Friday, July 26, 2013

Toughen Up & Control It, or It Will Control You...

"Like all technology, social media is neutral,
but is best put to work in the service
of building a better world."
~ Simon Mainwaring

When I first began Mangiabella, it was an eye opening experience to learn 
just how vast the ever expanding blogosphere was, 
and what was involved in leaving a footprint.
There was no shortage of information to learn in order to grow my readership,
create a design that expressed both my aim and purpose, 
while simultaneously showcasing my style and flavor. 
I began to discover the importance of figuring out 
how syndicated web feed formats worked, 
how to create links, buttons, understanding what monetizing was all about, 
how to use social media to enlarge my vision, 
and then there was the networking communities. Oy vei.

It was all a part of the process of giving birth to the blueprint of my vision, 
and in fact, it was really just the beginning.

It takes courage to step foot into unfamiliar territory, doesn't it?

One thing I can say, is the moment you begin to put yourself out there 
and take a step in the direction of your dreams,
the "Negative Nancys" will come out of the woodwork, 
so get ready to toughen your skin.
Guard your hearts and minds, and do not allow yourself 
to be persuaded by the opinions of others.
There are many who will question your motives when they see you 
begin to live with transparency and vulnerability, 
and more importantly, with determination and zeal, 
because it challenges their stagnancy & complacency.

The other thing I can say, is discipline yourself 
to take charge of the resources available to you, 
and make those resources work FOR you, rather than let them become a distraction.

While there's certainly a certain stigma associated with social media, 
I believe it's a great tool.
A tool that's meant to serve you, not the other way around.
Either you must control it, or it will control you.
Think about how to use that tool to serve your needs.
Ask yourself, what is it that I want to get out of this?

I know for myself personally, I use it to strengthen connections
 with my long distance family and friends.
Beneficially, I also get to remain connected 
with my nearby family & friends who I can't see as often as I'd like.
Professionally, it's an incredible outlet and platform 
to express my creative ideas, particularly my writing, that otherwise may not 
have an audience unless I were already published, 
as would have been the case years ago.

It's provided an opportunity to lay some groundwork, 
and begin the kind of public relations that's necessary for expanding my territory.
The theory of "Six Degrees of Separation" 
is unquestionably more tangible than ever before, 
as friends "share" content among their circle of friends, 
and those friends "share" content among their circle of friends...
it's astounding to see how quickly you can reach the masses, 
which in turn has the potential to bear much fruit.

I love that social media makes all of this possible from home, 
while I raise my children, and work my business.
I get such immense joy out of seeing the smiles of family and friends 
amidst the little moments that make life special.

Social media can be a springboard, or a vortex, 
depending on how you discipline yourself to use it.
You can waste time with it, or maximize your time with it. It's all up to you.

Some are convinced that social media 
is nothing more than a stage for vanity & validation. 
A "look at me" spectacle. 
And there will always be some people by which that is true.
But there are also those who will believe that about 
anyone who posts a photo of themselves smiling or out there enjoying life.
They're filled with assumptions and judgements, 
while forgetting the whole point of social media 
is sharing the every day moments 
and "doing life" with one another (on a personal level),
and marketing or networking with one another (on a professional level).

The majority of the people you stay connected with are FOR you,
 not against you, and genuinely want to enjoy life with you.
Give yourself permission to dismiss the rest, and any negativity for that matter, 
without trying to interpret the words or actions of those people.
Expect the sarcasm and jabs. 
Expect the cynics and pessimists and "Debbie Downers" to emerge, 
but whatever you do, don't let them be 
an obstacle in your path or the voice in your head.
Toughen that skin, and don't let anything stop you from 
shining that light and living your dreams.

Keep Shining Sweet Bellas!


  1. Well said, my friend. Blogging has helped me really step into the social media arena, and I can't begin to describe how much I have learned and discovered. The aim is to have fun and enjoy. If we are not having fun or have too many "Debbie Downers" or "Negative Nancy's" cut them loose, life is too short to have them hanging out in our virtual world's.


  2. Thank you, bella ... shine on ...!

  3. I cut loose much of the social media because it wasn't bringing my any joy. I only do things I enjoy now, but I agree with you that it is a great way to check in with friends and see how they are doing. Cut the negative loose quickly so it doesn't distract you from where you should really be headed. Keep spreading your sweet sunshine.

  4. Bravo! I love your thoughts. I have to admit that I tend to shy away from all social media except for blogging. I remember to post to the major outlets when my blog goes up, but usually don't think to do it again. What I share on Facebook is usually for my M&M's benefit, not the rest of the world's. :)

  5. Bella! Your light will never grow dim! Amen to all you said here, and the words you used expressed my exact sentiments. xoxo

  6. Ah sweet friend, I always cherish your posts. You write and speak such true words! I have grown to love social media in that it allows me to connect with friends and family both near and far. But you have to make sure it doesn't dominate your life in the present moment. Thank you for sharing! I'm hosting a giveaway on my blog tomorrow for one of Ryan's necklaces, and I'd love for you to stop by! I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday!



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