How to Create a Friendly and Approachable Online Profile

Head down, production up

If you suffer from social anxiety disorder (SAD), connecting with others online may be intimidating. You may waste time-wording and re-wording Facebook posts, worry about why someone didn't respond to your email or you may simply avoid online networking altogether. However, with practice, it is possible to learn how to build rapport and strengthen relationships through online contact.

Creating a More Friendly Social Media Profile

A key aspect of successfully communicating online is presenting yourself in a manner that makes others want to get to know you better. Below are five tips to help you achieve this goal.

  1. Be approachable.Make sure that your profile on social networking sites is welcoming. A simple headshot of you smiling works well, especially if you will be mixing business and personal contacts. For more casual connections, a photo of you doing something that you enjoy, such as a hobby or sport, is a way to share a bit about yourself.
  2. Be yourself.Being yourself online means presenting accurate details about yourself and behaving in a manner that is consistent with who you are. Treat online acquaintances with as much respect as you would people you meet in real life.
  3. Be positive.As much as you should be yourself online, it is also important to consider the impact of your overall tone. If you have a habit of thinking negatively (which can be especially true for those who suffer from SAD), your online mood could turn others away. Practice being positive and having an optimistic attitude when interacting online.
  4. Show all sides of your personality.Online communication gives you the chance to show all aspects of your personality, so be sure to do so. What books do you like to read? What causes do you support? How do you spend your free time? Show all sides of who you are and others will have more ways to connect with you.
  1. Be careful how much you expose.Although you want to show all sides of your personality, also consider who will be viewing your status updates. What you post for friends might not be appropriate for family or co-workers to view. In general, never post anything that you would not be comfortable having the general public read.
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