A Strategy for Goodfluencers
The white balance is set to natural light. The timer beeps 12,11,10,9…
Her profile is partially revealed. Golden hair is pulled forth to both sides of trendy, apparel-clad shoulders. Her hands, they come to rest at the nape of her neck and then tuck perfectly combed hair behind her ears. With tender orchestration, the moment is captured and shared on social media.
All across the nation, blogger/social media posters use the art of storytelling. They share what clothes they wore, the food they ate, and the trips they took. They inspire us to eat healthier, see the world, and empower ourselves through style.
Yet, at a Palm Beach Tech Association meeting in Florida, an attendee raised his hand and asked the speaker from a well-funded tech start-up how he could keep his young daughter from becoming another gender inequality statistic.
Moments before, presenter Sakina Groth, Director of Product Management at Magic Leap ran through real-world, gloomy data on women in the technology workplace. What she said, in a dismal nutshell, is that highly-educated, talented women are dropping out from what should be lucrative careers in the male-dominated industry. She made a compelling case for how much more successful companies were with women in leadership roles, but the data she shared showed that women were still leaving in droves.
Groth looked at the audience member and paused. Then, without further reticence, she said that he should keep his daughter off of Instagram. It wasn’t a jab directed at the social media giant. Rather, it was a reference to the time-consuming distraction that unchecked surfing, posting and shopping play in robbing a girl of her future.
Groth was talking about tech careers, but having worked in the finance, fashion and women’s empowerment industries, I knew that the problem went beyond a single sector–it affected generations. Every dollar spent on a consumer product that targets an unattainable beauty standard is a dollar less spent on acquiring a fixed asset that could appreciate in value, create wealth, and be passed down for generations.
So how does a blogger/social media lady (or gentleman) benefit the world? Here is a ‘Goodfluencer’ strategy.
- Understand that it is okay to shop and have a sense of style, just don’t succumb to it. In the words of the late Maya Angelou, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive, and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
- Don’t box yourself into fashion and beauty. Fields as diverse as science and technology can benefit from outside voices and the world’s problems need collaboration and creativity across industries. Attend local town halls and ask elected officials to support the causes that you love.
- Start reading up on and becoming a subject matter expert in topics that interest you.
- Find inspiration for your unique, social good drumbeat by watching or attending the big 3: MCON, the Mashable Social Good Summit, and the Digital Media Zone at the United Nations. If you can’t attend one of these events, be sure to mark your calendar and watch live streams. You can also view past videos on their websites. Also, check for other events in your community and be brave. If you are curious about an industry but don’t have in-depth knowledge, know that your participation still counts.
- Incorporate the Iroquois’ 7 Generation principle of sustainability. Ask yourself, “Does this action help seven generations into the future?” Do you really need that new blouse for a photo shoot, or can you save it towards something more rewarding, like a 3% first time home buyer down payment on a house? Would you be better off investing that money in a business or in social impact bonds?
- Surf and post responsibly. Think of the good actions that you would like to inspire people to take. And watch how much time you spend digesting empty-calorie content on the web.
- Encourage and reward vendors whose products or services don’t align with your values to improve their products. An ongoing, two-way dialogue shares in their transformation.