You pull up a chair to your laptop to write a blog post, but you get distracted, and soon, your writing session has officially turned into a scrolling session. You had the best of intentions when you sat down at your desk with a steaming cuppa and a creative glint in your eye. That was two hours ago. Now your coffee is cold, and your writing — forgotten — as you read just one more meme about Trump.
It doesn’t have to be like this.
Two years ago, I was angry with social media. Facebook had just gotten hacked. Twitter was a troll’s paradise. Instagram was full of influencers I couldn’t relate to in the slightest.
I was sick and tired of it all.
Facebook went first. I killed all my business pages, copied my data file, and closed it. Twitter was next. I had eight accounts—all of which I deleted. I deleted the Instagram, Messenger, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Snapchat apps off my phone.
The cleanse lasted for about a month. Then I got tired of not talking to my parents and kids in the U.S. and reinstalled Messenger. Next, Twitter showed up because I wanted to be part of the #writingcommunity. Instagram appeared not long after. I finally gave in to Facebook because I wanted to be part of some Medium.com discussion groups.
Now, I’m using social media more than ever, but I use it differently. Most of my social media use is to promote my blogs and my writing on Medium. I am part of quite a few groups where I can post my work, and it will get read. I have a writer page. I am quite active everywhere.
I’m back posting on all the major social platforms–Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest all get used throughout the day.
There are a million stories of people breaking free of social media, only to return later. We can rage against it all we want, but social media has it’s place if you are a blogger. Why?
Social Media is Important Right Now
Social media may not be the future, but it’s what is happening now. The future may belong to virtual reality and augmented reality. Artificial intelligence may take over very soon. But if you want to get your name out in 2020 and beyond, you have to be on social media.
People fight against social media and try to discourage others from using it. They think they are above it all. But where are they posting their complaints and calls for action? They are connecting on social media. Social connects us in ways that humans have never seen before.
Even email is losing its grip. It’s still a great strategy, but only 17.9% of recipients will open your email, and the click-through rate is a dismal 2.7%.
More people are banking on social media. Sure, you are at the mercy of the platforms. Algorithms change all the time. But, with such a huge audience available to us, it would be silly if we didn’t take advantage of this opportunity before it’s too late.
There are ways to be healthy if you remember to use social media in moderation.
You Can Be Active But Not Obsessed
Many of us worry about wasting time scrolling when we should be creating. It’s a valid concern, but there are ways to have a healthy relationship with social media.
My social media cleanse showed me what life was like when I don’t spend all my time staring at my phone. I wrote more than I ever did, and I felt better when I wasn’t on a constant infinite scroll.
Don’t get me wrong. I spend time on social media. But, I have a lot of time in the day when I close the social tabs and put my phone out of reach. I’m writing for six hours at a time. I’m also reading everything I can.
I’m at the beginning of a content strategy where I will be promoting my personal projects constantly. I’m sharing my work on all channels, even the personal ones. It’s a little unnerving seeing my face everywhere, but I’ve committed to seeing this through. I’m going to do the best job I can.
I’ve learned that you can be active on social media, but not obsessed with the likes and comments. I’ve developed more focus now. When I’m writing or spending time with my family, I can ignore the notifications on my phone with ease.
There are ways to use social media healthily, like reducing the time spent scrolling, and unfollowing accounts that are negative and cause you stress. Maybe you can commit to using social media only for business purposes or set a goal to not look at your phone when you should be writing or creating.
The key is to have a healthier attitude and only consume things you want to consume.
How Do You Feel About Social Media?
We still see people who don’t want to commit to using social media to promote their blog or creative endeavors. The reasoning that holds them back from doing whatever it takes to be a successful creative is a mystery.
Yes, negative things are happening on social media. But there is a thing called choice, and you can choose not to absorb the negative. You can choose not to engage with the trolls– nobody is forcing you to do anything you don’t want to do.
Are you tired of seeing political posts? Hide them. I do, and my feed is lovely most times. Even Twitter makes it easy to get rid of people who don’t add value to your life.
You don’t owe anyone a follow. Don’t feel like you do.
Social media can be a circus if you let it. The key is to have a healthier attitude and only consume things you want to consume.
Ignore and unfollow. Repeat.
If you are a writer or creative, you should be going all-in on social media. You should be taking advantage of every opportunity available. The key is not to let social become an obsession where you constantly scroll for hours on end.
Everything in moderation wins the race!