How's Your Social Media?

Social media is a controversial topic.

Some will rant and rave about how great it is, how it keeps communities in touch, raises social awareness, and gives voice to the voiceless.

Some will gripe all day about how it's ruining young people, how it encourages ignorance, decreases normal social interaction, and allows people to irresponsibly hide behind ambiguity.

Admittedly, like anything else, social media has its pros and cons. And just like anything else, I think the true nature of the beast lies in how you use it.

So how are you using it?

According to statistics released in November of 2016, 97 percent of online adults between the ages of 16 and 64 have used a social media network in the last month. This means almost everyone that uses the internet uses social media!

With this many people on social media, it's easy to see why it has become such an essential tool to businesses, organizations, and even individual leaders.

Before the 20th century, you never could have followed a relatively random "celebrity" who promotes anything from health to self-love, beauty, or a variety of hobbies. Who would have ever thought "Instagram famous" would be a category of celebrity?

It is undeniable that social media is capable of bringing people together to receive information in a much larger way than ever before. What kind of information are you displaying?

As leaders, we are constantly looking for ways to increase our influence, and social media is an excellent tool. With this influence, are you building people up, inspiring individuals, and spreading joy? Or are you tearing people down, putting ideas down, and promoting negativity?

We've talked a lot lately about using our influence as leaders as a way to put the spot light on others in order to help them rise. Is your social media doing this also? Now a day, social media is basically a third arm. You cannot really separate your online presence from who you are as a person.

So what does your online presence say about you?

Yes, social media is very self serving. There is nothing wrong with this. Post about your life, post about your dreams and accomplishments, post about your ideas.

But ask yourself this: as a leader, is what I'm posting ONLY serving my self image? If so, how can I make my online presence not only celebrate myself, but also encourage others?

There are lots of simple ways to do this. Shout out a team member who is killing it. Post a group photo celebrating the bond you have. Reach out to those who seem like they need a leg up. There are a million ways to use social media to lift up others, it just takes a minute to figure out which way works best for you.

I often give a challenge at the end of these posts, and this week is now different, so here it is:

What can you do this week (or if you're like me you don't post often, so this month) to build up your team members or those around you?

After all, "team work makes the dream work." Let's lift up our teams.