Overcoming Social Butterflies Through Social Media

Have you been shy since an early age and finally want to break out of your shell? A brief overview of my own challenge in getting rid of those crazy butterflies by becoming a social butterfly, with the help of social media. Written by Juliet Rocco

From an early age, I had always been painfully shy. People would come up to my mom in the grocery store or church and compliment her on what a cute baby I was…then the waterworks would start, followed by ear-piercing screaming.

Maybe I was a product of “only child syndrome?” I don’t know, but it was obviously embarrassing for my parents because there I was, hiding behind their legs every time we stepped out in a public place or met someone new.

Through elementary and high school I was still quiet. I kept a close-knit group of friends and was a studious athlete focused on getting good grades. By the beginning of my freshman year of college, I decided to take a leap of faith. Instead of hiding under this timid facade, I let my loud, animated self shine brightly through. People took notice, and liked it. And yes, I’m talking about Facebook “likes” too.

What helped break my shy spell? I have to give a lot of credit to social media. By 2008, I was sharing my innermost thoughts in status updates, uploading photos, videos, and talking to many friends whom I had not spoken to in a very long time. This was the outlet that I needed to express myself.

Following Facebook, I began to set up accounts on other social networking sites such as Linkedin and Twitter. I realized that the reason why my friends and colleagues were so successful in the business world was because they were social people and knew how to network.

It’s not rocket science. It’s social science.” – Clement Mok

Facebook helped me become more comfortable with sharing moments of my life with others, especially family and close friends that I’ve been unable to see frequently because of living so far from home. It really has helped shape me and increase my self-awareness of what information I share with others and how I’m perceived online.

When I tell friends of my extreme shyness who have only known me since college, I usually get a surprised look and a raised eyebrow. It makes me laugh now, knowing that my goal has been accomplished and I can feel proud of it. Sure, I’m still quiet from time to time. The most important thing to me is that I’m still able to uphold my personal values.

Takeaway: Countless studies have shown that people now spend more time using social media than watching TV or listening to the radio. If you’re not on at least one social media site, you don’t exist! I know this statement seems extreme, but with company recruiters screening your online activity very thoroughly, they might actually turn you down for NOT having a Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin account. They’ll think you’re trying to hide something otherwise or anti-social if you can’t be found easily online.

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