Keys to Being Social: Vulnerability

Keys to Being Social: Vulnerability

Being open with people gives them permission to be open with you. But how transparent should you really be? How much should you tell? What does vulnerability have to do with social media?

My friend Carol recently said,

“I liked what you said about not wanting things to be weird with people not knowing where you were when you next met them.”

Wait. Let’s backup.

I suffered a great loss two months ago: my husband of 23 years died of complications from Kidney Disease.

And, during his hospitalizations, I had always been open about it — as was he — in order to let his friends and family know what was going on, in order to receive prayer, in order to be real.

And because I had opened myself up on Facebook during his last hospitalization, about a dozen of my friends knew when he died. I came home from the hospital not knowing, but thinking, I would not even have enough money for his cremation.

Little did I know that this tribe of mine spent six hours — during the night while I wept and finally fell asleep — to setup willardfund.org. When I woke up, I had enough funds to cover the costs of the cremation and the funeral.

And as I have been grieving this amazing loss, I’ve spent time decompressing and putting my thoughts down — on Facebook — for my friends to read and pray for me.

I knew that if I didn’t speak of his death — my grief — that people would feel awkward around me the next time we ran into each other. Should they talk about Mercier? Should they ask how I’m doing?

And if I self-isolated, that would make my feelings of grief and loneliness worse.

So, Carol suggested that I write a post called “Social Media Spotlight: Being Open with People.” But as I’m sitting down, looking deep within my drafts folder, I thought — this topic is really about the terrifying emotional state of vulnerability.

Now, we’ve talked about authenticity before, but that is not the same as vulnerability.

Let’s begin.

Keys to Being Social: Listening by Bridget Willard

Keys to Being Social: Listening

Do you feel that people hear you? Not just hear you even, but really, truly listen?

People are talking every day on social media. The scale at which information is coming to us can be overwhelming.

“Every second, on average, around 6,000 tweets are tweeted on Twitter.” Internet Live Stats

Six thousand tweets per second. Wow.

It brings to mind the lyric,

“All the lonely people, where do they all come from?” Eleanor Rigby

Mind you, quite a bit of those tweets are news or content marketing, I’m sure. But think about it.

What if only 1% of those tweets were from people just wanting to be heard?

That equates to 60 people a second.

If I could insert a code here that would make this post pause right here for 60 seconds, 3,600 tweets would have been sent.