What would you like your Social Media experience to be in 2018? I have heard many people share they want to delete their accounts or use it less because it has become a distraction to them, or worse, a negative element in their life. People crave community and attention. Most of all, they want to connect with others. While social media enables you to do this, the indulgence and addiction of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram has created the illusion of connection while fueling ones own desire for more attention and popularity. The problem with that is when people start to feel frustrated, lonely or depressed due to them *thinking* they are using social media to connect, yet their expectations have shifted from a normal give-and-take relationship into just wanting the satisfaction and pacification of attention and popularity through likes, hearts, shares and compliments.
If you feel like you have fallen into this trap of feeling less and less satisfied with your social media experience, it might be time for you to re-evaluate your reasons and align your expectations differently in order to stay positive.
Imagine being at a party. In person. Would you demand all the attention and get mad if you didn’t get it? Or, would you utilize your social and communication skills in order to exchange energy, and give and take in conversation? Online should not be any different. If you want “likes” and positive engagement, you should be “liking” and dishing out positivity in comments or messages. If you want attention for your business page, you should be supporting other people’s business pages. If you want more engagement, you should engage more on other’s posts, period.
The more everyone focuses on their own needs and desires for attention and popularity, the less everyone will get. Just like the old saying, love is something when you give it away, the best way to gain attention and love in your online world is to give it to others.
As 2018 begins, I would take a moment to reflect a little about what you want to get out of social media, why, and also, set some limitations around your usage. Use it strategically for business at specific times, vs. all day anytime. Focus your energy outward and see if you can practice contributing as much as you ask others to pay attention to you. Most of all, seek balance. Find other activities that help you spend less time online and more time away from your devices in order to let your creativity and confidence reboot.
I hope everyone finds a positive experience for their social media usage. But if you are struggling and feeling like it has become a negative area of your life, I do hope this mini-blog helps you evaluate your mindset, social goals and overall expectations. Finally, never let social media become more important then the real community around you. Behind every profile image and post is a real person, including you, seeking acceptance, attention and love.