#175 Discerning Media Consumption – Nic Hayes

This week I welcomed back Nick Hayes, Managing Director of Media Stable, to discuss his observations across the media landscape and media consumption over the last six to nine months during this changeable period.

Nick explains is that, as he predicted in the last podcast, that there’s been a real move back to traditional forms of media, in particular radio.

We really had a great discussion about becoming more discerning in our media consumption and sense making, particularly recognising the leanings, particularly the political orientation, of the sources that you’re listening to. We also talked about the pitfalls of going to social media as a source of news and also the concept of consuming too much information.

Nick is really articulate and has a great sense of humour. He brings a very grounded and grown up perspective to the topic of news and media in general.

Read Full Transcript

 

Bryn Edwards 

This week, I had the great pleasure of welcoming back Nick Hayes to the podcast. Now Nick runs Media Stable. And he’s quite the expert in the whole media field. So I thought it would be really interesting to have a discussion about what he see seeing change in the media landscape and media consumption over the last six to nine months during this changeable period.

 

What Nick explains is that, as he predicted in the last podcast, that there’s been a real move back to traditional forms of media, in particular radio.  We really had a great discussion about becoming more discerning in our media consumption and sense making, and, and really sort of, amongst many ideas, really recognising the leanings, particularly the political orientation and the sources that you’re listening to. And why not actually go and listen to opposing views. We also talked about the pitfalls of going to social media, for your, for your news, and also just the whole concept of consuming too much information.

 

Nick is really articulate and he’s a lot of fun to talk to. And it was really good just to have a discussion with a very steady point of view, like he says he’s very comfortable in his skin in this area. I really brings a real sort of grownup perspective when it comes to news and media and consuming content. So enjoy, Nick.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Hello, and welcome back to WA Real I’m your host, Bryn Edwards. Today I have the great pleasure of welcoming back Nick Hayes. Nick, welcome back to the show.

 

Nic Hayes 

Good to be back Bryn. I don’t know what this pleasure is, I mean, honestly, an opportunity and a chance to get back in there for a second go deep. What have I done, right? What? What have I done wrong?

 

Bryn Edwards 

Anything? First of all, thank you very much for hosting me in your studio this time. Yep. Last time you came in and hung around the kitchen table. And now we’re in your abode. Yeah,

 

Nic Hayes 

it’s in a nice little studio. And I think that we’re seeing a lot of these starting to pop up. We are around not just Perth, Western Australia, but around the country around the globe. Indeed. seems everyone is doing a podcast at the moment bring Yes. One of them are doing it very well bring,

 

Bryn Edwards 

huh? Let’s put something in it. So for those of you that didn’t catch Nick, last time, shame on you. But, Nick. So Nick runs media stable, which links up experts with the media. So we’ve got a trusted source of knowledge and information. In that last conversation, we had a real discussion around discernment around media consumption. And when you talk through the many different platforms, we talked about needs versus want when it comes to information. And one of the things that was really interesting was you talked about this potential erosion and trust with social media that might well bring people back to traditional forms. Yeah, media. Yeah. So that was back in Episode 130. And the world has changed somewhat just a tad bring

 

 

just a tad. Maybe a little COVID pandemic thing. Just Kiki’s just cruise. All right, yeah. And it was bushfires.

 

Bryn Edwards 

And there was a before and there was all sorts. And, and so I thought it’d be really cool to get back together and have a discussion around just what you’ve seen change in the media landscape, because it’s become a real common real focus and discussion topic. So there’s a lot of things I’d like to run past you and dive into. But if we start off with, just from your point of view, being a media expert, and how have you seen the media step up, change, morph, etc. and consumption rates change to meet what’s happened in the last six to nine months? Yeah, it’s

 

Nic Hayes 

been it’s a great question. And it’s and it’s one that obviously, when we were last speaking, we were talking about the rise of traditional media returning back to probably a more authority space, because of the the issues that Facebook might have been challenged with, you know, the sharing of content might not necessarily have been legitimate. And also to there’s a fair amount of trust. That was a bit of an issue there. Just for social media and those that use it. It’s not qualified. It’s not actually vetted, checked. And there’s very much an agenda that’s set. I think, since COVID. kicked in and, you know, we I think when we did speak, it was Australian bushfires time. Yeah. COVID hadn’t quite made, you know, reared its ugly head at that point. But yeah, a lot of the journalists and a lot of the media that we have seen over the last six to nine months have experienced incredible growth. Yeah, incredible readership, viewership through the roof. I mean, you’ve got a radio station in Melbourne, three, kw, Ross and john. Now Ross, Ross and Russell Who were the leading talkback radio station in the country, you couldn’t really beat their numbers. And they’ve been doing it for 20 years, they posted an eight point increase in the last survey. And that is partly because one change over presenter, which is normally a decline, not a an advancement on numbers. But the fact that people have returned to traditional media, for real news for real commentary to find out what is really going on, without the social media agenda that some of the groups have, you know, let’s not forget, Facebook’s just an aggregator of news and content. It doesn’t. And it’s supposed to not have any bias. But the bias is in the beholder. The person that has the account. Yes. And that’s the platform that they use it from where as journalism, whether it be radio, television, newspaper, and the online sites that are connected to a media house. Yeah, they have protocols that have to go through, they are also to monitored and checked, and they have an authority that looks over them as well, whereas social media hasn’t. So since we last spoke, and we were throwing out the idea that traditional media was and we could see the rise of it. Isn’t that funny? Nine months later, we predicted what actually did happen? Yes.

 

 

Just you didn’t

 

Nic Hayes 

really predict the catalyst. I didn’t predict the pandemic and Oh, boy, oh, boy, if you could, could have predicted that means you’d be worth a bit would you?

