For me, social networking is part of my job. Its a portion of how I brand our business. Its a way to cultivate relationships with partners, clients and influencers. Its how I keep up to date on what other vendors are doing.
It’s also been instrumental in my conversion of my blog from ERE to ImSoCorporate.com this fall. It has been through RT’s on twitter and networkedblogs.com on facebook – that I have met some really smart, interesting people.
On the flip side, if you follow my tweets – you know that it is about more than that to me as well. On a personal level – it has blurred that line between totally professional relationships, pseudo-friendships and in some cases, true friendships and relationships that will last a very long time.
I’ve gotten some advice from someone that I respect to change how I am online. That my ‘image’ isn’t what I want it to be and supplied some advice on perceptions of me. I thought a lot about it. A lot. It was the inspiration behind my 2010: Twitter post. It has caused me a internal debate and discussion. It has honestly caused a little bit of writer’s block.
It caused doubt.
I don’t live my life with doubt. I can’t. I don’t have the time, energy or emotional attachment to do so. Doubt to me is no different than failure.
So, Here is why I like social networking and why I’m not changing too much.
1. In person, I am kinda shy. For those of you that only know “online me” this is typically a bit of a shocker. In fact, I do a pretty good job hiding it (usually via a cosmo or xanax) but know that I am actually really uncomfortable talking to you when we meet. You make me nervous and i’m a bit intimidated. As someone who is super uncomfortable in a 1-1 setting or in a small group of people, it has been a really interesting way to build relationships without the anxiety and fear that would normally stop us from meeting.
2. It allows me to be less judgmental. I’m not sure if she remembers, but the first time I met Laurie (PunkRockHR.com) she really, really didn’t like me. And to be fair, I felt the same way. We had next to nothing in common and that was the end of it. It was because of conversations we started having via social networking, tweets about life, books, etc that we discovered we had way more in common than I ever imagined. Social networking lets you watch, observe and learn about someone over time – not just that chance encounter – if you give it a chance.
3. It keeps me from talking to myself. I work at home. Alone in my basement. Its kinda boring down here – so while I work, I listen to music or get random Facebook Messages, IM’s & DM’s throughout the day from other people that are in the same situation. Its like our version of running into someone my the water cooler, or popping our head over the cube. Its like a little insulated support network that reads over each others blogs before they go public, helps get us unstuck when we can’t figure out how to do something on our new mac or just someone saying Hi.
4. I learn stuff. A lot of stuff from a lot of people who are way smarter than I am. Sometimes it isn’t so much of learning as it is a new perspective that I hadn’t considered before. I love to constantly be expanding my mind and learning new things – even when they are totally random.
5. I can do it on my own time. Unlike webinars and meetings and whatever – I can do social networking while i am working, when I am at the gym, or sitting on my couch. It doesn’t matter to anyone else if I am there at a particular time as long as I get back to them. (This may go back to my commitment issues…hmm….)
6. I can just be me. (well, the me you would get if you knew me) I am who I am and people will judge me regardless. If you think I am a ‘party girl’ because I post pictures of us having fun at conferences – then you obviously choose not to see that I am also there at 8am tweeting on the sessions or know anything about me. Like many things, I am a bit of an aquired taste – you love me or you don’t and that is fine. My goal is to be me, not try and be who you think I should be.
7. I like the personal/social part of it. My goal in life isn’t to be friends with you. I’m not impressed by the fact that you have 40,000 readers on your blog or you speak at SHRM. I don’t really ready all your PR you send out. Honestly, who cares. That isn’t YOU.
8. I rarely travel where I am alone. Because of this network – anytime I travel – I have someone to grab lunch, dinner, drinks, etc with. It makes work trips much less boring and I usually end up making really great connections because of it.
9. Why not? That is all.
Cross Posted from www.ImSoCorporate.com
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Bryan & Pete - Thanks! I appreciate the feedback and love that you can relate.
I am an ESTJ in real life - but a low E - like a 53% - I think in the online world I figure if people don't like me they don't have to follow/friend/read my blog/etc.