A Writing Life: How I Got To Where I Enjoy Social Media (Most of the time)

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

How I Got To Where I Enjoy Social Media (Most of the time)

I've blogged a few times about my love/hate relationship with social media. Recently I feel I've figured out a way to enjoy it - well, most of the time.

I know it depends on which social media you're working with that determines who you follow, who follows you, what you post, etc. but I have found these few things to be true for me in terms of actually enjoying social media.

1) Don't stress about followers - When I first got going on my author media sites, I thought it would be fun to have the apps that tell me who unfollowed me or how many new people followed me. I'm here to tell you, it's not all it's cracked up to be. And quite frankly, social media can be a lot like high school. A place I didn't loathe but would like to never re-visit. I've been there, done that, box checked. No more wondering why so-and-so won't talk to me, why this person doesn't want to be my "friend" anymore or stressing over if I offended someone with something I did or said. Sheesh. My head hurts just thinking about it.
Don't stress about followers. And keep a few things in mind. Many people pay to have followers. Yep, it's true. The amount of followers someone has can be bought. Also, many would like to tell you to play what I call the follow/unfollow game. You follow people, wait a certain amount of time, then unfollow them if they don't follow you back. (My mind is spinning just typing this.) Here's my bottom line rule: I will follow who I find interesting. Period. End of sentence (see more under number 3) I refuse to play games just to get followers. I'm on social media to be social. Not play some weird "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" kind of mess.

2) Be authentic - Post what you enjoy, not what people tell you to post to get followers. Yes, there are some things in certain businesses that draw in readers, clients, customers. I get it. But in the end, be yourself. I'm a romance writer. So yes, I post things associated with that. But I also love baseball, CrossFit, photography, my dog.... It's almost comical how much my followers love my dog. No kidding. They ask for pictures of him if I haven't posted one in a while. I'm a romance writer and followers love my dog. Go figure. But every picture or post I make is all me. No games, no hooks, just me.

3) Follow what you enjoy - I went through a phase on Instagram where I started following certain pages because of one blog I got into. A few months later I realized I was scrolling through stuff I had zero interest in. Why? I don't have a lot of time in my day as it is. Why was I spending much of it looking at stuff that didn't even interest me? I re-organized and now only follow the pages of things I'm really into. (Sidetone: I love dogs. My family teases that I follow more dogs than people on social media but it makes me happy so leave me alone. ;) I like nature photography. I like the Instagram pages that have creative book pictures. I'm a reader. I like that. Follow what you enjoy.

4) Be choosy about what you post - This one took some time for me to learn. I used to put out there whatever crossed my mind whenever it crossed. I don't recommend this. In keeping in line with number 2 - be authentic - I would say that in thinking through very carefully what I post or don't, what I put out there has changed my sites. (I'm talking my author sites here.) Quality, not quantity I believe is key. 

5) Don't be on there all day - Take a break. Go live life. In my writing I always say that if I sat and did nothing but write all day and didn't get out and live, I wouldn't have anything to write about. Same goes here. People don't want to see me post my ENTIRE DAY. Every little thing. And I personally don't want social media looking in my back yard all day. I want to spend time with friends, my family, go for walks, look around, experience the world.

Let me say this. It has taken time for me to get to this place. And I believe I will need to continue to grow and change as social media does. Over time, new things will emerge and I will once again have to pay attention to what controls me versus what I control. That's the bottom line, really. It's up to me. I can fuss all I want that social media is to blame for this and that, but at the end of the day it's my choice what I put out there (or don't). What I scroll through and read (or don't). 
And I truly enjoy it now (most of the time) 

No comments:

Post a Comment