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