To clear up any possible confusion from the onset, this is not a story about a salacious photo of me in an uncompromising situation being posted on Instagram. If that’s why you’re here, you will leave disappointed. However, I hope that you will still stay and hang out for a bit.
Recently, I woke up to a comment on one of my Instagram photos. Like everyone else, I enjoy receiving likes and comments, so I go into the photo and read what it says. The person wrote, “I see you’re a self-proclaimed writer. I’ve been wanting to pick up some editing work on the side. Interested?”
For those who are unfamiliar, I’ve recently started a career as a freelance writer. As with any freelance writer, or any other entrepreneur, I’m always looking to book new projects. From the wording of this comment, I wasn’t sure if this person was trying to book me as an editor or asking me to hire him? Why would I need to hire him for editing work when that’s one of the services I provide?
Rather than go back and forth by leaving comments on Instagram, I sent him an email. The response I received was surprising and unexpected:
“Thanks for your reply! I was offering myself as an editor for your writing. Your Instagram bio says you’re a writer, but then it has two grammatical errors, so I saw a potential need.”
Other parts of his email have been redacted, but to sum it up in my own words, he respectfully noted that if I’m going to call myself a writer, at the very least, my Instagram bio should be grammatically sound. By doing so, potential clients will take me seriously. In closing, hiring him would help me achieve all the above.
For reference, below is a screen shot of said Instagram bio with grammatical errors still intact:
To be clear, the person’s email was not snarky or condescending. It was written matter-of-factly, which I can appreciate, even though his feedback was unsolicited.
However, my initial reactions were to feel defensive, dismissive and angry. I said to myself, “Who is this guy and why is he all up in my Instagram? And what gives him the authority to spell check my bio and then want me to hire him? Fall back, son! It’s just Instagram!”
But then I thought, this complete stranger actually has a valid point. Ego check.
I responded and told him that I appreciate his feedback and that he is correct in noting the errors in my bio. From there, I thought for a few minutes about the random and odd situation that had just occurred. Clearly, my Instagram life is just so real that this guy couldn’t resist leaving a comment, but what was the deeper meaning behind all of this?
First, I don’t even remember when I wrote my Instagram bio. And whenever it was, I didn’t take it very seriously. However, this person obviously did. Maybe I should take a second look at it? If I say that I’m a writer, I should be able to handle my own Instagram bio, right?
Secondly, it reminded me that any place you stake your claim online has the potential to be more than just Instagram, just Facebook or just Twitter. Seeing that I previously managed the social media marketing strategy for a restaurant chain, I know this better than most.
People have developed lucrative careers and businesses have grown by carefully curating their social media presence. I have the opportunity to do the same, so I need to be more deliberate in how I showcase myself and my talent, if I want to fully realize this potential. If you check now, you’ll see that I’ve already deleted my old Instagram bio. This dude really got me out here scared!
Lastly, you never know where your next opportunity, or critique, may originate, so you need to always be prepared. This guy caught me completely off-guard. Granted this wasn’t a work opportunity, but it made me think about always being ready. Not being prepared may cost me a check one day! I’m not about that life.
I know that was kind of deep for an unsolicited Instagram comment and I don’t agree with how he pitched his editing services, but I figured I’d give the situation some thought rather than just brushing it off. Also, oddly enough, this is not the first time I’ve been randomly checked by a stranger. It’s like the world is telling me to step my game up when I’m just trying to chill and be average. That was a joke.
To wrap this up on one last unserious note, I usually find a way to relate my life experiences to music and this time is no different. Today, I feel like I can finally relate to Hov when he said, “The streets is watching!”
Sh*t is real out here on these internets, people! Grammar up. Peace.