Facebook Slut

Leo 2013

Yes, I admit it – I am a Facebook slut. I say yes to anyone who wants to be my ‘friend’. And now I have more friends than I can imagine inviting to any party! Many say you should set up pages, unfriend a lot of people you don’t really know, and be careful about everything online. And that is true. But if you are in a position of needing to promote yourself, there are myriad dilemmas.

online offline

from someecards.com

Online or Off?

Last weekend I attended a wonderful conference organised by the Scientific and Medical Network (SMN) and IONS – the Institute for Noetic Sciences. It was right up my street. Near death experiences, UFOs and all things weird were on the menu, along with a good dinner. It was brain food, even though most of it was not new to me.

Probably the most revolutionary talk for this audience was one about the web. Kate Anthony spoke about her online therapy practice. Instead of doom and gloom (yes, we know the internet can be dangerous for all sorts of reasons), she spoke of the necessity of embracing the web and using it to connect with younger generations to do good. She highlighted the real advantages that therapy on the net can provide. Even the benefits of anonymity and using texting for therapy with teenagers while sitting in the same room! I don’t want to discuss this in depth here – interesting though it is. But I do want to look at how we combine our online and offline lives – especially as there is an increasing need to be ‘out there’. Kate’s interesting talk raised a lot of discussion about this. Clearly in this group, most people see their online lives as being separate from their offline lives, but she views this differently. To her they are all one, and I am tending toward the same opinion.

Show me your best side

Leo is a sign that has to do with getting attention and being proud. Being in the spotlight. I sometimes wish I had more Leo energy to make this easier, but I know a lot of Leos also find being in the spotlight difficult. It depends on other aspects of a chart as to how comfortable this is. Many people, including Leos, find self-promotion or building any kind of profile very difficult, whether it be for work or for a dating site. Let’s face it – we all want to show our good side – especially the Leos!

image

from GoComics.com

Because I do a lot of branding for individuals and companies, I have thought a great deal about this area. I am convinced that showing your authenticity works to attract the people you need in your life, especially in your work. However, few of us dare to do this. A C.V. is often written with a potential new boss in mind and many people go through hoops trying to second-guess what she might like to read that will hit her hiring spot. But everyone looks you up on Facebook and Linked In etc. anyway these days, so you can’t escape others seeing many aspects of your persona – perhaps the more real you. Many are aware of this and are modifying their online behaviour to show their ‘best side’. I agree with Kate in that I think this doesn’t work and we are missing a trick here by being afraid of what people can discover about us.

But is it you?

I have done a lot of soul-searching, trying to get the balance of self-promotion right. So I try not to post things or write things online that I wouldn’t share face-to-face with most people. I post items on my personal FB page that I enjoy or that are interesting to me. The things that make me laugh. I also share things that I think might be of interest to others. All this says something about my personality. It may not be seen as professional, but I am getting to the stage where I want to attract clients who appreciate my humour, or my cat jokes and anything else about me. My whole online presence is me. Authentic? Well, pretty much – and I am working on my websites at the moment to make it more so. Is this dangerous? I have no idea. Nothing bad has happened to me yet! However, in the long run, what else can we do but work towards enjoying being ourselves?

Proud Daddy

Recently I listened to a short interview featuring Prince William – about the joys of being a father. Appropriate for the Leo time of the year, as Leo is associated with the father and with kings. On a good day Leo is a generous, loving sign. One that enjoys life. I was fascinated by the number of people that turned up outside the hospital to wait for the birth of William and Kate’s son George. And especially by the huge number of ordinary Londoners standing alongside the tourists. And even the ridiculous number of journalists, as this highlights the level of interest worldwide. William said that, even though he avoids the spotlight, he was on such a high, and, probably like any new father, he was so proud of his son that he was delighted to show him off. What George thought of this remains to be seen, as his chart indicates that he is a very private individual!

Although part of me agrees with the ‘what’s the big deal’ group and part of me sympathises with William and Kate’s need for privacy, I was glued to the screen. Of course, as an astrologer, I wanted to know George’s birth time, but I was also fascinated as to why so many people turned up and waited in line to catch a glimpse of the newborn George, and see the birth details displayed. What is the attraction?

autenticity

Cover of Private Eye Magazine from their site on the birth of Prince George!

I’m happy for you

I think part of it is patriotism, although that’s a Cancerian phenomenon, which was last month’s theme. That’s about being in with the in-crowd – belonging. Another part of it is a sort of competition for the information – being the first to spread news does it for some people. Particularly Geminis! But I think there is a Leo component. There is a wonderful happy energy. Many people are truly happy for William and Kate, and for the UK. In Dutch there is a word that is difficult to translate – ‘gunnen’. The translation is something like grant, allow or permit. But it is also used as a word that is the opposite of begrudge. It is something like generous, sincere or a Leo-like enthusiasm for hoping someone else gets what they want. The Londoners were ‘gunning’ William and Kate happiness. (Interesting that when we say in English that we are gunning for someone, we mean something completely different!)

There is something warm and fuzzy about being in Leo energy. It can be contagious. That’s why good rock stars – like the very Leonine Mick Jagger (yes, he is definitely a Leo), can produce such a good feeling in an audience. Mick is happy being himself on stage, strutting his stuff as he should. And it works! But many can be jealous of this fame. Jealous that he gets the attention. Angry that he earns so much money. However Mick can only be who he is and show his talents as only he can. He has learned to deal with what comes with being in the public eye. Many celebrities say that this is difficult. Prince George will have to learn this too. He can’t hide.

prince george

George as Grumpy Cat from the Huff Post comedy page UK.

But we can hide…

Or we think we can. By having a pretty FB page that shows our good side. By having a false identity or a Second Life Avatar. By being afraid to show our pride about what we are good at. By hiding our light under a bushel. We might be envious of others who have success or we might think that they are egotistical. It takes guts to get over the fear of success – yes – that is often a factor. What will people want from us when we are in the spotlight? Are we good enough? Who are we to deserve success? Will we be found out? The only answer is to find the balance of being sensible and being yourself. And by really being proud of your talents and specialness. Can you ‘gun’ yourself a happy and successful life? Dare you be the same person on the web as you are in real life? I hope so. Because I think it’s the only path possible in this day and age!

Oh… and I will keep being an FB slut – I like having friends! But I do have proper, respectable pages too – Juxtaposition, Strut Your Stuff and the Amsterdam School of Astrology all have them. And my book has its own page too – Using Astrology to Create a Vocational Profile. Please ‘like’ them if you like them! That way, they will have friends too.

Faye Blake-Cossar

Interesting Websites of the Month

This month’s link is to a video which is about 20 minutes long however I think it’s time well spent. It’s a lecture to graduates called on one site: 6 ways to make sure you don’t hate your life and actually enjoy it and stuff. The speaker is the author Neil Gaiman.

The second is a link to Kate Anthony’s work on the Appreciating cyberculture and virtual self within – problems associated with the web.

Kate: “We do believe, as an Institute, that embracing cyberculture and working to fully understand how and why people behave differently online in light of the lack of physical presence is one of the most important facets of our work.”

Quotes of the month

“When I took office [in 1993], only the high energy physicists had ever heard of what is called the World Wide Web . . . Now even my cat has its own [Web] page.” Bill Clinton, former U.S. President.

One of my favourite old cartoons also seems appropriate!

be yourself

Peter Steiner, American cartoonist – The New Yorker 1993.

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