 

Bryn Edwards 

Would you would indeed, I think one of the things that in my journey over the over the past six to nine months is one of the things that came up for me was, I recognise that I have an addiction to knowing stuff, right. And I’m not I don’t think I’m alone. No, and, but I, I sort of recognise it, felt it felt it embodied it within myself. And, you know, you will look at the world through your lens of working in the media, I look at my look at the world through my lens, which is very much sort of background in psychology, philosophy, as well as business consulting, etc. And I sort of track back my needing to know things from a, like, almost like, original trauma. I mean, nobody gets into adulthood unscathed, right? Everyone gets bruised along the way. And there’s somewhere there, where you are left in a place where you don’t quite know what’s going on. You’re out of control these nasty feelings turn up. And then there’s a part of you that sort of splits and goes right back, we’re not doing that anymore, are we going to know we’re going to be in control and keep those nasty feelings away? Come forward to 2020 where we all have this shared trauma, you know, being faced with uncertainty, all of a sudden, one way you think you’re going to work next minute, the premiers out there saying no, you’re not gonna stay at home, that has an impact. And when we, you know, it’s always like that returned to some sort of traumatic event that that then provokes this needing to know, because then that will help down regulate my nervous system. Yeah. So that’s the lens I see through the world. So when you tell me that viewership to readerships have gone through the roof. makes total sense.

 

Nic Hayes 

Yeah. Yeah. And I think, partly because we’ve been burned once before, you know, we’ve seen the things that and people’s agendas and bias that are sitting there but and not, let’s not say that traditional media in its form isn’t bias, or doesn’t have an agenda. I’ve never, I will never go out and say that. But I think if you were going to take the devil, the lesser of evils of all content and news producers, you’d go towards traditional media purely for the fact that the agenda that has been set by them is generated for an audience and a mass audience. Yes, not a niche audience, where they’ve got a particular bias and a particular viewership that they’re looking to either engage, or to inform. They are going for mass media. And I think that that what was really pleasing with all of that, and that and getting back to your point around that need to want to know, I think human beings in our nature, we love to know what is going on,

 

 

and orientate ourselves in the world. Where do we fit in?

 

Nic Hayes 

Where do we fit in this big scheme of things? You know, what do we discuss when we’re either down the pub now here in Victoria, the pubs are only just opening now? Yeah, now they’ve been in lockdown literally for you know, up to three to six months. They haven’t been able to, as human beings Converse and feeler to each other. And partly the reason three W. Ross and Russell had that 8% spike is that they’re not going to work. They’re sitting at home around the wall. Yeah, watching television, they’re reading the newspapers, they’re reading the online pages, and they’re consuming and they’re trying to work out what is going on. And they’re getting a far better picture from that media than necessarily social media. Yes. And I think that’s where, where social media is going to be challenged for its authority for its position and its role. I’m Look, I’m not, but I’m not an old fuddy duddy Hebrew. I know the power of social media. Yes. And it’s shareability. And its ability to infiltrate demographics and generations that

 

Bryn Edwards 

move like wildfire and correct.

 

Nic Hayes 

Yeah. And we also, you know, I’m also fully aware that the newspapers aren’t selling nearly as many newspapers as they once did. Back in the day before Facebook, before Twitter before all the other social platforms Google, you know, yeah, sharing it around. But there has been a bit of a revolution since COVID. Yeah, people are looking to the media and looking to something that they trust, and something that they can believe in, without having to be challenged every second of the way. who’s who’s behind this? Why, why is this being presented? And this story is not. Why is this so one, one particular way? And not sharing the other side of it? Yeah. And that’s why traditional media has been such an important communicator to the Australian public during this particularly tough time.

 

Bryn Edwards 

And I think going but, you know, in, in uncertain traumatic times, you want to be able to pin your hat on something you have yourself that, yeah, it’s traditional media.

 

Nic Hayes 

What Who do you go to I mean, when you’re, you know, you’re in business, you go to someone that you trust you trust a mentor, someone that’s advised you in the past, someone that has always given good advice, has your back, and, and hasn’t really hurt you in a particular way that you know, someone that you would not definitely not go near. But media, and particularly, I’d like to hit with radio and not so much television, because television is such a it’s a broadcast at you. And it’s a very much a consumer world today. Yeah. So we can pick and choose what we want to go away and watch on television, the we’re not set down by the five channels that are telling us what’s time that works and all the things great. But radio is very much the old version of today’s modern social media. It I like to call it the barometer of public opinion, because it does has so many, and so live. And so up to date, projections of stories and news that people can stay informed as it’s happening. Yes. So it’s not like they’re picking up the paper down at the BP station at 6am. In the morning to find out the news of the day. Most of that news has been done and dusted. Yes. But radio tends to have that sort of what is our old version, the old version of radio is sort of today’s modern day social media. Yeah. And very much current but also to protected by the protocols around journalism, and who they report to. Yeah. So radio is the numbers in radio is still increasing at a level that is through the roof, you delineate

 

Bryn Edwards 

that from obviously, you say, separate to TV, but also news channels as well.

