What Impact Does Social Media Have on Our Personal and Professional Lives?

June 18, 2024

The transformation of social media over the last 20 years is nothing short of astounding. Initially limited to sharing basic text updates with known acquaintances, social media has expanded to include platforms for photo sharing, live broadcasts, and even short video clips known as Reels. This evolution has been both remarkable and demanding.

  • Connectivity: Social media has allowed us to connect with people globally, making the world seem smaller and more intertwined.
  • Creativity: It has empowered countless individuals to showcase their creativity and talents to a broader audience.
  • Commerce: The shift towards e-commerce has changed the landscape of marketing and business.
  • Consumption: The way we consume news, entertainment, and even personal updates has undergone a significant shift.

The Evolution Of Social Media

You’ve been on social media as long as I have, which is 20 years, you have witnessed the shift that it has made in real time. When I first joined social media, the Facebook, 20 years ago, it was just a simple, Maren is feeling x y z. Right?

Like, I don’t even know if they have that piece in the beginning. Maybe after, like, a year or so, or we had the ever so popular aim. So that was AOL, the instant messenger. And you would put up in a way message with something like a super poetic, some some quote from some song to kinda display what emotion you are feeling.

And there were a few other platforms like Myspace where you could showcase more of your personality by coding certain songs to play when people went on your page or, you know, the background looked a certain way when they logged on to your site. But for the most part, it was super basic, super bland.

But then as it began to grow and grow and expand its reach and have more and more people involved, you started to see the ability to share photos on Facebook and then later Instagram. Then going live. Now Reels is a culmination and mix of it all.

And we could talk about how the technology has grown on this timeline of social media, but what I want to really chat about is the relationships, both with people and with self due to social media and how it’s changed dramatically.

You know, we went from only adding people that we knew on social media. And even in the beginning, Facebook was only open to certain colleges. So if you didn’t have a specific a, if you didn’t believe you know, belong to a specific college, like, if it wasn’t open to your school yet, you couldn’t join.

But then straight up, like, if you didn’t have dot edu at the end of your email address, they wouldn’t allow you to even join the platform. So it’s very niched down and specific.

But now, forget it. Okay? Now we’re connecting with random strangers. And right now, currently, as of this moment, 7 out of 10 Americans are using social media.

Positive and negative effects of social media on mental health

Now, this can be seen both as a positive and a negative depending on how quite frankly the social media is being used. It certainly can create an unhealthy comparison game, unrealistic expectations. It can negatively affect mental health.

And, yes, it can certainly manifest narcissistic behavior as it feeds the ego with each like, comment, share, and follow.

And as of today, Congress is talking about how they are going to add a warning label to social media when you sign up, kinda in the same format that they did with cigarettes. So they put a warning label on that explaining about how it leads to lung cancer, blah blah blah blah.

They’re gonna do the same with social media. Now do I personally think that’s really gonna do anything? No. I think that’s more a, cover my butt situation that the government’s doing to act like they’re really, quote unquote, doing something when we know they’re not.

And ultimately, it comes down to, if you are a parent, your values in your home and what you are promoting to your children, Are you allowing them to have phone access, social media access, or not?

And as an adult, if you know, your children are not of the age where they would have either of those or you don’t have children, like, it’s about your own self control.

Ultimately, we’re in charge and that label isn’t gonna do diddly because we need to have the wherewithal to understand that social media is one big highlight reel. Personally, I think a lot of people try to be quote, raw and real.

I’m so real. You know? I’m not like the other moms. I’m a cool mom. I’m raw and real. And their content is actually the complete opposite in my opinion. And they’re some of the biggest frauds.

You mean to tell me that in the height of something awful and completely earth shattering rock your world going on in your life that you decided to pick up your phone and record yourself crying. Stop it, Brenda.

You did not… like no one does that. And my hand to God, I have a personal friend who caught her husband’s infidelity firsthand in their home, and then literally recorded herself crying in her room later for quote content in the future. Now, bless, she, I don’t think she’s ever used it, but I I can’t make this up.

This is someone I personally know, and I know thousands and thousands of other people do it too. Just open your app and you see it. You you see it in your reels, you know, that are coming up, blah blah blah.

And that’s how warped we have gotten with our said influence, right, on social media and using our pain to sell people in order to, quote, build trust.

Like, if they see that I’m really emotional about this, I’m just gonna really pull on the heartstrings and they’re gonna see how tough this was for me and they can relate to me.

