"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!