Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Pressure of Social Media

I haven't posted on Instagram in such a long time. I haven't sent out a tweet in a while. I haven't been snapping back my friends and we're losing our streak. There's this constant pressure to be constantly connected and also constantly active on social media. I don't know if you've noticed, but over the last few weeks, I've been a little quiet, both on my blog and on social media. However, despite the fact that my feed may be quiet, the pressure to be active has not left my mind. This isn't just with blogging, but all of social media. I feel constantly pressured to be posting content often, to be reminding people, "Hey, I'm here!" on social media. Why do I feel such intense pressure to be constantly active on social media?


I think that for me, one of the main reasons that I feel so pressured to post on social media is because blogging is half content and half social media. Online, social media is more than just a channel for connection, but also a channel for publicity and broadcasting. When running a blog, that publicity is important, it draws in new readers. I'm pretty sure that all of my readers have come from my social media accounts. But it's more than that. Whenever I go even 3 days without posting on my Instagram or Twitter account, I get a little anxious. I rack my brain for anything, absolutely anything that I could post, just to fill up my feed and keep active. But in reality, sometimes I just can't do it. What am I supposed to take a picture of? My life just doesn't have the capacity to be constantly taking Insta-worthy pictures and to come up with witty tweets that are #relatable. 

But despite the fact that I don't have the time (and sometimes I don't even have the energy) to focus on keeping active on social media, there's always this nagging feeling that I have to be there, I have to remind people that yes, I exist, and yes, I have a life. This isn't just something that I feel pressured to do on my blog social media. On my personal accounts, I also used to feel the constant need to post things, just for the sake of posting. If too much time went by, I got worried that it seemed like I just dropped off the map. If I didn't post a picture of a social event that I went to, then it made me feel like people wouldn't recognize that I had been there. The pressure to be active on social media goes back to the pressure to remind people that I matter. 


The pressure of social media isn't just about the quantity of Instagram posts, but sometimes it's about the Snapchat stories too. If I don't post on my Snapchat story for a while, will people think I'm boring and have no life? And yeah, it rings true to a certain extent, I don't post because there's nothing exciting going on. However, seeing other Snapchat stories makes me compelled to also go out and make it look like there are exciting things going on, even if there's nothing, just for the sake of getting a post out there, reminding people that this is what's happening in my life. 

I've been realizing lately that social media has become more and more about quantity for me. If I don't post for 3-4 days, I get constantly stressed, looking for anything, literally anything, that I can post, just so that I don't fall off the map. I fear that I might lose my followers if I don't post in a while. I fear that the growth of my blog and my social media might fall if I don't stay active. I fear that I will become irrelevant if I don't keep posting. And again, I think that a lot of that is self-induced. As a blogger, growth is everything that is on my mind. There's nothing more dejecting than seeing numbers go down, especially when it plummets from the normal stats. So I keep posting sub-par content just to get something out there. 

I don't know if that happens to other bloggers, but I think that it does. There's a constant fear of slowing down, fearing that it might prevent blog growth. Because it's so hard to grow and the last thing you want is for your hard work to be ruined. But if you focus on all the pressures, sometimes you lose that authenticity, that quality, that passion. The pressure of social media is to constantly be active, there's a pressure to connect with as many people as possible, but sometimes that becomes obscured by trying to post things just to post them. 

The pressures of social media are draining. I'm exhausted. I'm exhausted from constantly stressing about what I'm going to post next. I'm exhausted trying to come up with ideas for blog posts when I just can't. I'm tired. I don't have the time or the energy to focus on those things. Because at the end of the day, social media can burn you out. We have enough stress in our lives already. Adding on that extra stress trying to push yourself to constantly focus on social media is an extra layer that you don't need.

Take a break.
Refresh.
Come back stronger than ever.
Don't let the pressures of social media make your day any harder than it has to be.
Power off and focus on your life.
I'll try to do the same. 

3 comments:

  1. I can completely relate to this post. I took a huge break from my blog because doing that plus schoolwork and rehearsals was becoming too much for me. I also feel the pressure of constantly attempting to be relevant, not only as a blogger but as a human being as well. At the end of the day, I do what I can, and I hope you do as well! Thank you for such a refreshing blog post. :)

    - Melissa
    www.melissa-manning.com

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    1. School can be a handful! Sometimes it's just hard to juggle it all and when you add the stress of social media on top, it just seems like such arbitrary stress. Hope that all goes well for you, you can do it!
      Rebecca xo

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  2. I have definitely gone through this! If I don't post for a while I start to panic a bit, especially when I am so busy & have to put my blog on the back burner!
    xo, Syd
    anchoredinthesouth.com

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