Have you been on Twitter lately? Seriously. Have you? It has become a rage machine unequalled in our collective experience. Even normally docile LinkedIn users occasionally slip into snipe-fests with other users. Facebook is hopeless. And don’t read the comments section of any news article if you want to retain a pleasant mood. We seem to have utterly lost the ability to have a meaningful and respectful conversation without resorting to name calling, tribalism, and anger.
For marketers, social networks have become poisonous traps for well-meaning messages and strategies. I know several advising their clients to avoid the risk entirely. I’ve done it myself. And if marketers can’t make money there, those networks will eventually cease to exist. Sorry everyone, that’s just the truth. Advertisers pay for us to argue politics and share cat videos.
I’m not naive. I realize that our issues are bigger (and much more important) than a fictional television character. But fiction has an important role in our society – one of those is to show us models for how to behave. How to be strong, but flexible. How to disagree, without being disagreeable. How to stand up for yourself, and how to admit you were wrong.
Right now, we really need the example of Jean-Luc Picard. I’m glad he’s coming back.
Photo credit: Fire Wire blog