I’ve been thinking of writing this post for a while, in large part because this blog has existed for more than seven years now. I started writing our little journey when Ryan and I started dating as a way to connect with other military spouses and significant others. Today, it’s morphed into its own entity, and I love it. There are also days, however, that I’ve learned to take a step back and step offline. Over the years, I’ve discovered that finding balance in a social media society is imperative, so I’m sharing a little bit about how I’ve set boundaries – and how you can, too.
Why Finding Balance in a Social Media Society is Important
First and foremost, it should be mentioned that I never had any intention of my blog to become what it is today, but I do love it. I’ve connected with so many incredible individuals around the world who’ve experienced both similar and different life journeys, both in the military and out. It’s add a layer of perspective to my life that I might not have otherwise had. But with this blog has inevitably come the other social media outlets with which I have a love/hate relationship. The marketer and content strategist in me loves them. The mama, the wife, and the individual, however, wonders what the long-term effects of a social media society might be, so one of my priorities in 2021 was setting boundaries. Here’s how.
Shut out the Noise
Now, I’m not saying that your platform might get lost in the noise. I’m saying that you, personally, could get lost in it. Social media, while a powerful tool of connection, is also a numbers game. It’s about followers, and following, and comments, and likes. We get that instant rush when a post is appreciated, and you feel deflated when it’s not. I’ve found that separating myself from the noise and the game is imperative to my overall mental health. Instead of posting five days a week and chasing approval, I have to remind myself that I set my timelines. Nobody else. Let the chips fall where they may.
There’s Zero Obligation to Share Anything
At the end of the day, you decide how much you post or how little – and this goes for every single platform. In my seven years of blogging and all that time spent on my instagram, I can honestly say that it can take a toll on you if you take it too seriously. It should be fun. You do not owe anyone anything. You dictate your schedule. Want to share something funny? Do it. Want to be raw and honest and vulnerable? Do it. Not sure if you want to share? Don’t. You control your platform and your voice.
Don’t Take it So Seriously
I have friends who are influencers. Real influencers. People who are paid significant amounts of money to promote products or services. That’s their job, and it’s great. I’ve had the occasional partnership, but I’ve also learned that I’m not an influencer. Or, allow me to rephrase that. I’m not a professional influencer. My platform is a place for me to share what’s on my heart and mind on my terms. If I love a company, I share it, but I made a choice not to be bought, and that’s a personal decision. There’s far more to life than social media!
It Can Connect, But it Can Divide
Social media is a powerful tool of connection, but it can also cause divides. We live in a pretty trigger happy society in which we’re more than happy to condemn someone for saying or doing something wrong. We also have millions of people using their platforms to raise their voices, and those voices can clash. It’s up to use how much we want to let social media dictate our potential friendships and relationships with others.
It’s About Being Intentional
“Intentional” was my word of the year for 2020, and it’s still such a powerful one. I’ve learned over the past year that being intentional means being so in all things; not just the easy ones. Though my word of the year for 2021 is “drive,” I want to drive forward with intent and purpose – focusing on the good things. So, here’s how I’m personally finding balance in a social media society:
- Setting a Time & Place – I allow myself two times of day to post and share now…if I want. I have a pretty good pattern on my blog. I post and share things that inspire me, but in terms of social media, I’ve learned that to filter out the noise and chaos, it’s important to put my phone down and be productive otherwise. If I want to post, I do so during that dedicated time. I return comments during a different time. I space it out for proverbial – and literal – fresh air.
- Being Present – If something big is happening, I make a point of not immediately posting on social media. If we’re in the moment as a family, we’re in that moment together. It’s impossible to be present in the real world if you’re lost in the social world.
- Draft Things First – I’ve found it’s super easy to be immediately emotional in a post or story. We write what we feel, and I’ve discovered that’s what my blog is for. I make a point of writing things in draft before ever actually posting them. Then, I can read them when I’m more clear about my current frame of mind and decide whether it’s something I really should personally post and share. When all else fails, I stick to my “why” – why I started and why I continue.
Ultimately, social media is my jam. It’s part of my career, and it’s such a powerful of connection that I don’t see it going away any time soon. But I truly believe that allowing yourself space to decide how your platform fits in your life is extremely important, and finding balance in a social media society has been so important to my overall happiness.
Tell me – how do you balance social media and real life?