Sex, Lies, and How Social Media Nearly Stole My Soul.

Lips_by_01_11_89

“Come closer.” She whispered in my ear.

“I can make you rich beyond your wildest dreams.”
her lips promising, her words raised the hairs on my neck.

I’ll introduce you to people – powerful people -
who will listen to you, embrace you, and mold you into the man you want to be.”
she said as she ran her fingertips across my collarbone.

Her voice was intoxicating. Every note of every
word lowered my defenses making me every bit more her puppet.

“Be yourself and they won’t be able to resist you.
They’ll writhe with anticipation and linger on every word you say…”

“No.” I said as my eyes lowered,” it can’t be that
easy.”

“Yes. It is – all you have to do is promote them,
love them, and they’ll love you back.”

Deep down, I knew. My instincts told me it
couldn’t possibly be true. But at the end of the day, I’m only human. I
listened to every word. I took every piece of advice, and it got me nowhere.

This temptress; let’s call her Social Media Marketing, had promised me so much. And I… I
listened. I tried my very best not to but her tips and tricks were so real and
so easy that I believed every word. I should have known when they didn’t work,
but instead I blamed myself. I told myself I wasn’t committed, that I wasn’t
putting enough time in, that she knew more and that I just wasn’t getting it.

Like any victim of a bad relationship I sought the
advice of my peers. It turns out, this temptress was a busy lady.

Her lies spread like a pandemic.  Everywhere I
turned there were traces of her everywhere. Her perfume lingered in all of my
usual hangouts, and everyone I talked to had that same dazed and dumbstruck
look in their eyes. She had possessed each and every one of them – her words
coming out of their mouths, everyone rationalizing her promises, making the
same excuses I had told myself. It was inescapable.

At first I boarded my doors and reinforced the windows. I needed some time to think and sort out truth from fiction. I meditated on what she said and searched for the missing pieces. Surely, it couldn’t have all been a lie, could it?

When I wasn’t mulling over my deception, I focused on my craft. I immersed myself so thoroughly that the sting faded to a dull pain and eventually it slinked back into the shadows of my memory.

Sadly, I forgot to provide myself with appropriate provisions, so I was forced back out into the world.

When I emerged, I saw things more clearly. Like Dorothy stepping into Oz for the first time, the Technicolored rush of clarity stimulated my senses all at once. For the first time I was living life in HD.

What I came to realize was that she wasn’t lying, she just wasn’t telling the whole truth. She promised me riches and power and free lead generation and the anticipation of the masses; but she forgot to tell me that I’d be doing all the work and that I’d need to say something something worthwhile.

How could I have been so blind?

I was stunned. It was me all along. I wasn’t being fed lies, only half truths, and I was only listening to what I wanted to hear. I didn’t want to work, I wanted what was promised, and was so taken in that I refused to accept my own apathy.

 

The Truth about Social Media


She is a temptress, no doubt about that. But she never said she was going to do it all for me.

It wasn’t until I started focusing on becoming a better me, a more confident me, that her fantasies stopped getting the best of me.

When I barricaded myself in, I learned to treat myself and my craft with more respect. I focused on what I was doing rather than what I wanted others to do for me. I trained. I reflected on what she had told me, and I trained; to become a better communicator, a better storyteller. I dedicated every day to work on my craft. My fortress prevented myself from getting distracted by trends or hype.

I trained to be more vulnerable, to share what I normally kept guarded. I trained to embrace insecurity and got ok with the idea that the world could mock me.

I learned to be more honest. Not with myself or the world, but with the work. It wasn’t about the tips or tricks, it’s “The Message” that makes everything work. I dug to find “The Message” and what exactly what it was that I stood for. Without that, how could I be attractive to anyone?

Once I found “The Message”, I focused on creating experiences.  Creating for the sake of creation wasn’t enough, I needed something people could connect with.

This was the secret she wasn’t telling me.

What’s funny was when I finally stepped back into the world, she embraced me. Not scorned, but hesitant, I started listening to her again, but this time with new ears. I didn’t follow every single piece of her advice, but nonetheless she started introducing me to people – powerful people – and to others who found me interesting.

I realized her tips and tricks weren’t fabrication, but without me to provide them soul and meaning, they were nothing more than words.

It’s only when I remembered I was the other half of the relationship that we started to get along. We’ve since come to an understanding – that if I do my part, she’ll do hers -that allows us to work together quite harmoniously.

I don’t just blindly assume that everything she says is gospel, and she thinks it’s funny when I try something new, and occasionally she rewards my attempts with a little extra love.

Sometimes I recognize that bitter-hopeful look in another’s eye, and I smile to myself knowingly. Then I pass them a note that reads, “She’s a liar. Put in the work. It’s up to you.”

