Every year, I like to find a different way of celebrating my favorite day: my birthday. Since I am turning 32 next month (I know…awww…), I’ve decided to share 32 revelations I have had during the course of my life about everything from life in general to business. Think of it as daily inspiration for you and therapy for me. It is a challenge for me, because I don’t think I have ever published a post everyday in the entire existence of The Aristocracy of HR. Plus, I recognize that while I am fairly generous in sharing on social media and here, I have only just scraped the surface on sharing who I am when I’m not pontificating how HR and Business can do better. Let’s use the month of March to get to know one another better. I hope at the end of the month, you walk away with something you can use in your own life or business.
Day 8 of 31- Digital Snobbery
I’ve been dabbling with social media for years. In my opinion, the start of it was in the early 2000’s with platforms like MySpace, BlackPlanet.com, Mi Gente etc. I wasn’t hip to how it would evolve, but I was on those platforms doing what I could to promote my then modeling career and everything else I was doing. Those platforms fizzled and then entered Facebook around my college years. You couldn’t even join unless you had a college email back then. I had one girlfriend that was on it and begged me to join- I wasn’t impressed. It wasn’t until 2010, that my employer at the time said “hey there’s this thing called social media and all of you Talent Acquisition Specialists need to be on it making us look good”. Not their exact words, but essentially that was what we were all charged with doing.
Under duress, I joined Twitter and Facebook. I chose a terrible Twitter handle that later caused me to be heckled into changing it. I was offended at first. However if not for my “hecklers” and (they know who they are), I wouldn’t have created the brand I have today as the “CzarinaofHR”. In any event, since I officially joined social media- I’ve learned what works, what doesn’t, and that just like in real life people have lots and lots of opinions on what you should say and do on social media. I am still learning how to best position myself on the platforms I am on. What I have let go of is the angst around following the unwritten rules of how you should exist on social media.
From buzzword usage to quizzes on Facebook, there are individuals (sometimes cliques) that are always so beyond whatever the next fad is before it even gets going. Its a kind of digital snobbery that people have picked up where everything and anything someone chooses to share is a problem or is not the proper usage of the platform. It’s like a cool kid thing. They think, “maybe if I post smug, snarky, offensive updates or respond nastily on someones thread people will applaud me or better yet like me. If this is you, I say this in the nicest way possible- get over yourself! I have seen plenty of things that were offensive or ridiculous. When that happens often enough, I simply unfriend, disconnect or block your feed. It is simply not in my best interest to tell you that your feed is full of rants, bigotry or that the sun doesn’t rise and set with your daily selfie. Whatever you choose to portray on social media is your business. I guess the trouble with it all- is that we have become accustomed to judging this digital life many of us are living. Assumptions are made about who you are and what you value based on words, updates, tweets etc. It maybe an unfair disadvantage since people share at different times and for different reasons. Nevertheless, the judgment is all the same.
As I branch out and explore other lanes of business, I am assured there will be someone quietly or publicly questioning why I’m doing what I’m doing. The way I approach my digital life and real life is, I do what I want and what feels right. That means I will hashtag what I want, use slang if I choose, promote my business if I need to and utilize buzzwords if it best explains what I am trying to convey. I care about my audience. I care even more about being true to who I am and what I want to share with the world. I pay attention to social etiquette and guidelines as a reference point, but I don’t let it put me in a box or prevent me from coloring outside of the lines. Social media is a fun extension and curation of my life, and some of you are fun sponges.
I am forever indebted to social media to opening a world of possibilities to me. There’s no way I could have imagined the friends, colleagues, and opportunities that social media would bring when I started back in 2010. My point is use social media for what works for you. It’s supposed to be helpful and fun- don’t ruin it for people.
Czarina’s Lesson: Don’t be a digital snob!