Can you believe it? The new year is just around the corner. As an older millennial blogger, I’ve observed a seismic shift in the public’s expectations towards social media personalities in recent years. There has been an increased demand for authenticity and transparency. And with good reason: social media following counts translate into how much creators can charge for posts, stories, and videos. Social ambition with kindness rather than arrogance is the new direction for 2020.
Here are three ways on how to responsibly navigate the beautiful, colourful yet sometimes murky waters of social media in the year 2020.
1) Grow Organically
Resist using underhanded tactics to expand your audience, namely the use of third-party apps. Earlier this year, Instagram developed a capacity to detect the use of third-party apps, which are in violation of community guidelines. For example, these functions include: mass following, mass unfollowing, auto liking and auto commenting to name a few. Such actions are designed to entice a potential follower to follow back, with the blogger having planned in advance to unfollow tens and hundreds of accounts at a later date in order to maintain a higher follower count.
I once received a follow from a gorgeous girl – she’s a perfect ten in my opinion: face, body, skin tone, fashion style, visual style – the girl is perfect. However, once I found out she followed me through dodgy apps, probably through using a hashtag we both used, she became less attractive to me.
If readers have used these apps before, there’s no need to punish yourself and others. It was not technically forbidden then as it is now. Moreover it’s a new year, the season of forgiveness.
These ethical concerns also remind me of the doping incidents in competitive cycling – using banned drugs to enhance endurance and performance. Just because everyone else is doping, does it mean you need to dope too? Something to think about.
2) Champion Sustainability and Diversity
There has been a great movement towards supporting more sustainable and racially inclusive products. As Greta Thunberg warns, if we keep up with polluting and wasteful habits, we will land our planet onto an irreversible path. Consumers’ appetite for everything green has caught on with companies of all sizes and sectors. Likewise, diversity in various forms are finally being celebrated and supported in the marketplace.
However, there is a slight danger now that sustainability and diversity are also business strategies rather than merely ethical concerns. It remains for discerning customers to find out which companies live up to their claims, and which are just trying to capitalise on a potentially lucrative market.
3) Develop Compassion
Have faith in your community. People want you to succeed, as long as you also want others to succeed. I know I have very different goals than some other bloggers. Maybe you want a jewellery collaboration with your name on it? I know that’s not my ultimate dream. But if we support others emotionally, then others will support us too.
Every person is both fortunate and unfortunate – it just depends on how you look at it. So despite the glittering, airbrushed facade of the internet, don’t be fooled – we are not too dissimilar from one another.
Let’s make our 2020 goals happen through supporting each other.