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Are You More Friendly on Social Media Than You Are In Person?

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By Adunola Adeshola

I love when I see women supporting each other on social media. I love seeing women retweet each other on Twitter. I love seeing women comment on each other’s posts on Instagram with “yasss” and several heart eyes emojis. I personally love the words of affirmation and compliments of beauty I often receive from women on Snapchat when I snap my latest selfie.

The love from women on social media is prevalent, beautiful and even overwhelming at times. So imagine how shocked I am whenever I am slapped in the face by the reality that some women are nicer on social media than they are in person.

I encounter more unfriendly women in person, than I do friendly women. So much so, that whenever I meet friendly women, I’m always pleasantly surprised and they’re immediately bumped up to the top of my “You’re nice and I like you.” list. But why is it that many women are not as friendly in person?

As a member of a women empowerment organization, I’m always challenged to support, uplift and empower women no matter the woman and no matter where I am. Honestly, it’s not always easy, and there are moments that I could have chosen better words and engaged in better actions, but I’m inclined to hold myself accountable when it comes to how I treat other women.

I get it, though. Everyone isn’t part of a women empowerment organization. But with hashtags like #womenempowerment underneath more than 1 million posts on Instagram and #womensupportingwomen following closely behind underneath more than 700k posts, it would seem that you would be inclined to hold yourself accountable to how you treat women too? Maybe the problem is, it sounds nice to say but we don’t really know how to truly practice it in our everyday lives.

Here are 3 simple ways to be kind and friendly to other women you don’t know, or at the very least, get on other women’s “You’re nice and I like you.” lists.

1. Don’t Stare, Smile

This is a huge epidemic. Staring at someone you don’t know, especially for an extended amount of time is not okay. If you’re staring at me long enough for me to look at you because I feel your eyes on me, you need to stop.

Sure, it happens. You’re staring at a woman’s nice shoes or gorgeous hair, or because her outfit is well put together – and she happens to notice you staring. When that does happen, smile. It doesn’t have to be a wide smile with all your teeth, but a little smile goes a long way – even if you never actually speak to the woman.

2. Don’t Be Silent, Introduce Yourself

Social media has the tendency to make us feel like we know people we don’t know. We know the names of friends of friends we’ve never met. We know how they look and what makes them laugh, thanks to Snapchat, and we know their social media accounts, thanks to Instagram. But why is it when we see them in person, we look the other way or get amnesia? Of course, in some settings it may be inappropriate to say, “Hey, my name is Adunola. I saw you on Crystal’s snap last week.”

However in other cases, if your mutual friend is around, you should speak up and introduce yourself, especially if you follow the person on social media. It’s impolite not to speak if you do follow the person and like their photos ever so often. There’s no point keeping up with someone on social media, if you’re not going to speak in-person.

If someone does go out of their way to speak to you first, be sure not to be dry, pompous, shady or difficult. Mustering up the courage to speak to someone you don’t know is a major task for some people. Always go the extra mile to be friendly in your response.

3. Be the Same Person You Are on Social Media in Real Life

It was such a shame when I met an inspiring Proverbs 31 woman (as she puts in her bio) who’s nothing like she appears to be on social media, in person. On social media, she lends advice, she smiles, she comments on others’ photos and she retweets amazing uplifting content on her timeline.

But in-person she stares, she doesn’t speak and she appears to have zero friendly bones in her body. Certainly, she’s probably everything she appears to be on social media to her friends and loved ones, at least I would hope, but your personality and demeanor matters even more to those who don’t know you.

When you’re not nice and friendly, it makes others want to continue not to know you, despite the fact that you’re probably a phenomenal human being. It leaves a bad taste in other people’s mouths and it hinders you from connecting and growing with women who you might actually have more in common with than you think.

Of course you won’t click with every person you meet, and you’ll have moments when you fall short of being friendly and nice, but at the very least, you now know three simple ways to be nice and friendly to women you don’t know. So, the praising of resting bitch face needs to stop. It’s 2017 and it’s not attractive or cool to be perceived as someone who always looks mad, upset and unapproachable.

It’s time to hold yourself accountable. As young adults and women, our reputation is everything. Be the kind of woman other women want to introduce to their network.

Want more of Adunola? Follow her on Instagram, @adunolaadeshola.