Social media is a communication tool, it does not define who we are nor should it affect our self-esteem. Yet everyday we are worried about whether or not people will read a post or like what we’ve shared. How can we use gratitude to overcome some of these social media challenges?
Gratitude Tip: Begin with gratitude for this means of communication. This morning I woke up to a reply from a message on Facebook from a friend I had traveled with in Europe in 1998. There would be no other way for us to have connected so easily as we met during a time when social media didn’t exist! We barely had email. Facebook especially is a great tool to stay connected with our global connections, in a way that was never possible only a decade ago.
The challenges arise when we tie our self esteem to what we are posting. It become important to see how many people liked our post, who liked it, did anyone comment on it or share it? We are caught up in other people’s opinions and it’s not very healthy for anyone. Do I get attached sometimes to whether people see a post or not? Yes. Does it affect my mood or my day? Not really.
Here are some of my simple strategies to help overcome these social media challenges:
1.Post it and let it go. Once you’ve shared something on social media, such as Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, you’ve got to let it go. You are responsible for the content you post. You are not responsible for other people’s opinions or response to it.
2. Be aware of algorithms. Sometimes you may post something that never actually shows up on anyone’s timelines. Time of day has a lot to do with this as well. Posting in the middle of the work day sometimes means people won’t see your post, therefore there will be no reaction to what you have posted. Not because there wasn’t value in the content, simply because they never saw it.
3. Use hashtags (carefully). Hashtags, especially on Instagram and Twitter, allow people to find what you’re posting (and vice versa). If you’re using social media for business, hashtags are very helpful. I added carefully because some seemingly innocent hashtags can lead you in a direction that you’d prefer to avoid. I’ve been using #40daysofgratitude to connect all of the posts from the 40 Days of Gratitude challenge I started in January. Today is Day 26!
4. Use pictures. Instagram requires this and Facebook loves it too. Have you noticed that when you simply post text on FB, fewer people like or comment? That’s because they probably didn’t see it. Using a photo makes your post more ‘relevant’ to FB and more people will see it. Again, this has nothing to do with the quality of what you have posted.
5. Be authentic. If you truly want more people to engage with you on social media (without being attached to whether they do or not), be YOU. That’s what allows you to stand out and make a difference online. Being YOU because there is no one else that is better suited for the job. What I mean is that share the best of you with us, choose not to complain or vent on social media regularly. Yes it’s true that we all have bad days, and when you do, choose the perspective of gratitude for the gift of another day, even if it was a bad day.
6. Take it offline. To truly build relationships with people, you’ve got to connect with them outside of social media. Use the tool to meet and connect, take it offline by meeting up in person or using Skype.
7. And finally, be the positive light on other people’s news feed. Instead of worrying about what others are saying about what you’re posting, encourage other people, comment on their posts, share their content and congratulate them when they’ve succeeded.
What are you biggest challenges when it comes to social media? Do you use it as a tool or are you still struggling with the attachment to how people react to what you post? Let me know if these tips were helpful.
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