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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- The Scariest Thing about Twitter is to Let Yourself be Seen, Says Kat Kinsman
- How to Counter Negative Thoughts While on Social Media