21 Aug 5 ways to use social media if you’re private
Let’s face facts, it is pretty hard to exist in today’s society without social media…I know, I’ve tried!
Although I’m pretty outgoing, I’m actually a private person. I don’t feel particularly comfortable sharing all and sundry about me and I’m not too concerned with looking at what others are posting either.
The truth of the matter, however, is that social media is an inescapable part of life – avoiding it renders one out of the loop. It’s not that people are trying to exclude you, but that’s what happens – you become disconnected from your community of friends and colleagues. And well all need connection.
Nowadays, successful business means understanding social media. You need to be active on it to gain new customers, communicate with current customers and learn what is new in your industry. It’s also incredibly useful to find tools and people that can help you create a great business.
So how do we address this paradox? How does a private person exist on a social media platform, but yet maintain their sense of self? How do you have a public persona with a private leaning?
To address this issue in my life, I asked around and collected some ideas about how private people can tackle social media.
5 tips on social media for private people:
- You can restrict who sees your posts or tweets
Remember, you don’t have to share everything with the whole world. You have the control, it just takes a bit of tweaking.
Ok, so let’s start with basic privacy on social media. On Facebook, you can choose what information is public, what is shared with friends and what is just for you to see, all via the privacy tab in your settings menu. You can also check what is visible (and to whom) by going to your timeline and using the “view as” function. When posting on Facebook, you can limit who sees each post: choose between public, friends, friends except… specific friends or even only me!
On Instagram, you can make your posts private so that only your approved followers can see them. There is also a feature called “Instagram Direct” which lets you pick and choose which Instagram pals can see your latest post. Remember, you can block people from your account (they will not be informed that you have done this – phew).
On Twitter, you can choose to keep your Tweets public or protect your Tweets. This is easily achieved by selecting ‘Protect my Tweets’ in the “Privacy and Safety” settings.
Just another little tip: It might be a good idea to take photos from behind or where your face isn’t clear. And if you are taking all this time to preserve your privacy, be extra careful of tagging, or you will end up on everyone else’s feed (believe me, I learnt this the hard way). But fear not, if this happens, it is very easy to remove the tags on both Facebook and Instagram, so all your hard (secret squirrelling) work hasn’t been for nix.
- Find like-minded groups
This is the great part of social media – you can find similar souls and connect on personal or business levels. This is an easy way to develop a social media tribe, make connections, get inspired, and feel supported, but without too much pressure. Start with one network, take some time to explore and contribute when you feel comfortable – there’s no rush. Personally, the groups I’ve found that have been the most beneficial are the ones recommended to me by friends, acquaintances and colleagues, and often I feel safer sharing in these groups than I do on my personal timeline.
- Be objective and don’t believe everything you read or see
I can’t stress this enough – social media is not a true representation of life. Lots of people’s profiles are carefully crafted, devised, planned and curated. They are not random shots, and the posts are expertly edited and seriously censored. For most people, social media is the “highlight reel” of life and photo filters are a given. Do not believe that everyone’s life is as perfect as they present. Listen, observe but remain objective and keep your BS detector finely tuned. And remember you choose what you do or don’t share about your life – maybe you want to share the good, conveniently forget the bad and, if needed, get yourself a beautifying app (it does wonders for your self-esteem!!). Or here’s a wild idea – be yourself and be proud! We’re huge fans of that here at Execs with Soul.
- See the positives of social media
Remember, social media’s not all bad. In fact, it can be a great tool. Interactions are far less intimidating than in-person. After all, it’s so much easier to simply send someone a friend request on Facebook than it is to walk up to someone you’ve never spoken to. Plus, you can just log off when you’re over it or if the conversation dies down. Social media also gives us complete control over how we portray ourselves to others, meaning we can market ourselves as we please, share what we want the world to see and keep the rest to ourselves. Best of all, you can keep up with business contacts, and what’s going on in the industry, without even leaving the house.
- Debrief at the end of each session & then forget
This one’s important – take five minutes at the end of each session to reconnect with reality. Do a short mindfulness meditation, and a quick reality check. Remind yourself that what you see online is not always a true representation. Once you’ve had your social media fill, get off the screen and into real life.
Have a mantra that you repeat if being on social media really drains you like, e.g. “I love my life”, “I am happy with who I am”, “I appreciate what I’ve got”, or “I send positivity to the Facebook and Insta community”.
A new thing I’ve started to do is set an alarm for how long I want to be online. Choose a great song and when it starts to play, it’s time to put the social media away and have a sing or dance along. It’s impossible to be sad if you’re dancing to Michael Jackson!!
But, while we’re talking about posting and forgetting, there is one caveat…alcohol (or other mind altering substances). Yes, you can switch off your device anytime, but like Las Vegas, what happens online, stays online…for everyone to see!! So just like drinking and texting, be careful of drinking and posting – you might regret it the next day.
So let’s wrap it up…even if you are private, don’t run away from social media – you can choose what you share, limit what you see and filter what you believe. Oh…and finish with a dance off!
Now, let’s briefly analyse which social media platforms are best for the more reserved among us:
The group aspect of Facebook is a great way meet like-minded folks, but it is the most exposed platform.
The best platform for keeping it brief and having the least exposed profile.
While anyone can contact you and your profile is fairly exposed, it is not too personal.
You can keep it brief (you don’t even need words) but you need to ignore the pressure to share everything and be aware of the amount of input from robots.
This platform is more like a search engine. It’s not very social but has great privacy features. Beware of the pressure to look perfect.
Make sure your account is set so you can only be found and seen by friends.
One final note….play around and find which platforms you feel most comfortable with and which ones best suit your needs – it really is a personal decision.
Yours with Soul,