It’s no secret that I love a good story. Absolutely adore them. I write them, help others tell them, and seek them out daily. And for this self-admitted social media junkie, that means a LOT of stories from a lot of people. I’m there – on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn. I even tried creating my own Path for a while, but all got too weird and I forgot where I was half the time. There’s a lot of amazing out there in those stories. And it’s easy to get caught up in it all. But let’s be honest – sometimes when we read all those great stories, we forget just how great our own story really is.
Social media can be a lot like looking in a side-view mirror. We see only what’s inside that frame, and rarely is it reality. Things may be larger – or much smaller – than they appear. And we don’t see the whole of anything.
Let’s take Twitter. I follow less than 1000 accounts. There are people, businesses, news organizations, nonprofits and assorted oddities mixed up like stew in that number. Of the more than one BILLION Twitter accounts in the world, I invite a few hundred to become my reality. I’d like to think I’ve got good taste in who I follow. But my perception of what is important – and WHO is important – is skewed.
In the US alone, there are more than 52 million Twitter accounts. Most of those have less than 300 followers. Justin Bieber has 45 million worldwide. It just goes to show that size isn’t all its cracked up to be. And the average following of those I have on my list?
Less than 5000. Yes, that does factor in accounts like @mashable (3.2 million), @jonacuff (just under 200,000), and @sawyerrock (the coolest toddler ever, with a whopping 107). And there’s @TypicalMinions with a following of just under 300,000. I told you, there are assorted oddities in my stew.
Some Twitter accounts are truly important. Some offer sage advice. Some are just bizarre. But here’s the truth. There is not ONE account out there that deserves to rob you and me of our own story.
So look at the company you craft in social media. Rather than chase after it, grow jealous of it, grow envious of it – or beat yourself up because of it – see it for what it is. It’s an incomplete view at best. Learn, grow, be inspired. But stop letting that side-view mirror define you. You have a better story to tell.