Thursday, February 12, 2015

AYD2015 Series: #9 Don't Fall in to A Social Media Vortex. Gulp!

By J.Naomi Johnson

Sorry. I am late posting this very essential part of the AYD2015 series (click here to start from the beginning) because…well…I did not want to. I love my Facebook. I love my Instagram. I love my Twitter. So why on earth would I ever forbid the use of these wonderful social media tools? Well, I'm not. However, I know that the negative effects of social media when one is trying to rebuild or accomplish goals needs to be addressed but I really just don’t want to. So instead I will talk about the destruction of vortexes (and when it is time we will substitute vortex with social media, smile).

First let us discover what the heck a vortex is.

A vortex is a whirling mass of fluid or air. Typically, it's called a whirlpool or a whirlwind. We see vortexes all the time. A cyclone has a vortex. A black hole in space has a vortex. Often a vortex pulls you in, gets you all caught up in a spiraling mass of chaos and then spits you out completely at the opposite end of your beginning. In the case of a black hole you are stretched to the size of spaghetti and then ripped apart never making it to the other side.

Okay…I’m ready to talk about social media…I guess

Social media is wonderful. It’s always active and it connects us to each other. We all have spent tireless hours perfecting our phone keyboarding abilities. For people with business it has allowed you to grow and develop your business in ways that would not have happen if you did not use it. However, we are not talking about social media for business. I am discussing, in this particular blog, social media’s impact on you, as an individual, Achieving Your Dreams in 2015.

Oh that world wide web! That super information distributor that is only but one click away at all times. That precious distraction that has frequently gotten in the way of my work and the work of others. Internet you are consistent. You are relevant. Most importantly, you can be a vortex. As we discussed before, not all vortexes are as detrimental as a black hole in space. Some serve their environmental purpose. Others impact the environment in a very negative way. For instance, the Polar vortex causes below freezing temperatures negatively changing and effecting seasons leading to the damage of crops and endangerment of animals. And then there are dirt devils…cough.

Let’s take the prior example and apply it to social media. Facebook provides us all with the chance to stay connected and inform the people we care about of major events in our lives. Weddings, child birth a new tattoo, etc. For some this availability of announcement can be problematic. Instead of looking at Facebook as a positive source for staying up to date with the milestones of close friends and family. It has become a soapbox catalyst. Something that I and many others have fallen victim to. Don’t worry. It happens. Twitter wars. Selfie contests. Facebook arguments. So on and so forth. It is the accidental trip and fall into a social media whirlwind.

In the chaos of it people are chiming in. Words are getting misconstrued. People are not speaking to others and it just gets worst. This is the chaos of the vortex. Hurling and whirling around and around. Sometimes you end up on the other side okay. People talk it out and voila! All is mended after the storm. On the other hand you lose out. Severing the relationships you once valued and shifting your focus from one thing to something that should have never had your attention in the first place.

Enter you and these big dreams you have. The totally wonderful, accomplishable plans that you have been working your butt off to reach. The last thing that you should do now with your newly gained momentum is get off track with your goals or use that momentum to fuel a twitter war. Yes, you may need social media for your business or to reach your dreams but don’t allow for it to destroy your planning. Don’t get sucked into its vortex of non-prosperity. By all means do not allow for it to stretch you so thin that you turn into spaghetti and get ripped apart. Seriously.

The most important things that we have, in regards to a social life, are the relationships we have with each other. I think that we have begun to believe that the people who are connected to our social media accounts are the same as the people that we talk to and have interpersonal relationships with. Or in other words, we have believed that distant or estranged people on our social media accounts matter. I have made this mistake too. This is a cost effecting mistake. Costly because some of the people you have on your social media that you believe are in your corner are not and given the chance can and will betray or hurt you. And although they watch you and/or like your post they are often envious and miserable in their own lives and cannot stand the happiness in yours. They cringe at your joys while never taking their eyes off you. They discuss you frequently while you live your life unaware to their alternative motives miles and miles away. Lesson: Don’t get caught up in the social media vortex.

Yeesh…sensitive subject alert!

Social media relationships are not the same as the relationships we have invested emotionally and physically with which requires more than occasional inbox messaging. What I mean by this is that if you do not have a memory with someone than what is the value of that someone if the only connection is social media? There is not one. This too is part of the chaos of the vortex. Believing that a person in your social media has any power or influence in your life when you are only connected through social media. The idea of six degrees of separation or two degrees depending on your city and town only extends as far as knowing “of” a person. Not of “knowing” a person. You dig?

While you begin to chase your dreams and start to knock off those accomplishments don’t fall into a negative social media vortex. Although they are easy to get into you may not make it out. You have something amazing going on now. You’re destined for greatness regardless of the past. Most importantly now is the time to take hold of your future and rewrite history. Something I want you to know is as much as I would like to say that your biggest enemy is you that may not necessarily be true. So keep a look out for activities and people that suck you in and want to stretch you thin. You have much to do and no time for black hole spaghetti. Yeesh!

My advice comes from bonafide expirence. Have you ever been sucked into a social media vortex? Let’s hear about it in the comments below!

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