August has definitely brought mindfulness to the fore for me. Did you read my August Intentions post? This month, I have paid a lot of attention to how I use social media. Using social media mindfully is now a priority for me.
A few months ago, I shared my social media and blogging philosophy. That post highlighted some of the rules I set for myself to guide me on how I utilize social media while still maintaining my sanity and protecting my privacy and life outside of social media. Those rules keep me in check; reminding me that social media is a just a tool to share my message rather than my all in all.
Since that post, I have taken regular social media detoxes; many of them to recalibrate and figure out what my purpose is here. Recently, I have been thinking of ways that I can utilize social media more mindfully. I spend a significant amount of time on Instagram so it’s important to me that the time I spend on Instagram actually adds value to my life.
By changing the way I use social media and being more mindful, my productivity and peace of mind are high and stable. I have been blogging (consistently) for over a year now. Deciding to blog consistently means that I have tried a lot of the tips and hacks that new bloggers are encouraged to follow. Many of these hacks sound cool on paper, but they’re not a one size fits all. Many of the things I no longer do on social media (some included in these 5) are things new and even old bloggers are told to do. This post is mostly geared towards bloggers. I will have a sequel for those who aren’t bloggers but still want to use social media mindfully.
1. I No Longer Followback Just for the sake of it
I think it’s high time we address the entitlement that is the “follow back” culture. Today, we are so entitled and expect people to follow us back simply because we follow them. If you follow someone, you should do so because you truly love what they do and what they stand for. You’re inspired by their “contents” and want to see more of it. That is why you follow them. You don’t simply follow people because you expect that they’d notice you and follow you back.
This one is a tactic many people in the blogging community encourage. It’s simply not working anymore. Been there, done that, don’t care to keep at it.
2. I no Longer Follow people whose contents I’m not inspired by
When you follow someone whose content you’re not inspired by, you’re simply wasting your time. For me now, it’s about following people who add some value to my life. The value here is subjective but I have to be able to take away something from the message you put out. There has to be something; some connection, some value, something worth looking forward to. I see my feed now as my inspirational moving wall on Instagram. When I come online, I want my feed to inspire me and not just have pictures of things I don’t care about.
With this in mind, and for my sanity sake, I unfollowed everyone who didn’t give me this spark. I felt guilty about it in the beginning but I need to do what I think is best for me. I encourage everyone to do the same and please feel free to unfollow me too if you don’t care about my contents and my message. There are no hard feelings there, and I will not be offended. Now, I only follow people who inspire me, whose personality I connect with and people whose hustle I want to support (even If I don’t feel like their message is for me).
Focus on following people who’s post you enjoy and you won’t have the need to constantly unfollow people and falling in the trap of the “follow/unfollow” mess.
3. I No longer endlessly scroll on feeds with no mission
I have a mission now and that mission is to interact with people mindfully. Gone are the days when I would just log on social media and aimlessly scroll with no purpose. While I have had my moments when this was a struggle for me, I’ve learned new ways to handle this. For me, having a plan for how I will spend my time on Instagram works for me. I try not to spend longer than 15-20 minutes each time I log on. Each time, I allow myself this time block to log on and just interact with the people I follow, those who have engaged with my post as well as posts on hashtags that I use often.
I set a timer to keep my self-accountable. This may sound strict and unnecessary but if you’re in the beginning stages of being intentional with your time, any form of accountability will come in handy. By not spending and wasting time on Instagram, I allow myself the opportunity to enjoy life outside of social media and read a book or run errands all while focusing on the tasks at hand. This has kept me sane and helped me control the FOMO syndrome (fear of missing out).
4. Run Giveaways for the sole purpose of gaining followers
This is another one that’s literally in every new blogger’s handbook. Pretty much every seasoned blogger will tell you that in order to gain followers and grow your brand, you need to host giveaways. Giveaways are great, and this rationale makes sense to some extent. When you host a giveaway, there’s usually a general rule that anyone hoping to win must follow you on whatever platform the giveaway is hosted on. More often than not, the giveaway host will require you to tag a couple of friends too. By tagging so many friends, those friends will likely enter and that means following you too. This is how giveaways technically help you gain followers.
The problem with this tactic is the kinds of followers you attract. Basically, you are attracting people who don’t particularly care about the message or your “content”. They followed you just for giveaways. After the giveaway, they will unfollow. Even worse is the fact that many people create fake profiles just for entering giveaways. Those accounts are dormant and inactive.
Giveaways should be a way to appreciate your followers for their support. It shouldn’t be an exploitation tool. For my giveaways now, I randomly pick followers who I have noticed to engage with my work and send items to them that I need to send. I don’t make a fuss about this anymore and my intentions for giveaways are not longer to grow followers.
5. Being Indecisive with my Niche
For those who aren’t bloggers, in simple terms, niche blogging basically means choosing a specific area (a niche) and sticking with it, mostly. I see the benefits here. By sticking to a niche, you attract a specific and targeted audience. This often helps you grow and share your message to those who are most interested in it. While Niche blogging has its pros and cons, I am begging to see that the benefits outweigh the cons. For that reason, I have decided to stick to a niche for now.
While I enjoyed blogging about “everything” within my lifestyle, I found that it was overwhelming always trying to figure out which part of my lifestyle needed to be shared. For now, I am sticking to mindfulness, slow living and minimalism and plant-based wellness. I believe these all go hand in hand and it’s just easier that way. They also encompass everything I am focused on in life currently.
This post turned out longer than I expected. haha. I hope it someone inspired you to give more thoughts into how you use social media whether or not you’re a blogger.
Thanks for stopping by.