Friday, August 5, 2011

Friend or Follower?

by Shannon Milholland

The world's gone mad or at the very least viral.  I grew up in a world where deals prospered over dinner and a handshake.  Today agreements are reached with a click and a Starbucks.  Proximity and personal relationships are things of the past. 

As we authors trudge into the murky waters of social media, I want to pose a question.  Are those we meet on the information superhighway friends or followers?  The term follower implies we possess absolute sway over life and opinion.  Even the President of the United States couldn't claim that power.  So if not follower, perhaps these are friends.

I have chosen the posture of friend in my social media presence.  I keep my head aligned to this commitment of my heart with a few easy principles:

Gratitude

I take a moment to offer thanks and blessings over each person who clicks "like" or "follow".  They honor me with their time and commitment.  Gratitude keeps my heart focused on the other party.

Service

When I retain a new follower, I've trained my mind to make the first question, "How can I serve them?"  The knee jerk reaction is to consider how they might serve me.  When I reverse my natural thinking, I place the emphasis on the other party.  Service keeps my heart kind.

Kindness

I want the moment my new friend spends with me to be one filled with kindness.  When asked to check out their fan page, peruse their website or investigate their product, I attempt to live sincerely by doing so.  Offering kindness to others is not a guarantee of reciprocation.  It is a opportunity to place priority on others.

As I practice the principles of gratitude, service and kindness my internet presence steadily grows.  While the world grapples for position and press, you can join me in the quest to give instead of take.  Together we'll propel a friend revolution.

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