What can you tell about your friends from social media? I've learned a lot about mine!
- I know how often they go to restaurants to eat—and where exactly they go.
- I’ve found out about their children, husband, dogs, cats, house, school, city or town where they live, etc.
- I know that some are immaculate housekeepers and some . . . . Let’s just say they’re okay with letting others see their disasters.
- Some of my friends are hilarious! They always see the funny side of life. (How refreshing!)
- Others are all doom and gloom.
- Some are political. (It’s the right season for it!)
- Some don’t broadcast what they think about current events. They keep me wondering.
- Some love books. (Count me in!)
- Some are interested in clothes, shoes, things, new stuff, etc.
- I have some amazing do-it-yourself friends. They can do anything from installing new kitchens to painting old brick in the coolest way. (A shout out to Julie and her hubby.)
- Some of my friends often put Bible verses on their status.
- I have friends in ministry and many who do all kinds of other jobs. (Most don’t talk about their day jobs, I’ve learned--unless they're in sales.)
- Some praise the Lord, even in the midst of sorrow and trials.
- A few show every single photo they ever take of their children. (I think your kids are cute. It’s quite okay to share.) “Here’s Freddie taking his first bite of squash. I think he likes it!” “Susie loves the sprinkler.” One of my friends has a large, young family, and she always has the most awesome family shots. (How does Andrea do it? I have no idea. Back in the day, our family used to shoot a whole roll of film, just to get one picture where we all looked semi-normal. I stand in awe!)
- Some of my friends homeschool, bake their own bread, go out to the farmer’s market to choose fresh veggies, grow their own organic gardens, tend flowers . . . and these women also look fabulous. Two of them also have ten or more children! (I’m not kidding!)
- A few of my friends seemingly travel all the time.
- Some are always kissing on their husbands—and have a photographer conveniently there, or they are selfie stick pros. I haven’t figured it out yet.
What’s your brand?
You see, you build a picture of who you are by what you write and the photos and videos you share. You’re building your brand.
No, it’s not the same as David Beckham or Halle Berry, who doubtless have help in branding themselves. You're an independent person, and whatever you put on social media brands you. You’re the curator, and you’re the brand.
What does your brand say? What do you choose to put out there? What does the whole picture say?
Let’s do an experiment. (I periodically do this, myself.) Go onto your main social media site and look back over your personal profile and all of your posts—or at least the last month’s. What does the sum of your posts say about you? Is it an accurate picture? Does it really reflect who you are?
I am a born again Christian. I’ve made several personal choices about what I want to put on social media and what I don’t. Again, they’re my personal choices, and everyone’s entitled to make their own choices. Yours will be different from mine. And, that’s okay.
When you formulate your own rules for your brand, please consider:
- Do I really want the world to see my family in real time on vacation? (You might want to think about the safety of your empty house.)
- Do I want to express my thoughts strongly? Some you will, and some you won’t.
- Do I want everyone to see my children in differing states of undress? (Consider your children’s safety—especially since bad people can download photos from social media without your consent.)
- Do I want to repost anything with a curse word on it—even comments that someone else wrote? (They’re easy to miss! You have to read even the small print.)
- Do I want to embarrass my children, spouse, or friends by posting their pictures sleeping or doing something silly for everyone to see?
- Does my dog care that I’m showing everyone his photo? (Just kidding! He'll be happy for you share all you want!)
- Are my selfies sexy? Maybe this isn’t the image you want everyone—and all of their friends—to see.
- Do I always post when I’m in a bad mood? (Maybe you should wait an hour—and drink a cup of coffee—before you write your post.)
- Am I giving the impression that I’m materialistic? Am I always showing restaurants, trips, and acquired stuff—instead of relationships?
- Do I really want to copy texts and tag people?
- Do I feel comfortable advertising my product on social media? How often do I want to do this?
- Do I brag a lot? (It’s absolutely fine to brag on your husband and congratulate your children!)
- Do I want to type “Amen” and agree when told to?
- Do I wish to respond to “if you care about . . . copy and paste on your wall” kinds of posts?
- Will something I post encourage my friends or tear them down? What kind of a reaction will the viewer/reader have to what I post?
- And, most importantly, do my posts please God?
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart,
be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD,
my strength, and my redeemer (Psalm 19:14).
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do,
do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Give some thought to your brand today. What’s your overall picture?