WHY BOYCOTTS DO NOT WORK: Social Media’s Instant Outrage and forgiveness

Do you believe in forgiveness? How about second chances? Of course we all do. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone forgives, but how quickly?

Thanks to 24/7 social media, we have blocks of contents directly in our faces daily. This have resulted in significantly reduced attention spans. The big question is could this be a problem, or is social media significantly improving our desire for forgiveness?

In an age where we utilize emojis and abbreviations for expressions, from LOL (for “laugh out loud”), to SMH (for “Shaking My Head”), we have evolved into using short hand letters that have a meaning greater than their original abbreviation. But most importantly, we have been programmed to express ourselves quickly, and continuously, to allow us time to share other things. This continuous behavior may be affecting how we respond to issues online, and how quickly we move away from them, in search of other issues to be outraged by.

Social Media Virality creates opportunity for us to be just a little more angry by the day.

People post things to their social networks that they probably never would have called or texted dozens of people over the phone to share. This opens up a dialogue for people who share similar or opposing views to take massive action on issues, and this often results in companies losing billions of dollars to outraged customers.

In 2018, United Airlines Stock Dropped $1.4 Billion After Passenger-removal controversy, and today, @Nike shares fell 3.2 percent amid Kaepernick ad backlash.

However, despite the outrage, history have shown that we are quick to anger, but also quick to move on to the next trending topic that could potentially anger us. This was the case with Dove’s racist ad boycott, Delta Airline NRA boycott, and most recently the Papa John’s Boycott, and there are many more to come.

Go viral, Misspeak, Go down, Stay low, and Recover

Today, all stupid acts come with some kind of social media punishment, especially for public figures and companies. This often involves a viral post that relates to someone or a company saying or doing something offensive to a large group. This viral event results in financial implications for companies, but as history shows, addressing the issue, or staying low, will result in the company gradually recovering from the incident.

We love to be outraged as much as possible. We also love to be viral as quickly as possible, but we are too outraged to manage all at once, so we forgive and move on to the next issue.

In response to the ongoing Nike fiasco, this too shall pass, as people begin a search for the next company or person to be offended by. Once this occurs, Nike stocks will stabilize, and America will be back to business as usual.

Important lesson to learn: Just because you have certain values and beliefs that are essentially integral to your worldview, does not mean that everyone will share these views or not openly oppose those views as they come.

Building Supply Chain products @Amazon. Formerly @Wayfair, @IBM. Investing at @entrancevc.

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