Feeling overwhelmed by social media? Here are a few quick tips to be your best self on social media – to find a balance between constantly capturing and living in the moment.
1. Approach social media with authenticity and intention.
When we become caught up in over-polished digital presence and communication, a divergence of our real-world and digital selves result. Close alignment of the two selves leads to higher satisfaction in our personal AND professional lives, decreased anxiety related to digital communication and aid in portraying yourself in an authentic light at all times.
2. Establish communication norms (so you don’t read too much into what people say online).
Emotions, feelings and interpretations occur through social media–and these have the power to affect our interactions. Establishing communication norms in-person is an important part of making social media a positive place. For example, I am someone who often texts 15 short messages in a row vs. one longer one. I also often take a bit to respond to text messages. I make sure to tell my friends this when we first begin communicating online, so they don’t feel overwhelmed.
When I work with my clients, I am sure to understand what methods of communication they like best – a phone call, text, email or only in-person meetings.
Everyone is different, and with so many different ways to communicate it’s important to make sure we understand each other and our intentions. This way, if I don’t respond to a text right away, a friend knows I am not ignoring them I’m just busy.
3. Leverage your REAL self to develop your personal brand.
Aligning our digital and real-world selves provides a greater opportunity to leverage social media to your benefit in the professional world. Social media plus your authentic self equals, A+ personal brand. What does this mean? It’s different for each person. My real self-involves wearing absurdly bright colors and a combination of traveling, hanging out with family, political activism and lots of things in between. I’ve also written about topics like anxiety, depression, OCD, ADHD and more. I strive to be authentic as possible in my posts and align my real self with the self I post online.
4. Develop deeper connections with friends, colleagues, family, and romantic partners.
By focusing more on genuine connection, thoughtful communication and honest expression, we allow for more real relationships in our personal and professional lives. This focus also leads to higher satisfaction in social media usage.
Finding balance and aligning digital and real-world selves is all about capturing moments on your terms. When you show your true self online, you become more inclined to capture only the moments that mean the most, leaving more time to reflect and develop connections with others.
Some tips I have to get started? Set aside 20 minutes on your calendar and spend the time thinking and writing about what you want your personal brand to reflect. Compare this with adjectives that come to mind when looking at your current social profiles and digital footprint. Come back to it in 48 hours and then get going: write down specific steps you can take to make your digital and real-world self align more.
5. Find Balance
The key to retaining the true meaning in social media –– in enhancing, and not taking away from, connections with others –– is in finding balance.
There is a need for both connection and self-reflection to find balance. And this balance is different for everyone; my sense of equilibrium may not be the same as yours. But it’s important to find the level of connection and sharing that leaves you, and those with whom you are sharing, most fulfilled.
Capturing memories, many of the large moments and some of the little things, (Maybe lots of the little things. My Snapchat score may or may not be 169,000… whoops.)
But also finding time for true self-reflection, which doesn’t include taking a selfie.
The constant posts, updates and tweets we are surrounded with have the power to affect our emotions. And as beautiful and important as a connection is, it’s just as important to unplug to maintain emotional well-being.
Social media is important and here to stay. It’s how we find out about the news just as it breaks; how we can easily collaborate ideas and connect with others around the globe—as well as discover more about the little things transpire each day.
Finding time away from connection is also important. Taking some time each day for true self-reflection. Alone with your thoughts. Carved out time for self-reflection. Thinking. Reading. Exploring. Unplugged.