In 1965, John Lennon wrote a song called Help. It had a cheerful tune, an upbeat…beat, and when the Beatles sang it and then made a movie of the same name, it seemed like they couldn’t smile widely enough. But when you study the life of John Lennon, you learn that he was at a low point in his troubled life, and he actually really did need help. Instead of asking, he made a song out of it that people still sing and hear around the world.
Why are we so afraid to ask for help? It’s not just a Social Media question, is it? There’s the common myth (or is it truth) about men refusing to read instructions or ask for directions. I know plenty of women who, as they slave in a hot kitchen over a huge meal, insist that, “No, they don’t need any help.”
It’s actually ok to ask for help though. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed. It doesn’t mean you’re weak or unaccomplished. It doesn’t mean you’re dumb or just plain not cut out for whatever you’re doing.
This is something you need to internalize if you want to engage online.
It’s not a dumb question
I’ve talked here before about how utterly confused I was about the online space when I started. Heck, let’s narrow it down to Twitter, shall we? I did not know the following.
What is this “RT”?
What does h/t stand for?
What is this #ff? And is it the same as #followfriday?
Why do you need the hashtag?
Why can’t I direct message this person. Also, why would I want to?
The online world is confusing, plain and simple. It doesn’t really make sense. There are no rules, there are just “best practices,” and even those are up for constant (and sometimes passionate) debate. So if you are feeling lost or confused or overlooked or under-replied-to or invisible, ask for help. Don’t feel ashamed about it, either. Because you know what? I can guarantee you that someone else has that exact same question, and if you get an answer, then you can help someone else.
And in life…
The online world can also be a place where your feelings get truly hurt. It can be a place where your hard work comes to naught. It can be disheartening. Or, perhaps, in your life beyond the screen, you are experiencing things that are trying your soul.
Ask for help.
Give someone the privilege of turning your frown upside down. Give someone the satisfaction of using something they learned to lift you up a little. Even demigods need help sometimes. You aren’t alone in that regard.
This is post #34 in the Engagement Series. I hope it is helping you. You’re why I’m working on this, you know 🙂