Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Putting the fun back on the social media playground.
When I blogged about social media pressure, I found out I wasn’t alone. Many people feel pressured, overwhelmed, distracted and left out of the social media playground. Yep. A lot like those playground games from school. But I wanted it to be different. I wanted, for once, to be the cool kid in school. Don’t you?
Well, once again, you and I are not alone. I listened to 4 experienced women talk about social media on a teleconference called, the “Self care, mindfulness and social media.” On the call was Jennifer Louden, best-selling author; Tara Sophia Mohr, Huffington Post columnist and coach; Marianne Elliot, writer, yogini and human rights advocate; and Bridget Pilloud, writer and intuitive life shifter. The call was led by writer and lifestyle design expert Tara Gentile. It was an interesting and informative and soul-full hour.
They talked about the need for social media as a way to connect and feel less isolated writing from home offices, to push their business, expand their network and get the attention of publishers. While each woman had her own approach to social media, they all desire more kindness, friendship and try to approach it with awareness and grounded mindfulness.
Ask yourself where am I today and why am I going on social media? Ego validation, connection or distraction? According to Jen, if her ‘mean voices’ are too loud that day, she makes sure she doesn’t sign on. Bridget puts up post-it notes with a question for herself and sets up her ‘Tweet Deck’ to send out pre-written tweets throughout the day, so she can concentrate on her face to face work. Tara did a blog survey and found that one of the things her readers liked most about her blog was that she didn’t post too much. Her mantra: less is more.
That doesn’t mean none of these women are immune to a bad case of ‘cool kid’ envy. And comparing stats, followers and tweets makes them feel as tense and anxious as the next person. What do they do?
Jen suggests spending the day filling your own well, a good writing day makes her feel strong and up to the facebook challenge. Marianne pointed out that social media is designed to create an adrenal response in your body, and when you’ve absorbed too much, it’s time to take a break. Breathe, put on some music and move your body, then you’ll be able to approach it with a playful attitude. If you feel a bad vibe from someone, Bridget suggests, take them off your list because you need to set firm boundaries in all areas of your life, including social media.
As far as facebook, the women are divided. Two women see it as a business and marketing site. The other two are changing how they use facebook, making their lists smaller, a more intimate place for family and friends to talk to each other without long distance charges.
One thing they all agree on...people will not forget us if we’re not on social media. Stats show that only 7% of the population is on Twitter. That leaves 93% who are not on social media. So to really connect, we need to get away from our computers and out into the world.
Even though I had a cold that day and couldn’t get out into the world, I was able to listen in to some wise, fun and insightful advice from 4 very wonderful women. Now that’s the kind of playground I want to play in!