There has not been a major sports league around the world that has used social media to it’s advantage better than the NBA. Star players and those who want to become stars use the medium, especially Twitter and Instagram, to it’s full advantage.
Perhaps TOO full.
Veteran JJ Reddick has stepped away completely from social media, finding it distracting and “not healthy”. He has wiped his accounts in the desire to no longer be part of what he calls a voluntary activity that is “not healthy”.
The quote could not be more accurate.
For people such as young NBA stars pushing a brand, social media makes plenty of sense. But these are young and younger men and women with plenty of time on their hands between events, and images that rely on “likes” and “retweets”. Make no mistake. There are sponsors who pay them for their popularity. The more mentions, the better the contract.
Which is not how it works for 99.9% of the world’s population.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and all the rest have become the dereliction addiction of the 21st century. It has gone from being a place to sit back and enjoy a conversation to the dark hole where one can be threatened with physical harm, insulted by those they have never met, watched as their personal and professional reputation is smeared across a global landscape, and found their mental health affected to the point of suicide.
I joined Facebook in 2008, finding it to be an interesting way of reconnecting with friends after moving to South Florida. Like everyone else, I marveled at the ease of communication, finding people I had lost track of, and, of course, the pet pictures. Facebook was at the time only 4 years old and nothing close to what it is now.
Ten years later, I will be cutting back on my social media time drastically. My commentaries, my ideas, my random thoughts, my podcast home and my brand, will be directed here on my website. In due course, I will be writing more about this decision and what I believe is a message for everyone.
Time to step back from what has become nothing more than nicotine for the addled masses.
My good friend Joe Casale and I have talked about this at length. We recently talked in depth about the senselessness of social media, how it’s filled with invectives and mental indigestion.
I treasure my friends and family on social media. We have great conversations, for the most part. I have never missed wishing someone a “Happy Birthday” for 10 years, just because it seemed the nice thing to do.
However, it has all become too time consuming. It’s not important.
Human interaction IS important. Reading and learning is important. Inspiring people is important. Telling stories that make people smile or think, or both, has become more important.
Realizing I will be cutting myself off from a good part of the current world, I’m OK with that. And there is a line to draw between personal and professional use of these mediums. As a matter of act, the time has also come for many businesses and professional organizations to realize you’ve been had. You’ve been taken for suckers by those who throw their social media prowess in your face and tell you how you can’t live without them and their “expertise”.
I’ve seen it. I’ve witnessed it. I’ve contracted with more than a few clients revealing to them how they’re being used by these “experts” who are doing nothing more than spouting numerical nonsense that, in the end, is a waste of money.
We’ll get to that in due course.
For now, I hope this has inspired you to consider taking that break from social media. There may not be a healthier thing you do for yourself now, and going forward.