TL;DR I was told I’m boring. I don’t care. Impact doesn’t require you to be exciting on social media.
Someone well respected in the industry told me I was boring. Last summer, I had friended them on Instagram. Apparently, my 9-square wasn’t exciting. The comment struck a nerve at the time. I was reminded of it today when an “exciting” but divisive post came across my feed.
I do live a simple life and don’t share much personal news on Instagram. Simple isn’t boring. But it’s not exciting in terms of social media. Social media requires a performance. Depending on the platform you’re showcasing your knowledge, talent, business, life, personality, and interests for attention. The more exciting your posts, the better the engagement. This encourages all types of behavior, good and bad.
Impact of Social Media
It’s become acceptable for people to profit off creating content that divides and destroys. Creating false narratives to further inflict pain and divide people. Sharing salacious content that doesn’t educate, uplift, or inspire people to be their best selves. Many of us are guilty of this at times too. Or flexing (showing off), which tends to invite trouble. The trouble that shows up in envy, theft, harassment, etc.
The world would have you believe only the most famous and loudest can make an impact. It’s not true. You don’t have to pander to people’s vices and weaknesses to be seen or create change.
You don’t have to pander to people’s vices and weaknesses to be seen or create change.Tweet
Excitement plays to our emotions. Subject to change at any moment and not sustainable. Simple is predictable and steady. Simple commits to the journey. It delights in the small seemingly mundane moments.
Simple in Action
The launch of a product is exciting. It’s easy to share and generate enthusiasm. Versus a team member who turned an angry customer into a satisfied customer. Their calm pleasant demeanor and willingness to find a solution in the moment can’t easily be shared. But it made a difference to the customer and business.
Fireworks at an event are exciting. It’s easy to share the moment on social media. Then there is the hostess who smiled, thanked you for coming, and handed you a slice of cake to take home. Her warmth and gratitude can’t be documented, but her actions made you feel like you belonged.
You can’t document the impact of doing good. Goodness is more than tangible moments. It includes unscripted and shared moments of tears and laughter, pain and joy, and sacrifice and triumph. To fully enjoy these moments requires us to be present. Present in the moment instead of exploiting it for attention on social media.
Who are you living for? Are you living for yourself or the approval of others? There is nothing wrong with wanting validation from others. The danger is when we depend on it. I don’t live for anyone but God and myself, in that order. This includes those I love and respect.
I live to encourage and empower others to be better leaders. The work isn’t easy or glamorous. Most progress is simple because it’s behind-the-scenes work and takes time. My excitement comes from seeing the growth and success of those around me.
You can live a simple fulfilling life and make an impact. It requires the discipline of investing in the future instead of living only for the moment. It’s a commitment to the process and having faith in the outcome. And it’s being present so you can celebrate the small things.