I was with a friend at a lunch meeting last week and we talked a little about Social Media. Being a Twitter user and in the business of helping firms understand and use the power of Web 2.0 we were talking about how utilizing these emerging channels in his business. He used an interesting noun in describing why he’s hesitated about jumping into Social Media – fear.
Fear is very interesting to me, and why he chose that word to describe his hesitation is even more so. I’ve been thinking about writing a piece on the fear about Social Media for some time. My conversation with him became the catalyst for this entry.
Irrational fear can hold us back from experiencing life. I have an irrational fear of heights, for example, and it can hold me back from amazing experiences. Fears can also hold us back from what could become our greatest success.
Fear is a form of self-preservation, but it can also inhibit richer experiences, open communication, the appropriate sharing of deeper feelings and deeper connections with others and it can isolate us.
I don’t want to make this a long entry and it’s heading there fast for “fear” that it might not be read – but fear of Social Media is real and is not an “irrational” fear in my opinion. My friend struggled with the right words to describe where that fear stems from for him. My guess is that for many people is the fear of treading into the unknown, what might happen. Perhaps it is also wondering if they would be wasting time in participation in this new medium. I understand this to a point as I was also fearful of the same.
A few quick points and I’ll close:
- Jump in the water – it might be cold in the Microblogging world, but to understand it you must try it. If you need some coaching ask around to those who have some experience as I did. It helped me a lot.
- Don’t sweat it – don’t worry about what to say or how often to participate. That’s up to you. And as you get more comfortable you’ll likely participate more.
- Everyone has a story – and yours should be told in your own words and style. Just be aware that different styles will attract different audiences.
- Everyone has a voice – some of our most memorable times of life are sharing our experiences with friends. Let your voice be heard via this new medium.
My fear of heights is real to me and one that I’ve tried to conquer. I’ve purposely put myself in learning situations to work on this fear and it’s getting more manageable all the time – and this means I can experience new things I NEVER would have tried before.
So jump in – there are those around you willing to help including me. I’m @mikewhitmore on Twitter and I hope to hear from you soon!