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Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde and Social Media

I have never understood social media. As the only male in a family of volatile women social media was the gasoline to their pile of smoldering unresolved issues. Growing up with more of a bury it rather than deal with it approach, social media provided the passive aggressive vehicle needed to exchange character flaws and “constructive criticism” with each other (and the world). From my perspective no good ever comes from social media.

Now that I am part of an indie game app company with a next to nothing marketing budget, social media is vital to our survival. Social media helps us increase our exposure and learn about our audience. And when we pay for services, there is no more effective way of marketing than social media, specifically Facebook. Facebook ads allow us to target very specific demographics and the payment structure is based on results. For us, the bang for the buck can’t be beat by any other medium.

In my personal life I still resist social media in every way. Hell, my parents are more active on social media than me. Not being part of it brings out my “off my lawn” inner old man. Sometimes I think maybe I should join the fray just to have a forum to share coupons, my favorite westerns, and hand watering tips. In the end I resist the temptation. Usually a family social media flare-up is all that is needed to quiet the “maybe just once” Mr. Hyde inner voices. Dr. Jekyll prevails…. until I go to work.

Every morning on the way to work I guzzle the social media elixir and summon Mr. Hyde. He starts and ends every day on social media. Obsessed with creating new content and gaining positive feedback he is defined by the numbers. The number of friends, followers, views, likes, retweets, shares, engagements, clicks, tags and comments can make his day. Conversely, a negative comment or friend reduction can ruin the best of moods. Like a fifteen year old addicted to instant gratification, he repeatedly checks and re-checks the various accounts to monitor changes. Sometimes he will even stalk social media friends to see what they are up to or what their friends’ friends are doing. From Jekyll’s perspective… Hyde is completely f’d up.

Social media Hyde can judge social media Jekyll and vice versa, but the debate they each crave never happens due to the mutual exclusivity that allows them both to co-exist. While Jekyll hates social media and the excessive drama it creates with misinterpretations and context, Hyde loves its effectiveness and instant gratification. Each with valid points, but unwilling to cross or even approach the line drawn in the social media sand.

There really isn’t a way to reconcile both without acknowledging the hypocrisy. Hypocrisy of the highest magnitude. Maybe acknowledgement is the first step to finding a cohesive balance between the two? Jekyll is disgusted at the thought of any social media compromise. Hyde is indifferent, all he can think about is how many likes this blog will get once posted to Twitter.