Myth: Social media is hub of make-believe friends and false intimacy.
This could not be further from the truth. Sure, people aren’t always who they seem online. But isn’t that also true in life offline? If you look at social media life and life offline closely, you find that they really aren’t too different. People get married because of interactions in each “world.” People commit suicide because of people’s actions and words, whether typed or spoken. Both online life and offline life are very similar so much so that it makes sense that lessons in blogosphere can be applied to life offline.
1. It’s not all about you (or me)
When we blog publicly, it’s not all about us. When you and I state opinions or remarks about something we care about and it’s public for all to see and/or hear, we are inviting others into the conversation whether we mean to or not.
2. You are the company you keep
I follow some of the most positive, creative, hilarious, and honest blogs on the internet. They have influenced me positively both as blogger and as a person whether I know it or not. In fact, I consider many of the bloggers I follow friends! Choose the kinds of blogs you follow knowing that they will influence you just as you should be careful of the people you call friends. I also advise you to follow blogs that may challenge the way you think just as you would have in-person friends from diverse backgrounds as well.
3. If you have issues with someone, being rude, anonymously or otherwise, is not the way to go about it
Luckily, I have not encountered rude people in the blogosphere (*knock on wood*). And honestly, I think this one goes without saying. “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” You know the drill.
4. Be yourself. Be your original. Don’t exist as a copy.
I may biased but different is cool. In just about every aspect of my life, I am drawn to people and things that are different, and I am sure there are others who agree with me on this. Since entering college, I have fully embraced what it means to be me. Though it was and continues to be rough at times, I absolutely LOVE this journey of self-discovery. I realize that I am not your typical (fill in the blank with the descriptor of your choice) and that’s perfectly fine! In fact, I take that as a compliment. And I when I say that about others, that is most definitely a compliment. Truth is, people will be drawn to your uniqueness, in person or online.
5. Be open to hearing from someone else’s perspective.
I touched a bit on this on #2. But it’s oh so true. Our world is massively large and filled with people who have taken on journeys and experiences that we may never face. This is part of the reason why social media is such a positive thing; it’s a place where the melting pot of cultures and life paths intersect to create such a beautiful mosaic of meaningful conversations about things important us and healthy admirations of others (emphasis on healthy; none of that intense Bieber fever hoopla). Following along journeys that our different from ours broadens our perspective and stretches our worldview. Just think of it as worldview pilates. 😉
And lastly but certainly not least…
6. Quality is ALWAYS better than quantity.
Listen to me carefully. You are NOT the amount of followers you have on your blog. You are NOT the amount of friends that you have offline. You are NOT the amount of comments left on each of your blogs nor are you the amount of pageviews your blog receives. Even if one person takes their time to read your stuff, you’re doing it right. To break it down even further, if you are a human being and you’re being yourself, you’re doing it right. So stop counting for self-worth and start appreciating your friendships for the gems that they are. 🙂