I wrote a post not so long ago about self-acceptance and advertising as well as the judgement of others and thought I would continue just a touch before I head off to bed.
What advertising does in this respect is set an example of what to aim for, what to achieve, what is desirable and it is only because we place them into a role of authority over our preferences that they have any power at all. Cut the ties of their power over us and they no longer can dictate our decision making. This is easier said than done unfortunately as as much as people would like to claim otherwise, most are still influenced by authority.
This is of course a problem if that trusted authority does not provide an example conducive to success. The picture here is of my daughter and as her parent, it is my job to set an example for her as it is in these early stages of life that she builds the habits that will stick with her and be very hard to break later.
At this point, my wife and I are her authorities and she absorbs and mimics our behaviours. So far, she has not watched television or played with a phone/tablet and her only connection to popular culture is Dr Seuss books, nursery rhymes and the various kinds of music we play. She learns incredibly fast and sings, counts to ten, speaks in short sentences and is starting to control a pencil enough that she can draw a snail and, it is almost recognisable. She is eighteen months old. The example for her isn't what we teach, it is the freedom we give her to explore and learn.
But, she is a child without all of the pre-programmed package of experience to contend with and this is the problem here at the moment. Many people come into the platform and either treat it like other social medias or, realise it is something different and learn. If one wants to be successful, the common practice is to turn to the successful people to learn what they have to teach. What this means is the successful here are much more often than not put into roles of authority.
What dictates success? Well, for many that come here it is about the money so successful people are those who earn a lot, which is not too different to the real world where 'rich and famous' are the core indicators of success these days. Very little has to do with quality or value added to the community and most new people do not even know what that means in regards to Steemit.
This means that the behaviours of many people who come in here are established via the behaviours of those they see as role models for their own desired outcomes, namely money. This results in a copycatting of the role model since they are the leader by example. We can see this in how so many people post similar content to trending and how many get very disillusioned and bitter when the results don't come.
But, there is another side to it because as the new users become established and start to understand the system better, they begin to see all kinds of behaviours that they didn't know existed before. This could be great however, time and time again, so many people that they may have modelled their behaviour on have been caught, behaving badly. Abused delegations, spam posting to take advantage of autovoters, contant power downs, scam shilling, vote-selling, vote-trading, massive upvoting of many alt accounts, self-comment voting, hidden reference links for exchanges, circle-voting, comment spamming for followers and any number of other activities that don't appear in the FAQs and guides.
When the most successful people are engaging in poor behaviours it is seen as an indicator of how to be successful, it is a lead be example situation by the very people who hold the most desirable positions at Steemit. Is there any wonder more people don't engage in community development, long-term approach and quality of content? There is not a great deal of income to be made for behaving well here unless it is through app development and often that ends up with some level of abuse of delegations too. There is also not a lot of cost for behaving poorly here either and the higher the stake, the less risk.
But, here is the question about being financially successful, how far will you go? For some of the most successful here, if this was the real world and they ran actual businesses, many would struggle to keep themselves out of prison for collusion, price fixing, misrepresentation, conning, fraud.
This is of course not fair to those who do act well and still earn a lot but this is the problem, people love a scandal and the big names of Steemit are easy targets, especially when under inspection, so few of them are seemingly behaving well. But, this is a free market and advertised as 'without censorship, behave how you want, the market will decide'.
What has the market decided so far and what example does that set for those watching and learning?
For me, my actions here closely mimic the real world where I take my position as my daughter's role model seriously. I will make mistakes, I will experiment and fail, I will try to balance personal growth and community value and get it wrong sometimes but, the general line will be towards benefitting more people in the long-term. I am not your role model though, I do not want to ever be.
My actions are mine, yours are yours, however, we all have to live with the consequences.
Just some midnight thoughts...
[ a Steemit original ]