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The transformation from physical to digital (and what it means for entrepreneurs)

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Today we live in two different worlds. There is the physical world, where we are physically present (you are sitting at your desk now) and the digital world, where we are mentally present (you are reading this in your mind on a digital device).

More than seven billion people live in the physical world and more than half of those people have access to the digital world. It is clearer than ever that power comes from attention. With the growth of the digital world, it is a game of online attention. This has led to reality TV stars becoming president. Redditors can single-handedly attempt to overthrow the financial system (ie Gamestop). Everywhere you look you will see musicians and entertainers who look like cartoon characters on Saturday mornings. Everyone has the opportunity to do something.

With FaceTime, Zoom and social media messaging, most conversations and connections take place in the digital world. Our entertainment, hobbies, work and life have all been replaced by internet solutions. Social media has become our social life. This is a fundamental shift in human consumption.

Related: 7 Digital Transformation Trends to Watch

Country of social media

Within the digital world, there is social media land. Social media platforms are like countries. Social media platforms have more users than some countries have citizens. Just as countries have different cultures, laws and ways of running, social media is the same way. For example, going on TikTok for the first time may make you feel like a foreigner because you don’t know the culture of the platform. There’s a bit of culture shock as you navigate the culture and subcultures within TikTok.

It can feel a bit like the Wild West when platforms aren’t run properly, especially considering that many members of government don’t understand how social media countries work. You may remember last year’s viral meme, “Senator, we run ads” — in reference to Mark Zuckerberg explaining how free social media platforms monetize 85-year-old Senator Orrin Hatch. Learning a new platform, much like entering a new country, can feel like learning a new language.

Unlike Senator Hatch, the majority of people with internet access spend time in the land of social media — perhaps even more than in the physical world. Their focus is on what people are doing, and their lives feel very passive. Creator content is displayed for users to consume and interact with an endless audience. It is important to be a follower of a social media country before becoming a leader. This will help you understand the ins and outs of space to better prepare for success.

Related: Why Digital Transformation Is More About People Than Technology

The power of entrepreneurs in social media land

When you introduce a brand to this world, you bring this passive world to life by changing the experience from passive to highly interactive. This is the beauty and power entrepreneurs can have in social media land. There are no limits as long as you understand the terrain and use the resources to your advantage.

For perspective, think about when you’re on an airplane: you see physical land and all the little houses and people that make up it. Whenever you look at a computer screen or explore a new social media platform, you get a glimpse into the digital world. The more you consume, the faster you can see the big picture and understand the landscapes and everything they contain in the digital world. Today everything is powered by AI and technology is growing so exponentially that the world you see tomorrow will look very different from the world you saw yesterday.

Before the explosion of the digital world, our media attention was concentrated in the physical world, usually in the morning and evening. Businesses would fight for limited time slots and commercials were the ultimate advertising method to reach your target audience. Consumers turned on their televisions and consumed content when they woke up in the morning, as well as when they got home from work.

Now content is available almost anywhere and at any time of the day. Instead of people watching television for hours after school or work, they spend that time-consuming content on their smartphone or device. Within the same amount of time they would have gotten through 3-4 shows, they can consume hundreds of short videos of content. This holds our attention better and intrigues us to keep looking for more. This is why the demand for short videos (and content creation in general) is so high. Media moguls like Gary Vee advise content marketers to post four times a day. That number sounds outrageous, but it’s because the demand is there.

Related: How Entrepreneurs Benefit from Digital Transformation in the Age of the ‘New Normal’

The traditional scene of a family of four watching television has been replaced by everyone in their own space working individually on their own device. TikTok, YouTube and other media platforms are using AI to create a personalized experience within the digital world. This helps you discover new relevant content that you can consume with precision and ease, keeping you connected to the digital world.

It is crazy to think that this is only the beginning of the transformation of society. As we transition to the digital world, the demand for content continues to grow. Attention creators are leading social media nations and transforming what power looks like in the physical world.

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