Expert tweeter, pro vlogger, super social networker…you name it.
Chances are that you have a slight ego if you consult on social media or generally work in the field of public relations. We’re supposed to be good about communicating why something is good. It comes with the gig. Guilty.
Day in and day out, you and your colleagues work hard to achieve specific project goals. Anyone in this field knows that PR/marketing can be a creative brain strain and command a great deal of focus. When you walk away from a completed project knowing that you gave 120% and not only met, but exceeded client expectations, your head inflates. C’mon, just a bit, right?
I’ll be the first to express the importance of metrics and analysis around any social marketing project. But at times it can definitely feel overwhelming. Tons of video views, retweets and Facebook fans are great but try to keep it all in perspective. Is it really worth stressing over the fact that your video didn’t receive 5k views the first day or that you can’t seem to crack that 1k fan base? In the long run, no. As long as you can look back and know that you worked your tail off and learned some new lessons along the way, that’s progress.
It’s also what I love most about social media. At its core, it serves as a mechanism for keeping us grounded. I think I’ve especially noticed this in my work with various nonprofits. Social media provides a flexible interactive platform for advocates and supporters to surface on their own to express their passion and personal ties to an issue. To those individuals, metrics aren’t a primary concern – they want an outlet to share their story.
I’d like to share a special note below that popped up in my Facebook news feed a couple of months ago from a friend who continues her battle with cancer. It may be the immediate time away from the daily grind as I wait to start my new gig that has me reflecting but it’s important in my book.
The next time you’re frustrated over lackluster video views, a misdirected tweet or snarky blog comment, keep this piece of inspiration in the back of your mind. Remember, it’s the little things that matter in life.
*NOTE: Name below has been changed. Also happy to report that the author, though continuing her battle, is doing well.
“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly”
Over six months without a post but here it is.
Looking back at when I started this blog– 26, cancer-free (or so I thought), thinking about “rings” with my then boyfriend of three years and running marathons– I feel like a completely different person from the one writing this today.
I think that since my initial diagnosis (“I’m 27! WTF!?”) and my rediagnosis (with more denial and less panache was dubbed “Cancer 2.0”), I fell into fear. Deep dark fear. I was given a 36% survival rate if I had complete radical treatment and at six months from that point, I am still rattled but making steps forward to live. Fully live. Because after all, don’t we all have a 100% guarantee of death??
I recently realized that I had stopped really living my life. Day to day, running errands life. Sure, I was crossing off my bucket list and doing what all of those “things to do before you die” books tell you to do– but I had stopped the normal. The mundane. Stopped trying to move forward in my career. I stopped running, which is me. I can see where I gave up in places…started living as though I was dying. But this past Saturday I met an amazing kick ass cancer vixen (the founder of Cycle for Survival) who was just rediagnosed for the FIFTH time. She was there with her husband, cycling for an hour, raising funds for rare cancers…only four days after chemo. I looked at her, her husband and saw life. True beautiful life and love.
This past week “fully living again” included –shallow or not– going to a real salon to have highlights and a hair cut (thank you Sommer Muasher). I was in tears having this simple, normal-for-most-women-my-age act done because I have been too terrified to cut my hair since its regrowth– June 2008 (like 80 years in girl hair time!). Terrified to spend any money on something that I could quickly lose through two weeks of chemo. Scared to invest any money in my body that still feels like it is falling apart from cancer and the drugs. But it felt good and afterwards… I felt pretty! Ohhhhh so pretty!!
Funny how these little cancer habits were unknowingly created. Take tonight, I went grocery shopping and actually purchased enough groceries to last longer then two weeks. Since my first diagnosis I truly thought that I would die and was worried my Mom would have too much to deal with that I didn’t even want to fill my pantry. Yes, there is peanut butter but no jelly. Pepper but no salt. I was so scared to move froward and fully live my life that even in the smallest of ways I chose not to.
I know that these are teeny, tiny small bits of life. But they were things that I had surrendered until now. Even through injections, pills*pills*pills and yesterday’s draining of fluid from my abdomen (I swear they are trying to clone my MoJo!!), I am determined to live (boring “recycling kind of living!”).
Last week I had brunch with a dear friend who truly set me free. He had once created the “Happy Game” for me where we go back and forth naming things that make us smile until we both find the sunshine in life again. I usually list off John Elway, Tabasco, pandas, running– the Joan Greene obvious. But this week he called the game off. He asked me to stop playing the “Happy Game” and to start living it.
So here it goes…
Living is a funny thing that we truly take for granted until we get a good look at what death is.