Social media and I have a bit of a rocky relationship. I hate it but need it.
I have been doing the social media for InkleDeux since we started. I’ve read about it, researched it, tested some stuff. I was never able to sustain any sort of meaningful campaign though. I had a terrible conflict between my head and my heart. I knew from my research that it takes a loooooooong time to build up social media. I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t realize just how long it took when I started, but I did know it wasn’t over night. In my heart though, I wanted to “go viral.” I wanted to go from nobody to somebody just like that. I knew that would never happen. God has all but spoken from the clouds to tell me that I will have to earn everything I get.
So, I don’t really play the lottery.
About a year and a half ago, I realized I was not well. My mind was numb and I felt a lot of shame. I couldn’t figure out why. I went on a social media fast. I cut social media out for a year. I would post only from my computer so we didn’t just fall off the map. In that time I realized a couple of things about myself. One, I was so desperate for people’s attention that I would give up who I really was to get their likes. I was ashamed of that. I’ve always been a non-conformist and here I was doing stupid dances to try and get people’s attention. I also realized that social media triggered my addictive tendencies. It is what I call a “brain number.” Some of us, when we get overwhelmed, we want to just turn it off. It is too much. So, we will turn to things that numb our brain because it is better to feel nothing at all than everything all at once. (A false dichotomy for sure, but if addicts were reasonable they probably wouldn’t be an addict.)
After a year, I was ready to start going back into social media. I have always believed that our conversations are meaningful for us and for others. I have always wanted to share them others. Social media has always been the best way to do that…because it’s free. I fiddled with it for a bit but everything seemed to jive with my groove. Nothing felt right. I had been consuming YouTube Shorts for a while and realized that podcasts were doing well there. So I watched how they were formatted and tried to come up with something similar. I practiced editing videos while watching my girl’s jiujitsu class. I like it. I don’t want to be a full time editor, but creating short punchy videos was fun. My videos aren’t quite as good as Joe Rogan’s but my studio budget is considerably lower.
I started posting.
My first video got about 150 views. I thought, “hey, that’s not bad.” So I built a system around creating short form videos and weekly long form. I committed to doing them every week day. I don’t work them on the weekends because I want to stay focused on my family during that time. That compromise made sense to me and figured it was still posting enough to get the algorithms attention (I hate speaking of it like its a person, that will be the robot apocalypse, just say’n).
My views have not been crazy. I have not gone viral. What I HAVE gotten is negative comments. That what when I realized I was ready for this. My first comment was that everything we said was bulls*** and the second one called us a “dumbo.” The internet is such a welcoming place.
How I knew I was ready was that I didn’t get mad. The comments didn’t destroy my confidence as it surly would have a while ago. For the first one, I researched how to reply to negative comments and felt I handled it well. The second one I replied with empathy and facts. They still stung a bit. I would have to be a robot for it to not. It didn’t ruin my whole day though. I was able to shake it off and keep posting content.
My friend Aaron read this quote to me by some Buddhist monk. I’m not going to try and quote it properly, but the essence was that it is better to let the mud settle in the water so you can see where you’re stepping. That made so much sense to me. I needed to clear the muck in my spirit that was clouding my mind and heart. The only way to do that was to step away from social media and step closer to Christ. I had no control over the muck or how long it would take to clear. I just had to wait (and pray). Then I would wiggle my toes to see if it was clear. When it was, I took a confident first step and found a good path.
Working for my life’s vision of writing stories in a beverage shop that I own.