I remember once hearing someone say, “you are your business card”. Essentially, the idea is that the way you present yourself in public defines who you are–more than any piece of paper ever can. I think this is extremely true today, now more than ever. Think about it this way, if you are always there to help others, provide good ideas and contribute to the dialog in a positive way, then you become the guy/girl that helps others, provides good ideas and contributes to the dialog in a positive way. In the same tone, if you are obnoxious and annoying then you are the obnoxious and annoying guy/girl. Or if you dress in a creepy unicorn costume, then you might be that creepy guy that dresses in a unicorn costume. We define ourselves through our actions.
When I worked in IT, I was in an office setting 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Because of this I wore collared shirts with buttons down the front, kept my face regularly shaved and stayed away from politics and religion at the water cooler. Now that I own my own business I feel like I haven’t seen a button in years and can’t even remember what a collar looks like!
With Social Media we can present ourselves in public while in the privacy of our living room. Which means that it is very easy to drop all the formalities associated with good manners and proper etiquette and do what ever the hell we want. This is a truly powerful advantage that we have over those just a few years ago. But it can have dangerous consequences if we are not careful.
Now don’t get me wrong, I know what some of you are thinking. Social media is all about self expression, and being someone you’re not isn’t sincere and genuine. What I am talking about is not doing things that go against who you are, but in fact staying completely true to yourself at all times. The problem is we all do things out of character now and then and, with social media these things are recorded for the whole world to reference later.
How To be Yourself in Social Media
- Don’t read stupid bullet points about how to be your self, write your own.
- Don’t be witty, unless of course you already are witty, in which case: carry on.
- Don’t look for exposure by doing something uncharacteristic.
- Don’t follow the leader and hang out with the cool kids.
- Talk about what you enjoy and makes you happy.
- Quit trying to be something and just be you.