From yesterday’s entry about other blogs, I thought it worthwhile expanding on one of them a little. I’ve chosen this one because I’ve been undergoing a lot of changes and spent a lot of time in reflection and introspection recently. The post I read talks about things that don’t define your self worth, and I suggested that the number of friends or contacts you have on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn shouldn’t be used as a measure of self worth either.
If you care what other people think you will always be their prisoner
– Lao Tzu
It can be quite exhilarating to get friend requests on various social media sites. Who doesn’t want to be wanted, to be liked, to be needed? But if you stop and think about it, how many of these people do you actually know? How many have you spent time with, talking to, establishing any kind of friendship?
I’ve been in the same boat – probably still am – but every so often I take some time to go through the sites and look at who is there and think about what I really know about them. LinkedIn is a classic – the number of times I look at it and go “who is that?”, because I added them way back in time when I worked on a specific project for two weeks, and have never seen or heard from them since. I then go through the process of removing them as friends / contacts.
Facebook can be similar, and here I’m going to be a bit hypocritical: I have people on my friends list that I’ve rarely, if ever, met but I keep them there for one main reason. I play bass, I want people to come to gigs, so I have some friends on Facebook who organise gigs, some who play in other bands (and therefore might want my band to play with them) and some friends who go to a lot of gigs and I want them to come to mine!
No-one can make you feel inferior without your permission
– Eleanor Roosevelt
When I started this course, I stated that I wanted to find out how to build a following, to encourage people to read what I wrote. That sounds a bit contradictory to what I’ve just said though, doesn’t it? I’ve found that as I look at reducing my contacts in some sites, I’m now actively trying to expand my contacts elsewhere, through blogging. At first I was writing purely for me, in order to get the thoughts in my head into some semblance of order: now I find that I eagerly seek out new followers and comments from people like you, dear reader, who I may never meet. What’s that all about? Is it a case of still wanting to be loved and needed, or is it an inner extrovert pushing their way through? I guess those are questions only I can answer.
Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are
– Marilyn Monroe
So, just because you’ve whittled down your friends list to only those you actually know to speak to, who are indeed friends, does that make you a bad person? Not at all! You are who you are, be all you can be. You are unique, you are awesome, make the most of all that you are.