One specific impact I would like to have on the world is getting people to have a better understanding of why and how they use the internet. Millennials in general were born into a world with dail-up internet and grew into the world that is constantly connected. With every advancement in speed or capabilities, we were so quick to adopt the technology that very few people asked why. As the role of social media in our lives changed, no one took the time to reassess whether they still need any of it or what it can be used for. We never had goals for our social media use, we just wanted to be a part of it. We never had guidelines as to how much time was too much time to use one app, we just kept using them. Now that we have a better idea as to what these tools can be used for, everyone should rethink which tools they can use to get them to their own finish line.
Bestlives is an organization that equips people with the most modern tools that will help them in their path to self-actualization. We have more apps and sites available to us than ever before -these are our modern tools. Some of these can be used to help and some of them can be used to distract. Just like a band is an organization that uses tools to produce a very specific sound and image, you can use the internet to produce a very specific sound and image for yourself. While some people think that Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and J Cole produce very similar products using very similar tools, they each use these tools in unique ways that allows people to find out how they are different and create a connection. The social networks you frequent and the apps you use are your tools. Each one of us needs to find out how we can best use these tools to differentiate ourselves from everyone else that uses these tools. Unfortunately, none of these tools provide any guidance or features designed to assist you in creating a wholistic online presence that brings your closer to who you want to be. Bestlives is all about finding the perfect mix of these tools that will get you there.
One flaw of relying on for-profit companies that make the vast majority of their income from advertisements is that they make money by maximizing your usage time and engagement, not specifically how useful the app is for you. The prevailing idea here is that people will use the app more if it is more useful, but that is not necessarily true. One example of this is the gradual shift from a chronological timeline to a ranked newsfeed on just about every social network. Users find chronological timelines useful, but engagement numbers and time spent is increased by ranked newsfeeds. Content creators and users alike are almost universally against the ranked newsfeed, but they don’t pay. Advertisers do. Because of this, it is imperative that bestlives remains free from the profit motive.
Ideally, bestlives will be a self-serve website that provides users with a centralized location consisting of branding exercises, social media planning, goal tracking, and overall provide a birds-eye view of their online presence and whether or not they are helping or distracting from their larger life goals. With this, people will have actionable data (that is not likes or followers) to help them learn about which online habits are useful for them or just eating up valuable time when it comes to what’s important offline. With these features, bestlives will serve as digital accountability partner for your internet use and lead to more informed use of social media, blogs, and what content you share on the internet and why. Weekly or monthly reports will equip users with aggregate data on how they spend their time online and what they are getting from that investment in time and energy. If they aren’t happy with the progress they are making or want to be more efficient with their time, they will know what they need to cut out or what they need to do more.
If you haven’t noticed by now, bestlives is just one means to my ultimate ends of getting people to be more intentional about how they use the internet. That is the goal of me using the internet and I have a few online channels that are devoted to that goal. Don’t get me wrong, I look at a lot of memes. Every time I look at memes on Twitter, I know I’m wasting time. That’s not how Twitter is best used for what I want to do. My Instagram is much more personal and I don’t consistently use that to advance my goals. When I’m looking at memes there, it’s not a huge red flag. That’s the purpose of me having that account and that’s what I want to use it for. With bestlives, I want to see more people flourish by having a clear idea about what they want from the internet in order to be who they want to be off of the internet.