I still need to sit down and post all about the fabulous experience I had at Blog Fete a couple of weeks ago, and post about the amazing people who attended! What a group!! However, I am still in a swarm of holiday jobs, so today won’t be the day, but I do want to share just a little bit of what I spoke about there. My topic was connecting, and in my opinion, connecting with others is one of the most important (and rewarding) things we can do as humans. Connecting is how we lead to friendships, marriages, and a community (online or face to face). Connecting brings us closer, and has the opportunity to give us both a hand to high five on a great day and a shoulder to cry on on the not so great ones.
One of the points I covered in my presentation was the art of “being real” and what it means to me when I hear phrases like “just keeping it real”… If you want to have a true connection with someone, you certainly have to be real and be honest. But it seems sometimes all of these phrases that get used like “keeping it real” or “I am just being real” have made the art of “being REAL” into a negative thing. Think about it – when someone posts something positive and genuine out of excitement for a friend on Facebook… you don’t see comments like “Way to keep it real” underneath…even though the person who posted was indeed very real with their positive thought! On the other hand, when someone posts something negative …something to bash, insult, or tear someone or something down…they get people who compliment them on “being real” or “keeping it real”. I have to tell you that this bothers me a lot as a mom, as a friend, and as someone who is very involved in social media. Today’s kids are growing up in an online world, which can be pretty scary if we don’t show them the positive paths. I don’t want my kids thinking that they have to put down others or talk negatively to “keep it real” and be honest. I want my kids, my friends, and my associates to be their REAL TRUE selves…and I hope that deep down…their “Keeping it real” is when they are kind, genuine, and thoughtful. I want my kids to see that they can “keep it real” and still be nice, helpful, positive, and inspiring souls.
We all have bad days, we get stressed out, upset, overwhelmed, and we may not like everything we see others do and say…but when you put that out there for the world to see… think about if that is what you want people to think is “REAL” when they think of you. Many connections are lost before they ever even happen because of what people see written, commented, tweeted, or posted. People see these things and assume it’s the “REAL” you, and you may not even know that they saw them. If the real you isn’t a negative nelly who likes to talk trash…then make sure that you “Keep it REAL” by not being that person online. Save that for the confidence of a journal or a friend who you can confide in…because many times (as I have learned personally) the next day you see things in a much more positive light…and you don’t want people to remember you for your bad days. This doesn’t mean we all don’t have bad days, makes mistakes, and vent…or that you can’t do those things. It just means that we need to take real people with real feelings into consideration…especially online where it’s easy to hide behind a screen.
I also want to point out that being real isn’t always about the way you connect with others…but sometimes its about the way you view yourself. It’s easy to beat yourself up and put yourself down. In this online world, it’s too easy to compare ourselves to others, and wonder why we can’t do more, better, and bigger. This is when you need to get REAL with yourself. Take a minute and get to the heart of who you are and 9 times out of 10…the things you used to bring yourself down didn’t define you anyway! For example…I open Pinterest and I see these great kid crafts I pinned along with healthy home cooked dinners I planned to make and I start to think…I haven’t made a single one of these dinners…I haven’t done any of these crafts with my kids… and then jump to “What I am doing as a mom?”…this is when I stop and try to get to the heart of what matters…for me, I can say “The HEART of what matters is that my kids are happy…and they are. And I am grateful. So who cares about those perfect dinners and crafts…maybe one day they will happen, but today I will focus on my kids being happy and healthy”. When I get to the heart of what matters, I realize my cup is not only half full…it’s overflowing. But I have to get REAL with myself to be able to see that some days. Guess what else happens when you get real with yourself…you are happier. And guess what happens when you are happy? People like to be around you, and you find more connections with a kind, positive, and reassuring foundation….and isn’t that the best reward of all?
Cheers to Keeping it Real and connecting!!