Confessions of a Social Media Flunky

12201219_sSocial media is funny. It lives totally in the “now”. And so does everyone on it.

As you may have noticed, or maybe you didn’t, I went off-line for a few months.

Ok, it was almost 6 months.

Within a surprisingly short time it was like I ceased to exist. Which I guess in a way is exactly what happened. If you don’t show up and post, you don’t cross anyone’s radar and you aren’t “there” anymore.

Fortunately, (or unfortunately), there are millions of people to take your place when you step off the ride. As an entrepreneur, I’ve been told by my coaches over the years that I have to “get serious” about social media if I want to be successful.

I know on one level that’s true. It’s 2016 and people expect an online presence from their authors, teachers and especially public speakers. If you’re not out there regularly chatting with your clients and your audiences, you run the risk of “disappearing” the moment you walk off the stage.

But here’s the rub: I’m a very private person. Even though I truly love teaching classes and presenting for big audiences, according to Myers Briggs I’m an introvert. And that seems right. “Pure” extroverts are energized and fed by their exchanges with people and tend to feel a bit drained by lots of alone time. As an introvert, it’s the opposite for me.

But it’s complicated, because I live my life’s passion through these kinds of “extroverted” dynamic, live exchanges. There’s something there that lights me up. It’s “costs” me a lot to do it, but it is also among my favorite things in this life. There’s something about the kinesis – the felt energetic exchange that happens when people get an “ah-ha” or have a shift in consciousness during a live class or a talk. When I was involved in the performing arts, I worked on the stage, not making movies, for the same reason.

I don’t often get that experience on Facebook.
And I’ve never gotten it on Instagram or Twitter.

(Actually, if I’m being totally honest I don’t think I’ve ever done a real Tweet. It’s just set up to automatically shoot out my FB posts.
Lame, I know. I’ve been told.)

I don’t have a grand answer to this issue yet. It’s something I’ve been wrestling with lately because I’ve finally come out of my “woman cave” and I have some new and very exciting material I’m ready to start sharing.

What are your thoughts about this?
How important is social media to you?
Do you rely on it to find or chat with your teachers and mentors?

I especially want to hear from the other introverts out there.

Don’t get me wrong – I have so many friends and colleagues that navigate the waters of social media brilliantly. It seems to enrich their lives and their businesses. My best friend was born to shine on Facebook. She is hilarious, and hundreds more people get to benefit from her gifts than if Facebook did not exist. For them, I get it.

But if that’s not you, what is your hesitation?
Are you a reluctant participant, do you take a pass or do you love it…?

I’d truly like to know.

Comments

  1. Introvert here, even to the point of lifelong shyness. I so understand this post! I need to be social media-ed up, but the absence of the truly interpersonal stops me in my tracks. For me there is a kind of vulnerability in social media and what feels like its impersonal nature that leaves me feeling pretty uncomfortable Consequently, my reluctance gets in the way of professional outreach. That said, it does seems like an effective and affordable communications tool, so I don’t entirely pass on social media, but am desultory in my posts, at best.

    • Jeannette says:

      Oh that’s so spot on, Kate – desultory posting! DP is now my shorthand for “half-in” as opposed to “all-in” posts 🙂 Thanks so much for speaking up and sharing <3

  2. Jessica Curtis says:

    I do rely on social media to connect w/ colleagues and mentors and to participate in on-line professional development groups. The problem for me is that I get sucked into my news feed in ways that aren’t helpful. I find it draining to be on-line when I already spend a fair amount of time in front of the computer for work. When I take social media breaks, however, I miss things socially and professionally. In the past, when I’ve chosen to “disappear” I have let my friends know, so that they will contact me another way when they want to get in touch. Professionally, It’s not that simple when you are trying to reach an audience or build a following. And this is the kicker for me – the more time I spend on-line, the less time I’m spending in real time. How can I live a deeply spiritual, balanced life if I am numbing out w/ FB? The answer, for me, has been to be very intentional about my time. Allotting a certain amount of time for social media posting, sharing, liking, etc. for professional stuff and a much smaller amount of time allotted for personal surfing – keeping it structured in that way keeps me from hitting *TILT*.

    • Jeannette says:

      I love this, Jessica. It’s helpful to think about it in terms of specific boundaries. Maybe if I set up a clear routine with set amounts of time, I would be more intentional too and it wouldn’t feel so draining. There’s something about the endless, open, streaming nature of it that feels like it pulls me down a well sometimes! Thanks for sharing your process!

  3. I wrote an opposite blog called…social media is healthy, it’s the gym for my mind. I like writing and reading and challenge of 140 characters. Baby pics and dog pics make me smile. I appreciate your honesty and enjoyed reading your blog.

    • Jeannette says:

      Hey Adrienne! Thanks so much for sharing this. I know my personal experience is more the exception to the rule and am glad there are people like you taking full advantage of the challenge and benefits of social media!

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