This morning, I got an email from one of the motivational bloggers I’m subscribed to.

The email contained a long quote, meant to motivate his readers on a Monday morning, I believe.

Something however struck me in the quote; it was familiar. I remembered I read the quote one time like that and it made me reverse a decision I made then.

Before I gist you about what happened, let me replicate the quote here:

The email was aptly titled: “Something Worth Thinking About.”

So the gist!

Because of the very many negative effects of social media on humans that I learnt about, I decided to reduce my use of social media, especially posting personal stuff about me or my family.

One major reason I made the decision however is to not arouse any negative feelings from anyone, especially envy (social media, especially Instagram, has been called the number one source of envy and depression in today’s world).

So once anything nice happens (especially when I just had an exotic meal…hehe), I wouldn’t post on social media.

Unfortunately, this was the same me who was trying to build a personal brand.

Probably the biggest way to succeed when building a personal brand is just be yourself and let others see you for who you are. In short, Do You!

So there was a dilemma: would I sacrifice building a personal brand just because I don’t want to come off as showing off? Would I miss connecting with my ideal audience and pass my message all just in the name of “humility”?

I thought about it when I traveled to Dubai in October 2018. The first few days I didn’t post anything online, but in the meanwhile I was making videos and taking pictures in preparation for a post on how to travel to Dubai on a tight budget. What an irony!

I had to come to terms with the fact that if I’d build a personal brand successfully, I just have to put myself out there and connect with the people for me — and ignore those that’d hate or become envious or criticize me (some people would tell you that you’re wasting money traveling while your “mates” are investing in real estate…Uncu, how is that yo’ problem?!)

Truly, I started getting reactions and attention I wasn’t getting before when I started posting pictures and videos. From people asking how they can also go on such trip (I love those!) to people asking you “what exactly are you doing now to be able to afford such trip?”

My Take on Social Media Use

Social media is meant for you to get social: interact with other people. This involves sharing things happening in your life (in form of pictures, text, videos, etc). And that’s not a bad thing: we’re only replicating online what we do in real life.

However, you should create a balance.

You should know when you’ve started crossing the line of “too personal”. Share enough to make the readers have fun, laugh, smile, congratulate you, learn from you, connect with you, etc. But don’t share what’d make you vulnerable to attacks (online and off), hacking, bullying, scamming, identity theft, weird stalking, etc.

You can’t control the hate or love you get, but you should always at least protect yourself and those you love.

Most importantly, Do You!

What do I mean?

If you’re someone that’d naturally gist a random stranger about your personal life and your fun adventures, then by all means, feel free to do same online — as long as you feel safe with such people. If you’re however naturally shy (in real life), you don’t have to go crazy online just to blend in or feel among.

If sharing a picture feels like showing off to you, then don’t share it. If it doesn’t feel so, but you’re simply wondering if anyone would feel intimidated, then that’s the least you should be bothered about; hence my favourite part of the quote above:

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

See, this small paragraph above is very liberating for me. Now I just do me and hope everyone else sees whatever I’m doing for what it really is: doing me — and not trying to show off.

To me, it’s all about happiness, freedom, love!

P.S: What do you think about using social media? When do you think one has crossed the line between showing off and being themselves? Let’s continue the discussion in the comment.

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