Image: ALEXANDRA WYMAN/WIREIMAGE via Mashable
Since I heard the news of Robin Williams death earlier this week, everything seems a little....well more and less. Less funny and more sad. There have been more tears and less laughter, although I have to admit I’ve laughed through my tears on at least one occasion. The volume of press coverage and social media tributes to the comedian have been astounding, which is becoming more and more common. Social media's importance and relevance is strongly evident when someone, especially someone as well-known and high-profile as Robin Williams, passes away. It’s been fascinating and touching to watch as people around the country remember him and share how he touched their lives.
Unfortunately there has been a down side too. His daughter Zelda has been the target of insensitive comments and photos surrounding the death of her father. Her response to the negativity was absolutely brilliant. I cheered for her silently as I read her response, which you can read here.
As someone who admittedly has a “love hate” relationship with social media, there are plenty of important life moments I have kept private and personal. I absolutely recognize the value social media plays in our personal and professional lives. I talk with clients and colleagues about how to best utilize it on almost a daily basis. However, it can be a negative experience too, as Zelda unfortunately experienced this week. Thankfully, her colleagues came to her aid by expressing their support and thus far outweighing the ridiculous insults she was forced to endure.
In the moment last night when I was reading about her desire to quit Twitter and Instagram I realized this was an amazing life (and business) teaching moment. She demonstrated the beauty and importance of being 100% authentic. Not just in our use of social media, but in how we live our lives and brand our businesses.
Social media is often used as a powerful marketing and public relations tactic.
With that great power comes great responsibility. It also requires sensibility, which Zelda so beautifully demonstrated. Social media can’t create something new or make a brand something it’s not, whether we’re talking about a company or an individual, because it’s a mirror of what is already there. As Zelda experienced, it allows us to share pieces of ourselves with the rest of the world, and engage with people we've never even met, which 15 years ago was unthinkable.
Kudos Zelda for sharing your authentic life with us. Your dad would be proud.