First of all, I just have to say a giant THANK YOU to everyone who read my latest post. I literally am BLOWN away by your love and support and encouragement. I am also in awe of the boldness by others sharing their stories. I am sincerely so touched friends… you make life so sweet and so special.
Today, as I write this post I want to be really candid with you lovely readers. I have been extremely busy the last few weeks and have found myself on the brink of exhaustion nearly every day. Even as I sit here writing this post I have 2 loads of laundry in, am making dinner, and still have endless emails to catch up on, not to mention my additional to-do list of 30+ items. As I have considered how I could more consistently add REST and BALANCE into my days, I have also thought about the one area of my life that has consumed me the most….
Are you surprised?! Probably not! I hate to admit it as I am such an advocate of balance and wellness, but it is also par for the course being a social media influencer and expert for both of my full time jobs [insert half smile emoticon here]. All that to say, I was very intrigued by how much time we spend as a culture on social media and read up on some prettyyyy eye opening statistics below [be prepared to gasp!].
- An average of 2 hours a day is spent on social media, which translates to 5 years and 4 months over a lifetime * [GASP # 1!!!]
- 30% of time online is now spent on social media * [GASP # 2!!!]
- Time spent on social media daily outweighs eating, grooming AND socializing [approximately 3 years and 5 months]!!! *[GASP # 3!!!]
Confession time: I probably seriously, almost positively spend 2 hours a day on social media. And that is cray cray. I am not saying I am proud of this. Rather, I am saying this because I want you loves to know, I do NOT have it all together, but I have learned a lot in the process of seeking balance in a socially driven culture. In fact, I am actually right now living by one of my key tips listed below and being REAL with you. Truth be told, I am still working on finding the perfect balance of social media in my life and am proactively seeking ways to find rest while also being a social media expert at the same time.
Many of you reading this blog post utilize social media for pleasure: to peak at what your friends are up to, to find inspiration, to stay up to date on the latest trends in various categories, to discover news, or for pure entertainment. But even when you utilize social media for pleasure, often times you still may find yourself wanting to stay up to par with your personal account because that’s what all the “cool kids” are doing these days. Though you may claim to be that person that “doesn’t care” about what anyone thinks of your posts…because of the universal nature of social media today, many of us now at least pause before we post a photo for the world to see.
On the other side of the coin, there are many of us who also use social media as a means for business [like me!]! In this capacity, social media is a tool used as a way to promote a business [either our own or a brand we represent]. Social media is a direct line to our source of income, in which case it does require time and effort. Whether you are using it for personal means or business gain, the moral of the story is you spend a heck of a lot of time on social media and thinking about how to curate your personal account.
So alas, how does one optimize and find balance on social media?
I have included some of my top tips below that will help you to foster a “realer than real” social media account, that will save you time and effort… and in the end, add some years back to your life!
HOW OPTIMIZE AND FIND BALANCE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
1. PREPLAN. This one is a life saver. Seriously, plan out your posts in advance. If you haven’t figure it out yet, there are ways to actually plan out your entire social media feeds and it. is. glorious. These planning apps help to curate color flow, variety of imagery, add captions, and even set reminders for when to post. You can often plan 1 to 2 weeks out which is AMAZING. My current favorite preplan app is Unum, but there are a slew out there for your social media optimization needs!
2. QUALITY over QUANTITY. Yes, the algorithm on Instagram is a real thing and it is out to destroy all of our lives…gahhh… okay, that is a touch too dramatic, but it is truly frustrating. However, I am here to burst your algorithm bubble to let you know that it is okay to take time to make sure your content is quality versus rushing to get a post up just because you need to be consistent with your posting. If that means you have to wait another day or two to post the right photo, so be it! It is always better in my opinion to take your time to post quality, real, authentic content.
Similarly, I highly urge you to think about the actual quality of the photo you are posting on social media. Indeed we don’t all have personal photographers following us around, but it is quite amazing the kind of imagery you can take with an iPhone these days! Think about some key basics: lighting, composition, angles, tonality. You can truly change the quality of your imagery on social media by just adding a few seconds of more effort each time as you take a photo. I promise, your feed will thank you later [and so will your followers!].
3. ENGAGE. Yes, engagement is important, but what is more important is actually enjoying engaging with your followers! I find that setting out specific time to answer DM’s and comments helps me to be able to enjoy interacting with the community I am so thankful for. Set a specified block of time each day to engagement instead of doing it sporadically throughout the day. You will find yourself much more productive, and enjoying the process a lot more…. I promise!
4. #REALTALK. Oh this one is REAL important. In a nutshell: be real to yourself and always authentic. Or as my dear Kat would say, “Tell the TRUTH!”. If you are having a bad day, do not post a photo of you smiling with the caption “this is the best day everrrrr” [insert a gazillion happy emoticons here]. UNLESS, you really do feel soooo amazing despite the chaos. Point being, if you are zonked out of your mind and can barely find time to eat 3 meals a day, don’t drop everything to post on social media. Feed yourself! If you are having an emotional breakdown, it is okay to take the night off. Take a personal night in sans your phone!
I used to get “social media anxiety” when it came to posting or not posting enough. There is a joke bloggers have that whatever you do you, “cannot miss your posting window.” While there is truth to posting at key hours for optimization, I have learned that forcing the post does not benefit anyone. Quick PSA: No one is dying if you don’t post on social media today. You are just as loved and cared for if the post goes live a day late, I promise!
5. BOUNDARIES. Yes, indeed one of the ONLY ways we can find true balance in social media is creating strict boundaries for ourselves. So what does that mean? For me, it means being my own parent TO myself. Set rules and have others keep you accountable. Some of your rules may look like the following:
- Put your phone on airplane mode at night to avoid temptation.
- Delete your social media apps on the days you want a true break- it may sound dramatic but it is simple to re-download them!
- Plan a social media vacation- and like a normal vacation, get excited and ENJOY it! [and maybe have a glass of wine or two in the process]
- DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT get on social media when you are hanging out with friends. Be present with the people you love. Nothing is more important than staying present and in the moment with TRUE everyday life.
Okay my lovely readers, I hope all these crazy statistics have stopped you for a moment and made you question just how much of your LIFE you are spending on social media, and how much time you could get back if you completed just a few small things to help optimize and balance your life with social media.
So, what do you think? Can you optimize and find balance in the crazy world of social media?
Photos by Anna Sandul