Why Social Media Should Be a Highlight Reel
All you see is their seemingly glamorous life.
We all know social media, to a large degree, has uncovered the narcist in everyone. From posting what food you’re eating, showcasing the new car you got and the vacation you just went on. In some way, we all try to show the world how well we are living. I am no different.
When I get a new pair of shoes, I can’t wait to snap a picture and post it. I love sneakers. It is a way to express my excitement to everyone. I feel like that is where some posts come from.
People are excited about the things they are doing, accomplished or purchased and want other people to see it. This is not bad at all.
It is unfortunate to see what this has done to people. The genuine excitement of someone achieving a goal somehow makes other people feel bad about what they haven’t accomplished. In my opinion, the influencers of social media drive that more than the average person.
People are literally paid to influence people to live or act in a certain way because it is “cool.” I couldn’t think of a more narcissistic profession when misused.
Some influencers do it right, though they usually do not have as large of an audience as the others. You do not know what kind of life that person lives beyond the pictures they post on social media platforms.
All you see is their seemingly glamorous life.
Or motivational quotes for success.
Social media is largely misused, in my opinion. And it has nothing to do with the influencers. Rather, with how society uses social media. Some people use social media to solely consume content.
Others use it to produce content. This creates a very transactional relationship between producer and user. I think that has more to do with the negative feedback loop of viewing someone’s “perfect” life on the web and comparing it to your current situation. This is how something like Fire Festival can happen.
It is also why you should be creating your own highlight reel on social media.
These platforms have created a space for creating connections like nothing we have ever seen before. A lot of people are squandering this amazing moment in history through stupid tweets and memes in an attempt to be viral.
You do not have to become an internet sensation to get the most out of your time on social media. If you are going to consume content, consume content that benefits you.
Control your virtual environment to something that is conducive to your goals and aspirations. If you are producing content, make sure that your posts are doing the same. A picture of you drunk on the internet is not making you money.
People are going to look you up, either for a job, friendship or relationship. People want an inside look at your life. What they see will determine if they commit time or resources to you.
Branding yourself is a hot topic these days. I think people have the wrong idea about it. Every post, follower, and interaction you create on the web adds to your brand. Whether you want it to or not.
Similar to how athletes use highlight tapes to get recruited, use your social media platform to make you look appealing to potential employers, or customers, that will look you up on social media. I have looked up people that were hiring me, people that were going to be my co-worker and people that I was considering as interns on social media. How they presented themselves on social media gave me an insight into the person I was dealing with. It will do the same for you.
Make sure when people look you up, they find the best of you.
Don’t lie or flex, that’s easy to spot and you will not get cool points for it. People are going to find out sooner or later who you really are so present yourself in the best light but do not fabricate it for clout. You will get exposed, maybe from the social media mob but worst off when you actually meet the employer in person. Or the person you just met at the bar saw a completely different person than who they see on IG. It will not end well for you if you try to portray yourself as someone other than who you are and what you actually do.
Some people sell their souls to their social media image. Believe they need to portray themselves in a certain light to be accepted. It is unfortunate to see social media be used as a popularity contest.
Social media is a powerful tool.
I can honestly say that I have most definitely lost a job because of the way my twitter looked. In college, I misused the tool. I left it out there on the web for everyone to see. Vulgar and ridiculous tweets sent out in the web just for 100 likes and 80 retweets from people I don’t really know like that. When the app came out with the pin tweet feature, I pinned it. Those people might have laughed, but they didn’t get me a job. I also never made a real-life connection with them either. Worst off, my potential employer didn’t even have to put in the effort to find out how much of an idiot I was over the internet.
Use social media to benefit you.
Everything has a cause and effect. You might as well make sure the effects of your actions yield what you want for the long term.
To give you a personal example of how creating an image of yourself can help you on social media, during the height of the lockdown, I direct messaged a CrossFit gym in the Netherlands.
The owner told me to email him my resume, and he actually ended up liking it! While I didn’t take the job because of current commitments and the inability to get a visa, my profile allowed me to gain interest from an employer in a foreign country I have never been to.
Social media is a tool.
Tools can be misused and yield terrible results, like increased depression and loneliness.
Or it can be used in accordance with your goals and help your personal brand grow, increasing your customer base or the odds of getting hired by the employer doing their research on you.
Originally published here.