Before launching my blog, I couldn’t have cared less about social media. I posted on instagram once every two months, my only Facebook posts were Instagram shares, and I was very anti-selfie. In fact, I dismissed those who were selfie inclined and social media active as shallow and self-absorbed.
Well, look at me now. I’m posting on Instagram and Facebook 3-5 times a week (which is still infrequent in the blogging world) and the posts are pretty much just photos of me. Maybe I shouldn’t have been so quick to judge others…
Social media has become an inevitable priority of Honeydew, and it is one which which I have developed a love-hate relationship. On one hand, social media allows me to reach thousands of new users with the use of a hashtag, gain new blog readers, and connect with other like-minded creatives. On the other hand, it’s a SOUL-SUCKING, TIME-CONSUMING VORTEX OF DOOM TO WHICH THERE IS NO ESCAPE.
That may have been a slight overreaction, but social media has truly become the most painstaking part of blogging for me, partly because it makes me feel out of my element, but mostly because I’ve found myself developing an obsession for it.
Once I overcame my aversion to frequent social posting, I started to get sucked into the numbers. What is my follower count? How many likes am I getting? How many comments? I’ve wasted a lot of time over analyzing my social posts, trying to figure out how to grow my following and get more likes. I felt absolutely elated at every new follow and like, but completely discouraged with every un-follow and every post with low engagement. Even worse, social media started becoming a catalyst for self-doubt when I saw bloggers with more beautiful imagery and much higher followings.
I just caught myself speaking in past tense – as if these feelings and are far behind me in the three shorts months since I’ve started blogging. But the truth is, I still struggle with managing a healthy balance of using social media to support Honeydew without getting too wrapped up in the superficiality of it. So what’s a girl to do? In the three short months since I’ve been blogging, I’ve decided to set several social media guidelines guidelines for myself .
I will stay true to myself
Though frequent posting on social media may not feel natural to me, I’ve found peace through integrating my personality in my pictures and staying true to myself. Take this instagram post as an example, where I supplement a modelesque posed photo with a caption about pooping. ↓
I admit, pre-blogger Jenn would have scoffed at a vain picture like this. But I took advantage of the caption and made sure my personality broke through the clicheness of the picture. While it’s tempting to copy what other successful bloggers are doing, I’m finding ways to make social media work with me instead. I’m ensuring I don’t lose site of who I am.
I will focus on quality over quantity
All the blogging experts say you need to post on instagram once or twice a day to maximize engagement and continuously gain followers. It makes sense, right? For others to see and follow your content, you have to produce new content daily. But posting that often still seems obnoxious to me.
I definitely have a few instagram posts that I regret publishing. These are the ones where I scoured my photo library for new pictures to upload on instagram and slap on a quick caption, just to meet the daily posting quota. But these posts didn’t add value to my personal story. And they look forced – because they were!
I realized that at this point in time, I don’t feel I can produce original content daily that is actually valuable to my readers. If one day, I feel I have the time, capacity, and creativity to do so, I will! But for now, I’m staying true to my gut by ignoring the industry guidelines and posting on my own schedule. I’m prioritizing producing quality content rather than posting just to succumb to the pressures of posting daily, just because that’s what all the successful bloggers are doing.
I will take the occasional social media detox
Over memorial day weekend, I took a much needed social media detox. I spent the long weekend at a friend’s lake house in Northern Wisconsin and didn’t open Facebook or Instagram once. I also didn’t post anything on social media for a full seven days! It felt amazing. The break reminded me that social media is a fantasy world of other people’s highlight reels. It’s not reality. Instead of getting lost in other people’s social media facades, I focused on the reality of my own life. I enjoyed the outdoors, fostered real-life relationships, and didn’t spend one second worrying about what thousands of strangers thought of me. I’m definitely going to make the social media detox a regular thing.
I cannot deny the countless benefits and opportunities of social media. And I will admit, posting can be fun and rewarding too! Therefore, social media will remain a key component to growing Honeydew. However, moving forward I vow to be more conscious of how I let social media affect my goals, my confidence, and my idea of reality.
Has anyone else found other successful methods of finding a healthy social media balance? I’d love to hear!