As humans, we are constantly evolving and growing. I’m not the same person I was five years ago, let alone a day ago. We’re perpetually moving forward, whether we accept that or not.
The change prominent to me as I type these words is my relationship with social media. The ways I think about my roles in the online sphere vary drastically from my mentality a season ago. My tone has changed. My schedule of sharing has changed. The entire focus of what I do has shifted toward a sporadic, sparse presence.
How I view and utilize social media now is, in my opinion, more balanced and organic. It’s less “productive,” but it’s more human. I’m trying to rediscover the “social” behind the media rather than contributing to the 24/7 cycle of content.
If you too want to change your social media perspective, you’ve come to the right place. You’re meant to be here. I’m honored to share my thoughts with you.
my past mentality toward social media.
Let’s just say I hopped on the bandwagon when I bought my domain and watched the cursor fade and pop on the monitor. I had a vision in my head of all I wanted to accomplish, the progress I could make if I stayed consistent.
Any scroll through social media, you see the abundant number of people trying to “make it big.” We’re talking about “influencers.” Yes, the people who post YouTube videos and strive for clicks and views. Those who snap photos of products and staged photo shoots with the latest lights, cameras, and equipment.
I speak in general terms, as I don’t want to square off a strict box that describes everyone online. However, we’re in an age where you truly can earn money online working from home on your own schedule. There are a lucky few who have built consistent audiences that garner support, enough to live off residual income alone.
These many influencers inspired me. Why can’t I do the same thing? Then I wouldn’t have to answer to a boss or sit in a cubicle 9-5. I could write about and share what I care about, and the people will come. Sure, it’s a slow process, but it’s bound to happen…right?
the reality behind the filter.
Simply put, over my nine months of reading up on how to monetize a blog, and all the right things to do and write, I figured some magical day would arise where something I did could catalyze growth. I’m someone who, upon becoming interested in something new, studies that subject extensively.
Could I have done more? Sure. I didn’t start a podcast or a YouTube channel. Nor was I beating down the doors of every person for a sponsorship. Investing in fancy cameras to shoot my own pretty photos never happened.
What I did do was dedicate every spare moment to reaching out to other social media people. Spending plenty of time liking and commenting on others’ posts. I wrote blog posts and shared on Instagram on a strict schedule. I shared everything on every platform I could. My “niche” gradually tried to become narrower to hopefully evoke interest.
I’ve only made about thirty dollars on Adsense. My number of email subscribers hasn’t budged for months. I’ve maintained the same number of fluctuating Instagram followers for most of the year. People aren’t lined up outside my door. The number and analytics, recorded permanently on the ambiguous internet cloud, tell me, “Don’t quit your day job, kid.”
life moves on.
I could easily beat myself up for these numbers screaming in my face. But I know I’m not alone. Of all the people you do regularly see online, they represent a very small fraction of every blog or social media account trying to pursue the same goals I was. They work their tails off, building up personal brands and selling yourself to other brands.
In retrospect, every statistic pasted onto your profile is so minute, literally changing every second. They’re arbitrary means of measuring success and reach. As I reflect upon my life and all I am, those numbers on social media won’t make a sliver of a dent. Numbers may represent people, but too often, we think of them as a score to beat. The one with the highest score wins it all.
Other measurements of “worth” are overbearing enough. Why throw social media into the equation? Turning everything we create into a business, we lose our humanity, our authenticity. What was meant to be fun and impactful started to become more like an obligation. Hopefully I was still making a difference, but how I felt doing it was a public-relations-type mask.
People who love doing what they do, keep at it. It’s beautiful to see you flourish in that realm. But if it’s not meant for you, don’t force it. That doesn’t count as failure; it’s growth. The growth that really matters.
my social media today.
Here’s where I stand with my social media presence: I’m not going away anytime soon, but I’m just doing me. I only write and share content when I feel really inspired. It could be weeks without anything, and then a spur of words all at once. Wherever my soul wanders, I will take you along.
I won’t be forcing connections that I’m not drawn to. There will be no sense of “selling myself” or trying to make everything beautiful and cohesive. What you see is what you get. The effort and pride in my work hasn’t left, but the way I speak is more honest. It doesn’t beg for attention or approval.
Rather than dwelling upon the number of likes and views I receive, I don’t even look or care to check. It doesn’t even cross my mind as something vital. If I’m not using the latest Nikon and version of Photoshop, I know a random swarm of people won’t hunt me down. Whoever is meant to come will come. I’ll resonate with some but not with others. ‘Tis life.
For platforms that tote themselves as a means of connection, we spend far too often building up facades and seeking approval from names on a screen. My new goals align with building human connections, really expressing myself as if I am baring my soul with another soul, really focusing on what ignites my passion and cannot help but come forth as the written word.
Make social media social; a tool to bring us together, to break down the barriers, to form connections not otherwise possible. Life’s too short to not share your fullest self, unashamed and unfiltered.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie