There's something I've been thinking about a lot lately. Social Media, the impact it has on our lives, the way I use it and why I am looking to change things. Maybe it's the time of the year, the cold outside that makes me want to cosy up indoors and shut out the world. The time that makes me want to put pen to paper rather than fingers to a keyboard. Clearly, this isn't a post about pretty pictures, interiors or food (there will of course be a lot more about these things!), but it's something I feel I need to share and maybe it will resonate with some of you. It's taken me a little while to clear my thoughts on this subject, but the lack of internet for nearly 3 weeks whilst we moved house along with the major decluttering of physical possessions made me realise something: I was happy to have a perfectly plausible excuse to stay offline and I need less stuff in my life - in the physical as well as virtual sense.
I have a Facebook Page, as well as a Twitter, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Steller account. I am - to an extent - relying on these platforms for my work life, my business, my blog. But the thing is, I can't keep up! More importantly, I'm starting to see that I don't even want to keep up anymore. I could spend all day checking new tweets, posts, pictures and updates and still not feel I'm on top of things whilst not getting any actual quality work done. I would need to spend an awful lot of time updating each platform and then of course check on others' updates as well. That's an awful lot of chatter to take in - for everybody. Social Media has become something of a constant, humming background noise similar to the one generated by too many cars in a capital city: you don't realise how distracting and unsettling it is until you take a trip away from it all and experience stillness. We are so used to a constant stream of noise that it seems a given to somehow deal with it and handle it. The amount of information we are getting fed on a daily basis is virtually endless. Of course I have to blame myself to an extent. I've signed up for all these accounts and it was my choice. I'm deliberately saying "to an extent" though because there is a certain amount pressure to be connected at all times.
But at what price? When I look through my accounts, I soon discover that a very large part of the things I'm seeing are not worth my time. That doesn't mean that it won't entertain or interest someone else, it just means that it's not for me. And yet, I'm being bombarded with this constant stream of updates from people who feel it's important to be seen and heard as often as possible because we all fear we might become invisible in a world where being visible is everything - especially if our business relies on it. And that's part of the problem: whilst our businesses might rely on visibility, I feel that by constantly updating our status, tweeting random thoughts or posting mediocre images, we are actually doing ourselves and our business a disservice. Yes, we're visible for a moment, but it might not have any lasting impact because we're not giving anybody the time to actually engage with what we've put out there. It all becomes about quantity over quality which at some point might come back and "bite" us.
All this might of course have no relevance to anybody else than me. I realise that there are many, many people out there who are perfectly happy to tweet ten times an hour and for whom it works. However, I am finding myself more and more turning my attention to accounts who only post every now and again, when they have something interesting or beautiful to share. These accounts give me the time to enjoy what has been posted, to think about the words and - most importantly - to actually look forward to their next post. These accounts do place quality over quantity and I respect them for that and am more inclined to trust their judgement on pretty much any subject from good recipes and well thought-out interiors to product reviews.
I guess what this means is that I am looking to concentrate my efforts on a few platforms and accounts that suit me the best, post meaningful (ok, mostly) updates to engage my audience and actively try to ignore as much of the superfluous noise. It's nothing personal or against anybody for whom a different approach works, but I need to regain some kind of perspective on what is important and what isn't. In a way, this is my personal version of a January detox. A virtual one, which in today's world is probably just as important as a physical one. And it goes hand in hand with what I believe in: quality over quantity. A small part of me hopes that this approach will be appreciated...