by RANDY

The Internet, more specifically, the way you use social media can make or break you.

That’s casting a wide net, but what it  can really do is sink you into a dark depression, make you question your life choices at 2 a.m. and my persnal favorite – make you feel like you’ve wasted your time going to school because some high school dropout from the worst neighborhood in America is taking pictures with $10,000 in cash, while you’re dreading checking your account balance the day after the holiday weekend.

Over the last few months, I’ve documented the posts of some of my Facebook friends and several people that I follow on Instagram, and came to the conclusion that most people not only fail to realize the power social media has, they also invite loads of negativity into their world for no reason. They share posts that upset them constantly, like pictures of people they really don’t like in the real world and waste hours each day going through quotes, looking to find one that fits their current mood. We get so caught up with what’s going on around us, that we box our social media searches and interests into things that don’t really benefit us in the least bit, while there is so much more that we can be doing.

The social media monster can get the best of anyone if you allow it. No matter how much you have, someone has more, irrespective of what it is. We follow people we don’t even like, just to see what they have going on in their lives and then end up feeling like crap after they’ve posted pictures of their new car or about their new business venture. This happens to both men and women, regardless of your position in life. But what you have to remember is that social media only shows you the highlights of everyone’s life. It’s like only watching the Sportscenter clips the morning after a game. All you get are the dunks, touchdowns and big plays. You don’t get the full story behind the posts. In most cases we would never take some of the risks these people take on a daily basis to get where they are.

While there is that side of social media that puts you in a dark place, a lot of good can also come from using social media as well, if you work it the right way.

I’m no multimillion dollar mogul by any stretch, but I have had the opportunity to share ideas with some of the brightest minds and influencers through social media. The internet has made the world a much smaller place. You can DM someone an idea about something and it could potentially be the thing that changes your life forever. You can start businesses, blogs or whatever you want to in a matter of minutes. In my short time of understanding how to use social media for my benefit, I’ve connected with reps from Adidas, ESPN, fitness enthusiasts and other people from smaller entities that I have an interest in. All from tags and DM’s. It’s imperative that you get your brand out beyond The Bahamas. This country isn’t big enough to sustain everyone’s dream, so you have to appeal to a wider audience than just the people that follow you.

Follow people that inspire and motivate you, and follow them for the right reasons. Stop wasting time on pages that only talk about celebrity gossip, who’s dating who, and who doesn’t like the other. There is much more on social media to be explored and much more we can learn from.

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