We have the same story, blah, blah, blah. But let’s be honest. Are we really building trust with this type of content? I argue, no. I believe it does the complete and utter opposite.

The Misconception of Building Trust Through Emotional Content on Social Media

Social media has become a platform where many use their personal struggles as a tool to connect with others, under the notion of building trust. The belief is that by exposing their emotional states and sharing their hardships, they will appeal to others’ empathy, making them relatable. However, this approach raises the question: does such content truly build trust? I would argue otherwise. This strategy often backfires, creating an effect that’s the complete opposite of building genuine trust.

And, personally, I have made fantastic relationships with people that I normally wouldn’t have ever met, interacted with, etcetera, because of social media.

It’s also kept me connected to people who I’ve known for years, but we live 1,000 of miles away from one another. And as a sidebar, I am forever grateful that my husband has never been a part of social media. Because I truly believe that when you have a relationship where both parties are involved with social media, that it’s just opening Pandora’s box for many couples.

Obviously, there are couples that have, you know, 0 issues and, you know, you would think, okay. If your relationship is that solid, that social media wouldn’t be the the straw that breaks the camel’s back. But at the end of the day, like, why even have the temptation there?

I heard a very scary statistic in church last week where the porn industry is a $92,000,000,000 industry. That’s more than ABC, CBS, and NBC combined with what they’re worth. Right? Their value.

And this to me, they’re really scary statistic is that it’s I’m pretty positive it’s 36. Because there’s definitely more than a third and a third would be 33. 36% of the content on the Internet, so that encompasses social media is pornographic.

So why even have that there? You know? Things like that can make even the strongest person start to make different decisions than they normally would if they never even saw it. And all of that aside, we know that social media is a major, major distraction.

Whether it’s people getting in car accidents because they’re dinking around on the phone, at the light, you know, you just, you know, you’re not paying attention to your kids. Right? And you certainly don’t need 2 people in a relationship consumed by that type of content.

It just makes your life easier when one has to. And quite frankly, I say this all the time, if it weren’t for my job in social selling, in network marketing, I would not have social media. I wouldn’t have it because I see how much time I spend on it. And I do this for a job.

The Shift in Social Media: From Personal Connection to E-commerce and Beyond

So for me, I consider, alright, it’s my job to research certain sounds, what’s trending, create content, etcetera. But imagine Joe Schmo, who doesn’t have any kind of income coming in from social selling. They’re literally just wasting hours and hours of their life. Wild.

But this shift social media has seen from going and sharing photos with your friends and keeping in touch to now the immersion of e-commerce and and randomly connecting with strangers who are promoting links and programs and codes has not only changed the goal of social media, which was to keep people connected in a friendly way, but it’s changed the people who are using it too.

Right now, most of what you see on social media is quite frankly transactional. When you hear the word transaction, what do you think of? And an exchange of goods and services. Right? But it can also be the interaction between 2 people, words, feelings, etcetera.

And everyone has the ability to either be a producer of content, products, whatever they may be. Or they’re on the other side of the coin. And they’re the consumer who is absorbing all of this content or heck they could be even purchasing it regularly. While we all may not be on the producing end of it, like say I am, we are all definitely consumers.

Even if you’re not clicking the links and buying what they’re selling, promoting, whatever. If you’re still following someone online, checking out their stories, reading their captions, watching their reels, and whether you know them in real life or not, you’re consuming their content. You’re the consumer.

And the algorithms of social media platforms are designed to put content that you enjoy in front of you every time you open the app. And it might not even be something that you enjoy, but it’s like you can’t help yourself.

You love watching the the family that goes on these big traveling, you know, the the traveling family, like, family of 5, and they’re living in Fiji for the winter or whatever. Right? Like, you love seeing that or you love seeing the perfect influencer with their, you know, beige aesthetic clean white kitchen. Right? Like and it’s not necessarily it’s like a dopamine hit for you, And that’s very dangerous.

As a producer, it’ll expose your brand services to the right people, hopefully. Like, they wanna buy what you’re selling, so to speak.

The Double-Edged Sword of Social Media Consumption and Production

Social media can be incredibly compelling. We find ourselves drawn to the idyllic posts of the globetrotting family of five living out their winter in Fiji, or the immaculate, aesthetically pleasing kitchen of the perfect influencer.

