Social Media: An Introvert on the Internet

man sitting under treeThis blog is a huge journey for me; one that I’m just beginning and really enjoying!  A large part of my free time is spent researching about business, blogging, photography, marketing, everything. I really want to be successful!  But one of the most recurring topics I’m reading about, is also my least favorite: Social media.

For context, I am 100% an introvert. And I’ve also never considered myself “normal”.  Having and maintaining friends is not my forte, and I accept that.  I don’t like large crowds, and small talk is my least favorite thing.  I’m most comfortable inside the four walls of my house, cuddled up on the couch.  I’m proud of who I am, but I wanted to paint the picture a little further for you.

What’s Wrong with Social Media

My issues with social media started as a teenager when I saw how it was influencing my life. I still have Facebook and Instagram accounts, but I’m very careful with them, for several reasons which I’ll explain.  Of course there are always exceptions, but generally I have found these things to be consistent.

First, it’s too addicting.  I actually just learned that research shows brain chemistry changes when being “rewarded” with ‘likes’.  Every time we click and see a ‘like’, a little bit of dopamine is released. It creates an addictive reward pathway in the brain, which results in constantly refreshing the page checking for updates.

Second, it’s too easy to compare.  Especially as a teenager that already felt like she didn’t fit in, social media was the last place to look for acceptance.  Social media feeds are constantly filled with people with seemingly perfect lives doing amazing things.  It was easy for me to compare myself to them, and I felt bad when I wasn’t doing any of those same amazing things.

This leads me to my third point; it’s fake.  Nobody is ever that happy, perfect, or composed. Period. Feeds are a constant stream of highlights and calculation. Generally, people don’t like to advertise their low points, leaving only the highlights for you to judge.

Fourth, too much self-promotion.  This ties in with my third point, in that why is it necessary to tell everyone all the awesome things we are doing? It seems too much like a contest, and seriously no one likes someone who always one-ups their stories.

It’s for those reasons that social media bothers me.  But I have also been guilty of every single one. That is why I am careful today.  I do see some benefits of social media, and therefore still have accounts, but I think twice before posting. I always ask, “what am I trying to accomplish?”  Maybe it’s just me, but the internet can be a dangerous place where we quickly lose touch with the three dimensional reality around us.

 

The Social Media and Blog Relationship

So here’s my current dilemma.  I started this blog from the ground up with virtually no followers in order to push myself outside my comfort zone, but also to grow my photography perhaps into a business one day.  We all know that marketing is a very important part of business, but more and more these days it’s about social media marketing.  From a business perspective, it’s genius.  Reach your target audience directly.

But as I’ve started this blog and had to put my posts out there on social media, something just felt entirely wrong. I was falling victim to the conformity social media creates.  Trying to have the perfect post, with a catchy caption, and optimal number of hashtags is draining.  You quickly stop being yourself, and instead become a fake social media droid. Your hard work just floats away into the disingenuous sea of tweets and ‘grams.

So whether on Facebook on behalf of my blog, or talking to coworkers, I will always be true to myself.  No more doing this or that because that’s what all the cool kids are doing.

Being yourself is the biggest advantage a person can ever give themselves.




3 thoughts on “Social Media: An Introvert on the Internet

  1. Really great piece. I too fall victim to changing into someone else when I begin making content and decide to promote myself. It feels like not only are you up against a million and one giants who know self promotion like the seat of their car, but you also feel disingenuous if you try to play the game in the established ways.

    I guess my question for this piece would be, how do you move forward then? Create content for the hell of it and hope against hope in the back of your mind that enough people find it on their own for your life’s dreams to start taking off? Or are there alternative methods of marketing oneself, reaching an audience? Social media is clearly the most efficient way, but it ends up not being a better way. Maybe staple some old fashioned paper ads to lamp posts, that could be just hipster enough to work. I’m saying this as a self proclaimed yet reluctant hipster.

    1. That’s a really great question! And definitely something I think about constantly. I don’t have any easy answer, but for me it’s about balance. I don’t necessarily think that using social media is always a bad thing, but using it in ways that are true to yourself is key. I think first and foremost create content because that’s what you want to do and that’s what makes you happy. Don’t do it for anyone else. The sharing of that content is part of the creative process and part of that self-expression. I still post my blog to social media, but I present it as I would if I was talking to a friend. I do my best to steer clear of canned captions that come off fake, and instead write something I would actually say out loud.

      As long as you are happy with the person you are being then I don’t think there is a wrong answer. I’d encourage you to try out the paper ads if that’s more your hipster style! I stumbled across this article the other day. There were parts of it I found helpful and could definitely relate to. Check it out if you are interested: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-overcome-fear-putting-yourself-out-susan-cain-1

      Thanks for the feedback and great thoughts!

      1. Totally reasonable, I like the bit about sharing the content being part of the expression as a whole, really cool idea with that. Thanks a bunch for the article, I will definitely check it out!

Thoughts?