Did you know the vast majority of mammals will define three separate locations that are vital to their daily survival? A place to sleep. A place to eat. And a place to poop. Each one of these specific locations are separate and unique. When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense, no one wants to eat in the same place that they poop, and the same for where they sleep. Now eating and sleeping are extremely important but today I’d like to talk mostly about pooping.
In America there is a small industry centered around the education of our young in the art of using the toilet. At a very young age we are brainwashed into accepting the toilet as a friend that is vital to our daily existence.
So it may be a surprise to many when I say that you need to learn to poop in your own bed. That’s right, I believe in order to understand social media marketing you need to pinch a loaf between the sheets. But first a little bit of a back story is needed…
Almost 2 months ago I fractured my femur. (Don’t worry, breaking bones is kinda my thing.) The femur is the bone that connects the knee and the hip. You know that place where you rest your beer when reaching for the channel changer. Casting a femur is pretty pointless because of its close proximity to the hip. As a result my doctor gave me a healthy prescription of Darvocet and told me to stay in bed for four to six weeks.
Staying in bed for four weeks means eating, sleeping, and pooping in the same place. Yep that’s right, I said pooping. In order to heal my broken leg, I had to use a bedpan for several weeks.
Now, I have never had to use a bedpan before. In the past when injuring myself I have always figured out a way to get to the toilet. But, this time around I didn’t have a choice, if my leg was going to heal I was going to have to learn how to poop in my bed.
If you have ever used a bedpan you will be able to sympathize with my plight. I could go on in great graphic detail about why using a bed pan is just wrong. Instead, I want to talk about the mental process I went through to poop in my bed.
Day 1: Is this thing turned the right way? Why is it so damn cold? I can’t do this while looking at my pillow. [throws pillow on the floor] This is not at all like a toilet! Screw this I will hold it, and try again tomorrow!
Day 2: This is definitely still not a toilet! Why is this thing still cold?? Oh man, I shouldn’t have eaten that second hot dog last night. Ok, try to relax, take some deep breathes and close your eyes. I can do this…. Oh crap! I can’t do this! This is insane! I can’t crap in my own bed!!
Day 3: What the hell have I gotten myself into! THIS IS NOT A TOILET! THIS IS NOT A TOILET! I WANT MORE DARVOCET!
Ok, so to save you the further insanity that is my mental process, I will stop here and say that finally on day 4 I found success and used the bedpan. I am not really sure how I was able to finally do it, (I subconsciously erased it from my memory) but I am pretty sure it entailed deep breathing and some type of booze.
Using the bedpan required an extreme shift in psychology. It forced me to do something uncomfortable and reject a fundamental daily habit that I had cultivated over my entire life. But, doing so has made me a slightly more rounded human being, and better prepared to adapt to future changes out of my control.
Its Time you Took A Poop In Your Bed Social Media
For many companies, using social media for the first time is a lot like using a bedpan. Its scary, in many ways it goes against what has been considered the fundamentals of corporate communication. But, like the bedpan, social media may be vital to your company’s future health.
Since 1440, when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, information has flowed to the masses on a one way street. Everything from print media to broadcast technology has thrived on the ability to push ideas and information to their audiences with out the reprisal of incoming ideas. This model of information distribution has worked great for those that have wanted to control the dialogue and mold public perception. Many of the large traditional marketing and PR agencies have mastered this medium and are now starting to find discomfort in new media models that use distributed channels with information that flows from all directions. To these agencies and corporations, they are trying out the bedpan for the first time and have no idea what they are doing.
One of the biggest reasons they are lost is because they are starting to realize that in social media, no one person has complete control over the dialogue. Sure they can hire folks like Lisa to steer the dialogue in the right direction. But, ultimately social forces can make or break a company’s success. Letting go of control is a complete shift in psychology. It undermines their notion of communication, one that is linear and defined by hegemonic power structures. Social media on the other hand is defined by decentralized communication, egalitarian power structures, and reciprocal communication. In essence social media is an extreme paradigm shift from old school media.
Social media runs contrary to almost every aspect of traditional media. Because of that old school media types are feeling nervous, scared and unsure about how to approach things. To put it simply they are sitting on the bedpan for the first time and have no idea what to do. But the truth is social media isn’t going away. Sure it might change its name. People might go back to calling it “the Internet” again, but at the end of the day the landscape of information exchange has forever changed.
So, if you are an old media type that is reading this and wondering how best should you use this social media bedpan. Here’s the best advice I can give:
- Do your research. Surprisingly there is tons of information and case studies about what works and what doesn’t. Read up on everything and make notes of things that you think will work for your corporation.
- When in doubt, call in an expert! There’s nothing wrong with asking for a little help. When it comes to social media, there seems to be an expert around every corner! Be wary, most of these hooligans aren’t the best pick. But there are some extremely talented folks in this small emerging industry that understand both the technical and marketing sides to social media.
- Stop worrying and start doing. While some might disagree with me on this point. I believe that the absolute worst thing that any company can do with social media is ignore it. Ignoring social media is like ignoring the bedpan you can pretend that its not there, but doing so can cause a big mess later! Even if you aren’t publicly using social media, developing social media monitoring strategies and establishing a presences can drastically help when issues arise.
So, there you have it! If you are still staring at the bedpan of social media avoiding the inevitable, its time you grit your teeth and get your business done! Otherwise, you might suffer later, or worse make a nasty mess!