It’s not necessarily something we consciously enjoy, but there’s a certain dopamine hit that we get from these views into other people’s lives, which can be dangerously addictive.

On the flip side, if you’re a producer of content, this can potentially work in your favor. It can expose your brand services to the right audience – people who are interested in what you’re selling.

Right now, 80% of consumers are making buying decisions based on a friend’s social media post.

So we’re literally taking the concept of word-of-mouth to the next level by being virtual, and you’re expanding the reach exponentially. But what happens when your friend, and I’m using air quotes because maybe it’s someone you know in real life, maybe it’s someone you don’t, makes a comment that you don’t agree with, all, in 2020.

Would you judge them for not putting up a black square? Or maybe you would. You’d be like, well, there’s another sheep just doing what everyone else is doing. Right. Will you use your purchasing power to go elsewhere? That’s what I’ve personally seen in this space.

People right now are speaking with their dollars. And in a way, I can’t say I blame them, but I’m going to spend money on something. It’s gonna be for the right reasons and money right now is tight for many and don’t even get me started on inflation. I just spent $40 on a large pizza pie and a salad for 2 people tonight.

Are we kidding me? I almost fell over when he told me the total. And in speaking of all of this, like with people just kinda making these choices to either continue to follow someone or not, or purchase from this company. Oh, Nope. You know, I feel about cancel culture, but I also believe in choice.

And it’s pretty obvious that when this starts to happen, that people are going to, say, switch companies for a new one that has a product that maybe doesn’t follow a DEI agenda. I don’t know about you, but, like, I would choose Miller Lite over Bud Light.

You know, our products that you normally love, you found out that they’re made in China versus United States, or perhaps whatever the company is standing behind, whether it’s, you know, are they talking about pride month, but they made no recognition for Memorial day just a few days earlier. You know, maybe maybe these companies aren’t in alignment with your values any longer, and that’s okay.

Trust me. Companies and people show you their true colors. And most of the time, they’re just like everyone else and the government and everything else. They follow the money. They’re doing what it takes and and serving who they think is going to line their pockets.

So for example, let’s just talk about some switches. A diaper company that I’m an affiliate for EveryLifeCo. They are pro life, like not pro choice, not, oh, such and such weeks, just like no straight up pro life.

Use Code “MAREN10” to save on diapers from EveryLifeCo.

And they recognize that, hey, we’re not gonna be everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s okay because we wanna be an option for those who align with what we believe in. Another one of the companies that I support in our home and I am an ambassador for is doctor Greenlife, aka doctor Green Mom.

Use code “MAREN10” to save on products from Dr. Greenlife

She had to change the name of her products because FDA was coming after her on her, quote, unquote, claims for holistic methods. So she had to separate her 2 websites, but it’s doctor Greenbaum. And all of her products are made in the USA. Made in the USA, not packaged in the USA, not, you know, made.

And I support her and her mission because she’s a pediatrician who believes in the parent’s choice when it comes to vaccinations, methods that they’re treating their child with when they’re sick. You know, there’s so many options out there with products and goods, but what about, like, something deeper rooted, like I was somehow with the relationship.

Navigating Value Shifts in Long-term Professional Relationships

So it’s very easy to say, oh, I’m gonna swap this in for that. But what about a person? Right? Because that’s a little more personal. And some of the relationships you have can be long standing, whether it’s someone that you followed a long time on social media, maybe you have conversed with them.

Maybe it’s someone that you’ve worked with in a mentorship setting and there could even be a contract with that person. Or if you’re involved with network marketing and you’ve had a specific upline, whether they’ve been your business mentor or your upline as far as, like, they introduce you to the products, right, and you’ve been a loyal customer.

So you’ve been connected to them for years. Like, what about when you see a shift in their values? What do you do? You know? And how do you feel about that? Because do you feel like hoodwinked? Because were those values of theirs really there the whole time and they’re just kind of revealing them to you.

Either way, I’m encouraging you to evaluate said relationships, and I want you to be okay with setting boundaries and moving on. And, and maybe even cutting them off.

Now, I’m not talking about dropping a mentor or switching teams in your network marketing company, because you feel like your upline is, you know, at a point where they over promised you and under delivered because you need to be held accountable to a certain extent.

Meaning, first of all, did you really do your research on this person before signing up with them? Or were you enticed by the shiny object syndrome of some flashy reel they made?

Chances are it’s the latter, which is what’s gonna lead me to my next call out, which is you still need to do the work. There is no magic sauce in business and a mentor can work with you all they want.

