Since I first started writing and speaking about social media almost 10 years ago, one thing was blatantly obvious to me: nobody wants to hear you talk about yourself. Now there is further research suggesting that couples who frequently post selfies together aren't as happy. I loved this quote:
"The questions to be asking yourself are: are we the same in the real world, away from our screens, and are we more concerned about how the relationship actually is, or are we more interested in how it looks online?"
Before posting that selfie, the big question you should ask is, am I posting this picture to share my moment of happiness with my friends and loved ones? Or am I posting this to make myself feel connected and cool to make up for the actual loneliness I feel inside?
I see both types every single day, and frankly, it is kind of depressing how often it seems like the second reason is the motivation.
I remember the first time I traveled to Hawaii and saw its spectacular beauty. It was absolutely stunning. I don't think I took a single picture but was so surprised to see almost everyone around me with their eyes glued to their cameras and phones taking picture after picture.
I love phones and cameras to capture great moments in our lives, but I equally hate when they steal our focus and appreciation of these same significant life experiences.
I recently wrote about "Day 1" and my commitment to live each day like it is the first day, or like it is a perfect day. One of my four commitments is "Family First" which includes a promise to put away my phone for at least the first hour or two each evening I return home to my family.
When using social media for business, nobody wants to hear about your victories and your services, but if you can turn it around and share value that will help others have more success, that's where social media can be useful.
Similarly, when we post personal pictures, make sure the purpose is to share our life and love with others, not to seek validation. If you can't find validation with your phone off, you'll never find it with your phone on.
Adrian Dayton is the Founder of ClearView Social, used by over 20,000 professionals to share thought leadership to their individual social networks. Adrian is also the author of two books on social media for professionals and is a regular on the speaking circuit for keynotes and partner retreats.