You Need To Learn How To Poop In Your Bed


bedDid 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.

Poop Journal:

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

Keeping it real: Pooping is a fun topic to write silly blog posts about, but for most folks its no laughing matter. But, don’t worry there are ways that we can change that.

[photo credit]

Your Comments

  • netmeg

    Now that’s what I call an attention grabbing headline.

    And the post fulfills its promise and more. Go Joe!


  • rishil

    Can I add No.4? If you aren’t the Social type in real life, and don’t actually know how to respond to people without sounding like you are reading from a teleprompter while suffering from constipation (like how I kept to the post theme?), find someone in your business with at least a shred of personality and easy bowel movements.

  • David Hackett

    Nice one Joe. I agree with you that fear and loathing of the unknown is stopping relatively intelligent people from succeeding using social media. I’m beginning to address the same issues in my blog – specifically to older ad creatives like myself. Good point too on finding everything you need to learn right there in the googles.

  • Dawn Wentzell

    no one wants to eat in the same place that they poop

    For the record, rabbits actually do eat & poop in the same place. In fact, they poop while eating.

    I know, I’m full of useful information.

  • Rhea Drysdale

    The opening is a bit jarring, but it does a great job of illustrating your point. I can’t imagine (perhaps now I can) the mental and physical shift you’d need to break a lifetime of behavior. Social media can certainly feel just as uncomfortable to many companies and individuals. I’m still amazed by how many people I know are scared of not just social media, but the Internet in general and even email. I have an uncle who refuses to have even a paper trail!

    Something as foreign as social media to a company that still relies on brochures and billboards, is difficult to understand, trust and throw marketing dollars into. I can’t count the number of inquiries we get that start out with, “We heard that we need to do social media. We need a Twitter and Facebook. Can you make that for us?” Those conversations aren’t just scary for the customers, but us as well given the sheer amount of education needed to bring everyone up to speed and find a social media plan that’s right for them.

    Great post, I hope everyone makes it through the opening. :)

    • joehall

      I will admit after re reading it a 5th or 6th time, the opening is a bit in your face, but that’s just how I roll!

      When I worked as an in house IM manager for a real estate company it seemed like everyday I would meet an agent that didn’t want to get on the internet for fear of the unknown….It made my job both hard and rewarding especially after helping those scared ones succeed!

    • Alan Bleiweiss

      A bit jarring?

      Rhea, It was almost unbearable to read! Yet I’m glad I stayed with it! Joe is brilliant. Simply brilliant.

  • Todd Mintz

    A wonderfully written post showing how a forced “disruptive” event can be the catalyst for positive change.

  • Maranda Gibson

    Wonderful. We’re often put in positions where we can’t think we can do something but have to instead think about what we can do to get ourselves mentally prepared for something. We don’t always think that we can get through something, but we do. It’s also a great thought on the power of our own brains, to both propel us forward and hold us back.

  • Daniel Redman

    This is both a vile & endearing post. It sort of makes me wish that poop was more widely embraced as a source of inspiration. We were born with the natural instinct to get that business done. It’s humbling to think that no matter who you are, from what corner of the globe, and whatever level of fame or reclusiveness, you gotta poop. We ALL must commit to the expulsion of disgusting waste from our body. It’s liberating and humanizing!

    Good work, Joe. This post is the shit.

  • Technical Support Atlanta

    Some things are better left unsaid. I envision a world where we don’t have to talk openly and freely about unpleasant things. That being said, I appreciate the attention grabbing, good marketing, affect of your subject.

  • Andrea Mercado

    You got my attention! Love the analogy. And yes, you can’t avoid it, it’s here to stay. If you don’t get involved with social media now you risk the loss of opportunity. How much is that worth to you?

  • Aiza

    I definitely agree with that Joe! I’m not one of the companies using social media but then every business that you will open is really scary and makes you worried if your business will work or you will earn a lot to that.. But it’s you that will make it work if you will work hard and do your very best.. Nice blog Joe!

  • Megan Pewter

    Honestly I got curious with the title that’s why I ended up reading everything! Thanks for sharing.

  • Mattress Maniac

    This title grabbed my attention ! hahah It is great. All of it, from the title to the post, and everything in between. Thanks for a great read, i’ll be back!