Nobody (typically) goes on to their social media profile to say they are having a hard day. Instead our feeds are constant flooded by the pictures and posts surrounding the hashtags of #lovelife, #blessed, and more. It is not to say that there are not people that are loving their life, feeling blessed, and perhaps thoroughly enjoying the moment, but it continues to convince me that social media is encouraging the ‘average Joe’ to paint a picture of perfection to the outside world (unless of course you have a professional platform, which is a whole other story for another day).
Now, contrary to the past, we are seeing more of a conversationalist side of social media but in the end it really comes down to what you want to show to the world. Overall I still see several social media platforms that have become a land of fictional self promotion; we see before and after “healthy living” accounts that glorify the weight loss process, celebrities promoting the highly glamorous aspects of their lives and (more commonly) we see the people we interact with on a daily basis putting up the facade that everything is “a-ok” when most know it’s not. It’s tough to find that healthy balance in the wonderful world of online promotion.
Sometimes I think it’s crazy to look at how social media began and how far it has come. It all started as a personal platform to share among friends. Back when I started University (10 freakin’ years ago now), we posted everything on Facebook. We shared personal photo albums, didn’t censor the content whatsoever, and I found myself recently looking back at an unbelievable honest platform (good old memories on Facebook). When we were having a bad day, people actually said it on there as we were just sharing with our closest friends. Nowadays, we have been so encouraged to censor our content that we are basically glorifying the art of the Social Media Facade.
The thing is social media is meant to be an interactive platform. It is where we can converse with many people at once and share incredible ideas among friends, colleagues and complete strangers alike. We build a personal brand online that follows us for years to come, and that many people rely on to discover “where we stand” in the marketing and/or PR world. I think there is a wonderful balance that we all struggle to find on the various platforms. The balance of personal versus professional, the balance of shared content and original content, and the list goes on and on.
Most recently I have started (yet another) re-branding on my social media channels. It is a sign of changing with the times, embracing my professional development and realizing my personal brand. I’ve been inspired by a few friends that have really wonderful social media regimes and ideas. Recently a friend posted a “Rose, Rose, Thorn, Bud” idea to promote sharing happiness. Another inspirational friend regularly posts his #HoorayOfTheDay and #HoorayForEverything posts that I thoroughly look forward to. Now it’s time for me to decide what I’m all about on social media.
I know one thing – I firmly believe in living in the moment. When I’m really and completely embracing the #lovelife and #blessed, I don’t have the time nor the patience to be tweeting about it. Now, if my livelihood was based off of the branding of living a full life and #happiness, that would be a whole other story. It’s the balance of personal and professional networks. On a daily basis I’m a marketing and PR professional who uses her social media channels to be a part of the conversation. I focus on daily motivation, local events and randomly throw in the quirks of my personal life. Stay tuned though as I introduce my weekly “#ItsAGoodThing” posts, where I will be choosing 1 photo a week to highlight my happy moments.
So as much as I’m not going to turn to my personal platforms to exclaim my bad days, or tough times, I’m also not going to expel the time and energy to create something I’m not. My social media accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn and my blog are my professional networks, my Instagram and Facebook are my personal pages, and I encourage you to take the time to differentiate on your platforms as well.
Good luck and happy social media-ing!