Thoughts on Social Media and Supporting Women in Business

Do we really want to see others succeed?

By Lori Brand

Riddle me this…. I spend half a day creating content for a blog post for my business. The finished product is quite informative, even to my own critical eye. Posted on my website, cross-post to Facebook and LinkedIn. It gets 4 likes. The next day I posted a picture of the tuna tacos I ate for lunch and it gets 220 likes. What gives ladies? And it’s not just me. As a member of several women’s networking groups, I see women constantly posting business invites, product launches, seminars, you name it, and none of them (except for the same small handful of women) seem to garner a whole lot of support, at least in the “like” category. Post a pic of a buzzfeed recipe, your kids, or a sordid reference to a cheating spouse and the likes are off the charts.

With social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn being such an integral part of our lives, as women in business, or stay at home moms, spiritual sisters in the universe; do we really want to see other women succeed? Well, it’s complicated. We want to see other women succeed, but only to the degree that it doesn’t tread on our already fragile depiction of our accomplishments in the business world, or only to the degree that it does not cast an even more negative pallor against our own (perhaps compromised) sense of self worth in what is still largely a man’s world,at least as far as business and money are concerned. We are conditioned to have to appear uber capable against the archetypal male wage earner, and anything less would be, well, just that.

As women, we often unfairly categorize our wage earning ability as “bread-winner” or “support staff” and our position on that playing field largely determines the support we may offer our universal sister, at least on social media. The logic is pretty simple….(and it goes like this), “If your success makes me feel bad about my life’s choices, I won’t give you a like.” If we somehow feel like we can’t compete, then we don’t need to be reminded of our inadequacies by reading another women’s super post of her accomplishments in the business world.

When the stay at home mom, barely able to sustain her multi level marketing business due to the demands of home and family, reads about Jane who just launched her wildly successful natural food line, an imbalanced comparison to her own business success may leave her feeling frustrated or inadequate. And in a society where a digital presence is increasingly more important, do we really want to give a “like” to someone who appears to be surging ahead, if someone else feels like they’re lagging behind? It appears not.

Despite the team we play for, aren’t we somehow sabotaging our own success and the success of all women by failing to embrace the choices we have made, no matter those choices? We know best that life is full of twists, turns, and changes. Some planned, some unforeseen. Second careers, second marriages, second families. New friends, old friends, new adventures and new challenges. New failures along the way too, but always a chance for a reboot and a chance to start again. And wouldn’t it be so much easier if as women, we embraced each other’s changes, successes, and failures unequivocally, without fear, judgment and comparison? You never know what lies down the road and when you will cross paths with one of your sisters.

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