The Unintended Consequences of Social Media

I am a longtime fan of the website, Dumb Little Man: Tips for Life. The site is full of information, advice, and opinions on a variety of topics like Happiness, Success, Money, How To, Lifehacks, Relationships, and Health.

This morning one of the site’s new postings, Why Social Media is Dying a Slow Death, caught my attention for two reasons:

  1. First, during yesterday’s weekly Mitton Media® staff meeting, there was a lively discussion about the positives and negatives of social media on today’s culture. (The range of inner-office opinions ran from positive warm glows to Hitchcock-like feelings of suspense and impending doom. As in, “Quit stalking me!)
  2. The second reason for my interest is that thanks to being an employee recruitment/employer branding advertising agency, we get to witness the different levels of social media success/failure experienced by employers across a variety of industries. Because we design comprehensive recruitment strategies that blend traditional and non-traditional media resources, my hope was the article would provide a nugget or two of new information to pass along to our clients for their consideration.

The author did not disappoint. In fact, the article was basically a continuation of our staff meeting discussion: What are the unintended consequences of social media and how long can it last?

In the words of the author:

  • Social Media Encourages Unrealistic Expectations

    • As brands post, tweet, and tag each other 24 hours a day, they are setting the precedent that it’s okay for all of us to be glued to our devices. FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a very real thing and it’s only encouraged by constant social marketing.
    • While brands are gathering information on their prospective customers (or job candidates), they are also making assumptions about the masses. (And you know what they say about ASS-uming…)
    • Instead of making our own choices about what we want to buy and whom we want to buy it from, we’re force-fed ads, links, and promotions all day, every day. Eventually, it only leads to burnout. (Editor’s note: This was the major topic of our staff discussion.)
    • Which is why it’s no secret that people take vacations to detox from their devices. They are literally planning time to be offline because of mental overwhelm and exhaustion.
  • Personal Degradation

    • While social media strives to support uniqueness and individuality, the norm is still to post “perfection.”
    • In reality, it doesn’t matter how many Likes, Hearts, and Friends your have on social media. The relationships that truly matter are those of the people you talk to on the phone and in person.
    • There will always be trolls waiting to pounce. Con artists waiting to deceive. There will always be those waiting to tear down the lives of others.
    • Don’t let them bring you down. You know who you are.
  • Lack of Socialization

    • The more we depend on social media, the less social we become.
    • Studies are revealing the addictive traits of social media including:
      • neglect of personal life
      • mental preoccupation
      • and mood modification
    • Also concerning is the anxiety that comes for some with the withdrawal of social media.
    • With the increase of online interaction comes a decrease in personal interaction. Fewer phone calls, face-to-face conversations, and in-person experiences.
  • Summary

    • Social media was originally designed to keep us connected when we’re far apart. In that aspect, it is a complete success.
    • However, when social media causes a lack of personal skills in our up-and-coming workforce, increases teen depression rates, and replaces real human interaction, that’s when we’ve got to take a step back and review our priorities.
  • Closing Questions

    • Has social media swung our society too far away from personal interaction?
    • Is this a trend that will continue to change how we live and do business for in the long term?
    • What will be the tipping points that cause the pendulum of in-person communication to swing back the other way?

(Editor’s note: Actual name of the author was never given so we don’t have it to share and give credit.)

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Mitton Media® is a full-service Recruitment Advertising and Employer Branding agency. We realize every hiring-related challenge is different because candidates are unique individuals that come with their own lists of employer prerequisites and traditional/non-traditional media habits and preferences.  

That’s why our behavior-based, customized programs are designed to reach and engage target audiences where they are, in their own personal spaces. Generating immediate awareness and response as a result of candidate-focused, “What’s-In-It-for-Me” hiring messages that are delivered as a result of potential job applicants doing nothing more than going about normal daily routines.

employee recruitment for open mindsetFor more information about our traditional and non-traditional recruitment advertising/employer branding services and capabilities, contact Shana Reinhart, Director of Business Development at Mitton Media®

We do the work. You get the credit.®

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