I was inspired by this speech by Trevor Noah at The Daily Show.
Despite what mass media teaches about race, religion, politics and more—you don’t have to take definitive sides. It’s possible to be both Republican and Anti-Trump, Democratic and Anti-Hillary, Pro-Black and Pro-Cops.
After experiencing Hamilton, composing what I wanted to say after the United States' most recent tragedies, and hearing that the "Chewbacca woman" went viral again (newest video below)...
I feel it necessary to encourage you to (re)examine how you’re using social.
There’s often great value in examining extremes and opposites.
1. Free flow
- Tweets exactly what’s on their mind or happening at every moment
- Instagrams many selfies and other moments in their daily life
- Facebook broadcasts everything—food, traffic, where they are, who they're with, what they're doing, how they're feeling, etc.
This person also…
2. Polished Posts
- Drafts and schedules tweets (look for perfect hashtags, mentions, branded links and sexy media)
- Instagrams a personal magazine (look for a curated collection—perfectly filtered, hashtagged and made to look like the media was casually captured)
- Facebook broadcasts only the “best of” (look for the inability to be tagged and someone who posts only when it’s something big)
This person also…
- Assumes they have to be greater than
- Runs the risk of losing self-expression online (the freedom/comfort to be yourself)
- Plays with the opportunity of acquiring fame and fortune through followers
My point today is to find the middle ground. We have so many extremes going on in our country right now that maybe this idea can serve as a metaphor?
In relationships, opposites attract. In acting, a whisper can be stronger than yelling. Examine both extremes/sides and find what middle ground or side works best for you.
While I don’t want you to feel censored on social media, I definitely want you to bring awareness and consciousness to what and how you share things. Design and strategy are two synonyms… but doesn’t "awareness and consciousness" make you feel better? 😉
When creating anything (art, writing or social content), you can edit and refine until you lose all sense of the original goodness.
People want to follow/see/hear the unedited, original and unique YOU! Not every post needs to be so filtered (as long as it won’t damage your reputation or brand). Think before you post, but don’t let perfect get in the way of great… or even honest. You can always edit, delete, engage in replies or broadcast a follow up.
Rather than choosing fears (such as perceived judgement or failure), choose empowerment! Your words/images/videos could change someone’s life.
On the other hand, if you are creating the next hypothetical Hamilton... do take time some time for development. “[The Future] Has It’s Eyes On You”
In general, social media isn't that precious. Share yourself and connect with others. That’s what it’s there for!
Do you support free flow, polished posts or a hybrid? Comment below!
Tony Howell is a digital strategist dedicated to helping you design your future—creating offline success from your online presence.