Someone recently asked me how my fear of social media was coming along. As if it were a knitting project. I don’t think fear works like that. Then again, I said I had narrowed down the fear to something manageable, so maybe it does.
My fear was more about interacting in general. I have an introverted foot-in-mouth tendency and exposure to the broader population was more about concern for the broader population.
I quickly realized that was a needless concern.
Most people are much more worried about their own faux pas and the remainder are intentionally trying to stir up crap storms.
I’m still poking my way around and using caution with substantially less fear. I used to Google my name to make sure I didn’t come up anywhere and now I’m everywhere like everybody else. Whatevs. (Nineties word recall as a bonus for everyone who remembers when e-mail was the best thing EVER and when nothing was labeled as the best thing EVAH.)
If you are an introvert like me who may be new and/or fearful of social media, here are my current favorite tips for each platform I’m on.
Sorry the list is limited. I may be less fearful, but I’m still not overly social.
I was becoming increasingly stressed that I was going to receive obligatory birthday wishes when my birthday rolled around until I realized you can hide that piece of information. You simply change your birthday (and year) to “Only Me” view.
You’re welcome, Facebook friends! I am one less birthday meme you need to worry about. Whew.
My recommendation for Twitter is “Gird your loins!” No, wait. That’s for Reddit and Tumblr. I think. I’m too afraid of those still.
Twitter is my favorite because you can find people who are smart + funny = witty. Plus, there are a LOT less Jesus chain mails.
Side Note: A Facebook post I saw this week said Jesus was keeping an eye out and would KNOW whether the reader was following the directions. Brought back childhood fears of wondering if God was watching me in the bathroom.
The best Twitter advice is a standard, because Twitter hasn’t updated much since inception: Don’t forget you have the ability to Block and Mute people. And by people, I mean the accounts trying to sell you $24.99 Ray Bans. Those guys are everywhere.
I like Instagram because you can scroll so quickly. My least favorite are the posts I have to stop and read. (Save that for Facebook!) I like reading the comments, however, since people can be cute or funny or plain informative about what you’re looking at.
You can also add comments of your own and the person will get a notification, like every other social media platform. What I didn’t realize was if you respond to a comment someone made on one of your pics, they won’t know about it. It’s like talking to yourself.
Which is also sometimes a lot like all other social media platforms, now that I think about it.
When replying, you must check that their @name is in your comment, similar to tagging on Facebook. At least I’m pretty sure that works. I’m still too engrossed fantastic sunsets and cute dogs to really investigate further.
When I started this post yesterday I somehow flipped fingers, said the magic incantation, and posted it mid-type. The irony wasn’t lost on me. Posting something by accident was a HUGE fear when I first started. Once it happens, it’s no big deal. Kind of like being fired or having someone break up with you. The “Did that just happen?” initial shock is there and then you carry on.
And that’s the best suggestion I have for new blogs… WRITE and don’t let the fear overtake you!
I suppose that’s good advice for being afraid in general. Once you face the fear you minimize it or kick it to the curb all together.
No matter what platform(s) you may be using to reach out to others… HAPPY CONNECTING!