If you have not yet asked yourself why you have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram accounts or why you are on any other social media sites, chances are, you have them or are on them, for all the wrong reasons.
It is important for all of us to define the purpose for having or using social media, because if we don’t define it for ourselves, others will define it for us.
Like any good tool, social media can be misused and abuse depending on the one using it. Some use it for perverted purposes, others, for dubious purposes and still others use it to promote self.
It is not a secret, social media has brought out the narcissism in every one of us. Recently, an article in the Atlantic made some bold claims that “we’re in the middle of a raging narcissism epidemic.”
In the article, they cited a study showing that “among a group of 37,000 college students, narcissistic personality traits rose just as quickly as obesity from the 1980s to the present.”
Citing Elias Aboujaoude, a professor of psychiatry at Stanford, the article claims that in “virtual space many of the physical interactions that restrain behavior vanish. Delusions of grandeur, narcissism, viciousness, impulsivity, and infantile behavior for some people rise to the surface.”
When it comes to connecting with others on social media, I am most interested in connecting with people who use social media on purpose, not just because everyone else uses it any given reason.
Take a look at this first ever tweet of Rick Warren. I think it serves as a great model for venturing into the social media world:
You can see how he recognizes the potential danger of your entire online presence becoming all about you. But in this tweet, he also clearly defines his goal for jumping in.
I think we should define our intentions before jumping into social media. If we don’t, we might lose our way, waste our precious time and spend our days self promoting.
Good news is, it is never too late to reevaluate why you have an online presence and make necessary adjustments. Here is a short list of first steps:
- Define your purpose for an online presence from the get go
- Decide which platform best suits your goals
- Dedicate specific time for engaging
- Determine to learn from others and grow in the process, instead of getting lost in frivolous activities
- Delete other accounts that steal your time and divert your focus
- Deliver transformational content
- Don’t put yourself in a box. Enjoy it!
People all over the world all have different reasons for using social media: for some it’s just to connect with friends and meet new ones. For other, it’s a way to get their message out into the world. There is no one way or reason, just make sure that it is advancing your cause and not hindering your purpose or wasting your time.