When someone unsubscribes from your blog, stops following you on Twitter or un-“likes” your page on Facebook, what is your response?
Some think nothing of it and move on with their lives. Some treat themselves to a reward to soothe the rejection. Some panic – as I did, recently- and ask business mentors what to do with this useless anxiety.
Anxiety Over Social Media “Likes” is Linked to a Weak Sense of Purpose
According to a new study by Cornell University (“‘Likes’ less likely to effect self-esteem”), people who have a strong sense of purpose are not swayed by the whims of social media “likes.”
Whether the number of people who click “like” on your Facebook page goes up or down, whether readers subscribe or unsubscribe from the blog, the purposeful person reacts less to these events and moves on with their goals.
Those with less of a sense of purpose look to these numbers, these statistics, for their sense of worth. They become anxious when there are fewer positive social media events; they become elated when there are more positive events. The crowd controls their emotions and mental health.
Developing a Sense of Purpose
Since anxiety over someone un-subscribing is linked with a lack of a sense of purpose, how do we develop a sense of purpose? Well, let’s take a look at the definition of the term from this Cornell Study.
Anthony Burrow, a co-author of the study, defines a sense of purpose as “ongoing motivation that is self-directed, oriented toward the future and beneficial to others.” Let’s briefly look at these three points.
Sense of Purpose Point #1 – Ongoing Motivation That is Self-Directed
To develop a stronger sense of purpose, you’ll need self-directed motivation. Self-directed motivation must have a why. It usually starts with a hunger for something, some goal that you are willing to eat dirt sandwiches to achieve, if you need to so do. From there you make plans, you move on to the second point of a strong sense of purpose – the orientation towards the future.
Sense of Purpose Point #2 – Ongoing Motivation That is Oriented Toward the Future
To develop a stronger sense of purpose, you must be oriented towards the future. An orientation towards the future (as opposed to wallowing in regret and self-pity about a past social media event) usually is best put to use with plans. The most effective plans are well-defined and recorded, so that you may refer to them often and refocus when you get offtrack.
Sense of Purpose Point #3 – Ongoing Motivation That is Beneficial to Others
The third leg of a sense of purpose is that your endeavors should be a benefit to others. Your plans must include not only what works for you but what is useful to others. The sweet spot of success is where your interests overlap with the needs or wants of others. It’s a sustainable, win-win scenario.
Being discouraged by a lack of social media “likes” suggests a sense of purpose that is not strong enough. Develop a stronger sense of purpose, think less about yourself and more about what benefits others and you will be well on your way to being less swayed by social media events.