Let’s face it, we have reached an all-time high in narcissism in the United States. Facebook and Twitter seem to fuel the fire, giving some users the impression the world cares what they ate for lunch. This behavior is ruining the online experience for many experienced users of social media sites and scaring new users away completely. All because narcissistic users more than a dozen times per day share articles and information that are irrelevant drivel at best and self-promotional spam at worst.
What’s the solution?
First, don’t feed the trolls. Unfollow people who share too much. Disconnect from people on Linkedin who over-share. If they ask you why you un-followed them, simply respond that they share too much and that it makes it difficult to keep tabs on the rest of your network. (No need to call them attention hogs.)
Second, validate good sharing. When someone in your network takes the time to find and share an article that you really appreciate, that strikes a chord, let them know. And pass the article along to your network, giving the original sharer credit.
Third, don’t opt out completely. Some of the most fascinating people I know aren’t using social media because they can’t stand narcissistic behavior. Linkedin would be a better place if it featured the ideas of people with unique ways of seeing the world, if only they were willing to share their perspectives.
Most professionals want to be liked by their peers, they don’t want to be seen as selfish and narcissistic. Sharing online can seem a risk, but that’s not true, the bigger risk is staying silent, preventing your network and your potential ideal clients from ever finding you.
How much should you share?
Ten times a day is far too much. Once a month, not enough. A few times per week is a great place to start. As long as your posts aren’t all self-promotional, you will never be seen as a narcissist, but instead as a helpful professional generous enough to share your insights with those fortunate enough to be in your network.