Are you likeable? Seriously, are you?
This is a seriously tough question to self answer for yourself. For me, honestly, I have so much self-doubt that it comes across but it also makes me work harder to prove myself. It’s a positive in one element and a negative in another.
Your followers use your words, pictures or videos to paint the picture of the person you are. If you are portraying one image but a picture, word paragraph or video is contradicting something, today’s followers will sniff that out, STAT!
In the beginning, I decided to keep my gayness off of my YouTube Channel. I would change my mannerisms but my voice inflection and adjectives to describe something were contradicting. It wasn’t until about 6 months into the adventure, I finally just relaxed and presented myself as myself.
Words Matter – Targetting Others
When I was upset, I would turn to social media to share my hurt, anger or frustration. Felt so good to leash out at social media to find others willing to fight it out. While feeling so amazing and knowing the community has your back, it creates a trash can of dirt to pick up, not for me, but for others who were the target of my story.
It took me a few years to learn but it came back to haunt me when I was the target of someone’s anger and the damages they caused on my side for me to clean up. So what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander! That’s until you find yourself being the gander and doing a clean-up in aisle 6. I was practicing the same things that happened to me, so I was just as guilty.
The words or presentations you share are a true reflection of who you are. In some cases, you cannot take back when the damage is done. If you are going to dish it, you better be prepared to take it. Trust me, others may not be so easy or let you off the hook easily.
You are ultimately responsible for your own actions and words. Words that can stick with you for years and be used against you in the future.
If you are known to throw sand in the sandbox, it could factor into your likeability.
You have to be consistent with your actions that are visible to the public. Think about being in another person’s shoes watching you.
What I am about to share isn’t rocket science I bet you know someone that does this. They don’t have to be a social media guru when this happens. It may be very well happening on your own friend’s list.
Message 1: I am not sure how I am going to pay my bills today?
Message 2: (1 to a few weeks later) I just booked a trip to Disney World. I cannot wait.
Did something amazing happen that you were struggling with but now able to do a vacation? Where did you find the money to pay for new furniture or do a shopping spree? People are paying attention and keeping mental notes.
In some cases, people of influence will do this where people aren’t buying into what they are selling or supporting them as they feel they deserve. So there’s intentional guilt applied and as a reader, you are drawn in to think how you can be a difference for them. You rally, you support, or possibly you get involved. However, this could be a tactic for the attention it will be noticeable within a short time frame. I’ve seen this happening with people I follow. Where the consistency of their words won’t match up with their future actions/comments.
I’ve noticed this with people who I will meet in an event where someone will comment to a specific thread I did about a situation where I have forgotten about it. It proves the point though, people will hang off of every word you may utter and hold strong to facts you may have shared that you could have forgotten about.
This is a strong contender to determine your likeability.
Unless you somehow miraculously follow-worthy off the hop or riding on something strong that kick starts your social media presence. You need to work for it. I mean, that truly.
One of the biggest downfalls of kicking up strong and then collapsing to nothing is your own points of expansion of the topic of what made you get the attention.
If you are launching something about make-up and the next thing you are doing is going on a tangent of collecting rocks. The two topics are unrelated to each other though, some people may not mind getting schooled on geology while they have been lured to apply eyeliner in the first place. You have to be conscious of what you are doing and who you are speaking to.
I face this when I focus on a knitting project in a crochet dominant blog. It will always be met with opposition. While I can appreciate the look of knitting, the community was brought together by crochet. While some followers will do both, many have a favourite over another.
Your personal interests will collide with the social media presence if you are going off-topic or sharing an interest that isn’t appreciated.
Most of us have other interests but to switch focus or bounce between topics is tough to manage. You may in time decide that your original interest is just a passing idea and moving on to something new. Just be consistent.
Consistency is a likeable trait.
Activism is always divisive no matter how you steer your ship. Activism is the action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about social or political change.
While the life lessons of standing for principles is admirable and we see movies where people who stand up for a cause have triumphs, there are so many more stories where activism has literally ruined someone’s life.
In activism, you will get the staunch followers who will be the wind of your sails and then you will get the people who will target you that will be opposing your views. Can you emotionally handle the opposition? The judgement of whatever you say will live on even if you change your opinion or decide to get off the Mr. Toad Wild Ride.
This is a pandora’s box where something of this nature can not only empower someone but also be the reason in the future with consequences that were never considered ahead of time. You have to be careful.
Myself, I prefer not to fight with anyone over hot topics. So I abstain from those topics because I am not educated enough on certain topics where my own knowledge are media opinion pieces and possibly lacking in 100% truth, to begin with.
You have to be careful and draw your line in the sand to what you are willing to stand up for and what you should stand back from.
Be Relatable But…
I find some of the videos on YouTube go off-topic too much or the host doesn’t stay on point. I used to be like this in tutorials and ended it a few years after I had started. Daniel reminded me to stay on point and don’t stray. I rebutted his thoughts for a long time. He’s right.
I was watching tutorial help for a medical issue and the person’s thumbnail and view counts were through the roof. Upon opening, I looked at the comments and they were brutal. The question is never answered and the person goes on for 15 minutes without ever getting to the true topic. The comments were totally accurate.
The person is using YouTube as a communications tool to vent about their life with a lure. Truth is, the question they intended to answer would only take them maybe 2 or 3 minutes directly but the person isn’t disciplined enough to stay on topic.
- Talking about family issues.
- Problems with shopping at a store.
- Dealing with the school on another topic.
