Confessions Of A Forty-Three-Year-Old Social Butterfly


butterfly sun photo final_edited-1If you are a friend of mine on Facebook, then you’d know that I live my life fairly openly and somewhat transparently. I’m the first to laugh and poke fun at myself when something humorous has happened by attempting to be witty on my wall about it. I revel in it when I make you laugh because I like to think I am funny. When you laugh at something I’ve done or said, you have paid me the biggest compliment of all. By the same token, I have no problem posting some ridiculously stupid thing I did (like the time I pump unleaded fuel into my Diesel tank), and plastering that on my wall where it might seep permanently into the bowels of the internet, perhaps into perpetuity, and for the world to see. I’m okay with that because I want you to know who I really am, not some person I want you to see. When I’ve had a bad day, I try to seek resolve and clarity in what happened and hopefully teach myself or others a thing or two so that maybe, together, we can learn from my mistakes. Know that I am learning from yours, if you write about them. If you really understand who I am as a person, then you’ll distinguish that I always try to keep things as positive as possible because I never want my problems to become yours, but if I’m going through an especially tough time, you can count on the fact that I’m going to share it. Friends are healing and words are powerful. I hope I can be there to ease your pain in your time of need. The weight of the world is too big to carry it alone.

Know that I’m visiting your wall as often as I can, or I’m picking up stories from the newsfeed and working hard to discover who you really are too because I want to hear about your life and also read about your achievements. I’m going to miss some big things that happened to you because I wasn’t ON when you mentioned them. If it’s something you really want me to know about and I haven’t commented, please pick-up the phone and call me.  Sadly, because of where you live, I may have to admire you from afar, as Facebook is our only real means of communication.

Facebook is a journal. When you make a post, you are chronicling your life in some way, and chances are if we are “friends,” I respect or admire you. By living your life well, or at least as best you can, you can count on me to appreciate and never judge the things you have to say, even though we may disagree about politics and what not. I hope you respect and admire the life I lead out loud as well, but be sure that I know that I can’t please everyone, nor that everyone will like me or what I have to say, and that’s okay.

Kindly also note that, although few and far between, some of you may have already turned me off by posting negative comments about the people in your life who came into yours with some degree of baggage. I can’t help worry that if you discard some fallible, vulnerable human for being fallible and vulnerable, and you did this publicly, you might discard me just as carelessly too. I’m not too keen on public embarrassment, and God knows, I’m fallible and vulnerable, too. All humans are. If you are one of these people who like to air your dirty laundry on Facebook, please stop it. Facebook is not a platform for this, the Jerry Springer Show is. Public humiliation is a low blow, and I could harp on this all day.  At least be kind enough to judge or admonish others quietly, to yourself, or more politely by consider doing it directly to their faces. I can admire someone who stands up face-to-face to others for being personally wronged. I’m a boastful mother, and I know this. I brag about my children when they’ve reached a milestone or accomplished something in their lives. They are a cornerstone in mine and, frankly, I am smitten and consumed by them. It’s true: I’m proud of myself for raising them well, and for—I’m going to say it, and I knock on wood, for getting them through life so far—pretty much unscathed. Truth be told, from where I sit if they fart, they might as well be sprouting cute, furry bunnies from their adorable, round little rumpuses. They are perfect in my eyes. I made them, and I am proud of me for that. Again, I can’t help myself. Please do me a favor and brag about your kids more often, so that I can feel better about my boastfulness.

I celebrate big, too. I work hard and reward myself by playing a lot! It's true, I like to talk about milestones or accomplishments I’ve made in my life because since an early age, I had to advocate and pat myself on the back. I grew up knowing that I have to love myself first, so I can love others more. Here again, when you pat me on the back and say, "Good job," that's one of the highest compliments you can pay me. If you knew my background, as some of you do, you would know that I’ve had to overcome much to be where I am today, and well, darn it, I'm proud of whom I have become. If you are “friends” of mine on Facebook, please believe me when I say that I love to hear all about your accomplishments, where you’ve been, where you’re going, and what you’re doing—as much as I like to talk about my own. The next time you see someone giving themselves a pat on their own backs, applaud it, because they likely deserve it. I see it every day on Facebook, there are people reaching out and looking for words of encouragement. I’m blessed. I have lots of great friends who support and encourage me often. Every now and then give someone with fewer “friends” that all important nudge of encouragement.  You'll feel good about yourself for a long time to come because your words have meaning.

I believe that Facebook, at least for me, has become my conduit for self-expression. So, I just really try and be myself. As a public speaker who sometimes talks about advocating social media, I have heard all philosophies on what works and what doesn’t. I understand the “Do’s and Don’ts” and all about meeting expectations on how to express oneself correctly when using social platforms. But, what I’ve really learned is this: There is no perfect, in a nutshell, way to lead your live socially.  Not to sound cliché, but I really would encourage you to just stay true to yourself.

Below are my personal, albeit essential, Social Media Strategies on Six Social Media Platforms:

LinkedIn: Be Professional, Build Your Network and Explore. The days of the job hunt and cold call are over if you use the network wisely.

Facebook: Be Discriminate about Whom You Let into Your Network, So You Can Be Personal. I posted about errant panties ending up the laundry tonight. It’s a funny story. If we were friends on Facebook, you'd know the story.

Twitter: Be Personal and Professional. Be Professional Most of the Time. Post frequent and meaningful content that appeals to a wide audience. Engage your audience. Follow people smarter than you. Pinterest: Pinning is loads of fun. I'm a huge advocate on having loads of fun. Have loads of fun.

Instagram: Go ahead. You can do it. Show the world your inner-photographer and videographer.

Wordpress: Life’s a crazy journey, so write about it. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there like I did in this post.