The Social Media Trap

My beef with social media is simple: I follow people I know, people I like, people I look up to, and people I aspire to inspire across social media platforms. I then become frustrated to see the same posts across all social sites.

A picture of a sunset or a product or a person that is perfect for one market is not perfect across the board.

A picture of a sunset or a product or a person that is modified in hopes that it will be perfect across the board still is not.

I will un-follow someone very quickly if everything they post is a mirror of all I’ve seen from them on every other social media platform, and every time I un-follow someone for this reason it actually pains me. I want so badly for them to post unique, site-specific content that gives me a full picture of the person, product, company.

If I’m following a juice company, I’d love to laugh as someone chugs the juice down as quickly as possible on Snapchat. Meanwhile, on Pinterest I’m reading great smoothie recipes with one of their juices as the base. Instagram would present their juice in an ice-cold glass sitting beachside, and Facebook presents an informative yet still visually pleasing picture of the product in full display with the health benefits of this particular kind of juice and this particular brand. Twitter would share news and retweets of folks enjoying this juice all over the world, and YouTube might show a range of professional and amateur videos of people living and loving this brand of juice. This would be a company I would follow across all platforms, and as new platforms presented themselves, I would seek this company out every single time.

This same rationale applies to people, too. Every Snap is not meant for Facebook. Every blog post is not meant for LinkedIn. Every Insta pic is not meant for Twitter.

If you are interesting, followers will seek you out. We don’t have to try so hard for people to like us, they like us because we’re us. Maximize each social media platform for what it is, and enjoy the long term benefits of retention and presenting a broader picture of your life, your brand, and your world.

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

Comparison Really Is The Thief of Joy

“Comparison is the thief of joy.”  -Theodore Roosevelt

This famous quote is so easy to spout and so difficult to follow.

I can have  perfectly lovely day, spent exactly the way I would have wanted to spend my day with exactly the people I would have chosen to be a part of my day, but five minutes on Facebook can wipe it out and turn me bitter.

Why?

My mind starts going through all of the various comparisorial (yes, I make up words…but if it make sense, who’s to say it’s wrong?) joy-stealing monkey mind talk of:

“How in the world can they afford that vacation?”

“Another new car? Are you serious?”

“I can’t believe they’re still together. Everyone thought they’d be the first to split up.”

You know the comparisons you make as you scroll through the newsfeed.

It’s joy-stealing!

So, we have one of three choices to make:

  1. Keep doing what we’re doing and keep getting what we’ve been getting.
  2. Stop the judgmental monkey mind and learn to scroll without the constant stream of caddy self-talk.
  3. Stop looking at the newsfeed…at least, stop looking at the newsfeed without first going through some hearty preparation.

John 10:10 speaks of the thief who “comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” (ESV) When we compare, we are not only judging others (see Ten Commandments), but we are allowing ourselves to believe that what we are or what we have is not enough.

If you choose in this digitally socialized world not to completely excommunicate yourself from the rest of the world, I don’t blame you, I’m no social leper, either. But I do encourage you to take a moment’s pause before opening that app or clicking over to your browser. Take a moment to arm yourself to be genuinely happy for your friends, to not grumble that they’re doing this or that and you’re doing something less thrilling or expensive.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.” (James 1:2, ESV) Don’t be dissatisfied with your own blessings just because you didn’t spend the day on the beach, read the latest best-selling novel, teach an art class, and learn a new language today. As you look through your Facebook feed (sorry to be seemingly picking on FB today…it’s just the most convenient for this purpose), make a list of all you “wish” you could have done in that day, then look over that list and realize how incredibly impossible and non-at-all relaxing that “perfect” day would have been.

Maybe you’re in a rough patch right now. Please resist the urge to compare your current rough patch to another’s moments of bliss. They’re not comparable. You may or may not see the rough patches when others go through their own. But either way, “count it all joy” when those rough patches come because that’s when the growth happens. And in going through these kinds of times (and not internally punishing others for not going through their own at the same time), and “Rejoicing in the Lord always” (Philippians 4:4, ESV), you will thrive through this stage and have your own fun to post on Facebook soon enough.

All in God’s time, my friends.

Let’s be vigilant together, and not allow anything steal what God has blessed us in having.

