Sunday, 17 March 2013

Government Health Warning: Social Media Can Seriously Damage Your Self-Esteem

Let's face it, the constant stream of information that flows into your life from the various social media services that you subscribe to makes you feel an abject failure, doesn't it?

You're left cold by the tweets from some of those that you follow urging you to realise that today is going to be simply EPIC, and that by harnessing all your inner energy you can single-handedly begin to change the world.

Unlike some of those with whom you network, you didn't start your day with a 4.98 km run with a pace of 6'04"/km in your expensive Nike running shoes.

You don't have the perfect skin, coiffeured hair and ultra-white teeth that radiate back at you from the social media profiles of most of your contacts.

You feel guilty that you don't have time to read any (never mind all ten!) of the "must-read" articles in this morning's press that your twitter stream tells you are critical for your continued existence.

Your twitter profile doesn't read like many of those you follow: you're not wife/husband to the WONDERFUL (insert androgynous name here), mum/dad to three AMAZING kids, livin' life to the max, one FANTASTIC day at a time.

Nor are you an internationally renowned speaker, strategist and best-selling author (insert link to book ranked 1,786, 493 in Amazon business books here) working with senior executives to transform their businesses (usually by helping them "leverage social media technology to maximise employee engagement").

You are unmoved by the messages in your inbox advising you how to CRUSH your next interview, ROCK your forthcoming performance review and NAIL that salary increase that you know that you deserve.

You never appear on any Most Influential Communicators listings for your chosen profession. Your most profound and carefully constructed utterances create not the slightest ripple in the social media world, while the announcement of one of your contacts that he has burned the toast goes viral. Unlike some of those around you, AWESOME is a word that is rarely applied to you.

You don't even know what Klout is, never mind what your Klout score is. But you suspect that the scruffy IT geek on the train next to you this morning has a better score than you.

The only people who look at your Linked In profile live on the opposite side of the globe, and are clearly still hoping that you can help them get a job; no-one ever approaches you about exciting career opportunities.

Your Linked In profile makes you look like at best a normal person and at worst a washed-up specimen of humanity in comparison to the supreme beings who appear in the "People You May Know" section.

However ...

You may not have 2,000 followers on twitter, nor be networked with 500+ contacts on Linked In, but one pseudo-inspirational, marathon running, keynote speaker with a bestselling book and a clutch of AMAZING kids is pretty much like the next one!

What you DO have is a close circle of friends, acquaintances, colleagues and family members; people who are more significant to you than an @ symbol in a contact list; people who you can trust and rely on both personally and professionally, and who in turn can trust and rely on you.

For your sanity's sake, make this week one where you spend some time with those close to you, and give them some of the attention and appreciation that you yourself crave and thrive on.

After all, that's the only way that you'll make this week truly EPIC!

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