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Being authentic on social media…

and a lesson in social etiquette and when to keep things to yourself.

We’re social creatures–we are programmed to be this way (most of us anyway!). We thrive on gossip, the latest celebrity trends, sad tragic stories that circulate for a quick sympathy emoji or comment or whatever is going on in people’s lives on Facebook. We creep instagram stories, snapchat stories, twitter timelines for incriminating tweets and more. Some folks have the habit of sharing everything from their latest meal to the place they last shopped at, to who they bumped into at the hair salon.

Why?

To feel noticed. To feel special or even important. To have someone either envy them or a lot of these statuses come for the need for validation from other people or simply to project a certain type of image. And I am guilty of this…for the comments.

Social media has become the root of depression and anxiety for a lot of individuals, sometimes including myself. We often feel the need to keep up the trend of posting everyday and sometimes fighting with ourselves to come up with funny statues to post, motivation quotes, or articles to keep people interested in a virtual relationship with you.

Here’s a little truth bomb: offer value and people will flock to you.

If you use any major platform to network and build relationships with potential customers or clients, you really need to be careful of what you want to say and how you should say it. Tact and delivery go a long way on social media.

Some people overshare. I witnessed a facebook status of someone talking about their period and another where a woman was giving a list of things her ex-husband isn’t doing for their kid.  I came across a status of a designer bashing their clients openly.  Not a good look. Also, too much information! Nobody needs to know when you are ovulating and I am sure people don’t give a shit about how much of a slime ball your ex is, or bad mouthing a client is a bad look for business. 

Oversharing sometimes is mistaken for being authentic. There is a huge difference between the two. 

Being authentic means being true to yourself and your values but not pushing your ideals down anyone’s throat or talking AT people. Oversharing shows up in the form of telling your audience about fluff or spiralling in a nervous case of word vomit about how much your life sucks all the time, or constantly talking about politics (let’s face it…nobody ever agrees on anything and a racist is always outed) or white privilege and trying to educate others non-stop

There is a time and place for all of this… and I personally reserve it for group discussions and keep it off my Facebook / LinkedIn profiles. If you must have a discussion about race, politics, ovaries, sex, etc… I highly encourage you to join communities that focus on these variety of topics so you can get your rocks off without turning off your entire friend list. 

I have unfriended people because all they want to push on me is their shitty MLM product, and every post is a promotion to something they are selling. Stop doing that. 

I have unfriended people or unfollowed them on twitter because they keep sharing how upset they are, or are constantly complaining about something and fail to see there is a silver lining in literally everything. 

Social media has turned people into whiners and this is often mistaken for being real, authentic, true.  Know the difference between when you should be sharing something to educate your audience or when you simply want a reaction.

People will always respond to value.

I made a post a few months ago about how I was diagnosed with depression at a young age and suffer from anxiety on a daily basis. I wanted to tell my audience that it’s normal and they are not alone. Being an entrepreneur can sometimes be a very lonely journey: constant deadlines, working 12-16 hour days and spending all your time on a computer starts taking a toll on your mental health and physiology, especially when you don’t take care of yourself. I shared my experience because it was a lesson for others to not fall into the same patterns and to simply take care of themselves.

Lastly, I encourage everyone to do an audit of who they have in their social circle, as this will help you gauge your social habits and really assess who you want to learn from and be linked to.

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