Social Media has grown to become like a church where people go to flaunt their achievements, and for those who don’t have any, to fake it – well, not until they make it. Social Media has done worse. The various social media platforms have become avenues for posting delicious lunch meals, exortic travel destinations, and mostly a place to complain about virtually everything. Political protests, instant justice (mob justice technically known as cyber bullying), blanket condemnation of perceived social ills, all these and a lot more have become activities anyone can participate in through one or the other social media platform. Facebook has become a place for reposting dull jokes. Twitter has become a place for seeking authenticity, LinkedIn is today a platform for narrating false success stories after imagined missed opportunities, whereas Instagram has become a place for filtered images taken at locations the subjects cannot afford. But despite all these ills we can blame social media for, there is still a process through which you can have a wholesome and awesome meaningful social media life – and it is the purpose of this article to guide you through how to achieve that.
Wholesome and awesome meaningful social media life
In this article, an wholesome and awesome meaningful social media life is not a life that tries to show off. It is not a life that hides real troubles only to showcase those expensive out of reach one time experiences (travel, food, fashion, events). On the contrary, this is a life that enriches you as an individual. Enables you to experience a personal growth. It is a life that empowers you socially, psychologically, mentally (brain power), and if things work out great, it should be able to provide you with connections that will grow your career, or businesses and ultimately benefit you financially.
Thus, if it is personal growth, which includes aspects such as quality interactions, professional connections, business and career growth, that you are interested in, then this article is meant for you. If however what you are looking for is fame, instant gratification, show-off, popularity, or any the aforementioned ills of social media, then you are at the wrong place. Assuming that you are in for the former, let’s get you started on how to use the Internet to improve your social media life.
Step 1: Identify the Social Media platform that works best for you
After joining Social Media in 2005 through Yahoo (Yahoo Groups etc), hi5 and myspace, it is only last year that I finally realized that platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, Telegram, and a few others that are popular are not meant for me. The type of engagement I find appealing are those that are popular within a narrow section of Facebook, and LinkedIn. Facebook and LinkedIn have one powerful capability, the ability to link two people to easily go past virtual interactions to real meaningful friendship. For one I got my wife through Facebook and thereafter I have made a number of business partnerships from the same platform.
If Twitter or Instagram or Snapchat is your thing, take advantage of them. Follow quality personalities, but make sure you are also a quality personality worth following back. And that takes us to Step 2.
Step 2: Improve yourself by becoming a person of quality
Social Media will improve your social media life only when you are connected with people who themselves use social media to improve their own social media lives. These are people who are interested in being connected with like minded quality individuals; individuals they can have quality discussions with. People who can help them in their journey of personal growth. People who give them information worth considering.
To do this improvement, you need to understand your unique interests and capabilities – things that turn you on. Is it gossip? Psychology? Health? Politics? Economics? Fashion? Food? Arts? Films? Music? Science and Tech? Philosophy of whatever? What is it that turns you on? Whatever it is, make it your habit to learn more about your niche, gather any latest researches, inventions, innovations, ideas, talks, news, about that niche, and make it a custom for you to also share through your social media outlet updates that enrich others in as far as content around that niche is concerned. I have included gossip in the list as gossip itself can also be done in a professional manner.
Learning on your niche must not be limited to gathering new information that continues to pop up, but also practically becoming engaged in it so that you sharpen your skills with the aim of being an expert in that field. For example my primary interest at this moment is to become an expert filmmaker. I therefore not only get online to learn filmmaking theories and philosophies, but every now and I then I go out to the field to make films. It is only through practical filmmaking that I can, over time, improve my skills and as long as I continue to apply the theories and philosophy of filmmaking that I constantly learn, the faster I become an expert.
As you continue sharpening your skills and gathering theoritical information relevant to that field, be sharing some of those intriguing new findings that you find thrilling through your social media updates. Two things here – you can’t limit yourself only to the narrow field you are specializing on, neither should you share technical details unless it is absolutely necessary. For starters, see how people like Ephraim Njega and Gabriel Oguda use their Facebook accounts or someone like David Ndii uses his Twitter influence.
Do not forget to be consistent in your social media activities. If there is one thing you should take away from this section, it is selling yourself as a quality product.
Step 3: Follow quality personalities
In November last year I had to delete my 12 year old Facebook Account – and that’s because LinkedIn had taught me the value of connecting with people of quality. The previous account had a lot of kids (the xoxo generation) whose posts were not adding value to my social media life neither were they in a position to contribute meaningfully to my musings. Realising this, I deleted the account, created a new one, fished for people whom I thought would add value to my Facebook experience, friend requested them, and today I am a happy Facebooker.
From Step 2, some of the quality personalities you have followed on whichever platform (but works best for Facebook and LinkedIn given that the two have instant mutual follow-back), you should be able to attracted a few of them to start engaging with you. The more these engagements go on, the more likely you will be able to take your public engagement private, and thereafter start doing more than just interacting via the platform.
The benefits you can derive from quality social media life
Steps 1 through to 3 above should be able to improve the quality of your social media experience. When thoughtfully followed, you will not only emerge as an individual capable of enriching the lives of others online, but will also likely gain immensely by getting enriched in return. One thing that’s true is that more often than not, these quality social media relationships typically lead to more than just virtual interactions. You will likely get to meet someone you connect with so deeply you are better off married to one another (if opposite sexes) or form a business partnership that will grow you financially too.
That is, a quality social media life opens doors to unmeasurable networking opportunities.
See also: How to win your social media crush