And so it begins

by sarahtwonames

A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care” – from Manual of Muad’Dib by the Princess Irulan

If you have a look at my about page you’ll see I didn’t actually expect to be here. But on that fateful day this summer when I got introduced to social media, I was initiated into a world that I found truly fascinating.

Yes, I, a “millennial”, just used the phrase “introduced to social media”. At the grand old age of 22.  And why I have I been so late the social media party? For me, as much as I see its value as a tool for keeping in touch with friends, I consider Facebook as what the wonderful IT Crowd called “fiendface” – a platform which opens up the slippery slope of unhealthy narcissism and voyeurism. And I have nominal interest in what celebrities have to say via a small blue bird. Although since getting to the party I have found that Twitter makes it a breeze to share and find interesting content and it’s a great medium for talking to total strangers (read September Squares). I’m still not sold on Facebook. If I want to know about your life I will either a) ask you face to face or b) e-mail/text you. #oldschool. Same goes for Instagram et al.

Given my general dislike of social media for personal use, why do I find its commercial application, and by extension digital marketing, so darned interesting? I think it’s going from the micro to the macro. Instead of the small communities formed by school friends, offices etc, digital marketing deals with many communities which, by one way or another, are linked to one another i.e. the digital ecosystem. Getting thrown into the jungle has turned me into some kind of David Attenborough, intrigued by the digital flora and fauna, how they think, react and thrive.

So the Squared Online course is a chance for this digital naturalist to go from bumbling amateur armed only with a slightly knackered pair of binoculars she found in the loft into a full-blown Jane Goodall. Complete with my own chimpanzee society. It’s also a chance for me to get into the ethics of marketing. As a Christian, I have a serious problem with how some marketing campaigns rely upon low self-esteem and perpetuating body shame (see Special K’s “What will you gain when you lose?” campaign).

My own personal moral code is part of why I never expected to be considering the marketing game as a career. But since starting my social media journey and delving into some of Squared’s course materials, I am beginning to see a way forward for this pilgrim.

p.s. Don’t worry, I have no plans for doing this.