Socially Anti-Social

highway by mapichai

Image courtesy of mapichai / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

The hustle and bustle of social media can be overwhelming. Like a six-lane highway, things move at a swift pace. If you pull out too soon, you could lose control. On the other hand, if you pull out too late you risk making those who are behind you miss their opportunity. In both situations, however, you will ultimately crash.

Highways give me anxiety. First off, I have very bad nerves. Making that split decision in high volume traffic makes me cringe. So, I take the scenic route most often. Now, I’ll ride the expressway in later hours but that doesn’t happen much.

Social Media by JanPietruszka

With social media, things are moving all the time and I get that same anxiety as merging on a highway. Honestly, getting myself to pull into traffic everyday has paralyzed me mentally. Just from the thought of making a move makes my brain overheat.

Being social in public, depending on my comfort level, is very easy and comes naturally. Being social through social media outlets, for work purposes, is very mind-boggling and causes me to panic.

The formula to successfully master the social media highway is no easy find. Plenty of articles and blogs spout about giving the clean-cut answer. For me, none of them worked.

My anxiety comes from my fear to allow people to see certain pieces of me. It’s a trust issue thing.

In public settings, I already know where I am and react as such. Through the web, a conversation may take me to places unknown and things unseen.

I had been socially anti-social. You know, talking but not attempting a real conversation. The give and take of normal communication was non-existent in my social media interactions. This is completely unacceptable in my line of work, especially if I wish to go far.

So, I decided to take the scenic route for a while.

  • Instead of feeling I had to create an opportunity for people to talk to me, I began conversing with those who already created a discussion point.
  • Instead of beating myself up for not coming up with a blog post for the day, I read posts on sites known and unknown to me.
  • Instead of pulling my hair out for forgetting to tweet my thoughts on a hot topic, I remember to re-tweet those who have similar thoughts.
  • Instead of fighting with my out-of-date-camera, I learn and get ideas from others’ videos.
  • Instead of panicking about likes and followers, I like and follow as many posts, people, and links as I can.

Eventually, I’ll be able to successfully manage the social media highway without needing to blow into a paper bag.  For now, I enjoy the scenery as I get to my destination. It may take me a little (or a lot) longer to get there, but at least I get to see some things that I may not get to view if I ride the highway all day, every day.

Maybe once I can master the real anxiety of a highway, I will be able to overcome the uneasiness of participating in the social media frenzy. Until then, I have to take things one trip at a time.

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Social Media Image courtesy of JanPietruszka / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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