[By Anna Taylor]

Public relations is not just business; it’s personal too.

In the age of social media, we are presented with many opportunities to brand our personal lives. We want people to perceive us in a certain way, and this is reflected in the content we post.

We are so focused on putting out a positive image of ourselves on social media that we continuously post pictures of our accomplishments, such as marriages, kids, vacations or job promotions. We share these photos online for our networks to see because we crave the gratification that comes with a “like.” But we rarely see anybody’s internal struggles – the same ones we hide ourselves. This can make us fall victim to a recent phenomenon known as “fear of missing out” (FOMO).

Registered psychotherapist Nancy Dranitsaris says FOMO is all about the “likes.”

“We spend so much time trying to look like we are having a good time, that we miss out on the ‘time’,” she says. “Attempting to live up to an ideal… keeps us dependent on other’s opinions [to] feel valuable.”

We post positive images because we want people to connect with us.

“This makes us focus too much on the external illusion we wish to create, and not enough on what is going on inside of us – what we truly value, what we want to achieve… and what’s meaningful and what’s not,” says Dranitsaris.

Businesses must stick to their values in order to present a consistent message. People are no different. Our personal values matter.

“The best we can do is realize that our life, like our brand, is unique,” explains Dranitsaris. “There are millions of experiences that humans can have, and not everyone has to have the same. We need to see the beauty, value and meaning in our own experiences, and learn to manage the impulse to compete or compare with someone else.”

As PR professionals, we have no choice but to entangle ourselves in the social media world. We have to keep up with what’s trending to be able to push trends and create meaning. We can do this with our own brands as well, as long as we stay true to ourselves.

(Photo by JESHOOTS via Pixabay)

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