Dale Carnegie said, “If you tell me how you get your feeling of importance, I’ll tell you what you are.  That determines your character.  That is the most significant thing about you.”

I was reading a blog post recently about the transition to a “Social Economy” (click here), and it got me thinking about how central social media has become in our society.

There’s tweeting, and re-tweeting, hashtags, trends, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, WordPress, etc. – our social “reach” is expanding exponentially!   And there’s always a camera recording someone somewhere at sometime doing something.

Then it’s posted so others can “enjoy” it.  But is it really posted for the benefit of others?

The “postee” obsessively tracks “likes,” “comments,” “re-posts,” “views,”, “shares,” and “re-tweets.”  People brag about their “stats.” Some delete their posts if it doesn’t elicit enough “likes” or “views” quickly enough.


According to William James, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”  (italics mine)  For lots of people, social media feeds that craving.

For many, this craving to be appreciated is fed by posting meaningful moments online; these people enjoy others’ appreciation of their special experiences.  For others (and, fortunately it’s a small number), this craving to be “appreciated” is fed by being mean and nasty to others on line; they seem to revel in the size of the hornet’s nest they create.

For too few, this craving to be appreciated is fulfilled by contributing to others; they delight in the growth or success of other people.

The growth of social media is a huge opportunity for us to intentionally uplift others.  In our social media interactions, by consciously focusing on the good, and telling others about it, we make our virtual world (and our real world) a better place to be.

It’s our choice.

Posted by Jeff Cockrell

Jeff Cockrell is a business professional with more than three decades experience in sales, management, and leadership. His specialty is delivering bottom-line business results for organizations by super-charging their people with leadership and communications skills. After graduating from the University of Virginia, Jeff was commissioned as an officer in the US Navy. During 11 years active duty, he led organizations as small as 8 and as large as 1,900. Every single ship to which he was assigned won the Battle "E" (think US Navy Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award). After leaving the Navy, he started working with Dale Carnegie developing the skills and attitudes in others that they need to accelerate their progress toward success - professionally AND personally. In addition to his Dale Carnegie experience, Jeff has worked for ALLTEL, Sprint, New York Life, Pacesetter Claims among others. And, he has helped organizations successfully navigate the challenges of succession, doubled sales for a call center, and helped companies integrate technologies to speed the claims resolution process. Jeff knows, and passionately believes, the only difference between a successful organization and an unsuccessful organization is the quality of their people - at every level. Jeff is dedicated to helping others step into more of their abilities, so they live more productive, and ultimately, more successful lives - professionally AND personally.

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