Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Ups and Downs of "Social Media"

We live in a world where Technology is forever evolving.  For the business owner and ministry gift, we must learn to adapt our businesses and ministries to the world that we live in.  Can you remember how the telephone evolved?  Although I did not live in the 1700’s and 1800’s, we have pictures and old TV shows, that shows how they communicated.  I was born in 1967, so I’m going to speak from what I actually used.  We went from the phones with the rotator dials, to the push button phones, to cordless phones, pay phones on the street, big fat cell phones, flip phones, smart phones, and phone watches.

Just like our communication has evolved, so has the World Wide Web as it relates to Social Media Platforms.  Can you remember the social media platform that a lot of businesses were using in the early 2000’s?  It was MySpace.  I remember when I started by business in 2003, that people had MySpace, but I was never interested in that.  I had a website, so I thought that was all I needed.  Then in 2006, FaceBook and Twitter came out, but it wasn’t until 2009, that I joined because people in my circle really talked about social media.  In the beginning I only used it for personal stuff, although I had a business and ministry page.  I used it sparingly.  One by one I started joining different social media platforms, but was not very consistent with posting.  Sometime late 2013, early 2014, I really became consistent with posting, blogging, showcasing my work and using more interactions with my customers.  My consistency was one of the ways God used to increase my business.

I want to talk about the Ups and the Downs to Social Media.  Everything God created is good and most of the things that man creates are good; however, depending on how we use stuff, will determine if it has a negative or positive effect.

Social Media Platforms give you the ability to promote your business and/or ministry to an audience that goes way past your family and friends.  Often times, when we start something, we look to our circle of friends to support, celebrate and applaud our new adventure; only to find that many people have been disappointed by the things they experience when starting that new journey.  I have also heard people tell me they don’t like social media because they look at how other people post and get turned off, because some of the things they see is foolishness to them.  Then some people are so private, they don’t like people knowing their business.

No matter what your views are about social media; allow me to share the benefits of this platform.  Previously I stated that social media allows you to reach an audience that is outside your circle of friends.  I often teach in my business workshops that “Somebody needs what is on the inside of you.  Somebody’s answer is in you.”  Whatever God gave you to do, (write a book, start ministry, a support group, or a business); somebody is looking for you.  You may not know who they are, but once you release it through the World Wide Web of the Social Media Platform, it has the ability to reach who it needs to reach.

God knows who you are assigned to and He knows who is assigned to you.  Just like a fisherman, they put the bait on a hook and throw it into water to catch what comes.  Depending on what pool of water they go fishing, will determine the type and size of fish they could catch.  Well it is just like the World Wide Web of the Social Media Platforms, depending on what sites you are on and what bait you are using, will determine if the right people connect to you or not.

Social Media Platforms is not about constantly selling all the time.  It’s not about being that nagging sales person or the cold callers ringing your phone all day that we keep avoiding. This platform is more of a “soft sell.”  It’s about letting people know who you are, what you are about and what you bring to the table.  It’s about showcasing your field of expertise.  Those who need your services or like your spirit will begin to follow you and connect with you for your service or product.

With exposure can also come a lot of pressure to maintain a so-called status or appearance that can also be construed as false.  I remember when God birthed my first ministry that He spoke, “Karen I bought you by the way of rejection, to break that spirit off you once and for all.”  With the World Wide Web of the Social Media Platforms, not only do you showcase what you bring to the table, but you also see what others are bringing to the table.  This has the ability to start digging up old emotional wounds that has gone unchecked.

If you don’t evaluate your thought life, you will allow the negative emotions to cause you to shrink back or just stop using this platform or be on the platform and not maximize its potential.  I had to do this for myself many times and even in my workshops I speak on it, because there are many of us that have the same insecurities.  When I first got on social media, I kept replaying that same word God spoke to me about breaking the spirit of rejection off of me.  It was like He did not allow anyone to like or comment on my post, because He wanted me to know what He was doing in me and through me.  I needed to know that it was God making me and not man.  If we don’t realize who is really backing us, we will always look for man’s approval and once you get it, then you will have to keep doing to keep man’s approval.  Also you will begin to judge where you are based on others celebration of you; instead of what God has said about you.

Social Media Platforms can be the hoe that God’s uses to dig into the wounded places in us and start exposing the negative emotions and thought patterns that we didn’t know was there.  Some people will find themselves fabricating online to make themselves appear that they are something there not.  Then it can also cause people to start comparing themselves to what others are doing and try to emanate what they see other doing instead of staying in their own lane.  This is how we begin to exhaust ourselves and find ourselves going down the wrong path on our entrepreneurial and ministerial journeys.

 Allow God to begin to purge you from the old negative emotions and begin to divorce yourself from the opinion of others.  Because the flipside of people being drawn to you, you will find that some will attack you.  We have a lot of haters on social media, because we live in a dysfunctional world; therefore instead of celebrating one another, we compete with each other.  However that should not be the reason for you not to showcase what God put in your hands to do.

Again, Social Media Platforms is not bad, it is how we use it.  Begin to assess the real reason why you don’t like it.  Go deeper than just the excuses you tell yourself that justifies your actions of not using it.  God has need to get you in front of the people who you are assigned to.  People need what is in you and they are waiting for you to come forth.  It is your time to shine, so allow God to do the work IN you, so He can continue to USE you.

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