I mentioned last week that I’m rather “over” social media. I enjoyed not checking instagram or facebook while I was in Florida and thought I might maintain that hiatus once I returned home. I didn’t. Obviously, since I know many of you follow me on Instagram and saw that I posted this outfit I wore yesterday 🙂
What’s my problem with social media exactly?
I am an envious person. Hello!!! Scorpio!!!! There, I said it. I’ve always compared myself to others, and I wish I didn’t. Even though I know better, and I don’t indulge in it as much as I did earlier in my life I still get jealous. I see other people’s homes, lives, clothes, vacations, and I WANT that.
Social media makes it SO EASY to live in that destructive place if you let it. Instagram especially.
Often, when I do post on Instagram, I’m constantly checking to see who’s liked my posts and if I got any comments. I do that here, on the blog too, because I want to engage and have a discussion about whatever I wrote with whoever chooses to add their own perspective. But on Instagram, it feels more about approval, and being “liked” – quite literally – than it is about engagement.
And the “new” bloggers (ones that started since 2012-2014 or so) have been told that it’s all about “engagement” (and by that, advertisers/PR firms mean “likes”, not true engagement) on social media if they want to earn advertising campaigns or sponsored posts.
Since I don’t make much of my living off advertisements and never do sponsored posts, I have never cared a whip about getting more followers or likes, beyond earning them organically. I use social media as a way of engaging with my readers wherever they are. And I like to get glimpses into your lives too; it’s all about a deeper connection for me.
I appreciate the engagement on Instagram particularly, and lots of you comment there and not here, for various reasons I absolutely understand: it’s quicker, easier, and more instantly gratifying. I love that about Instagram. But it’s also strange/annoying that I’ve worked so hard to build up this little corner of the internet (Grechen’s Closet) since 2004, only to have it ever so slightly eroded by social media in the last five or so. It feels that way sometimes, especially since I’m quite old school, and honestly don’t “get” what the kids are doing on social media nowadays….
And I just don’t like who I become when I get sucked down the Instagram rabbit hole (as I did last night. Right before bed. Ugh). I don’t like how I feel, and what I start thinking about my own success, life, or home. I know it’s a matter of perspective, and it’s ridiculous to compare myself in that way. But it just happens sometimes. Instagram is also wonderful at instilling desire for things you would never have considered before – that’s the power of images.
So, I have shifted the way I think about social media, and am trying to detach myself from the results of what I post, not constantly checking for validation and “love,” simply appreciating every like, every comment, and enjoying looking through other people’s posts without getting too involved in them. It’s like a form of meditation for me now, Instagram; whenever a negative or envious thought comes up, I put it in the canoe and send it on down the river…
What are your thoughts on social media? Are you active on Instagram? Facebook? How do you deal with feelings of envy or comparison?
If you are on Instagram, and want to engage with fellow readers, please leave your username in your comment 🙂 Mine is grechen