I'm not a big fan of Facebook, for a number of reasons, which might seem contradictory as this post will be shared on the platform, but it taught me a valuable lesson this week, one that I often stress the importance of for my clients and that I had recently overlooked for myself.
I've been posting quite a lot on Facebook recently. With its ever changing ways, it is increasingly hard for small independent businesses to be seen and so the standard approach to overcome this seems to be to post repeatedly throughout the day so that we have a better chance of popping up on your timeline. And if this doesn't work, we have the option to pay Facebook to do this for us. I have tried both for the past 2 weeks and I have personally found it to be frustrating, exhausting and dispiriting.
I like to post links to my website, information and personal or professional experiences which I hope speaks to you. But this is not what a lot of social media is really about. Much of it is about offering things that which give us instant gratification, like pretty photos and inspirational quotes, which ofcourse have their own value. Many businesses, like mine, use these as ways to encourage engagement. I post these too if I feel they have a simple truth, or even if I just think they are lovely. But I essentially want to share the things that truly connect us with each other and have authenticity and integrity. And that's just not possible to reproduce on demand every day, throughout the day.
All social media marketing sources tell businesses that in order to maintain a presence, we must post continuously. But this is just not me. I'm not a sales professional or a marketing machine, a social media juggernaut with such repetition and relentlessness that it eventually imbeds itself not only into your timeline but also into your mind. No. This is not Flourish. I want to speak to your heart.
I have always considered that people who need my services, who resonate with my ethos and my approach, will always find me - and they do. In conventional marketing terms, this makes absolutely no business sense at all. But I am not conventional. And while Flourish is a business, it is a mindful, respectful one with the intention of heartfelt connections.
Many of us give our energy away to others or to certain situations, throwing our much treasured personal power into something which continues to take and is never quite satisfied. And yet the more we give of ourselves to them, the hungrier they get, the more demanding they become and the less we have for ourselves. But why is this? Often the reason they take is that they have lost their own energy, their own light, their own power, which has usually been depleted by another. And, often without even knowing, they are repeating this same pattern with us from the misguided notion that they can use our our power to fuel themselves.
But they can only do this with our consent. In Facebook's case, it is not a person but a platform whose survival depends on the time and attention we give it. With promises of feeling good, approval from others and attaining more friends, it speaks to our human need for pleasure, belonging and connection. While this can be useful, it also often uses certain methods that can trigger behavioural traits similar to addiction and which are characteristic of dependency, the ultimate taker.
Our Own Light
Sometimes we continue a dysfunctional relationship out of fear - fear of losing a friend, a partner, a job. Fear is a powerful force that grows in the shadows but it cannot survive when we face it down, throwing the light of our awareness on it.
When we feel that another person is pulling our power from us, and the relationship we have with them is based on taking only, we cannot change the person, we can only change our perspective and how we respond. And to do that we must control the energy flow. This doesn't necessarily mean that we should stop giving - in some situations this is sometimes the only way for our health, ending relationships that are damaging to us - but it usually means that we should begin the process of sharing only what we wish, what we consent to give, not giving what is expected or demanded of us. We are in control of our own energy, our own power.
In posting consistently and repeatedly on Facebook and paying for sponsored posts to appear on timelines, I wondered why I was doing it; why I was giving large amounts of personal energy and time away to something that made me feel bad about myself, and why I was consenting to it. The relationship had become dysfunctional and unhealthy. I had become less mindful of my actions. I began to feel disingenuous and compromised, acting from a place that was in contrast to who I am and to what Flourish is all about - respectful, healthy, nurturing relationships with ourselves and others, where we all stand in our own light and personal power.
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