I’ve heard all the bad press. I’ve seen all of the weightloss and anti-smoking commercials that begin December 1. I’ve observed all of the newcomers to the gym between the weeks of January 1-14. But I don’t really care what the media says about New Year’s Resolutions. Because I myself tend to be an avid maker and keeper of such resolutions.
It’s important to know that I don’t fault others for their lack of participation. But they just work for me. I put a lot of thought into making them. And I kinda look forward to our (N & I both make them) annual family tradition of carefully thinking through them, choosing one or two, and then sharing them with each other in order to be accountable.
Last year, I resolved myself to be more honest. I know, I know, that one seems less resolution and more intention. But specifically, I meant more honest in the social media world. Prior to 2011, I was working everyday and spent about 30 minutes/day on Facebook. This would leave me little time to leave comments for others or to even stay abreast of everything. That, and the fact that I sort of enjoyed my Internet anonymity. I liked that I could enjoy pictures from afar from people who I would barely converse with in “real life”.
When I left my job to stay at home, I started to spend more time online. I started to really contemplate my actions and that’s when I was confronted with my deceit. Was it really fair of me to talk to my husband and/or friends about a cute photo album I’d seen on Facebook but never tell the maker of the album I’d admired it? Of course this isn’t realistic all the time, but I just felt like there was a glaring hole in my life and I decided to make a change. First, I cut my friend list down to people who I would actually talk to in real life. A lot has changed since 2005 when I first activated my Facebook account, including my friends. Second, I starting commenting on pictures that I really had comments on and “liking” things that I really liked. For an insecure introvert like myself, it was really hard at first to put myself out there. I mean, will people think I’m obsessed and creepy? Will they wonder what business I have commenting on their picture?? Will they think I’m on Facebook like a l l the t i m e??
But once it started, it began paying back with great rewards. I felt completely esteemed when others returned the favor. I mean if I like receiving random comments on my Internet stuff, why wouldn’t others too?? In some ways, being more honest on Facebook actually helped me to deepen my real-life friendships. I know, crazy, right?
The honesty clause also related to other social media outlets. When I had an unusually positive or negative experience with a purchase/at a restaurant/on vacation, I left reviews and told people what I honestly thought. I couldn’t justify complaining in real life if I hadn’t made my thoughts known first to the person/organization/company. Also, people love encouragement. It may take me 2 minutes to fill out a form about a positive experience, but that compliment may impact that person’s life indefinitely. Being genuine felt refreshing and just plain like it was the right thing to do.
There have been many rewards for my new honesty clause. Some big and some small. It has carried over from my online life into my real life. And looking back at all of the positive outcomes, I am so glad that I followed through with it.
So, what, you may ask, was my New Year’s Resolution for 2012? Does it live up to the hype of 2011??
Well, I’m not quite ready to reveal it publicly yet, but I will give you a little clue to peak your interest:
Here’s to keeping past resolutions strong while engaging in new ones,