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

Downsize Redundancy

REDUNDANT

re·dun·dant
adjective
not or no longer needed or useful; superfluous.
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Do you know what I’m finding especially redundant these days? Social media marketing on every scale. The ones who are doing it right post unique, true-to-the platform content across each media outlet. The ones who are doing it wrong put out one piece of content and then replicate it across the board. The Snapchat picture saved and posted to Facebook, and Twitter and Instagram. The Periscope video loses so much when not viewed on its native platform. The Instagram photo is lovely, but friends on Facebook or Tumblr are likely also your friends on Insta, so they’ve seen it.
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So, with so many social media options, how do you choose where to really focus? Marketing experts will tell you that you need to be putting out that social media content, specific to each family or theme that encompasses the platform. However, that means keeping in the middle of the constant stream that is Twitter; taking and editing lovely photos of joy and beauty for Instagram; writing great long-form content on Medium, as well as your personal or business site; streaming worthwhile and polished-but-not-too-polished videos on Periscope and Meerkat; and constantly disconnecting from real-world events in order to capture them (or yourself experiencing them) on Snapchat. Vine, Musical.ly, Tumblr, LinkedIn…the list goes on and, meanwhile, every single hour someone is attempting to build the next great social media platform that will take the world (and your time) by storm.
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When I find, as an example, a YouTuber I really enjoy watching, I then look them up and follow them on every platform I am currently into; pretty typical social behavior. The problem, then, is that I end up seeing the same image, the same funny quip, the same political rant, the same socially aware statement, the same everything across every single platform. So, really, I would have only had to have kept up with ONE of these platforms to have known what was going on.
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Personally, Facebook has become the “necessary evil” lately. I have so many friends on FB and am following so many people, businesses and organizations there that I check it pseudo-frequently. When I do, I usually click off more annoyed than fulfilled because instead of seeing real content, real news of how my friends are doing, real family pictures and goings and doings, I see that XYZ Friend went on a “sharing” binge and all I see are regurgitated posts with some strong social or political opinion for miles of newsfeed.
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Twitter is so packed with info, and is constantly moving (yes, even while I am scrolling and it resets and starts me right back at the beginning…), complete with the actual people I follow AND the people who pay Twitter to suggest that I follow, or the constant ads meant to look like normal Twitter feed items.
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Instagram, in my opinion and even with the latest update, has remained truest to its origin, and generally if I get an ad pop up on my feed, it legitimately applies to me, my interests, and the things I enjoy following on Instagram. In fact, it is so finely tuned, there are many times which those Insta-ads pay off as I follow the paid ad person or business or state or organization.
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Snapchat…snapchat, snapchat, snapchat. Listen, I know Snapchat is the biggest thing going right now, I know it’s fun and I love the filters (especially when Snap isn’t trying to make me pay for the filters, which I absolutely will not do). However, Snaps are meant to be 24-hour, snap-it and forget-it shares that aren’t meant for all social media sites. I understand that since Snapchat doesn’t have an explore option to find others you would like to follow (outside of your current address book), so there’s a certain level of HAVING to seek out and share your snaps or your code to get more followers and share with more people. But, every time you take the moments to snap a pic or a video, caption it, draw on it, apply the filters, or whatever…then, share that same picture or video across other outlets, it equals redundancy. Share your snap code…if others want to follow you, they will. If you share every snap you take across every media outlet, there’s no point in following you on Snapchat, also.
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All of this being said, what I would like to see in my utopian social media world are:
1) unique posts shared only on the social platform that best fits that particular post,
2) focusing on the platform you excel most at or that your style best fits into and own it, and then
3) don’t water down that great message by sharing everything everywhere.
Additionally, 4) that when we are introduced to someone we would enjoy following, take the moment to decide which platform we get the most out of, and follow that person, business, organization, etc. only on that platform.
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I am working on following my own set of suggestions, as well. {What good would it do to not practice what I preach, after all?} Until next time, my friends…
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Make it a great day,
Mari!yn

Focus on Your WHY, WHAT & HOW

 

You may be thinking right about now, “Really, Marilyn? Two posts in a row about making comparisons?”

To that, I respond with a simple, “Yes.”

Hang with me a moment…

When you’re scrolling through your Facebook feed and see other people posing with their new cars or in front of fancy houses or sharing news of landing their dream job with the accompanying insane salary and bennies…do you EVER think, “that could have been me,” or “I work my booty off every day and am stuck and struggling, everything they touch turns to gold,” or “is she EVER going to age?”image

It’s one thing to see completely unattainable and unrealistic Photoshopped magazine covers staring at us over our overflowing grocery carts; we don’t know the celebs smiling back at us. However, when it’s our friends, our family, or our classmates sharing perfect snapshots of their perfect jet-setting life with the perfect kids, still married to the perfect high-school sweetheart and more in love than EVER…It’s a little more difficult to resist the temptation of comparison. Am I right?

Making comparisons in the business world is really no different. If you have an innovative idea, a new spin on an old idea, or anywhere in between, comparisons can kill your biz buzz. If you focus on what the other guy is doing, you’re focusing less on WHY you’re doing what you’re doing. If you’re going to focus on the other guy, just go ahead and let him do the business and you be his customer. If you want to take off and soar on your own wings of innovation, then setting your own path is a big part of the flight plan. Comparison–so it’s said–steals your joy, but it also kills your creativity.

Resist the urge to give a care what the other guy is doing. Resist making comparisons. Resist social scrolling.

