Recently I’ve been making some conscious changes to different areas of my life, and one of those areas is social media.
Social media is my day job, in part because it’s also something I like doing. During my three year degree specialising in nature photography, I was also really developing my knowledge of using social and web-based communication (without really realising it). It’s only in the last few months or so that I’ve realised how valuable these skills are.
Despite all this, I still have an extremely love hate relationship with social media. For years it has tormented me with the PR-view best bits of other people’s lives. Seeing the way others were living, what they were doing, how they were progressing – it got to me. I felt an overwhelming amount of pressure and sense of doubt “I’m not doing enough”, “I was living life wrong”.
Finally, what were fleetingly occurring thoughts started to settle in and become a firm truth: it doesn’t matter what other people are doing, or what other people think, I should just do what I want to do based on me.
Don’t be fooled, this shift in thinking didn’t happen over night, and I’m well aware that I will occasionally fall back into the silly thought-process of comparing myself to others. But if these feelings ring true with you, just know that the way you look at your life is up to you, and comparing yourself to others is actually just one single option in a sea of other ways. And no one really talks about the hard stuff do they?
One of the biggest steps I took to get out of the hole I had dug myself was to remove the Twitter and Facebook apps from my phone. Recently the Twitter app has made a return, but I’m so much happier! Obviously I haven’t wiped out using these altogether, and I’ve kept the Facebook messenger app since so many people seem to use this now rather than the now old fashioned text! I recognise their use in communication and staying connected with certain people, or organisations, but the added effort of finding the link on my browser and less stream-lined, in-browser interface has cut my use of them to a healthy amount. It also prevents notifications from popping up all the time, and not seeing the app itself has altogether removed the need to constantly check it.
Meanwhile… my use of social media has increased!
Well, I’m using it more for work purposes! To spread my images and blogs all over the internet. I’ve been doing this effectively for months in my day job, so why wasn’t I doing it for my own personal work? I’ve made a mental switch.
Social media has a new meaning to me now. It’s either for entertainment, communication or work. Anything that doesn’t come under those three categories (including spews of viral videos and memes on my Facebook feed) is cut down or out. Instagram is actually my new favourite platform, alongside my forever favourite: YouTube. This is because most if not all the content is creative, thought-out and important in some way. The more I use them the more informative they become too! From business tips to information on global food production – I’ve learnt far more on Instagram and YouTube separately than other platforms combined.
So when it comes to social media, I’m getting more creative, I’m thinking about it with more strategy and I’m finding a balance.