I started reading Getting Past Ok: The Self-Help Book for People Who Don’t Need Help, by Richard Brodie last week. I picked it up not because I need help (in fact, I’ve sworn off self-help books and instead am relying on my own judgment) but because Richard Brodie is a name regularly bandied about in our home. Brodie, in case you don’t know, wrote the first version of MS Word and retired rich.
Family friends of ours are friends with Brodie and due to this connection, my son, who is a total geek, was able to meet the famous Brodie at their house one night when he spent the night. He and Brodie took an instant liking to each other. (My son attracts intelligent adults the way his bedroom floor attracts his dirty clothes — like a magnet. It’s rather amazing.)
I’ve actually had Brodie’s book for a while, but due to the aforementioned ban on self-help books, it was gathering dust on my shelf. Another friend had passed along the URL to Randy Gages’ e-book, Accept Your Abundance, where Gages mentions Brodie in passing. I had no clue Brodie’s tentacles reached so far and wide, so I started reading his book.
In the book, Brodie talks about what makes up our truths and belief systems and how memes — pieces of information that get replicated — become the basis of our belief systems. (If you’re short on time, you can bypass his whole book and just follow his advice in the last sentence of the first chapter: trust yourself. You don’t need a self-help guru to tell you what’s right and wrong.)
In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been on a social media hiatus, which started when G+ came out. I remember thinking at the time, “You know what? I’m a little overwhelmed with social media and need a break.” So I took one — without telling anyone even though a social media “truth” is that you’re supposed to tell everyone when you’re taking a break.
This break gave me time to think through the memes that I’ve bought into with regard to social media.
- “Because I’m in marketing, I have to be a social media expert.”
- “I have to produce content on a regular basis.”
- “I have to be ‘on’ 24/7.”
- “I have to be a thought-leader.”
- “My content isn’t that great if it’s not getting retweeted or reposted all the time.”
- “I need to read all the experts out there and keep abreast of all the new trends.”
After thinking about these memes and how they’ve upended my business and personal life, I came up with some new truths:
- “Social media has been fantastic for my business but I don’t need to be connected to it 24/7.”
- “It’s ok to do social media my way versus how I’m being told to do it by the experts.”
- “Less is more: More time, better quality work, more business.”
- “Tuning out the social media hype has allowed me to focus what’s really important to me: building the type of business that reflects who I am and my values.”
- “Social media is based on the old-fashioned value of forming caring, trusting connections and relationships with others.”
- “Forming relationships and connections is not new. I’ve been doing it since before social media and indeed, the Internet, came into existence.”
- “I’ve made some real connections with people that I highly value and these connections have absolutely nothing to do with scores, or numbers of followers or RTs or any of that stuff.”
- “My strongest connections are with those people I’ve connected with offline and with whom I’ve built trusting, solid relationships.”
- “Many of these people have become clients; all of them have become friends.”
Someone I’m following on G+ posted a link to an article about how social media is driving the publication of too much content, much of which isn’t very good. I found myself nodding in agreement.
During my hiatus, I found myself vowing to stop posting so much stuff in order to meet someone’s definition of a social media “truth.” Instead, I’ll post when I have something to say — and that I think you might find interesting. This means I’ll be posting irregularly — versus regularly, which is another one of those memes we’ve all bought into. I’d like to spark more discussion and hopefully, more connection.
What do you think? Are you overwhelmed by social media? Have you taken a break? Do you find yourself doing more of it or less? What are your social media truths and are they yours or someone else’s? Leave your comments below.