Too much distraction from social media? You are not alone. A research conducted by an American media research firm found that more than two-thirds of Gen Z actually feel they have too much distraction from social media. Is the generation that grew up with social media fed up with it? Some pundits will have you believe that teenagers and young adults are leading the trend for curtailing the use of social media or ditching it all together. Stop using social media apps and you are freed?
Not so fast. Everytime you use your credit card, turn on your TV, stream music, watch a movie online, use your cell phone, or drive your car, you contribute to the world connected by big data, the stuff that drives many industries including the social media business. You may not be an active participant, but will continue to be a passive participant, unless of course, you intend to live the rest of your life in a cave and hunt for food with tools you make from stuff you find in the forest. Then again, once you are tagged in a photo, you are screwed.
One of the reasons why some of us look at social media in a negative light is because of the way we engage ourselves with social media. Most of us are not active participants. Rather, we are re-active participants who, for the most part, respond to others’ posts, streams, comments, videos, images, etc. Of course, that is part of the nature of human social interaction. Also not all of us have the time, energy, drive or passion to be actively engaged in social media. After all, we weren’t all born to be influencers. But, what if we can get some sense of actively engaging yourself in the use of social media?
Many lifestyle thinkers in the western world have started to explore the concept of “Ikigai”, a Japanese word that means more or less “the reason for being”. They believe that “ikigai” contributes to the longevity of the Japanese people. The components of “ikigai” can be easily illustrated if you do a quick Google search for the term.
Making money online: Ideas and methods
Generally speaking technology exists and continues to advance in order to make certain activities less burdensome or more efficient, with the ultimate goal to improve our lives. While I can immediately point out few negative things, the internet has made a whole world of good in a variety of ways. For example, while the internet may have eliminated some jobs, it also created job opportunities that never existed before.
There are hundreds of thousands of people who don’t even leave the house, yet make decent money though the use of or with the help of the internet. There are housewives with young children who sell products on Amazon.com. There are language tutors who teach students on a different continent. There are teenager influencers who make millions from their posts and videos.
Forbes magazine, when publishing the 30 under 30, a list of young influencers in 2017, found that 57% of them started their business to solve a problem, and 27% responded they wanted their business to change the world. If you see “ikigai” as their driving force, you are on to something. But most of us just don’t think we have something that is useful to others.
Teenagers, Students, Businesses: A solution for all
If you look at the “ikigai” chart online, it quickly becomes obvious that you need to know things you love, things you are good at and how your knowledge and skills can be of use to others. It is also important to know your worth in the world.
Teenagers and students used to perform unskilled jobs such as delivering newspapers, mowing lawns, or babysitting in order to make money between classes or school terms. Newspapers are published in digital format and the climate change is forcing people to switch to more drought resistant or sustainable plants. They may not have marketable skills or knowledge in a traditional sense, but they often have strong love for something. Also teenagers and young adults are often at the forefront of new technologies. Identifying an activity that satisfy the elements of “ikigai” for teenagers and students shouldn’t be too difficult, as evidenced by many young entrepreneurs who are actively working in the realm of the internet.
Businesses, in the meantime, need to stand out in the marketplace through effective use of the internet, because simply offering unique products or services isn’t going to get them to the targeted market in an efficient and effective way. You are in the business because you believe that you are offering something of a value. One way to differentiate your products and services is to make them personal, to tell your story through your products and services. The best way to do this is to use social media to connect with clients. Unless you are offering products or services so unique nobody else has, it is the one of the most effective differentiation tools available. Engaging with existing and prospective clients to let them understand that you have a personal stake in what is offered through your business will give that special touch.
Free to download apps to make money online
You can start your own career as an influencer if you have the right stuff - talent, passion and purpose, in addition to willingness to commit to your goals. To get started, you should take an inventory of your life - what you enjoy doing, what you are good at, and what you can do with it to make others happier. Many influencers and successful professionals have that special aura, because I believe, they have found “ikigai” in what they do. I see no better way to leverage social media in one’s life.
There are many free to download apps that will help you make money online, such as iPoll, SwagBuck, Surveys on the Go, and Google Opinion Rewards, which compensate you for participating in surveys, and SlideJoy and AppTrailer, which compensates for you for looking at some ads, etc. These are a good start, but your contributions are buried among many others. There are apps, such as Callmart, which let you combine what you love, what you are good at, and what people need and make money, as part of your pursuit of your “ikigai” in a personal, more engaging and meaningful way. By making yourself, your talent and your time available for the whole world, I am sure you will inch toward the center of “ikigai” chart one call at a time.
However you feel about the role of social media in our society, it will continue to evolve to ostensibly make our world a better place to live. If you aren’t one of those people who’ve decided to move into a remote cave somewhere, it might be a good time to look at how you see the role of social media in your life and how you want to engage yourself to ensure that the use of social media contributes to a better life for you, and for others as well.