There are so many different realms that help us boost our confidence all with an email notification. So and so has requested you as a friend, our Facebook for iPhone alerts us. So and so is now following you on Twitter. So and so wants to be your friend on Foursquare. With each notification we get, we in turn feel good. We feel wanted or sought after, if only for but-a-second. Someone wants to see what we are up to. Someone cares to maybe, potentially stalk and/or judge us. And most importantly, someone beat us to the punch.
We may want to request someone right after we meet them. We may want to request someone to build a camaraderie since we have a vast majority of mutual friends. But we often resist initiating a request, simply because the request is like making the first move. And with making the first move comes an open opportunity to have our request unmet, rejection central awaits. We partake in some self talk that only breeds the word insecure. It goes something like ‘What if they think I’m adding them out of desperateness? What if they think I like them? What if they think anything but ‘Cool, x just added me’? We self talk ourselves out of something that everyone is doing; expanding their social network one click at a time. But a request is harmless and doesn’t deserve any inner monologue you may partake in prior to hitting the ‘request as a friend key’.
Whether someone is requesting our friendship, or following us or joining a Facebook Fan Page (if we have one) or clicking ‘I like’ on your Facebook statuses or images, we are definitely allowed to shamelessly use it as a confidence booster. As a pat on the back. As a means to smile. All these ‘little’ and seeming senseless activities over social media help reenforce that somewhere, out there, someone cares.
I was overwhelmed with support two weeks ago when a remarkable number of friends and online acquaintances shared my first piece for my new weekly relationship column for AOL Lifestyle. It ended up being one of the site’s top pieces of the week. The exposure, the feedback, the sharing in and of itself made me feel like my work and voice were heard.
We often sit anonymously behind the screen, reading, enjoying and perusing others personal lives. Go ahead and ‘like’ it. Go ahead and share it. Go ahead and give the person who has captured your attention some feedback. Go ahead and befriend someone you met via social networks. We often feel good just by supporting others, when we are expecting nothing else in return. Reach out. If your efforts go unmet (or if they delete you as a friend/unfollow/unlike you or your group) it says more about them than you, no?
– Jenny Jen
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