More and more of us are using social media in both our personal and professional lives. As much as we try to keep them separate it is becoming harder. This constant connection that it brings to our lives creates a pressure to be perfect. You cannot post or speak on your personal facebook account of a night out drinking with your friends or complain about your job when you’ve had a bad day, which we all have, without fear of how it makes us look. Will it cost us our job, jeopardize future opportunities? More importantly you are more connected to your professional peers who you’ve worked hard to gain their respect only want to see you in the best light possible.
Perfect example of this was my wedding last March. When we first started planning I did like every bride these days does I talked, tweeted, checked in regarding almost every aspect of planning what was to be my big day. My fiancé and I got lots of attention from both our personal and professional friends given our roles within social media. Everyone was happy to share in our joy. That is why as things began to fall apart it became hard to talk about. The day of the wedding most brides that change their mind have only to think about those who are actually there that day and then tackle the incoming barrage of questions, opinions and such as the news slowly spread. Not me and not future brides. How do you disappoint friends and family that have come from all over to celebrate with you as well as know that just about everyone you know personally and professionally will know you backed out the day of your wedding before you’ve even left the parking lot? It is simply too much.
We want to be viewed as perfect by those around us. We want people to think we can handle everything with ease; our personal and professional lives are going just how we want them. That yeah sure everyone has problems, but not us. The interpersonal network we have created through our various social media channels has reinforced that. We know that as people & a society we are not perfect, that we all have faults, but that doesn’t stop us from judging. We will never change this. It is in our nature to judge those around us; we have for all of history. We just now have a new medium to do it and one more place we must hide our flaws from.
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