Get over it! Social media doesn’t owe you a thing!

As the father of identical twins, I wonder if my dad simply grew tired of repeating himself and so decided to keep his lessons simple and few in number. Whatever the reason may have been, he focused on only a handful and he drove them home at every opportunity.

By all accounts my father (he’s almost 80) has led a good life and a wall of service plaques and awards attest to his community leadership and contributions. It’s is my father who more than anyone, taught me about community and how it is the core of that good life. He never expected recognition for his efforts. Oh, he got some, but he never expected it or expressed regrets when it didn’t happen.

“The world doesn’t owe you a thing son, just remember that.” – Gilbert H. Ducharme

I think he said that to me just about every day. Which indicates to me that I might have whined a lot in my teens about how the world was so unfair – who doesn’t at that age?

I’m reminded of all this by a straight-up post from Amber Naslund regarding social reciprocity this week. Amber has the ability to wield a keyboard as would Thor his hammer and I love it when she decides its time to make a point clear as crystal – by smashing vases. In this case, the point she’s making is that you don’t deserve anything from social. You don’t deserve RTs, likes, comments, follows or friends and she’s right.

Don’t confuse something as important as human dignity and the rights we all should have with what you think you could have. A sense of self entitlement leads to nothing, but regret and spiritual erosion. For example, whining about people not following you or unfollowing you is self entitlement writ large. The only real control you have in your interactions with other people is how you react to any given situation. How you react speaks volumes about who you are.

What has value in this world is earned and never deserved. No one owes you “electric karma” and thinking you deserve it is a recipe for disappointment. We don’t get to decide in this life who will like us and who won’t and the scale which determines who we like is a sliding one. Having to earn respect is what makes gaining it worthwhile.

I personally believe that if someone (a real person) takes the time to tweet or message me, I should respond. When it comes to business, it’s an imperative and not an option. However, I don’t friend or follow or RT people because I think I have to. Each time I choose to take one of these actions, I do so because I find value in what they offer.

The currency of social media derives value from the contributions we all make to the community. That currency has no central bank or IMF dictating its worth. You are not a dollar bill, you are a person and you have much to offer the communities you are part of. Any value you gain in return will depreciate and not appreciate if you feel you are entitled to it.