Against The Grain | A New Perspective To Social Media Notifications

Hi friends!!  So, as we have all seen on Instagram the past few days- Instagram may be changing its algorithm in the future!  Anyone that has been on Instagram in the last few weeks has seen some post from some one stating “Turn on Push Notifications!”.  Small business owners, bloggers, those in the creative industry- it seems as though we all were in a slight panic over these changes.

I have seen these “turn on notifications” posts for a while now and have honestly paid them zero attention.  That was until yesterday morning as I was scrolling through Instagram and every. other. post. had a pretty images with pretty lettering and a long explaination of why you should turn your notifications on to continuing following that person/business.

I suddenly felt a wave of Peer Pressure.  I had been ignoring these posts all along, but suddenly felt as though everyone was posting about turning on notifications and if I didnt post and tell people to turn on notifications then I was hurting my business in one way or another and I couldn’t allow for that to happen!  (Me- Entering social media panic.)

Then I began to think.  I thought about the upbeat verbiage I would use in the caption.  I thought about the lovely, attention grabbing image that I would use in that post. I began thinking of the perfect time to post it to grab as much attention as possible.

Then a final thought crossed my mind… I dont have notifications set up for social media, so how do I convince my friends and followers to do so??

The truth is that, well, I dont.

See, heres the thing.  When I first entered this industry, I was overly consumed with social media.  I would post something and every time that my phone would notify me of another like or another comment, I would immediately have to look at it.  I loved watching that number rise and I loved interacting with people in each post.  Then I discovered the notifications, and all of the fabulous people that I followed would suddenly be right at my finger tips each and every time they posted so that I could keep up with their work.  It was glorious… Or so I thought.

The next thing that happened was a little less expected.  I began to feel burnt out.  Burnt out by the endless feeling that my worth was somehow tied to the amount of likes I had through an instagram post.  Burnt out by the realization that it was never just a one click process, but that in fact, one click led to fifteen minutes of mindless scrolling through my feed.

Here’s the next hard thing to admit- I began to feel burnt out because all of those lovely people that I was following on Instagram were sharing their highlight reel for the online world to see.  And even though deep down we all know that it is the highlight reel, we see so many people post so many wonderful things back to back to back and suddenly, we begin to believe that we are not doing enough, being enough, scheduling enough, booking enough, Filli in the blank my friend…  

i decided then and there that i was not going to feel this way.  That i was good enough.  That I am doing my own amazing things in my own amazing life and no one’s social media post could make me feel otherwise.  So I turned off all notifications.  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linked In…. All of them.  Not one single notification is turned on to distract me from living a beautiful life.

Now, dont get me wrong, I still am active on social media.  But my days are a little more meaningful when I am taking the time to curate genuine relationships, rather than obsess over the next fabulous instagram post that will appear.

So, instead of asking you to turn on your notifications for me.  Instead of scaring you into thinking that you’ll never see my work again.  I challenge you to turn your notifications off.  I dare you to spend more time away from your phone, to curate a more realistic and genuine source of happiness.

Now think about your significant other and how nice it would be to laugh together + snuggle a little more.  Think about your pets that would love some extra play time.  Think about that really great movie you wanted to see with a friend.  Or that really amazing restaurant that you wanted to try…. Make time for those things.  

And you know what, maybe you feel as though I did a few months ago.  Maybe you feel like if you aren’t consistently active on social media, then people will forget about you.  I hear you, but how about this instead… That really amazing calligrapher who’s work you just adore following, why not invite her out of a coffee date to chat and create an in person relationship with her?? Or that photographer that you cant get enough of, reach out to her about swapping headshots and hang out together for the afternoon!

These genuine relationships + the time that you are willing to put into curating a beautiful, whole hearted experience in your day to day life is what matters my friends…  The number of likes your post gets means nothing.  The relationships that you build with people + the time you spend loving on those people are the grounds of which our lives become a little bit more meaningful than ever before. 

Meet people.  Talk to people.  Serve people.  And love them well.  I promise this will bring so much more joy to your life than a social media post ever will.

Happy Tuesday friends!! 🙂  Make it a good one!!

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