Renee Ballard

Relax, it’s just the internet

This attitude that everything we post online is permanent and a true reflection of who we are can paralyse us, making every social media post and update excruciating. The idea that we could post something silly, that nobody likes, that has a typo, that doesn’t encapsulate the pure spirit, ethos and values of your company can easily freak us out, to the point of avoiding it like the plague.

The reason behind the paralysis is perfectionism. It’s easy for perfectionism to sneak in when it comes to posting your business on the world wide web, with its zillion users potentially judging you. But, as Elizabeth Gilbert puts it “perfectionism is just fear in fancy shoes and a mink coat.”.

So with perfectionism driving, working on a tweet or and Instagram update can take hours of crafting, drafting and editing. Which if you achieve what you want, then great, if you don’t, well that’s time you’re never getting back.

To allay your fears, there’s another way to look at your posts and updates bravely going out into the ether. Here’s the skinny of the river of information your beautiful and agonisingly-created posts are joining every single day:

At the risk of discouraging you, there’s a chance your tweet/insta/facebook post won’t actually get seen. At best, it gets read. And at crazy best you crack the code and your post goes viral (slim odds but it can happen). In the interim though, you can relax, your post has been uploaded to the online equivalent of Times Square on steroids; seen at best but unlikely to be scrutinised.

There is an upshot to this though, with less pressure on nailing every single post, you can post more often and more openly. Your post quality will improve by sheer practise and the more you post, the more likely you are to capture the attention of your target audience, who is metaphysically wandering around Times Square looking for its tribe.

One last thing, despite that snappy little one liner, ‘what happens on the internet, stays on the internet’, it isn’t all that permanent. You can delete your posts and then it’s gone. On the oft chance it was so poignant that it’s gone viral and it’s on tonight’s news, then you can high five yourself, because if you’re using social media to build your brand’s profile, then mission achieved!

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