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Guardrails for Social Media and Social Media Apps

It is our job as great leaders to help shape conversations, people, and our environments. I consider everyone leaders or potential leaders. As the definition of leadership is simply, “Positively influencing those around us every day.” And I firmly believe each of us has a tremendous opportunity to seize big hairy audacious goals through modern leadership and bold new ideas in social media and apps, but through thoughtful, deliberate, and intentional approaches, much of what hasn’t been done up to today. You see, we have handheld supercomputers in our hands virtually all day every day, allowing us to explore, research, and participate in life activities and events in real-time HD. These handheld supercomputers allow us to buy virtually anything from a pencil to a house with a “buy now” button. These handheld supercomputers bring the media into our brains to talk about breaking news narrative of the day, in which many feel the need to give an opinion on. These handheld supercomputers have apps that allow anonymous strangers to look into our souls and even walk into our homes. These handheld supercomputers have apps that allow virtually anyone access not only to our children but allows access to their growing moldable yet innocent brains.

These handheld supercomputers are so awesome and I remember the first time I held one. It was in Denver at an Apple Store. I was looking at the New York Times, and just in awe of how you could just “touch the screen” and “scroll up” to view the paper. I didn’t have to hold the paper, get black ink on my fingertips, or have the paper crinkle and not want to turn the page right. The devices are incredible beyond our wildest dreams much like Steve Jobs imagined, I’m sure, but they don’t come without deep lethal dangers and they darn sure don’t come with a behavioral “how-to” handbook. Common Sense Media survey reports that 59% of parents say their kids are addicted to their screens, while 66% say their kids spend too much time on their screens. And for adults, according to figures collected by the Android Lock app, the average user checks their phone 110 times a day, and some users check their devices up to 900 times over the course of the day. In the evening from 5-8 pm, it increases to every 6 seconds. Based on these data, and even my use, I believe we all can be accused of being addicted to our screens.

It is with those thoughts in which we all need to re-examine our handheld supercomputer use, and if we have kids, we have to examine, come to conclusions, and implement strategies to reduce the potential for addiction and reduce the potential for unwanted people into our most valuable possession’s life. We all need boundaries, so what are those and what do they look like for social media and social media apps? Many people are self-destructing in our world today whether they are inserting their negative destructive opinion to the breaking news story of the day. Or whether they are consuming social media not appropriate for their age. Or maybe they are communicating with someone who is trying to trap them into their sick web of potential mortal sin and destruction. All these negative destructive potentials coming to us through our handheld supercomputers are extremely real, and these narratives play out every single second of every day most of which aren’t meant for us to unlock our greatest potential within of our meaningful purpose and mission.

We are living in a constantly evolving world, just like our grandparents did. But with the power we hold in our hands, it is different today, and much faster today. Every single thing we do is faster. The faster the speed the bigger the guardrails we need to put up. The corners our kids turn and the corners we turn every day need bigger guardrails. And it is up to each of us, the great leaders we can be or are, to put those guardrails up and in place to help ourselves, our families, our kids, our businesses, our teams, and our communities not self-destruct. We must not think outside the box, we must “create a new box” to do so. Guardrails can determine the direction in tight turns. What tight turns are you having right now? Do you have the right guardrails or boundaries set in place to protect you, your family, your business, your team, or your community? Be a gladiator of our era in shaping and creating our modern world! What can you do? You can’t change the past, but you can affect the future of what matters.

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