There’s an old quote that says, “show me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.” Years, ago, it was a little difficult to see who’s friends with who. But today, social media makes that issue much easier to visualize.
Social media is a great way to connect with your friends, share what’s happening in your life at that moment, and create messages that will impact thousands of people. I typically use social media to like things that are going on in my friends’ lives, share something that I find interesting, and to check out some information about a person, event, or product.
The cool thing about social media is that we literally have the entire world in our fingertips, and it is an awesome power to be able to share our message for everyone to see. Social media helps to shape our image and mold us into the people we are meant to be. But sometimes, that might not be the best thing.
Whenever I’m on social media, I usually feel a little insecure about myself due to the large number of followers my friends have. Looking at one friend, this individual has a total of 4,138 Instagram followers, while I only have 593. Another friend has a Snapchat score of 617,283, while I have a Snapchat score of 21,757. Or even my best friend who has 1,015 Facebook friends, compared to my smaller number of 552 friends. Because of this, I’m always looking at my own social media, consuming myself with trying to figure out how I can increase my following or how many new friends I can make in a day.
Just recently, Selena Gomez, one of the most liked and followed people on Instagram, revealed that she deleted the app from her phone, as the pressures of creating a specific image for her followers and the negative comments constantly being posted on her pictures was starting to become too much for her to handle. Just like Selena, we’ve become so consumed with increasing our followings that we’ve forgotten that the whole point of social media is to connect with friends and share our lives with those we don’t see daily
To better illustrate this point, every 6 months, I like to do what I call a, “Social Media Purge”. I spend a few hours going through my friends and follower lists and I ask myself these three questions:
- Do I know who this person is?
- Is there a reason why I’m still friends with them?
- What kind of value do they add to my life?
In doing this, I delete quite a few people because either I don’t know who they are, I don’t believe that I can or will remain friends with them, or because they post so many negative things that I definitely don’t want to see that kind of toxic energy on my feed. The people we associate with are the ones that can distort what our true image is, and I refuse to allow someone else to have a say in how others see me.
I’ve come to realize that the people I have on my social media are those who care about me and what I’m doing with my life. They’re not some random stranger from across the country that I tricked into following me just to increase my popularity, but rather someone I have made a connection with, and would like to remain friends with for a long time.
If you were to look at my social media today, based on my current friends you’d be able to distinguish who I am. I am happy with my 593 Instagram followers, my 21,757 Snapchat score, and my 552 Facebook friends. While they may be small compared to most other people’s standards, they’re high enough for me to continue to have those positive connections with my true friends. All while feeling confident about what I share, who I associate with, and how others will see me. I know who I am based on my social media, but the real question is, who are you?
Author: Amador Gonzales, New Mexico
Ziglar Youth Certified Trainer