 

 

Yeah. Look, I think with

 

Nic Hayes 

when you’re talking about the news, I think, you know, the fact that people will it was only 30 years ago, you’d remember your father and your mother coming home and they’d be everyone be sitting around at six o’clock news. Yeah, catch up. And some of the some of the dads that were far more informed of watch two sets of news and as a kid, you just go insane. Oh, yeah, God, two, lots of news, dad, that you know where? Where’s the Solomons always Scooby Doo. Yeah, there was that we were just waiting for that opportunity or neighbours or Home and Away. But yeah, the the news channels themselves, because we still we still go to them. But we’re probably not necessarily going to them in the numbers. But the best thing about the daily news on TV is that you get the full lot in a half hour or in an hour. Yeah. You know, from local events, international events, sports. You know, the good news stories, some of the tragic stories that are going around. I often say to my wife, I won’t let my kids watch the news at six o’clock. It’s the most violent piece of vision that, you know, on television, because if you think about it, fires stabbings, all these things. And it’s like, I don’t want my kids saying that. But you know, I go downstairs and watch it and consume it all myself because I’m in that game. And I’ve got to understand what is going on. It’s still there. still valid? Yeah, but it’s losing its validity. And that who can be found home at six o’clock these days, and particularly with the changing working environment. But having said all of that bring you know if this lockdown in this COVID thing that’s happened Particularly in Victoria. Yeah, listen to us NWA. But, you know, Annie, still 30% of people haven’t returned back to work. Yeah, and haven’t returned back into the offices. They’re working from home. It’s what they’ve got on the background, radio, radio, guess what they’re watching the six o’clock news. So numbers are going up. And that might be the new norm that we’re heading towards. And but I think we always go back to those that we trust. And back to my original point around that mentor and that person that you want to you want to go to those people that you know, are going to give you good advice or give you good information. We don’t actively seek negative or bad information. Yeah. And I think people just waking up to realise that on social media, it’s Uncharted, it’s biassed. And also too, you just don’t know where it’s coming from.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yeah. And I think, did you? Have you seen the recent film on Netflix, the social dilemma film? I’ve

 

Nic Hayes 

been seeing bits and bobs of it. I haven’t really dived into it yet, but I’m hearing it everywhere.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yeah. And to actually understand, I mean, I had a previous podcast guest Professor Sam Backman, who talked about the actual design of it in terms of the relative positioning of you know, me versus you, but me versus me last week in terms of number of comments, and likes and things like that. And, and then to take that a step further and watch the social dilemma film, whereby there were, they were probably to really scare it two, maybe three really scary bits in it. For me, one was the idea that we’re trading in human futures. So that means, if you’re Mr. Zuckerberg, and I want to sell a product to the listener, I can say, Hey, is hundred grand, I want you to sell this for me. And you go cool, I will shape the opinions and the belief patterns of the people on Facebook, to like your product to a point that they will buy it. So no longer are we putting up her passive Billboard. And going come and get brens shaving gel.

 

Nic Hayes 

Right? Good shaving gel, by the way.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yeah. And and you make it choose it or you choose it or like it. Now it’s like, bit by bit by bit will expose it to expose it to you expose it to you, and maybe put some messaging around it to the point where we have shaped your so we’ve shaped your human future to the place that you will buy it, which is just fucking scary.

 

Nic Hayes 

what hope do we have bring? what hope do we have? But I’ll put it back to you.

 

 

Yeah, what?

 

Nic Hayes 

Who do we blame here Mark Zuckerberg, or the very people that put all that information and give it to mark and give it to him on a platter. Give it to him for free. He becomes the most powerful marketing tool in the world in the globe. You might not have been around in Australia at the time, but when when the Australian government tried to introduce the Australia can Yeah. Oh my god. Yeah, not a pose. I mean, we’ve all got we all have passports, all the same identity, you know, basically had your driver’s licence, text, phone number and all that sort of thing. It was just in one Australia card. You would not believe the outcry of the Australian people. It’s big brother looking over us just wanting to take control of our lives and everything like that. And then you look at this today, and we are giving our most intimate details yet to a bloke in the US, who is literally using it to sell to brands to sell back to us. Yeah, the very things

 

 

and the scary mechanism I’ve just described, correct.

 

 

I mean, it is frightening.

 

Bryn Edwards 

It is it is. And I’m, it’s interesting, you should bring this up because more and more over this year, when when people have I’ve listened to people that say oh, you know, Facebook, they’re so it’s got too much power, or, you know, government this government that What are they doing? It’s like, well, dude, you you participate in in society, right? Stop legitimise in your victim mode here and making it then versus us just retreat, don’t get,

 

Nic Hayes 

don’t participate. But I think human beings like to play the victim because they understand how to play the victim. They very really understand how to play the winner. Yes. And and being a victim. They’re comfortable in that. Yeah. And also to, you know, social media is just a brush with victim victimisation. Yeah, look at me, poor me. I couldn’t do this. Because of that. This person is to blame for all the emails that I have in life. They Allah I’m the victim. You know what, before then, before social media, there was none of that. If there was the victim was the guy in the corner at the hotel, you know, just sort of talk to himself, you know, swallowing his pride with a beer and you know, just keeping it to himself. Now everyone’s a victim and blaming him For the aisles, it’s wrong. brina It’s wrong. And that’s and it’s partly a reason why I don’t I use social media myself personally for business. Yes. at a level where I dropped the post out and walk away. Yeah, I’m not looking to engage further or wider. Yes, just the process, I feel I have to go through in some cases, not necessarily the one that I want to go through. And I think that’s the challenge there for a lot of people in this space. And it’s, you’ve got to be careful how consumed you get, you get caught up in it, and you get caught up in that bubble and vacuum of not reality. It’s, it’s, it’s not reality at all. It’s, it’s, it’s a complete fabrication, and many things, such as the things that we post, you know, according to my Facebook page, I have a very happy family and everything goes along smoothly, day in day out. How does that happen? Because I know for a fact, you know, I’m frustrated. I have issues, I have problems. I’m gonna, I’m human. But the very picture that we all paint on Instagram and Facebook and, and Twitter is this perfect world. But it’s not everyone’s looking to aspire to be someone else or do that. And then feeling inadequate bring, yeah, there’s the actual anxiety of the person down the road. They’re having a much better life than me. You know, what? Turn the bloody thing off?

 

 

Yeah.

