Ahh! Social Media! On the surface, it’s a bit like Marmite – we either love it or hate it. But scratch a little bit beneath the surface and it’s not quite so simple…
There are some who will want nothing to do with it whatsoever. On the flip side, there will be those who have been actively engaged on every social media platform since day one.
And then there are those like me who, as I revealed in my earlier blog post Social Media and the Pre-teen – Playing with Fire 🔥?, have been largely passive participants in the whole phenomenon, happy to ‘follow’ certain celebrities on the various social media platforms but reluctant to become actively engaged.
However, the launch of this blog forced me out from the sanctuary of my metaphorical rabbit hole (as there is an unwritten rule that you can be on social media and not blog but if you blog you absolutely, no getting out of it, must have a social media presence).
Therefore, since March I have, somewhat reluctantly (at least, at first), gone from a passive to an active member of the social media community.
And would you believe it? Contrary to all the bad press social media tends to attract and contrary to my own long-held beliefs, the entire experience has been far from unpleasant.
In fact, I could go so far as to admit that it has been (shock, horror!) overwhelmingly positive and, not only that, it has taught this confirmed introvert a few valuable lessons about the real (as opposed to the virtual) world…
1. People are mostly good
Hardly a day goes by but the main stream media gleefully informs us of the scourge of internet trolls and cyber bullying. If we were to go by the (largely negative) press reports alone, social media is a foreboding place, filled with shady characters of malicious intent.
The reality of virtual reality (this might get a bit complicated so bear with me…) is actually a mirror image of the real world reality where, for the most part, the interactions are largely positive and uplifting.
Just like the real world, there will be a tiny minority (and I’m sorry but I’m going to have to include the Instagram follow/unfollowers – how annoying are they?! – in this bunch) whose intentions will be less than impeccable.
But, on the other hand, the overwhelming majority are genuine and trustworthy communities of human beings who seek only to support and uplift those in similar situations to themselves.
It is truly heart warming and I have to say a real reflection of my experience of humanity to date – people are basically good. 😊
2. You need to give to receive
Once upon a time, I believed that participation in the social media ‘game’ was to be avoided like the plague as it was nothing short of a superficial popularity contest.
However, having finally dipped my toes into the sometimes choppy social media waters, I have come to realise that nobody sets up a social media account and miraculously becomes super popular just by idly sitting around waiting to be discovered.
As in the real world, you need to reach out to others, risk humiliation and rejection (yikes!) in order to grow a social media following. If you don’t engage with others and genuinely interact with them on some level, you will be left on your lonesome in Loser Street.
Selfishness is not rewarded whereas generosity will never go unnoticed!
3. Positivity gets results
A fact of life is that nobody likes a Debbie Downer! We are naturally drawn towards positivity both in the virtual world and in real life.
If somebody is demonstrating positive results through positive action, our natural instinct is to seek out the company of that person in the hope that their good fortune will somehow rub off on us.
Conversely, people who are down on life and themselves will have the opposite effect (and us running in the opposite direction!).
Gone are the days where we blindly worship models, actors and rock stars (and this is coming from a former celebrity magazine journalist!).
These days, we are more likely to be under the spell of Instagram Influencers, people whose positivity, resilience, work ethic and moral stance are just as important as the (often unenhanced ❤️) image they portray.
These are the people who are now spearheading advertising campaigns and product endorsements. These often very relatable individuals are the celebrities of the future.
And here is my pick of three of the most noteworthy Influencers of the moment…
1. The stylish mum blogger
Spent the morning with @nextofficial at their #HouseOfNext – Mastitis n all 😅 (On antibiotics now and feeling lot better but jaysussss, didn’t think I’d make today with the way I was yesterday😆) Next took over a massive house in Mayfair to launch their A/W collections! Beeeeautiful bits coming in throughout the next few months. Check out my stories from today to see my faves 🤗 Literally everything in this photo (including my outfit) is from Next😳😍
This Irish-born, London-based mum of three, with a background in radio and photography, boasts over 80,000 followers on Instagram and is currently one of the most sought after Influencers on the London scene. (www.eimearvarianbarry.com)
2. The beauty blogger
Suzanne Jackson-O’Connor, aka SoSueMe, has risen from relative obscurity to being the face of one of the most successful lifestyle blogs in Ireland and, with a healthy Instagram following of over 230, 000, she is currently ranked as one of the top 20 most influential bloggers globally. (www.sosueme.ie)
3. The Italian fashionista
Arguably one of the most successful influencers in the world, Chiara Ferragni is the face behind the super popular fashion blog The Blonde Salad. Boasting an Instagram following of more than 13 million, this Italian blogger, who splits her time between Milan and LA, was ranked first in the 2017 Forbes list of the most powerful influencers. (www.theblondesalad.com)
While all three of the above could be said to have a certain ‘It’ factor, they all radiate positivity and each work incredibly hard to make a success of their respective endeavours. All of which is rewarded by the dedication of their hard-won followers.
If you have been inspired by a particular influencer or social media king or queen, I would love to hear about them in the comments section below…
So there you have it, folks! Social media has an educational purpose… Who would have thought it?!
The virtual world and the real world aren’t mutually exclusive after all. In fact, for those of us who tend towards the introverted end of the spectrum, social media is a great place to learn (at a safe distance and at our own pace) how to make the most of our real life interactions with others. Finally, some good news for Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and co. 😉
If only we could learn to curb our social media addiction…
Now, there’s a post for another day!
Until next time,
💋 Mostly Mum