Whenever I visit my social media pages, the vibe I pick up is clamouring, starving, grabbing, screaming.
The working world we live in requires the use of these platforms. We make excellent connections; it is a social tool first. I use it for people – relationships – more than I use it to promote and sell. After all, people buy from people they know, like and trust.
Maybe it’s the creative side of me that longs to see fresh and authentic content rolling through my feed – or maybe for all my sunny-sally optimism there is a bit of a sour side to me, but the truth is there are times my newsfeed makes me roll my eyes and want to bang my forehead on the keyboard.
It’s not just the volume of photo memes with Arial Black font that make me want to cry, it is the deep understanding that we are all ultimately sheep that makes me feel a bit blue. The way we all follow ‘the [current] leader’ – circulating and sharing the same ideas, borrowed ideas, very little new information and very littleof our own content.
Trendsetters – the ones we follow, in every industry and sector – are the quick thinkers that produce the content we consume and buy into. They are leaders and innovators in every sense of the word. But, they follow someone, too. They are, in a sense, recycling information, too. All great leaders have mentors and others that inspire them. That’s not what I’m talking about.
True iconoclasts and innovators are rare, I’d wager, and you won’t find them retweeting the ideas of others on Twitter. What you will see them doing is engaging in conversation – replying, redirecting, sharing and producing authentic content.
You’ll also find a ton of opinions. It’s not very couth, but as the saying goes: Opinions are like @ssholes. Everyone has one, and a lot of them stink.
It can be difficult to avoid drama disguised as conversation. When online dialogue is heated, it’s best to stay away. You’re not going to teach anyone anything they’re not willing to hear or learn. What’s the point in engaging? Check your motivations. Is the conversation worth your precious time? Are there more constructive ways you can spread yourself around online; in a way that inspires others instead of adds to the din?
So, what are the options, when you no longer want to recycle other people’s ideas or memes, or *yawn quotes. (Which I also do, and have done, A LOT.)
It takes courage and clarity to just be you.
It’s easier and less risky to share the status quo and re-post the opinions and ideas of others. It’s way harder to show up in all your vulnerable glory and go against the grain.
[I understand coming up with content can be challenging for some people. Writing isn’t everyone’s strong suit, and there are plenty o’ people you can hire to plan, write and edit your social media. Find a good one if you need help crafting a business message.]
It’s critical to remember the people we admire, seek out and follow, we follow because they show up fully as who they are. They aren’t rehashing and delivering or imbibing and projectile assailing us with other people’s beliefs and ideas.They’re just being them.
Gary Vaynerchuk, Brené Brown, Sir Richard Branson, Ellen, Tony Robbins, Gillian Michaels, W. Brett Wilson, Oprah… whoever it is you like to follow
you follow because they just DO THEM, 100% of the time.
When I write, I write to sort.
To gain clarity.
To remind myself.
And I write to love.
Truly, nothing I’ve written here is a new concept. You’ve read it or heard it somewhere before. And in that sense, I am doing exactly what it is I’m writing about – rehashing what I already know and need to be reminded of.
So, Kim, when you have the urge to post a quote, or run away screaming because of the comments section on any given article, post or photo, or when you fear that the masses are asleep … write about who you are.
What you believe in.
Be optimistic ’cause that’s your way.
Or pragmatic, if that’s the way you’re feeling.
Write with love, and be passionate, cause that’s how you do it.
And be you.
Occasionally, you’ll come across something you think you should share. Go on ‘n share it.
But when you find yourself swimming with all the other fishes, maintaining status quo – remember, you don’t want to go that way.