You! (…yeah, I’m talking to you…) Do you!!! You know what you do and who you are and what you have planned better than anyone. Focus on doing, being, and creating all that and more!

I believe in you. Do YOU believe in you?

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,
Mari!yn

P.S. I am still reading Simon Sinek’s START WITH WHY: HOW GREAT LEADERS INSPIRE EVERYONE TO TAKE ACTION. Everyone from stay-at-home mom to CEO’s would benefit from this one. So good!

Secret of Life in the Balance

Today, when absolutely every bit of information we could ever need is likely a few moments away via our handy-dandy cellular device, what does the term “balance” even mean?

Plugged-in but engaged. Not a social leper who refuses to acknowledge any form of social media, but also not the extreme pendulum swing of always in that phone up, head down stance we all know so well. So plugged in that the present real life experiences going on around us matter very little.

I have a tendency to justify social engagement in the name of sharing the real life experiences in real time. The problem with this justification is that those “real time” shares steal real time from the here and now, and from the real people who are right there with me. Slowly, I am training myself to be O.K. with posting those pictures later (or not at all), and the world hasn’t screeched to a halt over it, yet!

Take the pictures! Have the profound thoughts! Celebrate that day! Live it then, and once the moment has passed and you have some time to yourself, if those pictures, memories, and thoughts are really that good, go ahead and share. Then, you’re using your time, but not wasting moments with others.

Strive for balance, my friends!

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

Transitions

The last eight months have been such a time of extreme transition for me. More specifically, I’ve been going through a series of transitions. These transitions have been really interesting for me, but especially lately, have taken me away from my social networks.

Initially, these transitions took me OUT; I was all over Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, this website. I mean, I was in serious SHARE mode!

Lately, these transitions have brought me IN; I’ve not been hiding, but I’ve been more introspective.

I’ve been consuming content in droves, but I haven’t been creating content.

I’ve been reading and listening and watching and studying and lurking instead of performing and creating and jumping in.

This is about to change.wpid-picsart_10-18-09.00.24.jpg

When we go through transitions–whether they are location-based, relationship-based, career-based, any or all of the above– it’s especially important to me to allow myself to fully go through each of these transition periods fully. If I beat myself up about not putting out content on my website, or for not sharing regularly across social media, then it messes with my final outcome. It messes with the quality if I’m not feeling it but force it, anyway.

So, forgive me, but understand why this is an important transition time for me, and when you’re going through your own transitions, remember to be gentle with yourself and always remember that when you go with what your soul is speaking to you, you can’t go “wrong.”

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

My Relationship with Social

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I’m going to kick off with a few grand generalizations, and see if they stick. Ready? Here it goes:

The majority of people who are on social media check their various outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., etc.) incessantly throughout the day and night.

And, to piggyback onto that, here’s numero dos:

Oftentimes as we peruse, we thumb through our news feeds, liking here and favoriting there, but primarily acting as voyeurs into our social media worlds.

This is what we do. If you were standing outside my house on in the darkness, watching my family and I through my window it would be creepy, but we think nothing of social media voyeurism.

There is a problem, though. And it sucks. This social media voyeurism habit sucks time right out of your life.

Great news, though!

When you consider that we each likely (another generalization) spend more time with Facebook than we do with our best friend, you can see that we’ve come to treat social media outlets in such a personal way as to actually have earned a spot at meetings, at sporting events, at the dinner table, and in bed with us. Rarely are any of us EVER without at least one device that is socially connected and oftentimes in use.

Being a voyeur on our social world is like being in a one sided friendship with someone who only takes, complains, requires time and energy, and is never there when you need that attention reciprocated.

If, however, you treat this social media relationship as you would one with the other most important people in your life, then Social (now a person, and therefore using a proper name) deserves you to give back a little instead of just take, take, taking.

For this reason, I suggest we all make a commitment to check in on Social only when we also have something worthwhile to share. Don’t just use Social to soak in the latest gossip, but give something of meaning, or hilarity, or depth, or intrigue back.

Itching to check your Twitter feed? Share a line of your favorite song lyrics that have been rolling through your head all morning…in 140 characters, or less, that is.

Looking through Facebook at everyone’s latest family pics from Easter or spring break or winter blues turning to spring blooms? Remember to share your own pictures and stories from the season.

Read an interesting article in the latest copy of Forbes Magazine? Maybe one of your LinkedIn connections would also gain something from reading the article.

As our world continues to become more and more digitized, we have to actively seek ways to stay truly connected. Keeping up our end of a two-way relationship is a great step to take!

Make it a great day,
Marilyn

Connect with Marilyn…ALL OVER THE WEB!

Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tumblr…it’s ALL here!!! TEN ways to connect with ME so that no second of your life can avoid me 😉

MUSIC: “Sunflower” by Topher Mohr and Alex Elena; YouTube Audio Library

Make it a great day,
Mari!yn

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