Defined by Social Media

02
Jul
2012

Does social media make up a fairly large part of your life right now?  Over the past five years, this type of communication and marketing has exploded to the point where many of us are living in a social media world.

There are so many positives that come with using and getting involved in these social media outlets, and being that this is a “Make it Happen Monday” post, I’m not really wanting to speak on the negatives at all.  But there’s something inside me that felt compelled to write about social media, and how I see so many people’s feelings defined by their online presence.

One observation I’ve made with this whole social media thing (I’m calling it that because I’m not sure what else to label it as), is that people get consumed with receiving “likes”, comments, and the ability to add friends.  I’m not classifying everyone into this category, but I know I’m not alone in often getting caught up with the likeability factor.  We post something and then wait and see what kind of response it will get….as the response and interest gets higher, so does our inherent self-worth.

It all boils down to the fact that human beings like to be liked.  It’s part of who we are, and there is nothing at all wrong with it.  But we do need to remember that we are not defined by how many people hit the “like” button on Facebook.

A few years back I was at a Jann Arden concert (she’s a Canadian artist, so many of you might not know who she is) and the night was filled with good music, laughter, sadness, and many other emotions.  During the concert, she talked about having a low self-image even though she considers herself a highly confident person.  That statement hit me pretty hard as before then I had always associated self-confidence with self-image.  As of that night, I realized that being a confident person means nothing if you don’t feel totally happy within yourself.

With the emergence of social media, this concept has surfaced once again in my mind and although this doesn’t have much to do with cycling….I wanted to share the idea in today’s post.  But you know, there is a way to integrate this with the idea of cycling.  Your love for the bike has nothing to do with what others have to say about your riding.  If people think you’re too slow, not technical enough, or have anything else to say about the way you ride a bike….so be it.  In my opinion, our love for the bike comes from within and our riding should not be defined by anyone around us.  We’re all champions.

It is part of human nature to be wanted, loved, respected, and appreciated….but why is it that we always rely on these things to come from other people to make us feel good about ourselves?  Keep on supporting others on social media with “likes”, RT’s, and positive comments…but remember that the amount you receive back does not define you.  There is one person whose opinion means the most, and it is always guaranteed to be there for you.  That person is YOU.

#MakeitHappen

Image c/o Social Media Titans

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  • http://ragtag.wordpress.com/ ragtag

    Not just the likes, I think people compare what other people appear to be doing to their own lives. Just remember, people only ever share what looks like the good life. No one ever tells the world they had to pay the bills.

    Good advice Daryl on not being defined by what you get.. do things and ask (expect) nothing in return.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Yes, everyone has a story don’t they? Thanks for your comments on this one.

  • J.K.

    Thank you, I needed this today. I often stuggle with self image and need to realized that my opinion of myself is valuable and I need to treat myself better.

  • Julie Starling

    Good observations, Darryl.

  • http://twitter.com/Sunburnt_Spot Jennifer

    And this is the first time I’ve heard anyone bring up Jann Arden but I’m a fan.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks for your comments, Jennifer. I saw Jann in concert something like 10 years ago, but her words and what she relayed has always stuck with me. She’s very cool, has a great attitude, and super talented…..plus full of great wisdom as well.

  • http://twitter.com/Sunburnt_Spot Jennifer

    Good post. I go through periods of social media distraction. Sometimes I just take a break or use it less to try and get out more for “real stuff,” but it’s true. We all want affirmation.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Good idea, Jennifer. Taking a break or unplugging is nice to do every once in a while.

  • LJ

    I agree, it is up to ourselved to always be there. How come we often beat ourselves up? Thanks for this today as it was very needed as many of your Monday posts are.

  • Sara

    I love jann arden. So neat of you to add her into this article on social media. Nice read.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks Sara, it’s funny how those words from Jann has stuck with me all these years. Glad you liked the article…and Jann Arden.

  • http://twitter.com/MizFitOnline carla birnberg

    I so agree with the final sentences too. when it all falls away—you are all you have.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks Carla, you’re one of the people I look up to and really appreciate the type of role model you are.

  • J Beson

    What a brilliant read. Excellent insight and I like that you pointed out some of the fallbacks of social media. It has become a large part of our culture and has changed many things along the way. I agree that we cannot be defined by our online presense.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks for your comments.

  • http://www.reasons2ride.com/ Joel Phillips

    You’ve struck a nerve with this post Darryl. I’ve quoted him before, but nothing seems more appropriate for this post:

    “I don’t believe you have to be better than everybody else. I believe you have to be better than you ever thought you could be.” ~ Ken Venturi

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Glad it struck a nerve, Joel. Thanks for including the Venturi quote….definitely fits in quite well. I’m personally proud of today’s piece and usually wouldn’t say that….but I’m taking my own advice.

  • http://twitter.com/iBikeuBike iBikeuBike

    You really hit the nail on the head. As a newbie to social media and the cycling community I think this is so important.

    • http://lovingthebike.com Darryl is Loving the Bike

      Thanks for you comment. It’s interesting to get the perspective of someone new to social media. Feel free to add in more comments as you dive further into things.

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