When talking to my business colleagues, in every quarter, I hear a common complaint: there is a paucity of civility and courtesy in daily discourse.
To wit: People no longer feel obligated to return phone calls and respond to emails — either in a timely manner or at all.
It’s the new norm. And, those who detest it feel helpless to fix it.
There was a time in our society, not that long ago, when such boorish behavior would get one ostracized and shunned.
Despite a dearth of public shaming, aloof oafs unwittingly devalue their firms’ brands and themselves, as the ignored parties harbor silent resentment, retaliate anonymously, and shop elsewhere.
Pretending that the aforementioned is irrelevant fantasy will both exacerbate and effect the consequences of this malady. Take it seriously.
Isolated & Desensitized
What’s going on? Are the boors too busy or unaware of these consequences?
No, they just don’t give a crap. Chalk it up to an apathetic culture.
Three intertwined causes of this widespread apathy:
Spending time on social media, akin to submerging oneself in a sensory-deprivation tank, leaves one isolated and desensitized — unable to perceive, feel, and communicate with real human beings.
I call this callous condition social mediapathy (mee-dee-APP-uh-thee).
There’s a double entendre at play here. Apathy means lack of feeling, which is rampant and ubiquitous. The suffix “pathy” means disease or disorder (neuropathy: damaged nerves). We have a damaged culture.
Either way, social mediapathy, a true scourge, nails the condition.
Examples of Social Mediapathy:
Know Your Audience
Why should you care about social mediapathy?
Branding, the CEO’s #1 responsibility, is based on appealing to adult emotions. Alas, it’s tough to conceive and execute a branding strategy when the target audience is infantilized and continuously regressing.
Newsflash: Branding success requires a smart audience.
It is no coincidence that many in your audience — and probably within your company — are now obsessed, to put it mildly, with artificial intelligence, driverless cars, robots for sex, emojis in lieu of emotions, refrigerators that automatically order food, and selfies.
Anything connected to the Internet can and will get hacked. Yet, the tech evangelists preach, and the lemmings believe, that more Internet (and dependence) is better.
The absence of common sense necessarily accompanies the death of critical thinking and self-reliance.
Man-in-the-street interviews continuously reveal how little Americans know about history, current events (other than the latest Kardashian trash), and civics — despite having all of that information at their fingertips.
Parting Advice to CEOs
About the Author
Marc Rudov is a branding advisor to CEOs,
producer of MarcRudovTV, and author of the book,
Be Unique or Be Ignored: The CEO’s Guide to Branding.
© 2016 Marc H. Rudov. All Rights Reserved.