I’m going to switch the narrative perspective, and just talk to myself.
Austin, you are not your social media accounts.
You are not the likes, shares, reposts, or the absence of them that you receive on social media.
The attention you get for posts, shares, pictures, tweets, comments, and any other social-media related engagement are not what make up who you are and what you’re doing with your life. These are not a gauge for your personal merit, your achievements, or self-esteem. They are a small snapshot of what is going on in your life. These are not things that you can go get a job with, well sort of. In actuality, you could get a job for getting really good at social media. It’s actually part of your job to be good at social media.
Just don’t mix up being well-versed in the technical workings of a technology platform and being a great person because of what you, personally, achieve via those platforms. So, maybe to revise, I’ll say those things are only but a fraction of a decimal of who you are. If all these platforms went away tomorrow, you’d still be the curious, passionate, outspoken, stubborn, slightly anxious, and somewhat humorous guy you are now.
You are also not how you compare to other people’s social media accounts.
These are edited snapshots of a life. Behind every post, there is an entire untold day to day that is filled with the real struggles of real people. So, be nice to yourself and be nice to others. Take what you see “with a grain of salt”. For your own purposes, you could almost view it like a sort of more customized, more integrated, slightly more realistic version of “The Sims” or “Second Life” for real life. People, to some degree, get to curate their own lives and show the world what they want them to see. It’s not true in every case, but it’s true for some.
You are not the inflamed rhetoric, socio-political commentary, or other arguments you engage in via threads amongst your virtual friends and their networks. If you were face to face with these people, you would be far more calm about debating with them. Also, continue not being a troll and not absolutely losing your shit in comment threads, that’s a pretty good habit to keep up.
Also, if you’re going to post pictures, opinions, and experiences, stop worrying so much about the reaction people might have later. And, all of the questions that keep floating around in your head don’t help you much either:
- Does this look good?
- Does this make me look stupid?
- Does this make me look shallow?
- Does this make me look like I’m too worried about how it made me look?
- Should I have apologized for how cheesy that sounded/looked?
- Should I like that comment, respond to it, or ignore it?
- Could that comment I just made be taken the wrong way?
- Should I delete that comment?
- What if they look at the unedited version?
- What is the point of being able to edit comments, if you can see the original version anyways???
- Why hasn’t this group liked more of the posts I’ve put on that page?
- Do I suck?
- Do my posts suck?
- Am I sharing the wrong stuff?
- Should I be reading one of those guides to doing this better?
- Are my sarcastic hashtags just the worst?
- Should I just stop?
- Don’t I have to be on social media because my job revolves around it?
- Do I really want to just be one of those “this is my job social media account, I will only share work-related items via this social media account, so anyone who looks here will definitely know that this is my job” kind of people?
- Is there a better balance?
- How much should I keep private via my settings?
- How much should I keep private, period?
Content Curation vs. Opinion Sharing
People probably don’t always understand that you share articles as a way to curate through the mass amount of content you see each day. People might think because you share an article, you have the same views that the article or its author might hold, not because you thinks it’s a perspective worth considering or a piece worth laughing at.
The worst part (also, arguably, the best part), you never truly know when someone will view it the wrong way. There’s not much you can do if someone misjudges you, except explain yourself if called on the carpet. Also, the same goes for life. What other people think of you is really none of your damn business anyways. Those are their thoughts, let them keep them that way.
“…Everything with meaning happens in the present. And that is the only thing.” -Peter Brook
Most of all, you are a human being with a life in the real world. Social media does a lot for you, and will continue to. But, don’t become so consumed in it you forget what really matters, the present moment and living in it. Especially when it comes to good food and good people, just put the phone, tablet, laptop, or whatever other device you have glued to your fingers away and enjoy.
#enjoylife #presentmoment #peterbrook #selfworth