4.29.2013

Overcoming your aversion to social media: "You do not have to be online all day long to be effective."

by Jesse Muhammad

If you have an aversion to social media, I’m sure hearing young people talk about Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram can be somewhat a turn off to you, pointless or even intimidating.

It’s easy to just say, “That’s for those youngsters.” However, that may be a defense mechanism you’re using to mask the fact that you just don’t understand what is going on; this mindset might have even caused you to attack young people for spending so much time social networking. The blessing in all of this is that someone can help you.

Over the years I have received numerous emails and calls from those older than myself who wanted to know how to setup and manage a successful blog and gain a better understanding of the benefits of social media.

In the spirit of humility and a sincere desire to help, I walked them through the fundamentals. I didn’t talk down to them like a “know it all” and many have went on to become very savvy and others are steadily improving. As the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan wrote in the Self-Improvement Study Guides, “Practice refines the theory.”

When you have a focused agenda, social media can be a beneficial tool. Take the 79-years-young Minister Farrakhan’s use of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for example. He once tweeted that we “dragged him kicking and screaming” to the Internet and now he loves it. When you read his tweets do you see him talking about the hottest television series? How about what he ate the night before? Or what suit he’s wearing today? Not at all.

His account is an extension of his mission: Resurrecting the mentally and spiritually dead. He’s posting thought-provoking quotes, giving in-depth divine responses to questions and posting images that reflect his continuing service to humanity. He’s engaging people across the globe at the push of a button and even members of the Nation of Islam have expressed their gratefulness to have this unprecedented access to him.

If you’re ready to overcome your aversion to social media, follow these 3.5 steps:

1. Get with the youth: I’m sure there is at least one young person in your city whose neck is always at a 45 degree angle looking at their smartphone. Ask them to teach you the basics of Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Invite them to present a workshop at the local mosque and study group.

2. Determine Your Why: After you have grasp of the basics, decide which platform you want to use first and why you would like to do use it. The Internet is full of “noise” that can detour you. Do you just want to just follow Minister Farrakhan? Do you want to connect with others in your expertise? Do you have a business venture you would like to get more exposure for? If your WHY is big enough, it will fuel your desire to stick to it. If you start and stop, that means your BUT is too big.

3. Give it a shot: Go ahead and login to your new accounts and start posting something! If you run into an issue don’t be hesitant to call on your teenage mentor. And no you do not have to be online all day long to be effective.

3.5. Follow Farrakhan: Since you’re just getting started, you definitely want to follow Minister Farrakhan on Twitter (@LouisFarrakhan), Facebook (Facebook.com/OfficialMinisterFarrakhan) and Instagram (LouisFarrakhan). You do that and you’re definitely starting off on the right foot! See you online!

(Jesse Muhammad is an award-winning writer and blogger based in Houston. You can follow him on Twitter @BrotherJesse and send your social media questions to him via email at jesse.muhammad@gmail.com.)

This article originally appeared in The Final Call Newspaper, Vol. 32 No. 30