When I start talking to people about social media, I almost always find myself clarifying what social media is and what it isn’t and it often sparks an interesting discussion.
Let’s start with what social media is:
a way to get to know new people and ideas
Social media is all sorts of other things too, but those are the ones I personally connect with most.
Now, what social media isn’t:
anybody’s top priority
an excuse to be somebody you aren’t
Almost everyone agrees on the basics: social media is a great way to stay in touch with people, make new connections, promote yourself and your work, stay on top of breaking news, and all that jazz.
But sometimes people lose sight of the fact that social media is an extension of real life and not an alternate reality. In real life, you wouldn’t spend an entire night out with friends talking about your work, so why do it online? In real life, you are a multi-dimensional person with varied interests, so why not be that way in the digital space?
I’m not saying you need to explore every single interest you have on social media, but if knitting is something you love, don’t go out of your way to hide that. You never know how many of your friends or followers might have the same interests as you, and wouldn’t that be cool to find out?! (This is a big one for people, so shoot me an email if the mere thought of it makes you uncomfortable because it shouldn’t.)
And if social media feels like work or a chore, you’re doin’ it wrong. To be fair, you’re not alone, but the moment it’s not fun anymore, chances are, it’s going to show. If you stop tweeting for a few days, nobody is going to care. If you stop using Facebook for months, your friends might miss you, but they won’t stop being your friends. If you don’t post on your blog for a while, it’s okay; tell people that you’re not feeling it anymore and get back into it when you’re ready.
I feel so strongly about all of these things, it’s the basis for why I do what I do. When I talk to people about what social media isn’t, almost all of them have trouble accepting one or more of my points. When done right, social media can hugely benefit your life (seriously!), but if there’s any sort of disconnect, it’s going to drain you instead and nobody wants that.
If you want to find out how social media can help your life or want it to stop feeling like work, get in touch so we can talk it out.
Sally A. Mercedes is a sacred artist, teacher, and healer. She helps you express yourself fully and authentically, reconnect with your voice, live your truth, and share your story. Her writing covers feminism, politics, news, entertainment, and more, and her singing has an even bigger range.