 

Bryn Edwards 

I think one of the things that became super clear, I mean, I, I like yourself, have a, what I like to refer to as a pre digital memory. Yes. And, and so, you know, as we’ve moved further and further and further into Instagram, and this world of influences, and, and things like that. And one of the things I really did enjoy during the stay at home period. And was that all of a sudden, you would see influences trying to do their influencing thing. And yet, it was so redundant, and it added no value and it was become irrelevant. Yep.

 

 

It was actually great.

 

 

Oh, look,

 

Nic Hayes 

yeah. influences. And I, you know, I, I’ve got a theory on influences in that, again, to the Mark Zuckerberg points around, who do we blame? We blame Mark Zuckerberg or do we blame the very people that have put all that content in front of Mark Zuckerberg in their personal information? It goes to the same for influencers as well. Who do I blame the influencer, trying to spruik a wooden spoon to sell or the very people that have found this particular influencer, follow them and do everything they do religiously. You know, you look at the Kardashians, the the the big ticket influences that people just aspire to be? Yes, you’ve got your local ones as well. And to your point during this pandemic, and COVID time, they couldn’t race down to the beach and run around in their fluffy bikini and stuff like that, and then think, are people going to go and buy it? No, we were we were less inclined to look at influences and start getting back to the news, stalking back to the people that we trust. Because influences you know, I don’t want to name any influences out there in fear that they might come at me for for defamation, but, you know, there is a guy that was pushing paleo. He might be paleo pate, and, you know, his influence on something that, you know, I would say, has no idea on. And yet, people were still seeking and following that content to a level that you go, why your football, his wife, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the best parent running around, and can give parental advice. Yeah, I would say, you know, just because you’ve got a position in society that says that you’re probably doing a little bit better than the average person out there and doesn’t place you as the expert or the authority in that.

 

 

No, you know, so as you can run out and become a coach on the shirt. And yeah,

 

Nic Hayes 

so to your point. I do love that, that to hear that. You felt that as well. I felt that too. Yes. I felt influences dropped off completely, purely before because they don’t know how to respond to this. They haven’t got the answers but I think also to the audience got a lot smarter as well. Yes. I think the audience started to work them out for who they actually are. Yes, just because you wear a bikini better than you know the than the myself. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve got all the answers to my woes and to my fears and to the to the very products that I need to be buying or whatever because I’m not buying this stuff. I’m not in the mood to this is not the kind of time to do it. So influences Yeah, they got a they got a bit of work to do to get back to to start influencing again, and I’m not sure they’re going to be able to

 

 

Under that,

 

Bryn Edwards 

yes. Not Not a big loss to society?

 

 

Well, no,

 

Nic Hayes 

but but having said that, again, I think that the real point behind it is that you can have a crack at the influences, but the influences have got that to that level because of the actual audience. Yeah. And the audience has made that, you know, I never blame someone for a political party that they voted in. I never blame the political party. I don’t do that. Because the fact is, it’s the people that chose them if we’re gonna blame anyone blame the people. And it goes also to for media. You know, we got rid of the shock jocks in Australia. So a lot of the big shock jocks who just recently seen Alan Jones disappear off the media landscape. We’re seeing people like Howard settlor on in Perth radio, who lived often and they’re very nice people. Very lovely person. But as a shock jock, he loves to throw the hand grenades in and be a little bit controversial. He takes the PC out of it. And I think we too will level have gone way to PC. Yeah. But at that same time, they don’t have a PC even gauge at all. Yeah. And we’ve got rid of that because the audience got rid of them. Yes, the audience rejected them and said no, no more. Yeah. And that’s what we need to do. If we’re going to change that if we’re going to change the way that we consume media, the audience has to change, and has to make that change. So one way to lessen the effect of for instance, Facebook, or any other social media platform that’s out there is to less than the numbers. Yeah, walk away from a good friend of mine in Melbourne actually has only just got back onto Facebook, because he had to for work. But he’d been off it for 666 months. Yeah. And he said it was the best six months of his life. Yeah, but he just had to get back on it for work. He’s in media himself. And he’s trying his damndest to keep a very, very low profile and don’t get too involved. Because it’s all consuming. It is not the nicest world out there. No, you know, we actually leave in a gorgeous world if people stopped for a minute and took their heads out of their phones, and had a look around, breathe in the air had a look around and see the

 

Bryn Edwards 

lovely sunshine. Sunshine is good. He is good. Oh, you know, walking in trees is good. Hanging out with your family and friends and giggling is good.

 

Nic Hayes 

Great. And that’s your pre digital time. Yes. Now we seem to and I was driving into work today. And there was a series of kids lining up at the bus stops. And not one of them. I think a basket of three or four buses could have gone through. Not one of them got their heads out of their phones. You know, it’s it’s we’re becoming walking robots, zombies type sort of things. And it is a worry. But again, I don’t want to be the fuddy duddy here. But I to remember what it was like pre digital. And I think getting back to a very original point. Yeah, I think the rise of of traditional media is coming back purely for the fact that people are starting to see what social media and also to the platforms that are offering use it it’s not necessarily real. Yeah. And I’m not saying all traditional media is real, but I’m just saying it’s got a little bit more authority and a little bit more realness about it.

