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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Online Presence: 15 Seconds Of Fame Or Your Personal Brand?

Usage of social media is very different for businesses and individuals. Organizations have their digital marketing strategies in place to promote their content on social media; on the other hand, for individuals, the usage of social media is mostly centered on sharing their personal memories, experiences and feelings with their near and dear ones. Most individuals are able to utilize the social media in the right way but for some individuals social media platform has become an addiction that they can't get rid of. Unknowingly they are damaging thier lives by not knowing how to use the social media in the right way. Here let us look at one such example:

Jennifer is excited today!
Well excited sounds a bit trivial, she is actually delirious with joy. Her mother Maria isn't really sure why her daughter is so happy? Is it because her boyfriend proposed her to get married? Well, that's not possible, because Jennifer doesn't have a boyfriend yet. So is it because Jennifer was just awarded her Ph.D.? No, that's not true either because Jennifer just turned 16 last month, Ph.D. sounds a bit too much for this school going youngster.

Then what is the reason for Jennifer's great mood today?

Would you believe that the real reason for Jennifer's excitement is her latest Facebook profile picture!!! Yes, she posted her latest selfie on Facebook 2 hours ago and it has got her around 247 likes, 38 comments and 19 shares. Jennifer is so happy with the reaction she got on social media that she is monitoring the likes, comments and shares on her profile picture every 10 minutes. This is one example of addiction to social media.

There is nothing wrong with updating your profile picture on social media, the problem starts when one starts chasing fame and false sense of achievement through this medium. The above is just one example of how folks around the world today are engaged on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Quora and some other leading social websites in search of instant gratification and 15-20 seconds of fame. This mad rush for instant gratification does more damage than what appears on the surface. Incidents of people meeting accidents while clicking selfies are common these days. Some people have even lost their lives while clicking selfies. This 15-20 seconds of fame is not doing us any good, it is high time that we become our own critics and analyze how we use social media. Are we in control? Or have we become addicted?

Answers to these simple question will help you find out if you are addicted to social media:

  • Do you post on social media and continuously monitor if people are responding to your post?
  • Do you pick up your phone at night to check time but end up browsing Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter?
  • Do you feel a (false) sense of achievement if your social media post gets likes and upvotes?
  • Do you have an abnormally high frequency of clicking selfies for updating your Whatsapp DP and Facebook profile?
  • Do you follow/ watch content that is not relevant to you in anyways?

If your answer to most of these questions is 'Yes' then be warned, you are either addicted to social media or are about to get addicted very soon.

Here are some suggestions to get in control before it becomes too late:

  • Regulate your usage of social media, that is, fix a time to check your Whatsapp, Facebook and Twitter messages. Don't use it every now and then because you are free.
  • Don't follow people or topic that are not relevant to you. This will make sure that you get only relevant content in your feed.
  • Be responsible when you upvote, like, comment or share any post. Note that if you are not responsible in sharing your content then it sends junk content into the feed of your friends and followers.
  • Keep a close watch on your younger ones to see if they are using the social media in the right way. Your younger kids, siblings and friends may need guidance or parental guidance.
  • Don't fall prey to cheap tricks and fast money making traps on the Internet.
  • Subscribe to the right channels and RSS feeds to get the right content delivered to you in your inbox.
  • Install aggregator apps on your mobile, this will save your time and you won't need to install multiple apps.

Social media provides a great platform to build your personal brand. Your online presence and activity help you create your personal brand which has both tangible and intangible benefits. Your followers should be able to get the value by following you on Facebook or Twitter. Realize the power of social media, focus on the long term gain, don't just get hooked to the 15-20 seconds of fame. Number of likes and upvotes are not your achivements, they are just a source of motivation for you to do even better in future. So next time you click a picture make sure you click because it is a great moment to cherish not just because you want to update your profile picture.