Last week in our Social Media Marketing class (#SMMUCLA) at UCLA Extension, we discussed whether the new social network Ello (Ello.co) could be the new "anti-Facebook" social network.
Then after a recent class TweetChat about where we find social media marketing news...and more importantly where our potential consumers (of information), customers, or clients find theirs, a student (Mohammed Almokhem @) tweeted me a link to an "#antisocialmedia" video by Prince Ea, "Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?"challenging people to disengage from social media and engage with people and life:
Using Search.Twitter.com to search for "#antisocialmedia" (without the quotes) as well as noting that Prince Ea's YouTube video has had almost 2 million views, definitely makes this a meme.
A meme, according to Wikipedia, is "an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture".
But then I remembered that in our Social Media Marketing class in Spring quarter a popular YouTube video was "Look Up" by Gary Turk, challenging people to simply "look up" from their devices and live life ... that's living real-life, not on a screen:
What's striking about Gary Turk's YouTube video is that it's had 47 million views now. That's a lot of views. And a lot of sharing...from person to person...using social media I'm sure - and isn't that ironic?
But then this morning at the gym I listened to Mitch Joel's excellent Six Pixels of Separation podcast about "The End Of Absence With Michael Harris". According to the interview, Michael Harris's book is saying that we're all suffering from "absence" (from each other and our lives) with our obsession with social media and our devices, rather than presence (and living life...really).
By the way, Mitch Joel (@MitchJoel) is the philosopher-king of social media marketing podcasting and is one of the best extemporaneously thoughtful podcasters I know. Not to mention (and highly recommend) his phenomenal Six Pixels of Separation blog as well.Ok, now we have an actual trend.
Especially when I think back to what my brother-in-law says when he sees someone using (or over-using) their device (smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc.): "Are you being social, or no-cial?"
Makes you think, doesn't it?
So now the question for social media marketers is, "What do we do about this?"
Social media marketing certainly isn't going to go crawl into a hole and die, but if a significant number of people are going to to offline, then isn't that a significant problem for marketing?
I'm very curious to hear what you think, but here's my take:
I'm going to suggest that it isn't a significant problem. Actually I'm going to hope that this represents a good thing. Taking a bit of a break from the seemingly incessant onslaught of social media may actually give us a pause to rest (really rest, not jumping to view each message which is beeping us) and also possibly to reflect about what we've encountered.
And these breaks may bring us back refreshed and re-energized when we do decide to re-engage with social media again.
Then we may be more responsive to the "new" things we're seeing and experiencing with new eyes and refreshed senses.
So perhaps doing nothing is actually a good thing and a good strategy for social media marketers.
But being social media marketers, I'm sure that there will be a number of those who will try to leverage this trend by incorporating peaceful restful images, slogans, text, music, and videos to bring solace to the over-users. Incorporating photos of nature, the good life, others having fun with each other, etc. into their messages in every format and on every platform.
Maybe peaceful restfulness in marketing is the new "green" marketing?
Or maybe we simply don't have enough data-points to know at this point. Maybe this isn't a trend at all and we're speculating on something we don't need to worry about.
So relax...and we'll see what happens...
- By Karl Kasca, instructor UCLA Extension (@KarlKasca)