Social media is on my mind once again. As my following continues to grow, I find myself analysing the content I put out into the world. I am pretty present across my socials, sharing not just the professional side of my life but plenty of the behind the scenes. My family, struggles, thoughts and passions are all put out there for anyone to take offence, inspiration from or even have a good dig at, if they wanted to….
Putting myself out there and saying, ‘Hey this is me, this is what I do and this is what I look like when I crawl out of bed in the morning’, isn’t something that came easy at first. My mind would always go past, just something I was posting on my phone and start wondering how many people were actually watching what I was putting out into the world. What would they think of what I had to say and the life that I was living. Would they pick on my appearance and laugh at me behind their screens. If I heard what they were really thinking about me, would I be hurt?
There have been mountains of stories, posts and ideas that were never published into the online world through fear of what THEY might think. Piles of anxious energy has been spent wondering what THEY might be saying to each other about me. My ego has been brusied to the bone with the likes that THEY never gave me.
Who the hell are THEY anyway?
During a mentoring session with one of my favourite and most promising business clients this morning about social media and online presence, this was some of the advice I gave her.
THEY don’t exist. Think about it this one with me. When you put something out there in the online world and you start becoming anxious about what THEY will think, who exactly are you thinking about? Take away the collective THEY and nail it down to a single person. Can you think of that one single person that you are worried about judging your life / look / thoughts? Who is that person? Do you think that they would walk up to you in person and say, ‘Hey you look rubbish when you get out of bed’ or ‘You’re a bad parent’? I don’t think so……
If you can think of that one single person that is governing how you feel about your real life and what you are sharing in your space, with honesty and authenticity, why are you even allowing them to hang out in your space? Would you allow them in your offline life?
When I think about THEY, I can’t nail it down to a single person in my space, that is in my life now or has been in the past, who would roll their eyes at my life as Chantel. Sure some duck under the rope into the VIP area of my socials now and then, who don’t belong there. But, they’re quickly kicked to the curb without a second thought given to them.
I put myself out into the world quite a lot. I share my struggles and triumphs with motherhood, mental health, post partum body, family life and work. I’m leaving myself right open for judgement and ridicule from all of THEM. THEY could really have a field day if they wanted to…. if they existed, that is.
Your social media is YOUR space. It’s not THEIRS or HIS or HERS…. it’s yours. Remember that.