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Ahmed Safwan@ To Start Blogging October 19, 2012 at 4:12 pm

Here’s the same for me. I didn’t think that twitter can be an amazing place to share my thoughts. I now visit twitter after my gmail directly. It really stole my heart too.

Reply

Tommy October 23, 2012 at 12:13 am

Twitter can be quite sexy when you play with it enough.

Reply

Barbara October 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm

I have yet to figure out how best to use social media. Facebook is full of ads, Twitter is a big room of people talking and rarely listening, and Pinterest….pictures of things I will never make, do, or try.

Reply

Tommy October 23, 2012 at 12:08 am

What it really comes down to is understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each platform, and defining your goals for each. I’m going to take a look at your site in the Am and give you an idea on how I might approach each platform if I were you, sound fair?

Reply

Gabe October 23, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Ohhhhhh Tommy….how you so elegantly tell a story. Honestly, I think this is one of the best articles you have written. You take all of everything we are doing and break it down into a simple concept…and bring some good ole’ sex into it…and bang (pun slightly intended), you distilled social media/IM down to its core…..

Reply

Tommy October 23, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Thank you Gabe ;-)

Reply

Megan October 24, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Did you hear that? That was your post slapping me awake from the comatose state I was in. Most of the posts I read have the same tone to them, but this one grabbed hold of me and didn’t let go until the last word had been read. Bravo.

But damn you! Now I have to go re-do every post I’ve ever written. Because you just made it all look like garbage. :)

Reply

Tommy October 24, 2012 at 4:13 pm

:-P See, the beautiful part about blogging is that every day is a new chance to try something new. Don’t worry about the old posts, see if you can incorporate a new style into the next one. Keep your readers on their toes and make them quiver with antici…..pation.

At the end of the day, it’s all just words on a page, so why not have a little fun with it? Be sure to link me on your next post, looking forward to seeing how it goes :-)

Reply

Christina Zila January 16, 2013 at 8:38 pm

+1 bonus for the Rocky Horror Picture Show reference!
Nice flow to the piece. Have you ever read Tony Noland (@TonyNoland)? Some of his Flash Friday stuff has the same cliffhanger feel to it, even if it’s not about social media. :)

Reply

Tommy January 18, 2013 at 10:56 am

hehe Thanks!

I haven’t read Tony Noland’s stuff, but I’m going to be sure to now, sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun :-)

Reply

Chris Shearar October 24, 2012 at 4:18 pm

This has got to be one of the best, if not the best posts, I have ever read. It entices one in and then drives the message home. Bang Bang

Reply

Tommy October 24, 2012 at 8:10 pm

:-D Thank you very much for such an awesome compliment!

Reply

Kate October 25, 2012 at 9:14 am

You hit the nail on the head in such an elegant way. I love blogging value with a story like this. I, too, have felt lied to and wondered what was going wrong. I often believe shutting myself off from ‘her’ will make it all better, but instead it feels even less natural. Thank you for sharing this insight, and I’d love for you to take a look at my blog to offer suggestions or my use of social media.

Reply

Tisha October 25, 2012 at 9:45 am

Great post, it really does come down to you doing the work, thanks for putting this out into the world :)

Reply

Lui B. October 25, 2012 at 8:41 pm

What a captivating post Tommy! For a moment, I forgot I was reading a blog post. I first thought that the style of storytelling was bizarre but you got me reading the post from top to bottom. So that’s a good sign that this one works.

As for the social media, there’s no such thing as “set it and they’ll come” approach. Get involved, know her more and when the right time comes, she’ll bring what you deserve.

Bless you!

Reply

Harry Clarke November 12, 2012 at 11:11 pm

I am obviously not in your niche as my url would indicate that I am in the fitness/health industry. But I can across your blog via socialmouths guest post and was mesmorized by your recent inside the mind video series. I noticed that above you mentioned that you would look at someones blog to offer a little advice how they would target audiences via social media networks would you do the same for me. Thanks look forward to more of your posts an videos. I started from the first of your videos so a very late congrats on becoming a father.

Reply

Tommy November 12, 2012 at 11:54 pm

Sure thing, I’d be happy to :-) I’m so happy you liked the series too, it would be awesome if you’d be willing to throw a little bit at the campaign. You can find my email in the project description. Throw at me what you’re thinking and we’ll get something figured out :-)

Reply

Leave a Comment

« »
  • Tommy Walker

    Hi I'm Tommy

    I'm the host of "Inside The Mind" a show about online marketing for the internet generation. Say Hi On Google+

    Learn more

  • Clicky Web Analytics