Two weeks into my trek back into the social media world, I called it quits, again.
I had social media accounts for nearly a decade, but when I had my first baby my views on it slowly started to change. I felt strange that people I hadn’t spoken to in years had an inside glimpse into my life with my newborn every time I posted a cute photo for family to see. To me there’s a difference between using social media to stay connected with close friends and family, and using it to lurk on that friend of a friend or an old coworker that you wouldn’t even approach if you saw them in the grocery store tomorrow. I felt like it was an invasion of my family’s privacy for them to be able to see what’s going on in our lives. So I started to delete these contacts. And for a while, I felt a little better about social media.
Eventually though, I realized that social media was consuming too much of my time that could be spent accomplishing something or working towards a goal. It’s one thing if you can just login, post a cute photo, and log out, but how many of us just stop there? If you’re like I was, you probably mindlessly scrolled for an embarrassingly long time before you put your phone down.
It took me a bit, but I ended up deleting my accounts; first Facebook, and then Instagram. When you initially try to delete your accounts, all you can find is how to deactivate them. This essentially just means you’re logging out but can come back anytime, they’re sneaky like that. I’m not tech savvy so I had to search around for how to fully delete these accounts.
My phone felt useless and boring, but I felt so free. What a thing to say, right? I felt FREE to not be looking at my phone as much as I was. Once you’re not one of the people standing in the lineup at the store scrolling through feeds, you start to notice how interesting it is that everyone’s walking around with their head down, focused on their tiny screen instead of what’s actually happening around them. How many times have you seen people at a restaurant and both parties are looking at their phone the whole time they are waiting for their food? Every time we stare at our screen instead of being in the present moment we are missing opportunities for meaningful connection and human interaction, both vital for healthy relationships and well-being.
I could go on about that for a while but I’ll leave it at that and get back to my point…
I wanted to start my blog as a hobby, something to occupy my time after the kids went to bed some nights. I’ve never written before but I was excited to get started. I found pages and pages of advice on Pinterest about how to grow your blog traffic, and they all pointed to social media. Get a Facebook account, join mommy blogger groups and get your name out there. Get an Instagram account, post several times per day, use a ridiculous amount of hashtags, and watch your followers sky rocket.
Well, I started with Instagram. I gained followers, but I lost them even faster. I wasn’t up on all the tactics of gaining Instagram followers, so I was shocked to see so many fellow mom bloggers who followed me, and then would UNFOLLOW me as soon as I followed them. I felt so frustrated and really disliked this aspect of blogging, as it didn’t feel authentic.
I was inspired by a fellow blogger after reading her About Me page last night. No Makeup Mama has a wonderful point about sticking to her values, of a “less egocentric existence” which didn’t include posting a free-for-all of her family’s information on social media in hopes of profit. She notes she also struggles with feeling like a hypocrite for having a blog but disliking social media and screens. I echo that feeling as well, but I remind myself that there’s a big difference between creating something that brings you joy, and wasting literal hours of your day mindlessly scrolling through stranger’s images.
And so again, the lightbulb went on for me. What was I doing? I’m not a fan of these platforms. In fact, it was causing me more stress and wasn’t helping my blog at all. I was just wasting time and energy documenting our day to day life instead being in the present moment. What I was sharing wasn’t content that I thoughtfully created (though my kids are pretty awesome).
I knew right then I had to get out of it. Maybe I wouldn’t have the success I had initially dreamed of with my blog, but at least I was staying true to myself.
So I think I’m comfortable with sticking with my little blog, sharing my tips and tricks on motherhood and toddlers, and a few recipes thrown in here and there.
Just without the impersonal, inauthentic world of social media. So if you’re looking for me online, you’ll find me over here in my tiny corner of the internet… but with readers I can actually interact with and I know are authentic, instead of hundreds of people who don’t even look at my profile before they hit the follow button.
And that sounds pretty great to me!