Stepping back from social media
Today I am talking about social media and why I have decided to take a little step back.
When I started my blog in 2017, I read numerous articles about follower numbers on platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Pintrest and how, to be successful at blogging you had to have a zillion followers!
I knew I would need some sort of platform to promote my blog, so would have to open some social accounts to start ‘self-promoting’. Off I went, opening accounts on all the main social channels, with the grand old following of ZERO! Daunted was an understatement!
Over the coming months, my channels grew. My main area of focus was Instagram. I’d read an article that explained, if you were going to start blogging and wanted to work with brands, the magic following number was 2k; and the even sweeter spot 5k! Gulp, how on earth would I go from zero to 5k?
With the changes to the Instagram algorithm, I also read how hard people were finding it to grow their accounts. The advice, be consistent and post daily; 5-10 posts if you could! What? Who on earth has time to do that? Is Instagram really now a full time job?
I tried to heed this advice, and until about two months ago, I was posting daily! That was before I burnt myself out with the pressure of building a following on social media! Yes, my account grew quickly, but I was exhausted and finding both my blog and Instagram a chore!
I was getting caught up in the ‘likes and follow’ game and was constantly comparing myself to what others were doing! I was no longer enjoying my blog. It felt like I needed the approval of complete strangers that my content was good enough.
It also began to affect relationships. At this time, I was trying to rebuild what I can call at best a fractured relationship. I realised, how could I begin to heal the crack if all my time and focus was spent trying to achieve ‘likes’ and ‘acceptance’ from people I didn’t even know!
I work full-time! My evenings had become a drain and my relationship wasn’t getting the attention it deserved.
It was a pivotal moment for me, when I actually woke up to the realities of social media. Why was I even feeling the need to seek the approval from a totally distorted view of reality anyway?
Then the dreaded follow-unfollow started to become more prevalent! This seriously annoys me! If you haven’t heard of this, it is basically a tactic people deploy to gain followers.
They will follow a large number of accounts on a daily basis, just to unfollow a few days later when they have achieved an increase in their follower number! And this isn’t just personal accounts! I have seen many a business also using this tactic – please sack your social media team immediately! I as a consumer would be much more likely to buy from you had you not have just followed me to only unfollow a few days later. Yes, I understand it’s like a little tap on the shoulder “here we are”, but why unfollow your customers? I do not get it?
For me, this is just self absorption at its greatest. These people are neither interested in your content, nor do they want to help others grow. It’s all about them.
So what did I do? I stopped!
I am no longer a slave to social media! Yes, I still post, but now, my social postings are inline with my blog – which is the main focus for me and what I enjoy the most! But what impact has this had? My following has slowed down dramatically and my engagement has taken a huge dip. But, I am happy and feel more balanced. I no longer feel drained and I am spending time with the people that matter to me.
There is more to life than numbers on a social account, and let’s be real; how many of us actually have the time to invest that much, and why should we?
I know there are stories of people becoming over night hits, but it’s highly unlikely that will ever be me and I know that! But that was never my reason for starting this journey. I am happy that I have a small following and a little blog that keeps me sane.
Others may feel differently to me on this subject, I know. But these are my reasons for taking a bit of a back seat.
I no longer care if people like what I am doing. I am doing me and that’s good enough!
I gracefully bow out of the popularity contest that is also know as social media.