Hello! I’m taking some time away from my favourite social media platform, Instagram.
It is weird to say “favourite” in this context, because it’s like that song lyric, “You’re my favourite waste of time.” Click here to get the earworm or if you don’t know which song I mean.
A waste of time is what Instagram was beginning to feel like for me. My goal at the moment is to Write The Next Book, and I would find myself scrolling and consuming content rather than creating it. The thing is with content on Instagram, a lot of the time it is forgettable.
Wow, did I just say that out loud?!
It might sound harsh. I don’t mean it in a bitchy way. The consumption of an Instagram scroll is so quick; this instant gratification is like fast food. Easy to get, cheap, usually not good for you, addictive, and yes, not so memorable.
Aren’t you more likely to remember a sit-down meal, where time was taken to prepare it? Where dishes have been made with love, thought and care? Where you have the time to linger over it, perhaps share the experience with friends or loved ones, discussing the food, sharing opinions and even recipes. When you can give it your full attention and be rewarded with excellent nutrition?
I’m not saying Instagram posts arent created with love, thought and care. I know how much work goes into sustaining and growing an account. And there are many beautiful accounts with wonderful, brilliant people behind them.
What I’m saying is that for me at the moment, I have been consuming without thought. Like I’m on auto-pilot, and it’s an easy habit to slide into. And, on the other side of that coin, creating content for Instagram is taking me away from creating content for another book.
I haven’t got the bandwidth right now to juggle many creative outlets. There’s a lot going on personally- all good I assure you and I’ll share soon. But it needs my attention, as does my next book.
Too many spinning plates/balls in the air and one or more will break/drop so I’m taking down some of those plates before they fall down.
This article from Business Insider, Instagram and Facebook are intentionally conditioning you to treat your phone like a drug, is enlightening if you haven’t looked at this topic before.
“The success of an app is often measured by the extent to which it introduces a new habit.”App developer, Peter Mezyk in an interview with Business Insider
At the end of the day Time = Money, and to quote again from the article above; “Attention is currency.” It’s the same formula.
My time/money/attention needs to be on me at the moment. Not elsewhere.
Having said all this, I’m not, as yet, leaving Instagram behind. As an Indie Author, I love the connection it gives me to readers. I’m sure I’ll be back soon when I have a little more bandwidth to spare.
Also, I can’t create in a vacuum, which is one of the reasons I can be found on Twitter a little more these days. Although many find Twitter full of vitriol, I don’t, although it probably depends on who you follow. Over there are writers, readers, writing opportunities and support.
I will go back and begin to use Instagram again, but I need to do it in a conscious way. I watched a great video recently from Sunny Lenarduzzi, a YouTuber with a huge following. She has changed her social media strategy, and the measuring of, “success” to the following;
Relevancy + Intention + You = Your Social Media Strategy
Watch the full video here.
This feels like a sustainable way of being online and sharing my work. I might return to this topic at some point and share how it’s going.
How do you consume social media, and specifically Instagram?