49. Social Media, Comparison & Adding Value
Lately, I've been having this internal dialogue around social media. I go through these phases where I really enjoy social media and I enjoy being engaged on certain platforms. But then, I usually come back to the same vibe or feeling that I want to release my grip on social media.
Now, all the marketing gurus out there will tell you that when you're creating anything - social media is where it's at to talk about it. And hell, I work in marketing, I know how powerful the platforms can be and how much they can leverage a product or business. I do that type of work every day.
But, I also know how social media is showing up in my life and where I'm feeling a pull instead.
The Power of Social Media In My Life
I know for a fact that I'm on social media way too much. And that's just personally - not anything for the blog or podcast. Personally, I scroll through multiple platforms far too often and at times I even annoy myself. Sometimes, I catch myself mid-scroll and I don't even remember why I picked up my phone in the first place. That is mindlessness. That is doing something purely out of habit and without any intention behind it.
And with that being said, that's out alignment with my values again, not only for the podcast or blog but, also personally.
One of my values is to do things with intention, with meaning behind it. And I can honestly & openly say that that doesn't happen with social media sometimes.
Now sure, there are definitely times that I come on to social media for a specific purpose, to share a personal story or message or to talk about something that has a purpose in my life. I pride myself on only talking about honest & true moments on my pages.
But, if we are all being really honest, I'm sure we all have those posts that we have posted in hopes to get something back. Maybe we're having a shitty day and we want to feel accepted or loved. Or maybe we're feeling a little brag-y? Look, I don't have too much pride to be honest and say that I've had those moments in the past.
Thankfully, I've been able to catch myself before posting or sharing but, other times the realization comes afterward or even a few days later, which then I choose to delete the post altogether.
For some reason, social media has become this thing that makes us feel bad about ourselves when we're not on it and even worse when we are. We see beautiful photos and feeds of people we've never met and we leave the app wishing our lives were like that.
We get into a game of who can post something better than the last time. Or who can make this really ordinary thing be super trendy and likable.
Sometimes our value or worth comes more from social media than it does from our real life. And at times we forget that the two are actually separate.
The Comparison Game
One of the reasons I'm ready to release my grip on social media a bit is because I've fallen into this comparison trap. I go online with a purpose and intention of doing or posting something genuine to my life or my experience but then I see someone post something similar and I begin to compare.
I begin to question if what I was talking about was as good, is my photo as enticing will my caption be engaging. And sometimes it snowballs into a bigger comparison about my overall brand or purpose and it can get out of control sometimes.
I've done a great first step with being extremely careful about who I'm following and allowing into my feeds. That's been very helpful and has diminished a lot of negative feelings I was once having. But, there are times when it's hard to know if the work you're doing is really making a difference or if it's falling on deaf ears or blind eyes.
Especially now that there are so many social media influencers that are getting paid to talk about things and being paid to have all of these followers. It's really difficult to weed through the bullshit and to know who is being genuine and who is just saying this because they're paid to do so.
There's a girl, that I think I've talked about on this podcast before, her name is Belle Gibson and she's an Australian blogger. Well, she was at least. And for a long time, she talked about her struggle with a brain tumor and different health complications. And her entire message was about how she had kept her cancer at bay through changing her lifestyle and eating a plant-based diet.
She was very popular with thousands and thousands of followers, she was just about to release a cookbook and her app to accompany it was about to be released on the Apple Watch.
Anyone looking at this account would be inspired by her. Families were coming to her for advice about their loved ones who were suffering from similar conditions as her. Followers were constantly showing their love and support and cheering her on through moments when she said she nearly died on an operating table.
Until one day someone outed her. And said that someone needed to look into her background and check her medical records because she didn't and never has had cancer.
And someone did just that and found that she had lied about it all. SHE LIED ABOUT IT ALL!
These are the types of situations that we compare ourselves to and yet we don't even know if they're telling the truth. I've heard of countless stories similar to that one about bloggers and influencers that aren't telling the truth at all.
Which is why I pride myself so much on always being honest when I'm sharing a message. But I'm not superwoman, I too, fall into the comparison game.
I've decided that my approach to social media is changing moving forward. I'm not deleting everything or going rogue. But, I am cutting out the excess. My goal and promise moving forward is that I will only show up in your feed if I have something of true value to offer.
Social media is cluttered and saturated and everyone has something they want to say. I get it.
But, I want to make sure that if I'm taking up 30 seconds of your time, that it's because it truly matters. And that it's something that will bring you happiness, inspiration, motivation or knowledge.
There will no longer be posts just to post because I don't want to be forgotten about. Or posts because I feel like I "should" post every single day. There will continue to not be posts just wanting likes or to fill a personal void in my life.
And truthfully, the best places to stay connected with me, hear my work, read my work is on the podcast, in my newsletter, and on the blog. I recommend you subscribe to my newsletter where I also hold those some values true - I will only be in your inbox if I have something of value to say.
This change is to create more time in my life for the things I love and to put more intention on my social media use. It can be a time suck and a confidence suck. And those aren't things I'm willing to sacrifice in my life right now.
In every other area of my life I've created intentions around what I'm doing. I've stopped dieting so that I can create an intention around my relationship with food and my body. I continue to purge items that I no longer need so that the spaces in my home have specific intentions. I've done a lot of soul work to create intentions in my relationships and friendships.
My social media use won't be any different. I want to make sure that when I'm picking up my phone to put something out for you to consume that it's worth your time and attention.
As always, I want to leave with you a few points for what you can do should this inspire you to take action with your social media use. So I leave you with a few questions to ask yourself each time you pick up your phone for social media:
- Why am I here?
- WAIT - Why Am I Talking?
- How am I doing this story/message justice?
- What do I want my audience to know, believe or feel from what I'm about to post?
- Is this post providing value?