You may get frustrated at times with social media requirements and demands. Individuals will tell you that is a normal reaction. However, you should examine whether you are letting social media use you, or whether you are using social media.

Social Media in general invites others into your world by “finding you” and then determining the extent to which someone wants to delve further into your affairs and interests. It encourages you to share information—the extent of that is at your discretion initially, and then may become part of “history” and “public domain.”

Parents invite social media into their private spaces by sharing photos of themselves, children, their home, their car, etc. Social media will shower you with images of individuals’ meals, interests, relationships, medical conditions, etc. You may wonder if anything remains private when the eagle eyes of social media pierce the privacy veil. Oftentimes, an individual’s confidential information is not shared by them but by others–trusted friends, family, school mates, or colleagues or untrusted gawkers, rumor mongers, and acquaintances, etc.

You are in control of social media. It is difficult sometimes to remember that. When you post you are sharing information indefinitely. The posting may resurrect itself years down the road. It may engender a variety of feelings on your end and on those who view it. Your long-term commitment is implied.

Expectations become responsibilities if you do not close the door. If you aspire to be an influencer, then connections, postings, and a constant presence to the extent possible for you becomes an expectation. Influencers must devote time and energy to the goal of influencer to be successful.

If you are on a social media platform where individuals choose to reach out to become part of your network or “friends” you may find that the requests proliferate. You may or may not have knowledge about those with whom you decide to connect. Some connections are needy or friendly, reaching out to say hello or ask to get acquainted. You may not want to reciprocate. The question that you must answer is why connect if you have no interest in communicating if you are not seeking to be or are an influencer. Connections who choose to learn more about you may seem to infringe on your time, even though you chose to connect with them.

If you have chosen to work with a non-profit or other company where social media is part of the work, you can limit your interaction to just that the company or non-profit requires. That limited interaction may be enough for you without setting up a personal connection with random people. The work itself will draw individuals to you, and you should be prepared for that.

It is difficult to draw the line in social media. It is easy to have your time disappearing through reading, responding, posting, or listening. Only you will have to become mindful and identify when your social media interactions become excessive.