My, how the internet has changed. It’s hard to believe that in the earlier days of social media, when MySpace and Chat Roulette were the norm and people used their real names on Facebook, that Instagram would one day become a platform for people to share their personal, professional and spiritual journeys and make a living off it. But that’s where we are today. In this post, I’ll explain why the way we use social media is radically different than it was just a few years ago — and how people are building communities online in an entirely new way.
Authenticity is the new cool.
Long live individuality..
It’s not just a buzzword or a trend, it’s an important concept that everyone should understand. Here’s the thing, authenticity is important to people because of its ability to help them navigate the world around them in an increasingly confusing and complex age. Authenticity offers a sense of security and comfort when orienting oneself around new situations or environments; it’s a way for people to know who they are and what they stand for. It allows us all as individuals to reflect upon ourselves before trying something new—whether that means meeting someone we’ve never met before or taking part in an activity we’ve never tried (i.e., rock climbing or making a REEL for the first time). In order for us all as individuals to grow as human beings we must take risks when given opportunities because without risk there can be no growth; however by being authentically yourself beforehand you can lower those barriers between what you want and what actually happens which will allow yourself room instead of stress while trying something new!
Personal Development and other forms of spiritual practice are becoming more mainstream.
All of us are on the same spiritual journey. We all have our challenges, we all have our struggles, and we all want to find happiness in life. So why does it feel like some people are more successful than others? I believe that this is because many people don’t realize that they are already on a path of personal development and spiritual practice. They think that if they go to church, practice mantras, rituals, yoga or read books on self-help then they are doing something different from everyone else. But lemme tell ya honey, that ain’t true!
Everyone is looking for personal growth and spiritual enlightenment but in different ways depending on their circumstances and how their past has molded them into who they are today.” Here’s the caveat, building a personal brand is personal development and self-help in disguise. Cause you can’t build something real and authentic without sorting yo’ shit out. Lemme esplane.
People are seeking out alternative ways to heal themselves.
You might think that this cultural shift is a fad. But I’d argue that it’s not a fad, but rather the natural progression of society.
The popularity of personal development, inner work and wellness are just a few examples of how people are looking for alternative ways to heal themselves. According to The Ted Talk, “Meditation and Mindfulness: How Meditation Changes Your Brain,” research shows that mindfulness training reduces stress levels by 57% and decreases depressive symptoms by 40%. And with more than 7 million Americans suffering from depression (according to the National Institute of Mental Health), you can see why mindfulness has become so popular in recent years.
People are seeing “BEYOND” the follower count.
The ones who can feel this don’t care how many followers you have.
As you’re building your brand, no one should care how many followers you have. In fact, they shouldn’t care about any metric—they should only care about your content and if they benefit from it. The number of people that follow me on social media is not an indicator of my success, value or influence. It doesn’t matter if I have 2 million followers or 2 likes on Instagram (which I don’t).
However, because we live in a world where metrics are king and everyone is constantly trying to prove their worth through numbers, it can be tempting to put too much emphasis on follower count when it comes to defining success online. In fact, I know some bloggers who actually feel validated by their follower count and use this as a measure for self worth! Alas, this is a whole other rant for another time.
We are taking back our power.
It’s a cultural shift, and we are taking back control of our lives. We are taking back control of our creativity, happiness and peace of mind. We are taking back control of our health. We are taking back control of our relationships. And we are also taking back financial freedom from the traditional system.
Is the internet getting healthier by more people sharing their journey than ever before?
I say not necessarily, but the appetite for REAL is at an alltime high.
You might think that with the increased norm of social media, we’d see a decrease in people opening up about their struggles. But I haven’t seen this to be the case. To me the desire for raw, real, unscripted, unhinged, less censored content is at an all time high. ARe we in the age of transparency? Is the internet becoming more authentic? Are people sharing their journey more than ever before?
People are more open about their mental health and trauma than ever before, which means that there’s an increased chance for you to be exposed to someone else’s life experience online (like yours). This isn’t just good news for people who need help; it’s also good news for those who want to help others but haven’t yet found the right way or place to start.
Our spidey senses for bullshit like fake followers, fake highlight reals, uber perfect pictures, photoshopped image and somehow proving that you have the perfect the life is now the content folks are wanting to consume. WE WANT REAL.
Honestly, it’s insane how the internet has changed and grown in a short space of time, it’s even more exciting to see that there are so many people willing to share their journeys. I think the most important takeaway from this article is that we can all make a difference, even on social media, that’s been up until now somehow reserved for bougie influencers, celebrities, elites, pretty as fuck models or internet famous kids. It’s easy to feel like your voice doesn’t matter when you’re just one person amongst millions of others online, but if everyone started doing small things like posting with intention and encouraging others to do the same, then we might just be able to encourage an entire shift in culture!
“The Future of Branding is Personal”