I have a love/hate relationship with social media.
There are parts of it I love, like the amount of creative opportunities it offers us that no other generation ever had access to.That I can work full time as an author is directly related to the chance social media gave me to build a business. (My current favorite platform is Instagram. You should follow me!) I will forever be grateful to social media for what it has done for my career.
There are parts of it I hate though, like the vortex of negativity it creates when anonymous people get together to amplify the very worst parts of themselves with new tools online.
That said, I have a simple technique that will help you enjoy social media 100% more. It’s a phrase you can write down, commit to memory or get tattooed in case you’re that kind of guy.
Ready? Here it is:
“It’s not about you.”
Those four words are the key to enjoying social media more.
I learned this one day when I posted my running time on Instagram.
I ran three miles and shared that my 9mph pace wasn’t as fast as I wanted but I was happy to be done with it.
A woman named Sue from Ohio told me that I insulted her because by saying my time was slow, I was criticizing her own pace which was even slower.
Here’s the thing though, prior to posting that and receiving her comment, I didn’t know Sue in Ohio existed. Before I posted, I didn’t sit down and think, “What can I write that will really insult Sue?”
The problem is that social media encourages you to see everything through a “You Lens.” Sue didn’t read my post and think, “Jon shared his running time!” She read it and thought, “What does this piece of content say about me?”
But it didn’t say anything about Sue, because again, I didn’t know she was a human on this planet. I couldn’t have possibly crafted that post with her in mind.
The danger of a You Lens is that it distorts everything you see. It opens you up to all these insecurities because the entire landscape of social media is about you.
But it’s not.
It’s not about you.
It’s not about me either. I have a hard time when I see other authors having wild success, but guess what, that’s not about me. It’s about them and the only way I will be able to celebrate their success is if I can admit that.
It’s not easy. There are days when I am better at it than others. Occasionally I even have to unfollow someone if I’m just having a hard time not comparing myself to them. That’s OK. I have the rest of my life to let go of my You Lens.
In the meantime, if you’re ready to enjoy social media 100% more, remember this:
It’s not about you.
P.S. If you want to learn more about what it takes to let go of a You Lens, read chapter 6 in my latest book, “Finish.”