You probably won’t see this blog post.
It’s true. Barely any of my blog views come from people searching for my site specifically. I have a few views that come from email subscriptions, and a few more that come from the WordPress reader. But all in all, without social media, this blog really wouldn’t be worth my while.
Which is kind of sad when you think about it.
So this is why I’ve deactivated social sharing on this post, why I’ve made no effort to SEO optimise it and why I don’t plan on dropping a link on social media for it, for at least 6 months.
I’m proving a point that social media is far too important in our lives nowadays. For better or worse, most of us rely on it. And I’m not sure how I feel about that.
Brainwashed by social media
But it’s the unfortunate truth of 2018 – we’ve become far too reliant on social media. For the most of us, it plays a big part in our every day lives. Be it in our job or our home life, we’re all guaranteed to pick up our phones multiple times a day to access social media.
In fact, last year it was recorded that more than 150,000 teenagers have been spending over 8 hours on their mobiles this year. And I hate to sound like an old bird here, but how on earth is that the norm nowadays? I remember before we even had phones, we’d find our entertainment in the streets, making adventures with our friends. Nowadays, kids live their lives through a screen and there’s not much that can be done to change that now.
But I’d be a hypocrite if I said I wasn’t an avid social media user too. I mean, I spend quite a big chunk of my week on social media because of the industry I’m in. Be it managing accounts at work, or making connections outside of work – I’m using it a lot.
And that’s before we even mention blogging. Like I mentioned above, my blog really wouldn’t be half as successful without my shares on social media. (And the people who kindly share it on their own platforms too). In fact, I think without social media, I probably wouldn’t bother with my site at all – I’d be getting a fraction of the views, with no feedback nor appreciation. Would it all be worth it?
I wonder how many times others have thought this too? Not just in their blogs but in everything. Would online news platforms continue to write if they couldn’t share their stories with the masses? Would brands with a strong online presence continue to be successful without their Twitter and Facebook accounts?
I wrote a post recently about Kayne West (he finally said something worth hearing out for once!) about how he’d love to see a world without numbers. Without likes, shares, followers etc. It’s a nice thought, but how much would that disrupt the system, really? We’d have fewer brands bothering with social media and more people abandoning their hobbies – such as writing – due to their efforts not reaching as far and wide as they would with social media.
So it would seem we’re pretty much stuck in a rut.
Be the change you want to see in the world
What can you do when you’re starting to repel the admiration for social media, but can’t live your life without it?
Well, this is what I’m thinking about today. There’s no way I can omit social media from my life, it’s just too fundamentally important to my career. But there are some things I’ve realised I can – and will – do, to stop it over-toxifying my life and taking over.
Agreeing on a cut-off point with myself – after 7pm (or something like that) I’m going to sign off from social. My notifications are going to be silenced and mindless scrolling is going to be avoided. Nobody is going to need to get hold of me on social after that time really, and if they do, there are ways and means to get in touch with me. I spend far too much of my free time simply sifting through social media feeds – especially Twitter – and really gaining no benefit from that. If I’m using it to talk to people, or make connections then great! But if I’m using it only to procrastinate or pass the time, then that’s not so great. (And I’m going to be sure to stop this)
Barring myself from the Instagram discover page – the Instagram discover page is great for exploring content, but it’s also extremely problematic too. I often see people whose lives just look so much better than mine. It’s a crappy thing to say, but it’s true. There’s always going to be prettier, skinnier, more successful women out there than me – but if I stop obsessively comparing myself to these people, then perhaps I can begin to better myself? Just a thought.
Taking detoxes – I recently went to Poland with my boyfriend and deleted all my social media for a few days. And let me tell you, I didn’t miss it! Though I know I can’t do without it in the long run, those few days were bliss. No constant pings distracting me, and no urge to scroll through things I’ll forget about in the following 5 minutes. It was lovely to get that break. And when I came back a few days later, nothing had really changed. Just proving to me that *deep gasp* social media isn’t actually the most important thing ever.
Purge my friends lists – and finally, this is long overdue, but it’s time for me to sort through my friends list and my ‘following’ list. All those people I added on Facebook that I met on holiday 7 years ago and haven’t spoken to since, you gotta go. I should have done this a long time ago, because social media – especially something as sensitive as Facebook – should only really be for people you know. Twitter’s a little different, because I use it to meet new people every day, and keep up to date with things I’m interested in (like PR!), but nevertheless, I do need to sort through who I’m following and decide whether they’re really adding value to my life.
Why did I just write 1200+ words if I thought nobody would see it?
To prove a point!
There’s a lot of people on social media who probably wished they weren’t. But, for one reason or another, they’ve stuck around. In black and white it’s quite a toxic thing and can be very damaging. Which is why I’m taking measures to town it down.
But on the flip side, it also helps people with passions – like me – to share the things they love with the world. People from all around the globe read my little blog, and I love the idea of that. If people are enjoying what I write then it does encourage me to write more. I mean, I do write because I love it, but also, to know I’ve added value to someone else is an indescribably great feeling.
And social media is also great for meeting new people. I know that better than most. I’ve made some great connections in this industry, from the UK and beyond, just through Twitter. I’m really grateful for that.
So, like everything, it’s got its good and its bad. If one thing is certain though – it’s that we’d certainly struggle without it. I’m going to prove that with this blog post. (I’ll share it in 6 or so months time with the number of views it got, compared with a post I’ve shared on social – and we’ll see the difference).
I don’t expect many people to stumble across this post, to be honest, unless you’ve found another of my blogs and have had a little explore. But if you came here on your own then hi! I didn’t expect you to make it, but I’m glad you’re here. Please comment if you’ve found me – i’d love to know who stumbled across this post and for what reason.
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