Today, social media has helped many businesses grow and evolve. It is also a steady platform for creative minds. The progressive leap of digital media has inspired many entrepreneurial spirits to connect their ideas with others all over the world. In the midst of all the awesomeness, there are still a few who have fallen in the category of “doing it for the gram.” I’m referring to folks who feel inclined to say things they don’t mean or react in ways that step out of their character. The type of people with a sole purpose of competing for followers rather than staying connected with their followers.
During a recent Twitter chat centered on Black creativity, we all agreed that social media is a great place for self-promotion. Some wondered, at what point does self-promotion become too much? My answer? – When you break out of character for recognition and not for growth.
Sometimes, we come across people who feel validated by their high number of followers or their thousand and one likes. They begin to exude this level of importance that becomes a turnoff for people who just wish to connect. They end up thirsting for recognition on social media over effectively growing and developing their creativity.
The important thing folks forget, is that people are watching. Observers notice when your authenticity dwindles. They notice when you start focusing on someone else’s agenda and not your own. Like an internal radar, they can sense when you’ve traded in your dreams for the mirage of popularity. They lose their genuine connection with you and in the end, you’ve lost.
Like growing up and into your own, it’s important to remember to stay grounded. Think of it as if a gust of wind trying to swoop you in a foreign direction but your values and your dreams hold you steady. As a writer, I have battled with staying on my own path. I won’t deny that I have strayed into territories I should have avoided but growing is learning and I’ve learned it’s more important to stay true to myself. The digital world can sometimes promote competition and it’s only natural to get swept up into the mix but I’ll let you in on a little secret. – Everyone doesn’t have to like you for you to love yourself.
Of course, we all want to be liked and praised on our everlasting wisdom, but let’s be real, there will always be that one person who will disagree. One useful tactic to keep under your belt is to ignore the critics. And it starts with being true to yourself. If in fact that you are, then the opinions of your peers will never affect you, because you know how to take the insults and competitive rants with a grain of salt.
If it doesn’t apply let it fly.
Refrain from living your life in the image of someone else’s. Focus on your agenda; on your mission. That’s the key to being authentic. Don’t make the popularity factor a reward for your hard work. Continue to do the work and it will get the recognition necessary for growth.
Have you ever struggled with staying true to your brand on social media? Have you ever noticed some people lose their way in the race for popularity? What are some of your tips to remain grounded in this competitive digital world of social media?