Cal McAllister, CEO, Wexley School for Girls
It’s a simple word, joy. So simple, maybe, we lost the importance of it. Today we explored that, resiliency, cereal aisle paralysis, and the false satisfaction of fun. We talked a little about victory gardens, compassion and marketers taking shortcuts to get there.
We see joy in children and how it gives them energy. How can we learn from this in our own lives as adults?
Fun in America is sometimes a distraction, or something that ends. Sometimes it can be “sit back and watch” like a baseball game–not true engagement. But joy really does require participation, work, and energy. Today we’re asking what chips away at joy in life and why it’s often replaced by happiness.
Technology frees up time that we then fill with other technology. This is seen in the concept of Inbox Zero, which often only occurs in your Ashley Madison account. Cal now goes for “unread zero.”
We’re an “always on” society.
Things that cause anxiety:
- Notifications on your iPhone, or “distraction device”
- Missing out on a Netflix series (although you can always catch up on another distraction, called Reddit)
- Apps like Twitter, Pinterest, etc. seem to be manageable, but they all create a bit of stress as well, which is self imposed
Stress zaps energy. It gives you more boxes you need to check. It makes you like this exhausted dog:
Joy builds resiliency.
Example: Freedom Riders
Ways to find joy:
- Religion. Fewer people are going to church on a given weekend (about 30% now), therefore forfeiting an opportunity to spend time with community.
- Community. Online schools (ie University of Phoenix) demonstrate that we’re not brick and mortar anymore. The proportion of all students taking at least one online course is at an all time high (at least 33%)
- So where are the communities? Many are online.
- Facebook doesn’t count as a real community. It’s “sit back and watch,” and doesn’t require true engagement.
- The new communities that we’re finding ourselves in don’t facilitate the kind of joy in our lives that they used to.
- Compassion. The shortcut to joy. Things like volunteering help you do good and make you feel good.
- Let’s look at the Peace Corps. As technology started to come into our lives, enrollment dropped–until about 2 weeks ago, when they reported they had a 40-year high in participants. This could indicate that people are seeking out this shortcut to joy.
- Another thing: changing attitudes toward gay marriage laws. Resistance is falling, while compassion is taking over. This is probably the fastest change in political sentiment that we’ve seen in our lifetime.
- If you can’t get behind a cause, what do you do with your wallet? Donations are increasing over time.
How do marketers use marketing to tap into compassion? (Hint: we ruin it. Well, maybe not always.)
- LiveStrong. Proof that even a cheater can show compassion.
- Project (RED). Given the choice of identical products, but one is red and would send HIV/AIDS, malaria, and TB aid to Africa, humans will make the decision to help humanity.
- Toms. One for one concept. Created micro-economies that we didn’t realize would happen (putting cobblers out of business, for example).
- ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. 2.4 million tagged videos on YouTube in the first 2 weeks. $115 million in 2014 for the ALS Foundation, compared to 2013 when they raised under 20 million.
If we’re going to use our power as evil marketers, we might as well use it for good. This is exciting. Be the best part of someone’s day. If we can start swinging that pendulum, the more people will get behind us, and the more successful we all can be.
Write down a list of all the things that bring you joy. Pick your favorite one and make it your 2017 New Year’s resolution.
Create a 20-minute wedding. Use random supplies. It will be 2-3 minutes long. Your dream wedding! This is about breaking barriers and finding joy in meeting new people.
About the blogger: Tashia Davis is a content strategist & writer living in Bend, Oregon. tashiadavis.com