Posted by Martin Waxman
on Feb 13th, 2013 in Posts
Last week I wrote about online security and how important it is to change passwords in order to safeguard your accounts and privacy.
Now I want to talk about that other type of insecurity – the psychological kind.
As individuals who are otherwise perfectly well adjusted, centred and completely at one with ourselves (aren’t we? ), we all have those gnawing feelings of self-doubt. And our online interactions often heighten them. As in: We went to high school together, why is that person taking so long to friend me?; I followed that colleague, shouldn’t they follow me back?; I just shared their blog post, the least they could do is say thank you…
The list goes on and on…and on.
Social media is just that – an opportunity to be social and connect with a person or a brand.
And it works better if you let your neuroses go.
Here are five tips for individuals and social businesses to manage your personal online insecurities:
- It’s not always reciprocal. Every relationship has a form of control mutuality attached to it, that is the degree to which people accept the roles in a relationship don’t have to be equal to work. So if you don’t get an instant reaction, that’s OK! Conversations are not ping pong.
- Some people are shy and would rather listen. According to research as many as 30 per cent of us are paying attention but not sharing online. Which means your content is reaching people, but you may not realize it until you run into someone on the street and they tell you.
- And speaking of listening – that’s the first thing to do. Don’t be boorish, wait for the right moment to jump in. If you’re really listening, you’ll know when that is.
- There’s no point being defensive. We all make mistakes. The first time someone disagreed with me in a comment on my blog, I could feel my face get red. If you do something dumb publicly (or privately), own up, apologize quickly and fix the mess you created.
- Find your voice – that is how you’re going to express yourself. Are you funny, caring, helpful, snarky? Your voice should reflect your personality so if someone meets you IRL, you’re pretty much the same person you are online.
And above all, don’t be a troll and pick public fights simply to get attention. It’s OK to have a controversial point of view, it’s another thing to push, goad and be a jumpy general sh*t disturber. And if you do find your’re tangled with a troll, the quickest way to extricate yourself is simply unfollow.
Enjoy yourself. And take a risk or two. Sometimes you may feel like you’re being left on hold, but many other times, you’ll find your social networking really pays off.
Do you have anything to add?