 

 

Yeah. So what, what would you say? Because

 

Bryn Edwards 

what would you say to sort of the points towards media in terms of? Well, by and large, you know, a lot of most of the media stations are privately owned. And they have to answer to shareholders. Yep. And the way that they go about raising revenue generally is through advertising, which means to do that you need to get eyeballs on Yep. Or is in radio. And, and then there’s a link to well, so if I’m going to attract people, some of the best things I can use is fear, shame, guilt in there. And I myself, at times during the during the coverage of COVID and many other things. One of the biggest things that switches me off from the main media is there’s a lot of doom. There is, at times it feels like this legitimization of the victim space, or look at this pause person and turn it over and then leave them there. And and I think we’ve seen a bit more of the use of shame and guilt to how move messages through communities, you know, around, we got to do the right thing. So should you do them. I think I probably felt that more on things like the project young things like that. So I think once you become slightly more emotionally literate You can feel what someone’s trying to do. You know, it’s like when your mom tries to guilt trip you into it. And there’s been times when I have felt that and then, you know, cuz I have this psychology background, sometimes I go well, you know, fear always gets this free pass into people’s brains. Yeah, by logical thought, you know gets a barrier and I can pass it out but fear will go straight in because I need to know and it’s safe and and then and then that helps bring the eyeballs in which then brings in the media which then has to, you know, and that it’s a fair point what

 

Nic Hayes 

it is a fair point, I think, you know, I often I talk about the state newspaper here in Western Australia. And I only record in today’s paper and on page 18. You know, the page ain’t quite deep into the paper, obviously. But it’s the vasectomy of an AFL footballer made the news. Why did the vasectomy of an AFL footballer make the news? Yeah. And then you sit there and you’re wondering, you go, where? Where have we gone? And what have we got to at a point where this is now news. But I think to answer your question around that doom and gloom side of it, and it’s, I don’t blame again, the newspaper, I blame its audience for the fact that it is what it is wanting to hear. Yes, it is what it’s wanting to read and wanting to see, the newspaper and its editors knows its audience better than we would ever think they would Yes. Because they watch and see what what, what gets more click throughs what actually people are looking at what do they want? They are they ask, you know, and even in the letters to the editor, they’re following the issues that people are concerned about. Anyone that is bothered to pick up a pen or write or type in a letter to an editor to complain, when you can just jump onto Twitter, or Facebook and say whatever you want, you know, there is there is motivation, there is discipline. So you can sit there and I doom and gloom, we bind to that very quickly, because we’re fascinated by it. Because also too while we also want to justify and this is your psychology add on, not mine only did 12 months of psychology. And I I failed dismally. Yeah, Bryn. But you know what, we also want to feel better about our own lives, when someone else is hurting or not doing so well. All of a sudden, hey, our life doesn’t feel so bad as well. But also to you know, remember when Big brother came along and the show and you know, he was we’re always fascinated with what’s going on, on the other side of the fence, you know, what’s our neighbours up to? What are they doing, but yet social media is literally that we give we’re looking over everyone’s everyone’s fencing over every boundary, not just a locale, globally. But I also think, too, that we are subject as an audience, and we vote with our feet, with our eyeballs and our ears, on what we want to hear what we want to see what we want to read. And I will defend traditional media in that tabloid this way that some of the publications have gone purely for the fact they competing against social media, that terrorises people with clickbait material, and sends them to a place where they think they want to go and how often do you get there you go. That’s not the story I really wanted to read. I didn’t really want to do that, you know, but I got caught up in it, you know, the competing against that space. And that just might be more human nature of telling the media what they want, then necessarily what they need to hear. And I’ve had this debate with a few people is, you know, does media tell us what we want to know? Or what we need to know? And I think there should be more need to know to know then what we want to know. Yes. Because there is a sense of responsibility and I still think you get that through traditional media over that of social media. But maybe not enough of that. And I think that we know from you and I when we were growing up as as teenagers and young adults, we still would have got the news that we needed to know. Not necessarily what we the consumer, the audience wanted to know. And that might be the challenge for the demographics coming through. Is that they’ve always been 111 and maybe not enough.

 

 

And you can so easily see how

 

 

when that

 

Bryn Edwards 

that reptilian that our complex the the Fitbit is fired up, I want to know I want to know I want to know I want to know and then you can you go off mainstream, into Facebook into YouTube. You’ve only got to look at click at one. I’m just going to pull it off the top of my head like 5g causes Coronavirus, and boom you will be fed and fed and fed and fed and fed and fed because the algorithm more scary stuff. After most ghosts of Moscow stuff, and then, after a period of time, the next thing you know, you’ve entered a whole world of darkness. Yeah. And I was invited to speak on someone’s podcast recently about conspiracies. And I think the host thought I was going to come and talk about conspiracies. What he got was me talking about the biggest conspiracy is the design of social media. And so whilst many of you know whether it’s child trafficking, or whether you want to discuss vaccinations or whatever they want, while they all have lines of merit, as a new line of inquiry, biggest conspiracy to me seems to be the plethora of shit that you’re fed. Yep. without you even realising it, and then people getting worked up, worked up and worked up,

 

Nic Hayes 

and you’re talking about the algorithm that is literally your, you know, you happens all the time. I think my wife was looking at holidays down south. And next thing, you know, everything in her Facebook feed, were holiday houses and locations, geographically spaced all to the very thing, because Big brother is watching, you know, we’ve set it up social media has set it up is the they want to understand you better than your partner understands. Yeah, they want to understand you because all they’re trying to do is sell to you. And that’s what we are getting caught up in And to your point there around, particularly around conspiracy theories, you know, the the tin hat Brigade, the 5g conspiracy theories, the anti vaxxers Oh, God, don’t get me started with vegans and all that good stuff. But they get this they put that in there. And you get fed that every time day in day out?

 

 

Yeah, you you are literally

 

Nic Hayes 

you are being mind controlled here. Yeah, you are you are being you’re basically put into that bubble, that’s going to produce a card carrying whatever you’ve actually put in there, if that’s what you believe in. And if you don’t take on any other theories, and you don’t listen to other people, or what other things that are going on, how can you shake frame and and see what you believe in? And look, it’s very easy to get caught up in it brainwashing on social media, I think is what you’re suggesting. That is what is going on.

