Sometimes I just can’t go full speed with the socializing, online or otherwise.
Part of why I created my own business was so I could spend long stretches of time doing my own thing. Alone. No contact with people, not even email contact. Not even Twitter. Perhaps especially not Twitter.
I really prefer a few in-depth friendships to small talk, and I struggle with a perceived expectation of availability or consistency or constant productivity online. “Show up and be cool.” Every day. Ack!
I recently joined the Third Tribe private forum, so I posted about this pressure I feel to be social and engaged and productive online – Twitter, Facebook, blogging, etc more than I might actually want to. I say “might” because I’m still sorting out my “shoulds” and comparison jackals from my fears from my true desires.
Through the discussion I’m beginning to discern some points to work from.
How to Create a Sane Relationship with Social Media
1. Become aware of the difference between a natural need for alone time vs fear of being rejected publicly, both of which could show up as not wanting to be social or create content online. The former needs acceptance and permission to log off, the latter needs whatever you personally do to work through fears.
2. Find (or create) the size of room you like to talk in. That could be a small core group of Twitter friends or the world stage. Or some combination of both, and different conversations in each. Find the conversations you naturally want to keep up with. Think of blogging etc as “keeping up your end of the conversation”. You may not always want to, but you know that it works best when you are engaged on a fairly consistent way.
3. “Shoulds” indicate standards or expectations. Notice them and then pursue awareness of what naturally works for you. Release comparisons between yourself and others–they create unnecessary pain. Appreciate and honor your uniqueness.
4. Let yourself change as your needs and interests change. Give yourself complete permission to find what works for you and let it evolve over time.
As social media becomes more embedded in our lives, we will all need to find our own right level of engagement in it–just like we currently do for our in-person socialness. Find out what works for you–and let go of the guilt.