But if you’re not taking action and are just spinning your wheels and then projecting your lack of success onto them, I can’t say I blame them for redirecting their attention to other leaders who are doing the work.

Because if you wanna be successful in network marketing, social selling life, you have to take action. You have to do the things that they’re telling you. And I have seen a lot of movement from people in the last 4 years, especially within my network marketing business and also in social selling, whether it’s flip flopping from this leader to that, switching companies.

One minute, someone’s talking all about this purple tea that they loved and create all these reels with, got people on board with blah, blah.

And then they’re like, oh, yeah. I don’t use it anymore. But here, now I’m a part of this. Now I drink something pink. So I have seen that a lot. And and I have personally had people unfollow me on social media, or they’ve canceled their accounts with me, like, through, Beachbody because they didn’t like my personal viewpoints and my political stances and and whatnot.

And I can’t say I blame them because I believe that in order for a relationship to work, you do need to be in alignment. And there are certain topics that many of us, myself included, just can’t get past, you know, as a leader, I’m not gonna hop on a mentorship call or the, you know, team call, whatever you wanna call it, people who are connected to me and I’m their leader, I’m not gonna go on and pretend to be something I’m not.

I don’t wanna walk on eggshells. But also, I respect the fact that because I am so outspoken on most things, that it’s okay that I may not be someone’s cup of tea. So they can move on to someone else that they feel more comfortable with.

You know, it could whether it’s politics, your faith, I mean, whatever. Right? Just use as an example. I had a very successful coach on my team, and she was on my team for a few years. And I was aligned with her in so many ways, so many ways. I mean, our parents knew one another and worked with one another for years.

We just had so much in common. But I know that my faith and then her ideals were truly one of the major breaking points of why she quit my team. You know, I’m a follower of Jesus, and she called God a woman. I mean, it’s kind of a deal breaker for both of us, but I respected her decision because we all have our own boundaries and she had every right to go off and do her own thing.

I also worked with a particular mentor for years, 1 on 1, and I specifically signed up with him because of his faith, and the fact that he was trained by one of my favorite personal development gurus, John C. Maxwell. But when he made shifts in his personal life and his family that weren’t in line with mine, it was a wake up call.

You know, it’s pretty difficult for both parties to you know, whether you’re the mentor or the client, like for the client to be very much against a lifestyle that the mentor’s child is leading.

And that just shows that’s that’s choice on both sides. I knew for both of us, it was time to move on. If you don’t know what your values are and how they make you be that person that you are, you’re in trouble.

And I don’t know where you fall on that spectrum. But what I do know is regardless of what’s important to you, whether you share all of the same values of me or you don’t, is that you you need to have deep roots in what makes you, you, and why?

Because if you don’t know what makes you, you, and why, like I said, they don’t have to be in agreement with what I do or anyone else, quite frankly. It’s all about you. If you don’t know that, you’re gonna have major mis alignment in life.

And you need to understand what you care about and have an outlet for those values. If you don’t have a clear idea on what you stand for, who you are, it’s going to lead to behaviors that you may not even be consciously aware of, and it will negatively impact your overall health.

The Impact of Trend-chasing on Social Media Influencers’ Relationships

I see it happening to social media influencers all the time. All the time. They flow like the wind, follow, like, whatever’s trending at the moment. You know, your typical front running sports fans, and they’re not rooted in anything substantial. And then this carries over to these very surface relationships that they have with people online.

Then, when times get rough and the likes, the comments, the follows, whatever slow down, or worse, they become negative to the person or they criticize them for x y z, or they’re attacking in the DMs.

These people, they go off the deep end. I know that if I wasn’t so rooted in who I am as a person and who God called me to be, the messages that I received, especially in 2020, 2021, 2022, they’ve cooled off a bit because I’ve kinda pulled back from a lot of the things that I talk about just for my own personal reasons.

If I wasn’t as rooted in who I am as a person, I could totally see how that would make me spiral completely spiral.

And I tell my clients all the time too much has given much as expected. You need to be ready on a personal level at any time, any point in time.

Like if you’re making the commitment to do social selling online, you you need to be ready that the next reel you make could go viral. Because literally, you never know. Okay? And while you may have a ton of followers, they’re sharing it, they’re liking it, they’re saving it, yada yada.