 

Bryn Edwards 

And the irony is, is that many people who will move away from mainstream media or say, or I’m not doing that anymore, it’s brainwashing me it’s brainwashing the masses, data, data data. Yeah. And on one level, there will be an agenda in there because as we recognise, there is a you know, a private shareholder responsibility but it’s it’s sort of one big message going out to a large amount of people where is that the thing with the social media is it’s a big message targeted specifically at you your preferences, your philosophy, your psychology, your your beliefs and values in the world? And it’s it you can’t you can’t make sense of it because it just feels like the right thing and the right thing and the right thing

 

Nic Hayes 

there will be conspiracy theorists out there right now that will say that you and I have a conspiracy theory against social media and that we’re trying to bring it down etc which is hardly the case. You know, the minute we finish this conversation I’m going to take a photo of you and I have my digital camera Yeah, and I’m going to post it onto one of the digital spaces of course we’re going to do that but we also too I think social media has created the perfect marketing tool the perfect communicated to the human being and willingly knowing that they giving them and feeding them everything that they need to do to become that perfect machine. And if you don’t if you don’t think for it if you think for a second that this is all God added that pop up straight after I just, you know, jot something down in Google and how did that come up in my Facebook feed? That’s completely irrelevant. It’s not because it just mind You know, it came out of nowhere it came because it is monitoring it is taking your content that you’re doing, you know, the, you know, your little wonderboom boxes and stuff like that. Hey, Siri, turn on three A w you know, hey, Siri is not just sitting there when you yell at Hey, Siri, hey, Siri is listening all the time,

 

 

every day,

 

Nic Hayes 

when we we think about talking about our own privacy and where we sit in the world and we’re thinking we know we’re pretty safe and secure, where no one knows all my details, etc. I wouldn’t even begin to tell you how many bytes because we freely give it up into places that we think and what we originally probably trusted not to deliver or not to put it out there was Facebook was wasn’t always like this. You know that there was a platform of sharing photos with friends. Family and having a wonderful time. And, you know, I never been more connected. I remember Facebook for me was when I was in London at the time, and we were using another platform Bebo or something like that just died off. But we use Facebook and Oh, look at this. I don’t have to actually, you know, send my photos up all across via mail or anything to my family anymore. Just load them up on a Facebook. They sing it within minutes of me putting it up. Yeah, this is wonderful. Yeah. Now I don’t, I’m not going to have to have a video night where I’m sitting down with the whole family going. This is where we went to the Eiffel Tower. Yeah, they not only went to the Eiffel Tower with me, they could almost smell the croissants. And you know, this is how close and intimate we’ve become and an N a platform that we we truly do use and use a lot. Yeah, it’s not fun. No, it’s not falling off by any means. But we just got to be careful with it.

 

Bryn Edwards 

I think the second scariest point in that documentary for me was when people think about a artificial intelligence and AI takeover, I think the words that we use is we think of something overcoming our strengths. And like the Terminator coming up physically crushing us. But what we don’t realise is that AI is already overcome our weaknesses. Yep. And so it’s come through the backdoor. Yeah. And we don’t even realise it. Yeah, yeah. So this sort of swings me round now to whether whether it’s social media, as we’ve discussed it, or it or even mainstream media, which, you know, has an agenda and we’ll put frames on the way it presents information. And where do you see us as the individuals and our ability to make sense of the information? Because with social media, we have this formidable foe, we have no idea of the power of the of the algorithm and the computing power that sits behind the screen, huh, right. We, we think it’s benevolent. But it far outstrips our capacity to make sense. And that’s why people almost get hooked and addicted. Me, mainstream media in and of itself will be presenting stuff. I mean, even this podcast is doing that show, right? It’s presenting that. So it’s, it then comes down to we consume media. So we are media consumers. So I guess it comes back to what we were starting to touch on in the last episode, which is our discernment. Where do you see our sort of sense making skills individually, and then collectively, in that world? Oh,

 

Nic Hayes 

look, it’s we we’ve, we’re consuming so much information that, you know, why we do consume, we are choosing what we consume, not necessarily rocking up to the time and, and getting a full coverage of and our ability to send I think it comes down to one, your background, your intelligence, your socio economic standing, where you, you know, what your family did, what your parents do for a job, et cetera, and your ability just to take in data? There’s a lot of data to take in. Yes. And I think some of us might be just overtaken and too consumed by it all. Because it, there is just so much of it. Oh, you you would you wouldn’t be able to take it all in, I think you have to pick and choose into for those that are well read. And you know, we refer to someone as a well read, knowledgeable, can make those decisions can sort of make up their own mind as to sort of what is right and wrong. I think it comes back from education comes back to people’s ability to be very careful with their consumption on media. And I’m not talking about being careful about what they read. Just how much Yeah, and also to that it isn’t just a particular bias or a particular pathway. Now I in Australia, you can look at the sky after dark, they refer that to the right wing media. You know, it’ll be the opposite, for instance of an ABC media. Yeah, very conservative, liberal in their politics, they’re an assignment about that. And as he’s probably ABC, which is supposed to be apolitical, probably leans slightly to the left. And you know, we all know that is intelligent consumers and it’s intelligent human beings. We already know that. So when I do hear a new story from there and a new story from there, I know the slight taint or the lights, light shade that might be with it. But I think moving forward and for people on the way that they consume content information, news. I hope that we don’t become to your point that wants to know. And through that fear, the need to know. Yeah, everything. I think we just need to take on what it is to make our life better. Yeah, what it is to make our life informed and not necessarily have to know

 

 

everything. be okay with no be okay

 

 

with that. Yeah, absolutely. I

 

 

don’t know the answer to this. Yeah,

 

