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(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the following rant are those of the author and in no way represent those of Communications NRC. – Wait, I am Communications NRC – never mind)

When I’m feeling insecure, I manage most times to “dust myself off, pick myself up and start all over again.”

But what happens when the whole world is feeling insecure? What happens when dusting yourself off and starting all over again calls for international cooperation and compromise?

Complicated.

This may seem like too big a topic for a small social media blog, but this global malaise that is affecting a lot of people is certainly affecting me.

I’ve lost confidence in people.

That’s not easy for me to say.  As a business consultant working in the social media realm, confidence is my currency and trust, the exchange rate.Melanie

I got hyped on “social” because for this ex hippie freak, it reawakened an idea that this world could be more connected, more empathetic through the use of new media.(cue Melanie )

I know it’s really bad form for a serious communications guy to talk about social media in a “fairies and unicorn” context, but what is social if it’s not about community? And what’s community if it’s not about sharing?

You make a business social by giving it the tools to listen. That’s where it starts.

So why have we lost confidence? – Because we don’t feel anyone’s listening.

The cynical have used social media simply as a faster and more efficient way to spread their ideology.

Our leaders don’t lead countries anymore, they manage governments.

Our corporations and financial institutions care only for their investors They’ve become the new ruling class.

Is it any wonder we’ve become cynical?

Why wouldn’t you feel that everyone’s out to screw you when, as your whole world crashes, your representatives shout across the floor to each other through ideological bullhorns content to stand on “principles” not “service”.

 

Marvin Gaye - What's Going OnA few days ago, I was listening to Marvin Gaye’s 40 year old classic, What’s Going On? – Really? Haven’t we learned anything?

If confidence is currency then we’re in a depression.

And if trust is the exchange rate, then I’ll give you a penny for your dollar.

It’s time our leaders got “social”. It’s time they connected. It’s time they listened.

 

In 1979, President Jimmy Carter addressed the US and gave what is referred to as The Crisis of Confidence Speech

So much of this speech is still relevant. But what impresses me most is his bravery to tell it like it is.  He paid for this politically as Americans turned to the smiles and reassurances of Ronald Reagan instead.

 

What would it take to get your confidence back?

 

About Ray Hiltz

Ray Hiltz is a Google Plus Specialist and Social Media Strategist helping small businesses establish their brands and build their communities on the social web. A strong proponent for the power of collaborative communication and "humanized" digital networking, Ray writes about social media, social business and Google Plus. His clients include hotels, restaurants, consulting firms, entrepreneurs, writers and individuals just trying to make sense of "social". Ray is a popular speaker on Social Media, Social Business and Google+.