Technology has reshaped the world and the way that we live, and for the most part it has enhanced all of it. Few of us would be able to trade the financial markets without advances in online communications, and there are hundreds of other ways of making a living or just staying in touch with family that are only possible today and would have been impossible even 30 years ago.
But there have been downsides too. Our digital world is a very visual arena, and what we see in images on social media shapes how we perceive things to be. This is not unique to social media of course, but it really has empowered this idea that perception is reality, and at the heart of this phenomenon is what we now call influencers.
Whether it’s an FX Trader with a course to sell showing you an extravagant lifestyle surrounded by fast cars and expensive jets, or a lifestyle influencer basically providing a message that its only if you have all the stuff, and the most expensive stuff, that you can have a happy life, this is something that annoys me.
Now, everyone has to make a living, and I respect the hustle of anyone making a go of it for themselves, but what I dislike is the fakery. Pretending that life is perfect while you are struggling to live off frozen mac and cheese, or crying yourself to sleep, selling a dream even you cannot achieve is just flat out dishonest. So that FX trader showing off with the expensive cars, usually rented for the day, same with the jets, probably doesn’t have a course that can change your life if they can’t change their own. An influencer telling you that the most expensive everything is what you need, while they are basically broke, miserable and certainly not living the dream life. They just try and maintain the illusion of one in the hope that somehow, somewhere some company or other will throw them a big retainer to find a better way of living.
The problem is that influencers are called influencers because they can influence people, and in many cases, its very young people too. This fake image they project, all carefully calculated to only show perfection can teach all the wrong lessons, and its just bad, both for the people that look and believe, and for those influencers hoping this existence will always lead to something better. For most of them, it will simply never get better. Are they trying to fool the viewer or themselves? For some, like our example FX trader, they are deliberate fakes trying to fool us, which is why they should be ignored. But some are convinced that ‘fake it until you make it’ will lead them to success, and that is unhealthy. Not least because that amount of energy channelled into something positive would lead them to success, without question.
The power of perception, that what we see as being reality becomes reality, is the core issue here. When we see that little clip of an event or a life, we manage to convince ourselves that is the truth, and the only truth. There is nothing outside of that little portal to look for, and everything we see is all there is to see. But that is not always the case, in fact, it rarely is. As the digital world becomes more prevalent with things like ‘deepfake’ software able to manipulate moving images too, questioning what we see is more important than ever. There is something inherently dishonest about such fakery, and we should rightly call out those doing it, but as digital tools become more powerful it is not going away, so we also need to learn to be sceptical and not take everything at face value too. That can be applied to many things, not just social media, including trading. Think about how you assess the markets, do you look at a single currency pair, in a single timeframe to understand the market conditions and direction? No, you probably look at several timeframes, how other currencies are behaving, what the economic or political news is saying that could influence things. All of them contribute to market movement, and you need to see them all to get the full picture.
Don’t be disheartened by images on social media, if you haven’t got everything they are showing, it doesn’t matter. Life is a unique journey for all of us, and you will get to your goals at some point, whatever they may be. Don’t see these images and think that you are somehow a failure because you don’t have everything they do, remember, most of them don’t really have those things either.
Put your energy into positive action, not wishing for something, and your dreams and goals are much more likely to become reality. Remember, deceit and fakery are negative actions, and they can only lead to negative places. Stay positive, be true to yourself and focus on your goals.
Success comes from within you, not what others perceive you to be!