I’m the biggest advocate for social media. Maybe it’s because I spend too much time listening to Gary Vaynerchuk, but I don’t really see an issue with high levels of social media consumption, coming from my personal experiences and knowledge. As far as I’m concerned, a problem may be escalated by using social media, but social media is rarely the instigator of the problem itself. Yes, social media has rocked our world but it’s up to us to learn how to manage it. I could be here all day explaining my POV but my true point is – despite the title of this post – I believe the future of my career will be highly influenced by what we deem ‘social media’ and if I’m not in it, I’m not going to win.
But I have been ‘in it’ for 7 years now. I have been blogging for about seven years straight, 365 days of the year, non-stop. Not a day has gone by since I was nineteen years old that I haven’t posted on social media, created some form of content or replied to emails and comments. While I’ve still remained a happy little micro-influencer, maintenance of my mini ‘side hustle’ has consumed a ton of my time, energy and efforts. None of which I regret for a second. But as around 10,000 people watched everything I posted on my IG stories, and IG continued to grow into a beast, I began to check on those eyeballs too many times that I care to admit and realized over time that my head was too clouded to think smart about what I was doing.
I’m not a private person but I 100% curate content around a ‘story’ that I wish to tell, after all, no one shares the bad days on social media, or maybe they will but only once its all over. The beauty of Instagram is that it gives us the power to be storytellers but continuing to create a positive story for thousands of people everyday wears you down and quite frankly, plays with a day-to-day train of thought. Thoughts are noise and I know for a fact social media contributes to the useless back and forth in my head. I do a good job in managing it but that too took some headspace in itself. My head is usually in a good place but whenever it’s not, social media often sticks the knife in that little bit deeper. No one’s problem but my own.
On top of the pressure I put on myself every day to share interesting content, Instagram’s own algorithm has a habit of defying even the most talented storytellers on the platform. What started out as content that was honest, real and very spur-of-the-moment like became thought out and rigid for me. I’ve begun to dislike the strategy behind what I was sharing and posted what I thought would be better received or less judged. Again, more headspace been taken up so I began to ponder…”What would happen if I stopped this all for a while?”
So I gave it up. I thought about it for about 5 months, toying with the idea of putting that portion of my life on hold but the daily desire to play with those numbers kept me occupied. Until now. I’m the first person to put my hands up and say I will do anything if it involves hard work. Sharing content is one of my favorite things to do; I really believe in its power and its something that never leaves my mind but when that content became so far from what I wanted I got tired of the conflict. And to be very honest, I wanted to see what life felt like without it. Though I’m not reliant on my social media to make my rent, I still put a lot of thought and time into what I put out there, even if I only ever got a few hundred likes. I appreciate anyone who has ever browsed my profile or liked my picture. I LOVE sharing my story with you all and I mean it when I say “it’s not you, it’s me!”. (Though extra likes and love are always welcome to boost that algorithm of mine!)
It’s been a full week since I hit that deactivate button and closed out of the app. Immediately, I felt a sudden sense of comfort. The first few days without Instagram felt as though life was quiet, like that feeling when you’re at home and no one can bother you. It may sound weird but that is the only way I can describe it.
And I know that no one is missing me or wondering where I’m gone, but I guess maybe someone reading this will think twice about being on social media and consuming so much content. Maybe someone will realize its ok to opt out, shake things up and see what happens when the camera isn’t always on. You know I’m all about self-awareness.
I’ll be back on Instagram shortly, but I just wanted to share my POV from the other side. Just so you know, without Instagram, life is still better than ever.