Know your role and stick with it. You can have caveats of details once in a while but always be mindful of what made you create your presence.
If you are going to promise content, stick to it.
Being A Know It All
There’s a difference between being engaging and a difference of coming across as a know it all.
There are few people that know a topic so well, they become world experts and then there is the average person, like me, who knows a lot about a topic but is open to learning from the community space as well.
Realize there are many ways to approach a topic and many solutions to get from A to B. Ever get an opinion from a family or friend and then they get pissed you didn’t follow their formula? You have to be open-minded to a certain degree that what you are saying or demonstrating can have different approaches.
If someone is giving you feedback on a different way to approach it, they are not necessarily harassing you or telling you that you are wrong. They have some advice to further your knowledge. The way you approach that person if you are choosing to respond can be a learning moment for you that will further. your knowledgebase.
Today’s millennials are said to be quite intelligent and offering advice or helpful tips to better you, not to show you up. If you feel helpful advice is ruining your zen, social media may not be for you.
There will always be opinions. Ultimately though, how you handle it will decide if you are likeable.
If you feel that you can get easily insulted or have this knee-jerk reaction to people’s comments or opinions, social media can be a very dangerous realm to be in.
There are times where you really have no hope in hell in pleasing a person and hoops to get their approval is too high or too many in order to have a decent conversation or a cohesive relationship with. You have to establish your personal boundaries and walk away from your own mental health.
There are community members and industry professionals, when I look back, are people where there was a splinter in the communications lines or hoops to overcome. Sometimes, I have been in the wrong place at the wrong time or came along at the wrong time.
I have made decisions where I was unaware of a second situation that was in play. I also believe the customer isn’t always right. That’s a myth of old fashion customer service where I feel it’s outdated. There are some people that are just mean-spirited and bending over just leads to more of the same. Sometimes you need to stand your ground and know the line in the sand is drawn. Know your personal limit.
You have to keep in mind you will not be everyone’s best friend nor will everyone like you. Some dislike could be from your own actions and other dislikes could be rumours or assumptions that are people’s truth, but not necessarily your truth.
If you saw in my inbox and messages through the social platforms, you would see a glimpse of virtual quarterbacks. People determined to ruin your day or do something to grab your attention. In a world where people expect you to be online and available 24-7 is where we find ourselves. It’s not uncommon for someone to message me at 1 am my time, by 3 am, they are pissed and emailing again but sterner. By 5 am, they are literally threatening me for not returning their message and by the time I see their last message around 7 am, they have had a conniption fit with you having slept all the way through it. It may sound funny but it’s more common than you realize.
Social Media Means Privacy Is Open for Business
By joining social media, you are opening yourself up to a global existence where you are a disposal product that people tap into.
You will be liked one day, hated a few minutes later. Praised an hour later and threatened by supper time. It’s the ugly side of social media and definitely something I hadn’t considered when I started this.
However, I started this back in 2008 before social media name was even a thing and morphed into it. It was rough at times and I have had to learn to not own problems that are not mine to bear the responsibility for. I’ve had to compartmentalize myself so that I don’t take most of the negativity to heart to save myself from going off the deep end. At times though, I have seriously thought about quitting to save myself. There’s not even praise in the world when you feel the world is collapsing in on itself.
You may have seen where social media or public people being to hurt themselves, commit suicide or are self-destructive. It’s a very real situation. If you know Avicii. He was a superstar DJ and there is a documentary on him. He came to kill himself and the documentary is just so eye-opening.
I hung off of every word in that documentary. The mental strain of being in the public eye is too much for some people. Though he was doing the show circuit and travelling, I saw myself in him and get where he is coming from. The pressure to be a person that people expect of you and the constant burden of producing content is a serious struggle. He just wanted to be creative but the business element was too much.
Myself, I got into teaching crochet because I was lacking community. To feel connected. I never got into this to be a leader or to become the face of crochet in some people’s eyes. To some, I’ve assisted them in their journey. To a few, I am the target of their woes.
Many of the original YouTube Hosts were doing something for the fun of it to reach out. Some have really exploded in popularity and others, it was a passing phase and they bowed out at the journey.
The pressure is real, it’s not a game.
You need to be authentic and stick to your messaging. One of the biggest mistakes is assuming a couple of people are “EVERYONE” and you make a decision to satisfy a few people where it’s not going to be widely accepted across your virtual space.
I have had more situations than I can count where people wished I would tackle heavy topics that are outside of my realm or my own knowledge base. I stay away from those topics or situations because I know where it will take me. I cannot emotionally handle conflict. I shut down and self-destruct. I’m just being honest.
I have done things that were sudden changes because I fell into the case where a compelling story changed my messaging. Only to find me in a controversy. While the people who messaged me are not responsible for the decisions I made because it was ultimately myself that caused the friction by changing my direction.
If you are going to change direction, make sure you are ready. It may be harder than you can imagine.
- This adventure isn’t for the weak.
- Being known comes with consequences.
- What you say matters.
- How you say things counts even more.
- Pictures or videos you post that contradicts your messaging can cause harm.
You will never be perfect, accept that and offer the world who you are. If you decide to pretend to be something you are not, you have only yourself to blame if everything comes down crashing.
There are communities for virtually everything and even thoughts and mind spaces of ideas. They may be harder to build but you can sit and complain about not having a group for a certain thought or activity…. or, you can quit complaining and create the community that you want. If you don’t want to do the work, that’s okay, but just know that if you are wishing there was something, others are probably wishing the same thing and hoping a change-maker will emerge.