I love social media. I really do. It’s what I do for a living and I honestly feel blessed to have a job I love to do. Since I moved 14 hours from home, it’s a fantastic way for me to keep up with family and friends. Plus, I have friends across the country (even the globe) who I met through social media. It’s had tons of benefits in my life!
That being said, social media can also be a pretty toxic environment. I can’t imagine there’s a person out there (who is or ever has been active on social media) who hasn’t gone on Instagram or Twitter or whatever else and felt bad about themselves afterward.
As someone who does love social media and sees amazing benefits in it, I wanted to write this post to inspire you to stop taking social media so seriously.
Don’t Allow It To Keep You From Your Goal
As an author, I’ve heavily invested in my social media presence. At least, I used to. My dream is to become an author. It’s something I’m serious about. In addition to my writing, I dedicated lots of time to build my brand as an author.
That’s all great to do, but it’s not the end-all, be-all. I’m a writer. That’s what I should have been focusing on front and center. I used to sit down to work on my business stuff and spend hours writing blog posts, preparing a newsletter, and crafting social media posts. I would find ways to get my name out there and engage online. It was time-consuming and left little time for writing.
Don’t get me wrong, those things are okay to do. But for me, I needed to find a better balance. I needed to make sure I prioritized my writing time over the time I spent to build my brand.
I want you to think about yourself. Are you spending more time promoting your brand than you are building it? How is that working out for your goals? Social media is important but it’s not the most important. Cut back if you need to. The world won’t stop turning if you don’t post a blog every week or an Instagram post every day. Focus on the stuff that really matters, your writing, your content, your message, or whatever it is your business is.
The Highlights Reel
I’m not revealing some huge truth here in stating that social media is simply a highlight reel of someone’s life. But it’s true. What people post online is simply a snapshot, a single moment in their life among millions of other moments.
I know how easy it is to see a post and wonder, How do they do it? or Why can I be that successful? It definitely makes you feel bad sometimes.
You have to remember that you aren’t seeing everything behind-the-scenes. You aren’t seeing the hours someone has spent pouring over their computer to get their words in or the time spent away from family to hustle their side business.
When you’re cognizant of the fact that what you’re seeing isn’t the hard and fast truth, you release how you let it affect you.
It’s so easy to compare yourself to someone else on social media. Let’s take Instagram for example. It’s easy to wonder why someone has more likes on their posts than you do or more followers. Frankly, those are just numbers and they’re numbers that really don’t matter.
Instagram recently announced they were rolling out a new upgrade that eliminates the number of likes per post from the public. That’s huge. Some people are panicking. It seems like a really silly thing to get upset over.
At the end of the day, the numbers don’t matter. Likes don’t translate to book sales. Follows don’t equal more subscribers. That’s not how it works, yet we’re conditioned to think it does.
What Social Media Should Be About
Social media was created for one simple goal: connection. It’s time we get back to that, really get back to that. We should be aiming to share content that will interest others and show them a piece of our lives. We should be open to starting conversations about that content. We should share wins, share thoughts, and just share time together.
Don’t take social media too seriously. It can be so damaging to your mental health. Be free with it and let it fill you up, not bring you down.