Okay, so the title here is deliberately provoking, though not entirely misleading.
I’m not referencing appearance, not really, though I suppose that might hold some weight. No, what I’m talking about here is how you come off, what impression do you give? Who are you attracting and why?
Confused? Where to begin… oh yes. The point. We live in a social media age which means our lives, and so many details that years ago would have been private, now simply aren’t. And we have only ourselves (and perhaps Mark Zuckerberg creator of Facebook) to blame.
But the bottom line is… your social media pages are like your very own ad space.
So what are you advertising?
I conducted a little experiment, trying to as objective as possible. I decided to look back over my posts for the past few years and see what kind of impression I could glean from my social media presence. These snippets and snapshots of my life showed an interesting spread of information.
On the positive side one would probably observe that I am crazy about my kids. I may have crossed over the line into that annoying proud mama but people seem to respond well to the funny quips from my tots and the sweet lil daily pics of my miracle baby. One might also see from my advertisement that I seem to occasionally read the Bible and post something inspirational in nature. In fact, you could probably timeline it and determine which times in my life I am clinging to scripture and walking through a trial, and which times I am being a lazy Christian riding through my daily routine. And Facebook is actually quite the statistical resource. How many likes, how many comments? I was connecting with people in a mostly positive way and the results were right there in the numbers. Neato!
On the negative, the reason I started Facebooking (I’m sure that has got to be a word now, right?) was for writing. And sadly, the amount of time that I dedicate to that particular subject seems to have dwindled significantly since the arrival of my third child.
So if my purpose is to build a platform, and possibly publish a book someday, what will a publisher think of my page? What will they think of yours? Do you spend your time griping about deadlines? Moaning about all the ways you procrastinated today? How you just don’t have the time? How unmotivated you are?
Or maybe you shared a review, helped promote a friend’s new book, and posted an enthusiastically high word count for the day? Perhaps you were totally stressed but something simple made you stop and smile. Maybe you just found a way to deal with all the world threw at you that day. None of those things are right or wrong.
All this rambling is meant to encourage you take a step back and evaluate something that has spun out of control, and not necessarily in a bad way. We can CONNECT with so many people previously beyond our reach! It’s an amazing networking tool. Especially for a writer!!!
BUT remember that every time you post, you are advertising yourself. How do you look? Are you attractive? Do you come across self-involved or vain? Grateful? Excited or grudging? Overwhelmed? And who are you hoping to attract?
Now, I’m not suggesting you misrepresent yourself. Your personality whether sarcastic or timid should be something that shines through. But while I’m preparing for the celebration of Jesus’s birth, pulling back to focus on all the ways God has blessed me this year and all the ways I’ve stumbled through my wonderfully messy life, I turned a critical eye back on myself and took a good long look.
And I had to ask myself…. Am I attractive? Do my words and opinions unite or divide? Am I being a light? Would my spouse like what I’m sharing? Would a potential employer? My friends and family? Is God pleased with who I am showing the world? Is it who I really am?
What about you? Are you brave enough to take an honest look? Try it… In one short sitting, review your social media sites. What does your Facebook page say about you? Can you name one flattering and one un-flattering thing you’ve discovered about your ad space? This might seem like a pointless exercise but it’s actually quite enlightening. Now that’s a selfie you should probably take just for you. :)
Amy Leigh Simpson is a writer, singer, runner, foodie, coffee-lovin’-chocoholic. When she’s not dreaming up saucy love stories sprinkled with suspense and mystery, she’s chasing around her two adorable tow-headed toddler miscreants (Ahem)—boys, playing dress up with her miracle princess baby, and being the very blessed wife to the coolest, most hunky hero on the planet (sorry, ladies—taken). Though Amy doesn’t use her Sports Medicine degree for anything but patching up daily boo boo’s, she enjoys weaving medical aspects into her writing. Represented by the oh-so-wise and dashing Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary Inc.