Dylan Talks is cooking, technology, reviews, and the other random things that you forgot you need to know to get through life. Learn things, save money, be healthy, be entertained.

Friday, October 13, 2017

I Boycott Your Boycott !!

I am boycotting any organizations who support organizations who support organizations who don't support what I heard that I should believe from a social media post.... Wait, What? ... Exactly!

Remember when People Thought for Themselves? 

This is going to make me sound old, but when I was a kid, we did not have the internet. In order to research a product, a subject, a cause, or etc, you went to the library, used a card catalog, and read a stack of books. You sat alone at a table with no one bothering you and came to a conclusion. Sometimes you shared this opinion with a friend using actual words in in an actual conversation and you gained perspective through interaction with another human being. Sometimes this person was your age, other times they may have been older. Sometimes you agreed and other times you did not. That was how it was before the internet. It was not that long ago. 

Times have changed. Now we have a wealth of information in our hands. Our smartphone brings the world right to us. This sounds great on the surface, but it has created a huge problem. Suddenly, people can't think for themselves. It seems that researching beliefs, causes, and even what they will have for lunch has been reduced to an opinion poll of social media. Whatever is at the top of the news feed is what drives everything. Instead of people on the constant search for INFORMATION they search for and grab onto whatever AFFIRMATION slides by in their news feed. This has created a world of people that have formed opinions based on opinions. What does any of this have to do with boycotts?

Boycotts - The Bandwagon of the Quitter

Since the invention of online social media, people move about society less as individuals and more in "social waves". They are bandwagon jumpers. This also applies when a person, a group of people, or a business or organization does something that the collective opinion does not agree with. Here is how it works. 
  • Find out a newsworthy event has happened
  • Check social media to see who to disagree with  
  • Announce boycott in protest
  • Recruit others to join in the Boycott
The definition of a boycott is to engage in a concerted refusal to have dealings with (a person, a store, an organization, etc.) usually to express disapproval or to force acceptance of certain conditions. Here is where the problem comes in: What do you actually stop doing? Who do you stop dealing with? What actual effect does it have if any? Let's break it down. 

Will Your Boycott Work? 

For a boycott to be effective it has to be more than just a few people saying they are going to stop doing something. Before you get on the interwebs and make all your friends block you, take a minute and think about how many people you can actually reach. Let's use Facebook for an example. The average user on the Book of Face has 288 "friends". Recent studies have shown that over a month's time just 28% of your friends see your posts. This drops the number reached to 81. If your post is unpopular (it is... you are boycotting something) it will be even lower. Is it worth it to you to ruin friendships and relationships for your cause? Next time you will have even fewer friends to boycott with. Soon, you will be alone. You may say, "Even if I reach just a couple of people and they join my cause, it is worth it." Is it really? 

The other thing a boycott need is for the "refusal to have dealings" with an organization needs to hurt them somehow, usually the pocketbook. This comes up a lot surrounding pro sports. A player or a team will do something and the boycott bandwagon will swing into action by doing the following:
  • Stop watching the events
  • Stop attending the events
  • Stop purchasing products of sponsored companies
Does this work? Not Really. Let's not even discuss the fact that you won't stick to this cause until next season or the season after much less forever. Let's look at the minuscule effect your anger will have on the billions of dollars floating around.

One recently controversial NBA player allegedly has an endorsement deal with a shoe company for 35 million dollars. You say, "I am boycotting this company and player". First, ask yourself "do I even own any of these shoes so I can stop buying them?" If you don't, you can't boycott. Second, how much of a dent will you and your 81 friends make?

The shoe company in this example claimed to have an increase of 615 million dollars in sales from just this one endorsement deal. That is 3.7 million pairs of shoes from just one player. This company has dozens of deals like this. There is no way even thousands of people boycotting this company and making all their friends and family hate them in the process will have any measurable effect. 

There are literally thousands of companies involved in these deals. Are you willing to give up your soda, your vehicle, your smartphone, your toilet paper, your breakfast cereal, your car insurance and much more to jump on the bandwagon of quitters? Give it some real thought before you start recruiting your now dwindled supply of 81 friends to do the same. 

Thanks for reading,

Dylan Mckerchie
Dylan Talks
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