You’re also gonna have a ton of haters. But if you know who you are, then comments from people online are not gonna make you question yourself as a person, what you stand for, and who God called you to be.

But the most important thing is you have to have that in place first. Because if you don’t, you’re majorly putting yourself at risk for destruction. Because like I said, no one knows when you’re gonna become Instagram famous.

No one knows when that reel is gonna pop off, yada yada yada. There’s literally no rhyme or reason with that stupid app. But what I encourage you is you gotta know who you are.

So when it does happen, because it very might well that you are confident in who you are, that you will let all of that water brush off your shoulders like a duck.

And once you know who you are and what you stand for, I also want you to have a clear way to measure your success rather than the things that really don’t matter, like the comments, the likes, yada, yada, yada.

Celebrating Small Wins and Practicing Gratitude Daily

What is the bigger picture for you? Focus on your day to day. Like, think about how you eat an elephant… one bite at a time. So what if you journaled your wins? Yes. Your big ones can be in there, but, like, focus on your small wins of the day because it’s those small wins that lead to the big win.

And it also allows you to practice gratitude, which I tell you to do every single day. I know for me, and I have literally been doing this for over a decade.

It can feel on a lot of days, a lot of days that I’m not quote making a difference. Right? But a lot of that connection is me having to reprogram myself in a way because especially in the early days of network marketing and all of that, I was programmed that success equated to the recognition.

The walking across stage, the waving the stupid flag, your lanyard down to your knees, but also just in life… and the financial wins. And that has nothing to do with social selling network marketing. That’s just kinda how we view in general.

How’s how’s someone doing? Well, what are their finances like? What kind of car do they drive? What kinda neighborhood do they live in? Where did they go to school? Blah, blah, blah. Right? And I have to consciously remind myself of the bigger picture.

Yes. Money is important. I’m not denying that. I do everything in my power to earn as much as I can with not letting it affect my family in a negative way or my own personal health.

But impact is much more important. I’m sure you’ve heard the quote, like, when you die, no one’s gonna ask how much money was in your bank account or how many hours you worked that week.

They wanna know what did you do with your life? What are your loved ones think about you? And whenever I start to feel down, I feel like God gives me this little nudge, a sign if you will, that the work that I’m doing matters.

In fact, I actually received an email today from someone who had found my Rogan podcast, where I talk all about informed consent, I share my story, I go over the inserts, etcetera. And she sent me this thank you note and told me how she was opting to not get the shot.

And she ended her email by telling me because of you and and your podcast and all the information that it contains that she quote, feels much more confident and empowered advocating for herself at the birth center when she goes in for her next appointment. Thank you. You may have honestly saved me and my baby’s life and our future well-being.

I mean, how freaking humbling is that? Right? Seeing those kinds of messages.

And I truly believe that if we all create a more content that was about the person consuming it versus what does this do for us? How is this gonna align our pockets? I think we would be better off.

Right now, if you’re a content creator, I want you to give yourself a gut check.

Are you doing that for your followers? Or is the content you’re creating you’re creating because you’re getting paid?

And to all of my friends who are new to the social selling space, please start with free content. I know it’s easy to be hyper focused on where this is all going to lead.

Are you gonna amass a large following? Will you hit those financial goals you set for yourself, but focus on people first?

Because your rewards will pay off in dividends if you do. And if you’re the consumer, are the people you follow doing this for you?

Are they providing you with true content that is helping you make better decisions and is it free?

Or are you a transaction to them? And I encourage you to vet these people. What are the conversations you have with them like online? Are they real? Are they even answering you?

Because, heck, sometimes people, like, straight up don’t answer. Because, you know, time is precious invested in the people who look out for you and they want to have a true relationship with you. So I’m encouraging you whether you’re the producer or you’re the consumer to really kind of sit back and think about the content and who it’s coming from.

And if you wanna learn more about content creation, how to build your social media, create sustainable relationships with people that will allow you to monetize your online presence and more, well, I encourage you to look into my 90 day live group coaching program.

It’ll help you get real with your content, stop wasting your time, and in turn, start making income. Not some boring modules you’ll never watch, nor am I asking you to drop money and never hear from me again. No, thank you.

But actual help that is unique to your income goals and your industry from someone who has been building multiple streams of income for over a decade.

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If you wanna get more of this type of content, make sure you follow me on Instagram at @macrowley. And if you love this episode, let me know by tagging me on IG or even leaving a podcast review. See you next week.

Maren Crowley

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