I open up my social media app for my page, stare at it, and then close it. I then open my photo social media app, stare at it, and then close it. Sighing, I reopen the page app and look at the last post I made. It’s been several days. When the year started, I jumped right in and was active, parsing out a small handful of posts a day. The advice is to keep a steady flow – but not too much – based on how many people are signed onto your page. But now, just 11 days into the year, I feel done.
On the ninth day, when I hadn’t posted in several days, I tried hard to come up with something, but all I really wanted to do was create, write, journal, work on my book or speeches or coaching in the space that followed my day job. It’s not that posting on social media is hard at all. Rather, I would prefer to spend my free time in creation, not in chasing likes and hearts and followers.
Everywhere I turn, I run into articles that tell me how to grow my social media presence, and it becomes more than I care to engage in. I want to connect with people, have conversations, share ideas. I don’t want to be good at social media. I want to be good at the creative life and good at connection with those who want to share their creative lives with me. I want to be good at advocacy in real life, not just social media activism.* I want to share a life, not a link just to keep a page alive.
Just before the new year began, my writing group met and we ended up doing a cute pinky swear that we would give this year our everything, that we would pour into our writing especially. It took 6 days for me to remember pouring into social media is not the same as writing or creating or learning. I know this, of course I know this, but it’s easy to make a long to-do list and end the day thinking you accomplished something, only to have covered social media with success but failing to create and connect.
The truth is, we live in a time where we have to build social media platforms and lists to promote ourselves and land books deals and clients and speaking gigs, but I want to try a different way to do this. Fewer quote graphics and more pieces from the heart. Less time link-gathering and more time connecting.
Going forth, I’m going to be intentional about creating this creative life, in advocating in the world, and in being true to connections with others, allowing the rest to be part of what I do when I care to. But I don’t want to get good at social media. I want to be good at living.
Our lives are consumed with intake, intake, intake. But I want to encourage you to push away from the keyboard, put your devices away, and create something, whether it’s art, a book, or a life. No one will remember you as the person who posted those great quotes all the time. They’re going to remember what you created and when you connected with them. Pinky swear.
*I believe social media activism is valuable. I just don’t want to get comfortable only doing that. I want to spend more time in the world advocating, not only online.