The beginning of last week Carlos wrote about “How to Build a Community of Drones.”
Though some people called him Negative Nancy, he was right, and we see it more often than we care to admit. In the comments Monica asks two important questions, “How do people know when they’ve become drones in someone else’s community?” and “How do we take down those that use social media to do this to people?”
To answer her first question, I suspect the overwhelming majority doesn’t have a clue when they’ve become a drone. For their benefit, some symptoms of drone syndrome include, but aren’t limited to:
- Nodding along with everything you read, never challenging the author
- Reading something like “work harder than other people and you’ll succeed,” knowing it’s as generic as the advice from a Tarot card reader, but accepting it just because technically it isn’t false
- Re-tweeting their posts without reading it just because they’re your friend, you respect them, etc.
- Referring everyone to their work regardless of their actual need
Since the history of time the average person wants someone to stand up and say, “this is what we’re going to do, follow me.” Many of you that read this post probably don’t fall into this category often, but you sometimes do.
How many times have you just wanted you friend, your significant other, etc. to just pick a movie, place to eat, etc. It might not be EXACTLY what you wanted to watch or what you were hungry for, but if it isn’t completely blasphemous you’re down. Besides, it’s easier than continuing to argue/be indecisive, right?
That is kind of what I liken this current epidemic to, picking out a movie. If someone’s content is ‘good enough’ you’ll go along with it. Calling out their taste in movies doesn’t work, and choosing your own movie and watching it in the back bedroom probably isn’t a very good solution either.
So then how do we answer Monica’s second question?
We’ve already acknowledged people just want someone to lead, and maybe that’s the key here. Maybe you have to consistently craft content so great that at some point they get tired of watching Channing Tatum try to act and they realize that The Hurt Locker will blow their mind.
And it’s hard. If it wasn’t the drones would easily see the trap they’re falling into and they wouldn’t aimlessly agree with everything someone else writes as he/she steps on their head like a rung in ladder to the top of the blogosphere.
For most people calling them out only makes you seem jealous. Pointing fingers at the drone questions their intellect (and nobody is going to respond well to that).
The solution is to get out of the fishbowl, make it a competition, and find a way to win. Drones are notoriously nimble bandwagon fans and when they see you take the lead they’ll try to ride your coattails. When they do, don’t manipulate them. Demand they call you on your bullshit. Demand they challenge you, and push you to keep stay atop your game. Then deliver the goods, not re-packaged generic garbage.