On a whole, I’ve always tried to keep an “I-post-what-I-like-and-I-like-what-I-post” attitude towards most forms of social media. Which is probably how it should be.
That changed a little over time, as it probably does for most of us. It’s hard to avoid comparing yourself to others, in most aspects of life, and harder again when all the best parts of your friends’, your colleagues’, and strangers’ lives are on display, right next to your own life.
So of course, at times, I start to think about what gains the most likes or receives the most comments. Does my life look as amazing as everyone else’s? Is this photo “Insta-worthy”? Do I look like the sort of person that people will want to follow?
Then you throw in the whole extra layer for those of us who not only have an account for fun, personal reasons, but for a business or to promote their hobbies and passions. Then the importance of the social media is taken to a slightly different level.
It becomes more of a necessity, a way to build whatever it is that you want to build. Be that a community of customers who buy your products or listeners who listen to your music or readers who read what you have to say. Or whatever it is you aim to achieve. Social media is, right now, probably the most effective way to spread the word out about what you do. It’s the easiest too; it’s free, not too hard to understand, and, when done right, it can often be fairly quick.
But then consider the constant comparisons, that are ever present, whether you’re using social media for personal reasons or business reasons. And then, once you start comparing, it’s not a huge leap to then start adjusting what you post so that you can be on the same level as whoever it is that you’re comparing yourself to.
Anyway, at some point, I found myself running an Instagram account that I didn’t really care for, that wasn’t me, that was some sort of image of myself reflected ten times over in a rose-tinted funhouse mirror.
This reflection of myself then bled into my blog (gotta keep the brand consistent, I guess) and then suddenly I wasn’t a fan of my own blog either. Though it’s worth pointing out that daily veganuary blog posts were a little too much for me and that also added to my burn-out.
So, yeah, I just stopped. Writing, posting to Instagram, taking pictures. I disappeared from the blogging world, and jumping back into it just wasn’t something I fancied.
It’s weird, a couple of months ago things seemed to be picking up in terms of my blog and Instagram interactions and I was overjoyed to realise that people out there were interested in what I had to say. I still am, let’s not forget that. But throughout the past year I had slowly been developing a ‘personal brand’, per se. I’m told by the internet that this is important. But my personal brand deviated from my actual person and this is probably not a good thing.
I’ve got to be honest, I was (and still am, to a lesser extent) a little sick of posting photos of my face to accompany blog post announcements. But photos of my face always did better than any other images I posted. So I posted photos of my face. I followed all the ‘rules’ of Insta-blogging, posting at the best times, at least once a day, blah, blah, blah. Basically whatever I had read about social media on any given day, I took away, I internalised and I applied to my own social media usage.
Maybe some people can work like that. Apparently, I couldn’t. I lost myself to the Instagram-worthiness of everything I shared, and forgot about what I considered ‘worthy’ of sharing.
Anyway, this has turned into some sort of rambling of my thoughts about the whole situation, rather than a planned-out post that gives some informative advice or whatever. But it’s my blog, I can write what I want. And I want to write for all of you, whoever you guys are, but I think I need to write for myself first.
A little ramble is good for getting back into the swing of things, and I’ll be back to swinging as high as I dare soon.