebie downloads I was given which left me feeling empty.

They were full of copy suggestions for effect, and scripts that are meant to grab you that you can use etc. etc…

See, I was curious about surveys and asking the community questions that help you learn and get feedback.

It was when I was working on the census. So I bought the book, began listening…

And then after 2 hours of work, I recognized that everything I read at first felt right, and then felt implicitly wrong.

Tactically correct, but tone def.

So I tossed most of it and created based on instinct, keeping only a small % of learnings.

So where does that leave us?

Am I a part of this or outside of it?

Let’s get back to it: What we want is truth.

We want people who can speak to us in ways that invite our interests instead of trick us into buying in, only to feel a lack of substance in exchange.

If you think this is about simply just not selling, you’re incorrect. We’re always selling; our ideas, our projects, and you pay with time or attention or dollars.

It’s just that now we want to be engaged with thoughtfully in the process. To not be seen as a data point.

And that doesn’t mean you can’t do this at scale.

Steve Jobs and Jony Ive spoke to us thoughtfully. Nike speaks to us thoughtfully. They have an opinion on the world and you feel that they want the best for US.

They believe in our ability, but they stick to their own truth. We can go to them if we need, but we don’t have to if that’s not our taste.

It’s your life.

These aren’t bad intentioned people writing these. They are intelligent. I just feel as if they’re giving people what they want but not what they need.

Or they’re giving people what they’re compelled to click on but not which give them a sense of wellbeing or insight or meaning. Then again, it’s your diet.

Then again…

When people see the truth, they prefer it.
Or at least, all those who are seekers in this life, do.

xx David

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