Blog Post

Overcoming My Fear of Social Networking

Social NetworkIn Wayne Dyer’s new book “Excuses Begone!“, he talks about how fear is one of the biggest excuses for people living an unhappy existence and not going after what they want. He suggests using the emotional opposite of fear (love) to combat the excuse. He says that anything that is loved cannot be feared, and “if we can find our way to stay in a space of love, fear is an impossibility.” I found this especially interesting after my own experiences with social networking.

Learning How to Participate

I’m still trying to wrap my mind around certain social networks, specifically Twitter and Facebook. I recently visited Twitter in hopes of understanding it a little better. As I scrolled through the conversations, I started feeling overwhelmed and wondered, “How am I going to figure this out? I don’t get these conversations or even want to follow most of them, so how will I ever participate?”

Then I thought, “Let me find some people I know.” I found several people and scrolled through their recent tweets. Immediately, I felt better, and, in some cases, I was actually following the conversations. It occurred to me that the important thing was to find and follow people I knew and supported or who knew and supported me, which immediately took away the intimidation (or fear) factor. All of a sudden, instead of feeling overwhelmed and confused, I could see that we were simply people supporting each other’s endeavors and sharing in friendly conversation.

Learning Who to Follow

The second thing I had to figure out was who to follow, which can also be overwhelming. I decided not to feel obligated to follow anyone simply because the person was popular on the network or because the person followed me. Instead, I would only follow people I was truly interested in following. That way, I would be more likely to engage in the conversation. If someone followed me, great. If I discovered that we had common interests or that I was interested in his or her work, I might follow the person in time, but I didn’t have to decide that right away.

Learning How to Find Followers

The final consideration was how to get people to follow me, and that was the easiest part. I simply had to be myself. I decided to only post information and resources that are relevant to my target audience, and then I’d let the audience find me. I’ve discovered that the more I do this, the more my followers increase. Sure, I lose some followers here and there, but that only means that they were never part of my target audience anyway, which is actually good news.

In the end, all we can be is ourselves, and most of the time, we already have our own set of true fans. Find them, follow them, and communicate with them regularly. Everything else will take care of itself.

How have you figured out ways to participate on social networks without feeling overwhelmed or intimidated? Share your strategies for building your online audience and engaging in conversations.

Image from Flickr by chanchan222

21 Responses to “Overcoming My Fear of Social Networking”

  1. @Anelly ~ I love Twitter, in fact I’m on there right now, but I think it is important to follow the right people. Start by following some of the famous people you like, then follow the people they follow. You can use to look up people in your area, follow them, then follow the people they follow.

    You need about 100 people to follow, who use twitter regularly to post updates for it to be fun. Then once you’ve got people tweeting random stuff you can reply to them engaging them in conversation about what they post. Or alternatively post stuff about what your doing or questions and people might contact you. I’ve met some great people and found some cool links on Twitter. But you really have to engage with real people and cull the bots for it to be fun.

  2. I still find Twitter a strange social network. I’m a registred users for some months but i can’t “feel it” yet. I really don’t know what should i do. Maybe i’ll start searching for more people i know.

  3. Great post. Social networking is really a hot topic at the moment and as more and more people get involved it will have even more relevance.

    Personally I have been on social networking for only two months and in that time have found it to be both a blessing and a curse. It is wonderful the abilities the software provides to stay in touch with your friends in one place, or to search the latest buzz on twitter but the stuff is so darned addictive I find myself staring blankly at a screen sometimes simply from force of habit.

    My friend who is a freelance writer, and who is teaching me to write… I hear someone saying Thank God… said to me yesterday there is an old writers saying about the longer you look at the words the less meaning they have, and its true. Think about it. If you say the same phrase over and over again doesn’t it lose its meaning?

    Anyway I want to share a tool that I’ve found great in Twitter if you are interested in reducing the time spent following people and reciprocating those that follow you and that is You can use it to Reciprocate or Grow your following and it’s really good. I am not affiliated to the product, I’m just a happy client of this free tool. I suggest you check it out.

    If you want to know more about me you can follow me on Twitter @MichaelSmale or check out my site at

    • Amber Riviere

      Agreed. It’s definitely dangerously addictive. While we all want to grow our businesses and networks online, there comes a point when we need to get away from everything and reconnect with our “in-person” lives.

      Thanks for the recommended tool; I’m checking it out now!

  4. I appreciate your take on this topic. I will say that mostly I think how would I have the time to keep up with Twitter or get annoyed with all my friends “tweets”. There is definitely something to it, I just need to sit down and give it a fresh start. Thanks.

  5. Thanks for the great post, I really need to show this to my friend’s dad who runs a company. Had a 2 hour session telling him why Twitter messages does not require a meeting before it hits the internet.