Is Your Brain Broken? A Case Against the Natural Evolution of Social Media Culture
This week I met with a brain trainer. Yep, Kevin Leahy of Knowledge Advocate, LLC, here in Austin, teaches people how to understand and use their brains better. I am about to take his multi-week course on improving my brain (and ultimately, me as well as my life). Lock up your children – my brain is about to be on the loose!
All kidding aside, Kevin is a fascinating man. He has studied the brain and its effects on our performance and relationships for over 10 years. He talks about brain chemistry and crazy sounding brain parts like the amygdala and the thalamus. He explains the connections between motivation, movement, and emotions. Fantastically cool stuff.
Before you write this post off as another self-indulgent expose’ about my life, know this – yes, this affects you too.
Your brain may be your best kept secret weapon. Learning to use it better could be a phenomenal opportunity, so keep listening, ok? How you use your brain, and how your social media fans and customers use theirs, has impact. As a side note, Kevin believes that most of us do not have distinct command of managing our brains. Tempting to add a sarcastic *DUH* here, but it’s too easy, don’t you think?
My Brain is Broken
For me, my conversation with Kevin indicates that perhaps my brain is kind of broken. Not by our entirely entertaining and informative conversation, but rather because I don’t help my brain do a good job. I make it hard on my brain by not paying enough attention to the way it works. Instead I make seemingly reasonable assumptions that basically ignore the huge melon inside my skull. Well, I do wear a helmet on my scooter, so I am not completely negligent, but overall, I don’t give my brain much thought. No, that irony is not lost on me.
Could Knowledge Help?
This got me thinking – to what extent do our broken and unmanaged brains affect our ability to be good social media citizens? How, if we took some time to do the enigmatic and esoteric work like brain training, could we more kick butt at what we are trying to accomplish in our work?
Do you think that perhaps being more aware of how brains work could shift things in your favor? I’m voting yes.
A Social Culture Built By Broken Brains
So, for me, here’s the case I feel growing against the “natural” evolution of the social media culture. It’s likely being build by broken brains. It’s being built on faulty premises, knee jerk reactions, misinformation, half truths, and a chemical bath high in anxiety, fear, and competitive angst. It’s looking to the past and struggling to get out of the rut of tradition.
Is ROI a Broken Brain Compulsion?
The rabid search for ROI in social media is one example of what I mean. Do you think the person who invented the wheel could make a very good ROI case for their invention? Me thinks not. Perhaps you feel uncomfortable comparing the impact of social media to the development of mankind to the wheel. But, don’t the best inventions and discoveries evolve over time to demonstrate their true value?Why not social and the culture it’s spurring? It’s something to ponder, IMO.
Play With Your Brain
I am asking questions more here than answers because I am not sure. My brain is broken, after all, right? I think I know that perception is different for all of us. I think I know that perception is what determines our “truth”. I think I know that Truth (the capital T kind) is something many people are very wrapped up in pursuing. I think I know that authenticity, trust, and engagement – BIG concepts that surround the social media culture – are all touched by what each of us believes is true. How our brains work drives much of this. If your brain is broken too, it’s possible we are not building the strongest foundation.
So, play with your brain. It might very well show you things you never imagined.
Til next time!
Vicki @Smartwoman Flaugher
[graphic by TEDxPioneerValley2012]