I’ve made a rather interesting observation with regards to our digital journey. In recent years, we have had many entrants into the creative digital space whether it’s in the form of blogging, vlogging or just use of social media to showcase one’s passion projects or as a way to build their social presence and influence. It’s fascinating to see how much we’ve grown in terms of our digital uptake in comparison to how we were say even 7 years ago. How we are now so receptive to this concept of digital and the impact it has on our bottom line from both a personal and commercial point of view. I won’t even go into numbers because I am too lazy to conduct any form of research as of this moment.
I mean, every other brand now has digital as top of mind channel when it comes to the process of formulating their strategies. If the number of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts created on a daily basis in the last say 5 years, whether active or inactive, is anything to go by. And if they’re not, it’s a point of concern and they are probably trying to figure out how they can plug into it. And it’s from different facets of the organization, whether it’s in marketing and communications, sales, customer experience, IT and operations and so on. Everyone is trying to see how they can leverage on this powerful tool that has become a part of our everyday life. I mean you can’t deny the fact that you’re on your phone more times in the day than you are watching say TV or looking at bill boards, or listening to the Radio.
I remember when I joined this company to work as a digital/content strategist, and that was way back in 2012. In as much as they had started to embrace the concept of digital and were warming up to its benefits and the kind of impact it would have had on the brand and its target audience, there was something amiss. There was no buy in from the management, so we weren’t speaking the same language per se. And it got to a point where even if I tried to build a case on how we could leverage on digital, the idea of it was beguiling to them, but it that wasn’t enough for them to provide the necessary resources required to execute those ideas, save for the ones that could be done without a budget.
This got me feeling that in as much as they had created a role for me in the organization and had employed me to carry out my role as a content strategist; they still didn’t fully understand my contribution to the business, so much so even my reporting lines were blurred. The core business was very much driven by the technical team and because my role was touching more on the soft skills, it made me feel like I wasn’t doing enough. Growth looked like a pipe dream. When others were being promoted or being recognized for jobs well done, others were travelling and feeling so fulfilled in their job roles, I was just there asking myself, “what am I even doing?”
This in turn made me feel like a fraud of sorts, like I could do more but I was not. I felt restricted and not necessarily externally only, but also internally. I restricted myself. At that point I wasn’t mentally mature enough to figure out how to go around getting buy in from the management and there was no one to guide. So by the time I was figuring out the right channels to air my grievances and present my case, it was a bit too late. I was done – physically, mentally and emotionally. That was my tipping point.
I just yearned for something different all together, and different I got, eventually. To be honest, based on my experience, in as much as it didn’t look and feel like I learnt a lot from there, especially then, I now believe I learnt the most.
It made me strive to find clarity in what I do, and gain some confidence in my strengths and my skills and in turn, the value I can bring to a team and to an organization. It was a tough lesson in my career journey, but a necessary one.
Back to my observation, like a maturity curve, when we all got into the digital space and started our journeys on the different platforms, we did it with so much eagerness, expectation and veracity. But like with every great invention, these digital spaces are like a monster, and the more we keep feeding it, the more we start creating something that can at some point become way bigger than us. So much so we feel like we’re losing our authenticity (or even ourselves) along the way, like we’re losing focus of the reasons that brought us here in the first place. So many of us have had to take some time out in our own special ways to revitalize ourselves and more so, restrategise and figure out why it is we do what we do.
What has fascinated me in all this is that there are so many people in my social circles feeling this way and at the same time. Of course the first thing that has taken the hit is the digital spaces they are in. Then recently I saw these two videos from two people I avidly follow online saying they reached their tipping point and I was like this really is a now thing.
For some reason, the social/digital space has a great impact in them feeling the way they do. Because as long as you’re creating, in as much as you’re doing it to express yourself and for your own fulfillment, it’s also for others to consume and hopefully appreciate it. There’s that level of expectation by others of you and it gets to a point where you feel like you’ve given all of you, and then some more. And at the same time, you’re also trying to give it some more meaning, but you’re in the thick of it and you don’t know the end or the beginning of things. And chances are that you’re not taking the time to refill your outpouring cup.
It’s like a season of sorts and I don’t have a name for it. However, I think that’s a good enough sign that we’re in the growth stage of our digital journey.
With growth comes change and that transition creates opportunities. If you’re going through the tipping point, don’t fret, it might feel a bit too much now, but when you look back later, you’ll appreciate that you felt that way when you did.
May you have a beautiful week full of possibilities.