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.
I can totally relate to this post, especially having to discern between the need for solitude vs. fear of rejection, conflict, or even fear of having to follow up more than I feel like that week!
I have an illness that affects my energy level and I blame it on that but I think the psychological part is as active as the physical in my case.
I hope you find the balance you are looking for. As for me, I just go in and out of the public eye in random patterns. And I can’t do Twitter, hardly ever – exhausting just to look at it.
Emma, I discovered your link as you commented on Mark Silver’s article. His model is an assertive stretch for me, too, but sometimes I’m almost there. I thought you were a brave “devil’s advocate”.
I just wanted to say that I identify with what both of you have said. How does an introvert come up with a public persona EVERY DAY that doesn’t feel fake? People say I should be blogging, but…consistently?? My e-zine says it’s more-or-less monthly, and it’s mostly less.
I too have struggled with the issues of visibility and vulnerability, as a private person. I am coming to terms with knowing that if my business is not seen, it can’t thrive. So, little by little, I’m putting it “out there” and trying on higher levels of visibility (and vulnerability).
Meanwhile, I have time and energy challenges, too, so it’s really been a little at a time. And the whole idea of Twitter freaks me out. I hate flashing things popping up on my screen and superficial “sound bites”.
I think that what’s making a difference for me is gaining confidence at the same time as I’m deeply aware of the service that my business can provide. And if I come at it from loving service, my ego and all its conniption fits becomes less of an issue. Then I more naturally say what I have to offer as I am guided, and it seems to be OK.
As a disclaimer, I have been one of Mark’s students and continue to get a lot out of what he has been offering.
Yah, I’m on the random pattern train too right now. =) Working on understanding what I need so I can create some consistency.
Hi, and welcome. I can relate to having energy challenges and struggling with visibility.
I find that I treat Twitter like a little dose of inspiration I can tap into when I want to. I follow a bunch of really cool people and I open it to see what they are up to – mostly following links to their blogs. I don’t ever leave it on to pop up on my screen. When I do go on I always find cool things to read. But I only do that for like 1/2 an hour every week or something on average. It’s a very rich source of stimulation, but then I’m done! So I just use it for that, and to post links to my own blog posts. I don’t really use it to socialize. But I do like it for what I do get out of it.
And no worries about Mark. I have several of his books and read his blog regularly. I just don’t always agree on everything. =)
Someone followed my blog today and I wanted to follow him back. I stumbled across your blog as I was searching for communities to join. Tao caught my eye and I joined. I can relate with all of you as I am a private person and love my alone time, however like you if I want to share what I have to offer I have to expose myself in this new tech world. I am a Master of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Transformation Technologies and now being put to the test with Twitter, FaceBook, blogging, LinkedIn etc. I am also a blogger. I just started last year. I crashed my website last week. Such is life. So go to my blog direct, if you want to check me out. I might have to start from scratch on that site:-)
Using The Law of Pure Potentiality there is no “should”. There are infinite possibilities and one chooses what they want in a moment of time. Create the vision and hold the dream. This is fun. It is all about the journey and the process of whatever we say we want being detached from the results only moving toward it. Sometimes it is about timing. We also have the right to change our minds and take a new path or direction, or come back to complete something we started. I am glad I found this small group. I like quality over quantity too. Love, Saquina
I really relate to this discussion, too.
As a fellow introvert and small business owner, having an online presence is a perfect solution for connecting with my present and future clients. I especially like blogs and some of the discussions in my LinkedIn groups because they give me the opportunity to think deeply about certain questions and learn from others, too.
I refuse to chat aimlessly online, however, and I have completely resisted participating in Twitter because I just don’t get it. But I have been reading more and more articles recently about how effective Twitter is at building relationships–and business–so I set up an account about two weeks ago and plunged in.
I must admit, it is fun to have access to some really amazing people and to be able to follow their links to blogs and other sources of information. But I still don’t get the attraction of one vacuous entry after another.
In any case, all of this can be overwhelming. And it takes a LOT of time.