Nic Hayes 

one of the great things we tell our experts is that, you know, you’ll get put into a situation where you’re being interviewed by media, and you’re not going to know the answer to this. And it’s okay. In fact, it just tells me you’re more human. Yeah. Then you are robotic, in spitting out that did did did line that, you know, you’re reading a book that or got from a social media platform that Yeah, whether you believe that or not? I think it’s, you know, it’s very comfortable to say, Look, I don’t know the answer to that. The other side of it is, is that when you do consume one particular media and one and very biassed media, you don’t have a well rounded position, you become a renter, you become a raving what we call a raving lunatic. And that can go from left and right. Yeah, the political positioning that you have on the scale, right, radical left, yeah, it doesn’t matter. You’ll be a lunatic if you don’t take in all form of media, or at least all form of bias that’s sitting there and be able to intelligently digest it and argue it yourself. Because you’ve got to be able to deliver the argument, you can take the information, everyone’s going to have a different opinion in position to every piece of news, I can give you straight up research saying a and I can get the other person at the other end will say that I’m believing B. Yeah. And it’s like, that’s perfectly fine. The differences between the two, though the arguments, and the way that they interpret the evidence. Yeah. And that is in human beings, it’s natural for us to interpret differently. No two people are going to interpret data or content in the same way. But if you can deliver it, the data and the content in an intelligent, well thought out evidence based fact, you’re going to be able to deliver a really sound mind position view. Yes, but others might go You know what, I think you’re on the money. Yeah, I think you’re right. Yeah.

 

 

Or 70%. With you? Yeah.

 

Nic Hayes 

I’m, I’m happy to 51% with me. Yeah. I’ve just that’s all I’m happy with. Yeah. I do a little segment on 16 hour every Friday, called the press conference with Ollie Peterson and genomic medicine. I might be seen as slightly the right wing guy, because yeah, my opposite. And Joe McManus is very, very left. Yeah, I just don’t sit as left as she does. I probably sit very central. But it sounds like I’m very right. Yes. I’m constantly constantly berating the West Australian premier for the fact that he’s policy on the hard border, and not converting over to a smart border. Or at least listening to the people have going, you’re not leading, you’re actually just keeping us and living in the land of fear. And while I enjoy the very joys of being able to move around and do almost the normal things that we were doing here in Perth before COVID, compared to that of our friends in Victoria, I still feel trapped. Yes, I can’t get up and jump on a plane and head over to Sydney to do work that I need to go and get done. But I also do celebrate the fact that we are healthy. We’re doing all right. But I would like better leadership that according to everyone else that listens to me on the radio, they think I’m a right wing lunatic. And I don’t mind that but it is my fault if my evidence if my position is well backed thought out. And it’s presented in a way I’m comfortable with it.

 

Bryn Edwards 

And that comes about from you having your own sound ability to make sense of the world. The neck

 

Nic Hayes 

Yeah. And everyone’s gonna it’s all very subjective. Oh, yeah, it’s it’s perfectly I believe that everyone should have the right to every their own opinions and everything like that. What I won’t is when someone has and wants to bestow it on someone else. And the other side of it is is that when they do start the rant and you can tell immediately that their position is very much only one sided and can even see the light or even a glimmer of light on the other side and recognise that there might be merit there too. Yeah.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yeah. And that is what we see a lot with this cancelled culture.

 

Nic Hayes 

Honestly cancelled culture. If it cancelled culture. This is it. Look, history is history. And we are where we learn history at school. We understand what our forefathers did, whether it was right or wrong, that that is what happened to go away and delete it or pretend it never actually happen. That’s not a democracy. That is not the way society works. We can look back at some of the people I mean, just even recently, Captain Cook, you know, 2030 years ago, and beyond before then he was the greatest hero Australia Riverhead. Today, they want to Terri’s they want to tear the statue down. Yeah. And that would happen in the UK that would happen in the US. It’s been happening everywhere. Is it all of a sudden we’ve got to now cancel what had happened in the past? Well, you know what, learn from history. If we made mistakes, learn from it. Don’t try to erase them and pretend they didn’t actually happen. Because history is history. The funny thing with history, though, is history is always written by the winners. Right?

 

Bryn Edwards 

And ironically enough, when things stuff like stuff like that happens, where we won’t tear down statues and things like that. Well, we’re going through World conspiracies. And one of the favourite films is 1984. Yep. What was the main characters job? Taking out articles out of the paper in the past? That’s right. And that’s exactly

 

Nic Hayes 

what we’re doing. Yeah. You’re smart that George Orwell was me. All right. Yeah. 1994. What are you doing in 1994? I was 10. That’s cool. He has 11. I’m older than you. Gotcha. Yeah, now and look, we’ve, I think that with anything like that, you have to recognise Look, a lot of the deeds weren’t that good. And yeah, and they were harmful, and they do hurt others now, or had hurt them in the past. And we’re only recognising that now. But it’s good that we’re recognising it now. And I’m, you know, I’m more than happy to say sorry, even for things that I haven’t done. But I’ll be I’ll be saying sorry for the fact that you know, I’m sorry that you were going through that or the way that you’re feeling through that. But to negate all of that, I’ve got to say that on another side of cancelled culture, which sort of gets lumped into this, you know, and I don’t like it, because I think there is something there that can be done when brand names have names that are offensive and hurtful to particular people. And I’ll refer to Coon cheese, you know, that word is offensive. Yeah. It’s got nothing to do with what the intentions are had never any intention to doing so. Yeah. But you know, what, it just might be time to change that name. And as a result it has, and people will say, well, that’s just political correctness gone. Nuts gone there. Yeah. Now look, I I think, you know, we, we grow and as a, as a human being movement and, and society, we grow and, you know, we start to recognise and become very different people to what we were 100 years ago. Yes. And that’s uncomfortable with that. comfortable.

