Creating social media platforms for my blog felt like I was going backwards. I was finally at a place in my life where I stopped prioritizing my “digital” persona & started to be more present in “real life”. But owning a blog & NOT having an online presence was like owning a store with the closed sign always on the entrance. I wasn’t going to get anywhere without it.
Let’s go back to 2016 for a second. This was the height of my “Instagram addiction”. And yes, I dramatically call it an addiction because I was always looking for the next best photo op. I was living for the photos instead of living in the moment. And honestly, looking back I wish I had closed my IG account sooner because those years between 2014 to 2016 were prime years of going out with friends & not having a care in the world. But all I prioritized was my outfits, makeup & whether I would get those group shots with friends so I would have something to post the next day. Because we all know we HAVE to prove to the world we have a life.
Social media platforms like Facebook & Instagram are so unhealthy. All it really did was fuel my FOMO & cause me to have low self esteem. When in reality a photo speaks 1,000 words & most of those words would be different from the reality of what went on that day. But regardless of the amount of times I told myself not to compare myself to others or feel left out of an outing I would have regretted going to, I would soak all those images in & start molding myself into those cookie cutter feeds.
So in 2016, I deleted my Instagram, Twitter & SnapChat. No more worrying about aesthetically pleasing feeds, ambiguous tweets & embarrassing videos from drunk night outs. I did choose to keep Facebook because I didn’t want my boomer family members to think I left the face of the Earth. I kid.
With the platforms I did keep, I just went through & did a proper digital declutter. And in previous blog posts, such as my Minimalism Guide to Digital Declutter, I can’t stress enough how important it is. My friends list was cut in half, removing those highschool acquaintances from my home town I never see & keeping only the ones I see regularly or truly want to keep in touch with. I removed or untagged myself from any embarrassing photos or statuses. Thank you timehop for the cringey reminders. And now I try to only post when I want to change my profile picture which is looking to be twice a year.
But when it came to my blogging “career”, I knew I had to be on social media to create a brand for myself. And unfortunately, old habits don’t quit because I went back to my addictive self with a snap of my fingers. I really felt ashamed of myself. I was so caught up in the numbers game & posting the best images & having the most perfect feed. There was no professionalism whatsoever. You live & you learn. It took me a few months to realize I needed to make a change.
So recently, I decided to think of my blog as a brand & what I wanted to showcase to the world. As a minimalist I want to teach other people the benefits of stepping away from social media more often & not putting so much pressure on your digital self. And for someone who uses these platforms to gain traffic to their blog, it’s definitely become a balancing act.
In my personal life, I don’t miss Instagram at all. If I want to share something with someone, I will text them. I no longer post those incredibly long birthday shout outs or even relationship devotions for the world to see. I actually have learned to enjoy keeping parts of my life private & a mystery. Who do I hangout with? How’s my relationship going? What am I doing with my life? You’ll never truly know through social media. And I kind of like it that way. Plus, my friendships are a lot more genuine now that I don’t reply on social media to maintain them.
I only have 130 Facebook friends. I primarily follow bloggers & other creators on my blog Instagram. I block the accounts that are too toxic & don’t bring me joy as Marie Kondo would say. The majority of my photos on my camera roll haven’t been seen on social media.
I’ve really grown as an individual. Treating my blogging Instagram & Twitter as a business & still keeping my life private is healthier for me. Recently, I decided to keep my feed professional with digitally made images, stock photos & a few photos of my day to day in a more artistic flair. I actually created a spreadsheet dedicated to my IG feed so I have more of a schedule & purpose to what I post. At the same time, I try not to worry too hard at maintaining any sort of perfectionism. I still want to be authentically me & still see it as a creative outlet. Not to mention, I’ve connected with so many like minded creative souls these past 7 or 8 months. And in rather isolating times, I’m grateful to have such technology at my fingertips. The bottom line is I don’t want social media to dictate how my life outside the digital space is going. Social media is only one very small side to the story.