How Do You Use Social Media?
We are often told: “Be yourself and don’t care what anyone thinks about you!” But shouldn’t we care, even just a little? In optimal practice, society is made up of a bunch of people living together trying to get along. So shouldn’t we care what others think? I am not suggesting we lose our confidence and desperately shape ourselves to fit in. But you can be strong and independent in your ways, but also consider the feelings of others. This is especially important when using social media. If someone else is having a rough day, then perhaps now isn’t the time to share that you just closed escrow on your dream home.
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Balance Your Personal Pendulum
Sometimes when we try to be our strongest and best selves we end up becoming too self-involved. I’ve noticed transitions with friends who one day realize they have been codependent people pleasers for too long. When the eye-opening moment occurs, they begin making positive changes to their lives. They start to put themselves first (good) and stop obsessing over what others think of them (also good). But sometimes they swing their self-focused personal pendulum too far. Someone who was once a kind, sweet, and considerate person who just needed a little bit more confidence, suddenly becomes an ego-driven, distant soul who quickly places the thoughts and feelings of others last.
Caring by Sharing Carefully
If you are on board with caring about what others think (in a moderate, healthy way), you may want to investigate whether you share or brag when telling others about your life on social media. I’ve been coming across more and more posts online that sound like bragging. I then hear other mutual friends comment on how said bragger is always bragging about their life. But perhaps we have no idea when people think we are bragging. When you speak to others or post on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, do you selectively share your life achievements and accomplishments? Or do you post every moment and hashtag it “nofilter?” Do you still post another photo of you and your lover kissing right after your best friend has gone through a breakup?
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Be a Reader and a Writer
It’s important to not only post things on social media, but to also read what others are posting. Did something horrible just happen in the news? And did you just post a photo of yourself on a beach with a drink in your hand? Did your good friend just post a cry for help mentioning how she lost her job and feels totally helpless? Maybe wait another day to tell everyone about your promotion at work. These are little ways you can be considerate on social media. I am not suggesting that pleasing others should be your sole focus, or that it’s your job to make the internet comfortable for others, but do consider your tone, timing, and intentions when sharing good news. Most of us are probably not meaning to brag.
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Happy Moments for All
We want to share happy moments with our friends on social media. Just know that if you are posting every single positive experience multiple times, some may think you are bragging. If you say, “another awesome day in my life” and post a photo of your new car, you’re putting across a different vibe than you would if you posted: “After years of saving up I finally got my dream car #anythingispossible.” Braggers usually come across like they live in a void where everything is about them. So while it’s great to be independent and post whatever you want on social media, you may want to take others into consideration when you show off. There’s nothing wrong with being happy and grateful, but understand how you can impact others and their impression of you. The most admired independent spirit will usually be the one with eyes open to the outside world.
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