Social Media Policy

ERS values the support of riders who choose to follow and interact with us on social media.  We really enjoy seeing posts, stories and photos of riders out on the water with ERS equipment though we generally encourage moderate and reduced use of social media sites.

As a company that exists to enhance outdoor activity and peoples recreational lives we don't want to spend our own time glued to a screen, nor encourage it in others to the point of excess, when there is so much great stuff to see and experience - just by looking up.

More Social Connection - Less Advertising Revenue

It will not take a huge leap to assume most of us know one or more people that never seem to be off their phone. Device use crept into our lives and often develops into dependence that is seldom recognized or challenged.

The intent of each platform is to increase user frequency and interaction to sell more advertising placements to businesses. The platforms increase this interaction time through learning algorithms. The algorithms are designed to keep you checking in more (frequency) and keep you interacting (scrolling, watching and commenting).

The net negative societal influence has not been adequately understood or addressed and ERS feels social media and device use addiction has been normalized and requires change. Device use has become a routine of wasting hours a day - and accepting it as normal. 

What is Wrong with Social Media?

We are not anti-social media, though we feel its current action is flawed and trajectory in a moral grey area.  It is challenging to watch a generation of children grow up and never separated from their phone, and see the contradiction of an older generation whom the advent of social media has given some happiness and ability to connect with family and friends more frequently.

The disingenuous rise of 'influencers', the endless tracking and profiling and the false realities it builds and promotes are mostly traditional advertising methods given new clothes.  However, the level of manipulation is more intrusive and personal since it manipulates into interactions with our friends and families and uses peoples lives to fuel an advertising machine with never ending content.

It is difficult for us to continue our involvement unchecked with the status quo, when we base our whole company ethos on actually making peoples lives better.

The Box Isn't Real

The platforms design their algorithms differently for users and businesses.  Businesses are pushed to spend for popularity and to compete against each other though bidding in that space. We ran ongoing tests and found that over 90% of our advertising spend was being sent to bot traffic.  The platforms didn't expect us to detail data check anything other than the statistics they provide to justify our advertising expense.

The platforms encourage building a false narrative with fake followers and likes and it is done with the intent of setting unrealistic levels of interaction, which the business is then trapped into paying for to maintain their perceived level of popularity.

There are as many guides as google will direct you too with instructions of buying fake followers and likes through all social media platforms but anyone familiar with the platforms know the practice is in common use, as do the platform providers.  Significant numbers of business and 'influencers' take this step themselves to enhance their post likes and follower counts through bot farms and other similar bad actors.

The anonymity and vagueness of social media mean fraud is commonplace.  Everyone knows it, but few businesses will state it on record when it is much easier to play a role that keeps the machine turning especially when doing so has a perceived benefit.

We have never 'played the social media game' like other companies and it hasn't effected our popularity or commercial success. We've always run our business like a business we want to buy from, and made products that we ourselves want to use.

For all the negatives, there can be positives. Instead, we focused on doing things we can do in a positive manner.  We can change our behavior and not engage in the negative aspects and use the platforms as a limited form of media for our business.

Moving Forward

ERS has expressed preference to our riders to focus on being in the moment, tagging us when they wish to share content but not to let social media dictate or form their core experience on the water.

We have an implemented policy that on dates of significant cultural or historical importance that has nothing to do with paddle boarding we will post nothing unless it is important to us as a business, or to an individual involved in our business.  The intent is to clear space so real people can interact with real people which we feel is a positive use of social media.

If you want to read what real people think of their ERS boards and gear we have an entire section of our site dedicated to ERS user / rider and insights and reviews. These are real people who share their real experiences using ERS equipment. 

From a commercial standpoint we realize limiting our involvement with social media will have implications though we've always done what we feel is right and our stance on this issue is no different. Social media can provide some small and local businesses a tool to grow their community and act as a convenient customer and feedback portal, which is something we absolutely encourage if it helps these businesses.

ERS will be as current as practical on our active social media accounts to give our riders and potential customers collated platforms to interact with ERS as part of their many social and community interests. ERS is genuinely appreciative of any rider that feels like sharing info about what we do, and any experiences we had a part in facilitating.  

We post our social links on each page of the site and use these platforms and interaction with the intention of having fun, interacting when we feel like doing so and not have it form a cornerstone of our business. 

Social media is a great platform to share interesting information and great photos, though we feel its use and purpose needs to be balanced and not form the basis of social activity. 

If you personally feel the need to cut back your social media and device use then consider adapting a practical guide to limit social media for your circumstances - or - browse discussion groups such as r/noscreen r/nosurf for inspiration on the benefits of less screen time in general.

ERS is about getting outside more and seeing what is happening in the world. There are some really cool things and experiences right in front of you.

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7810 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda, Maryland 20814