Hello and welcome to 2022 — year 13 of this blog. I thought I’d start the new year off by not talking about goals or intentions. Everyone else is doing it, so I’ll give you a break. Besides, I’d have to announce my own writing goals for the year if I expect you to follow suit, and I only have one nailed down. So I’m going to stop worrying about it.
Let’s talk about what makes us crazy instead. For most of us, it’s social media. We have a love/hate relationship with social media, and we spend way too much time exploring that. This year I’m going to adjust my attitude. I hope you do too.
Here are a few new strategies I’ll try to stop worrying:
1. Stop thinking that no one cares what you think.
That’s what keeps you from posting on social media. You think, “I don’t have anything interesting to say.” But let me tell you, so much of what people say on social media doesn’t interest me! And I haven’t unfollowed any of these people yet. I just scroll right by their posts. It’s okay. Overall I’m interested in them.
I bet you do the same thing. And yet you pressure yourself to come up with something “interesting.”
2. Stop worrying that everyone else is doing better than you.
Because they’re not. Social media provides limitless potential for comparison with your online “friends,” who are busy crafting a favorable image and reputation like the rest of us. Studies cite Instagram as the most harmful social media platform for young people’s mental health. That’s why Instagram started hiding “like” counts.
We reward people who showcase their good news. And then you end up comparing yourself (She has more readers! He just got a book deal! Her photos are so much more beautiful than mine!), and feel inadequate.
Upward social comparisons (to people doing better than you) are shown to reduce self esteem. Your first step is to notice when you make a comparison. Then maybe stop scrolling and go do some work.
3. Stop thinking there’s a magic number of followers.
Book publishers love to say that they only want to publish cookbooks from authors with “big followings.” Then they don’t state a number, or they say some totally unrealistic number like “250,000 followers.” That’s aspirational, meaning they would love to find people like that. But they’ll publish those with much smaller followings also. Many of the cookbook authors I know have total followings below say, 30,000. Including me. But somehow I have published three books and four editions of one book. There’s a difference between what publishers would like and what they will do.
So that’s it. Just three little behaviors to modify for the new year. You probably already know all this, but sometimes we need a reminder. I’m including myself.
Did I leave out other things about social media that drive you crazy? Please add to my list in the comments.
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You might also like:
- The Scariest Thing about Twitter is to Let Yourself be Seen, Says Kat Kinsman
- How to Counter Negative Thoughts While on Social Media
Jessica Tropp says
It is simpler than that. Severely limit the time you spend on social media of all sorts. Maybe even skip a day or more each week. Horror of horrors…..ignore it completely! We all lived before instagram and facebook and can still do so. I never used those two, but I was getting quora and a few others like it. I unsubscribed. I now have knitted blankets to show for it, several brush pen drawings and my food (all from scratch) is much more complex and interesting (and time consuming to prepare and cook).
Just an idea.
You are very disciplined, Jessica. I’m not sure everyone can do that, especially if they’re trying to increase page views from social media. But more power to you! Life definitely seems richer for you.
Janet Fletcher says
Loved this post, Diane. Thank you.
I mean Dianne! Two n’s!!! I know better.
Hi Janet! Thank you and Happy New Year!
Jennifer R Osborn says
Social media is a huge time suck and a pain in the neck.
Facebook generates a bit of traffic for me and by a bit I mean maybe three percent.
Instagram provides zero traffic and since I’m not interested in doing brand work right now and I’m not ready to write a cookbook, I’m doing just the bare minimum on both.
Good to hear that the bare minimum on social media works!
Rita Held Cartalano says
Thank you Dianne! That’s a good way to start a new year :o)
You’re welcome, Rita. We all need less pressure in our lives!
Comparison is the thief of joy – so important to do your own thing, if you feel that social media is necessary.
For most of us, it is necessary. I’ve always loved that saying. It really does apply to social media.