“Social media has given us this idea that we should all have a posse of friends when in reality, if we have one or two really good friends, we are lucky.”
Brene Brown, American scholar, author and public speaker
The burdens and worries of life are infinite at times. For every day that’s seemingly “perfect” and void of any and all stressors, the next seems to bring about chaos we’re forced to delicately juggle.
But if there’s one thing I can assure you I no longer worry about from one day to the next, it’s my status on social media platforms.
For years I found myself stressing over how many likes I had on Facebook or how many people recommended me on LinkedIn. I would waste so much of my time trying to “connect” with people that it was robbing me from actually living in reality and enjoying the people right in front of me.
It’s easy to get caught up on social media platforms and assign them more value than they probably deserve. “Friends” on Facebook threaten to “unfriend you” if you don’t start interacting with them on a regular basis. Really? I’m sorry but I don’t always find the need to comment on what you made for dinner, how your morning commute was or your most recent selfie taken in the bathroom mirror.
LinkedIn is another story – your “on-line resume” if you will. People find you and want you to connect with them just to boost their connection number. Sadly half the time I have no idea who these people are! Others pad their profile with recommendations written by fellow co-workers who have no problem singing their praises (regardless of how fictitious they might be).
Maybe I’m morphing into an old grouch – unwilling to accept this latest iteration for mis-communication. Or maybe I’m just tired – tired of trying to compete on face value alone on social media platforms that will never fully capture a person’s character, ability, emotions, talents or experience. To judge a person based on these platforms alone (personally or professionally) is absurd.
And yet, that’s exactly what we do.
I doubt at the end of my life I’ll find any remorse for not dedicating more time to social media platforms. I will however find it hard to accept if I spent more time worrying about it than worrying about the people who mean so much to me.
To waste the time we’re given on something that paints a very vague picture of the people we truly are in our homes and the places we work is sad. It’s important to remember that the world of social media makes cowards brave and the unaccomplished experts in their field of choice. But it doesn’t necessarily make them honest.
Talented young country star Hunter Hayes has this to say about social media: “I’m naturally shy, so the social media thing is new to me. I haven’t really figured out how my voice sounds on social media, you know? I don’t want to tweet everyday just for the sake of tweeting. I want to make sure whatever I do there is honest. Social media can very quickly get fake, and I don’t want to be that guy.”