Everything I Need to Know About Social Media, I learned From My Daughter

Ok, so not entirely true, the kindergartners are still learning social media platforms. It’s not until first grade that the kids get a chance to dig into SEO and digital analytics, building an excellent foundation for website creation and graphic design in second and third.

In all seriousness though, everything you do should have a purpose and you should have fun doing it; that’s one of the best lessons I’ve learned from some very intelligent pint-size humans. Here are a few more.

Imagination is Everything

A few years ago, when my daughter still working on using the toilet, and required at least one of us in the room; I was beginning to get mildly (read: very) annoyed by the uncomfortable task of sitting on the edge of the bathtub while she sat on the toilet. Then she started humming, and she looked at me and said, “Mama, when I hum it feels like there are bees in my mouth.” She paused for a moment before continuing, “Come on mama, try it.” So I did. There were bees in my mouth too.

Innovate.

Take a leap of faith. Sometimes made-up words or bizarre metaphors are the right ones to get straight to the point. If you can’t get the toy horse to stand up, get some play doh and stick the hooves in that. Innovation requires imagination, not repetition. If you can’t win playing now, either you lose or you change the game. Use your imagination to create a whole new experience. Opportunities do exist.

Play Nice

There should be no need to behave rudely on social media. Calling people bad names does not benefit anyone. Neither does hate. Hate is an emotion driven by fear, making it harder for you to succeed. Always keep a few grains of salt around with which to take other people’s commentary, salt tends to clear up some of the hate.

The wonderful and dangerous part of the written word is the ability of the reader to experience it differently than the writer intended, or perhaps miss the humor intended. Either way, tomorrow that person you just insulted online might have a potential career opportunity that you just missed. Stick to the golden rule and if someone else is being mean; go find a new friend to play with.

Win, don’t run

Nobody likes a bully, but take it in stride. I was the kid who ran away crying and that sucked; but my daughter doesn’t run. She just looks at you with disdain while she explains exactly what was unacceptable, listens, allows you to fix it and continues on with her day.

When in doubt, wrap it up with as much tape as possible

I’m serious.

Read your content, out loud. Read it to someone. Ask them if it sounds interesting or like the same tedious piece published last week. (If they are asleep, don’t ask.) Read your content to another person, because if you don’t catch the sound of a poorly turned phrase or an unfortunate word choice, hopefully they will.

Sometimes, to succeed, you need to make a big mess. And that is good.

Originally published on LinkedIn and www.cleverbirdmedia.com

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