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How To Become A Social Media Listener In 5 Easy Steps

How To Become A Social Media Listener In 5 Easy Steps

    A few days ago a friend of mine posted (on Google+) that nobody is listening on Twitter anymore. He offered his specific help to promote someone’ blog post there but got no answer. Obviously, because the other part wasn’t even listening. This story made me think about how people are consuming social media.

    Nobody will question that the biggest trend is to be a “broadcaster”. Use social media to promote your business, to enhance your brand, to increase sales. That’s what everybody and their mothers are teaching you nowadays. There’s so much noise in this area that it’s almost impossible to discern useful information from gibberish. That’s why many people entering in social media have really overwhelming experiences.

    I’ve been there too. I had my fair share of learning “how to influence people using social media“. But after having enough, a new trend in consuming this type of interaction emerged. Namely, I became a listener. And it took me only a few weeks to realize that the benefits of being an honest listener instead of an obsessed broadcaster are far more interesting than I thought.

    For instance, I can easily get access to trends. I gave up TV a few years ago and I don’t consume news in the traditional media form. But my need to stay informed didn’t disappear, on the contrary, so I just use social media to see what are the directions, who are taking the lead and what other people are saying about that.

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    Also, by constantly perusing my social media stream I grow what I like to call ”my filtering muscles“. I learned how to easily identify what is important from what is just meaningless repetition. And that proved to be extremely beneficial in other areas too, like casual social conversation. I can easily spot a lazy conversational partner and sparkle the interaction, if need will be. People seldom get bored while talking to me. Or so the rumor goes, anyway…

    But maybe the most important benefit of being a listener is that you get access to a lot of actionable information in your field. Promotions, events, new groups or things like these can be easily spotted and taken advantage of if you’re constantly keeping your eyes on the right streams. All you have to do is listen.

    So, how can you become an effective social media listener?

    1. Organize Your Broadcasters In Groups, Circles Or Lists

    Pretty much every important social media platform has this feature nowadays. You can organize your stream in smaller chunks. If you have a really big social media window, it will take some time to put it into ”folders“. But in my experience this will really pay off in the long run.

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    Also, as you grow the list of people you follow, do take the time to add them to their specific group, circle or list too. In time, their messages will become more consistent and it will also be a way for you to identify if that area really benefits you or not.

    2. Assign Specific Times For Perusing Each Group

    Don’t do it everywhere, anytime. It’s not working. I know, because I used to do it like this: on the computer, in my backyard looking at my iPhone or on the couch, scratching my iPad. The message will get diluted and the initial thrill of interacting will rapidly fade away.

    Instead, schedule some time for some specific list or topic and then drill down all the way to where you were last time you checked it. Dive in, immerse and try to get the most of it. Don’t give in to the thrill of interaction instantly, Just follow a fixed routine and let the results grow slowly.

    3. Respond

    This is not action. This is interaction: you’ll send a powerful message that you’re there, that you’re listening and that what the other part says is important to you. Also, be careful what you respond, with whom you’re engaging in and what do you really expect out of this.

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    Sometimes it will just be a casual information, but most of the time, after I started a thoughtful conversation on social media with somebody I was looking forward to do it for a long time, well, it ended with at least a constant and solid relationship, if not with some real life business stuff too.

    4. Follow Up

    Do this on requests, events or just facts. Ask around if there’s any change or if everything will go as planned. If somebody plans a launch, be there and help but also clearly state your implication in that project. If there will be a meetup, confirm your presence and the logistical details.

    That activity will prove that you’re there. That you’re alive and you’re having at least some simple synapses. People hate talking to robots, you know. So just by showing that you’re there and you’re interested in something, chances that you’ll ignite a solid interaction will grow exponentially.

    5. Take Notes

    I know this sounds utterly unproductive, but it isn’t. At least in the beginning. Do a daily writeup, sketch something in your journal or draw a mind map. Again, do this at least in the beginning. As your interactions will grow both in numbers and depth, you will find less and less useful to write down what happened.

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    But, as any other journaling activity, it will help you understand not only what is really going on out there (for instance, are they only posting boring links or stupid cats videos?) but also what are your real expectations. Are you happy with the time spent there? Just be honest.

    ***

    If you really take the time to look around, you’ll realize that social media is not just a noisy marketplace where you got to strive to make your voice heard at any price. It’s also a space of information, discovery and inspiration.

    In the end, like in any other area of life, it all depends on what you really want to make out of it.

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    “We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

    “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

    Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

    You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

    Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

    1. Take a step back and evaluate

    When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

    1. What is the problem?
    2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
    3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
    4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
    5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

    Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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    2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

    If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

    At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

    Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

    3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

    Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

    4. Process your thoughts/emotions

    Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

    1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
    2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
    3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
    4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

    5. Acknowledge your thoughts

    Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

    By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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    Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

    6. Give yourself a break

    If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

    7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

    A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

    Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

    After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

    8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

    As Helen Keller once said,

    “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

    Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

    9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

    In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

    1. What’s the situation?
    2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
    3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
    4. Take action on your next steps!

    After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

    10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

    A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

    Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

    For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

    11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

    No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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    12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

    No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

    13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

    There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

    After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

    Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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