Passion or Obsession?
No, I’m not talking Calvin Klein scents. Actually, I’m putting forth a question to you.
“Passion” has become one of those buzzwords in the online world. Your blog must wring the passion out of your heart and then out of the hearts of your readers. Your tweets must be borne out of passion. Your Facebook status updates…well, you get the idea. In the process of offering all of this advice, I fear we have lost, or at least forgotten, what passion really means. We have sacrificed Shakespeare for Twilight.
Wherein lies the confusion?
For many people, obsession and passion seem like the same thing, just like many confuse infatuation with true love. If you are obsessed with social media, you never want to stop tweeting or blogging. You can’t put your smart phone down. You can’t stop checking your website traffic and Klout score. It is all you think about. Passion can look, on the surface, very similar. There is an ongoing drive. There is little chance of the fire of interest burning out.
You can most certainly be obsessed with social media as a tool or as an occupying of your time. But you can’t be passionate about social media. You can be passionate about what social media can help you accomplish. You can be passionate about where social media can take you. But can a person be passionate about social media in and of itself? No. The endless drive to achieve some sort of online celebrity or success falls squarely into the category of obsession.
It comes down to motives
Just like in any court case, perhaps the most significant factor to consider here is motives. Passion isn’t self-aggrandizing. When pursuing a passion, you’re not thinking “what’s in it for me?” You’re doing it because you HAVE to. Because it’s in your blood and your bones and your soul. And usually, the objectives of your passion are bigger than yourself.
The person obsessed with social media often has motives squarely in the area of accomplishing goals of the self. She tweets to get followers or increase her Klout score. She blogs to get subscribers or visitors. This is social media rooted in constant activity and staying always in motion, like a shark swimming to stay alive. The path consists of one rung after another, and all of these steps lead to some level of presumed accomplishment.
Are you passionate or obsessed?
Are you bleeding your heart out on your blog because you really feel it’s necessary to share these things or are you after that one big blog post that will have your friends telling you what a great post it was? What is the point of spending one single minute at this? Do you want it? Or do you need it?
Are you using social media as a means to an end, or is social media the end and the means?
Many who claim passion for social are masking what really is obsession with self-worth, self-accomplishment, and self-discovery.
And I believe that passionately.