 

 

Have we gone? Very well.

 

 

And so the last question, I like to ask my guests nowadays, changes last time.

 

Nic Hayes 

Yeah. Now I’ve been listening. So I sort of got ready for this one.

 

 

Okay.

 

Bryn Edwards 

So if you could upload a question into the collective consciousness that just makes everyone that everyone would just sit still for five or 10 minutes and contemplate, right now, what would that be? Oh,

 

 

the guy was telling a Porky pie haven’t been listening wasn’t ready for that question.

 

Nic Hayes 

That’s a really good one. Look, I don’t think that anything that I say I don’t think I’ve got anything to say that someone’s going to sit there for five or 10 minutes to think about it. I mean, I would struggle to think about it, I’ve got the attention of a gnat. I’m moving from five to seven, every seven seconds to something else. But the question I would ask the collective right now is, you know,

 

 

to really, really think that if

 

 

God

 

Nic Hayes 

if I was in five years time from now, will I be just as fired up and motivated as I am right now? Or will that motivation and fire up they just in a just a different form? You know, am I am I actually even fired up? I don’t know this, about this particular topic, or this position. But I think now as a 47 year old male, I’m a lot more comfortable in my own skin, and my own thoughts and views because I’ve been around for a little while, chop some wood of chop some wood. been around the block a couple of times. I kind of understand what’s going on, but I don’t think I was always like that, where I’m, and I think that we will anyone who’s listening to this, where do you see yourself in five years time? You know, do you think you’re going to be in a different space? Are you going to be just as motivated to do what you’re currently doing right now? and still feel as passionate about it. And I think I’m getting better with age. I just feel like I’m I’m getting More fired up more opinionated, more positioned. And when I say opinion, I don’t mean to be opinionated is not a negative word. By opinionated, I mean I’m willing to position and put myself I’m not going to stand in the corner and just let everything fly by Yes, I’m going to stand up for what I believe in, and what’s going on. And I think I’m just getting a handle of that at 47. Yeah. And

 

 

that happened to me recently. Yeah. And

 

Nic Hayes 

I think, you know, if someone’s, if you’re listening to this right now, and the question to get people thinking is, what am I going to do to be to take it to that next level into five years time? And I think you know, what, I don’t think I have to do that much. Green, just keep doing what I’m doing. And wait for it to happen for me, because it’s like, five years, I’m getting better in age. I haven’t, I’d rather have a pause button, just hold this age for a little longer. But it doesn’t work like that. Where are we going to be in five years time? And will I be just as motivated? I think more so I will be? I just think not because I’m going to be studying learning trying to find out more, I’m going to be just let life run its course and and see where I’m at? I’m not sure if that answers your question. But

 

 

does. And

 

 

there’s a lot of truth in that.

 

Bryn Edwards 

And without opening the whole conversation back up again, because this is normal that

 

 

I wonder sometimes and

 

Bryn Edwards 

younger than me, you got about to get really bloody triggered by what I say. But I wonder sometimes where the trade off between the exuberance of youth intersected with a social media world where I know everything, and I’m gonna put it out there. And then you end up with 30 year old life coaches and, and, and things like that. Right. And, you know, just just, I said it in a previous podcast only recently I’ve been sitting around looking at, you know, some government decisions and things like that and go, what are the grown ups going to turn up? Yeah, and then all of a sudden, I realised, okay, it that’s me now. Yeah. And I feel like a grown up at the age of 46. And, and as a previous podcast, guests said, Yes, scary when you sit in the room, and you realise you’re the most competent person there. But you know, you’re an idiot, because you live with yourself.

 

Nic Hayes 

And yeah, that’s an that’s a thought. I think if I’m gonna leave something with on this podcast, yeah. is in it. And it’s probably that ran about while I was trying to get to it is that, you know, what, in five years time, you’re going to get there. Yeah, just be comfortable getting there. Yeah, don’t have to be consuming social, traditional media, don’t have to, you know, compare yourself with other people that are going on around you. Just be yourself. And I think that’s where that’s my message to myself. And that’s my message to myself is that I could not give a hoot what my competitors what the people in my industry in space are doing. I’ve not, I’d like I said at the beginning. I use social media because I have to, I’ll throw it in there. But I walk away from it. I don’t sit there watching reading all the comments, all the messages that are coming back. There’ll be a capital sometimes, and I’ve done it on occasions, and I do get but I remind myself, I’m okay with that. I’m okay with being me. And that’s where a lot of us are gonna have to just put it down for a minute. Put it down for a while. Don’t get too caught up in it. And in five years time from now. downregulate Yeah, Dan, you’re going to be a better and better a better version of yourself. Anyway. Yeah. Just don’t have to know everything that’s going on. Right up to that five year two point.

 

 

Yeah. Just Just be comfortable being you. Exactly.

 

 

I I’m

 

Nic Hayes 

glad. I’m glad you just re put me back in because you refocus. I was. I was trying to say something it wasn’t coming out. But that was that’s in my attention to leave people with is that you’re going to get there in five years. Just don’t take everything else in.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Yeah, just be yourself. I think I’ve looked there are no studies out there that say knowing more things or consuming more content makes you more happier.

 

 

Maybe money

 

 

further.

 

Nic Hayes 

Now. Well, just a little bit.

 

 

Yeah, just a little bit. Bring a

 

 

little bit more than about the moment.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Nick, it’s been an absolute pleasure talking to you again today.

 

Nic Hayes 

Bring the pleasure has been mine and what a pleasure is to have your red vest in my white studio. Please. Hopefully it stands out. Indeed. It’s good. Good chat. Good talk. really thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

Bryn Edwards 

Indeed. Thank you.

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