October 13, 2012

Are you addicted to Social Media? ~ Shannon Kaiser

Phoot: Goiabarea

How to be More Mindful when Connecting Online.

Oh that fancy little thumbs up. It shines so bright on Facebook and encourages us to click “Like.”

With all the likes and popularity of a Facebook fan page one could get a ginormous head. It is not uncommon for a new fan page to go from 200 followers to 15,000 in a span of a couple hours.

With over 600 million Facebook users, one in every thirteen people on the plant now uses Facebook, which makes it pretty enticing to want a piece of that popular pie. Facebook “Likes” are like the cool kids in school, everyone wants to be part of that crowd, but sometimes when you get up close and personal, the “coolness” looks more like smoke in mirrors.

If you are trying to build a business, the social media community could be your best friend, or if you are not careful, you could cross into the deep dark territory of what I like to call, social suicide.

I recently met with my personal-business coach and she shared an example of a life coach, who has over 20,000 Facebook fans, but doesn’t have a single booking. No appointments, no viable business income, zero, zitch, nada.

Which got me thinking, does the social media scene really equate to a happily ever after life in the world of business?

We are conditioned to think that if a brand has a huge following then they are successful, popular and have the golden ticket to life. I admit, I fell victim to the hype myself and ignorantly bought into the “popularity contest” and believed that my worth and success was tied to the amount of followers and “fans” I had.

I would refresh my twitter feed with a neurotic twitch, seeking positive approval. After all, if they like my social status, then that must mean I am popular, I’m cool, I’m worthy and, above all else, successful. At least this is the story my ego hooked its nasty claws into.

It wasn’t uncommon for me to Facebook stalk other business pages of wellness warriors and coaches to see their numbers skyrocketing.

Meanwhile, back at my Facebook fan page all I heard was the sound of crickets. It seemed as if cobwebs could have grown on my site, because there was no activity. This obsessive behavior created a drastic contrast of depression, sadness and feelings of unworthiness. As an entrepreneur, motivational speaker and a self-help author I thought I should look at this behavior more closely.

What I recognized was, despite my social status, I have an extremely successful business, so busy in fact that I have to pinch myself, because I am making a fantastic living doing what I love daily. I am booking new clients every day, and building a quality reputation with the people I serve. This work keeps me so fulfilled that I forget to update my social websites.

What I was doing was looking outside of myself, to the social media stats, to validate my own worth. Meanwhile my business was booming and I couldn’t even enjoy it.

Once I recognized this behavior, I was able to nip it in the bud. The numbers on the screen don’t tell us anything about a person or brand. We should never assume we know anything based on the outside circumstance. You could have 20,000 fans, but not one calls to book you, or you could have a handful of followers and be so busy you forget to sleep and eat.

Social media can help us stay connected, but if the message we are sending out is not centered in truth, then we can’t expect to grow our business, or our self-worth.

In this experience of recognizing my patterns, I decided to do a social media detox. I put myself on a cleanse and let go of the outcome. I stopped obsessing, or visiting other pages and just held space for self-love and truth. I went off-line and spent more time with myself, doing yoga, juicing and playing with the world.

By doing this, my Facebook page, email list and coaching business grew. This self-love, self-acceptance practice did me good, I broke free of my addictive obsession and now I can just be me. Followers or no followers, it doesn’t change my worth.

Here are some signs you might be addicted to social media and may want to consider a social media detox.

• If you get sad, frustrated or depressed when people don’t respond to your status updates.

• If you feel jealous of other peoples posts, fan base, numbers, etc.

• If the amount of time you spend on social sites gives way to your life and work.

By: Paul Walsh

• If you are more comfortable being social on media sites than you are in person.

• If you get mad at a person because of their status update.

• If you post photos of yourself looking for feedback, approval, likes etc.

• If you post something with an expectation, period.

If you relate to any of these situations you might want to go off-line and spend some quality time with yourself. Loving you can enhance your self-worth and help you shine from the inside out. You won’t need “fans” to show you how amazing you are. Because you will know you are rock star just as you are.



Shannon Kaiser is an inspirational author, life coach, speaker and travel writer. Her site, Playwiththeworld.com, inspires people to love their life to the fullest, through articles, videos, books, podcasts, lectures and more. She is currently a travel tip editor for Healing Lifestyles & Spas and a Destination Travel Editor for Examiner.com. A handful of her motivational stories have been published in Chicken Soup for The Soul and she is the author of the forthcoming book, Find Your Happy: An Inspirational Guide on Loving Life to Its Fullest.


Editor: Thaddeus Haas

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