3 Things A Hashtag Can Do For Your Productivity and Self-Esteem
Social media has become a fixture in the world today and has both a negative and positive impact on individuals around the world. What may have begun as a playful label is easily transformed into a mantra, a daily affirmation that we are doing what we love and we're doing it well.
Hashtag: women at work. Hashtag: boss ladies mindset. Hashtag: ladies in leadership. Hashtag: moms making money. Hashtag: boss lady. Hashtag: women in business. Here's another one- hashtag: girl boss.
There are several more terms that can describe women trying to establish themselves in an industry, and also women already succeeding at some endeavor they've started. It is a good thing that they (we) are able to identify with these phrases.
(on social media websites) a word or phrase preceded by a hash mark (#), used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for it.
(definition from dictionary.com)
I thought it might be good to look at three things a hashtag or label can do for your productivity and self esteem. These are two very big issues for career individuals and for aspiring professionals. Though in my quest to faithfully press for progress (that's a hashtag), my introduction is obviously focused on labels and hashtags for and about females, this article is relevant for both men and women.
When you type in hashtag "boss lady" or the more inclusive hashtag "boss life" you are automatically associating yourself with and connected to thousands of other people or groups that believe in that lifestyle and who also associate with its message. You may be unique in your presentation or application but you are connected to a large community of like-minded individuals.
It helps you link with the right people and give you a diverse perspective of what that means to other people as well. What do I mean by the right people? We all know there are posers out there on social media. Those who find their dream car in a parking lot and take a furtive picture on their way to the bus stop. But then there are also people who have come up from little more than nothing and have learnt the processes and skills that you also need to rise in the ranks or achieve what it is that you're aiming for. When I say the right people, I also mean you have access to experience and people who can fill gaps in your network.
How does that affect productivity?
It gives someone who would otherwise not have access to that number of people on a daily basis something to aspire to. When you look at where you are and you see everyday people like yourself displaying the kind of life you want to live, it should light your fire and keep you going. What you should hang onto is this- it is achievable in this lifetime. That is, if you don't stop working toward it. Let the tags you follow guide your personal development and even your business strategy.
Putting a label on something is to take ownership of it and acknowledge it. Even if it was an embarrassing high school moment made public, you get the chance to brand it your way. You get to decide how you or your brand associate with moments, people and products. Of course there are people and accounts that use hashtags to get traffic, but it's more powerful when you tag your content according to what you really stand for. That's how you own it and it makes it easier to forget about it and get onto bigger things.
How does that affect productivity?
Once you take a stance on something, particularly in business, you have to do your best to live up to that claim. You can't sit back on your haunches and hope that people take your word for it, nor can you rely on past laurels. Making public claims, especially on social media where the whole world can see it, keeps you busy. You have to maintain your stance, you have to prove it. Otherwise you run the risk of being called a poser or a counterfeit. To live it, is to own it, but you have to constantly work at it to keep it. That's how title holders feel in sport. You win once but if you want to win again and maintain the title, you have to keep competing, right?
With a hashtag, you can see how you've progressed over time. Your come up and your 'glow up' will be there for everyone (and for you) to see. The hashtag serves as the link over time that shows you've been putting in the hard hours and the work has paid off. I'm not saying put a daily picture of you sitting at your desk to prove you're working hard at achieving your dreams. I'm saying if you preach a sterling work ethic or an illustrious lifestyle, a hash tag or label will be one way of keeping track of all of that.
How does that affect productivity?
There is something about looking back on past achievements that can motivate a person towards new goals. It's as though looking back briefly eggs you on and says 'if you could do that, what's stopping you now?'. At Kintsu Consulting Group we are always saying we want you to win and one of the ways we motivate individuals is to remind them of what they've achieved in the past. If you have a hashtag that you've turned into a part of your brand or lifestyle, there will be evidence of success in the archives and we will find it.
What about self-esteem?
Statistics have long since proven that social media can actually decrease feelings of self-worth and adequacy in individuals. I am not here to dispute the facts in any way. So how can I say that hashtags will help your self-esteem?
No one decides for you what you will label yourself or your business. Self-esteem being the decision made by an individual as an attitude towards the self, I reiterate that you choose. Make a decision to promote and affirm yourself for yourself. Really own it! A great thing about hashtags is they are dynamic. You make it what you will. Maybe one day you'll move from being #BraaiKingZimbabwe to #BraaiKingAfrica. You get to choose.
There's a reason they call it 'social media'. You can use hashtags to mean something to you and your circles. If you think it's impossible, think of all the weddings that create a hashtag for the happy couple. I may never think to search for your uncle and aunt's names, but to the people that matter, you are all linked by that hashtag. And to be connected is to know you are not alone. I know of many awareness campaigns that use hashtags to reach out to people both for education and support purposes. Create or adopt hashtags that make you feel like a part of something greater.
This goes hand in hand with hashtags being a record. When you look back and when you post new content, you have the choice of what to highlight. It is a far better idea to highlight achievement and growth even as you progress toward the destination, before you ever get there, than to bemoan the difficulties of the journey. So the language you choose with which to label your journey can set you up for greater success, if you take a positive direction.
What do productivity and self esteem really have to do with anything, in a conversation about social media, you ask? Believe it or not, they can both be adversely affected by the use of social media. Between 2013 and 2015, studies say the amount of time people spent on social media across various platforms increased by 13.5 percent. Each of us has some responsibility to ourselves to ensure that we use social media in a healthy manner, as a tool and not as a crutch so that it doesn't become a barrier to our happiness and success.
Being productive is beneficial for businesses as well as individuals. Our sense of accomplishment comes after having participated in worthwhile activities and completed tasks. The more we get done, the greater the financial or emotional rewards. We all want to put our best foot forward and monitoring your use of hashtags on social media is a low-cost way to hold yourself accountable. You set the standard for yourself and you can check against physical evidence whether you live up to it or not.
Having a healthy self esteem can impact how you relate to others both within a work setting and in social contexts. A personal sense of peace attracts better energy (and results) than negativity and abusive self-talk would, so my recommendation that you consider the way you label yourself on social media is actually for your well-being.
Social media is a part of the world that isn't going anywhere and it can affect a person more than most even realize. You can make the most of it for positive results, so I encourage you to take a long look at the way you've been using your social media. If you're up for some reflection, get in touch with us and we will send you some questions that can help you make the most of your social media use to motivate you and keep your mind on a positive track.
You should and you can live your best life.
N.B. Social media addiction is a real and serious condition and Kintsu Consulting Group is in no way promoting the unhealthy use of social media. We believe that technology in moderation can enhance the way we work and live, however we also value and promote human interaction on a social level as a way to improve the quality of life one is living. To learn more about living a balanced life, get in touch with us today.
If you think that your use of social media might be excessive or you're not sure, follow this link to learn more about social media addiction.