Reinventing ourselves in Social Media

In my last article “Seven organizational characteristics of social networks” I promised to get back to the prospect of “Reinventing ourselves” in Social Media.

In so many ways our idealized selves get suppressed at work or simply won’t come out. There are so many things we would love to do better, perhaps be more accommodating in our communication, or maybe be more outspoken and self-confident.  At other times we just need for other people to perceive us differently and to realize who we really are – and respect us for being just that.

Having said that, changing ourselves or our behaviour is not all that easy!

If we want to change the way we are or the way we come across we often have to change the way we live.

I’d like to share this story about a friend of mine who woke up one morning determined to change his life. For quite a while he had been aware that he was no longer happy about his job as legal affairs manager in a large software company. Or at least that was what he thought at the time. The company however was not the problem, his employees, his boss and his colleagues weren’t either and he was quite happy about his role with the company. So, quite naturally he started looking for other reasons for his unhappiness.

Soon he started wondering if he should look to his private life for a reason. He was married to a nurse working night shifts mostly, and he had four beautiful kids with her. He took a good long talk with her about all the daily logistic routines: Getting up early every morning taking care of breakfast, sending the big girls of to school and taking the little one to kindergarten, spending hours every weekend driving the kids to different kinds of sport. He also had the house and the garden to take care of.

A month went by and he called me asking me if we could meet up and talk.

We met and he told me the story that I just shared with you.  But he also told me that he had come to the conclusion that there was nothing about his life with his beloved wife and the kids he wanted to change – and that his job was fine as well. But there was so much more he wanted to do and he also very much missed being engaged in energizing conversations and debates like he used to be before his children were born. He said: ‘If only I could have both worlds life would be so sweet’ and I can still hear myself saying ‘sure thing, who wouldn’t want that – but let’s be realistic’…

This is about a year ago. He’s doing fine today taking care of that same old job and leading the same life with his family, but something did change. Rather than working less or ridding himself of any domestic duties, he added two hours of activity every night to his already busy schedule. Two hours of Social web crawling.

Inside the Social Media he found a place to be that part of himself that he missed in his life. Last time I met with him I felt the change immediately. He looked kind of different and he seemed to me to be a lot more enthusiastic about most anything we touched upon. He found a way to have both!

The Social Media offer this frame for being our all, perhaps the one we want to be – or maybe just be different from what we are at work, and for once I’m not thinking that this is mentally unhealthy, identity destabilizing or role confusing. I think that this is a chance to sublimate some of those forces and instincts stemming from some earlier stage or even dreams in our life. And even more so, if living in here can make living out there more fulfilling and even reactivate our passion, by all means – let’s engage!

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2 Responses to “Reinventing ourselves in Social Media”

  1. Gosh. This sounds so much like me. I am rabidly passionate about social media and just can’t get enough of the opportunity to meet new people and share knowledge and experience. I want to make this part of what I do everyday.

  2. Passion . that’s the important word here for me. It doesn’t have to be of the grandiose kind, sometimes just a nanosecond of like-mindedness, personal recognition or growth through connection. Love it.

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